Pea Trial

One of the most fun parts of my job is working with the Master Gardener Volunteers in our Demonstration Garden.  The gardens include an herb garden, drought tolerant and native ornamental plants, roses, fruit trees, and vegetables.  The Master Gardener Volunteers do a fantastic job of maintaining the garden and growing all kinds of plants that will do well in our area. (more…)

Pecan Trees

On Tuesday, October 1, I got to participate in a fun event to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the pecan tree being designated as the Texas State Tree.   The Texas Pecan Board hosted a neat event on the steps of the Capitol Building in Austin to commemorate the 100-year anniversary, complete with a proclamation signed by Governor Abbott. (more…)

Texas Superstar

I can’t believe we are already in mid-September!  The warm temperatures have fooled me into thinking it is still summer, but the days are getting shorter and we are headed into fall.  Fall is a great time to start thinking about landscaping plans in Central Texas.  We recommend planting trees and shrubs in the fall time, so they have the cooler months to really develop a good root system before the summer heat comes back.  If you are looking for some ideas for your landscape, let me introduce you to one of my favorite resources for plant recommendations, Texas Superstar®. (more…)

Winter Weed Control

School has started and fall is just around the corner!  I can’t believe how quickly the summer has gone by, but it’s time to start thinking about winter weed control.  Winter weeds such as henbit, dandelion, annual bluegrass, rescuegrass, and ryegrass will be germinating soon.  Now is the time to apply a pre-emergent weed treatment to your lawn to prevent these weeds from germinating.

When you shop for weed control products, there are a few things you need to know about your lawn before you purchase anything.  First, which type of grass do you have?  Is it Bermuda, Zoysia, or St. Augustine?  You need to match the product to your type of grass so you don’t damage your grass when you treat for weeds. (more…)

Fall Gardening

We are right in the middle of the hottest days of summer, and now is the time to start thinking about your fall garden.  Texas is a great place for vegetable gardeners because we can grow crops all year long!

Not many people want to be working in the garden in August, but now is the time to be planting pumpkins, winter squash, peas, sweet corn, and lima beans.  Just around the corner in September we can start planting cole crops like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower.  The list goes on with something new to plant all through the fall and winter! (more…)

Summer Lawn Watering Tips

 

We have enjoyed a nice summer so far with cooler temperatures (for Texas) and good rains in June.  This is great news for our lawns and plants, and especially for our water bills.  Over the last few weeks, we’ve had hotter temperatures and less rain, so you need to start thinking about supplying extra water to your lawn. (more…)

Rose Rosette

Rose Rosette Disease

Rose Rosette Disease (RRD) is a terrible rose disease that we’ve been hearing about for years, especially from the Dallas area. Unfortunately, we are starting to see more cases in Williamson County.  Rose Rosette has been around since the early 1940’s, but the problem seems to be growing in recent years as cultivated roses are used in more and more landscapes.  In 2011, Rose Rosette was diagnosed as a virus and researchers have recently confirmed it is spread by the eriophid mite Phyllocoptes fructiphilus. (more…)

Fall Webworm

 

Over the last few weeks, I have received a high number of calls about webs that are taking over trees in Williamson County.  I can certainly understand the concern because they are ugly webs and they seem to spread from limb to limb.

The webs are created by fall webworm (Hyphantria cunea), a common caterpillar pest of trees.  Fall webworm larvae are about an inch long, pale green or yellow, and covered in white and black hairs.  They can cover entire branches with their webs, and the larvae feed within the webs on the tender parts of leaves.  A heavy infestation of fall webworm will rarely kill a tree, but an infestation over several years can make a tree more susceptible to drought, disease, or insect pests. (more…)

Finding an Arborist

Trees are treasured part of our landscape.  They provide great shade and add texture and dimension to the landscape.  I frequently receive phone calls from homeowners who are worried about their trees for potential disease issues or need help with proper pruning.  Texas A&M AgriLife Extension has great information about a variety of tree issues, but sometimes we still need to call in a professional arborist for help.

An arborist is a specialist in the care and cultivation of trees.  They can help with selection, planting, and pruning of trees; deliver proactive plant care for the health of your trees; provide emergency care for trees that are damaged in storms or might be a risk to structures and people on the property; and they can remove weakened or dying trees. (more…)

Tomato Fruitworm

Tomato season is here! I harvested my first tomatoes last week from the Super Sweet 100 variety.  I would like to say that I was generous with my harvest, but those first few tomatoes did not make it out of the garden.  There’s nothing better than snacking on vine-ripened tomatoes as you work in the garden! (more…)