For The Answer
Wilson County News
Calvin R. Finch, Ph.D., Conservation Director, San Antonio Water System, and Horticulturist
Week of May 29, 2001
Q. My crepe myrtle leaves have a powdery substance on them and they are crinkling. Is it a fungus? How do we control it?
A. Crepe myrtles and many other plants have been plagued with powdery mildew this spring because of our mild, wet weather. The disease will cause defoliation and reduce bloom but will not kill the plant. Spray with Fungaway to reduce the effects of the fungus. Green Light also has a neem oil product called Powdery Mildew Killer on the market. I am not sure how effective it is but organic gardeners may want to try it.
Q. I have more onions than I can store but want to save them. Did I hear you say on KLUP radio that I could just put them on a picnic table in the shade outside and they would last through the summer?
A. This has not been a good onion year for most of us and we wont have to store onions very long. The best place to store them is in a mesh bag or on a flat surface with plenty of airspace in the air-conditioned house. Yes, most years most will last through the summer if stored on a garden table. Keep them spread out and discard rotten onions as they occur.
Q. Are there any flowers for cutting that the deer will not eat?
A. Zinnias seem to be deer proof.
Q. We let our Bermuda lawn go without mowing for a longer period than normal. Now it looks like it is dead. Will it recover?
A. Yes, it will come back. It is recommended that Bermuda grass be mowed at 1 to 1.5 inches high when it reaches 2 or 2.25 inches tall. Bermuda does not have any shade tolerance so when you mow it any higher than that you cut off all the leaf. The brown dead look is because all that remains is stems. Bermuda is tough and it will come back. From now on, however, mow it at the recommended height for the best appearance.