Organic Matters

The Online Newsletter from Rohde’s Nursery and Nature Store and Green Sense Fertilizers

Rohde’s May 2017 Organic Gardening Calendar

  1. PREFACE
  2. VEGETABLES
  3. HERBS
  4. FLOWERS
  5. ORNAMENTAL_GRASSES
  6. TREES_SHRUBS_VINES
  7. LAWN_TURF_GRASSES_GROUND_COVERS
  8. GENERAL_PESTS_DISEASES
  9. OTHER_THINGS_TO_DO_THIS_MONTH

We are in USDA Cold Hardiness Zone 8a with an annual minimum temperature of 15 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit,
and in Texas AgriLife Extension Service District 4 (East Region) - North (Dallas
): http://dallas.tamu.edu/, http://dallas.tamu.edu/district-4-counties/ .
Our soil is predominantly blackland prairie clay or "Houston Black" officially with areas of sandy Cross Timber soils north, east, and through parts of Ft Worth's Tarrant County. (
http://www.soils4teachers.org/files/s4t/k12outreach/tx-state-soil-booklet.pdf).

Plant heat zones for Dallas-Ft Worth: The zones give the average number of days a year that an area has over 86 degrees temperatures. The temperature many plants can be affected by heat. Click here for more information: http://www.beorganic.com/additional_info/plant_heat_zones.html.

AHS Plant Heat Zone Map;. Dallas, Ft Worth, north, west,&  south is zone 9 (120-150 days). Rockwall, north & east is zone 8 (90-120 days).
Plant Maps Interactive Heat Zones Map for Texas; Dallas Ft Worth is also in zones 8 (91-120 days > 86°F ) or zone 9 (121-150 days > 86°F)
Sunset Climate Zones; We are in ZONE 33. North-Central Texas and Oklahoma Eastward to the Appalachian Foothills

NOAA's Weather Forecast:

http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/enso_advisory/ensodisc.html

EL NIÑO/SOUTHERN OSCILLATION (ENSO) DIAGNOSTIC DISCUSSION

issued by

CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER/NCEP/NWS

and the International Research Institute for Climate and Society

13 April 2017

ENSO Alert System Status: Not Active

Synopsis: ENSO-neutral conditions are favored to continue through at least the Northern Hemisphere spring 2017, with increasing chances for El Niño development by late summer and fall.

PREFACE

Nights are not quite in the 70 degree range which warm season grasses really like, but it will be so toward the end of the month. Still the grass should be growing well. And May is the rainiest month so it is considered the best month to plant sod and grass seed.  Weeds are still going strong too, but don't hesitate to fertilize if you have not done so in the last 3 or 4 months. You will be fertilizing weeds, but most warm season grasses need regular fertilizing to grow dense. Otherwise weeds will occupy the spaces the grass does not fill.

I was reading last year’s May newsletter and it talked about customers seeing forest tent caterpillars massing on tree trunks in the spring of the prior year. Forest tent caterpillars are related to other tent caterpillars but don’t make tents in the trees. They make a tent on the trunk of a tree to hide in at night. During the day they venture out in the open to eat tree leaves. This leaves them more susceptible to being eaten, which is their purpose in life; to feed nesting birds in the spring. So don’t worry about these tent caterpillars and try to spray them. Do worry about the other tent caterpillars and fall web worms. Open the tents and webs by spraying with water if you can, so the birds can get to them before you spray.

VEGETABLES & ANNUAL FRUITS

Bugs will be coming now that it is warm. You need to go out daily or every other day to look. Check for white flies with our yellow sticky trap to monitor for them. White flies hit quickly and stealthy. Use horticultural oils for the nymphs and garlic spray to repel the adults. Look for squash bugs and squash borers. To get ahead of them, you can start spraying with BT on the bases for the borers, and spray garlic/pepper teas for squash bugs and other bugs. If you do have squash borers, covering the stems with dirt and applying nematodes may control them. Rohde’s has garlic extract in bottles and nematodes in two sizes. And if there is blight on tomatoes, we also have Serenade and other products for control.

