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Go with Floratam variety for best results
Q. What is the best St. Augustine grass variety?
A. St. Augustine isn’t usually the best grass species for our area because it likes acidic soil and lots of water. That being said, the most drought-tolerant and disease-resistant variety is Floratam based on a number of studies, one in San Antonio.
Q. When they talk about the two-step methods for controlling fire ants, what does it mean?
A. The two-step method includes spreading a fire ant bait such as Amdro over a large area and then using a product such as acephate to kill hills close to patios and other activity areas.
Q. What do roadrunners eat? We have a family group in our neighborhood.
A. Roadrunners eat reptiles like snakes and lizards, but they will also eat large insects and birds.
Q. My nursery is trying to sell me a “hybrid live oak.” They say it will grow faster and more upright. Is its claim accurate?
A. All live oaks are hybrids, but there are several strains marketed as “hybrids” that are derived from a fast- growing, upright parent. The claim could be true.
Q. What is the difference between rutabaga and turnips?
A. There really isn’t much difference in genetics. Rutabagas are a long season crop with yellow flesh. Turnips grow more quickly and have several flesh colors. Turnip foliage is edible across a relatively long season. Rutabaga foliage is usually not eaten. Rutabaga produces a larger root.
Q. What would cause my tomato leaves to be stretched out? Is it a disease?
A. Stretched leaves could be caused by several things at this time of the year including tomato wilt virus, but the most likely cause is the heat.
If you remember last year, two weeks after the cool weather arrived (70ºF at night, under 90ºF during the day) normal leaves were produced. The roots are growing to prepare the plants for production when the temperatures cool.
Calvin Finch is a horticulturist and the director of the Water Conservation and Technology Center at Texas A&M-San Antonio. 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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