What is the best grass for a tree-rich sandy soil? Will Zoysia work? Is sand acidic or alkaline? Will it help to incorporate leaves into the sand? Zoysia has some shade tolerance, but it sounds to me like you have too much shade for any lawn grass. Your choices include using a native grass seed mix that will provide some clumps of grass, or use a shade-tolerant groundcover. Asiatic jasmine, dwarf ruellia and monkey grass may work. The shade-loving groundcover will require special attention to get them established.
The leaves incorporated in the soil will improve its ability to hold water and support plant cover.
Use flagstone paths through the area to increase attractiveness and provide natural borders between the groundcover and native grass area.
Sand can be acidic or alkaline.
Tell me about loquat. I never noticed them before, but now I notice they are all over my neighborhood and full of fruit. Loquat is also called Japanese plum. It is an evergreen tree that grows to about 25 feet tall on good soils, but it is not fussy about soils. Loquat will also grow in the sun or the shade. The species is drought tolerant and pest free.
Loquat blooms in early winter to produce fruit in the spring. Many years the blooms and/or fruit are frozen back. The fruit is edible and tasty, but most in landscapes have more seed than fruit. Improved selections with larger fruit do exist. Visit plantanswers.com for recipes for loquat jam and other uses.
Loquat is an excellent landscape tree. Use it as a specimen or in a row for a driveway or property line border. Loquat around a swimming pool gives it a tropical look. However, plant the loquat far enough away from the pool so dropping fruit is not a problem.
Can we use bayberry leaves for a flavoring just like bay laurel? Bayberry is recognized for its medicinal and herb-like properties, but it also is known for potential side effects. I would not recommend using it for flavoring until you do considerable personal research.
Dr. Calvin Finch is Urban Water Program Director for the Texas A&M Institute of Renewable Natural Resources.
You can ask Calvin question and hear his answers on the air as he co-hosts the Gardening South Texas
on the air at KLUP (AM 930) Saturday and Sunday from 12:00 to 2:00pm.