Consistent watering is critical for vegetables to develop their best products. This doesn't mean soaking wet. This will encourage fungus. When you are out looking for bugs, stick your finger or stick into the ground. If you don’t feel moist soil or see damp wood on the stick 2 inches down, you probably need to water.

Spray liquid fertilizers twice a month, like Green Sense Fish Emulsion, GS Fish and Kelp, Aunt Rohde’s Compost Tea, or GS Foliar Juice. Add GS Garlic Extract to help repeal bugs and help control fungal problems, or one of our pest control plant oil products if needed. Use GS Lawn and Garden pelletized fertilizer to water-in, or one of our other granular fertilizers to side-dress or mixed into the soil. Do this once a month in your garden.

This is the same chart as for April, but it can be used for May also. Dates are for seeds unless specified: S=Seed, T=Transplants.

Vegetable

Spring Planting
Dates

Air Temps, Day

Soil Temperatures

(N=Night)
(D/N=Avg)

Min

Optimum
Range

Max

Beans, Lima Bush (Phaseolus limensis var. limenanus)

Mar 23 - Apr 13

80-85, N:55-60

60

65-85

85

Beans, Lima Pole (Phaseolus limensis)

Mar 23 - Apr 13

80-85, N:55-60

60

65-85

85

Beans, Pinto (Phaseolus vulgaris)

Mar 20 - Apr

80-90, N:>65

60

60-85

95

Beans, Snap Bush (Phaseolus vulgaris var. humilis)

Mar 23 - Apr

80-85, N:55-60

55-60

60-85

95

Beans, Snap Pole (Phaseolus vulgaris)

Mar 23 - Apr 13

80-85, N:55-60

55-60

60-85

95

Beans, Yellow Bush (Phaseolus vulgaris var. humilis)

Mar 20 - Apr

80-85, N:55-60

60

60-85

95

Cantaloupe Muskmelon (Cucumis melo var. cantalupensis)

Mar 23 - Apr

70-95, N: 55

60-70

75-95

95-100

Corn, Sweet (Zea mays var. saccharata)

Mar 23 - Apr

D/N:68-72

50-65

60-95

100-105

Cucumber, Pickling (Cucumis sativus)

Mar 23 - Apr

80-90, N: 60-70

60-65

60-95

90-105

Cucumber, Slicing (Cucumis sativus)

Mar 23 - Apr

80-90, N: 60-70

60-65

60-95

90-105

Eggplant (Solanum melongena var. esculentum)

April

72-86, N: 70-75

60-65

75-90

90-95

Mustard (greens) (Brassica juncea)

Feb 15 - Apr 27

60-65

40

45-85

105

Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus)

Apr - May

>85, N: 70-75

60-75

70-95

105

Parsnip (Pastinaca sativa)

May - Jun

60-80, N: 40-50

35

50-70

85-90

Peas, Southern (Vigna unguiculata var. unguiculata)

Apr - May 25

85-95, N: 60-65

>65

>65

 

Pepper, Hot (Capsicum annuum var. longum)

April

85-95, N: 65-70

55-60

65-95

90-95

Pepper, Bell (Capsicum annuum var. grossum)

Mar 23-May 11

80-90, N: 65-70

55-60

65-95

90-95

Potato, Sweet (Ipomoea batatas) (Slips)

Apr - May 15

D/N:>72

>65

>65

 

Pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo var. pepo)

Mar 23-Apr 20

85-95, N: 60-70

60

70-90

100

Radish (Raphanus sativus)

Feb - Apr 13

40-70, Optm 60-65

40

45-90

90-95

Spinach, New Zealand (Tetragonia tetragonoides)

After last
freeze - April

70-95, N: 60

 

70-75

 

Squash, Summer (Cucurbita pepo var. melopepo)

Mar 23 – Apr

60-80

60

70-95

100-105

Squash, Zucchini (Cucurbita pepo)

Mar 23 – Apr

60-80

60

70-95

100-105

Squash, Winter (Cucurbita moschata)

