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Reduce watering for beautiful blooms
Q: Why aren’t my bougainvilleas blooming? We water them every other day and use a soluble fertilizer. They are in full sun.
A: The fertilizer and full sun are good. Cut back on watering. Bouganvillea bloom best when the soil dries out between irrigations (or rain).
Q: Which zoysia grass is the best? I like zoysia because it makes a tight sod and is capable of going dormant in a drought. A neighbor had it in our old neighborhood and it never showed chlorosis, disease, or insect damage.
A: Zoysia is my favorite grass as well. I think Emerald, the fine bladed selection, is the prettiest but it is the hardest to mow. If I selected a zoysia for a new lawn now, I would select from El Toro or Jamur. They are wider bladed and easier to mow. Select the one that is least expensive from a dealer you like.
Q: Fire ant hills are appearing everywhere. I am frightened for my puppy. He is lovable but not too aware yet. He may get covered by ants before he moves away.
A: Apply a fire ant control with acephate or spinosad on the hills close to where the puppy plays. The product will kill the hills within a few hours.
Spread a bait like Amdro to the rest of the yard. The foraging fire ants will carry it back to the hills and eventually kill all of them in the yard.
Q: How long will petunias last? They still look great.
A: Petunias have prospered in our cool spring. Some of the hardiest (VIP, Laura Bush, Wave) will hang on through the summer. Most however will decline in June.
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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