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 |2019-03-28T08:49:33-05:00March 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 |2019-01-17T10:16:45-05:00January 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|

Beneficial Nematodes

Beneficial nematodes are microscopic, whitish to transparent, unsegmented worms.  They are called “beneficial” because they seek out and parasitize harmful insects in the soil. There are thousands of kinds of beneficial nematodes, each with their particular feeding preferences. Remember, Nematodes actively search for insects, insect pupa and insect larvae in places that are consistently moist. There are more than 250 susceptible insect species of harmful insects that Beneficial nematodes will target, including white grubs, termites, Peach tree borers, fire ants, stink bugs, fleas, chinch bugs, field crickets and flea beetles. [...]

By |2019-03-20T12:18:15-05:00October 11th, 2017|Uncategorized|

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 |2017-07-17T08:22:54-05:00May 25th, 2017|Insects, Uncategorized|