Mar 23 - Apr

60-80, N: 55

60

70-95

100-105

Tomatoes, Large-Fruited (Lycopersicon esculentum)

Mar 23 - May 11

80-85, N: 60-70

50-60

60-85

95-100

Tomatoes, Small-Fruited (L. esculentum var. cerasiforme)
& Tomatillo (Physalis ixocarpa)

Mar 23 - May 11

80-85, N: 60-70

50-60

60-85

95-100

Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus)

Mar 23 - Apr

80-95, N: 60-70

60-70

70-95

105-110

See http://www.beorganic.com/additional_info/Rohdes_Planting_Dates,_Spring_Fall.htm for the whole planting charts with explanations of columns, sources, and other information.

HERBS

We have an excellent selection of warm season and perennial herbs in now.
Cool season herbs like dill, parsley, cilantro, fennel and such are host for swallowtail butterfly larva, but are coming to the end as it warms up. Plant the perennial Rue which they also like and is quite hardy here.

FLOWERS

We have the popular and recommended annuals and perennials along with Texas natives, wildflowers, and some unusual plants.
Plant milkweed for the Monarchs and Queens. We have the tropical annual Mexican milkweed and some perennial milkweeds.

ORNAMENTAL GRASSES

Rohde’s carries a large selection of varieties that do well here.
Spring planting is better than fall planting as it allows for the roots to develop before winter giving the grass better cold hardiness.

TREES, SHRUBS, & VINES

Planting:

Fall and winter are the best times to plant most trees and shrubs. Month of May would be the last good time before the heat of summer to plant, since May is the rainiest month.

Ask about our delivery, planting, and guarantees. Don’t forget the soil amendments; Green Sense Kelp Extracts for root stimulation, GreenSense Mycor granules to inoculate plants with mycorrhizae fungi, both bulk and bagged compost, and a variety of mulches.

Pruning:

Prune spring flowering trees, shrubs, and vines after they bloom if needed. Althea, Azaleas, Camellias, Forsythia, flowering or ornamental fruit trees, Hydrangeas, Indian Hawthorn, Mountain Laurel, Quince, Rose vines, Spirea, Wisteria, Weigela, etc,

Prune evergreen shrubs by cutting out entire limbs to retain natural form instead of shearing to a ball or box shape. Nandinas can be pruned this way by removing taller canes at the ground.

Different fruit trees need specific pruning to encourage strong limbs and to control the amount of fruit and where the fruit grows on each limb. good placeS to start:
Howard Garrett's article: http://www.dirtdoctor.com/Prune-Fruit-and-Nut-Trees-2014_vq5101.htm,
Jerry Parson's article: http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/archives/parsons/fruit/pruning.html & http://www.plantanswers.com/garden_column/011902/011902.htm,
Texas A&M AgriLife articles: http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/fruit-nut/,
Texas Gardener Magazine article: http://www.texasgardener.com/pastissues/janfeb11/Pruning.html,
and many other website articles or books.

Don’t prune Oaks trees that are susceptible to Oak Wilt disease unless there is snow or storm damage. The insect disease carrier, the Sap Beetle, will be active. It is very important to apply Rohde’s Green Sense Tree Goop to the wounds immediately and to insure it stays on for 2 days till the wound’s sap hardens.

Most other aesthetic pruning should be done when the tree or shrub is dormant in winter about January and first of February in our area.

Fertilize:

If you didn’t fertilize your landscape in the last 3 or 4 months, do so now with Green Sense All Purpose Lawn & Garden Fertilizer, and every 3 or 4 months for now on.
If you are growing camellias and azaleas, fertilize after they bloom.
Potted plants need fertilizing every month.


Roses

We are not carrying rose until the Rose Rosette epidemic passes. But if you still want to try to grow roses, plant “Earthkind” roses or antiques roses. Earthkind roses are selected for carefree growing in our climate, and antique roses are usually more resistant to pest and disease also since they have survived so long on their own. Howard Garrett has an Organic Rose Program you can follow to ensure the best care of your roses. https://www.dirtdoctor.com/garden/Rose-Organic-Program_vq2248.htm.

