I can’t believe all the slugs and snails this spring. The baits are effective, but a while back you also offered an idea for beer traps. Tell us again how that works. Slugs, snails and pill bugs are attracted to beer. Sink a plastic cup in the soil in a bed that you are trying to protect. Fill it half way to the top with beer. The pests will dive into the beer. The beer can be stale, warm, cheap or expensive; they like it all. When the cup fills up, which is usually in two or three days, dump it out and refill.
We want to use Zoysia grass for our new lawn. The sod is expensive. The supplier suggests plugging or applying it in a checkerboard pattern. What do you think?The checkerboard and plugging may work in some situations for a fast-spreading sod like Bermuda or St. Augustine grass, but I wouldn’t recommend it for Zoysia grass. Zoysia grass is dense and attractive, but it is very slow to fill in. You will be spending all of your time trying to keep the weeds from filling in the bare soil. Solid sod is the only option with Zoysia.
We were interested to hear you and Jerry Parsons discussing establishing zinnias by seed on your radio show last weekend. Are there any reasons that seed is less desirable than transplants? I like to seed zinnias for my cut flower garden and to provide nectar sources for hummingbirds. The heirloom selections, such as Cactus and California Grants, seem to be better nectar sources than the hybrids, such as Dreamland, which are used for transplants. Transplants are faster to bloom, however, and they are selected because they have better mildew resistance. Plant some of each!
We like okra but wonder how much space it needs in the garden? Okra can be huge. Some selections reach 14 feet tall and 3 feet around. A variety like Oscar, however, will only grow 6 or 7 feet tall.
We visited some friends last week. They had a mulberry tree. It was an attractive tree, and it was loaded with birds including cardinals and cedar waxwings, which were feeding on the berries. Why don’t people plant more mulberries? Mulberries are a great wildlife food source but they don‘t rate high as a landscape tree. The wood is soft and breakage is common. Plus, they are very invasive. Seedlings show up every place that the birds eating the berries roost. That being said, I grow them in the far corner of my yard because of their outstanding wildlife food value.
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.