When temperatures soar and wildflowers sprout over the fields in central Texas, March is the perfect time to decorate or freshen up your home garden. We asked our favorite local gardeners, Jared Goza and Andrew Ong from Instagram’s @gayswhogarden, to give us the shit about what is best for the spring garden in our area. Here the dynamic duo lists their top dos and don’ts.
Start your seeds
• • Go the organic way. Choosing an organic fertilizer will reduce the amount of chemical pesticides and salt draining into the soil and waterways.
• • Use the right stuff. Use seedling trays and pick soil specifically designed for seed launch: we’ve had success with coconut, perlite / vermiculite and even potting soil.
• • Make water seedlings from below. Put these bowls in water to make sure the soil is completely saturated without disturbing the surface.
• • Do not start certain plants from seeds now. Almost all wildflower seeds are best started in autumn. Tomatoes and peppers also need more time to grow. So buy them as young plants instead of seeds from local nurseries like Barton Springs Nursery and The Natural Gardener.
• • Free the dead. As you take care of your existing garden, steal part of the stem / branch of each plant to see if that part is still alive. Prune the branches to ensure proper airflow, remove dead or diseased areas, and untangle any crossing stems.
• • Do not cut off flower buds. In the spring, never prune plants that bloom on old growth, such as B. certain types of hydrangeas.
• • Do not overlap trees. Jumping off the treetops does more harm than good. The best example of this is “Crape Murder” with Crape Myrtles.
Prepare the garden beds
• • Use organic compost. It improves the soil structure and retains moisture.
• • Apply the correct organic fertilizer. Use dry fertilizer for new plants (skip for container plants), then add liquid fertilizer every two weeks.
• • Start perennial plants. Now is the perfect time to start most small perennials as they will need time to take root before summer. If you’re looking for strains that do well in central Texas, check out the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center’s Spring Native Plant Sale, which begins April 1st.
• • Not down to the existing floor. This will actually re-sown all the weed seeds in the soil.
• • Don’t add pre-emergent herbicides. In our experience, these weed killers are a waste of time and money. Instead, just use a weed control hoe and burn any stragglers with a vinegar and orange oil mixture in a spray bottle.
The five best bulbs to plant in your garden this spring
Dahlia (if you’re up to the challenge!)