Pricey NEIL: I adore to develop spices, but my apartment balcony faces the very hot western sun. Crops wilt every single day, and they really do not do really properly. What could I do?
Pricey Reader: There should be some effortless and economical way to erect non permanent shade safety.
Maybe it would be a piece of nursery shade cloth secured in spot. It is often sold on line and in shops in pre-slash and sure tiny dimensions.
Maybe you could have a tall and slender potted plant, maybe a pretty upright juniper, or possibly a substantial pot with an beautiful wrought iron trellis included in an once-a-year vine — just some usually means of breaking the sunshine.
A couple herbs can tackle that kind of whole-sunlight exposure, but most would profit from any shading you could present.
Dear NEIL: We have 4 elevated beds about 15 foot by 6 foot in which we plant various veggies each individual calendar year. We rototill and include new compost from our have pile just about every year along with fertilizer.
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Is it required to rotate the crops that we grow all-around in people beds? We have not been performing that, and our generate has lessened considerably more than the earlier two seasons. Or could it just have been the crazy weather conditions cycles we’ve been going by way of?
Pricey Reader: Texas is recognized for its “crazy temperature cycles,” so we could as very well get utilised to that.
Some crops (legumes these kinds of as beans and peas) enrich the soils in which they are grown, although other crops deplete the soil of significantly-needed nutrients. Rotating the crops will support even that out.
Nevertheless, the possibility of soil-borne issues from ailments, nematodes and even insects looms even bigger. Crop rotation, anywhere it is possible, is constantly a excellent thought.
But you have to have to know your crops and their plant families. It won’t enable to rotate closely linked crops with a person a different. Peppers, tomatoes and eggplants are all sisters. So are cucumbers, melons, squash and gourds. Broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and other cole crops are in an additional team.
Ultimately, all of that explained, you are certainly right on the weather concerns. If you have repeated chilly spells in a spring it can toss planting dates off badly. Plant veggies also late and they will regularly close up with incredibly lousy yields.
Pricey NEIL: I’ve experienced my lorapetalums for yrs, and I appreciate it when they bloom. Why would just one of them throw out a white-flowering branch? I consider I remember it carrying out this just one other time.
Expensive Reader: It is an unstable cultivar. Which is a mutation, and it is how new types are learned. Odds are that it has all the exact same genes as the rest of the plant (similar height, expansion type, and so forth.), just not with the exact colour.
The issue now would be if it would remain secure. We employed to have a crape myrtle cultivar named Snow Toddler. It in all probability nevertheless exists out there somewhere — a beautiful white, semi-dwarf type, but it has the dreadful habit of reverting to lavender.
You’d plant a mattress of Snow Baby, and in advance of prolonged you’d have a mattress that was 50 percent white and half lavender.
Dear NEIL: I have about 98 % of a container of Epsom salts remaining over. It has very long because absent earlier its “use-by” date.
Can I nevertheless use it on my crops? How would I use it, and for how lengthy? What does it do for the plants?
Dear Reader: Epsom salts are a resource of magnesium when soils are deficient in it. However, that seldom takes place, primarily in soils that have any written content of clay.
I never recall at any time emotion the have to have to advocate it to a reader or radio listener. Most Texas soils have ample provides. As for how extended it would be good earlier its “use by” date, a smarter chemist than I will have to recommend you.
Expensive NEIL: My Blue Rug junipers died back again last 12 months. I’ve slash out the dead wooden now, but there are bare spots left powering. What type of fertilizer would be most effective to get them to regrow?
Expensive Reader: Implement an all-nitrogen plant food items. Generally, a significant-quality one particular with 50 percent or far more of its nitrogen in gradual-launch sort would be very best, but as a a person-time treatment, ammonium sulfate (21–) might leap-commence your plants into vigorous expansion this spring.
It would be finest to health supplement that a person month later on with a bigger high-quality all-N item. Watch out for spider mites from listed here on out. They are generally the induce of browning and thinning of trailing junipers.
Pricey NEIL: We have property in Central Texas that has a lot of wonderful, substantial post oak trees. About the past five decades, we have shed numerous. When I reduce a person down, I located numerous large uninteresting forms of beetles inside of. What can I put on the trees so that I will not lose any a lot more of them?
Expensive Reader: You seriously need to have to get a certified arborist on-web page to appear at your remaining trees. Publish oaks, more than any other style of tree that we come upon, can appear excellent one particular month, then be just about dead six months afterwards.
Generally, it’s environmental stress (quality adjustments, compaction, drought, extreme h2o, and so on.), and other times it’s just outdated age. Their life expectancy probably averages 75 a long time.
It’s rare for borers to attack a publish oak without having some other, even bigger difficulty weakening the tree and “inviting” them in. The excessive drought of 2011 may however be getting its toll on publish oaks. It was awful.
Dear NEIL: You stated making use of a weedkiller, and that it would choose about two months to do its position. How prolonged do I have to hold out to fertilize my lawn? What is the sequence?
Expensive Reader: Wide-leafed weedkillers (made up of 2, 4-D) commonly choose 10 to 15 days to get rid of weeds like dandelions, clover and thistles. They perform greatest when they’re utilized to strongly expanding foliage.
Consequently, the sequence: mow, use fertilizer on a working day when you can drinking water deeply, wait around a week and mow yet again, wait a few or four extra days, then utilize your weedkiller. Wait around a handful of far more times before you mow all over again.
Have a query you’d like Neil to contemplate? E mail him at [email protected] Neil regrets that he are not able to reply to questions independently.