Even Earthkind and antique roses are susceptible to Rose Rosette though. But apparently not all roses get it. Some may be immune and researchers are looking into that possibility. I lost two Earthkind roses, but not another smaller rose, an Apricot Drift Rose.
See https://www.facebook.com/CombatingRoseRosette/  for more information on Rose Rosette disease.

Here’s some more  recent articles explaining most of what is known, unknown, history, and what is being done:
http://www.dallasnews.com/lifestyles/home-and-gardening/headlines/20150218-deadly-virus-is-killing-rosebushes-in-north-texas.ece
https://portal.nifa.usda.gov/web/crisprojectpages/1004350-combatting-rose-rosette-disease-short-and-long-term-approaches.html

https://www.facebook.com/tamuroses
http://www.ballpublishing.com/GrowerTalks/ViewArticle.aspx?articleid=22185
http://whatsupaggiehort.blogspot.com/2016/02/tamu-rose-breeding-genetics-program.html

This article has a picture of the mite: http://www.rose.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Rose-Rosette.pdf
Here’s a poster of what’s happening: https://ashs.confex.com/ashs/2015/recordingredirect.cgi/id/1646

https://www.dirtdoctor.com/garden/Rose-Rosette-Newsletter_vq3835.htm
https://www.dirtdoctor.com/garden/Rose-Rosette-Update-3215_vq4313.htm
http://www.ccmgatx.org/gardening-resources/videos/rose-rosette-disease.aspx
http://neilsperry.com/notes/2015/03/rose-rosette-disease/

LAWN, TURF GRASSES & GROUND COVERS

Plant

May is the best time to plant grass sod or seed. It should be around the optimum temperature of 75 degrees or more this month, and May is the rainiest month to help with germination and establishing roots.

Sodding is the quickest way to establish a lawn and to deter weeds also. Call Rohde’s to help you with this. Consider Zoysia grass sod for replacement. It’s slower spreading, more expensive, not quite as shade tolerant, but more resistant to St Augustine's fungal diseases and the cold. More important, Zoysia can go brown and dormant in the summer while St. Augustine goes brown and dead. Zoysia has its own diseases, but they are not as prevalent due to Zoysia not being as common. St Augustine is still the favorite of most people. See https://aggieturf.tamu.edu/texas-turfgrasses/  for grass selection help. It has maps of Texas showing where the grasses grow best.

If you are going to re-sod your lawn, try to have at least 25% (2") or what you can afford of compost incorporated into the top 6-8 inches of your soil. Compost will hold excess moisture decreasing the need to water. This is the best thing you can do to make your lawn more drought tolerant, and for making your soil healthy fertile soil. Otherwise you will need to top dress your lawn with compost. See Miller Grass’ website for good planting and watering for sod: http://millergrass.com/. They don’t see the need to till in compost, but see San Antonio Water System’s “Water Schedule for Establishing New Turf”: http://www.saws.org/conservation/droughtRestrictions/variance/WateringSchedule.cfm. And “Compost Application Rates”: http://www.saws.org/Your_Water/Recycling/Compost/Application_Rates.cfm. San Antonio is under very closely watched water use due to droughts and the limited nature of their main water source, the Edwards Aquifer, so they are doing all they can to conserve water.

Bermudagrass seed or sprigs needs soil temperatures at least 65°F, and 68°F to 75°F the optimum. Hulled seeds will germinate quicker. Bemuda also comes in sod. Planting too early may stunt the growth, slowing down the establishment of the grass past what a later sowing would achieve. Sow the bermuda seed at a rate of 1/2 to one pound per 1,000 square feet using a hand spreader. Keep the soil damp until the grass has sprouted and begins to root. You may have to lightly water 2 or 3 times a day. Bermuda is harder to keep visually pure with organic cultivation due to the inevitable broadleaf weeds being so obvious.

For native lawn grasses look at Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center’s Habiturf as used at the George Bush library. See http://www.wildflower.org/project/habiturf for details.

