Drought Damage and Citrus Search

San Antonio Express News
Gardening, ETC.
Sunday, April 9, 2006

damaged lawnMost of the time we are providing you information, but now we need your help and are willing to reward you for your participation. This request concerns 1) the condition of the lawn grass after the winter drought and 2) location of any uncommon, exotic citrus in the area.

First we will discuss the grass situation. Most reasonable people without an obvious “water agenda” have realized and admitted that the San Antonio-South Texas area, south and west, have experienced, and continue to experience the worse winter drought in history. Also, many folks are beginning to notice that some lawn grasses are extremely green – as the lawns should be in April – while other adjoining lawns are still extremely brown with only sparse green sprigs emerging.

PeachesMy suspicion is that those who watered during the winter drought are now being rewarded with green lawns.

We need to know why there is still-dormant, slow-greening grass immediately next to fully greened lawns. Of course, common sense would tell us that the folks with the green lawns watered during the winter and the folks with the brown lawns wanted to save money on their sewage fee charges and opted not to water. ALL LIVING THINGS NEED WATER TO FLOURISH even in the winter when plants are considered to be dormant.

In the absence of much needed information, a number of articles have been submitted about winter droughts. This information along with images can be seen at:

We want anyone interested in getting some rare seed of a wonderful new plant for South Central Texas named ‘Daily Beauty Dwarf Bush Morning Glory” (described and pictured at: http://www.plantanswers.com/bush_morning_glory.htm ) to do one of two things. The first thing you can do is to find an obviously-greener lawn next to a brown lawn. We need the grass types to be the same, i.e., brown Bermuda next to green Bermuda; brown St. Augustine next to green St. Augustine, etc. Examples are pictured in Jerry Parsons’ third March column at http://www.plantanswers.com/garden_columns.htm titled “Drought Damage and Citrus Search.”

Examples do not have to be in your yard or even in your neighborhood. Then, you have to go to the person with the green lawn and asked them if they watered this winter. If they say they did water this winter, we need to know how they knew to water. Some possible reasons: 1) They listened to their favorite garden show host who cared more about maintaining living landscapes than avoiding a possible water restriction; 2) They never turned off their watering system and maintained the summer watering schedule through the winter; 3) They just realized their lawns needed watering every two weeks in lieu of an inch of rainfall.

You can also apply this to dying shrubs in your neighborhood and try to determine why some were drought damaged and some adjoining plants seem normal. Images which demonstrate and explain this can be seen at: http://www.plantanswers.com/drought_watering.htm If you have a digital camera and can document your findings, please send images to: http://www.ktc.net/plantanswers/question_form.htm We will post the best in the PLANTanswers.com Winter Drought series giving you full credit.

To get your free seed, either e-mail your findings to: http://www.ktc.net/plantanswers/question_form.htm with your name and full address—the seed will be mailed to you. If you want to telephone your results or relay them to us personally, call the Milberger Nursery Garden Show at 210-308-8867 or toll free: 1-866-308-8867 on Saturday or Sunday from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. on KLUP Radio (AM 930) during show hours. We will take your mailing information and send you the free seed. If you want to mail your findings, send a self-addressed, stamped envelop to:

Drought Study and Citrus Findings
P. O. Box 380391, San Antonio
Texas 78268-7391

The other way you can get free Daily Beauty Dwarf Bush Morning Glory seed is to help us locate any uncommon, exotic citrus in the area. Larry Stein, PhD. and Jerry Parsons, PhD., have introduced several new satsuma mandarin orange varieties to Texas within the last 10 years. They have created a very informative website about growing Patio Citrus at:

The Texas A&M Cooperative Extension wants to do more with your help. We need to learn about any citrus plants which lemonsmay have been brought into Texas from a foreign country or foreign state such as Louisiana. We will come toyour home or wherever the citrus is growing, determine what kind it is and, if it is unusual, begin propagating it for the rest of the state to enjoy. Your picture will be taken with the tree and you will be given full credit for providing a new, healthful citrus to the people of Texas. AND, you will get your free package of the Daily Beauty Dwarf Bush Morning Glory seed. To “sweeten” the citrus deal, we will also give you a seedling of a Changsha tangerine as described at: http://www.plantanswers.com/changsha.htm WHAT A DEAL! You can contact us using any of the options provided above.

Remember, Learn and Have Fun!

David Rodriguez is the County Extension Agent-Horticulture for Bexar County. He represents the Texas Cooperative Extension with the Texas A&M University System. For any landscape or gardening information, call the Bexar County Master Gardeners AHotline@ at (210) 467-6575, email questions to mg-bexar@tamu.edu, or visit our County Extension website at http:bexar-tx.tamu.edu

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