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‘12 Months of Lawn Care’
Q. Last year, you did a lawn-care calendar that listed the actions necessary every month to keep a lawn healthy. Is the information available this year?
A. Yes, we can send you “12 Months of Lawn Care” if you send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to “12 Months of Lawn Care,” P.O. Box 2449, San Antonio, TX 78298.
Q. Is it necessary to cage tomatoes?
A. Not necessary, but if they are uncaged, tomatoes sprawl over the ground and use more garden space. Fruit that touches the ground is more likely to have insect penetration and/or fungus attack.
Q. What is the best pre-emergent to prevent sandburs? I need to do something this year.
A. Apply your pre-emergent to prevent sandburs as quickly as possible. In some locales, they may already be germinating. Amaze, XL, Crabgrass 2, and Weed and Grass Stopper all seem to work. Visit www.plantanswers.com for a more extensive account of sandbur control.
Q. I’m concerned about a Mexican sycamore and Eve’s Necklace which I planted last spring. I did keep them watered through the drought. This year, the Mexican Sycamore has leafed out, with exception of the top 6 inches of the lead branch, which looks totally dead. This tree is only 3-1/2 feet tall. Can this tree be saved?
Also, the Eve’s Necklace, which is about 5 feet tall, has also leafed out, with exception of the top 4 inches of the lead branch. I was trying to grow this tree as one single trunk. Can this tree be saved?
A. Both will probably survive. New leaders will develop. Are you watering deep enough? The symptoms you describe are typical drought damage.
Q. Do you recommend using fertilizer stakes for live oak and other native trees? If you do, what is the best time to put them around the drip line and how many? Is there a certain fertilizer ratio I should look at when purchasing?
A. I don’t use fertilizer stakes. I find them to be salty and expensive for the limited amount of fertilizer. Plain old slow-release lawn fertilizer, 19-5-9, is my choice. Apply one cup of fertilizer per inch of diameter, spread over the drip line.
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, email him at email@example.com.
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