Quantcast
         
 
 

     

       

            

     TX Organic Research Center

 

 

CURRENT MOON
 
Home / Gardening Column

Organic Gardening & Living Advice



Have to feed hungry hibiscus
August 01, 2014
By Howard Garrett

Question: Our hibiscus looks great and has lots of blooms. Unfortunately the blooms fall off before they actually open. We don't see any pests on them. D.F., Argyle

Answer: Hibiscus are heavy feeders. Add alfalfa meal and use liquid organic fertilizer with every other watering, at least until the flowers are holding.



Question: I read an article about using baby shampoo as a substitute for mechanical aeration, but I forgot the application rate per 1,000 square feet using a hose-end sprayer. Can you give your thoughts on using this method?B.B., Grand Prairie

Answer: That's an old recommendation that is silly at best. What we recommend is covered in detail on my website. Amendments and bed prep are under Guides.   All the organic amendments and procedures help the tilth of the soil. For a one-time increase in the fluffy texture of the soil, add 16 ounces of hydrogen peroxide to each gallon of Garrett Juice spray and apply about a gallon per 1,500 square feet. You can find the recipe for making your own batch of Garrett Juice on my website if you do not want to purchase the bottled concentrate.


Question: What could I plant underneath a huge fig tree? I need something that my beagle Barney can run on. Other than Persian ivy, Asian jasmine or dwarf mondo, what do you suggest? I am not opposed to some type of crushed rock or mulch.D.M., Arlington

Answer: The only other choices would be the native horseherb. It and ophiopogon (mondo grass) could be mowed, but they will need to be replanted from time to time if they receive much traffic. Otherwise, decomposed granite should be about 1 inch deep. Lava is the best gravel mulch, used at a 2-inch depth. Native shredded mulch should be 3 inches thick.



Question: What can I do for squash vine borers? I have tried beneficial nematodes, Bt liquid, Neem oil and Bt powder. I have been told to replant, but they only go dormant and come back next year. I have lost a lot of plants.B.T., Dallas

Answer: One thing I would try with the next crop is working natural diatomaceous earth into the beds before planting at the rate of 1 to 15 pounds per 1,000 square feet. The available silica helps the pest resistance of the plants. Several gardeners have reported success using this technique.



Question: My East Texas children insisted on giving me a dogwood tree for Mother's Day. It is about 6 feet tall. They put it in a huge clay pot with good soil and thick mulch. Right away it developed powdery mildew. I'd like to know what you recommend I treat it with and how. R.C., Dallas

Answer: Spray with cornmeal juice made from soaking horticultural cornmeal in water or Garrett Juice with hydrogen peroxide added. Make sure the trunk flare is well-exposed and apply a layer of cornmeal on top of the dirt, covering its surface.




 
Archive

   01 Howard Garrett Newsletter Organic Fly Control Final TEST
   A burning question on lawns
   A Monster's Growing Under Our Deck!
   About oak sprouts
   After exposing tree’s root flare, leave it alone
   Ailing from harsh summer, crabapple needs treatment
   Amount of tilling, not method, is what matters.
   An organic option to control the fleas
   An unwelcome bug is eating ornamental plants
   Antique, container roses are sweeter
   Any way to help heal injured tree?
   Apple and pear trees need little pruning
   Are gnats hanging out on your houseplants? There's hope
   Are mushrooms bad for my yard?
   Are tree galls troublesome?
   Asps won't hurt plants 9-01-2006
   Attracting Birds To The Garden, Composting, Sprayers
   Azalea beds may be incorrectly done
   Baby talc marches against ants
   Bag the worm problem to save tree
   Bald cypress roots expose themselves.
   Bamboo, the imperialist threat
   Bees like these plants.
 
 
 
Printable Version | Back to Top

 
Bio SI
 
Mosquito Sticks
 
Crazy Water
 

H A N N A H ' S    M A R K E T P L A C E

Send this website to a friend Make this website your home page