Friday, July 24, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
David Rodriguez of the Agricultural Extension Agency suggested on the 6pm news several good ideas : 1. Apply up to 2 inches of water on your water day in the widow of time allowed by stage 2 water restrictions ( 3am-8am and 8pm -10pm) 2. Hand water dry grass and plants as even native plants are stressing with the prolonged drought 3. Addition of mulch to beds to conserve water 4. Think about fall and spring redesigns to replace some turfgrass areas with low water use plants.
Check back for future posts with information on a SAWS rebate for those that make water saving changes in the landscape.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
What can I do to survive the restrictions?
- Your water day starts at mid-night, so set you clock to do a mid-night cycle and the set it for a early morning cycle, such as 6 am. Using two start times is a good way to allow applied water to soak in. For example, two 10 minutes cycles separated by a few hours will do more good than one 20 minute cycle that starts to run off after 10 minutes due to the slow rate at which our heavy clay soils accept water. This idea is easy to use with small systems because you do not need to worry about how long it takes to finish the cycle. The last cycle on your water day must finish by 10 am. However, even if you have a large system that needs from mid-night to 10 am to finish, you can benefit from this idea. Just divide you run times by 2 and set the clock to do 2 half cycles in stead of one long cycle.
- Create strong roots by proper mowing height and mowing frequency and never remove more than one-third of the plant in one mowing. For example, if the grass is 3 inches tall, do not cut below 2 inches. This will mean weekly mowing when the grass is growing or mowing at taller mowing height.
- Apply compost and or aerate the yard for strong roots
- Proper fertilizer applications for strong roots.
- Hand watering is legal in stage one at any time on any day. After your water day passes you will see certain areas wilt stress quicker than others. Give those areas some water with the hose. This is a great way to save water as you put the water only on the part of the yard that needs it, not the whole yard.
Friday, February 13, 2009
Saturday, February 7, 2009
A Common Broadleaf Weed
Friday, February 6, 2009
Compost After Being Raked In
I continue to see more spider mites on shrubs this week. Above is a photo of spider mite damage on the Boxwood shrub. Notice that in this close up the mites are far to small to see without a 10 x lens. The leaves get more of a yellowish speckled look on the Boxwood. While the Photinia leaf seems to take on a bronze colored look when attacked by spider mites. See the Jan 31st post for more spider mite information.
Saturday, January 31, 2009
Spider Mites frequently attack Photinia, Boxwood, and Italian Cypress. They can be very hard to see on the leaf. Many times you can shake them off a leaf and onto a white sheet of paper. This makes them easier to see. If you want to verify that is is not just dust, squash a few specks on the paper and try to smear them across the page. A red streak across the page pretty much confirms the spider mites. The leaf above shows the symptomatic, yellow or bronze speckled look on the leaves . Some experts claim a level of control with a hard spray of water to knock the spider mites off the leaves. Oils or a combination of oils and professionally applied insecticides are the most effective measures.
Click the link below for a good overview of spider mites and other insect pests by TAMU Ag Extension