PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

March 24, 2011

Spring brings wide range of questions


The Port Arthur News

BEAUMONT — Spring is quickly coming and the AgriLife Extension office has been receiving many phone calls and e-mails about a wide range of lawn and garden topics.  So this week I thought I would address some of the most common questions that I have received.  

This past week we had a lot of questions about lawn care.  Winter weeds are out now and they can make for unattractive lawns.  You can kill these weeds with a post emergent broadleaf weed killer.  If you want to use a weed and feed product, then wait until the latter part of March or early April to apply.  Applying a weed and feed product too early or too late in the growing season will provide mediocre results.  It’s probably a little early to fertilize right now, so use this time to measure your lawn so that when you purchase fertilizer you can get the right amount.

If you have a garden or a compost pile, then take the time to finish raking up leaves before they blow away or are chopped up with the lawn mower.  Leaves make great mulch in vegetable gardens.

Warm season vegetables such as green beans, chard, corn, and tomatoes can be planted now.  Peppers, eggplant, cucumber, squash, and melons do not like cold soil, so they are normally planted a week or two from now when the soil has warmed up a little more.   We often have windy conditions this time of year and young transplants can be damaged by strong winds.

Early spring is when many fruit trees are starting to bloomand we have had numerous calls from people wanting to know what to spray their tree with and when to apply it.  The AgriLifeExtension service has a great spray guide for peaches, plums, and pecans that I will be happy to mail or email you.  Just call our office at 835-8461 or email me at cmmeyer@ag.tamu.edu .

Crawfish mounds have sprouted up with the recent rain.  From what I can tell, there is no pesticide that is federally registered for use against crawfish in lawns.  However, they are sensitive to many of the lawn & garden pesticides that are commonly applied to control lawn insects such as grub worms, mole crickets, fleas & ticks, etc.   Improving the drainage of your lawn is the only long term solution for minimizing crawfish mounds in the yard.

Don’t forget getting your lawn equipment serviced and ready for the spring time.  A little bit of maintenance on those machines will keep them running smoothly, extend their life, and make your job much easier.

Micah Meyer is county extension agent-horticulture of the Texas Agrilife Extension Service in Jefferson County. He can be reached at 409-835-8461 or cmmeyer@ag.tamu.edu