King Ranch Bluestem

Yes, it is that time of year again. The King Ranch Bluestem, aka “KR Bluestem”, is sending up the tall telltale seed heads to let us know it is there. You see, it has been there all along. It is a perennial grass that was introduced from Europe and Asia in the 1920s and 1930s as a “desirable” species for erosion control and forage for cattle. (Another good idea gone awry.) As you can guess, it is no longer “desirable”. KR Bluestem is now on the Texas Invasive Species list, [...]

By |2022-09-10T14:17:43-05:00September 10th, 2022|Lawn Care|

Captain Jack’s Deadweed Brew and Lawnweed Brew

Here are the Great New Weed Control Products. As always, read the entire label before using. Deadweed Brew:   Use this non-selective post-emergent herbicide to kill weeds, grass, mosses and algae in gardens, gravel and other areas where an approved organic product is needed. Remember, it kills everything that it is applied to, so proper application is necessary. The active ingredient is product made from caprylic acid ad capric acid derived from palm oil. NON-SELECTIVE WEED CONTROL - For use on non-selective herbaceous broadleaf and grassy weeds. Read the label for [...]

By |2022-09-07T10:16:18-05:00September 7th, 2022|Lawn Care|

Sticker Bur Control

                We get many questions throughout the year regarding control of stickers in the home lawn. First, determine what type of  stickers you are dealing with- Bur Clover, Field Sandbur, Lawn Burweed, Khaki Weed or the very painful Goat Head. Control for each type of sticker bur relates to the time of the year that the seed germinates and whether it is an annual or a perennial weed.  Bur Clover (Medicago sp.) is an annual weed that has a similar appearance to the white clover plant. The plant has round [...]

By |2022-08-14T10:37:18-05:00April 5th, 2022|Lawn Care|

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 be effective. The [...]

By |2022-01-15T12:06:02-06:00September 4th, 2021|Lawn Care|

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 will cleaning mower blades with alcohol before [...]

By |2022-01-15T12:08:01-06:00July 21st, 2021|Disease, Lawn Care|

Imported Fire Ant Control

Face it, we have all had run-ins with Fire Ant mounds and the painful blisters that form after they bite. Children, pets, and wildlife are especially vulnerable, as they are often unaware of the mounds until the ants begin biting. There are several options for controlling (but unfortunately not eradicating) Imported Fire Ants: The Two Step Method: Step One involves broadcasting a fire ant bait over the entire area once or twice a year. This has the potential for reducing the colonies by 80-90%. Apply baits in the evening when [...]

By |2022-01-15T12:27:23-06:00May 19th, 2021|Vegetable Gardening, Insects, Lawn Care|

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 [...]

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|Lawn Care, Vegetable Gardening, Fruit & Nuts|

Dog Vomit Slime Mold

What a name for such a harmless creature!  I say creature because a slime mold is neither a plant nor an animal. It is more closely related to the amoeba and certain seaweeds than fungi. This disgusting looking slime mold is often found feeding on the fungus and bacteria that are involved in the decomposition of organic matter, usually on bark mulch or even dead tree roots near the surface of the soil. They are actually helping return nitrogen to the soil, so if you can stand to leave them [...]

By |2020-07-22T16:19:43-05:00September 2nd, 2019|Lawn Care|

J – October Gardening Checklist

Vegetables: October is prime planting for many cool-season vegetables. Plant Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, and Cauliflower from transplants. Swiss chard, Kale, Kohlrabi, Leeks, Spinach, Collards, Lettuce, Mustard Greens, Asian Greens and Spinach may be planted from seed or transplants. Beets, carrots radishes, and cool-season peas such as snap, English and snow peas should be planted directly from seed. Be sure to follow directions on thinning carrots, beets, radishes, lettuce and spinach in order to produce a harvestable crop! October is the best month to plant Garlic from cloves separated from [...]

By |2022-10-02T13:31:48-05:00October 3rd, 2018|Vegetable Gardening, Lawn Care, Monthly Gardening Checklist|

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 |2022-01-05T10:55:18-06:00July 23rd, 2018|Disease, Insects, Lawn Care|

Lawn Irrigation Made Simple

Lawn Irrigation Most of us cringe when asked how much and how often we should water our lawns. Well, cringe no more! There is a very simple way to determine how long to run our lawn irrigation, and a simpler way to determine how often to run it!  Better yet, once you determine the “magic number”, you will not have to do it again! (I know that most people pick a “magic number” out of the sky to determine how long your sprinkler will run.) No more guesswork! Each lawn [...]

By |2018-08-01T15:06:03-05:00July 23rd, 2018|Lawn Care|
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