December: There is still much to do in our yards and gardens.

Monthly Reminders by on Thursday, December 4, 2014

botanica-design-leafWinter is finally upon us and although most of us want to hunker down and hibernate like the bears, there is still much to do in our yards and gardens. Although most plants, trees and grasses are dormant, they still need some care and maintenance. Please see below for our December list of reminders.


Now is a good time to clean out those dead annuals and remove debris. If you feel the need for some color in the garden during winter, you still have time to plant pansies, snapdragons and calendula and juniper. From now until the end of January you can also plant trees and shrubs if the ground is workable. This will allow them to get a good start before warmer weather comes back in April and May.

Don’t forget that perennials like to be divided at this time of the year. After several seasons of growing, many plants tire out and begin to wilt. Therefore, to keep plants healthy and blooming, pull out the plants from the ground and disentangle the roots system. This process is known as ‘division.’


So here’s the dirt on composting: anyone can do it, it’s free and what better way turn your yard and kitchen scraps into “gardener’s gold” than by composting? If you’ve never composted ask Oscar for advice and details on getting started.


Bad bugs such as stinkbugs, mealy bugs and various beetles thrive on hiding in piles of debris like dead leaves. This is how many of them survive the winter. Making sure that your yard is neat and clean is more than just an aesthetic consideration, it’s an investment in pest control. Ants, mosquitoes, termites and silverfish love wet, warm winters much like the one we’re currently experiencing. Ask us to come by and clear out your gardens and flowerbeds.


There is still time to top dress your lawn.

Don’t forget to prepare the root systems of your plants for the dormant stage. Winterizing your lawn will ensure that your plants survive and come back lush and plentiful.


Make sure you take a peek at your sprinkler systems to make sure the system is still working and fully operational as you still need to water your plants in winter.

Thank you and we wish you all a fruitful and merry holiday season!
Oscar Moraesand the crew

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November Week 3: Winter Irrigation

Weekly Garden Guide for November by on Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Welcome back folks! If you’ve been keeping up with our weekly gardening “challenges”, that’s great! If this is your first visit, that’s great too! Welcome to the Botanica Weekly Gardening Guide.

This is the third week in November and we’ve already had a little freeze here in central Texas.  Anytime the outside temperature is below 33 degrees, there is something you’ve got to beware of. Yes, Jack Frost, but what he will do to your nose is NOTHING compared to what he will do to your lawn irrigation system. If it gets cold enough, the soil temperature could reach subfreezing at the depth of your irrigation pipes. If there is water in those pipes, it will freeze and expand.

Do you see where we are going with this? Water freezing and expanding is what breaks boulders into rocks and it will have no problem turning your irrigation system’s PVC pipes into tiny PVC toothpicks. So, let’s make sure your irrigation system is prepped for winter by purging the water. If you’ve never winterized your irrigation system before, Jason Core at GotScapes, has a great little VIDEO that walks you though the process and could save you lots of hours and dollars.

So… what now?  How are we going to water all the great planting and replanting we did early this month?  Well, we’re going to do it by hand, my friend. You won’t need to water nearly as much as you did during the warmer months, but even dormant plants and grasses will need a little water to keep going. You will want to pay extra attention to your winter vegetables and help them retain moisture by laying down a nice, organic mulch. Something exotic like newspaper (six layers will help keep the weeds out) and cover that layer with just about anything that decomposes… wood chips, grass clippings, hay straw, compost, even leaves. Your handiwork will also help moderate the soil temperature and keeping your veggies nice and comfortable will actually boost their production but up to 50%!

Well, that’s our tip for this week. Keep up the great work! Next week we will have our Q&A session with me, your gardening guru, Oscar Moraes. We’ll be answering all the questions you’ve submitted for November, so be sure to tune in!

Oscar Moraes

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