We don’t carry sod, but if you want to plant it, get it from a full-time grass nursery as we do. The sod will be fresher, excellent quality with little or no weed problems. Neil Sperry says you can look at the bottom of the sod to see if there are the nuts of nutsedge in it. You may be able to see tap roots of other weeds too. Good advice.

Check for ground peals also. Look for white or tan BB size translucent balls around the roots in the sod. These are actually scale insects that suck on grass roots. They have a waxy coating that protects them from pesticides. Once you have them, you may always have them until the grass is gone. Looking for them in the sod may be hard to do thoroughly, so that's another good reason to buy sod from a good lawn grass nursery: www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/ent/notes/O&T/lawn/note64/note64.html, www.momar.com/blog/29/How_To_Control_Ground_Pearl_Bugs.

We can install a lawn for you if you want. Call Greg for a quote (972-864-1934).


You can still plant groundcovers and borders. If you find you can’t grow grass under your trees due to too much shade, plant some of the many ground covers Rohde’s sells. Don’t plant it right up against trees to keep the root flare exposed.

Whatever you do, don’t leave the soil bare. At least cover it with compost.

Fertilize

If you didn’t fertilize in the last 3 or 4 months, do so now with Green Sense All Purpose Lawn & Garden Fertilizer, and every 3 or 4 months from now on. It takes about three to four months for soil microbes to substantially break down any organic compost or fertilizer. Applying a different mineral supplement like Greensand, Humate, Dry Molasses, or Sul-Po-Mag each time you fertilize can be beneficial. Greensand and Sul-Po-Mag can supply too much Potassium or Phosphate. A soil test would decide whether to use them or not. Once a year or two probably will not cause a problem if you are not using too much of another fertilizer. Greensand & Humate will help keep the grass green and prevent chlorosis.

May is the only month to fertilize buffalo grass.

Spread 1/2” layer of compost to poorly growing parts of the lawn.

Watering, Mowing, Trimming

How to Mow: (Most of this comes from https://aggieturf.tamu.edu/texas-turfgrasses/ and Howard Garrett's web site https://www.dirtdoctor.com/garden/MowingLawn-Care_vq1914.htm )

Mow at optimal height in table below to give thickest turf for blocking sun from weed seeds. Grasses that wants to be cut less than 1.5 inches will require a reel mower instead of a rotary mower. A reel mower is like one of those old fashion push mowers without a motor. You can still get new ones now for you sporty mowers. Golf courses use powered reel mowers for the putting greens. These are expensive though. You must rake up all of the trash, branches, rocks, big seed pods, beer bottles, and stuff before you mow with a reel mower. It can’t chew up junk like a rotary mower.

To ease stress on the grass, mow no more than 1/3 of the grass height at any one time. If you are mulching the grass instead of bagging it with the mower, and there are little obvious piles of mowed grass left behind, you are cutting too much off at one time. Cut the grass when it is around the ‘Height to Mow” column. The values are 1/3 more than the optimum height values. If the grass is too high to cut to optimum height at one time, cut a little off one day, wait 2 or 3 days, and cut down to optimum height.

During April or May when the grass comes out of winter dormancy, mow the grass on the short side. This will cause the grass to spread out faster filling in thin spots. During the heat of the summer, leaving the grass taller will help conserve moisture in the soil and cause the grass roots to grow deeper, all allowing less watering. Leaving the grass taller in the fall may also shade out cool season weed seed germination. IF YOU HAVE CHIGGERS IN YOUR LAWN, cut the grass shorter to the optimal range in the summer and fall. Chiggers don’t like hot dry areas.

The base of the grass or crown, where blades grow up and roots grow down, can raise up from the surface if the grass get too tall, and can be mowed off, killing the grass. If you spread more than a half inch of compost down on your lawn, as is recommended periodically, the base of the grass will try to rise above it thinking it’s the new soil surface. When the compost is broken down into the soil, it leaves the grass base susceptible to being mowed off. Deep thatch can cause the same thing. Mowing off the grass crowns brings up the problem with uneven lawn surfaces. High points will be scalped, killing or weakening the grass, allowing disease and / or insects to take hold in the yard.

