Category Archives: Vegetables

Houston Urban Food Production Conference

Join us for the 2018 Houston Urban Food Production Conference, which will be held at the University of Houston Downtown, July 27th from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. This year’s program features a Commercial Track, a Backyard Gardener Track, and a Business Start-Up Track. Betti Wiggins, Houston Independent School District Officer of Nutritional Services will kick off the event with a special keynote presentation on Food Literacy and Its Impact on the Food System. General admission is $50 and includes lunch. A discount rate of $30 is available… Read More →

CAST (California Spring Trials) Day 5 (4/12/16)

Day 5 brings us to Salinas, CA to visit the Sakata, Takii and Speedling facilities. Each day brings more and more interesting plants. Let’s take a look at what they had to offer. SuperCal Petunia is a calibrachoa x petunia hybrid from Sakata. The series has an excellent color range and flower size. Red Robin Tomato from Sakata will be a great choice for container production. The compact habit and dense branching will provide plenty of tomatoes throughout the season. Salvia Summer Jewell Series (Salvia coccinea) from Takii… Read More →

Beneficial Insects: Green Lacewings

The green lacewing (Chrysoperla sp.) is a common beneficial insect found in the landscape. They are a generalist predator best known for feeding on aphids, but will also control mites and other soft-bodied insects such as caterpillars, leafhoppers, mealybugs and whiteflies. The adult green lacewing has a long slender green body and golden eyes. It has prominent wings with lace-like veins. An adult will be approximately 0.75” in length. They are typically night flying insects.  Females can lay up to 200 tiny, oblong eggs on silken stalks attached… Read More →

Protecting Plants from Frosts & Freezes

A hard freeze is forecast for tonight. How do you protect your plants? What works and what doesn’t? Check out our new publication: Extending the Growing Season – Protecting Plants from Frosts and Freezes Your plants will thank you!

Finding Leaf-footed Bugs in Your Tomatoes?

It’s that time of the year to see leaf-footed bug (Leptoglossus phyllopus) damage. The leaf-footed bug belongs to the order Hemiptera, the true bug family. Adult leaf-footed bugs get their name from the flattened, leaf like flare on the lower portion of the back legs or tibia. The adult body can be a greenish gray to black, about ¾” inch-long, with upwardly pointed structures on what we would think of as the shoulders. They are hard bodied which makes them somewhat difficult to control. Juveniles (nymphs) are smaller… Read More →

Integrated Approach to Greenhouse Pest Control

The use of beneficial insects to help control greenhouse pests continues to increase. Growers are continually looking for ways to efficiently and effectively control their pest problems. Integrated pest management (IPM) uses biological control agents as an alternative to, or in conjunction with compatible pesticides. Greenhouse pests reside in an ideal environment in which to live and breed; and an abundant supply of plant material on which to feed. Such conditions can result in rapid multiplication of pests which, until now, has required regular and routine spray programs…. Read More →

The Case of the Missing Squash, Cucumber, and Melon…

We’ve received questions at the Extension Office about squash and cucumber plants that are blooming but not setting fruit. Sometimes there are “tiny fruit that don’t grow, but just shrivel up and die.” Have you noticed this in your garden? The most likely cause of such fruit problems on squash, muskmelons (cantaloupe), cucumbers, watermelons and other cucurbit vegetables is a lack of pollination. These plants have separate male flowers (bloom attached by a small, thin stalk) and female flowers (small fruit at base of bloom). Pollen must be… Read More →