Blanco County News
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Bill's Organic Garden – Summer is Pest Season
Wednesday, July 3, 2013 • Posted July 5, 2013

This year I have made some changes from my usual routine of pest control. This year I called my friend Ron Guthrie of Bugz Pest and Lawn in Burnet and he is doing some awesome things with all organic applications. Applying cedar oil to my lawn and in my landscape is solving my chigger and flea challenge. My wife Patty is happy, happy, happy. We all know that if momma is happy everybody is happy. By the way, Ron’s web site is Bugzinfo.com. Many of you have asked me for this information while attending my speaking engagements, particularly at the Lavender Festival last month.

Grasshoppers

How to get rid of your grasshoppers is easy, if you start early with a product called “Semaspore Bait.” Semaspore Bait is not harmful to anything but grasshoppers; isn’t that wonderful? Semaspore Bait contains Nosema locustae protozoa, a naturally occurring grasshopper disease. This product is applied by the use of a “Whirly Bird” spreader or hand broadcast.

Deer

Are the deer making a buffet or a smorgasbord out of your landscape? Well, here is an effective solution and tested in the field of a subdivision in NW Austin by my son Will. His area is really overrun by whitetail deer, as are so many rural subdivisions. The product is Deer Repellent by St. Gabriel Organics. It has worked solid for three weeks with watering and sun exposure. Their web site is StGabrielOrganics.com.

Aphids

Last month we discussed the aftermath of aphids being that black mold and how to get remove it from the leaves with the product called Serenade. What we really want is to get control of the aphids before that stage. Aphids’ natural enemy is the cute little Ladybug; however, they are not always around when we need them most. What we know about aphids is that they don’t like garlic. Fortunately there is a product available called “Garlic Barrier.” It comes concentrated so it goes a long way in applications. It is liquid and is sprayed on the plants direct. Yea! No more bad infestations of aphids.

July Duties

Our normal July duties are just a shade off. We have had remarkably cooler weather and that affected the way our veggies grow. Normally by now we would be in the middle of huge harvest time and most of us are just now getting our first harvest. Those last two late freezes combined with cooler than usual temperatures for late May and most of June have really confused our plants and fruit trees. My fig trees are on their third try to produce figs.

This is the time of the year that your birdbaths are earning their keep. If you have water available for the birds in your garden, they are more likely to leave your tomatoes alone. The birds are just after fluids and a water source in the yard and garden is really helpful to them and therefore beneficial to your veggies.

Hope that you are enjoying a bountiful harvest for sharing and storing for the Winter. When mowing our yards, let’s remember to cut the grass higher at about 4-6 inches high.

There has been lots of bee activity recently and I have read just how busy bees really are. Honeybees tag 2,000,000 flowers to make one pound of honey. A hive of bees flies 55,000 miles to bring you and me one pound of honey. The average worker bee makes one and half teaspoons of honey in their lifetime. So the next time you are enjoying those biscuits and honey for breakfast, remember how hard those little honeybees had to work to provide that wonderful food for you to enjoy.

Some of the best peaches are the July peaches, so make a trip to Fredericksburg and get some of the best and the biggest. The place where I go in Fredericksburg is just south on HWY 87 and it is Donald Eckhardt’s Orchard, operated by daughter Diane. They are always great and picked that day. I noticed that they had plums earlier this summer. The hailstorms and cold weather have really taken its toll on Fredericksburg peaches, so you should check out the peach web site before going (HillCountryPeaches.com or TexasPeaches.com).

Late July is time to start your Fall tomatoes. Remember, they will need some shading from our blistering August sun. Plants they say to “plant in full sun” doesn’t always mean full Texas Summer sun.

If you want big pumpkins for Halloween, then you better prepare and plant them now. I know it is too hot to be thinking about Fall but that is the way it works.

Start thinking about what you are going to do for the Fall planting which we will be preparing for next month.

Till Next Month! Keep your souls and your soles in your garden!

Remember the True Master Gardener: Jesus said, “I am the vine; my Father is the Gardener.” John 15:1

Have questions or comments? Contact Bill Luedecke at The Luedecke Group Realtors, P.O. Box 1632, Bertram, TX. 78605 (no Post Office in Oatmeal) or email bill@texasland.net. For additional gardening web sites, go to his web site;www.TexasLand.Net and click on links.

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