We officially entered the spring season this week, and we’ve all been blessed with glorious weather to celebrate the new life this time of year brings. There are buds galore, bright colors, and new foliage everywhere you look.
Now is an ideal time to get outdoors and walk around your landscape to see if your plants and trees are trying to tell you what they need.
To spend more time in your yard “talking” to your plants and trees, try hand watering. So many of us enjoy irrigation systems that are extremely convenient, of course, but sometimes keep us from getting outside before a minor problem turns into a big one.
Some obvious problems like scale, alga spot, insect infestations, and more can get out of hand quickly. Other times, plants and trees have subtle indicators that something isn’t quite right.
For example, we get a lot of questions at the Garden Center about the fuzzy growth on tree trunks.
What is it? The gray or green moss-like growth is typically lichens. Lichens form when fungus and algae (or bacteria) on the tree forge a symbiotic relationship. Lichens are quite harmless and there is no control method needed. But, the presence of lichens could be a sign of other issues.
Does it mean the tree is sick? The answer is usually no, but its presence is a significant clue to the health of the tree and could be an indicator of more serious problems.
The health of any plant or tree starts in the soil. When soil compaction occurs, the root systems are unable to take in the oxygen necessary to thrive. Particularly for the greater-Houston region, soil compaction is a widespread issue now more than ever because of the heavy rainfall and flooding that occurred during Hurricane Harvey.
When it’s hard for plants and trees to breath, all their energy goes to surviving instead of flourishing.
Core aeration is a great solution! You could even try something as simple as a one-inch drill bit with an electric drill to get holes in the soil, but it must pull up the soil. If you don’t do core aeration, you’ll compact the soil even more and worsen the problem.
Then, introduce microbes to the soil with a high-quality organic compost, humates, or dry molasses.
Gardening is an ongoing effort that is often a matter of trial and error. Fortunately, Warren’s Southern Gardens has experts on staff who have the experience and knowledge to share what works with you. Stop by the Garden Center today or call 281-354-6111 to learn more. We’ll get you growing!