You’ve been granted free access to this subscribers only article.
Graywater is safe to use on landscape
Q: We just moved from Arizona and are surprised that so few of our new neighbors use graywater from their shower and clothes washing machine to irrigate their landscape. Why isn’t it used more here?
A: Graywater is used by some gardeners but should be used by more. We need to do a better job of educating area gardeners that graywater is safe and easy to use. I understand that as much as 10 percent of landscape watering in Arizona is provided by graywater. Texas A&M engineers here in my office are preparing a pamphlet on how to retrofit the house for graywater use. It costs less than $400 to do so.
Q: Is it a problem that the bees visit my hummingbird feeders and drive off the birds?
A: Hopefully, their visits cover only part of the day so that the hummingbirds can get their share. Some hummingbird feeders have bee guards but usually the attention from bees is a part-time and temporary issue. Adding another feeder usually helps.
Q: What are square-shaped bugs visiting my tomatoes? It looks like they are damaging the fruit.
A: The insects are stink bugs. They inject their digestive juices into the tomato and then suck out the resultant stew. The wounds form scar tissue and disfigure the fruit but it can still be eaten. Stink bugs are tough to control. Sevin or Malathion will kill them.
Q: Tell me about a wick applicator for Round-up application. Do they work?
A: Yes, wick applicators work very well for Round-up (glyphosate) and other contact herbicides. You touch the weeds you want killed with the wick. Very little herbicide is used and there is no drift or accidental applications that can happen with sprayers.
Q: We are using ornamental sweet potato plants for a groundcover. It is great, attractive and fills in the area. Can we use the sweet potatoes that are produced for food?
A: Yes, they are edible. I leave mine in place to serve a start for next year’s plants.
Q: What insecticide works to control lace bugs on lantana? We want to prevent the damage they caused last year.
A: Acephate works well (also called Orthene). I would guess that spinosad may also work if you apply it once every two weeks for the next six weeks.
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
Bull Classic Dec. 5 (November 25, 2015)
Davidson: Reduce antibiotic use, dispel beef myths (November 25, 2015)
EPA proposes changes to pesticide applicator rules (November 25, 2015)
Farm Bureau responds to beef cancer claims (November 25, 2015)
Hay & Forage Report (November 25, 2015)
Livestock disaster funding available (November 25, 2015)
Livestock Market Reports (November 25, 2015)
Llama competitors shine in state, national shows (November 25, 2015)
Plan to attend grazing lands conference (November 25, 2015)
Plant cool weather veggies (November 25, 2015)
Rancher’s Choice bull sale Dec. 5 (November 25, 2015)
Skills team places sixth (November 25, 2015)
TPWD announces annual trout stocking (November 25, 2015)
All Breed Bull Sale Nov. 21 in Nixon (November 18, 2015)
Clean Water Rule continues to make waves in Congress (November 18, 2015)
Conservation Service: Tips for planting winter pastures (November 18, 2015)
County committee elections begin (November 18, 2015)
Hay & Forage Report (November 18, 2015)
Here’s the beef: Patterson wins FFA national title (November 18, 2015)
Livestock Market Reports (November 18, 2015)
Moczygemba: Angus group CEO (November 18, 2015)
Onion recommendations (November 18, 2015)
A river runs through it: River changes spark border dispute (November 11, 2015)
Cold-sensitive oriental hibiscus (November 11, 2015)
Gov. Abbott: EPA’s Clean Power Plan is ‘power grab’ (November 11, 2015)
Hay & Forage Report (November 11, 2015)
Knowles winner of mule deer hunt package (November 11, 2015)
Letter: A war on Texas: Bureau of Land Management vs. Texas ranchers (November 11, 2015)
Livestock Market Reports (November 11, 2015)
Palo Alto College hosts FFA leadership conference (November 11, 2015)
Rodeo athletes place in Hallettsville contest (November 11, 2015)
‘Old Iron’ club show canceled! (November 11, 2015)
Antique Farm Equipment Demonstration and Field Day, Nov. 14 (November 4, 2015)
Cattlemen’s seminar Nov. 14 in Kosciusko (November 4, 2015)
Hay & Forage Report (November 4, 2015)
Impacts of rural land loss (November 4, 2015)
Livestock Market Reports (November 4, 2015)
Rain can be blessing, curse for farmers (November 4, 2015)
Ranch Rodeo fun in Nixon (November 4, 2015)
Ranching event set for Nov. 11 in Panna Maria (November 4, 2015)
Tips for spraying broccoli, cabbage (November 4, 2015)
Wet winter, spring is good news for hunters (November 4, 2015)
November 2015 Gardening Calendar (November 1, 2015)