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Agriculture Today

Which is the best chain saw?

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South Texas Gardener
December 18, 2013 | 3,417 views | Post a comment

Q: What is the best chain saw to buy as a gift? My husband is picky, so I want to get a good one?

A: I really like my Stihl chain saw, but you might want to see if he will give you some hints as to his favorite.

Q: Is it time to plant onions? Can we still plant spinach and broccoli? I see they are still at the nursery.

A: Yes, to all of the questions. Prepare the soil by incorporating a cup of slow-release or “winterizer” fertilizer into each row of the garden.

Q: Primula are spectacular. Why don’t more gardeners plant them?

A: They require full shade and need to be protected from slugs and snails. Apply a bait every week. Primulas are also expensive. I agree with you though, they are worth the cost.

Q: My son gave us a deodara cedar to use for a holiday tree, and he says he will help us plant it in the yard after the holidays. Is that a reasonable plan?

A: Yes, deodara cedar makes a good holiday tree, and then (if it has its roots intact) can be planted in the yard in full sun. Sometimes the tops freeze in very cold weather but even with the top gone, it is a beautiful lawn tree.

Q: It is hard to believe, but I still have tomatoes. All the fruit is large. If I harvest the tomatoes before the next freeze, will it ripen in the house? I am tired of trying to protect the plants from the cold.

A: Yes, the full-size fruit will ripen in the house.

Q: We found some Bermuda grass seed in the garage and planted it but none grew. It was several years old. Do you think that is the problem?

A: No, Bermuda grass seed won’t germinate in cool weather. It is planted between April 15 and Sept. 15. Try again in late spring.

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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