About Mary Kay Pope

Mary Kay is an asset to Backbone and a wealth of knowledge! Many customers come in and ask for her by name for all their plant questions. It's no wonder why, as Mary Kay has 47 years of experience in the horticulture field. She holds a B.S. in Horticulture from Ohio State University, a TMCNP and a TCLP from Texas Association of Nurserymen, a Specialist in Urban Trees Certification from Texas A&M, and is a Certified Arborist.

Grow Spinach from Seed in the Garden

Growing Spinach from Seed             What are the secrets for growing spinach from seed successfully? Because many people have difficulty getting the seeds to germinate, I thought I would give a few helpful hints on getting the seed started, and helping the plants grow well once they are up. -Prepare soil with liberal amounts of organic matter. Incorporate fertilizer such as Happy Frog Tomato and Vegetable Fertilizer or Happy Frog Marine Cuisine prior to planting. -If your soil is heavy or tends to hold moisture for prolonged periods, plant in [...]

By |2020-12-02T08:28:55-06:00September 26th, 2020|Vegetable Gardening|

Mangave

Is it an Agave or Manfreda? It’s both! A cross between an Agave daddy and a Manfreda mama produces a new hybrid called x Mangave. (The “x” tells you that it is a cross between different genera.) Thankfully, it is polycarpic like its mama, not monocarpic like the Agave, so it does not die after blooming. That is a good thing, because it produces bizarre flowers that hummingbirds absolutely love! It has inherited an aversion to winter moisture from both parents, so well- drained soil or container growing is a [...]

By |2020-12-02T08:28:55-06:00September 23rd, 2020|Plants, Succulents and Cacti|

Why Did My Plant Die?

One of the most common questions we get at the nursery is about plants dying. Each situation is unique, as the conditions each plant is grown in is unique. But what happens when you plant several plants and only one or two dies? To be more specific, “Why did one plant die and all the others that I planted at the same time and treated the same way are fine?” I hope to be able to guide you through the diagnostic process and give you some things to think about [...]

By |2020-12-02T08:28:56-06:00August 18th, 2020|Fruit & Nuts, Plants, Trees|

Soil Solarization

There are few things that we can do in the garden when it is 105°F outside, but there is ONE thing that we can do BEST when it is this hot. Soil solarization is a method that is used to kill weeds seeds, insects and disease that are in the soil prior to planting. The goal is to heat the top six inches of the soil to a temperature between 110° and 125°F for four to six weeks. These high temperatures are enough to kill most annual and perennial weed [...]

By |2020-12-02T08:28:56-06:00August 15th, 2020|Disease, Insects, Vegetable Gardening|

Tree Planting Instructions

Tree Planting Instructions   Pick a species of tree that will do the best in your soil type and zone. Be sure to buy a locally grown tree as they will adapt best to the soil and water types of your area. Be sure to choose a quality container grown tree species that does not have girdling roots. Keep in mind how big your tree will grow! Pick the correct spot to plant your tree. Choose a spot away from power lines and clear of buildings. Stay away from septic [...]

By |2020-12-02T08:28:56-06:00August 5th, 2020|Trees|

Summer Stress is Preventable

Summer Stress Let’s face it. Central Texas has HOT summers. There is no denying it. It is stressful for us, and it is stressful for our plants. If you have planted a shrub or a tree in the last two years, and you begin to see yellow or brown leaves in the summer, it is time to evaluate your watering program. Immediately. There are a few things to be aware of that happen in Central Texas summers that will help you make decisions on managing water in your landscape. FIRST: [...]

By |2020-12-02T08:28:56-06:00August 2nd, 2020|Plants, Trees|

Bacterial Wetwood and Alcoholic Flux

Bacterial Wetwood and Alcoholic Flux Many times, the first time you see a tree “leaking” will be when insects such as Green June Beetles or Hackberry Butterflies are attracted to the fluid seeping out of the trunk and draw your attention to it. Bacterial Wetwood, also known as Slime Flux, is a bacterial disease that can affect a variety of tree species, such as oak, elm, mesquite, maples, and others. Bacterial Wetwood occurs when bacteria infect the wood of a tree, usually through a wound in the trunk, limb, or [...]

By |2020-12-02T08:28:56-06:00July 28th, 2020|Disease, Trees|

Sapsucker Damage to Trees

Once again, the Yellow bellied Sapsuckers are causing major damage to some of our established shade trees. The Sapsucker feeds on sap obtained by drilling shallow holes in a ring around a tree. Many times the trees they target are under some kind of stress already. When a tree is under stress, the sugars concentrate to provide nutrients to help fight wounds and repair injuries. Sapsuckers can apparently detect that change and target those trees. Sapsuckers overwinter in Central America and Southern North America, and summer in Canada and the [...]

By |2020-12-02T08:28:57-06:00July 22nd, 2020|Trees|
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