Looking Forward to 2004

San Antonio Express News
Gardening, Etc.
Sunday, January 4, 2004

By Nathan Riggs

Here’s hoping that everyone’s New Year celebrations truly ushered in 2004 as it deserved to be. New Year’s resolutions have been made, broken, or are still intact. While New Year’s resolutions usually involve losing weight, changing habits, helping others ,or some other noble intention, consider some of these suggestions from the Bexar County Extension office.

If you are one who resolves to lose some weight in 2004, consider making some changes to your outdoor landscape and losing your dependence on water. There are many wonderful landscape plants perfectly suited for South Texas that don’t require copious amounts of water to produce color and accent your landscape. Consider lantana, plumbago, salvia, cenizo, esperanza, bougainvillea, or Mexican petunias to name just a few. These plants prefer their water in sips rather than gulps.

Maybe some of you are considering changing your image or the way you dress. Consider this for your lawn as well. A one to two inch deep layer of compost applied to your lawn will provide it with a slow release of nutrients and a bit of insulation against temperature extremes and water loss. Appropriately, this is sometimes referred to as “dressing the lawn!” In essence, you are giving your lawn a “new appearance” as well. You’ll be pleased with the results.

Many people resolve to join health clubs and strengthen their bodies. consider “bulking up” your lawn and plants with organic or synthetic fertilizer blends. A plant with a healthy root system is better able to fend off insect infestations, disease and drought than a plant that isn’t as healthy. Add some aeration to the fertilizer or compost mentioned earlier, and your lawn will reward you with beautiful green color, strong root systems and endurance for all seasons.

For a list of low water use, or xeriscape plants visit our website at http://bexar-tx.tamu.edu/HomeHort/F4Best/BexarBestindex.htm and follow the links.

All in all, New Year’s resolutions can be made to fit any wish, whim, or fancy. The most important thing to remember is to stick to those resolutions and benefit from their good intentions.

This article was written by Nathan Riggs, Extension Agent-IPM, Texas Cooperative Extension-Bexar County.


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