It’s Fall! Time to put out Pre-Emergent!

It’s Fall! Time to put out Pre-Emergent!

Is it too late to apply a pre-emergent to my lawn and flower beds since it’s Fall?

No, this is the perfect time to broadcast pre-emergent granules on your lawn and flower beds to help prevent cool season weeds from germinating and growing this winter. Your lawn will be so much healthier when it isn’t competing for nutrients and water with ugly weeds.

Neil Sperry suggests using a pre-emergent with Dimension as the active ingredient. There are several products that include Dimension and we’ve found one that works in both lawns and flower beds which has a higher concentration than many on the market – thus saving you money. Bring us your lawn and bed dimensions (pardon the pun) and we’ll calculate how much you need.

A Pre-Emergent lawn care product eliminates weeds at the earliest stage of growth — before you even see them. Several key factors are important to consider if you want to use this type of weed killer effectively.

Here in East Texas, because our weather is all over the place, it is recommended to put it down every 3 to 4 months.

Houseplant Care Series: Fertilizing

Houseplant Care Series: Fertilizing

Since the roots of houseplants are trapped and unable to go elsewhere, unlike in-ground plants that can look ‘elsewhere’ for food, they’re counting on you for feeding!

Houseplants need fertilizing with an all-purpose plant food, such as Schultz® Liquid Plant Food, Schultz® All Purpose Slow Release Granular Plant Food, or Bonide® 10-10-10 Liquid Plant Food. How much your plant will need will depend on how large the plant is, the size of its root ball, and what kind of houseplant it is.

You’ll want to fertilize during the growing season (Spring, Summer, and Early Fall). That way, the plant can use it’s energy to absorb the fertilizer properly and grow.

Research your specific plant and make sure to follow the instructions on the fertilizer package!

Houseplant Care Series: Water & Humidity

Houseplant Care Series: Water & Humidity

While MOST indoor plants need water about once a week, it can vary depending on how old the plant’s root system is, what kind of container/pot it is in, where the plant is placed in your home (and how much sunlight/heat it gets), and also what variety of houseplant it is. Plants placed in a window will get dry faster than those exposed to less direct sunlight.

How do I know my plants need watering? 

Check to see if the soil looks dry, then stick your finger into the soil just about an inch (or to the first joint of your finger) to see if the soil feels moist. While plants should become a little dry between watering, don’t let the plant wilt, that’s way too dry!

Don’t want to get dirt under your fingernails? 

Use a moisture meter to check the moisture level of your plant.  This handy gadget immediately tells you if your soil is dry, moist or wet.  Click here to see how easy and simple it is to tell when your plants need watering.

How do I water my plants?

Use a long-spout watering can to reach all sides of your pot with ease (and to avoid spills). Saturate the soil around each plant with water and continue adding until it begins to run out the drainage hole on the bottom of the pot. Let the plant drain, then dump the excess water from the saucer.

Quick Tip: If the potting mix you use dries out too much, it won’t hold water properly, so the moisture immediately runs out the drainage hole and is not absorbed. If this happens, add the water slowly, giving the potting mix a chance to absorb the moisture.

Benefits of misting my plants?

Because so many houseplants originated from jungles and areas with moist air, they do best when the humidity level is between 30-40% humidity – enough to make your hair frizz! For plants that really need a little extra moisture, misting can be a great way to provide that extra water.

Using tepid (not hot, but not cold) water, mist your humidity-loving houseplants in the morning – so the leaves can dry out during the day. You’ll want to mist on the tops and undersides of the leaves, leaving a ‘dewy’ look to them when you’re done. Some plants can be misted daily, while others only need it once or twice a week. Make sure to research your new houseplant addition to find out what schedule applies to you!

Increasing Humidity for your plant. 

MOST plants thrive in high humidity environments; however, most homes are usually VERY dry in comparison to the outside air.

Here’s the best way to combat this: Place a tray or saucer under your houseplants and fill it with pebbles. Then, add water until the water line is just below the top of the pebbles (not more than this, you don’t want to keep the plant’s ‘feet’ wet) As the water evaporates, it will increase the humidity level around the plant.

9 Superb Shade Trees

9 Superb Shade Trees

Shumard Oak

  • Grows to 120’ tall and 50’ – 60’ wide
  • Fast growing, up to 3’ per year after established
  • Deciduous tree (will lose its leaves in the winter)
  • Leaves are green and turn scarlet in the fall
  • Produces acorns, 1 inch long

Monterrey Oak (Mexican White Oak)

  • Sometimes referred to as an Upright Live Oak
  • Upright growing tree to 40’ tall and
  • Fast growing, up to 4’ per year after established
  • Semi-evergreen similar to Live Oaks (will keep their leaves through winter and drop them in the spring)
  • Larger leaves than a Live Oak (2”-5”)
  • Drought-tolerant
  • Produces acorns, 1inch long

Bur Oak

  • Grows to 80’ tall and 60’-70’ wide
  • Large leaves, 6”–12” long and 3” – 6” wide 
  • Fast growing and long-lived tree
  • Deciduous tree, will drop its leaves in the winter
  • Known for its deeply ridged, gray bark
  • It’s long taproot makes it drought-tolerant
  • Produces acorns 1” – 2” long

Summer Red Maple

  • Grows to 40’ tall and 25’ wide
  • Fast growing tree – up to 3’ per year
  • Leaves are 2” – 5” long
  • Deciduous tree, will drop it’s leaves in the winter
  • Burgundy red new foliage in the spring, outstanding yellow in the fall
  • Heat tolerant, little to no heat damage seen on leaves in the summer

