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Bluebonnet transplants, very versatile
Q. Do the bluebonnet transplants I see at my favorite nursery work? Would you plant them in a vacant lot or in the flower garden?
A. Bluebonnet transplants work great! They can be planted in a vacant lot or in the flower garden. They are also fun to grow in containers. Remember that bluebonnets do not grow much in the winter, but come late February, they will grow to two feet tall and two feet around.
Be careful not to overwater bluebonnets in the garden. Water them in and then rely on rainfall. Slugs and snails will eat them, so protect the plants in the garden with slug and snail bait.
Q. Remind us of some of the deer-proof plants. We just moved into a new neighborhood with deer.
A. Snapdragons, viburnum, Texas mountain laurel, dwarf Chinese holly, Mexican honeysuckle, salvia, bluebonnets, pomegranate, yucca, cactus, esperanza, larkspur, iris, and thyrallis are all deer-proof plants.
Q. After the rains, the fire ants are all over our yard. What is the best way to get them under control?
A. I subscribe to the two-step method. Treat the hill close to your activity areas with a fast-acting treatment like Acephate. It kills hills within hours. Over a larger area, spread a bait like Amdro. It takes about two weeks to eliminate the hills, but can be spread very thin. Follow the label instructions.
Q. I have been spraying neem oil and seaweed extract on my tomatoes to protect them from spider mites. How long after we spray do we have to wait to use the fruit? They are close to being ready to harvest.
A. Check the pesticide label, it is the final authority, but I believe there is no waiting period for both organic controls. Wash all fruits before use.
Q. Can we use the carrots we are thinning from our planting?
A. Absolutely! Use the small carrots in soups or other recipes. Children also like the miniature carrots.
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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