Citrus Troubleshooting: Common Problems

Nutrient deficiency: Iron deficiency is common in areas with calcareous soils and alkaline water. The iron may be present in the soil, but it is in a form that is unavailable to the plant when grown in alkaline conditions. Deficiency occurs on young leaves, and the veins remain green while the rest of the leaf is yellow. This condition can cause dieback of limbs and small fruit. Iron deficiency is also associated with excessively wet soils or prolonged wet conditions, as this depletes the root system and uptake of nutrients [...]

By |2019-11-05T20:26:53-06:00November 5th, 2019|Uncategorized|

Choosing A Tree For Your Landscape

Choosing a Tree for your Landscape Having been involved in diagnosing tree disorders for many years, I feel the need to pass on some information that might help you avoid certain tree issues in your landscape. There are many factors to consider before choosing the right tree for your yard. Knowing these factors ahead of time can prevent loss of a tree. Choose a tree for the spot, not a spot for the tree! Know what mature height and spread the area you want to plant a tree in can [...]

By |2019-10-28T22:05:20-06:00October 28th, 2019|Trees|

Deer Injury to Trees

We are at the time of year again when the deer are in “the rut”. “The rut” refers to the breeding season, from about September to February in Central Texas. Anyone with newly planted or young trees in deer territory should be aware of this season and take measures to protect these trees from irreparable damage. Bucks will be rubbing their antlers on primarily young trees with thin bark, marking their “territory” and showing their dominance to intimidate other bucks. They begin this marking behavior in the fall, and then [...]

By |2019-10-19T14:07:28-06:00October 19th, 2019|Trees|

Planting Wildflower Seeds

Whether you have a meadow you would like to establish with wildflowers or just want to plant some bee and butterfly friendly flowers in your landscape, NOW is when we plant the seeds that will provide the blooms next spring.  Adding native grasses and wildflowers provides food for the birds, nectar and pollen for the pollinators, and can assist butterflies in migration. Are you ready to get started? If you have existing warm season grasses where you would like to seed wildflowers, mow the grass short and remove thatch, if [...]

By |2019-09-15T22:40:22-06:00September 15th, 2019|Plants|

Dog Vomit Slime Mold

What a name for such a harmless creature!  I say creature because a slime mold is neither a plant nor an animal. It is more closely related to the amoeba and certain seaweeds than fungi. This disgusting looking slime mold is often found feeding on the fungus and bacteria that are involved in the decomposition of organic matter, usually on bark mulch or even dead tree roots near the surface of the soil. They are actually helping return nitrogen to the soil, so if you can stand to leave them [...]

By |2019-09-02T14:35:39-06:00September 2nd, 2019|Uncategorized|

Roots and How They Grow

It is difficult to know how to water plants if we do not understand how (and where) their roots grow. Do we water just at the base of the plant? How long do we water a plant, and how deep does the water need to go? These are questions that I hear almost every day at the nursery. Let us begin with tree roots. In the first year, when establishing a newly planted tree, apply water to the area above the original root ball and about 1’ beyond. This will [...]

By |2019-08-18T17:48:20-06:00August 18th, 2019|Plants, Trees|

G – July Vegetable Gardening

Oh good gracious! Who ever heard of planting vegetables in Texas in July! As ridiculous as that may seem, NOW is the time to begin planting and planning for our fall gardens. Pull out those old, tired, diseased and insect ridden cucumbers, green beans and summer squash to make room for the late summer and fall crops that will begin producing more fresh produce for your table. If you aren’t planning on following up in these areas with watermelon or winter squash, till in some compost and let the area [...]

By |2019-07-23T10:14:45-06:00July 9th, 2019|Monthly Gardening Checklist, Vegetable Gardening|

Moroccan Mound Euphorbia

This is the case of a cactus that is not actually a cactus, but is closely related. Technically, it is classified as a succulent, even though it does have spines. It is also related to the Christmas Poinsettia, but don’t tell it that! This low-growing succulent has a lengthy history of cultivation, and is one of the oldest documented medical plants of all the Euphorbia species. Mounding to 1’-2’ tall and spreading to 4’ wide, its pale blue-green upright, four-sided stems are adorned with brown spines along the margins. Small [...]

By |2019-06-27T09:14:27-06:00June 26th, 2019|Uncategorized|

Growing Blackberries in Central Texas

Blackberries are biennials and produce their fruit the second year after planting. They do well in sandy soils, and can be grown in soils that are at least 1’deep, with good drainage. In areas with poor drainage, they may be grown in raised beds. You can choose from three different categories of blackberries to grow in Texas: Thorny varieties are generally more productive than the thornless varieties. Most of the varieties with thorns were developed in Texas. ‘Brazos’ is an old, reliable and tough variety, developed at Texas A&M in [...]

By |2019-06-19T10:58:16-06:00June 19th, 2019|Uncategorized|

Blackberry Pruning

One of the most common questions I am asked is “How do I prune my blackberries?” That is a very relevant question, however, it is usually asked at the WRONG time of the year! So I have decided to take the “mystery” out of pruning blackberries! There are a few simple facts you will need to know before pruning your blackberries. Blackberries are unique in that they have perennial roots and biennial tops. The tops (canes) live for two years, then die! Blackberries have two kinds of canes:     [...]

By |2019-06-19T10:50:56-06:00June 19th, 2019|Fruit & Nuts|

Leafhopper

Every year about this time, customers start bringing in photos of this strange white, fluffy substance on the stems of their shrubs and perennials. I myself have it on the stems of my Rose of Sharon. What on earth can it be? Well, it is not a fungus, as some have suggested. It looks fuzzy, so could it be a mealy bug? Nope. It is an evasive little insect called a leafhopper. I say evasive because if you’ve ever seen one on a stem, as soon as you get close [...]

By |2019-06-12T15:41:57-06:00June 12th, 2019|Insects|

Leaf Footed Bugs on Tomatoes

If leaf-footed bugs invade your garden, learn what the eggs and nymphs (babies) look like. They can be picked off and put in a can of soapy water or sprayed with a spinosad/soap solution. Once they mature, the best way to rid your tomatoes of them is to purchase a cordless handvac (there are ones your rechargeable drill batteries will fit on). Then, go out at night with a flashlight and vacuum them up! Dump them in a bucket of soapy water before they fly away. These are the insects [...]

By |2019-05-30T09:25:02-06:00May 30th, 2019|Insects|