Thursday, January 21, 2010

Spring Fever Already

It's one of those days in the winter where it feels like spring and my mind turns to the wreck that my yard is. You folks to the north might be jealous about green grass - but that's another problem because it's a nasty kind of invasive grass that can grow 2 feet tall in a week. We call it pigeon grass because it's not Johnson grass although we usually use cuss words to describe it.

Finally after a year and a half it looks like the salt from Hurricane Dolly is going away a little, a problem because we flooded from the bayside which is saltier than the sea and I lost about half of my plants.

And it's time to plant winter veggies now because it will be too hot after Easter. Then I want some new ornamentals, more plumeria because I lost a bunch (I have some starts), and dammit some bananas that will produce! Oh, and to get rid of that pigeon grass and sticker burrs.

If anyone has any ideas let us know about the f&$*!@g grass let me know. I do have a bunch of native Texas bluebonnet-type plants that come up in the spring so I don't really want to kill all those too, and forget about Roundup. Thanks!


Mike said...

Corn Gluten Meal
the natural gardener's site says to put it down in Feb and also has this-

Now is the beginning of the window to put down CGM for control of weed seeds that germinate in the spring. The use of CGM came from Iowa State University researcher Nick Christians by accident when he was trying to use CGM to grow a pathogen found on golf course turf. The experiment did not work but he found that the CGM could inhibit root growth. It will work best on seeds that germinate on or near the surface of the soil. Weeds controlled by CGM include crabgrass, dandelions, pigweed, purslane and others. Corn gluten will prevent successful germination of seeds, but it will not kill weeds that are already established. It is applied at the rate of 20# per 1000 square feet. Corn Gluten has a 9-0-0 nutrient analysis so it will act as an early non-toxic "Weed & Feed". Come April or May, if your grass is not as green and healthy as you would like, feed it again with Lady Bug 8-2-4. Remember, CGM prevents seeds from germinating so it needs at least 60 days to break down before you seed the area with grass, vegetable, flower, or any other seed. CGM should also be applied in September/October for fall germinating weed seeds.

Sam said...

I thing I'll give that a shot ... maybe some mulch too.

Mike said...

Sammy, Let me know how it works...

Anonymous said...

The corn gluten info is correct. Here in Dallas there always seems to a problem determining the right time to apply to catch the weeds.

We are totally organic here. I suggest instead of mulch that you apply (scatter, hand toss) a "good" compost (smells like fresh earth), I make my own, and dry molasses. The compost supplies the nutrient and bacteria needed to utilize that nutrition, the molasses supplies the sugar/fuel for the bacteria to thrive.

The sandy soils on SPI are mostly inert except for last years plant decay. This approach will make your soil healthier and better able to grow what you want and crowd out the "weeds".

Try for more info and brand names.

See you soon Sammy.

Robert - Dallas Seagull

Sam said...

One more question - where can you get corn gluten? Robert you know the size of these postage stamp lots, maybe I need a 10 or 20 pound bag or two? Sounds expensive by way of UPS!

Robert said...

Any nursery that sells organic. Up here, Calloways and others sell it, 20lbs. for $30 to $40. Price went up last year with all corn products since we are putting so much corn in our gas tanks, but that is another story. Brazil has a better idea.
20lbs. does my front and back yard with some left over, it should do your yard for a year with some left over. Left overs are used as a good nitrogen source for making potting soil for pot plants. Ask me when we are down there 2/3 to 2/12.
We put the the compost and molasses down in Jan./Feb. and the corn gluten Feb. 15 to Mar. 15, then September 15 to Oct. 15. In June or July you use a good organic turf fertilizer (i.e. Texas T, or Calloways organic).
Try Verandas Nursery in P.I., 302 S. Garcia. They sell organic. Let me know if that works.


Sam said...

The Verandas, that's where we got some garden soil today for Sandy Feet. Thanks man.

Robert said...

I also use old used coffee grounds for a nitrogen source in potting soil or for general fertilizer in the dunes when we are down there.

We put coffee grounds in the beach access planting area next to us, see how big the plant is now.

Organics are the way to go in Dallas or SPI. Give it a try. Makes you feel good and the plants too.