We just received a new shipment of cyclamen. These fall flowering plants do well in our Houston climate.
More Fall Color!
Mums: Blooming now! Stop by to choose from a selection of sizes and varieties
Fall bulbs: In stock!
Pansies: A favorite standby
Coprosma: This shrub grows from 12″ to 48″ in sun or part shade. An easy to grow accent shrub
Give your lawn a big helping of Nitro-Phos Fall Special Winterizer! IT will give you extra protection from the winter because it is rich in phosphate to promote healthy root system and high in potassium for winter hardiness. Nitro-Phos Fall Special will ensure vigorous initial growth in the Spring.
Head those ugly weeds off at the pas! Put out a bag of Nitro-Phos Barricade Pre-Emergence Weed Control. NitroPhos Barricade Pre-Emergence Weed Control will keep out both Broadleaf and Thin Grassy weeds all season long, especially for next spring.
Put Nitro-Phos Eagle Turf Fungicide on the job. Nitro-Phos Eagle Turf Fungicide is a systemi protetant and curative fungicide. This wil promote healthy turf and optimum disease control.
One common issue we’ve been seeing lately in the Garden Center is questions on how to get rid of Virginia Buttonweed. This is a broadleaf perennial weed that proliferates in our wet and humid Houston climate. One product we have found that is effective in killing this weed is Agri-Lawn. Stop by to pick up a treatment today.
One of the appeals of living in Kingwood has always been the beautiful greenbelts and tree lined streets. The selling point from day one has been that it is the Livable Forest.
The Texas drought of 2011, which was the worst single year drought recorded,1 took a heavy toll on our Kingwood forests. The extended lack of water damaged the vitality of our trees requiring the removal of many.
Dead tree along Kingwood Drive (August 2011)
While there are a number of groups participating in the reforestation efforts of our community, not all efforts are meeting with success. It is a common sight to see tree saplings withering away in the medians and greenways around town. Here are a few planting tips in order to give the trees the best chance to survive and thrive.
How to Choose a Tree
As with any other type of plant, the first step to a successful planting is choosing the right type of tree for the area. If you are planning on planting trees to help reforest the greenbelt and common areas, some good choices are maples with the exception of silver maples and the new variety of elms
Where to Plant a Tree
An essential element for any plant to grow is sunlight. If you are planting the tree in a deforested area, chances are that the tree will get enough sunlight to grow. Take into consideration both the mature height and width of the tree and plant an adequate distance from building and other structures as well as between the trees you are planting.
Trees marked for removal along Kingwood Dr (September 2011)
How to Plant a Tree Seedling
Once you have selected the appropriate tree for the location you will plant, did a hole that is twice the width and the same depth as the root ball. This is a good rule of thumb for shrubs as well.
Next, fill the hole with water and check back after 24 hours. If water is still standing, choose another place to plant as the heavy Houston rains will very likely drown the roots of the young plant.
Once you have determine that the location has enough drainage, you are ready to plant. If there are damage limbs, remove them and then plant the tree with the root collar just slightly above the grade holding the tree by the root ball. Planting too deeply can stress the plant and cause it to die.
Remove anything the tree was wrapped in and then gently fill the hole around the root ball with native soil. Water around the tree generously settling the soil.
Follow up by mulching around the tree up to several inches past the drip line; however, keep the mulch from touching the trunk.
Caring for a Newly Planted Tree
Now that you have planted the tree, proper care is required otherwise all your effort will be wasted. A tree should be watered weekly for the first two years after planting. It should have six to eight gallons of water for every inch in trunk diameter per week. A tree should not be fertilized the first year after it is planted.
Combs, Susan. The Impact of the 2011 Drought and Beyond. Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. 5 January 2012. [↩]
One of the benefits of living in the south is the extended warm season which allows us to have a spring and fall garden. One garden favorite is the tomato. Easy to grow, the tomato comes in varieties that work well for the two gardening seasons.
Fall Tomato Gardening Tips
Tomatoes need both sun and well drained soil to thrive. In our hot climate, an area with afternoon sun will work well. If the native soil in your yard is primarily clay, which is typical for the area, amend the soil with a sandy loam and compost for the best results.
Tomatoes prefer soil with a PH between 6.0 to 6.8. The National Gardening Association recommends testing the PH of your soil every three to five years. If you need to test your soil, bring a sample into the Garden Center to test. A 1 lb coffee can full of soil is a sufficient amount for testing.
While tomatoes can be grown from seed, many gardeners prefer to buy young plants to plant in their garden. Young plants are a good choice particularly in a fall garden where there is only a finite amount of time before the winter months.
Types of Tomatoes
While there are numerous varieties of tomato plants, there are several main classifications to consider when choosing the best type of tomato for your yard.
Heirloom, Grafted, and Hybrid Tomatoes: Heirloom tomatoes are varieties that have been cultivated and grown through standard pollination methods. The variety is stable enough and has been cultivated through enough generations that the seeds produce true to the parent type. The benefits of heirloom tomatoes are that they can be cultivated by seed, are disease resistant, and are very flavorful.
Hybrid tomato plants are those which have been cross polinated between standardized heirloom varieties. The seeds may or may not reproduce true to the parent plant. Hybrid tomato plants typically produce more tomatoes per plant and are more vigorous and disease resistant. Many consider hybrid varieties to be less flavorful than heirloom tomatoes.
