You’ve been granted free access to this subscribers only article.
Correct diagnosis crucial before treatment
Q: We have a Chinese pistache with 50-plus holes the size of a small nail. We think they are tree borers; I guess that’s the right name. We went to the nursery and they sold us a Malathion-type insecticide and said to inject the syringe in each hole but that will take forever. Will the borers kill the tree? Is there another way to combat the borers? Will they spread to other trees? We have a great drake elm, and we are worried about that tree. Should we cut down and burn the pistache?
A: Are you sure they are borers? Are the holes random? If they are in a pattern, they are sapsuckers. Is the tree old and starting to die? If not, the “borers” may not be a factor in its length of life. Borers generally attack dying and dead trees. They should not be a threat to any of your other trees. Drake elms are susceptible to cotton root rot rather than borers. I also would not bother with the syringe tactic.
Q: Why don’t we use pomegranates more as a landscape plant? Mine seem to be drought-tolerant, deer-proof, and attractive. Right now they have bright orange blooms that have been showy for five or six weeks. This fall the tasty nutritious fruit will ripen. It is a spectacular plant.
A: I agree. The good news is that many area nurseries are now offering a wide selection of pomegranates for the landscape.
Q: We have been fighting with our compost pile all spring. We understand that it should get hot during the decomposition process. What does it take to make the pile turn hot?
A: The main requirement is the right mix of green and brown ingredients. It takes about three parts green material like grass clippings, weeds, vegetable scraps, or manure mixed with one part brown material such as leaves or shredded brush. Mix the greens and brown material together and keep the pile moist but not soggy. If you vary much from that formula, it is hard to have an active pile.
Even if your compost is not perfectly mixed and active, it will eventually decompose. The process is just slower.
Q: I just put in an Emerald zoysia lawn. It is beautiful but now I am told that I need to mow it with a reel mower. Is that true?
A: I had an Emerald zoysia lawn. It is easiest to mow with a reel mower but if you keep your rotary mower sharp and you mow every week, a rotary mower does fine. Mow at 2 inches tall.
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
Beef Cattle Management seminar (August 26, 2015)
Cotton root rot and its symptoms (August 26, 2015)
Feral hogs, water workshop (August 26, 2015)
Get acquainted with 4-H event (August 26, 2015)
Harvey places in top 20 (August 26, 2015)
Hay & Forage Report (August 26, 2015)
Livestock Market Reports (August 26, 2015)
Mobile app for hunting regs (August 26, 2015)
Registration for cattle conference (August 26, 2015)
Survey deadline (August 26, 2015)
Turkey fed to improve Texas grasslands (August 26, 2015)
Wilson County 4-H Council, Booster meetings, Sept. 2 (August 26, 2015)
Anthrax confirmed in equine in Uvalde County (August 19, 2015)
Deer association: Environmental group deceives deer industry, wildlife community (August 19, 2015)
Don’t miss your shot! Apply for drawn hunts (August 19, 2015)
Feral hog management workshop is Sept. 4 (August 19, 2015)
Hay & Forage Report (August 19, 2015)
Livestock Market Reports (August 19, 2015)
Prospects bright for dove season (August 19, 2015)
Saving tomatoes from the Texas heat (August 19, 2015)
Siblings make rodeo memories (August 19, 2015)
TDA Market Report (August 19, 2015)
Chagas disease in South Central Texas (August 12, 2015)
Eastern equine encephalitis cases reported in Texas (August 12, 2015)
Hay & Forage Report (August 12, 2015)
Leaf-dropping is common (August 12, 2015)
Livestock Market Reports (August 12, 2015)
New, stronger El Nińo may bring another wet winter (August 12, 2015)
Pieniazek elected president of ag education leadership (August 12, 2015)
EPA ‘muddies’ Clean Water Act (August 5, 2015)
Hay & Forage Report (August 5, 2015)
It’s a ‘banner’ summer for Payton! (August 5, 2015)
Lantanas losing luster; mosquitoes a bother (August 5, 2015)
Livestock Market Reports (August 5, 2015)
Meuths receive Bronze Merit Award (August 5, 2015)
Shoot to benefit Don Newbury (August 5, 2015)
TDA Market Report (August 5, 2015)
August 2015 Gardening Calendar (August 1, 2015)