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Agriculture Today


Milkweeds for monarchs




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South Texas Gardener
August 20, 2014 | 4,335 views | Post a comment

Q: Do all milkweeds work for monarch caterpillars? I have heard that our common butterflyweed (Asclepias tuberosa) is not a good monarch egg-laying site.

A: You heard right. In her book “Butterfly Gardening for the South,” Geyata Ajilvsgi said that the butterfly weed is a good nectar source for monarchs and other butterflies, but the leaves and stems are low in the toxins deemed best for making monarchs unattractive to predators. Choose purple milkweed, common milkweed, white milkweed, or Mexican milkweed for a better monarch egg-laying site. Mexican milkweed has red and orange bicolor flowers. It seems to be the most common milkweed available at area nurseries.

Q: Tell us again what will kill broadleaf weeds in a Bermuda grass lawn. What about sand burs?

A: The 2-4D herbicides are the best for broadleaf weeds. Wipeout is one product. Image has a product to kill sand bur plants in a Bermuda grass lawn.

Q: What insecticide works to control stinkbugs? They did terrible damage on my spring tomatoes and I want to be ready for them on the fall crop.

A: Stinkbugs are hard to kill, but carbaryl, the active ingredient of Sevin, does a good job. Follow the labeled instructions.

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 reader@wcn-online.com.
 

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