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Milberger's Nursery and Landscaping
3920 North Loop 1604 E.
San Antonio, TX 78247

Open 9 to 6 Mon. through Sat.
and 10 to 5 on Sun.

Three exits east of 281, inside of 1604
Next to the Diamond Shamrock station
Please click map for more detailed map and driving directions.

Click here

Primetime Newspapers
By Calvin R. Finch, PhD, SAWS Water Resources Director, and Horticulturist
Week of April 2, 2007

“April Gardening”

If you have been anxious for action on the lawn, this is your month. Our grasses respond to the warm weather, and begin serious growth in April. Fertilize with slow release lawn fertilizer late in the month. Keep the grass mowed to help the lawn grass compete with the winter weeds that want to form seed heads. It is not too late to aerate and top dress the lawn. For more information of the importance of aeration, and to apply for the SAWS rebate, visit the SAWS website at Bermuda and buffalo grass seed will germinate late in the month. The seed requires warm temperatures. While you are at the SAWS’ website, register for SIP. The lawn does not require much water in April, but to know how much is needed every week, subscribe to SIP. It is a personalized irrigation recommendation provided free for area residents.

Lawn grass has an amazing ability to fill in if the weather conditions cooperate. That means there is hope that your lawn could recover from last year’s drought without major action on your part. To speed up the process of repair, plug in sod in the largest dead areas of a St. Augustine lawn. The best choice seems to be Floratam. It fared very well in drought tests in San Antonio conducted in 2006. Floratam was the only St. Augustine that made the cut. Also recovering at a level of 60% or more after 60 days of drought were Bermuda grass, buffalo grass, and the wide bladed zoysia grasses.

In the vegetable garden, plant tomatoes, and peppers by transplants; and okra, southern peas, and melons by seed. The spinach, Brussel’s sprouts, carrots, and beets are still producing. If you planted potatoes, you can begin harvesting them when the flowers appear. There is nothing better than a mess of new potatoes boiled and buttered. The onions will be ready to harvest when the leaves fall over. It will probably occur in May.

April is usually the best month of the year for snapdragons. Keep them well watered. Sometimes, borers will attack a planting; acephate will usually keep them at bay. Resist the urge to cutback the wildflowers, larkspurs, columbine, and other naturalized flowers too early. The seeds must mature if you want a regrowth next year. Roses should be blooming now. Hybrid teas require a spray program if they are going to provide maximum high quality blooms. Acephate (insects) and Funginex (fungus) are the usual sprays. Organic gardeners can try neem oil, spinosad, and sulfur products. Old-fashioned roses benefit by sprays and irrigation, but it is less necessary.

April is a good month to plant esperanza, lantana, the blue salvias, and poinciana for hot weather blooms. They all require full sun. Crepe myrtles are available in every form from miniatures to 40 feet trees. They also bloom well in the heat. Select Indian tribe named selections to insure resistance to powdery mildew.

Peaches and apples usually require a regular spray program to produce a large number of high quality fruit. Consider Captan (fungus), and alternate between malathion and Sevin for insects. Again, organic gardeners can try neem oil, spinosad, and sulfur products. Bt products such as Thuricide, Bio Worm Control or Dipel control caterpillars very effectively. Apply it to the foliage of fruit trees, flowers, and vegetables to kill caterpillars that are feeding. It has to be consumed by the pests to work.

If you were lucky enough to have American goldfinches this year, they will stay through the month and even into May. April is the big month for the arrival of hummingbirds. Put sugar water feeders on the eaves or a trellis in easy view of your patio furniture or kitchen window. If you have a diverse array of plants and some running water, you may be able to attract some of the migrating birds. Painted buntings, indigo buntings orioles, and warblers are relatively easy to observe. Unfortunately, if you do not have purple martins in your martin house by now, you will have to wait for next year.

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