Let me start with I know zero about organic gardening. I love flowers and plants. I have done some container gardening and brought back some plants from the brink of death at a residence that did not belong to me.
My husband and I recently purchased a new home in Wylie. I have several questions.
1 This is a brand new subdivision. All of the lots are built on land that had monsterous weeds and sunflowers. Now that it is warming up I suddenly have these monsters rearing their ugly heads. What is the best way to get them undercontrol?
2 Our home faces the southeast and the area we live in is very open. All of our mulch is blowing away with the strong winds. Should I plant some ground cover to help prevent this? What is the most drought resistant type? We are still under water restriction and the front of my house will get the heat of sunset in the summer.
Which leads to my third question. Is there anything we can do if the ground starts cracking?
And finally, I would love to have a butterfly garden in my back yard. Is it possible to have one with plants and flowers that are drought resistant?
We would love to do the work ourselves but haven't got a clue how to plan the landscape or coordinate the plants.
Eventually, I would like a fruit and veggie garden. Maybe I'll take on that challenge next year!
Any advice or references would be greatly appreciated!!
I recently aquired a book called HOME LANDSCAPE TEXAS by Greg Grant and Roger Holmes from Amazon.com for about 3 bucks plus shipping, and I LOVE IT. It has designs for 20 common home landscaping situations using easily available Native and adapted plants. The plans can be lifted straight from the book and installed as is, and it has installation how-to's that anyone can do. Also, Texas Gardener Magazine is wonderful. (texasgardener.com) Save all your issues because they print an index online, so by the time you have few years worth of subscripion, you can research any topic you take a fancy to. Also, a lot of the nuseries like Redentas and North Haven Gardens proviide free handouts of plant lists and specialty topics as well as situational advice, and this entire website and message boards is stuffed full of outstanding advice. Half Price Books has a shelf dedicated to organics and sometimes Texas stuff too and you can usually find some of Howard Garrett's books. I'm a big fan of collecting leaves, shredding them with the lawn mower and dumping them where you need them. If you settle them with a spray of water, they don't blow too bad. If you have beds that you don't know what to do with, or places that you know you want a bed but don't have one yet, this would be a good thing to keep the weeds down while you figure out what you want to do with the landscaping. Beds that won't be planted untill fall will especially benefit from this. You'll be supprised how much the soil with soften under a foot or so of shredded leaves between now and the fall. You can put several layers of newspaper on the ground under the leaves and get even better weed control. I've known gardeners with 35 years experience say they're just trying a little of this and a little of that-- meaning they are just having fun with it--so just jump in. The biggest problem I cause myself is planting more in March and April than I can take care of in July and August!
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