Ask Burton

Ask Burton

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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?

June, 11

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 addressing a plant problem made worse by the rainy month we’ve just gone through. Q: I have problems with the leaves of several of my shrubs. My Gerber daisies are odd-colored, with green veins standing out from the yellowing leaves. The holes are caused by snails, which I’ve treated for, but that’s not all that’s going wrong. Did all the rain damage the roots of my plants?

June, 02

A: It may have damaged a few roots. But the main problem is that the excess water flowing over the top of the flowerbed has stripped acids out of…

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?

May, 25

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: This week, we’re checking up on your junipers, cedars, and bald cypress. It’s time to head off a problem before it really gets started this year.

May, 19


These critters were very active last year! Normally, they kick off the festivities around Memorial Day, but last year, they started in almost two weeks early. This is…

Ask Burton: Q: The snails are eating up my flowers and I want to kill them, but I have two dogs that like to get into everything. Can I kill the snails and not hurt my dogs?

May, 11

A: The most common slug pellet contains metaldehyde, a dangerously poisonous material if eaten by cats or dogs. The pesticide is very effective, inexpensive, and for a lot of…

Ask Burton: Q: I have a mature live oak tree in my yard which was damaged during the February snowstorm. Most of the live oaks in my neighborhood have sprouted out green again already, but mine remains stubbornly brown and dead-looking. Also, my parents have an old Arizona ash that hasn’t leafed out. Are our trees dead, or is there hope?

May, 05

A: As far as the live oak goes, it’s not hopeless yet. Every day I drive in to work, I see another live oak which had been burned and…

Ask Burton: Q: What are these white blobs on my crape myrtle and how do I get rid of them?

April, 27

A: That is crape myrtle bark scale, and you do need to treat it. This pest sucks sap from the plant, making it less vigorous and reducing bloom. Sticky…

Ask Burton: Q: We have a Shumard red oak that is having its leaves devoured, and there are huge weird swarms of worms on the trunk of the tree. What is this and how do I stop it?

April, 19

A: The problem is forest tent caterpillars, a common pest in North Texas in mid-April. They’re social critters, usually concentrating on a branch or two at a time while…

Ask Burton Q: Now that the weather has warmed up, what gardening projects do I need to focus on?

April, 13

A: It’s time to do many things in the lawn and garden! A quick overview of the most important tasks ahead:

• Fertilize Everything! – If you haven’t already,…

Ask Burton Q: My bougainvillea grows like crazy but doesn’t bloom very much – how can I fix this?

April, 09

A: Bougainvillea are accustomed to wet and dry cycles of growth – for several weeks, bougainvilleas grow quickly – it’s only once they begin to dry out that they’ll…