Gardening Guide

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Monthly Gardening Tips (Conventional & Organic) – May

PLANT:
Annuals–Begonia, impatiens, lantana, angelonia, vinca, sweet potato vine, supertunia, caladium, moss rose, purslane, scaevola, marigold, coleus, celosia, pentas, zinnias, bougainvillea, hibiscus, mandevilla, etc.
Perennials-pincushion, salvia, coreopsis, daylily, blackfoot daisy, hardy hibiscus, ruellia, skullcap, Russian sage, gaura, Turk’s cap, Texas primrose, sedum, butterfly bush, coral bells, ferns, hostas, and more.
Fruit and pecan trees, grapes, and berries.
Trees, shrubs, vines, ornamental grasses, groundcovers including turf grass (handwatering a must in summer).
In all new plantings, use Covington’s Soil Builder containing compost, greensand, expanded shale (holds 38% of its weight in water) to break up clay, add nutrients, retain moisture & revitalize microbial activity.
• Also use our Covington’s Potting Soil containing peat moss, screened compost, screened pine mulch, rice hulls, a wetting agent, organic fertilizer (derived from bone & blood meal), and Vitazyme, an organic bio stimulant. With this potting soil, you’ll be able to grow the largest flowers and the biggest tomatoes in town!

PRUNE:
Spring flowering shrubs and vines after they have finished blooming (Indian hawthorn, azalea, viburnum, forsythia, quince, wisteria, Carolina jessamine, etc.) Other Shrubs that require re-shaping.
Groundcovers: Asian jasmine, mondograss, and liriope to remove old growth.
Trees to remove dead/damaged growth, or to raise canopy so more sunlight reaches grass & landscape. To prevent the spread of oak wilt, prune Red Oaks or Live Oaks in late summer or early fall, or use pruning paint on cuts if pruning in spring.
Mow lawn regularly at recommended height. (1½” for Bermuda; 2” for St. Augustine & Zoysia).

WATER:
• Container plants, flower beds, shrubs & trees as needed to keep healthy. To improve water retention, add Soil Moist & Expanded Shale (or Covington’s Soil Builder) when planting.
• Top dress landscape/flower beds with 2-3 inch layer of mulch to help retain moisture, reduce weeds, and maintain soil temperature. Treat lawn & landscaped areas with Hydratain for greater soil moisture retention.
• Trees installed for less than two years must have special care to ensure a strong and healthy root system.  See our Plant Article Tree Care for the First Two Years for all the details.

CONVENTIONAL FERTILIZATION, PLUS WEED/DISEASE/PEST CONTROL SOLUTIONS

FERTILIZE:
• Flowers, veggies and herbs with Covington’s Premium Flower & Garden Fertilizer or use ferti-lome Gardeners Special for your herbs and vegetables.
• Newly planted trees and shrubs every 3-4 weeks for the first year with ferti-lome Root Stimulator.
• Trees, shrubs, groundcovers, and perennials with Covington’s Tree and Shrub Fertilizer.
• Lawn grass with Covington’s High Performance all nitrogen 25-0-0 fertilizer.
• Fruit & pecan trees with ferti-lome Fruit, Citrus & Pecan Fertilizer. To strengthen foliage and increase nut production on pecans, add Hi-Yield Zinc Sulfate at bud break, and repeat 6 weeks later.
• Roses with ferti-lome Rose Food or ferti-lome Rose Food with Systemic Insecticide.

WEEDS & DISEASE CONTROL:
• Use ferti-lome Systemic Fungicide for powdery mildew, disease & fungi on hawthorn, photinias, roses, etc.
• Spot treat broadleaf weeds such as dandelion, henbit & clover in St. Augustine or Bermuda grass with ferti-lome Weed Out. Spot treat nutsedge and crabgrass now with Bonide Sedge Ender.
• Apply Scotts DiseaseEx Lawn Fungicide or  Bonide Infuse Lawn Fungicide to St. Augustine for fungal infections including Take All Patch and Brown Patch. For added protection, spread ½ inch layer of Canadian Brown Sphagnum Peat Moss on infected area and water in.

INSECT & PEST CONTROL:
• For bagworms, tent caterpillars & cankerworms use Bonide Eight Insecticide or Hi-Yield 55% Malathion.
• Use Bonide Insect and Grub Control Granules for grub & chinch bug control.
• Use Bonide Ant, Flea & Tick Killer to control fire ant mounds and infestations.
• Use Hi-Yield Slug & Snail Killer to control slugs and snails on flowers and foliage.
• Control aphids, spider mites, mealy bugs, thrips, other problem insects w/Bonide Systemic Insecticide.
• For best control of scale & to kill borers in the trunks of trees, use Ferti-lome or Bonide Systemic Insect Drench which protects for months.
• Continue spray program for fruit and nut trees. Use ferti-lome Triple Action or Bonide Fruit Tree Spray.
• For fungus gnats in houseplants, use Hi-Yield Systemic Insect Granules.
• To deter pesky flower-munching rabbits, use Rabbit Scram and/or Bonide Repels-All spray.

ORGANIC FERTILIZATION, PLUS WEED/DISEASE/PEST CONTROL SOLUTIONS

FERTILIZE:
• Newly planted trees and shrubs with Garrett Juice Plus to help prevent transplant shock, increase beneficial microorganisms, and encourage root development.
• Flowers and perennials with Happy Frog Acid Loving Fertilizer.
• Vegetable gardens with Happy Frog Tomato & Vegetable Fertilizer.
• Use Good Natured Texas 2-Step Fertilizer on shrubs/trees, Bermuda, St. Augustine, ryegrass & fescue.
• Use Corn Gluten Meal 9-0-0 to feed turf and prevent weeds. Also spread Dry Molasses to enhance weed control and encourage healthy soil.
• Add Texas Greensand for deep greening in lawns, trees and landscape plants.

WEEDS & DISEASE CONTROL:
• Spot treat grassy and broadleaf weeds with 20% Vinegar. Add 2 oz. of Orange Oil per gallon of vinegar to enhance the kill on weeds and grasses.
• Apply Horticultural Corn Meal on landscape plants, vegetables, and turf grass for disease control.

INSECT & PEST CONTROL:
• Apply live insects such as ladybugs.
• Repel mosquitoes with Cedar Warrior Granules. Use Mosquito Bits Granules with BTI to kill mosquito larvae in standing water. Mosquito Bits also control fungus gnats in flower gardens, containers & houseplants.
• Use ferti-lome Come and Get It Spinosad Bait for protection from fire ants and use 3-4 ounces of Orange Oil per gallon of water as a drench on ant mounds.
• Spray Orange Oil in areas infested with pillbugs, sow bugs, and spiders.
• Control slugs & snails with Sluggo Plus w/Spinosad.
• Use Diatomaceous Earth for crawling insects.
• Spray Bonide All Seasons Oil for scale on fruit trees, hollies & crape myrtles.
• Use Natural Guard Caterpillar Killer spray with BT for worms on cole crops, lettuce, chard & cabbage.
• Use ferti-lome Triple Action Plus with Neem Oil for insect problems on fruit trees after petal fall.
• Use eco-friendly Armadillo Repellant in a convenient hose-end sprayer to get rid of armadillos.
• To deter pesky flower-munching rabbits, use Rabbit Scram and/or Bonide Repels-All spray.

This is a great time to plant, and our Garden Center is open 7 days a week. We can assist you with all of your plant wants and needs so you can be successful in your garden and landscape.