Fruit Trees in Central Texas

Fruit Trees in Central Texas It’s fruit tree planting time again. Such a rewarding experience! There is one caveat, however. Fruit trees may be grown in Central Texas as long as their basic conditions are met. Sun is required for fruit trees to grow and produce fruit. Be sure to locate your trees where they will receive at least 8 hours of direct sun each day. Water is required for fruit trees to thrive and produce fruit. Once a tree is established, soaker hoses supply water to the tree roots [...]

By |2023-01-25T08:28:23-06:00January 24th, 2023|Fruit & Nuts|

Sweet Potato Varieties

    Beauregard: (90-100 days) An outstanding release that is widely grown for sweetness and high yields with uniform tubers. Resistant to soil rot and white grubs as well as cracking.     Photo courtesy of Steele Plant Farm     Georgia Jet: (90-100 days) Extremely fast growth followed by nice sized potatoes in just 90 days. Sweet orange flesh and sugary aroma make this top for baking. Can be grown in a 20 gallon grow tub.     Photo courtesy of Steele Plant Farm   Vardaman: (100 days) Bush [...]

By |2022-04-18T10:45:27-05:00April 18th, 2022|Vegetable Gardening, Fruit & Nuts|

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 |2022-01-15T12:07:30-06:00July 21st, 2021|Vegetable Gardening, Disease, Fruit & Nuts, Plants|

Gummosis in 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 of weed and feed [...]

By |2022-01-15T12:09:08-06:00July 7th, 2021|Disease, Fruit & Nuts, Insects, Plants, Trees|

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 [...]

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|

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|

Beneficial Nematodes

Beneficial nematodes are microscopic, whitish to transparent, unsegmented worms. There are thousands of kinds of nematodes, each with their particular feeding preferences. Nematodes actively search for insects, insect pupa and insect larvae in places that are consistently moist. There are more than 250 susceptible insect species, including white grubs, termites, Peach tree borers, fire ants, stink bugs, fleas, chinch bugs, field crickets and flea beetles. What does this mean to you? Nematodes can be used instead of chemicals to control lawn and garden pests. Backbone Valley Nursery sells and recommends [...]

By |2020-02-24T14:15:36-06:00February 1st, 2020|Vegetable Gardening, Fruit & Nuts, Lawn Care|

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|

Growing Blackberries in Central Texas

Most Blackberries are biennials that produce their fruit the second year after planting. Some new introductions from the University of Arkansas called "Prime-Ark" Blackberries have the ability to produce on both the current year's canes and the previous year's canes. Blackberries do well in sandy soils, and can be grown in soils that are at least one foot 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 [...]

By |2023-01-24T15:56:43-06:00June 19th, 2019|Fruit & Nuts|

Blackberry Pruning

One of the most common questions I am asked is “How do I prune my blackberries?” That is a very relevant question, however, it is usually asked at the WRONG time of the year! So I have decided to take the “mystery” out of pruning blackberries! There are a few simple facts you will need to know before pruning your blackberries. Blackberries are unique in that they have perennial roots and biennial tops. The tops (canes) live for two years, then die! Blackberries have two kinds of canes:     [...]

By |2023-01-24T16:05:34-06:00June 19th, 2019|Fruit & Nuts|
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