TX Organic Research Center



Crabgrass is fine in compost.
April 22, 2005
By Howard Garrett

Question: Can I add the crabgrass that I pull from my lawn to the compost pile? I am concerned that the plants and seeds may grow or germinate. J.V., Denton

Answer: Weeds of all kinds are great ingredients for compost. They are loaded with trace minerals. The composting process kills the seeds, so spreading is not a problem.

Question: Many of my live oaks are infested with what I call water bugs. They look like huge cockroaches. Last year, one tree fell over in the middle of the night. Are the bugs the cause? What should I do about the other infested trees?  A.L., Fort Worth

Answer: What you have are cockroaches, but they don't hurt trees. They feed on dead and decaying organic matter and are beneficial outdoors. You should hire an arborist to examine your trees to determine what may be wrong.

uestion: Last fall, you mentioned a product that could be sprayed on hedges to keep them free of mosquitoes for up to 30 days. Was the product name Garlic GP? C.R., Granbury

Answer: Spraying garlic works well, as does broadcasting minced garlic. Garlic GP products are sold in most feed stores and garden centers that offer organic products. The research and labeling is  targeted at disease control, but all garlic oils and teas work well to control insects. I have been using garlic for that purpose for years.

Question: We have lived in our new house for four years, and we have found powder post beetles in wood cabinetry in the kitchen. Can they be eliminated or treated naturally? C.S., Frisco

Answer: Painting or spraying orange oil on the wood probably will do the trick, but it will mess up the finish. After using it to get rid of the pests, you will probably have to restain or paint.

Question: Do I need to dig up tulip bulbs after they stop blooming? K.S., Bedford

Answer: Tulips usually are treated as annuals in North Central Texas; they do not return reliably the next spring. Feel free to dig them up and toss them into the compost pile. Otherwise, they will probably decompose underground on their own.


   A burning question on lawns
   A Monster's Growing Under Our Deck!
   About oak sprouts
   After exposing tree’s root flare, leave it alone
   Ailing from harsh summer, crabapple needs treatment
   All we are saying is give trees a chance
   Amount of tilling, not method, is what matters.
   An organic option to control the fleas
   An unwelcome bug is eating ornamental plants
   Antique, container roses are sweeter
   Ants have invaded pots of peppers
   Any way to help heal injured tree?
   Apple and pear trees need little pruning
   Are gnats hanging out on your houseplants? There's hope
   Are mushrooms bad for my yard?
   Are tree galls troublesome?
   Asps won't hurt plants 9-01-2006
   Attracting Birds To The Garden, Composting, Sprayers
   Azalea beds may be incorrectly done
   Baby talc marches against ants
   Bag the worm problem to save tree
   Bald cypress going brown
   Bald cypress roots expose themselves.
Printable Version | Back to Top

Dr Ohirras
Bonnie Plants
Crazy Water

H A N N A H ' S    M A R K E T P L A C E

Send this website to a friend Make this website your home page