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Controlling thrips in roses
Q. The flowers on my roses open up but are deformed and gnarled. Is it a disease?
A. No, it is usually thrips that cause such symptoms. The tiny rasping insects can be controlled by acephate. Organic gardeners may have a good control with Spinosad.
Q. My grass looked lush earlier this spring but is now fading. I fertilized two weeks ago with slow release lawn fertilizer and have been waiting for two weeks. Is it a disease? What is the problem?
A. Your permanent lawn grass is just now beginning to green up. The winter weeds are now declining. That is probably the “fading” that you notice. I believe that lush lawn you described was actually one of the winter weed grasses such as rescue grass, rye, or annual bluegrass. Do not water more than once per week and be patient, the Bermuda, St. Augustine, and zoysia grasses will take over soon.
Q. Is it too late to plant a new live oak tree? Is there a better choice?
A. Live oaks make good shade trees in our area. Texas red oaks and Mexican white oak are also great choices. They both grow faster than live oaks. Mexican white oak (Monterrey oak) is also resistant to oak wilt, which can affect both Texas red oak and live oak.
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, e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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