Solutions for mosquitos and birds on yards and fruit trees
Guadalupe County Master Gardeners is responsible for this content, which is not edited by the Wilson County News or wilsoncountynews.com.
Q: How can I mosquito proof my yard?
A: Many people forget about the “water holders” in their yard. Plant saucers need to be emptied after a rain, water features without fish need a biological mosquito control (Bacillus thuringiensis in a solid floating form), bird baths need to be emptied and refilled every day. And then there are those things you don’t think about, like old pots on their sides which hold just a little bit of water, that water gauge you don’t use any more but which still holds water, and the lawn furniture covers with a small pocket of water. Even high grass in your yard breeds mosquitoes. This is the year that I screened in my back porch. And yesterday my son called and asked if I am using repellant when I go outside (I am).
Q: How can I keep the birds off of my fruit this year?
A: I already have my blueberry bushes covered with bird netting and do this every year. It works. Of course, my blueberries are shrub size. It is a lot harder to cover peach and fig trees. Keeping fruit trees pruned to a reasonable size helps later on when you need to cover. I’ve given up worrying about my fig tree. It always has enough fruit for me, two neighbors, and the mockingbirds.
Q: Why isn’t my plant blooming? It has lovely green leaves but no blooms. It does seem to be a little leggy.
A: The answer to a question like this is usually too little sun. I was in the local nursery the other day and a man wanted to plant a certain plant in semi-shade. He was told that he would have no blooms. A general rule of thumb is the following: If it fruits or blooms, the plant needs 6 to 8 hours of full sun. I have a flame acanthus that I have never seen bloom because it is planted in the shade of a hackberry. Every year I plan to move it, but somehow it is still there. Maybe next spring. (If you must move a plant, in the winter cut around the roots. Then in the spring lift the plant and put into its new sunny spot.)
Q: What is blooming in the butterfly garden this month?
A: Calvin Finch’s list has passion vine and Fanick’s phlox blooming for May. My phlox have not opened yet but are getting ready to do so. Salvia is still blooming and my tropical milkweed is in full bloom. Wild lantana is blooming, as is fall aster (must be because of all that rain). Local antelope horn milkweed is also blooming.
It is time to change out your cool season annuals to spring and summer annuals such as marigold, periwinkle, Penta, purslane, portulaca, salvia, amaranthus, gomphrena, begonia, cockscomb, cosmos, geranium, morning glory, petunia, sunflower, Mexican sunflower (tithonia), and zinnia.
Here is May, both pasted below as well as attached in Word. Thank you. Clara Mae
Clara Mae Marcotte is a Texas Master Gardener with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension. If you have a question to be answered, call the Master Gardeners at 830-379-1972 or leave a message to be answered. The website is guadalupecountymastergardeners.org. The Master Gardener research library is open Mondays from 8:30 to noon, at 210 East Live Oak Street in Seguin.