October Glory Red Maple

  • Grows to 40’ – 50’ tall and 25’ – 35’ wide
  • Fast growing tree – up to 3’ per year
  • Leaves are 3” – 6” long
  • Deciduous tree, will drop it’s leaves in the winter
  • Dark green leaves in the spring and radiant orange-red leaves in the fall

Autumn Blaze Red Maple

  • Grows to 50’ tall and 40’ wide
  • Fast growing tree – up to 3’ per year
  • Leaves are 4” – 6” long
  • Deciduous tree, will drop it’s leaves in the winter
  • Known for their brilliant orange-red fall color

Sycamore

  • Can grow to 100’ tall and 70’ wide
  • Moderate grower, up to 2’ per year
  • Leaves are 4” – 12” long and wide
  • Deciduous tree, will drop it’s leaves in the winter
  • Known for it’s white bark with its unique pealing patterns

Fan Tex Ash

  • Grows to 25’ – 30’ tall and 25’ wide
  • Moderate Growth rate of 1’ – 2’ per year
  • Leaves are 5” – 8” long
  • Deciduous tree, will drop it’s leaves in the winter
  • This variety is all-male and does not develop the messy seed pods
  • Is heat tolerant
  • Showy fall color of golden yellow leaves

Pistache Tree

  • Grows to 40’ tall and 25’ – 35’ wide
  • Moderate growth rate of 1’ – 2’ per year
  • Leaves are 10” – 16” long and ¾” wide
  • Deciduous tree, will drop it’s leaves in the winter
  • Tree starts out gangly when small but fills out nicely as it matures
  • Deep roots, great for planting next to patios, sidewalks or drives
  • Stunning fall color of bright yellow, orange and red leaves in the fall
Fall Container Ideas

Fall Container Ideas

Fall is an excellent time to show off your seasonal favorites like mums, pansies, violas, and flowering kale or cabbage. Play with colorful and dynamic combos of perennials, annuals and grasses to create stunning containers.

Photo Credit: Southern Living
Photo Credit: Southern Living

Use solid colored Pansies in orange and velvety black to make the perfect Hallow’s Eve arrangement. Place in a black or silver container for a super spooky addition to your front porch Jack O’Lanterns.

Photo Credit: Southern Living

Use a variety of colorful Pansies as a filler against an evergreen, like an Arborvitae or a Blue Point Juniper, with a classical ivy, like English Ivy for a formal arrangement.

Photo Credit: Southern Living

Use different varieties of Dianthus to create a full container – pair with a neutral pot to really show off the bold colors.

Photo Credit: Southern Living

Make a MUM-KIN! Cut out the top of a pumpkin and plant your favorite fall Mum. Use orange or yellow for a consistent color scheme or add pink or purple for a deep contrast against the orange of your pumpkin!

Photo Credit: Southern Living

Strawberry Jar Planters can be used in more ways than one! Plant Violas in different shades for an incredible ‘spill’ effect.

Photo Credit: Southern Living

Create a sunny disposition, even in fall! Plant yellow Pansies (with and without a ‘face’) to create a trio of gold on your porch. Add a fountain grass for a ‘thriller’ to really draw attention!

Photo Credit: Southern Living

Have stairs leading up to your home? Create a stair-step quattro of planters with Violas. Use different style pots with the same variety of Violas to create a stunning look on your stairs!

Photo Credit: Southern Living

Have fun with Succulents in fall too! Just like our Mum-kin (pictured above) plant succulents in pumpkins and spray paint the pumpkins in neutral tones to make these desert gems stand out.

Houseplant Care Series: All About Light & Sun

Houseplant Care Series: All About Light & Sun

While all plants need light, the amount of the light they each need varies. This depends on where the plant originally came from, for example, most houseplants are natives of the jungle floor that have evolved to thrive on filtered light (like the light that makes its way through jungle canopies).  Light-sensitive houseplants may develop scorched leaves in bright light.

East- and west-facing windows generally receive partial sun and work well for plants that don’t need as much light. Darker locations that face north are best for low-light plants or closet plants.

Here are some key ways to tell if your plant is getting too much, or too little sunlight:

Too LITTLE Sunlight

  • The plant dramatically starts to lean towards the light.
  • Lower and/or interior leaves on the plants simply fall off.
  • Leaves curl upwards.
  • New growth is much smaller than original leaves and may have less color.
  • Plants grow spindly with elongated stems.
  • Flowering plants stop producing blooms.

Too MUCH Sunlight

  • The plant develops brown or sunburned spots on its leaves.
  • Leaves begin to yellow and fall.
  • Plants with colorful foliage will begin to fade.
  • The entire plant looks scorched.
6 Uses for Ornamental Grass

6 Uses for Ornamental Grass

Late summer and Fall is the time Ornamental Grasses put on their show.  Now is the time while to pick out your favorites to add to your landscape.

6 reasons to use Ornamental Grasses

  1. These graceful plants sway in the breeze bringing movement to any area.
  2. Dwarf varieties can be used in landscape beds or in larger mixed containers.
  3. Large varieties (Pampas, Peppermint Stick) create a good screen or accent plants along fence lines, drives or large entrance ways.
  4. The plumage in late Summer and Autumn add color and interest to your yard when other plants have finished blooming.
  5. Once established they are fairly drought resistant and are not water hogs like blooming shrubs.
  6. Their upright growth habit along with their interesting colors (stripes, variegated blades) add a different texture and shape to your landscape.