VOLUME 14, ISSUE 8 • February 22, 2018

Neil Sperry editor. Gretchen Drew design and circulation.


For the first time in 16 years of e-gardens, I'm going to do something very different. This will be a Spring Lawn Care Special Edition. I've been getting so many comments and questions, I decided to give this a try.

In this edition…
• Choosing the best lawngrass;
• Facts and timing of pre-emergent weedkillers;
• When grass won't grow in the shade;
• Filling low spots and smoothing out bumps;
• Scalping and if you should do it; and
• Our weekly checklist of things to get done.


The best book I could ever write…
That's what I set out to do. I worked alongside Carolyn Skei and Cyndy Smith, the best editor and graphic designer I've ever known, and Neil Sperry's Lone Star Gardening is what we turned out.

• Not in stores and not on Amazon.
• Only $31.95 plus tax and postage.
• 344 pages and 840 of my photographs that poor Cyndy had to lay in place.
• 11 chapters covering every aspect of outdoor gardening in Texas. Very comprehensive chapter on Lawns!
• Chapter 2 is worth the cost of the book all by itself: a 48-page calendar of monthly gardening tasks.
• Hardback and printed right here in Texas.
• Every book goes out signed, inscribed if requested.
• Immediate shipping if you order today from my website or by calling (800) 752-4769 weekdays 9-5.

Photo: Lawns become prime thoughts on our minds as spring rolls in. (It is eventually coming, isn't it!)


Inventory of Texas Turfgrasses

Planting a new lawn this spring, or thinking about replacing one that's under-performing? Make your choice carefully. I'll give you my thoughts.

Photo: St. Augustine has long been a “go-to” choice in the Sperry landscape.


Pre-emergent weedkillers and schedule

Timing is critical when it comes to pre-emergent weed control. I'm going to boil it down to places, dates and products. Click for the details.

Photo: If your goal is a great lawn for 2018, it all starts now.


When Grass Won't Grow in the Shade

Of all the questions I've been asked in my career, this is far and away the topic that's come up most often. It hurts my heart to see people making mistakes and wasting so much money. Let me get right to the facts.

Photo: Groundcovers tolerate shade where turfgrass has failed.


Questions of the Week: February 22, 2018

I wrote one story too many.

Click here if you wonder about scalping.
Click here if you have a rumbly, bumply lawn.

Photos: “Scalping" and "top-dressing" are topics of spring.


Gardening This Weekend

The rest of e-gardens addresses lawns, but in this section we'll keep you updated on all of your other responsibilities. After all, gardening isn't about lawngrasses alone.

Photo: Crowded canna roots must be divided immediately.


And, in closing…

That's it for this special edition of e-gardens. I'll leave it archived on my website for a few weeks in case you'd like to refer friends to read it. Copy and paste this link (http://neilsperry.com/e-gardens/) into your social media or into an email to make them aware. Have them scroll down to the Feb. 22 edition. Invite them to subscribe while they're there.

This one has been a workout, but it's been fun. I hope you've enjoyed it. I'm on to radio, newspapers, my website and podcasts, Facebook and church. I hope we'll cross paths in one or more of those places.

So until next week, thanks for reading, and…

Happy Gardening!


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