Photinia Leaf Spot

My Photinia Leaf Has Spots? If you have Red Tip Photinia in your yard, you are most likely familiar with the red-purple photinia leaf spots that can appear on the leaves. This spotting is caused by a fungus, Entomosporium, and can cause damage to Photinia and Indian Hawthorn. Other plants in the rose family that may be infected include loquat, flowering quince, pyracantha and pear. We frequently see severe damage after periods of frequent rainfall, although overhead watering for lawns that hits the shrubs is also a factor. The disease starts [...]

By | 2017-06-07T07:50:13+00:00 April 25th, 2017|Plants|

Sweet Potatoes in Central Texas

Sweet Potatoes April is the time to plant Sweet Potatoes in Central Texas! Although they do prefer sandy soils, they are able to adapt to many different types of soil in your garden-just as long as it drains well. If you have clay soil or drainage problems, work in lots of compost and make raised beds or planting ridges 8”-12” high. You will want to plant your sweet potato slips as soon after purchasing as you can, preferably when the weather is warm and settled. Don’t worry if your slips [...]

By | 2017-06-07T07:43:42+00:00 April 20th, 2017|Vegetable Gardening|

Growing Roses in Central Texas

Growing Roses Knowing which class of rose you want to grow is an important decision. Shopping for roses can be confusing, and having a basic knowledge before you choose your rose can increase your chance of success. Roses with similar characteristics are grouped in to a number of different “classes”. Hybrid Tea roses are usually grafted (budded) on a vigorous rootstock, and bear large, many-petaled flowers that grow on a long stem. They can bloom continually throughout the growing season, and many are fragrant. These roses usually grow quite tall, [...]

By | 2017-06-07T07:37:58+00:00 April 19th, 2017|Plants|

Asparagus Planting Guide

Asparagus Planting Plant asparagus roots or crowns in late winter/early spring (January-February in Central Texas). Prepare beds with heavy amounts of compost and organic fertilizer. We recommend using a mycorrhizal root inoculant (MicroLife 6-2-4 contains both fertilizer and microorganisms) at the time of planting as this has been shown to greatly increase yields in asparagus. Be sure to plant in full sun (at least 8 hours) and make sure that the soil drains well. Because once asparagus gets started it becomes very well established and difficult to eradicate, you should [...]

By | 2017-06-07T07:32:30+00:00 April 19th, 2017|Vegetable Gardening|

Weed and Feed – Good or Bad?

Weed and Feed Why are Weed and Feed products not recommended in Central Texas? It’s simple, really. For spring application, we address both pre- and post-emergent weed problems early in the season, many times before the grass has re-emerged from winter dormancy. The grass will not require fertilizer until it has emerged in the spring and has been growing well enough to have been mowed at least two times. For fall application, we address the weed seeds early, by using pre-emergent in mid-September to October, BEFORE they have germinated. We [...]

By | 2017-06-05T09:38:05+00:00 April 4th, 2017|Lawn Care|

Tree Borers

Tree Borers Many tree boring insects are attracted to weakened, damaged, dying or dead plants. They are referred to as “secondary invaders” because they attack a plant only after it has been weakened by stress or injury. Wood boring insects that attack living, healthy trees are known as “primary invaders”, and may eventually kill trees. It is important to differentiate the two when implementing borer control methods. Borer infestations usually go unnoticed until the tree shows external signs of damage, such as browning leaves or dying branches. The holes on [...]

By | 2017-05-08T10:40:16+00:00 April 4th, 2017|Insects, Trees|

Redbuds: Harbingers of Spring!

Redbuds We’ve had a wonderfully mild winter so far, and with this mild weather come the early spring blooms! Redbuds are an excellent indicator of warmer days ahead. From the bean-like seed pods, we can tell that they are in the Legume (or bean) family. Their flowers come in a range of shades of deep rose, pink, purple and white, as well as a range of forms such as single trunk, multi-trunk and weeping. Although we often see the native Redbuds growing and blooming in full sun, they also do [...]

By | 2017-05-08T10:35:44+00:00 April 4th, 2017|Trees|

Growing Japanese Maples in Central Texas

Japanese Maples The Japanese Maples are absolutely glorious this spring! With dissected leaves in various shades of burgundy and red, they make a welcome contrast with the greens and grays in the landscape. Japanese Maples can be an attractive addition to almost any landscape. To assure trees that thrive, locate your Japanese maple where it will receive dappled sun under the canopy of trees, with no more than two to three hours of morning sun. Japanese Maples will tolerate low winter temperatures quite well, but suffer from moisture loss from [...]

By | 2017-07-27T07:40:56+00:00 April 4th, 2017|Trees|

Sick Trees Care and What To Do About It

Sick Trees The vast majority of diagnostic questions I receive each year are related to trees with health issues. Many of these issues could be avoided by proper (and consistent) care of the tree from the day it is planted. Sometimes things do go wrong, and knowing what to do can be instrumental in reviving the health of a tree. Trees have the amazing ability to “compartmentalize” diseased and damaged tissue, and to produce healthy tissue around it. If a tree has been stressed by environmental issues such as compaction [...]

By | 2017-05-08T10:29:22+00:00 April 4th, 2017|Trees|

Sticker Bur Control

Sticker Bur Control We get many questions throughout the year regarding control of stickers in the home lawn. Some of the stickers come from the Bur Clover plant, and others come from the Field Sandbur plant. Control for each type of sticker bur relates to the time of the year that the seed germinates. Bur Clover (Medicago sp.) is an annual weed that has a similar appearance to the white clover plant. The plant has round stems and three leaflets which are oval or egg-shape. The flowers of bur clover [...]

By | 2017-05-04T16:53:30+00:00 April 3rd, 2017|Lawn Care|

Organic Fertilizer

Now is the time to wake up the SOIL! As we watch our lawns begin to green up and grow enough to mow them, they will benefit from an application of an organic fertilizer to aid in their carbohydrate production. Since organic Nitrogen requires microorganisms to break it down before it is released to the soil, it will not burn root systems. Application rates are based on how many pounds of Nitrogen per 1000 sq.ft. is desired. The application rates given on the bags of organic fertilizer can be widely [...]

By | 2017-05-04T14:15:58+00:00 April 2nd, 2017|Lawn Care|

Spring Application of Pre-Emergent Herbicide

Remember the old adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”? That seems to have been written about the use of pre-emergent herbicides. Who wouldn’t prefer spreading a product on our lawns and beds that STOPS the weed BEFORE it comes up? A real no-brainer for me! Because weeds are classified as “warm-season or cool-season” according to the temperature at which they germinate, we can address a particular weed we may have by timing the application of pre-emergent appropriately. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it [...]

By | 2017-04-25T14:10:22+00:00 April 2nd, 2017|Lawn Care|