It has been a couple of weeks now since Horrible hurricane Harvey ravaged our area with its historical rains. We at Bay Area Design, along with many of our friends, neighbors, clients and fellow Houstonians have just now finished cleaning up the debris inside our homes, and ready to start focusing on our gardens. Below are a few tips to help you out.
First of all before you start working in the garden, consider your safety. Look around the garden and make sure all trees are stable, do not show any major damage broken limbs, root rot etc. that could pose a hazard to your safety. Wear gloves, especially if there is still standing water in your garden, consider the risk of an infection. If you suspect or are worried that you might have had sewage water contaminate your soil, Monterey Consan 20 can be used to kill bacteria, fungus and other harmful pathogens in the soil. Remember to discard any fruit, vegetables and other edibles that might have been contaminated.
Stay off the lawn and beds until they are dry – walking on them while wet will compact the soil. Once dry, examine your lawn and plants if you suspect a fungus apply a Systemic Disease Control like Bonide Infuse for your lawn and shrubs. Use Monterey Garden Phos Systemic Fungicide in your beds to control disease in the soil. I recommend spreading compost, horticulture molasses or kelp meal to rejuvenate the soil and bring your plants back to good health. Do not fertilize until you are sure you have no fungus, as fertilizing will help rapidly increase the spread of fungus. Prune off any damaged or rotted plants and discard, it is a good practice to sanitize your pruners between trimming each plant, to reduce the risk of spreading disease .
If you have trees or large shrubs that are now leaning, if the majority of the roots are still intact, use tree stakes to straighten them up. Kelp meal or Liquid Seaweed can also be used to help the root structure of that tree or shrub.
The heavy rains will sure bring out a lot of ants, especially fire ants. If you are experiencing mounds in your lawn you can use Orthene Soluble Insecticide. Standing water will bring on the mosquitoes and their larva, make sure to empty all vessels of water, clean out bird baths. If it is not possible to remove some standing water adding Mosquito Dunks or Mosquito Bits in standing water will kill the larva and keep mosquitoes from breading. Skeeter Screen granules will help repel mosquitoes.
I am pretty sure that most of us have lost a lot of soil and mulch in this rain. It is a good idea to add new potting soil and re- mulch to get ready for Fall and Winter color coming up shortly!
While the storm damage is never pleasant it can often open up new areas in the garden, allowing for change as well as providing fertile compost for a renewal of beauty as the garden recovers. Try to look at the positive while you are cleaning up your garden, perhaps this is a chance to add new richer soil, or a chance to take your garden in a new and exciting direction.