The Galveston Daily News from Galveston, Texas on July 7, 1999 · Page 25
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The Galveston Daily News from Galveston, Texas · Page 25

Galveston, Texas
Issue Date:
Wednesday, July 7, 1999
Page 25
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Page 25 article text (OCR)

GALVESTON COUNTY, TEXAS WEDNESDAY, JULY 7, 1999 C5 A little extra H ave you ever had a landscape plant die, even though it was planted carefully and pampered? If you're like most folks, then the answer is yes. So, if you've had a plant or two bite the dust a bit soon, at least know that you're in good company. Plants die on everyone, from the professional horticulturist to the novice gardener. Regardless of the care we might give some plants, they just might not survive. And there might not be anything you could have done to prevent it. Plant death can result from a variety of causes. Some factors such as freeze damage can be determined readily, while others might not. If you plant a large number of plants, expect a few to never become well-established. For example, if you are planting a hedge of two dozen red tip photinia shrubs, it is common to have one or two not do well or even die. In many instances, it's likely that there probably is nothing you could have done to prevent it. Death by natural causes is not uncommon. Just expect a certain amount of this when plants are young, and again as they near the end of the normal or average life span for their species. When any plant gets old, its growth rate slows and it tends to become much more susceptible to insect and disease problems. These are problems that are difficult to avoid, as nature takes its toll. The good news is that many problems and situations that are harmful to plant health are avoidable. These include the following: • Poorly adapted plants. Do not waste your time and money on major Jandscape plants that are not well- adapted to our area. Plants that like acid soils, such as prevent many deaths of landscape Tart • THE GREEN THUMB dogwood, won't tolerate our highly alkaline gumbo soils, or plants that require cool nights, such as blue spruce, will not do well here. Expect such plants to grow poorly in most Galveston-area landscapes unless you're committed to doing some intensive — and ongoing — soil modifications. In the case of blue spruce, you'd need to air condition your landscape also! It's much smarter to depend on our tried-and-true landscape friends that find our soils to their liking. There are many of these from which to select, including a multitude of outstanding native trees and shrubs. • Transplanting at the wrong time. While 1 we can buy and plant container-grown nursery stock virtually year- round, we should only dig up and move established plants in December, January or February when the plants are dormant. If you do it at other times during the year, expect difficulties, especially with large-sized specimens. • Placing excessive fill soil over feeder roots. Adding more than two inches of soil over the feeder roots of trees growing in our tight clay soils often will suffocate and kill established trees in two or three years. We often see this condition especially prevalent following new home construction or after raising the existing soil level underneath the dripline of trees. Even the repeated movement of heavy equipment under and around certain trees on the construction site can prove to be fatal due to compacted soil with resulting root damage. • Lack of deep watering. All plants, but especially newly planted trees and shrubs, need deep, thorough soaking. This is especially critical during summer when dry spells occur. A simple means to water woody plants is to lay your garden hose under the dripline, turn it on slowly and soak the soil thoroughly. Use of soaker hoses is also economical and very effective. Watering for short periods by hand is not enough for newly planted trees and shrubs to survive our hot summers when dry spells occur. • Too much fertilizer. Overfertilization by overzealous gardeners can deal a fatal blow to landscape plants. Use fertilizer with care and caution, especially during hot weather, and always read and follow directions on the bag or box. Never add granular-type fertilizer to the planting hole when transplanting as such fertilizer can cause root burn. • Failure to mulch. Research indicates mulching does more to help new plants establish themselves than any other single factor. A heavy mulch applied around newly planted or established trees and shrubs will work wonders and help to ensure survival His Healing Touc Massage Therapy gg| GivoA g|aj Relaxing Gift 409-927-1942 "± R^TX? Buy* Sell "Trade Gold & Silver • Collector Coins STAN'S COINS 304 W. Main St. • League City (281) 332-9553 Galveston College Learn a Living Summer II Open Registration Register 8:30am 7:00pm Classes Begin July 12! Call: (409) 763-6551 Visit our website: Come by: 4015 Avenue Q, Galveston It is the policy of Galveston College to provide equal opportunities without regard to age. rare, color, religion, national origin ser disability or veteran status and improved growth. What to use? Shredded pine bark, grass clippings, pine needles, compost, straw, hay. All are excellent. • Misuse of flexible line trimmers and lawn mowers. Used improperly, these machines can lead to the early demise of trees and shrubs due to the damage inflicted on trunks over time. A weakening and eventual death of a tree or shrub will occur if a strip of bark is removed or damaged completely around the trunk (called girdling) by the beating action from line trimmers or the scraping of bark by lawn mowers. The tree might die the same year it is girdled, but there are many reported cases of girdled trees continuing to grow for two years and then failing to leaf out the third year. • William Johnson is a County Extension Agent with the Galveston County Extension Office of the Texas Agricultural Extension Service, Texas A&M University System. Continued from Page C4 Beat butter, powdered sugar and almond flour in medium bowl until smooth; blend in egg and all-purpose flour until smooth. Cover and refrigerate until needed. To prepare peaches: Combine water and sugar and bring to a boil in a large saucepan. Add peach halves, cut sides down. Return to a boil and simmer until tender when pierced with the tip of a paring knife, about 5 to 10 minutes depending on ripeness. Remove from heat to cool. Drain peaches well on paper towels, patting peaches dry. To make Earl Grey Streusel: Mix almond flour and all-purpose flour with sugar, tea and salt in a medium bowl. Mix in the small . pieces of butter with pastry blender until the streusel forms small, moist balls about the size of peas. Cover and refrigerate. To bake tart: Preheat oven to 375 F. Rll partially baked crust (still on parchment lined tray) half full with almond cream. Arrange peaches, cut sides down, over almond cream and sprinkle with streusel. Bake until top is golden brown, about 35 to 40 minutes. Epilight, Bettr than LASER Positive Health & Beauty Galleria Clear Lake 713-850-0023 281-335-0425 "Serving the Island and Bolivar Peninsula" TEXAS FIRST BANK 744^353 m 762-7974 t 684-3523 f 737-5400 Galvcston BroadH-ay Crj'sli! Beach Pirdles Beach ^EACH INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNT INSURED TO SIOO.OOO AT Charles T. Doyle Chairman of the Board TEXAS FIRST BANK is pleased to announce the election of TYRON COLLINS Vice President & Manager Broadway Banking Center FDil EACH BANK FOR A TOTAL OF 5400,000 IN INSURANCE Held by Tnunie's Antiques ft J. 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