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Which is best Bermuda grass?
Q.What is the best Bermuda grass seed? There seems to be quite a difference in cost. We have a choice between common, Sahara, and Cheyenne.
A. All of the offerings are common Bermuda; the Sahara and Cheyenne are improved selections. They claim to be more dwarf, with a better green color. It is hard to tell the difference after a few years. I would use the common.
Q.When should we give up on our strawberry plants? We had a good harvest, but now they seem to be through. I understand that it does not work to try and carry them through the summer.
A. Between heat and diseases, the plants do not seem to survive in good enough shape for a second year of fruit. Commercial growers in our climate plant new transplants in the early fall.
Q.Why doesn’t my seaweed extract container say anything about spider mite control? What is the right mix to spray tomatoes?
A. Use 2 tablespoons per gallon and spray in the morning or evening. Avoid the hottest part of the day. Seaweed extract producers would have to have a pesticide label if they claim it is effective as a miticide. Check the Internet for information on efficacy of the material for mite prevention. If you use it, spray under the leaves.
Q.What is the difference between a hybrid live oak and a regular live oak? My neighbor’s hybrid live oak that he planted grows faster and more upright than the native live oaks in our yards.
A. Some live oaks were marketed as “hybrid live oaks.” They were trees grown from acorns of live oaks that seemed to be more upright and faster-growing. All live oaks at nurseries are hybrids grown from acorns. Some native live oaks grow from suckers off a parent tree root. There is a large variation in live oak trees grown from seed. It is not unreasonable to expect that you could select for upright growth and speedier growth.
Q.Last year, stink bugs ruined our blackberry crop. Every berry was bitter. What can we spray?
A.Sevin is the best stink bug spray. Read the label to note how many days are required between the last spray and harvest.
Q.Which hummingbird nests in our region?
A. West of I-35 is largely the black-chinned hummingbird. Somewhere east of I-35 is the beginning of the ruby-throat breeding area. All of the hummingbirds in East Texas are ruby-throats.
Calvin Finch is a horticulturist and the San Antonio Water System’s project director of regional initiatives and special projects. Hear him on “Gardening South Texas” on KLUP 930 AM radio Saturdays noon to 2 p.m., and 1-3 p.m. Sundays. Or, e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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