Ask Burton

Ask Burton

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Ask Burton Q: My Indian hawthorn are showing some sort of chewing damage. How do we stop this?

May, 25

A: These plants are showing bagworm damage, as well as actual young bagworms. Damage usually starts being noticeable around Memorial Day, although the critters have been showing up a…

Ask Burton: This week, a heads up on a nasty turf disease in our area. Q: I have irregular patches of dead grass in my St. Augustine lawn. The areas are surrounded by yellowing grass, and the patches show up regardless of whether the areas are in sun or shade. I had chinch bugs last year and treated for them. Is it the same problem?

May, 19

A: Probably not. Chinch bugs really take off when the weather gets hot, and are always worst in the sunniest, driest parts of your lawn. It’s early for this…

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: This week, we’re talking about one of our favorite types of plant problems – the types where doing nothing is the best answer. Q: My oak trees (live oaks mostly) are having a lot of browning on their leaves! Random splotches, twisted leaves, and now, many are falling off the tree and littering the ground. What should I do to address this?

May, 04

A: I’ve had over a hundred cases of this problem brought to me over the past three weeks. This is oak leaf blister, a disease brought on by the…

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

April, 29

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, 20

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

April, 15

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…

Ask Burton: Q: I want to get my flowers and patio tomatoes off to a good start this year. What do you recommend as far as potting soil and fertilizer when I plant?

April, 09

We recommend two Covington’s brand products that we have had formulated especially for North Texas gardeners:

• Covington’s Premium Flower & Garden Fertilizer – Our easy to use Premium…

Ask Burton: Q: I planted a row of hollies at my property line to cut down on road noise, and I really want them to grow vigorously this year – which they did NOT do last year. Additionally, my purple loropetalum isn’t very purple – it’s got a lot of yellowing leaves. How can I get them to do what I want?

March, 30

A: Proper nutrition matters. The thick clay soil of our area has some good points, but it tends close to zero on available nitrogen (necessary for vigorous green growth)…

Ask Burton: Q: When should I fertilize my lawn and plants?

March, 24

A: Fertilize all of your plants now!  We’ve said it before, but the questions just keep pouring in about when to fertilize!  March is a key month to fertilize all of…