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Organic Gardening & Living Advice



All we are saying is give trees a chance
January 08, 2015
By Howard Garrett

Question:   All of the trees on my girlfriend's street in Fort Worth had this done to them  When did mounding mulch against a tree's trunk become the status quo among landscapers? These don't even have the volcanic crater in the middle to give the trunk just a little bit of a break. C.W., Fort Worth

Answer: It's frustrating that this kind of mulching - covering a tree's root flare - is still being done so routinely. Most of this mulch should be removed, as well as the soil covering the flare. A thin layer of mulch is fine, but none should touch the tree trunk or the root flare, which is part of the trunk. In addition, this tree was a poor choice because of the co-dominant trunks and the weak V joint that probably will fail one day.


Question: Are there any flowers that can be planted now and survive the cold weather? T.H., Dallas

Answer: The most hardy and dependable choices are pansies, violas and Johnny jump-ups. They can be planted any time in the winter as long as the temperature is above freezing and there are no extreme drops in temperature predicted. A big change from the 70s to the 20s is hardest on tender, cool-season annuals, although they do not have much trouble with moderate freezing weather.  If a plunging low is predicted after planting, cover the plants with floating row cover or frost cloth, carried at most garden retailers. It's a good idea to have it on hand before you need it because of our unpredictable weather. Other cool-season annual color includes dianthus, calendula, stock and snapdragon. Cyclamen, fairly hardy, are especially good in containers that can be protected from ice and prolonged freezes.


Question: Does it make sense to spray evergreen trees and bushes with Garrett Juice over the winter? I am not sure if foliar feeding occurs this time of year, but I would like to feed my live oaks and pine trees.  A.D., Southlake

Answer: Foliar feeding of plants that still have green foliage during the winter months does help during warm periods, but it is probably more effective to drench the soil and root zones of these plants. I'd use the Garrett Juice mixture once or twice on dormant plants and monthly on actively growing and flowering plants, such as pansies. The recipe to mix your own Garrett Juice is on my website.

Question: Did you see the article in a recent Fort Worth Star-Telegram about rose rosette disease in Tarrant County? Everyone quoted claims there is no cure.B.W., Fort Worth

Answer: It's too bad the newspaper writer didn't contact me about the effective treatment I have found.    Cut away the diseased stems on affected rose bushes and clean the tool blades immediately using hydrogen peroxide (never bleach). The Sick Tree Treatment (detailed on my website) should be applied throughout all the rose beds. To 1 gallon of spray made from the Garrett Juice Plus concentrate add 8 to 16 ounces of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide (available at drug and grocery stores) and 1 tablespoon of BioWash. Spray the plants thoroughly until the leaves drip with the solution.
 
Archive

   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
   All we are saying is give trees a chance
   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 going brown
   Bald cypress roots expose themselves.
   Bamboo, the imperialist threat
 
 
 
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