Category Archives: Uncategorized
It won’t be long before spring is here, pushing dormant leaf and flower buds into action. Some important orchard chores need to be accomplished before these sleeping buds begin to swell. This includes treating peach trees for scale with a dormant oil spray and the annual pruning of peaches. Dormant Oil Sprays Winter time is prime time to apply a dormant oil spray to deciduous fruit, nut and certain landscape trees and shrubs to control scale and other insect pests. Horticultural oils are highly refined petroleum products for… Read More →
With a New Year knocking at the door, many folks are examining their lives and events of 2010, often resulting in making resolutions to do better. It’s not a bad idea to look back a little at your 2010 garden and landscape and consider what could be different or better. Let me suggest a few resolutions to add to the several you probably already have on your list. First, keep a garden journal. I have tried this in the past, and often never make it through to the… Read More →
As you pull out frost bitten annuals and vegetables from the garden, be sure to examine the roots. If the roots have sections that are swollen, gnarly, or just not slim and smooth, then most likely your soil is infested with nematodes. Nematodes are microscopic roundworms. In our area, root knot nematodes are the most damaging to a wide variety of plants, including annuals, perennials and shrubs and trees. Root knot nematodes feed and reproduce in and on the roots, which results in poor performance of the infested… Read More →
I maintain a few areas that have a very wide assortment of perennials. Some of the beds also have a continuing problem with some weeds that require walking through the area for maintenance. Even though many of the perennials are marked, I’ve found that it is really easy to accidentally step on dormant crowns of plants during the winter months. So, when cleaning up the beds in the winter, cutting back winter-killed top growth, I like to leave some of the stalks and stems sticking up as markers… Read More →
This is the time of year to put your flower and vegetable garden to bed, and start getting ready for your spring garden. Now that we’ve had some hard freezes, annual flowers and warm-season vegetables have done their job and need to be removed from the garden. Cut back the browned tops of herbaceous perennials like salvias, rudbeckias, lantana, cuphea, cannas, and others. Chop them up and throw them in the compost pile. Even though they may be brown, ornamental grasses can be left standing a little longer… Read More →
At this time of year, Tyler celebrates the rose with the Texas Rose Festival. And for a very good reason. Roses have captivated admirers from time immemorial with both their enchanting fragrance and beautiful floral presence. Empress Josephine collected as many varieties as possible for her garden at Malmaison, France. Wars have been named after roses, and it’s our nation’s floral symbol. Of course, roses and Tyler are nearly synonymous terms, with a history dating back over a century. Celebrated with the Texas Rose Festival and displayed in… Read More →
There‘s a bug in our garden – quick, kill it!! Whoa, not so fast. Maybe it’s one of the thousands of good bugs that’s helping our plants grow! Fall is coming – burn those leaves!! Wait! – there’s a better way to recycle leaves and not add to air pollution – composting! Kids, and often adults, may have concepts like these. So many of us grew up in an urban environment, surrounded by concrete and don’t know much about agriculture, gardening and the natural environment. That’s the purpose… Read More →
“I have a spot in my yard where the grass won’t grow!” This is not an uncommon complaint. Often several attempts are made at laying sod, plugging or seeding to get the ground covered with a traditional lawn grass. In the end- same results. Thin, unattractive, struggling grass with copious amounts of bare soil and usually a crop of weeds.
Typically the problem is not with planting technique, type of turfgrass or some unrelenting pest that causes these results. It is usually a lack of sufficient sunlight to grow a healthy lawn. Even St. Augustinegrass, the most shade tolerant of the types we can grow, needs at least 4 hours of direct, unfiltered sun to be healthy and vigorous.
Instead of struggling, trying to grow what doesn’t thrive in your particular conditions, try thinking about your landscape in a different way. Often the areas where we struggle to grow grass are rarely used for regular foot traffic. Why not look at an alternative cover for the ground, and turn a liability into a beautiful asset.
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