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Berry-producing native plants
Q. What are some native plants that produce berries for the birds when planted in the landscape?
A. Hackberries, anaqua, yaupon, holly, agarita, Texas persimmon, and Mexican plum come to mind.
Q. Is it too late to apply a pre-emergent herbicide to prevent sand burs? I have some Amaze that I did not use last year. Is it still good?
A. It is getting late in the year but apply the pre-emergent as soon as possible. The Amaze will still work after one year.
Q. We wrapped our leftover firewood in clear plastic to avoid potential oak wilt infection. How long does it need to stay wrapped?
A. It is best if you leave it wrapped until you are ready to burn it next winter. At some point this summer, it should have dried out enough to show the cracking, bark slipping, and checking to indicate it has dried enough that it is no longer a threat.
Q. How often do you irrigate your tomatoes?
A. Depending on the weather and the condition of the plants, I use my drip irrigation every two to three days.
Q. Which grasses are best for traffic tolerance? We are going to put in a new lawn and plan to be using it for badminton, croquet, and other activities.
A. Bermuda has the best traffic tolerance. Zoysia is second best but both would handle the activities you list.
Q. What are the modern tough roses that you always talk about on the “Gardening South Texas” radio show? Which is your favorite?
A. Generally we categorize Katy Road (Carefree Beauty), Belinda’s Dream, and Knockout as the modern tough roses. I like Katy Road best because of its fragrance. Katy Road also makes attractive rose hips. All three of the tough modern roses bloom about eight months of the year and do not require pesticides. Knockout is available in red or pink.
Q.What is the ornamental grass with the attractive pink seed head?
A. Gulf muhly has the pink seed head. The selection that I like is “Autumn Blush.”
Q. Are the red bugs on the Texas mountain laurel a threat to the plant?
A. I think you are referring to the box elder type stinkbugs on the plant. They suck juices from the plant but do not seem to be a serious threat.
Calvin Finch is a horticulturist and the San Antonio Water System’s director of water resources. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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