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|

How to Choose a Crape Myrtle

It may seem kind of silly to write about “Choosing a Crape Myrtle”. Don’t you just decide what color you like and buy that one? Well, maybe. But there are other factors to consider as well. We now have a plethora of varieties to choose from, some with dark colored leaves, different colors of exfoliating bark, brilliant fall colors from red to orange, and a myriad of flower colors.  While all of these are important, remember to first identify the mature height of Crape Myrtle that would be appropriate for the [...]

By | 2017-06-21T14:51:21+00:00 June 21st, 2017|Trees|

June Gardening Checklist

Annuals and Perennials: Some of the best heat-loving annuals are ready to be planted now! Vinca, Angelonia, Penta, Sweet Potato Vine, Coleus, Wax Begonias, Purslane and Portulaca will easily make it through our hot summer with attentive watering and monthly fertilization. Even Geraniums, when moved to dappled shade or part sun will produce abundant blooms all summer if dead-headed and fertilized monthly. Perennials should be establishing well if planted in the spring. If planting now, continue hand-watering daily for at least a few weeks. Watering deeply once or twice a [...]

By | 2017-06-07T12:42:32+00:00 June 7th, 2017|Lawn Care, Vegetable Gardening|

Crape Myrtle Aphids

It’s funny, we don’t always get the question “How do I control aphids on my Crape Myrtles?” More often, we are asked, “Why are my Crape Myrtle leaves black?” or, “What is dripping on my car from the Crape Myrtle trees?”  Both of these questions refer to an infestation of an insect called a Crape Myrtle aphid. Yes, they actually are named after the tree. That, in itself, tells us something. It is one of the most common pests of Crape Myrtles in the United States. Apparently it was introduce [...]

By | 2017-05-30T14:36:26+00:00 May 30th, 2017|Insects|

Insects in the Vegetable Garden

Do You Have Insects in the Vegetable Garden? As the temperatures warm, insects become more of problem in the home garden. We are seeing stink bugs hatching from their eggs, spider mites sucking sap from plant cells, and caterpillars munching on our crops! Stink bugs are most easily controlled when they have just hatched and are in the “nymph” stage. Actually, they are most easily controlled when they are eggs, and you can simply pick them off the leaf and place in a can of soapy water! The eggs are [...]

By | 2017-07-17T08:22:54+00:00 May 25th, 2017|Insects, Uncategorized|