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Agriculture Today

Don’t break the bank with higher-grade Bermuda

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South Texas Gardener
May 29, 2013 | 4,356 views | Post a comment

Q: Can we go ahead and plant Bermuda grass seed now? Is it worth it to spend three times as much money for an improved selection such as Cheyenne?

A: Yes, the soil and air temperature are warm enough that Bermuda grass seed will germinate. Irrigate at least twice per day for the first week after which the grass should emerge.

I don’t think it is worth the money to pay for improved selections of Bermuda grass. They may start out with finer blades and a better color but within a few years it is hard to tell the difference between “common” seed and the high priced selections.

Q: What is causing my rose blooms to be deformed and brown around the petal edges?

A: The usual cause is thrips. They are small rasping insects. Control them with acephate (Orthene) or spinosad (Conserve).

Q: Is it too late to fertilize the lawn for the summer? How about applying a herbicide to prevent sand burs?

A: The fertilizer should work as long as you can water the lawn. Use a slow release lawn fertilizer like 19-5-9.

If you apply Amaze, Crabgrass Preventer, or XL now, it will prevent some of the sand burs but not all of them. Some are already growing.

Q: Is the white duranta just as vigorous as the purple? I like the white but my white spreading lantana is a disappointment compared to the lavender. I have heard all white selections are less vigorous.

A: I grow both versions (white and purple) and think the white is slightly less vigorous than the purple.

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

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