You’ve been granted free access to this subscribers only article.
Simple steps to prune roses, organic control for fire ants
Q. Can you give us a short simple description how to prune our roses?
A. First remove all dead and injured stems. Second, identify three or four healthy stems that are spread around the plant and emerge from the base at about 60 degrees. Remove all the rest of the stems and reduce the remaining stems to about 30 inches tall. The remaining plant should have an open middle for good air movement and a sturdy framework to support the new growth and blooms.
Q. It is too late to aerate and top-dress the lawn?
A. No, golf courses do it all year. For most of us, March is ideal. Aeration and top-dressing is the best way to address compaction in the lawn and to bring organic material down into the root zone.
Q. Is there an organic control for fire ants?
A. One of the best is the product Concern that has Spinosad as an active ingredient.
Q. When will the soil be warm enough to plant tomatoes? What varieties do you recommend?
A. April 1 is the safest date but March 15 works most years. My favorite tomatoes are Tycoon, Tygress, 444, Solar Fire, Phoenix, Celebrity, and BHN 968. BHN 968 is a superior cherry tomato that does not take over the garden. It is good for containers.
Q. What do we have to do to support the spring bloom period of our snapdragons, pansies, and petunias?
A. To maximize the spring bloom performance of snapdragons, pansies, petunias, dianthus, and other cool weather annuals, clear out the weeds and provide 1 cup of fertilizer (19-5-9) per 8 feet of row, and irrigate every week.
Q. What are the superior geraniums that you keep talking about in the radio show?
A. They are “Violet” and “Strawberry Sizzle” from the Fantasia series. They can tolerate more heat and cold than other geraniums.
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.
Your Opinions and Comments
Be the first to comment on this story!
You must be logged in to post a comment.
Agriculture Today Archives
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)