Lawn & Garden Tips

Make your gardening experience more rewarding by following some steps that will make your plants grow healthy.

Plan Your Garden

    Decide on where you want you garden to be in your landscape. There are many factors to consider when deciding a location for your garden.
Take a Soil Test
    Once a location is decided for your garden take a soil test to determine the soil pH level of your soil and to find out which nutrients are needed for the types of plants your a planting.
Prepare Your Soil
Planning Your Garden
What Will Grow In Your Garden? 
    Three factors determine what will grow in your garden. 

    Amount of Sunlight 

      You should find plants that best fit the type of sunlight you have throughout the year: full sun, half sun or shade. 
    Soil Texture 
      Soil texture is the amount of sand, silt, clay, and organic matter in the soil. Soil texture affects how well nutrients and water are retained in the soil. Clays and organic soils hold nutrients and water much better than sandy soils. As water drains from sandy soils, it often carries nutrients along with it. This condition is called leaching. An ideal soil contains equivalent portions of sand, silt, clay, and organic matter.

    Soil Moisture 
      Choose plants that like the amount of moisture in your soil. If you have wet or soggy soil choose a plant that likes this situation. If you have dry soil choose a plant that can go without water during periods of no rain.

Go to the top of the page
Fertilizing Your Garden
    Spread the recommended amount of fertilizer uniformly over your garden. Mix or till it, 4 to 6 inches into the soil, before seeding or transplanting. This method of application reduces the potential of salt injury to germinating seeds or young transplants. 

    Certain vegetable crops require additional nitrogen during the growing season. Some of these vegetables are tomatoes, potatoes, sweet corn, cabbage, squash, okra, beans, and peppers.

    Always water after applying fertilizer to help the movement of nutrients into the root zone. 
    These plants are acid-loving plants and grow best when the soil pH ranges from 4.8 to 5.5. Azalea and camellia fertilizers are generally acid-forming, which is an added benefit if the soil pH is too high (above 6.0). 

    Split fertilizer treatments into three equal applications: 1/3 in early April, 1/3 in June or July and 1/3 in September. This will produce more uniform growth and minimize leaching. 

    Roses have a high need for calcium. Lime recommendations are designed to maintain soil pH within a range of 6.0 to 6.5. A rate of 50 lbs per 1000 square feet is equivalent to spreading 1/2 cup around a plant to a distance of 18 inches. For best results, mix lime into the top 3 to 4 inches of soil. 

    Apply fertilizer in April or when the first flower buds appear. Apply additional nitrogen at monthly intervals through August. Water thoroughly following fertilizer application.

    The best time to apply fertilizer is in the early spring, usually one month prior to the most rapid growth period. 

    Spread fertilizers evenly around the plant 10 to 12 inches from the base and water thoroughly. 

    In cases where many plants are being planted in beds, mix or till lime and fertilizer before setting plants. Always apply any recommended lime several weeks before planting to allow enough time to adjust soil acidity. 

    Apply fertilizer in February or March, prior to budding. Mature trees growing within a lawn seldom need any fertilizer beyond that applied to the lawn. 

    Spread the fertilizer evenly around the tree starting 12 inches from the trunk and out just beyond the farthest point where water drips off the tree (drip line).

Go to the top of the page
Lawn & Garden Tips