June 5th, 2010
Cool off with ponds, streams and fountains on the 2010 Austin Pond Society Tour. Michael and Terrie Lumsden join Tom for a preview of this year's ponds and garden design. Trisha Shirey samples dwarf basils for small spaces, along with purple basils, ornamentals, and Thai basil.
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Plant of the Week: Coreopsis
Tips of the Week
Begin to watch for spider mites. They're very active during the heat and dusty, dry conditions. If you see them, you can wash them off with a forceful jet of water, including underneath the leaves. Be diligent about this! You'll have to do it a few times a week.
They are very tiny, so you may not see them at all. You may notice some spider webbing on infested plants, but most likely you'll first notice speckled leaves with yellow “dots,” where they've been sucking. Spider mites are very challenging to control, but use pesticides only if there's an extreme infestation. Many beneficials dine on spider mites, and pesticides could kill them, too. As we hit the heat of summer, it's probably best to remove heavily infested plants.
Your deciduous trees should be completely leafed out by now, so if you have leafless branches, they're likely dead. So prune those out. Except for oak trees. You want to wait until July or August to prune them, and preferably November through January.
With the heat and humidity, be cautious about overwatering plants, especially if your drainage isn't perfect. Too much water can lead to root rot.
But be sure to water your trees and new shrubs. Water deeply, then let dry out.
If you use neem oil or another fungicide on blackspot or other fungal diseases, be sure to do it early in the day or later in the evening. You don't want to apply this to the leaves in the heat of day.
If you're plagued by pesky insects, please, read the label before you apply a pesticide. Many pesticides, even organics, will kill your beneficial insects.
- More Tips
Question of the Week
How do I add coffee grounds to my plants?
Barbara and Greg Clark
Artichoke and Lemon Pesto
Watermelon Margarita with Basil
Summer Basil Splash
Basil, Mint, Lavender Ice Cream
Michael and Terrie Lumsden