Grafted tomatoes are plants which one variety chosen for its fruit has been grafted on to root stock that is more vigorous. The best of both worlds, the grafted tomato can combine the flavor of the heirloom tomato with the vigor and productivity of the hybrid. One of our favorite hybrids at the Garden Center is “Mighty Mato’s.” This hybrid does well in our Texas heat and produces outstanding tomatoes well into the fall.
Determinate versus Indeterminate Tomato Plants: Determinate tomatoes are varieties that will only grow to a specific height, typically three to four feet. Once the first fruit sets on the top bud, the plant will not grow further and the tomatoes will ripen at roughly the same time.
An indeterminate variety will grow at until it is killed by frost and will produce new blooms and fruit throughout the growing season.
When to Plant Tomatoes
For a spring garden, tomatoes can be planted after the last danger of a spring frost has passed. For a fall garden, tomatoes are planted in late July to early August.
The optimal temperature conditions for growing tomatoes is when the night time temperature is around 55 degrees and the daytime temperature peaks around 80 degrees. When the temperature gets too high, the plants will stop setting fruit.
This is why tomato gardening is split between a spring and fall garden in Texas. While tomatoes will ripen in the heat, our hot and humid Houston summers will shut down the flowering of the spring tomatoes.
The majority of the varieties we carry in the Garden Center are determinate as this allows highest production possible within the time limits set by our weather.
How to Plant Tomato Plants in Your Garden
How to plant a tomato depends on the type you choose. With a heirloom tomato variety, we recommend removing the bottom leaves and planting the tomato plant deeply and at an angle. However, with a grafted tomato plant such as Mighty Mato’s, the graft must be above the ground and the bottom leaves should not be removed.
Other Types of Tomato Gardens
If you have limited space in your yard, you can still plant a tomato garden. Some other planting options are square foot gardening, container gardening, and vertical gardening. With each of these methods, the determinate varieties are the best choice.
Stop by the Garden Center for more tomato gardening tips and help choosing the best tomatoes for your garden.
One very common problem in Houston area lawns in the end of summer is chinch bugs. While chinch bugs are fairly easy to treat if properly identified, often Take All Patch (which is a soil issue) is confused with a chinch bug problem.
What Are Chinch Bugs?
Chinch bugs are a noxious insect which sucks juice from the grass stolon, causing the plant to yellow and die. They are particularly fond of St. Augustine grass, and as this is the predominant variety in our lawns, this is a very common problem that we see in the Kingwood villages and Northeast Houston area.
How to Identify Chinch Bugs
If a dead patch in your lawn is near the sidewalk or driveway, the odds are that it is caused by chinch bugs. However, to be sure you must examine the patch very closely looking for the bugs.
One recommendation is to mix one fluid ounce of dishwashing liquid with two gallons of water. Pour the solution over a four foot area close to the edge of the affected area. If the dead patch is caused by chinch bugs, they will surface and crawl on the grass blades within a couple of minutes.
Or take the easy route and bring an 8 inch square of the affected part of your lawn with as much of the roots as you can into the garden center, and we will identify it for you.
Chinch Bugs Treatment for Texas Lawns
While there are several methods of chinch bug control, one of the most effective methods we have found for Texas lawns is the application of Nitrophos Bug Out Max, which is an insecticide. Stop by the Kingwood Garden Center and our staff will be happy to help you pick the best treatment for your lawn
With all of the wonderful rain we’ve been getting in Kingwood and the Northeast area of Houston lately, one of the common questions we’ve been getting at the Garden Center is about mushrooms customers are seeing sprout up throughout their yard and lawn.
Causes of Mushrooms in Your Yard
As the Houston area is warm, humid, and wet, all perfect conditions for the growth of fungus such as mushrooms, this is a very common occurrence. Add to that the clay soil which creates standing water with heavy rains or overwatering and our Kingwood forests with decaying organic matter, and we have conditions tailor made for growing mushrooms.
How to Get Rid of Mushrooms Growing in Your Lawn
While mushrooms may not be part of your landscape design, they are harmless and no threat to the health of your other plants. On the contrary, they help facilitate the decomposition of the decaying matter and improving the condition of the soil.
However, if the sight of mushrooms in your lawn is bothersome, one thing not to do is pull them up by the roots, as that will cause them to spread through the root system. Each broken root will sprout a new mushroom. Just mow the mushrooms. This is a seasonal occurrence.
Are Mushrooms in My Yard Edible?
While some mushrooms found in your yard may be edible, if you aren’t an expert at identifying them and already know the answer, it is best to assume that they are harmful. Some mushrooms, such as the Destroying Angel are poisonous.
The recommendation Kingwood Garden Center made for my front yard turned out great. This is the best my yard has ever looked.
Mike Kingwood, TX
Kingwood Garden Center is located in Kingwood, TX - The Livable Forest. We have been providing gardening, landscaping, and lawn care expertise in Northeast Houston for over 30 years. Our specialty home and garden decor area is the perfect place to find unique items and gifts. We pride ourselves on providing the highest quality nursery plants and products and offering individual service and attention to our customers.