All About Gardening and Gardening Q & A
by Pernell Gerver

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"One-Step, Organic, Easy Spring Lawn Care & Controlling Crabgrass and Other Lawn Weeds Safely and Organically"

In spring each year when people are doing spring cleaning outdoors to get their yards in shape, I’m often asked about an alternative to buying a four-step program for their lawns. They don’t want the hassle of having to do so much work on their lawns to make them look good. Many also say they are unhappy with the results they get from the four-step programs. Also, a growing trend is to not use chemicals on their lawns anymore and instead use natural and organic lawn care products. What’s more, many people want a combination of both organic and easy, one-step all in one product which wasn’t doable until lately. Click on a product name below to read more about it and order it from Pernell Gerver's Online Store.

Each spring I apply my Organic Lawn Weed and Feed, a new lawn care product that’s easy, one step, and 100 percent organic. It’s a two-in-one product that’s all you need. The first part of the two in one is a slow-release organic lawn food that fertilizes the lawn and makes it green up fast without burning it. If your lawn is thin or has bare spots, Organic Lawn Weed and Feed will fill in bare spots so overseeding is unnecessary.

This product is safe for people, pets, wildlife, and the environment. What’s also nice is the lawn can be walked on right away after applying it and children and pets can play on the lawn as well.

Organic Lawn Weed and Feed can be used on all types of lawns and grasses. I apply it myself using a spreader and you can use any type of spreader or do it by hand. Apply it anytime now through spring.

As well as being my once-yearly weed and feed for the lawn, I also use it on bare ground or on top of mulch in my flower beds, vegetable gardens, and around trees and shrubs in the landscape. After I’m done applying it to my lawn with my spreader I grab handfuls of it and scatter it throughout all my plantings. It’s safe if it touches the leaves of the plants. With it I no longer have to weed any more or mulch any more.

Controlling Crabgrass

For many, weeds in the lawn and garden are a common problem. I have a plan that will solve your problems in your lawn and garden. It’s my “one-two punch” that will get rid of the existing weeds you have now and prevent future weeds before they even have a chance of popping up.

Here’s what you need to do: Put down one application of my Organic Lawn Weed and Feed on your entire lawn and garden (only one application per year is needed). It contains natural lawn food that is slow release, and will make the lawn green up fast without burning. This helps the thin lawn and bare spots to fill in themselves without having to reseed – with it overseeding is unnecessary. The organic weed preventer it contains will stop weeds like crabgrass and dandelions from sprouting. You only have to put it down once each spring. I put it down on my lawn with a spreader then I take handfuls of it and scatter it over my flower beds. It is safe for people, pets, wildlife, and the environment and you can safely use the lawn after treatment.

After applying my Organic Lawn Weed and Feed the second part of my “one-two punch” for getting rid of weeds is to spot spray any existing weeds in the lawn and garden with Herbicidal Soap Spray. It is an organic weed killer that kills weeds, algae, and moss within minutes. It’s amazing how well it works on all sorts of weeds like dandelions, crabgrass, moss, wild violets, nutsedge, and ground ivy to name just a few. Simply walk over your lawn and spot spray just the weeds and spot spray any weeds you see in your flower beds. It quickly kills the entire weed, roots and all.

I’ve heard from many people on my Web site and at my workshops who have expressed concerns about using chemicals on their lawn where children and pets play, but with these two organic products there are no worries and you only need to do it once a year.

Click here to order my Organic Lawn Weed and Feed, Herbicidal Soap Spray, and other organic lawn care products from my Online Store. You can pick up your order free, no shipping charge, at any of my Gardening Workshops or you can have your order shipped.

Pernell Gerver's Gardening Q & Aby Pernell Gerver

"Goldfish Plant is an Easy-to-Grow, Unique House Plant"

Q. I enjoy your column very much. I am confined to home most of the time and have decided to try to grow houseplants - so far my efforts seem to be fulfilled and rewarding. I'd like some information on goldfish plant - how much sun does it need, when should I fertilize it, and how often should I water it? Thank you.

A. Goldfish plant (Nematanthus radicans) is a type of gesneriad and is related to African violet. It's an easy-to-grow house plant. It has long, trailing stems up to two feet long with small, oval, shiny leaves. The leaves are arranged opposite each other along its numerous stems. It makes an attractive hanging basket. Goldfish plant has the most unique flowers. Each puffy flower is pouch-shaped and resembles a tiny goldfish. The flower is up to one inch long in red or yellow. The flowers are produced along the stems in between the leaves. Goldfish plant blooms year 'round, but it flowers most profusely in summer and fall.

The goldfish plant is just one type of nematanthus and if you like it, I'm sure you'd like the other named cultivars and species. 'Black Gold' has yellow-orange flowers set against dark green, almost black, waxy leaves. 'Apres' has dark orange-red flowers that are larger than most other varieties. It has glossy dark green leaves with dark red spots underneath and is a very compact grower with an upright habit. Nematanthus villosus has dark burgundy flowers with the pouch on the top of the flower rather than the bottom.

Goldfish Plant

Goldfish plant

Goldfish plant does best in bright indirect or curtain-filtered light. It can also be grown under fluorescent lights. If grown under fluorescent lights, be sure to keep them on for 14 to 16 hours a day. Like most gesneriads, goldfish plant prefers warm temperatures. Night temperatures no lower than 65 degrees and daytime temperatures 75 degrees or warmer suit this house plant just fine. Keep the soil evenly moist. Fertilize twice a month with a water-soluble fertilizer at half-strength. Pinch the tips of the stems to encourage branching.

Click here to read more about Goldfish plant and order it from Pernell Gerver's Online Store

Click here to submit gardening questions for Pernell Gerver's online Q & A column.

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