Springtime in Rockport
Written By Richard Snyder
As I’m writing this, the snows are swirling, the wind is howling and the temperature is dropping. Somewhere, but certainly not in Rockport. For the moment we’re blessed with mild weather and are starting to think about weeds, lawns, flowers and all things growing.
WEEDS: Most winter weeds such as clover are easily kept at bay with periodic mowing during the dormant lawn season and will go away as temperatures rise. Pre-emergent herbicides such as Preen are not recommended as they are highly toxic to aquatic life. Weed and Feed products are also discouraged as many trees such as live oaks have shallow roots. “Grip and Rip” is the preferred method with spot herbicide application a good second. Asiatic Hawksbeard (Youngia japonica) is an exceptional nuisance as it grows in cracks and crevices that mowers don’t reach.
It, thankfully, is shallow-rooted so a quick yank will do the job. Unthankfully, it generates hundreds of seeds so just one missed plant will generate a mess for next year. LAWNS: If you’re replacing lawn, insist on Floritam (product of FLORIda and Texas A&M). Lay sod in continuous swaths, not a piece here and there. Fertilizer can be applied when lawns start growing and have been mowed at least once. Apply as grass loses the deep green color, usually in July, and again in the fall. Our lawns don’t need much in the way of phosphorus so select a fertilizer with a low middle number. I use K-8, 15-5-10, with sulfur, iron, zinc and micronutrients from Moore Than Feed here in Rockport. Apply lightly, like lightly cracked pepper on food and sweep/wash from sidewalks as the product contains iron and may stain. Water the lawn after fertilizing.
Richard Snyder is a former biology instructor, past President of Aransas/San Patricio Master Gardeners, and current President of the Aransas County Community Garden