Homemade for the homegrown

The USDA zone maps aren’t really all that helpful for Austin gardeners. They deal more with low temperatures in the winter than with high temperatures in the summer. The Texas Gardener Texas-specific zone breakdowns are much more useful. Austin is at the edge of a lot of different weather patterns and is also part of two eco-systems and two different soil-type regions. If you’ve ever wondered why most of the pecan trees and so many of the beautiful gardens are east of IH-35, it’s all thanks to the much better soil that predominates there.

Because of Austin’s peculiarities, we’ve found that locally produced fertilizers work better for us than anything with a Major Brand Name. Rose Mix, prepared by and sold at Austin’s Sledd Landscape Nursery (on West Lynn, in the beautiful former Texaco station across from Jeffrey’s) is wonderful for anything that appreciates slightly more acidity than our limestone and caliche. This is what the Tarrytown old-timers use on their roses, azaleas, and camellias.

Whatever Rose Mix doesn’t take care of, the fertilizer from P/2 Organic Farm does. Tony and Suzanne from P/2 are the people who organized the South Congress Farmers’ Market, open every Saturday from 9 in the morning until 1 in the afternoon. Tony almost always has some of that secret magic mix on hand.

Yesterday evening it just felt as though rain would be coming through, so we made wise use of our Rose Mix and of Tony’s magic. Rose Mix, in particular, should be watered in. The rain did arrive and now we expect wondrous results.

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