Establishing Trees in the Landscape-AFTER the first year

Watering Trees After the First Year Hopefully you have followed our watering guidelines to establish your tree in the landscape for the FIRST YEAR . Now it is time to talk about how to encourage the root system to spread out and grow to its full potential in SUBSEQUENT YEARS. I have talked to many people who continue to water their trees, year after year, right up next to the trunk of the tree. Unfortunately, that is not where the majority of the roots SHOULD be, nor where you should [...]

By |2020-06-29T14:53:02-05:00June 29th, 2020|Uncategorized|

Fire Blight on Pear Trees

For the third year in a row, Bradford Pears have been blooming during a rain event! Why does that matter, you ask? Because a very bad guy, a bacterium called Erwinia amylovora, or Fire Blight, enters the plant through the flower via splashing water. The first symptom to appear, shortly after bloom, is a blossom blight. The flower will appear water-soaked, then turn black. The most obvious symptom of this disease is the shoot blight phase, in which the tip of the shoot turns brown or black and bend over [...]

By |2020-04-22T11:07:12-05:00April 22nd, 2020|Uncategorized|

African Violet Care

African violets do best in bright, indirect light.  A North window or a shaded East window is usually best.  The correct lighting can be the difference between success and failure with African violets. Fluorescent lights are also good, as long as the violets are not too far from them. If they are too close, you will see stunting of new foliage. If they are too far, the leaves will grow “up”. Use an adjustable lighting system so that you can control the distance from the plants. Putting the light on [...]

By |2020-03-03T12:06:19-06:00March 3rd, 2020|Uncategorized|

Brick House Rose

Rosa ‘Meitraligh’, aka Brick House™ Rose, is the new “rose kid” on the block this year. BrickHouse™ sports dark red flowers on a Floribunda rose that only reaches 3’ to 3 ½’ tall. The smaller size will be a welcome plant to put in those beds that are only 3’-4’ wide. The Brick House™ has excellent disease resistance for its type and a slight fragrance. You can expect repeat blooms on this well-behaved shrub rose, and the dark red color contrasts nicely with both limestone and sandstone. This is one [...]

By |2020-03-03T09:43:39-06:00March 3rd, 2020|Plants, Uncategorized|

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 |2019-09-02T14:35:39-05:00September 2nd, 2019|Uncategorized|

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 |2019-06-27T09:14:27-05:00June 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 |2019-06-19T10:58:16-05:00June 19th, 2019|Uncategorized|

Citrus Harvesting: Is It Ripe Yet?

Knowing when to harvest any citrus fruit involves the question of the degree of maturity. Because citrus pass from immature to mature to over- mature slowly while on the tree, the fruit can be harvested over a period of months with small changes in fruit quality. Fruit color is a poor indicator of ripeness. Many fruits have fully colored rinds a long time before they are “ripe”, and others are green when sugars are high enough to make the fruit sweet. Citrus does not increase in sweetness or ripen more [...]

By |2019-11-05T20:31:55-06:00March 28th, 2019|Uncategorized|

Growing Blueberries in Central TX

Rabbiteye blueberries can be grown successfully in whiskey barrel sized pots in Central Texas. Because they require acid soils, use a quality potting soil mixed with 1/3 sphagnum peat moss. The pot should drain well, and no saucer should be placed under the pot to ensure thorough drainage. Blueberries require full sun to produce well. Use a fertilizer formulated for acid-loving plants, such as an Azalea/Camellia/Gardenia fertilizer. Do not apply any fertilizer the first year. Starting the second year, fertilizer in late winter to early spring. DO NOT use a [...]

By |2019-01-17T10:16:45-06:00January 17th, 2019|Uncategorized|

November Gardening Check List

Trees and Shrubs: The best planting season for trees and shrubs is now through mid-March. Root systems will establish well in the winter months, requiring less frequent watering than in the spring and summer establishment period. When the heat hits in late spring, your plants will benefit from the head start on root establishment! Mulch: Trees and shrubs will benefit from an additional layer of mulch to protect their roots in the winter and to conserve moisture. Pull the mulch away from trunks and stems, as the mulch will block gas [...]

By |2018-10-31T16:57:16-05:00October 29th, 2018|Uncategorized|

Blossom-End Rot

If you have ever had the “blossom end” of a tomato turn black, you have experienced “blossom end rot”. Caused by cultural conditions, and NOT disease, this malady can affect tomatoes, peppers, squash, watermelon and eggplant. Researchers agree that it is caused by a calcium deficiency in the blossom end of the fruit (yes, these are technically fruits, as they are actually formed from the ovary of a flower!) Now, why there is a deficiency is the real question, as Central Texas soils and water supplies are seldom deficient in [...]

By |2019-05-08T11:24:56-05:00June 13th, 2018|Uncategorized|