You’ve been granted free access to this subscribers only article.
‘Gold Star’ esperanza lives up to name
Q. Why does my esperanza only bloom in the fall and with a few small blooms? I am comparing it to my neighbor’s yard; his esperanza is blooming now all across the plant even though it is only 3-1/2 feet tall. Both plants are in full sun. My plant is 5 feet tall. Am I watering and fertilizing it too much?
A. Esperanza does not need much fertilizer or water but I bet the cause of the difference in bloom is due to a difference in selection. Your neighbor probably has “Gold Star” esperanza and you have the unimproved version. “Gold Star” is a blooming machine!
Q. What did I do wrong? My Warren pear tree is showing symptoms of chlorosis. I purchased a chelated iron product and applied it to the soil. All the leaves have fallen off the pear. Did I kill it?
A. The pear tree will probably releaf. It is hard to know what happened for sure but I suspect that the salt action of the iron treatment caused the defoliation. Iron treatments often rely on salt compounds to carry the iron. If you add more treatment than recommended or add it to dry soil, it is common to get the reaction you describe. Soak the soil to dilute the salt. This will work unless the soil is poorly drained.
Q. When should I fertilize my new Bermuda lawn? We put it down in April.
A. You could fertilize a new Bermuda lawn as soon as the roots are adequately developed into the soil, but the safest advice is to wait until our normal fall fertilization target of Oct. 1.
Q. What are the weeds that have small white flowers that produce a tiny clingy seed that is terrible to remove from dog coats? How can we avoid it in the future?
A. It sounds like you are describing “beggar’s lice.” The weed is one of the winter annuals that prospered in the conditions of bare soil and spring rains that existed. You can prevent it by using a pre-emergent herbicide about March 1. Check the label of Portrait to see if it lists “beggar’s lice.”
Q. How often do I need to empty and clean my hummingbird feeders? My neighbor says twice per week but that seems extreme to me.
A. I rinse and refill my feeders once per week or whenever they run out of sugar water, whichever happens first. Once per month I use a bottlebrush to give a more thorough cleaning. The hummingbirds in my neighborhood seem to thrive with this regime.
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.
Your Opinions and Comments
Be the first to comment on this story!
You must be logged in to post a comment.
Agriculture Today Archives
Add some ‘glads’ to your garden (June 29, 2016)
County Farm Bureau: Giving back to the community, more (June 29, 2016)
Dr. Johnson receives Honorary FFA degree (June 29, 2016)
Livestock Market Reports (June 29, 2016)
Pleasanton cowgirl represents Texas in Tennessee (June 29, 2016)
TDA Market Recap (June 29, 2016)
Texas Hay Report (June 29, 2016)
U.S. Cattlemen defend beef: Say no to ‘Meatless Monday’ (June 29, 2016)
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)