As the Bastrop County Master Gardeners answer gardening related questions, we will add them to this page to share the knowledge with the community.
Q: How do I get rid of grubs in my garden?
A1 (by Dr. Becky Grubbs):
If they are seeing grubs right now, they are most likely compost-feeding grubs that are not harming their turfgrass. Many compost-feeding grubs will appear in the early spring (now – April) that are the larvae for larger beetles such as the rhino beetle. Many times, these will be much larger grubs than those we see associated with turfgrass damage. These grubs are not harmful and generally, no treatment should be made.
Turf-feeding grubs will not become active until we warm up in the summer, and we typically do not recommend treatment until June or July. I am including a link to more information from our website.
Becky Grubbs, PhD
Assistant Professor & Extension Turfgrass Specialist
A2 (by Dr. Mike Merchant):
This picture shows a mature 3rd instar grub which has completed feeding, and which will not do any more significant feeding. Our recommended time to treat grubs in lawns in Texas is early July. This time will target small grubs before they cause damage. See this blog post and my factsheet on grubs for a fuller description.
Mike Merchant, PhD
Professor and Extension Urban Entomologist
Q: Blueberry plantsI am confused about which other blueberry plants I need to plant and how close do they need to be to each other… I see this rabbit eye tag and now see they “are not self-fruitful and require 2 different varieties to cross pollinate”. Now I’m super confused. Can somebody help? I have 2 plants with broken tags but I do see the word rabbiteye in there and was told I’d need more plants. That was all the instruction I got before my friend boarded a plane for a month away….. would like to plant each in a large container, and I know full sun, acid soil, peat moss, etc. Need this other piece…
Yes, blueberries can be confusing. Here is an excellent article from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension that pretty much covers what you need to know to be successful in growing blueberries.
The one key thing you asked about the rabbiteye blueberry varieties is they do need a pollenizer variety planted nearby to produce the maximum amount of fruit. A few varieties, such as tifblue, are somewhat self-fruitful (Fig. 3). To ensure that each variety is pollinated, choose pollenizers that bloom in the same part of the season as the main variety being grown. The linked article contains a list of recommended rabbiteye varieties for Texas as well as chill hours requirements, soil and planting, fertilizer and mulch pruning, pests. I think you’ll find it useful.
Besides having another pollinator plant nearby, the soil pH is critical. Blueberries like a very low pH level of 4.0 to 5.5 which is way to acid for most in-ground plantings except in east Texas where the soil is naturally that acid. If your soil more alkaline than that (which most of us have in and around the Bastrop/Austin, area) you may have success growing in a large pots or raised beds where you can control the acidity of the container. They recommend peat moss and pine bark mixture. Water pH is also important.
The linked PDF came from the Aggie Horticulture site which has a wealth of additional information to help answer all sorts of gardening questions. https://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/
Wishing you success with your blueberries and happy gardening!
Do you have any idea on how to eradicate this ‘devil grass’? I have it in unwanted places… I have doused it in RoundUp and it even grows through weed blocker cloth with mulch on top!
Any advice would be helpful! Thank you!
The weed in your picture is a nutsedge. There are different varieties but the problem and treatment is the same. They are truly noxious and one of the most difficult to eliminate in a garden or lawn. They reproduce and spread by tubers and rhizomes that can be 8″ underground. Often when pulling the weed, it breaks off and the tuber continues to make more. Here’s an excellent article from the Clemson Cooperative Extension that details methods for control of nutsedge. https://hgic.clemson.edu/factsheet/nutsedge/
Included are other articles to help you understand nutsedge, the different types, and the reasons for the difficulty in controlling it.
If you choose to apply herbicides, local garden centers and big-box stores all carry ones for nutsedge control. None are 100%. Be sure to read the labels and only use those specifically made for your plant.
Weed of the Week: Sedges (Yellow Nutsedge, Purple Nutsedge, Globe Flatsedge) -tamu
Weed Profile: Yellow Nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus) and Purple Nutsedge (C. rotundus) – extension.org
Purple Nutsedge (Cyperus rotundus) in Greater Depth – extension.org
Purple Nutsedge – Cyperus rotundus – missouri.edu