Sun tea: hydrating humans and fertilizing roses


Roses like high levels of fertility, especially nitrogen. Thus, they need to be fertilized in March, June, and lightly in late August. Base your selection of fertilizer analysis on the results of a soil test. For June feeding, utilize fertilizers in which at least half of the nitrogen is in the slow release or slowly available form. In late August, apply fertilizer in which the nitrogen is readily available.

Another ready handy source of nitrogen is sun tea or coffee. You know those big 5-gal containers that are used for water dispensers, they are great for making sun tea. Simply buy the family size tea bags for sun tea and drop 5-6 of them in. It’s okay if they fall into the water. You can use a large bucket if you choose. We chose the water containers because it’s easier for us to pour. Once your sun tea is ready pour around the drip lines of flowering trees, around the base of your roses. Sun tea works wonders on flowering plants not just roses. Nitrogen is essential to plant growth; it aids in photosynthesis.

Deer Candy

3:00 in the morning. Dogs are going crazy. Coyotes aren’t howling, and bobcats aren’t screaming. But the dogs are barking. Next morning, I (daughter) saw why. Hibiscus REALLY is deer candy. So, lesson learned: air conditioners do not protect plants even close to the house. But the good news is that the hibiscus trees were in containers. Fenced back yard it is.

Planting in all types of containers is fun. We used old metal milk containers for roses. Fill the container with sticks, insert baby rose bush, add soil. As time progresses, the sticks will break down and add nutrients to your soil. Do make sure though that whatever container you choose does NOT hold water. You want your container to leak so that your plants don’t get root rot.

Another fun plant to put into containers, are honeysuckles. Or any type of flowering vine. You can place your container in just the right spot along your backyard fence, or trellis to create a wondrous good smelling beauty in the perfect location of your choosing.

Oh boy oh boy… Are y’all’s gardens flourishing with the recent rains?

Maturing peaches will be ready soon. Yum, fresh peach cobbler.

And the Farmers Markets are in full swing providing all of us an opportunity to partake of both new and old type vegetables.

Lawn Height

Lawns are growing nicely and rapidly. This is the time of year we want to promote deeper roots for our grasses. The way we do that is by cutting our lawns higher. Gentle reminder for minimal cuts: Bermuda grass one and a half inch, Buffalo grass two and half inches, St Augustine three inches and Zoysia one inch. The higher the grass blades are cut, the deeper the roots grow. The deeper the roots, the healthier the grass all summer. Deep roots give the grass the opportunity to search further for nutrients and water when the summer gets hotter. Keep in mind that you never want to cut more than a third of the blade in one cutting.

Keep your souls and soles in your garden!

Remember the True Master Gardener: Jesus said, “I am the vine; my Father is the Gardener.” John 15:1 Have questions or comments? Contact Bill at The Luedecke Group Realtors (512) 577-1463 or email Or contact Martelle Luedecke (512) 769-3179 at


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