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 |2020-08-15T17:17:43-05:00August 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 |2020-07-28T10:43:56-05:00July 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 ofspringwas behindus. It absolutely thrives in the scorching hot summers, but give itrain and cool weather, and disease takes over! Phytopthora fungus is the causal organism for both Aerial blight and Root blight on Madagascar Periwinkles. As mentioned above, [...]

By |2020-04-07T09:53:31-05:00April 4th, 2020|Disease, Plants|

Pruning Practices for Oak Wilt Prevention

Those of you who have heard the adage “February through June DO NOT PRUNE” probably know that it is in reference to the spread of Oak Wilt in  relation to the timing of pruning of susceptible trees. With Oak Wilt appearing in so many locations in Central Texas, it is safer to complete pruning by February 1st, before the temperatures become milder and the Nitidulid Beetle begins to become active after the winter. This beetle is responsible for transmitting the Oak Wilt Fungus from fungal mats on Red Oaks to [...]

By |2019-12-31T11:01:54-06:00December 31st, 2019|Disease, Trees|

Citrus Troubleshooting: Common Problems

Nutrient deficiency: Iron deficiency is common in areas with calcareous soils and alkaline water. The iron may be present in the soil, but it is in a form that is unavailable to the plant when grown in alkaline conditions. Deficiency occurs on young leaves, and the veins remain green while the rest of the leaf is yellow. This condition can cause dieback of limbs and small fruit. Iron deficiency is also associated with excessively wet soils or prolonged wet conditions, as this depletes the root system and uptake of nutrients [...]

By |2019-12-09T09:38:17-06:00November 5th, 2019|Disease, Fruit & Nuts, Insects, Trees|

Rose Rosette Disease

Rose Rosette Disease was first identified in wild roses in the 1940’s in California, the Rocky Mountains, and Manitoba, Canada. In 1990 the disease appeared in East Texas, and by the mid-1990’s infected plants were located in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. In 2015, the Fort Worth Botanic garden replaced all their roses due to infection by the Rose Rosette virus. Rose Rosette Disease is a lethal disease of roses, and has been determined to be caused by a virus. It has no known treatment or cure. The disease is spread [...]

By |2020-08-16T15:52:35-05:00April 3rd, 2019|Disease|

Using Oil Products to Control Insects and Disease

We now have available to us a wide range of oil products to use as alternatives to synthetic insecticides and fungicides. These include oils distilled from petroleum and oils extracted from plants and animals. Petroleum oils (including mineral oils) are highly refined, paraffinic oils that are often referred to as horticultural spray, summer oil, spray oil or white mineral oil. We recommend Bonide “All Seasons Spray Oil” for late winter insect and disease control. (The antiquated term “dormant oil” referred to the heavier, less refined oils produced in the past [...]

By |2019-02-13T10:42:05-06:00February 13th, 2019|Disease, Insects|

Summer Lawn Issues

Many of you are concerned about your lawns right now, as large brown areas are starting to show up as the summer heats up. I would encourage all of you to do an irrigation audit first, to determine if it is water-related. Never “assume” that all is being watered equally.  Instructions for an easy, DIY irrigation audit can be found HERE. There are certain lawn issues that show up at specific times of the year, and there are specific times to treat them. For instance, we only see chinch bugs in [...]

By |2020-07-22T16:57:11-05:00July 23rd, 2018|Disease, Insects, Lawn Care|

Brown Patch on Lawns

Brown Patch is a fungus that shows up in our lawns in the spring and fall, when temperatures begin to cool. Because it needs cool, moist conditions, we do not see brown patch fungus in the summer. If you have had brown patch in your lawn in the past, it is probable that you will see it again once the conditions are right for its development. St. Augustine is most often infected, but Bermuda and Zoysia will become infected under the right conditions. Over-watered and over-fertilized lawns are more susceptible [...]

By |2020-07-22T16:36:38-05:00October 11th, 2017|Disease, Lawn Care|

Take-All Patch on Lawns

Most of the people I have talked to about their declining (dying) lawns this year have not heard about this rapidly spreading disease of lawns. Take-all root rot, or take-all patch, does just that. It is a fungus that kills ALL of the grass plant: roots, stolons (runners) and leaves. It is most common on St. Augustine, but has been observed on Bermuda and Zoysia as well. Symptoms of take-all patch usually appear as diseased patches of turf during late spring and early summer. The initial symptoms on St. Augustine [...]

By |2020-07-22T16:38:32-05:00July 18th, 2017|Disease, Lawn Care|

Photinia Leaf Spot

My Photinia Leaf Has Spots? If you have Red Tip Photinia in your yard, you are most likely familiar with the red-purple photinia leaf spots that can appear on the leaves. This spotting is caused by a fungus, Entomosporium, and can cause damage to Photinia and Indian Hawthorn. Other plants in the rose family that may be infected include loquat, flowering quince, pyracantha and pear. We frequently see severe damage after periods of frequent rainfall, although overhead watering for lawns that hits the shrubs is also a factor. The disease starts [...]

By |2020-07-22T16:41:06-05:00April 25th, 2017|Disease, Plants, Trees|
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