Dear Neil: I’m accepting agriculture assignment done in our backyard this fall. Included is a half-pallet of St. Augustine sod. I apperceive it’s backward to be burying it. Should I delay until spring? What are my added options?
Answer: There are several unknowns. First, we don’t apperceive how continued the grass will accept to authorize its roots afore the aboriginal benumb sends it into dormancy. Parts of South Texas, for example, may never accept a benumb and St. Augustine may breach blooming all winter. Farther arctic the aboriginal killing frost can action at about any time now. Plus we don’t apperceive how algid the winter will be. My acknowledgment has consistently been that unless you’re in Deep South Texas you’ll apparently bigger cat-and-mouse until spring. Noted, however, that bisected a bassinet of sod isn’t all that expensive. It’s not like you’re sodding an absolute landscape. Your added advantage would be to sow ryegrass anon and achievement that you could get it germinated and growing bound abundant to authority the clay over the winter.
Spurge alike grows in parking lots.
Dear Neil: All the rain and a abridgement of admixture accept resulted in a bonanza crop of spurge in my landscape. Is there article I can use to annihilate it afterwards harming the blow of my plants?
Answer: I’ve had added questions about spurge everywhere I’ve gone this abatement than in any added year in my career. Fortunately, it’s about to benumb and die. I would advance cutting your hoe and back the clay is alone hardly moist, aloof boring the hoe over the clay to cut off the spurge. It has alone one taproot and if you cut that basis you’ll accept the absolute plant. Pull it out of the way and the beds will attending great. If you aerosol you’ll still accept the blend to argue with. Next year administer case admixture in midsummer to awning up any that has aloof germinated, afore it can abound and become obnoxious.
Dear Neil: Several of these aberrant funguses appeared in the brook adjoining to our driveway afterwards contempo rains. What are they?
Answer: They’re alleged stinkhorns, and they’re aloof addition anatomy of saprophytic fungi. Yes, they are odd-looking. They present no blackmail to your adorable plants. Let them aloof run their advance or breach them off with a hoe.
Dear Neil: We acclimated a backyard account this summer and these areas of my backyard accept died. The added areas assume fine. The backyard is bald beneath the tree, but it is additionally bald in an breadth that gets abounding sun. The account has advised for grubs and fungus. I’m afraid to resod until I apperceive what the botheration is. Our arrangement with the account aggregation has expired. Do you accept any ideas?
Answer: This year has been clashing any added in agreement of backyard problems. Bermuda was airtight with baptize cast fungi in the spring. Booty all basis rot kicked in on St. Augustine in backward April and May. It doesn’t hit every year, but it did hit this year. Chinch bugs and gray blade atom hit like a ton of artery in aboriginal summer – abundant beforehand than usual. As a result, St. Augustine was dealt acrid blows, and again we saw gray blade atom move over to zoysias. And booty all basis rot is accepted to hit centipede, and to complete our year, we’re accepting a abatement beginning of TARR for the aboriginal time I’ve anytime experienced. I can accept why your backyard affliction bodies were struggling. A lot of us in this industry accept been. I doubtable that ability be allotment of your problem. I would advance accession samples of dying grass from the edges of one of the spots and sending it to the Texas Bulb Clinic at Texas A&M (address and instructions online) for assay and diagnosis. If there is a ache involved, they should still be able to aces it up.
Dear Neil: What insects are actual baby (pinhead-sized), white and flying? They accept been all over our eggplants and zinnias.
Answer: That sounds like whiteflies. They are abhorrent pests, not so abundant because of the accident they do to our plants, but because of the nuisance they account and the difficulties we accept in eliminating them. However, if you get a ample citizenry of them they can blot activity out of plants and leave honeydew balance on the leaves, abundant so that atramentous cast will covering the blade surfaces. Control is arduous because you charge echo your applications of a labeled insecticide every 7 canicule for several weeks to breach their activity cycles. I would advance antibacterial the bristles from the garden at the end of this division to annihilate any over-wintering phases.
Dear Neil: I accept a bed on a abruptness area clay has done over the bound rocks. The mural bodies appetite to use river bedrock over the absolute bed. Is that a acceptable thing? I’m not abiding I appetite that look.
Answer: I’m a big fan of river bedrock for baby areas area I appetite a beheld breach from shrubs, groundcovers and turf, but I wouldn’t appetite an absolute bed covered with it. I alike use river bedrock as my bed binding occasionally, biconcave volleyball-sized rocks about center into the ground. However, area there is abrasion clay I use a groundcover such as amethyst wintercreeper (sun) or mondograss (shade) to authority the clay firmly.
If I appetite blush in those beds, I position actual ample 24- to 36-inch pots in cardinal spots and ample them with my anniversary color. It works able-bodied and it’s a lot beneath assignment to advance them.
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