DROUGHT DAMAGE AND CITRUS
Most of the time we are providing you information but now we
need your help and are willing to reward you for your participation.
This request concerns the condition of the lawn grass after the
winter drought and location of any uncommon, exotic citrus in
If our don't -folks think this not-watered St. Augustinegrass
is going to revive--it better be Lazarus grass--IT IS DEAD.
Even Floratam St. Augustine grass which received inadequate
watering during the drought is severely thinning.
First we will discuss the grass situation. Most reasonable people
without an obvious "water agenda" have realized and
admitted that the San Antonio-South Texas area, south and west,
have experienced and continue to experience the worse winter drought
in history. Also, many folks are beginning to notice that some
lawn grasses are extremely green
- as the lawns should be in April - while other adjoining lawns
are extremely brown still with only sparse green sprigs emerging.
My suspicion is that those who watered during the winter drought
being rewarded with green lawns. However, those who didn't realize
they should be watering during the winter drought will also have
an advantage--dead grass doesn't grow nearly as fast as living
grass so it will not have to be mowed as often!
Can you determine where the St. Augustine grass was not
Notice weeds and DEAD runners in area of lawn NOT watered.
We need to know why all of this still-dormant, slow-greening
grass is immediately next to fully greened lawns. Of course, common
sense would tell us that the folks with the green lawns watered
during the winter and the folks with the brown lawns wanted to
save money on their sewage fee charges and opted not to water.
Yet some of my colleagues are in denial concerning this basic
truth of plant growing--ALL LIVING THINGS NEED WATER TO FLOURISH
even in the winter when plants are considered to be dormant.
In the absence of much information about winter droughts, some
unbiased horticulturists in the area have put together what has
become the most information ever written about winter droughts.
This information along with images to prove the point can be seen
The opposition side to watering during a winter drought is presented
It is obvious when reading the opposition columns that these
folks are mainly interested in saving as much water as possible
to avoid water restrictions AT ANY COST to landscapes and the
public who will have to replant the dead and dying plant materials.
Water is a resource and should be used when necessary to keep
plants healthy--it is why we have water. Water is not supposed
to be withheld for those purposes it is intended to be used for.
Local horticulturists are still trying to verify why there are
many lawns slowly greening with lots of dead spots of grass immediately
next to fully greened lawns of the same grass type. Of course,
common sense would tell us that the folks with the green lawns
watered during the winter (especially in December and January)
and the folks with the sparse green lawns and lots of dead grass
didn't realize grass needs
watering in the winter during dry spells. Anyone interested in
some rare seed of a wonderful new plant for South-central Texas
named 'Daily Beauty Dwarf Bush Morning Glory" (name shortened
to 'Daily BM' - described and pictured at: http://www.plantanswers.com/bush_morning_glory.htm
) can do one of two things. The first thing you can do is to find
an obviously-greener-lawn next to a slowly greening lawn with
brown sections of grass--we need the grass types to be the same,
i.e., brown Bermuda next to green Bermuda; brown St. Augustine
next to green St. Augustine, etc. I don't think you will have
problems finding these examples since Jerry Parsons found the
examples pictured at: http://www.plantanswers.com/drought_lawn_care.htm
neighborhood. The examples don't have to be in your yard or even
your neighborhood but we do need an address. Then, you have to
go to the person with the green lawn and ask them if they watered
this winter. If they say they did water this winter, we need to
know how they knew to water. Some possible reasons: 1. They listened
to their favorite garden show host who cared more about maintaining
living landscapes than avoiding a possible water restriction;
2. They never turned off their watering system and maintained
the summer watering schedule through the winter; 3. They just
realized their lawns needed watering every two weeks in lieu of
an inch of rainfall. If you have a digital camera and can document
your findings, please send images to:
with your name
and full address so the seed can be mailed to you. We will post
best images in the PLANTanswers.com Winter Drought series with
you given full credit if you want. If you are coming to Festival
of Flowers, come by the Ask the Expert Booth and simply give the
address of the damaged lawn and you will receive a FREE package
of this rare seed.
If you want to telephone your results or relay them to us personally,
call the Milberger Nursery Garden Show at 210-308-8867 or toll
free: 1-866-308-8867 on Saturday or Sunday from 12:00 p.m. to
2:00 p.m. on KLUP Radio (AM 930) during show hours. We will take
your mailing information and send you the free seed. If you want
to mail your findings, send a self-addressed, stamped envelop
to: Drought Study and Citrus Findings, P. O. Box 380391, San Antonio,
The other way you can get free 'Daily BM' seed is to help us
locate any uncommon, exotic citrus in the area. You realize Drs.
Larry Stein and Jerry Parsons have introduced several new satsuma
mandarin orange varieties to Texas in the last 10 years. They
have even created a very informative website about growing Patio
The Texas A&M
Cooperative Extension wants to do more with your help. We need
to learn about any citrus plants which may have been brought into
Texas from a foreign country or foreign state such as Louisiana.
We will come to your home or wherever the citrus is growing, determine
what kind it is and, if it is unusual, begin propagating it for
the rest of the state to enjoy. Your picture will be taken with
the tree and you will be given full credit for providing a new,
healthful citrus to the people of Texas. AND, you will get your
free package of 'Daily BM' seed. To "sweeten" the citrus
deal, we will also give you a seedling Changsha tangerines as
described at: http://www.plantanswers.com/changsha.htm
WHAT A DEAL!!!!!!!! You can contact us using any of the options
So now WE need YOUR help to educate the common-senseless water
purveyors and to find a new and wonderful citrus for all to enjoy.