Ask Burton

Ask Burton

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Ask Burton: This week, we’re looking to a question from a customer out of town, with a chillier problem than we normally deal with. Q: I’m in Wichita Falls and I want to plant agave because it’s really dry up here, but the last ones I tried melted in the cold. Do you have agave that will deal with our cold weather?

August, 13

A: Cold hardiness of agave is an occasional problem down here in DFW, and more so as cold as it can get next to the Red River. We plant…

ASK BURTON Q: My crape myrtle is dripping sap, isn’t blooming right, and generally just looks tired. There are also tiny white dots up and down the branches. How do I fix this?

August, 07

A: This pest is crape myrtle bark scale which sucks sap from the plant, making it less vigorous and reducing bloom. Sticky residue from the insect coats branches, stems,…

Ask Burton: Q: This week, we’re looking at containers – with a lot of spring color wearing out in the heat, many people want to freshen up their patio and entryway show for the summer. Q: I had beautiful pots of petunias on my patio, and the past few weeks has made them give up. What can I plant right now that will really go through the heat and work in my containers?

July, 16

A: There are still a number of good choices you can use, based on your sun exposure, that will tolerate the heat well. Plant selection isn’t all, though! There…

Ask Burton: Q: I had excellent tomatoes this spring, and I want to have the best fall garden possible. Should I keep my existing tomato plants (they still look good), or replant young starts?

July, 09

A: There are two schools of thought about that, and I’m going to have to land on the side of fresh tomato starts. I’ve done it both ways. Healthy…

Ask Burton: Today, we’re talking about fungus! Q: I have mushrooms and ugly looking fungus growing around my plants in the flowerbed. How do I get rid of these before they harm my plants?

July, 01

A: Patience. There are all sorts of fungi in any healthy soil, most of which are harmless. Mostly, they decay dead vegetation, which is why you see fungal strands…

Ask Burton: This week, we’re looking at grasshoppers, and some of the best ways to control them. Q: I live a little out of town, and grasshoppers are a problem. They love to eat my cannas each and every summer, but some years, it’s like they’ll leave all of my shrubs looking nibbled. How can I head this off this year?

June, 26

A: Most lawn and garden pests tend to concentrate on a handful of plant types to feed upon, but grasshoppers are notable because they feed on such a wide…

Ask Burton: This week, a quick answer about issues in your containers. Those flowers in the patio pots need to look nice! Q: I have numerous pots of flowers on my patio, and many of them are getting yellowed foliage and aren’t looking their best. I fertilized them with a good granular fertilizer when I planted them up, and they get decent sunshine. Any ideas on improving them?

June, 18

A: Flowers in containers need a steady source of additional fertilizer! You’re watering your pots more often than your plants in ground – you just have to – and…

Ask Burton: Q: I have a ‘Dynamite’ crape myrtle in my back yard and I love the bright red blooms on it. I’d like to have one near my front door too. How easy would it be to keep ‘Dynamite’ trimmed down to three to four feet tall?

June, 10

A: It’s not a good idea to do this. This variety of crape myrtle will grow to about 15-20 feet tall. If you prune or “top” it, or any…

Ask Burton: Q: I have planted a large bed of potato vine, and it’s growing crazy fast but many of my leaves have small holes in them. How do I handle the problem?

June, 04

A: There are a number of pests that can chew holes in the leaves of the fast-growing potato vine; beetles, looper caterpillars, slugs, snails and grasshoppers can all nibble…

Ask Burton: Q: My lawn is being overrun by nutgrass. What can I use to get rid of it?

May, 28

A: Spray our Sedgehammer when nutsedge is actively growing, generally from the middle of May through September. Follow the instructions on the product label for the most effective application…