TEXAS GARDENING: Chinquapins are only suitable for eastern Texas | Brazos life
Dear Neil: I recently moved into a house that had a garden in previous years, but it looks like they didn’t take good care of it. I would love to have a garden as well, but the plot is filled with weeds that have grown and developed over the past few months. What’s my best way to get them out before I plant this spring?
A: Mow them or use a string mower to cut them, then use a rear tine tiller to spray the soil deeply. Pick up the roots of weeds and other debris, then incorporate several centimeters of new organic matter (sphagnum peat moss, rotten manure, compost, pine bark mulch, etc.) by rotating again. For this weed crop, herbicides will be of no value – it is too late for winter.
Dear Neil: Due to the weather this year, my grass is more weed than real turf. I will be starting a new lawn next spring. What is the best weed and how do I plant it? I saw new sod planted on old grass, even weeds. It will work?
A: Oh no! Please don’t waste new sod this way. If you are planning to plant any new grass, you need to give it the best possible chance, especially when the weather conditions are tough. It’s a task in mid-April or May, and it starts with spraying a glyphosate-only herbicide (no other active ingredients mixed in) to kill any existing vegetation without contaminating the soil in the process. Give it 10 days to do its job, then turn 3 or 4 inches and rake to remove debris and establish a smooth slope. Then you will be ready to plant your grass or sow your seed. Anything less than this total soil preparation will leave you with bad results. It’s a lot of work, but don’t compromise.