You’ve been granted free access to this subscribers only article.
Q.What is the tall sunflower that grows in vacant lots around the area? It has an attractive flower and seems to be a favorite food source for cardinals and goldfinches.
A. The Maxi-milian sunflower is a native plant that will reseed itself every year. In my yard they grow to 8 feet tall and are loaded with 4-inch blooms. In the last half of May, they seem to have grown 6 inches per day.
Within two to three weeks after the first blooms appear, they will be maturing seeds. The seeds are a favorite food source for lesser goldfinches, cardinals, housefinches, chickadees, and even buntings. The birds will be pulling the seeds from the flower heads from dawn to dusk.
Sunflowers are a nectar source for numerous species of butterflies and several species, including the Painted Lady, lay their eggs on the plant.
Q. Spider mites wiped out our tomatoes this spring, but we are determined to do better in the fall. When can we plant?
A. Target Aug. 1, unless we are deep in drought; then delay a few weeks.
Q. Is there any conifer that does well in this area? We miss pines and spruce!
A. Arizona cypress, deodar cedar, Aleppo pine, Italian pine, and Japanese black pine all seem to prosper.
Q. The Bermuda grass has invaded my St. Augustine lawn. Is there anything that kills Bermuda grass and does not hurt St. Augustine?
A. No, grow the St. Augustine lawn at 3.5 inches tall, water as much as you can, and aerate the lawn to encourage St. Augustine grass. You may have to wait until the most recent drought is over.
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 email@example.com.
Your Opinions and Comments
Be the first to comment on this story!
You must be logged in to post a comment.
Agriculture Today Archives
County committee nomination period begins (June 22, 2016)
Hartmann takes the steer by the horns to win state championship (June 22, 2016)
La Vernia FFA wraps up school year with honors, scholarships (June 22, 2016)
Livestock Market Reports (June 22, 2016)
Root rot knocks out roses (June 22, 2016)
TDA Market Recap (June 22, 2016)
Texas Hay Report (June 22, 2016)
A student’s ag-related journey (June 15, 2016)
Family Land Heritage news (June 15, 2016)
Five dirty truths on agriculture (June 15, 2016)
Horseherb galloping through yards (June 15, 2016)
Kristin Storey: South Texas queen to compete for national title (June 15, 2016)
Livestock Market Reports (June 15, 2016)
Miller announces assistance for farmers devastated by floods (June 15, 2016)
No “rain, rain, go away” as precipitation persists (June 15, 2016)
Schwartz takes lead as Texas state veterinarian (June 15, 2016)
TDA Market Recap (June 15, 2016)
Texas Hay Report (June 15, 2016)
Texas Rural Leadership Program (June 15, 2016)
It’s almost rodeo time in Stockdale (June 8, 2016)
Livestock Market Reports (June 8, 2016)
Save seed pods for next fall (June 8, 2016)
TDA Market Recap (June 8, 2016)
Texas Hay Report (June 8, 2016)
Big Time Texas Hunts entries now on sale (June 1, 2016)
Burbridge leads the way in Buck Taylor roping event (June 1, 2016)
Farm Bureau solicits AgLead, FarmLead participants (June 1, 2016)
June 2016 Gardening Calendar (June 1, 2016)
Livestock Market Reports (June 1, 2016)
Save squash from vine borers (June 1, 2016)
State Farm Bureau testifies on agricultural use valuation (June 1, 2016)
TDA Market Recap (June 1, 2016)
Texas Hay Report (June 1, 2016)