Variety

Mowing
Height Range

Optimal
Mowing Height

Height
to Mow

Buffalo grass

2 to 4 inches

2.5 inches

3.33 inches

Centipede grass

1.5 to 2.5 inches

2 inches

2.66 inches

Common Bermuda grass

1 to 3 inches

1.5 inches

2 inches

Hybrid Bermuda grass

0.75 to 2 inches

1 inch

1.33 inches

Kentucky Bluegrass

1.5 to 3 inches

2 inches

2.66 inches

St. Augustine grass

2.5 to 4 inches

2.5 inches

3.33 inches

Tall Fescue

2 to 4 inches

2.5 inches

3.33 inches

Texas Bluegrass (Reveille)

1.5 to 3 inches

2 inches

2.66 inches

Zoysia japonica (coarse bladed zoysia)

1 to 2.5 inches

1.5 inches

2 inches

Zoysia matrella (fine bladed zoysia)

0.75 to 2.5 inches

1 inch

1.33 inches

How to Water:

http://water.tamu.edu/water-resources-homeowners/ Texas A&M AgriLife Water Education Network: Water Resources for Homeowners (Lots of info and videos on saving water in the home and in the landscape.)
http://itc.tamu.edu/ (Irrigation Technology Program)
https://watermyyard.org/ WaterMyYard.org is a free website that lets Texas residents know when and how much to water based on local weather patterns, the type of irrigation they use and other factors. (Not every area is in the system, but if you are and signed up, you will receive automated emails or text-messages to let you know how much to water your landscape based on local weather conditions.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nljn--oeths (Water My Yard Ad: Texas A&M AgriLife)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYye6GWBkiQ (Turf survival during drought, water shortages: Texas A&M AgriLife)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ciEjYvwwQZs (Tree Watering Tips (in a Drought): Texas A&M Forestry Service)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZhAoADTC2E0 (Watering and Fertilizing Drought-Damaged Trees and Shrubs: Texas AgriLife)

As with watering the vegetable garden, water the lawn when needed. You may notice the grass discoloring and turning dull, or your foot prints not springing back. Lawn grass roots go down about 6 inches. You want to water enough to wet 6 inches of soil depth. This will encourage deeper drought resistant roots. Many annual weeds are shallow rooted and enjoy frequent watering. Take rain into consideration. Test watering times by poking a 6 inch or longer screwdriver into the ground periodically to see when it will go down 6 inches through moist soil.

Or time you sprinkler output for the suggested amount of water to use a week:
Generally in the summer, use three-fourths of an inch of water per week on St. Augustine or Zoysia grasses that are in full sun. In the shade, these grasses only needs a half-inch of water to stay green and healthy. Bermuda grass requires a half-inch per week in the sun and buffalo grass slightly less.

Time your sprinkler output with several flat sided bowels, tuna cans, Tupperware, etc. to see how long it takes to deliver the amount of water you want. Average the bowels together for each sprinkler for accuracy.

If the soil is really dry, it may be hard for the water to soak in. To keep it from running off, you may need to water half as much, and wait an hour or so to finish watering. It’s better to water in the morning on cool days, and to let the grass go a little dry before watering for disease control. Rohde’s Compost Tea or Rohde’s Foliar Juice can be sprayed as a wetting agent before watering.

Pests, Disease, & Weeds

To spot control weeds, use a Vinegar spray. Hotter the day, the better. Howard Garrett’s weed control spray recipe is found at http://www.dirtdoctor.com/organic/garden/view_question/id/62/. Here I listed Rohde’s products for use in the formula.

Vinegar Herbicide Formula:

1 gallon of GreenSense 8% Vinegar. (Acid that burns the foliage. 20% vinegar was recommended, but 20% is strong enough to at least temporarily blind you if sprayed in the eyes.)
1 ounce GreenSense Orange Oil. (Organic solvent to dissolve protective plant coatings)
1 teaspoon liquid dish soap without bleaches or antibacterial stuff, or other surfactant such as “Bio Wash” or “Plant Wash”. (Helps the mixture to stick to the foliage)
Add GreenSense Blackstrap Molasses, corn syrup, or table sugar, at 1 tablespoon per gallon. (The sugars may help initiate foliage rot)
Do not add water.

