About Mary Kay Pope

Mary Kay is an asset to Backbone and a wealth of knowledge! Many customers come in and ask for her by name for all their plant questions. It's no wonder why, as Mary Kay has 47 years of experience in the horticulture field. She holds a B.S. in Horticulture from Ohio State University, a TMCNP and a TCLP from Texas Association of Nurserymen, a Specialist in Urban Trees Certification from Texas A&M, and is a Certified Arborist.

Protect Tree Trunks from Damage from Deer

There are few phone calls that I dread as much as the one from a customer whose tree trunk has been rubbed on by deer during the night. They wake up to shredded bark and want to know what can be done. Unfortunately, if the damage has gone deep enough to damage the vascular tissue, trimming off the loose pieces of bark is about all that can be done. This type of damage is NOT REPAIRABLE! The tree is not able to "grow" new vascular tissue. This is the most [...]

By |2020-10-29T16:42:09-05:00October 29th, 2020|Uncategorized|

ZZ Plant Care Instructions

ZZ Plant Zamioculcas zamiifolia  The ZZ plant is an Aroid from eastern Africa which survived extinction caused by drastic changes in the climate. It is found in dry forest regions, often growing on rocks. It survives the droughts because of its fleshy stems, thick waxy leaves and huge tubers at the plant base. ZZ plants have the ability to store tremendous amounts of water in their tubers, therefore, caution should be taken not to over water them.  All of these characteristics can allow the ZZ Plant to go months without [...]

By |2020-10-06T11:51:36-05:00October 6th, 2020|Houseplants, Plants|

Elbon Rye as a Cover Crop

Why Plant “Cover Crops”? I am sure that many of you have heard that it is good to plant a winter “cover crop” in unused areas of the garden. But do you know exactly what the benefits are? *One of the most beneficial reasons is that it gives you a chance to add valuable, inexpensive organic matter to the soil. Elbon (or Cereal) Rye is one of the best “green manure” cops for capturing nitrogen and returning it to the soil in the spring. (Do NOT confuse this with Annual [...]

By |2020-09-30T09:36:45-05:00September 27th, 2020|Insects, Vegetable Gardening|

Grow Spinach from Seed in the Garden

Growing Spinach from Seed             What are the secrets for growing spinach from seed successfully? Because many people have difficulty getting the seeds to germinate, I thought I would give a few helpful hints on getting the seed started, and helping the plants grow well once they are up. -Prepare soil with liberal amounts of organic matter. Incorporate fertilizer such as Happy Frog Tomato and Vegetable Fertilizer or Happy Frog Marine Cuisine prior to planting. -If your soil is heavy or tends to hold moisture for prolonged periods, plant in [...]

By |2020-09-26T13:28:19-05:00September 26th, 2020|Vegetable Gardening|

Mangave

Is it an Agave or Manfreda? It’s both! A cross between an Agave daddy and a Manfreda mama produces a new hybrid called x Mangave. (The “x” tells you that it is a cross between different genera.) Thankfully, it is polycarpic like its mama, not monocarpic like the Agave, so it does not die after blooming. That is a good thing, because it produces bizarre flowers that hummingbirds absolutely love! It has inherited an aversion to winter moisture from both parents, so well- drained soil or container growing is a [...]

By |2020-09-23T13:05:24-05:00September 23rd, 2020|Plants, Succulents and Cacti|
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