You’ve been granted free access to this subscribers only article.
Good vines to block view?
What are some good vines to consider to block an undesirable view? How about one for the sun and one for the shade?
A. Mascagnia, or butterfly vine, has yellow flowers that are followed by light green seed pods that resemble butterflies. Mascagnia is an evergreen vine that is in the mid-range of aggressiveness. It will cover a 10-foot-by-10-foot section of fence, but will not take over the neighborhood. Deer eat the vine. Hummingbirds and butterflies utilize the flowers for nectar. Mascagnia blooms from early summer until late fall. It is drought-tolerant.
Carolina jasmine does not twine or grasp its vertical assist; it is more of a leaner. The foliage is evergreen, so it can block unattractive views. In late winter and spring, it is covered with small, fragrant, yellow blooms. Butterflies will use the blooms for nectar. Of all the vines we now all use, Carolina jasmine has the most shade tolerance. Carolina jasmine is capable of covering an 8-foot-by-8-foot fence.
Q. Is ball moss killing my oak trees? It is all over them and they are not growing very well.
A. Ball moss is an epiphyte in that it draws moisture and nutrients from the air. It is not a parasite. One of its favorite places to grow is on branches in the understory of slow-growing live oaks. The humidity is high and the branches are dying from shade. Ball moss will also grow on other trees and even utility wires. It is not hurting the oak tree.
Q. What is that drought-tolerant St. Augustine variety that you are always talking about on the radio?
A. It is Floratam. It stayed green longer and greened-up faster after 60 days of drought than any other St. Augustine selections and even the Zoysia grasses. Only buffalo grass and Bermuda grass scored higher and they do not have shade tolerance.
Q. Do you need full sun to grow broccoli or cabbage?
A. Pretty much; the more sun, the better.
Q. What controls hornworms on tomatoes?
A. Bt products such as Dipel, Thuricide, or Bio-worm control. If you get it on them when they are young, spinosad will also do the job.
Q. When can we plant our wildflower seed?
A. From now through October is best. Find an area in full sun where the seed can touch the soil. It will not work well where there is an organic layer or sod.
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
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)