You’ve been granted free access to this subscribers only article.
Easy way to control fire ants
Q.Is there an easy way to control fire ants? After this last rain, they are everywhere in our yard.
A.Use the two-step method. Spread a bait, such as Amdro, over the whole yard and treat hills close to your activities with acephate (Ortho Fire Ant Killer). The control is even more effective if you can convince everyone in the neighborhood to apply the bait.
Q.What is a good plant for a tall hedge in full sun?
A. Consider yaupon holly, viburnum, elaeagnus, Texas mountain laurel, pomegranate, or even mutabilis rose.
Q. Why would one live oak be nice and green and thick with foliage while another only 30 or 40 feet away look terrible?
A. Each live oak is an individual specimen with different genetics. Each has different growth patterns and capabilities. Oak trees that are close as you describe are also competing with each other and other trees in the area. The more water is limited and the poorer the soil, the more likely it is that one of the trees will dominate the other. In the end, there may only be nutrients, water, and sunlight for one of the trees.
Q. Do birds attack tomatoes? As soon as mine show any color, they are damaged by what looks like a bird-beak penetration?
A. Yes, grackles, mockingbirds, and other species will feed on tomatoes, just like they do on peaches. You can cover the fruit with bird netting. To reduce the damage level, harvest the fruit as soon as it changes colors from dark green to light green.
Q.What is a good plant for color in the shade, now that my cyclamen are gone?
A. Try pentas, coleus, begonias, or caladium.
Q.Why are my tomatoes showing a hard black scar on the bottom of the fruit?
A. It is called blossom end rot. At some time in the growth phase, the water stream from the roots to the developing fruit was broken. Calcium is carried in the water stream to the fruit. The black tissue reflects a calcium deficiency. The problem is especially common when the weather changes from cool to hot. You can eat the fruit. Usually only the first few tomatoes are affected.
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 .
Your Opinions and Comments
Be the first to comment on this story!
You must be logged in to post a comment.
Agriculture Today Archives
Beef Cattle Management seminar (August 26, 2015)
Cotton root rot and its symptoms (August 26, 2015)
Feral hogs, water workshop (August 26, 2015)
Get acquainted with 4-H event (August 26, 2015)
Harvey places in top 20 (August 26, 2015)
Hay & Forage Report (August 26, 2015)
Livestock Market Reports (August 26, 2015)
Mobile app for hunting regs (August 26, 2015)
Registration for cattle conference (August 26, 2015)
Survey deadline (August 26, 2015)
Turkey fed to improve Texas grasslands (August 26, 2015)
Wilson County 4-H Council, Booster meetings, Sept. 2 (August 26, 2015)
Anthrax confirmed in equine in Uvalde County (August 19, 2015)
Deer association: Environmental group deceives deer industry, wildlife community (August 19, 2015)
Don’t miss your shot! Apply for drawn hunts (August 19, 2015)
Feral hog management workshop is Sept. 4 (August 19, 2015)
Hay & Forage Report (August 19, 2015)
Livestock Market Reports (August 19, 2015)
Prospects bright for dove season (August 19, 2015)
Saving tomatoes from the Texas heat (August 19, 2015)
Siblings make rodeo memories (August 19, 2015)
TDA Market Report (August 19, 2015)
Chagas disease in South Central Texas (August 12, 2015)
Eastern equine encephalitis cases reported in Texas (August 12, 2015)
Hay & Forage Report (August 12, 2015)
Leaf-dropping is common (August 12, 2015)
Livestock Market Reports (August 12, 2015)
New, stronger El Niño may bring another wet winter (August 12, 2015)
Pieniazek elected president of ag education leadership (August 12, 2015)
EPA ‘muddies’ Clean Water Act (August 5, 2015)
Hay & Forage Report (August 5, 2015)
It’s a ‘banner’ summer for Payton! (August 5, 2015)
Lantanas losing luster; mosquitoes a bother (August 5, 2015)
Livestock Market Reports (August 5, 2015)
Meuths receive Bronze Merit Award (August 5, 2015)
Shoot to benefit Don Newbury (August 5, 2015)
TDA Market Report (August 5, 2015)
August 2015 Gardening Calendar (August 1, 2015)