Howard Garrett says to use a molasses drench for nutgrass control. Use liquid horticultural molasses at quarter to half cup per gallon of water and use a gallon of drench every 9 - 10 sq. ft. Do this at least 2 to 3 times. I guess one drench a week. http://www.dirtdoctor.com/organic/garden/view_question/id/3266/. Nutgrass seeds are everywhere, can remain viable for 10’s of years in the ground, and seem to appear in disturbed soil instead of healthy lawns. The molasses may over stimulate the soil life that can turn on the nut grass, or as reported in his article, the nuts never develop.

An interesting non-organic web site for weeds with germination info: http://www.weedalert.com/.

GENERAL PESTS & DISEASES

Watch for spider mites, mealy bugs, scale, and other insects on your houseplants. Rohde’s has plant oil based sprays for tender houseplants.

For foliage fungal problems like black spot and powdery mildew, we have plant oils, potassium bicarbonate, Serenade, copper sprays, dusting sulfur, Plant Wash.

Isolated cases of aphids can be treated with a blast of water, Green Sense Citrus Oil, one of our selections of plant oils, insecticidal soap, and/or release of ladybugs into the garden.

We normally carry or can order for you, lady bugs, green lacewings, and praying mantis to help control of aphids, spider mites, thrips, caterpillars and other pests. Call for availability.

For slugs, use ‘Sluggo” baits. Pine Straw mulch can repeal slugs. We carry 2 cuft bales.

We have Bt, or Bacillus thuringiensis products for control of caterpillars.

Garlic sprays will help keep mosquitoes away, help keep slugs, snails, and pillbugs from eating your young plants, and it works as a fungicide too.

FLEAS: We have “Precor”, an insect growth regulator, for treating your house for fleas. One ounce bottle will treat 1500 sq ft. We also carry Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth in 1, 5, 10, and 50 pound bags, for ticks, fleas, bed bugs, cockroaches, and many other indoor insects. DE can work outside if you can dust well into the grass. Use cheap low thread count pillow cases half filled with DE and tied off with a cord leaving a loop to drag around the yard. Clothes line cord holds knots well using a clove hitch: http://www.animatedknots.com/cloveend/#ScrollPoint. Use 2 pillow cases to do it quicker. A Dustin Mizer or Plantmates duster will work faster. The pillow case DE can be bounced off of floors gently inside the house to leave little visible dust, very dood control of fleas. Nematodes can  give good results in controlling fleas in your yard also. Cedar Oil spray can kill and repel fleas, chiggers, mosquitos, and other insects in your yard also. We don’t recommend natural or synthetic pyrethrum / pyrethrins due to its general kill all effect and its potential long term effect to people and animals: https://www.dirtdoctor.com/garden/Pyrethrum-Dangers_vq2194.htm.
See http://citybugs.tamu.edu/factsheets/biting-stinging/others/ent-3001/ for more information.

Rohde’s carriers the full complement of organic pest and disease controls, for both inside and out. Stop by and see.

If you are spraying anything, protect yourself with goggles and at least a NIOSH N95 approved Respirator Dust Mask. This stuff may be organic but it could be hazardous to inhale or sprayed in your eyes. Don’t take the chance.

OTHER THINGS TO DO THIS MONTH

Have landscape and garden soil tested now to know how to prepare your gardens and lawns for the spring. Rohde’s recommends “Texas Plant & Soil Lab” at 5115 West Monte Cristo Road, Edinburg, Texas 78541-8852, 956-383-0739. They can give you organic recommendations.

Birds are nesting so keep feeding them.
Rohde’s has a very good selection of bird feeders, birdhouses, and birdbaths.
We also carry an excellent selection of bird food from single seed to mixes, and from single pound purchases to 50 pound bags.

Most of this calendar is designed for Dallas, Tx in USDA Hardiness Zone 8a, with a predominant soil type of blackland prairie clay.