Saturday, January 31, 2009


The Photinia above is healthy and below it has spider mites

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

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Normally established ornamental plants and Bermudagrass need little or no irrigation in the winter. However, as Central Texas is in a drought things are a little different this year. A good rule of thumb is to water once per month this time of year. You can allow things to dry out a little more with Bermudagrass or Zoysia grass than with St Augustine grass. If you are still watering once per week or more that is probably more water than is needed this time of year. If you over water you will encourage disease especially in the St Augustine and Zoysia grass lawns.