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Gardening Q&A

Ask the Master Gardeners: October 2010




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Disclaimer:
Guadalupe County Master Gardeners is responsible for this content, which is not edited by the Wilson County News or wilsoncountynews.com.

September 30, 2010 | 1209 views | Post a comment

Q: Why won’t my bearded iris bloom? I’ve had them for several years and they still haven’t bloomed.

A: Luckily, the Master Gardeners just heard Dr. JoNelle Zager speak on bearded iris. One of the things she mentioned was that the plants should not be planted too deep. A quarter-sized amount of the rhizome should actually show through the soil surface. In my yard, I have two patches of bearded iris. One patch blooms faithfully every year. The other patch has never bloomed. After Dr. Zager’s talk, I dug around each patch. The plants that were blooming all had the top of the rhizome showing above the ground. The other irises were about two inches below the top of the soil. Another possibility is the amount of sun the plants are getting. Dr. Zager says that the best sun is morning sun. My blooming plants are on the east side of the bed and are shaded from the afternoon sun. If you want to plant bearded iris, now is the time through early November in order to get blooms this next year; don’t forget bone meal for your existing plants.

Q: What kind of fruit trees can I plant in the Seguin area?

A: I believe that this has been covered in this column before, but I will comment on some fruit trees that I like and that a worker at a local nursery likes. First of all, fruit trees will be arriving at the end of January, beginning of February, so now is the time to do your location planning.

Some of the following fruits I have not grown so will rely on the nursery employee’s recommendations as well as aggie-horticulture. He likes the Rosborough blackberry and said that it is similar to Brazos, a long time favorite for this area. He grows and likes Blenheim apricots. He also suggests buying a Dorsett Golden apple with an Anna apple (for cross pollination). Granny Smith is sold sometimes as a self pollinator but will set more fruit if grown with Gala, Golden Delicious, Jersey Mac or Mollies Delicious.

Celeste is my favorite fig tree. The employee says that White Everbearing fig is the best producer in our area followed by Black Mission.

This season my Methley plum outdid itself and was absolutely covered with plums. Other plums for the area include Santa Rosa and Allred. My Warren pear tree had eight pears, but is still pretty much a baby. Another pear for the area is the Orient.

La Feliciana peach is a recommended peach. Remember to keep up with your borer sprays because I lost a three year old peach tree last year.

Recommended grapes are Champanel and Black Spanish.

The two of us disagreed on blueberries. He said that the ordinary gardener would not want to go the trouble of growing blueberries in our alkaline area. I have grown blueberries in large pots of peat moss for five years and have a good crop of fruit every year. Of course, they must be transplanted when they outgrow the pot.

Clara Mae Marcotte is a Texas Master Gardener with the Texas AgriLife Extension. If you have a question to be answered, call the Master Gardeners at 830-379-1972 or leave a message to be answered. The website is guadalupecountymastergardeners.org. The Master Gardener research library is open Mondays from 8:30 to noon, on the second floor of the Texas AgriLife Extension building, 210 East Live Oak in Seguin.
 
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