October: Autumnal winds are starting to blow bringing in cooler temps and shorter days.

Monthly Reminders by on Thursday, October 9, 2014

autumn plants Autumnal winds are starting to blow bringing in cooler temps and shorter days. Because the seasons are changing, now is the best time of year to pamper your plants and re-energize your soil. See below for our current October To-Do List:







If you want to expand the variety of birds around your house, you might want to consider getting some bird feeders. Since Halloween is just around the corner, don’t forget to save those seeds and replant them. Nothing better than harvesting your own pumpkins for the season. Happy Autumn! Oscar Moraesand the crew

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March: Conquering a weedy lawn.

Monthly Reminders by on Thursday, March 6, 2014

March-PhotoFlowers and grass aren’t the only things about to bud in the coming weeks. Weeds, fungi and molds are set to take over if the proper precautions aren’t taken. Because conquering a weedy lawn is a challenge, the best thing to do is to ensure that your soil is in peak condition before your grass is established. If not, you lawn will need a lot of time and TLC to recover. Weedy lawns are not only an eye sore but can be extremely costly to cure. A weedy lawn is sign that your grass is not happy. And the only way to make your grass happy is to ensure that your soil quality is up to par.

Lawns that have aged or sustained heavy use from pets, play, sports activities and the like are susceptible to soil compaction. Soil compaction significantly reduces the porousness of the soil and prohibits oxygen intake. The result can be lawn deterioration and poor growth. I suggest a combination of aeration and top-dressing/fertilization to make your lawn strong and healthy.

To give a little more information, topdressing is basically the application of compost or a blended soil mixture over the surface of turf grass. Adding a layer of compost may not be a cure all, but it will help to increase your soil’s ability to hold moisture, increase soil depth and add the necessary nutrients and beneficial microorganisms to your turf. Topdressing will also help to fill in depressions and low areas as well as improve drainage, eliminate thatch (i.e. the collection of dead grass clippings which chokes and prevents grass growth) as well as increase the natural resistance to disease and pests. In order to be most effective, topdressing should be done annually. Call us for an estimate.

As always, please see below for our seasonal maintenance suggestions:

TREES: Spring is an ideal time to start feeding and treating your trees. Let’s get them in good shape to face the brutal summer to come.

IRRIGATION: Have you checked your sprinkler system lately? Your system should be checked at least twice per year in order make sure it’s in the best working order. Let us help you make sure that there are no mechanical problems or a build-up of lime, dirt or mud on nozzles so that the water can get to where it needs to go – your plants!

TRIMMING: Trimming is vital to the overall health and growth of your plants. Although we haven’t had too many cold snaps this year, the temperature fluctuations and high winds of late, could compromise some of your branches and consequently the overall health of your trees. Many could possibly benefit from extra trimming and TLC. Let us have our arborist come out and address any issues or concerns.

MULCH: It’s a good time time to replenish if you only have about an inch of mulch or less, especially if you’re already planning on adding some topdressing. Remember, mulch is a great way to prevent weeds from invading flower beds and tree rings and helps maintain moisture in the root system.

ANTS: April marks the beginning of fire ant season. More than just a nuisance during picnics, they sting and can cause serious allergic reactions and overwhelm a yard. Talk to us about ant control solutions.

GARDENING: There’s still time plant and grow your own organic produce! It’s a great time for tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, blackberries, pomegranates, figs and much, much more!

SPECIAL PROJECTS: Please let us know if you have any type of project for your outdoors. We are happy to assist or give you some ideas.

Happy spring and looking forward to being of service!

Oscar Moraesand the crew

“Behold, my friends, the spring is come; the earth has gladly received the embraces of the sun, and we shall soon see the results of their love!” ~ Sitting Bull

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November Week 1: Nutrients, Planting and Applying Pre-emergent

Weekly Garden Guide for November by on Saturday, November 2, 2013

raised garden beds

Botanica’s Weekly Garden Guide for November

Hello friends!

It’s November, and here in Texas it is finally starting to cool. This is when many of the plants in your yard and garden will begin to go dormant until spring. This week we want to talk about some important Central Texas gardening tips and considerations for the winter.

Week 1: Nutrients, Planting and Applying Pre-emergent

There’s lots to get done before the Thanksgiving holiday, but don’t feel overwhelmed. We’re going to take it one step at at time, starting with fertilizer. This week it is prime time to fertilize. You will want to fertilize all around your garden so your plants will comeback healthy and vibrant in the spring. Don’t forget your shrubs and trees, especially fruit trees. They will need to be fed before spring is in full swing. There is a very helpful guide from the Parker County Master Gardener Association on how to care for your fruiting trees. You can find it here.

Another thing to have in mind is pre-emergent treatments. Sure you want your lawn to grow healthy but you DON’T want your weeds in on the action. Pre-emergents should be applied no later than the end of November. Natural pre-emergents, like corn gluten meal, should be applied with a spreader before early spring at a rate of 20 lb. per 1,000 square feet. The application of a pre-emergent will make it difficult for new weeds to take root during sprouting season and the extra nitrogen will help your lawn come back nice and green in the spring.

If you plan on doing some planting, now is a good time to consider roses and new trees. This weekend would be a great time to pick out some vivid annuals and hearty ground covers to plant as well as considering transplanting items that may be outgrowing their current location. You can also divide your perennials now. Keep an eye out for our video on how to divide perennials coming soon.

Lastly, let’s not forget the lawn. Give your lawn a good top dressing with a fresh topsoil/compost mixture. If you’ve been experiencing problems with your lawn, send me an email at and I will be happy to address your issues during our end of the month Q&A session. In the meantime consider ryegrass over seeding for lush looking lawns during the cold months. Special note, make sure that if you spread ryegrass seed, you allow it to fully germinate and grow 2-3 inches BEFORE applying your pre-emergent or those poor little seeds won’t stand a chance.

Thanks for tuning in! Come back next week for our discussion on wintertime pest control recommendations and don’t forget to send in your garden questions and concerns before the third thursday so we can help you out in the Botanica End of the Month Q&A Session. We are looking forward to seeing your progress during this wonderful winter.

Oscar Moraes

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