You’ve been granted free access to this subscribers only article.
Leaves decompose in the yard
Q: How long should it take for my leaves to decompose on the lawn? I am trying to convince my dad that it is environmentally the best strategy. He wants me to rake them and bag the leaves for the landfill.
A: If I have a vote, I vote with you. Leaves that are allowed to decompose on the lawn return nutrients and organic material back to the soil. It depends on the weather how fast they will decompose. If it stays cold, it will be a month. To speed up the process run the mower over the leaves. The smaller the pieces, the quicker they decompose.
Q: My yard is overrun with hackberry seedlings. I cut them down three times a year but they all resprout and new ones grow. Is there a solution?
A: There is no way to eliminate all hackberry seedlings but you can kill the ones you cut by applying a drop of Vine and Stump Killer on the fresh cut. The active ingredient translocates to the roots and kills the whole plant.
Q: Tell us again what the black specks are on the citrus fruits. My mother does not believe they are caused by grackles. She thinks they are some disease. They are also okay to eat, aren’t they?
A: I hate to disagree with anybody’s mother, but, yes, the black specks are pecks made by young grackles on the young fruit. It is a relatively new phenomenon and we don’t know why they do it yet, but it is done by grackles. The fruit can be eaten; the pecks are usually just a cosmetic blemish.
Q: You and Dr. Parsons were “arguing” about whether Ornamec, Over the Top, Vantage, and Grass be Gone would kill annual rye grass and rescue grass on your KLUP radio show. Did you ever resolve the argument?
A: Yes, we have concluded that the contact herbicides work on the winter grass weeds but that action can be very slow in cool and overcast weather. The herbicide is taken in the by the grass best when it is lush and growing and also warm and sunny. We have lush grassy weeds but we haven’t had much sun or warmth. It will take several sprays and three to four weeks for a kill in this weather.
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 email@example.com.
Your Opinions and Comments
Be the first to comment on this story!
You must be logged in to post a comment.
Agriculture Today Archives
Customs intercepts pest new to the United States (May 25, 2016)
Does wounded tree have a chance? (May 25, 2016)
Livestock Market Reports (May 25, 2016)
Mother Nature whips Wilson County crops (May 25, 2016)
Scrapie confirmed in Texas (May 25, 2016)
TDA Market Recap (May 25, 2016)
Texas Hay Report (May 25, 2016)
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)