TEXAS AGRILIFE EXTENSION SERVICE
BEXAR COUNTY BY DAVID RODRIGUEZ
June 21, 2008
As temperatures continue to rise, expect some leaves to fall from well established and adapted tree crowns. It is a natural survival tactic. Most trees are watered sufficiently when the turfgrass receives an inch of supplemental irrigation a week during these harsh summer months. A soaker hose applied at the trees drip-line will provide that extra deep watering comfort.
Water lawns only when grass blades first show signs of wilting in the morning. Apply 1/2 inch-to-5/8 inches on each of two consecutive mornings to encourage deeper roots. To save water let some of the grass (bermuda, zoysia, or buffalo grass) go dormant until fall by watering even less often.
If tomatoes are infested with spider mites, harvest the remaining fruit, pull up and directly discard the plants into the trash can. Spider mites do not compost well, and you do not want to risk spreading the problem to the rest of the garden.
If dead areas on the lawn pull up like a toupee or look moth-eaten, grubs probably are the culprits. Verify by digging up the soil underneath the dead patches, if there is five or more larva, treat with a listed pesticide or consider beneficial nematodes.
Chewing squirrels, in search of food and moisture, are girdling branches in shade trees, which can cause the whole branch to die. Applying pruning paint to the wounds, where practical, can discourage further chewing. Trapping also works well.
David Rodriguez is the County Extension Agent-Horticulture with the Texas AgriLife Extension Service in Bexar County. For more information, call the Master Gardener “Hotline” (210) 467-6575 or visit our County Extension website at http://bexar-tx.tamu.edu.