After the Freeze 2021

Freeze Damage to Plants I am sure everyone is anxious to know what damage the extreme cold temperatures have done to our landscapes. Unfortunately, it is too early to tell in most cases. You will hear me repeat this, I am certain, but “time will tell”. I know it is difficult to have patience, but because there are so many factors that can influence how a plant might be affected, that is exactly what we will have to do. Try to get used to the “ugly landscape”, as we really [...]

Redbuds Rule!

Redbuds Rule! The selection of Redbuds has grown considerably in recent years, with selections being made of trees that weep, have distinctive colors of new growth or smaller growing habits. There are many varieties to choose for use in different applications in the landscape, whether it be a smaller growing variety for a courtyard or a burgundy-leaved accent in the yard. They all have beautiful pinkish to purple flowers lining the branches before they leaf out in the spring, and most have a yellow fall color. New forms and leaf [...]

By |2021-09-15T06:53:57-05:00September 15th, 2021|Trees, Uncategorized|

Khaki Weed Control

Khaki Weed Control Khaki Weed (Alternanthera caracasana) is a perennial weed from tropical America that has invaded the southern U.S. at an alarming rate. Because it has a tremendous tap root, it is difficult to control in its mature stage. Repeated sprays and use of surfactant is necessary. Surfactants (spreader-stickers) break down the surface tension on the leaf and allows the herbicide to penetrate better and be more effective. The best control is to not let the plant go to seed. If it does go to seed, pre-emergent control can [...]

By |2021-09-04T13:58:31-05:00September 4th, 2021|Lawn Care|

Rose of Sharon

Rose of Sharon (aka Althea) Hibiscus syriacus Native to China and India, Rose of Sharon was introduced to the gardens of Europe in the 16th century. The specific epithet “syriacus”, refers to it having been collected from gardens in Syria. It is propagated by seed and cuttings, and many new cultivars have shown up in recent years. Many of these cultivars produce little to no seed. Rose of Sharon is a deciduous, multi-trunk woody shrub to small tree that is cold hardy to Zone 5b (-15°F). It tolerates heat, poor [...]

By |2021-08-21T13:44:43-05:00August 21st, 2021|Plants, Trees|

Vegetable Planting Guide for Central Texas

We all know that Central Texas can be a challenge to grow a vegetable garden in. Fortunately, we have the opportunity to plant in both the spring and fall, so if the weather goes awry in the spring, we can try again in the fall. Texas A&M AgriLife Extension agents have put together a wonderful planting guide for vegetable gardening in our area. Pay careful attention to the "seed" or "transplant" recommendations. If the guide says "transplant" and you plan on starting your own from seed you will need to [...]

By |2021-08-18T11:53:38-05:00August 18th, 2021|Vegetable Gardening|

Crape Myrtle Bark Scale

Crape Myrtle Bark Scale When a customer calls or comes in with black sooty mold on their Crape Myrtle leaves, the first thing we look for is aphids. The second thing we look for is Crape Myrtle Bark Scale. Although this introduced species from China, Japan and Korea is not as common as aphids on Crape Myrtles, we are seeing it more and more frequently in recent years. Like aphids, this scale insect has sucking mouthparts which suck the juices from the plant cells. Since they cannot utilize the “sugars” [...]

By |2021-08-10T15:49:01-05:00August 10th, 2021|Insects, Trees|

Root Knot Nematodes

Root Knot Nematodes Root Knot Nematodes (Meloidogyne spp.) are parasitic microscopic worm-like animals that infest plant roots and interfere with the uptake of water and nutrients. Infected plants will appear stunted, they may wilt on hot days even though soil is moist, they may have chlorotic or light green leaves and usually have reduced yields.       The roots will have "knots" on them where the nematode has entered the plant, and the "knots" do not come off easily, as can be seen on this nematode infested potato.   [...]

By |2021-07-21T16:27:53-05:00July 21st, 2021|Disease, Fruit & Nuts, Plants, Vegetable Gardening|

Gray Leaf Spot on St. Augustine Lawns

Gray Leaf Spot on St. Augustine Lawns Gray Leaf Spot (Piricularia grisea) usually shows up on St. Augustine Lawns during late spring to early summer, especially if there is abundant moisture available. Spring rains and nighttime watering schedules contribute to disease incidence. Many times cultural practices contribute to the lawn’s susceptibility to disease. Avoid high nitrogen fertilizers, weed and feed fertilizers and frequent, shallow watering. Do not water in the late evening or overnight. Catching the clippings while the disease is active will slow the spread of the disease, as [...]

By |2021-07-21T13:33:14-05:00July 21st, 2021|Disease, Lawn Care|

Borers in Shade Trees

Borers in Shade Trees One of the most frequent questions we get at the nursery is about borer holes in tree trunks. Unfortunately, almost everyone wants to know how to “treat” for the borers, not realizing that the presence of borers is just an indication of a larger problem. Wood boring insects include the larvae of various beetles, moths and even a wood boring wasp. Most of these insects lay their eggs on the bark and the hatching larva chew their way into the plant to feed. Most wood boring [...]

By |2021-07-07T15:08:58-05:00July 7th, 2021|Insects, Trees|

Gummosis in Fruit Trees

Gummosis of Fruit Trees Gummosis is a term that refers to the presence of  amber-colored sap oozing from the trunk or branches of a tree. It is important to understand that the term “gummosis” is a symptom, not a cause of a tree ailment. Anything that stresses the tree can be a causal factor. It is necessary to determine the cause of the stress in order to mitigate future damage to the tree. Gummosis has a variety of causes: Environmental stress: Compacted soils, poorly drained soils, light sandy soils, use [...]

By |2021-07-07T10:33:34-05:00July 7th, 2021|Disease, Fruit & Nuts, Insects, Plants, Trees|

Early Blight of Tomato

Early Blight of Tomato Early Blight is a common fungal disease of tomatoes caused by the fungal organism Alternaria solani. As with most disease, stressed plants or plants in poor health are more susceptible. This disease can also affect potatoes. The Early Blight fungus generally starts at the bottom of the plant, affecting leaves, stems, and fruits. Dark spots with concentric rings develop on the leaves, and if the fruit is affected spots begin at the stem end, forming a dark sunken area with concentric rings. The fungus often overwinters [...]

By |2021-06-29T15:38:17-05:00June 29th, 2021|Uncategorized|

Watering Guidelines for New Plants

Watering Guidelines for Newly Planted Trees, Shrubs and Perennials First of all, I’d like you to know that this is a difficult subject to write about. There is no “one size fits all” for watering newly planted trees, shrubs and perennials. Soils are different, climatic conditions are variable, and plants are different in their water needs and rate at which they establish. That being said, I will attempt to give you some “guidelines”.  I am sure that you will need to adjust them to your own set of conditions. Trees [...]

By |2021-06-23T15:11:21-05:00June 23rd, 2021|Plants, Trees|

Fungus Gnats in Houseplants

Fungus Gnats in Houseplants Almost all of us have wondered about those little black gnats that seem to come with our houseplants. What are they and how can we get rid of them? Fungus gnats are interesting little insects. The adults, which are what you see flying around and being a nuisance, have not been found to do much of anything but lay eggs in soil. They do not feed on the plants and do not bite, and they only live for about eight days.           [...]

By |2021-06-22T15:07:28-05:00June 22nd, 2021|Uncategorized|
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