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Real problem for oak isn't the bark
May 24, 2012
By Howard Garrett

Q: I have about six or seven blackjack oaks with bark falling off. I can't see any bugs. Should I worry about it? J.G., Fort Worth

 

A: Bark falling off is common and isn't necessarily a sign of trouble. On the other hand, the trees you sent photos of are at least 12 inches too deep in the ground and need to have the trunk flares exposed. This work can be done by homeowners with a power washer or hand tools if you are careful not to injure the bark. The best approach is to hire an arborist to do the work with an air spade or air knife.

 

 

Q: I see lots of articles about the benefits of using old coffee and coffee grounds on plants, but is there a similar benefit from using old tea? During the worst of the drought, we were pouring all the old tea into a big pitcher and using it to water some plants. 

P.J., Waco

 

A: Most tea or coffee will feed the microbes and function as mild organic fertilizer.

 

  

Q: What months should I put down organic fertilizer and what kind should I use? H.T., North Richland Hills

 

A: One of the nice things about the organic program is that it's OK to fertilize any month of the year. The basic schedule is to fertilize as follows: 1. late winter or early spring (January-March); 2. early summer (June); and 3. late summer-early fall (September-October). I use dry molasses, but any natural organic-blend product would be fine.

 

Q: I would like to plant herbs or flowers underneath my raspberry, blueberry and blackberry vines. I have them in raised beds. Would you recommend any plants that would do well? J.B., Schulenburg

  

A: You could try peppermint, oregano, comfrey, salad burnet, lemon balm, chili pequin and other peppers. I would recommend trying others also just as an experiment.

 

Q: What kind of hay is shown in the picture on your website for the walls of the compost pile, and where can I get it? B.G., Fort Worth

 

A: It is alfalfa, the best choice. Bermuda hay can be contaminated with toxic herbicides. Any feed store should be able to get it for you, although it will probably be expensive. My favorite composter is the Shepherd composter, which is available at the Green Living store and probably some other retailers.

 

 
Archive

   01 Howard Garrett Newsletter Organic Fly Control Final TEST
   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
   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
   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 roots expose themselves.
   Bamboo, the imperialist threat
   Bees like these plants.
 
 
 
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