March 7 2009 Timely Tips




March 7, 2009

Optimistic gardeners who are trying to get the first tomatoes on the block are caging their early plantings in large 5′ tall and 20″ in diameter cylinders made up of reinforcing wire and wrapped in N-Sulate protection fabric.

N-Sulate protection fabric is a white plant cloth which provides an extra 5 degrees of winter protection for plants and minimizes wind and insect damage to young and cold sensitive plants.

With spring ‘Greenup’, most established turfgrasses will need to increase there watering to one inch of supplemental irrigation every 10 to 14 days.

With these extreme droughty conditions, use a soaker hose on established shrubs with enough pressure to squirt water at least 3 inches high from all openings of that hose. The soaker hose should be inverted in the area between the foundation of the house and the base of the shrubs.

Keep away from soaker hoses that sweat, because they normally clog up and are much harder to regulate watering patterns.

Adding two inches of a good grade landscape mulch (i.e. cedar or hardwood) should be applied on top of soaker hoses and around shrubs at least twice a year. This system should be operated at least four hours a day every two weeks in lieu of an inch of rainfall. This watering technique should help to keep your residence foundation from cracking too.

David Rodriguez is the County Extension Agent-Horticulture with the Texas AgriLife Extension Service in Bexar County. For more information, call the Master Gardener “Hotline” (210) 467-6575 or visit our County Extension website at

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