The Q&A Archives: Lawn Maintenance And Flower Planting Basics

Question: Would like to know first how to keep lawn looking green and healthy. It is very humid in this area. Also I would like to plant flowers in spring, and would like to know what would be best for the area that I live in. Last year was a bust.<br>

Answer: For a lush, green lawn, you want to provide a rich, weed-free environment. What you do to achieve that depends on the size of the area, what you hope to achieve, and how much you want to spend. Basically, as mentioned above, lawns appreciate rich soil with little/no weeds. Amending your soil with organic material such as compost, leaf mold, composted cow manure, etc., is always appreciated by plant life. Also, there are many commercial preparations available to fertilize your lawn and keep it in tip-top condition. Gardens Alive! sells two products that I believe have very good results. One is called WOW! Plus. It is a pre-emergent weed control and balanced organic lawn fertilizer in an all-in-one mix. The other product is Organic Lawns Alive! Itis a fertilizer only and does not contain any preparation to kill weeds (though as your lawn gets healthier, it also gets more dense and can crowd out weeds). Both are available from Gardens Alive! at (812) 537-5108 or, write them at 5100 Schenley Place, Lawrenceburg, IN 47025. Since you are just starting out in the gardening realm, have you had a soil test? These are very beneficial in determining what you have to work with. Sometimes garden failures have nothing to do with the gardener's experience or action, there is simply a problem with the soil that can be easily remedied. These tests are usually free or offered at low cost. Contact your local extension agent for details. Regarding flowers, you are in USDA zone 8, and the world is your oyster. You have a very long growing season (compared to us poor schmucks up here in 6). Are you interested in perennials, annuals, flowering shrubs, etc.? Let us know what you are interested in and we will help you with some selections, feel free to submit another question via the website.

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