Spring is here and as usual it’s a beautiful time of year in South Central Texas.  Spring for many folks means fertilizing…lawns, landscapes, container plants and gardens.  This year why not make the switch to using organic methods of fertilizing and make your landscape much more environmentally friendly?

One of the major differences in using organic products is that they are designed to build and condition your soil as opposed to feeding your plants.  The better your soil then the happier and healthier your plants will be.

If you typically apply a chemical weed and feed to your lawn each spring and fall, this year try an organic soil food instead.  There are several on the market so try looking at your local garden center like The Plant House on North Walnut St. or New Braunfels Feed on Loop 337.  These organic products like the ones made by Ladybug are typically pellets that can be easily spread or scattered and essentially what they do is feed and build the soil which in turn provides a better growing medium for your turf.  If your turf is healthy then it will choke out most weeds easily especially during the growing season when you’re mowing on a regular schedule so there is really no need for an herbicide.

One of the many great things about organic products is that they are often multi-purpose.  A soil conditioner that works on your lawn will also work just as well on your landscape plants.  Many native and adapted evergreens and perennials really don’t need much in the way of fertilizer but if you have antique roses or heavy blooming plants then an organic product will help feed the soil and thus create more blooms.

One of the best ways to feed your landscape beds is to mulch with a wood based product.  NativeScapes uses double shredded cedar mulch and it’s great for keeping weeds at bay, cooling roots in the summer, moisture retention but most of all as it breaks down over time it composts and feeds the soil continuously.  If you use a non-woven weed control fabric in your beds (and I highly recommend it) the composting moisture seeps right through it down to the roots.

So, before you reach for the chemicals think about the long-term benefits of improving your soil by using organic products and helping out our environment by lessening your use of chemicals.

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