Texas Ranger

August is the perfect time to look around your neighborhood and see what is thriving in this oppressive Central Texas heat. If you have been thinking about planting in a new area, adding screening or simply rejuvenating an existing landscape, observing what does well at the hottest time of the year should give you some great ideas of what will thrive in years to come. Texas Ranger, also known as Texas Sage, Cenizo, or Barometer Bush, has been giving us a particularly good show the past week. Abundant flowers appear [...]

By | 2017-08-15T15:53:25+00:00 August 15th, 2017|Plants|

Preparing for a Fall Garden

It is so easy to get excited about planting a fall garden. The garden is looking bare from pulling out the old, tired plants from spring, and the thought of fresh broccoli and lettuce is making me hungry! So, let’s get started! Whether you have an existing garden or are establishing a new one, the preparation is basically the same. First, determine if your soil is clay-like, sandy or gravelly. Each type of soil requires a different type of amendment strategy, as well as a different fertilization program. Clay Soil as [...]

By | 2017-08-17T12:30:15+00:00 August 15th, 2017|Vegetable Gardening|

Planting for Butterflies

Working in a nursery certainly has its advantages. When the butterflies are out in force, it is a show-stopping display! Most of you know that butterflies have less specific “nectar” plants for the adult butterflies and more specific “food” plants for the caterpillars. It is interesting that the adults will often scope out where to lay their eggs while they are feeding on nectar. For this reason, it is helpful to have some of the “food” plants nearby when planting your nectar garden. An example of a “food” plant for [...]

By | 2017-08-09T11:56:04+00:00 August 9th, 2017|Insects|

August Gardening Checklist

Annuals and Perennials: There is still time to plant heat-loving annuals in those bare spots in the landscape. Many of the heat-lovers, such as Vinca, Angelonia and Penta will thrive all the way until frost. Geraniums in pots may be trimmed and fertilized for a fall display of blooms. Some perennials are looking stressed, especially Lantana, which might have Lantana Lacebugs. Now is a good time to cut them back and fertilize them for a spectacular bloom throughout the fall. Don’t wait, as August is the best time to do [...]

By | 2017-08-01T15:00:03+00:00 August 1st, 2017|Lawn Care|

Lacebug Damage on Lantanas

Watch for Lacebug damage on Lantanas! The leaves will appear “bleached-out”, and there will be black specks on the back of the leaves. Damage usually appears in July and August. Cut these plants back pretty hard and then fertilize them. When new growth appears, protect the new foliage by spraying with a product labeled for lacebugs. Come consult our knowledgeable nursery staff for recommendations on appropriate fertilizers and insecticides. Spots on the back of Lantana leaves caused by lacebugs. Lacebugs on the back of lantana leaves. [...]

By | 2017-08-01T14:06:08+00:00 August 1st, 2017|Insects|

Growing Citrus in Central Texas

There is nothing better than the smell of citrus blossoms in late winter and early spring.  The popularity of citrus has increased as many homeowners are creating urban backyard orchards in Central Texas. Commercial citrus operations are typically found in the Lower Rio Grande Valley where the threat of hard freezes is lessened. In fact, Texas is ranked 3rd in US citrus production.  You can have citrus in our area as long as you choose the right variety, put it in the right place, and pay a little attention to [...]

By | 2017-07-27T11:44:59+00:00 July 27th, 2017|Fruit & Nuts|

Take-All Patch on Lawns

Most of the people I have talked to about their declining (dying) lawns this year have not heard about this rapidly spreading disease of lawns. Take-all root rot, or take-all patch, does just that. It is a fungus that kills ALL of the grass plant: roots, stolons (runners) and leaves. It is most common on St. Augustine, but has been observed on Bermuda and Zoysia as well. Symptoms of take-all patch usually appear as diseased patches of turf during late spring and early summer. The initial symptoms on St. Augustine [...]

By | 2017-07-27T07:43:52+00:00 July 18th, 2017|Lawn Care|

Avocado Growing in Central Texas

If you love avocados, try giving these “hardy” avocados a try! They may take a little extra work to grow in Texas, but the rewards are worth it! ‘Joey’ has a small, egg-shaped fruit, with a dark purple skin and flavorful, nutty flesh. It ripens from August to October, and is cold hardy to 15 degrees F (for a short period of time). (Zone 8b) It is a “Type B” pollinator. ‘Lila’ has a medium sized green fruit, a rich nutty flavor and ripens from July to September. It is [...]

By | 2017-07-27T07:43:21+00:00 July 18th, 2017|Fruit & Nuts|

Don’t Overlook Ornamental Grasses

A balanced landscape requires many elements, and ornamental grasses are a great choice to fill the need for a structural variation in foliage. While everyone loves the plants that give us color, we also need to “break up” the landscape to avoid monotony, and give texture to our plantings. We have a wonderful selection of native ornamental grasses available to us, and not only do they fill a design void, but they are often quite heat and drought tolerant as well. Wait until late February to cut these grasses back, [...]

By | 2017-07-12T13:27:36+00:00 July 12th, 2017|Plants|

July Checklist

Vegetables:  Vegetable planting is still going on-just be sure to water new seedlings well and often! Don’t let them dry out while they are germinating and getting their “true” leaves, as moisture is critical at this stage. Fall vegetable gardening in many ways can be better than a spring garden in Central Texas. Believe it or not, we plant tomato plants for “fall” tomatoes in July!  We suggest choosing either a “determinate” type tomato (see info sheet), or a variety that has 60-70 “days to harvest”. I have also grown [...]

By | 2017-07-06T14:16:05+00:00 July 6th, 2017|Plants, Vegetable Gardening|

Tomato Variety Sheet

TOMATO VARIETY CHEAT SHEET Variety Days to Maturity Determinate/Indeterminate Fruit Type Notes Beefmaster 70 Determinate Large, 18-32oz VFN Beefsteak 96 Indeterminate Large, 16-32oz Better Boy 78 Indeterminate Large, 16oz VFN Better Bush 72 Determinate Medium, 8oz BHN 444 75 Determinate Large , 10oz Indeterminate Large, 16-20oz Big Boy 78 Indeterminate Large, 16-20oz Big Beef 73 Indeterminate Large, 12-16oz VFNT Black Krim* 65-90 Indeterminate Large, 10-12oz Red/Black, Very Sweet Brandywine* 88 Indeterminate Large, 12oz Bush Celebrity 67 Determinate Medium, 8oz Bush Early Girl 63 Determinate Medium, 6oz Caspian Pink* 80 Indeterminate [...]

By | 2017-07-06T14:04:44+00:00 July 6th, 2017|Vegetable Gardening|

My Crape Myrtles Aren’t Blooming!

Every year I get several inquiries about why someone’s Crape Myrtle is not blooming. There are several conditions that might affect a Crape Myrtle’s bloom period. Read the causes below to help figure out why yours aren't blooming. -Different varieties begin blooming at different times. Natchez (white blooms) is usually one of the first to begin blooming. Some varieties may not begin blooming until late June. - Crape Myrtles require at least 8 hours of direct sun to bloom. If your crape Myrtle receives too much shade, it will not [...]

By | 2017-06-28T13:04:47+00:00 June 28th, 2017|Trees|