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
Beef cattle seven-year decline ends (May 18, 2016)
Educational video for water well owners (May 18, 2016)
Free Beef Quality Assurance training set for May 25 (May 18, 2016)
Fretwell wins Region 8 high school all around rookie saddle (May 18, 2016)
Grant to restore, enhance the monarch butterfly habitat (May 18, 2016)
Grass-fed beef conference (May 18, 2016)
Gun safety and barbecue in New Braunfels (May 18, 2016)
La Vernia Poultry Judging wins state, advances to nationals (May 18, 2016)
Lawn, landscape, rainwater program May 21 in Floresville (May 18, 2016)
Lesser prairie chicken off the list (May 18, 2016)
Livestock Market Reports (May 18, 2016)
Luling Foundation Field Day (May 18, 2016)
Protecting your tomatoes (May 18, 2016)
TDA Market Recap (May 18, 2016)
Texas Hay Report (May 18, 2016)
As El Nińo fades, expect warmer, drier weather says Texas A&M expert (May 11, 2016)
Floresville team wins second at state (May 11, 2016)
Livestock Market Reports (May 11, 2016)
Llamas, load up! (May 11, 2016)
TDA Market Recap (May 11, 2016)
Texas Hay Report (May 11, 2016)
Transplanting mountain laurels (May 11, 2016)
2016 La Vernia Junior Livestock & Poultry Show (May 4, 2016)
Beef, forage symposium May 10 (May 4, 2016)
Cattle raisers’ crime watch (May 4, 2016)
Corn acreage increases in Texas (May 4, 2016)
Help controlling the weeds (May 4, 2016)
Krueger leads the way at La Vernia stock show (May 4, 2016)
Land Heritage nomination deadline nears (May 4, 2016)
Livestock Market Reports (May 4, 2016)
TDA Market Recap (May 4, 2016)
Texas Hay Report (May 4, 2016)
May 2016 Gardening Calendar (May 1, 2016)