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|

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 |2021-11-22T08:55:30-06:00June 29th, 2021|Disease, Vegetable Gardening|

Bacterial Leaf Spot on Peppers

Bacterial Leaf Spot on Peppers This devastating disease can infect peppers and tomatoes. Prevention is the key, as once the disease has taken hold treatment is not effective. Bacterial leaf spot causes lesions that look like they are soaked with water. The spots usually appear on the lower leaves first, and as the disease progresses the spots are purple brown with a light brown center. When the spots appear on the peppers, they cause spotting and raised cracks, which open the fruit up to infection by other disease organisms. There [...]

By |2021-05-12T14:59:23-05:00May 12th, 2021|Disease, Vegetable Gardening|

Tomato Leaf Curl

Tomato Leaf Curl Most gardeners have experienced leaf curl on tomatoes at one time or another. It is important to understand the cause so that you can make the decision on whether it is necessary to remove the plant from the garden or not. Some causes are environmental and may be attributed to physiological conditions. When this is the case, removal of the plant is unnecessary. Leaf Roll, aka Physiological Leaf Curl, is often seen during excessively moist, cool conditions. The leaf rolls “upward” and becomes leathery in texture. Curling [...]

By |2021-05-12T14:59:47-05:00May 12th, 2021|Disease, Vegetable Gardening|

Pepper Leaf Spot

Pepper Leaf Spot I know that I am not the only one who has had this disease on their peppers. It appears in the late spring to summer when we have had frequent rainfall. Of course, if you are overhead watering, you would see it as well. Bacterial leaf spot on peppers can be a devastating disease if not caught and treated early. This is why I always preach that your garden needs to be in sight of your house so that you can check it often. This disease is [...]

By |2021-05-12T15:01:13-05:00May 5th, 2021|Disease, Vegetable Gardening|

Sick Tree Care

SICK TREE CARE The vast majority of diagnostic questions I receive each year are related to trees with health issues. Many of these issues could be avoided by proper (and consistent) care of the tree from the day it is planted. Sometimes things do go wrong, and knowing what to do can be instrumental in reviving the health of a tree. Trees have the amazing ability to “compartmentalize” diseased and damaged tissue, and to produce healthy tissue around it. If a tree has been stressed by environmental issues such as [...]

By |2021-06-10T11:06:15-05:00January 6th, 2021|Disease, Insects, 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|

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|

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 |2020-07-22T16:53:34-05:00April 22nd, 2020|Disease, Fruit & Nuts, Trees|

Growing Periwinkle in Central Texas

Anyone who has planted Periwinkle, or Annual Vinca, in the spring in Central Texas will tell you “that plant always dies when I plant it”. Well, there is a reason for that! Periwinkle, especially in the “old” days, before resistant varieties were available, was never grown until the cool wet weather of spring was behind us. It absolutely thrives in the scorching hot summers, but give it rain and cool weather, and disease takes over!                 Phytophthora fungus is the causal organism for [...]

By |2021-06-02T16:10:29-05:00April 4th, 2020|Disease, Plants|
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