May 17 2008 Timely Tips




May 17, 2008

Thrips insect are the culprits behind gnarled leaves on new growth of pepper plants and rose flowers. Use Malathion or Sevin spray according to the label.

If the weather has cooperated, we should have an abundance of ladybugs. Minimize the use of pesticides, so the ladybugs can do their job. Their larvae can eat as many as 400 aphids a day.

If you insist on vine ripening your tomatoes than bird netting is not the answer. Consider hanging a few orange or red shiny Christmas bulb decorations on the plants while the fruit is green. The birds will supposedly check out the bulbs and, not finding anything, will lose interest and hopefully pass up the real fruit when it ripens.

Check junipers, evergreens, and other conifers for spider mites, which can cause stems to turn brown. Shake a branch over white paper and look for tiny specks, which are spider mites. Apply an Acephate insecticide/miticide.

Peach fruit should be thinned to six-to-eight inches apart along the fruiting branches which generally leaves about 500 fruit per mature tree. Apples and pears should be thinned to one fruit per spur or cluster.

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

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