Health and Human Services

The Garden Journal - An Online Blog

Ask us a question or tell us about your gardening experience. We'll answer your question or print your gardening experience here on our blog page. E-mail us with your question or gardening experience.

***Tip*** From a health department employee: don't spray RoundUp or a similar weed killer when it's windy. You will end up killing parts of the grass you didn't want to touch. Use weed killer when there is little or no wind.
Question: I have a hard time getting my weed eater to edge my sidewalks. Seems like I use up all the plastic line too fast. Maybe I need a heavy duty weed eater for edging? What do you think?
Answer: I'm assuming your sidewalk edges are concrete. If that is the case, then a heavier line will last longer. One thing though, check the specs on your weedeater to see what is the maximum gauge line that can be used with your type of edger.
Question: What types of tomatoes are best for Texas gardens?
Answer: Big Boy, Celebrity, Beef Master and most cherry tomatoes are excellent for our region.
Question: What are the best pecan varieties?
Answer: Caddo and Desirable. These two varieties are good for the eastern region for pecans.

What can I add to my soil to improve it?

Answer: Compost is ideal for soil improvement.
Question: When should I fertilize my plants and what should I use?
Answer: Fertilize before you plant and after you see the first fruit. Then, once a month. Organic fertilizer is more environmental friendly. Always follow instructions for application.
Can you help?
Can you help us identify this type of plant? Click on the thumbail >   plant

It is called Celosia.  Another common name for it is cockscomb.  It does very well in our summer heat here.

--With a big thank you to the Parks and Recreation Department for its help!
Can you help?
What is wrong? Click on the thumbnail > squash thumbnail

The condition is referred to as ‘mosaic virus.’ Mosaic is caused by cucumber mosaic virus and squash mosaic virus. A patchwork or mosaic pattern of light and dark green forms on the leaves and fruits. Leaves are small and puckered, and plants become severely stunted. Fruits develop knobs or warts and often the fruits are misshapen. The virus infects cucumbers, melons, squash, pumpkin, pepper, spinach, tomato, and many other vegetables, flowers, and weeds. Cucumber mosaic is readily transmitted mechanically on the hands of workers in the cucurbit patch and by aphids.

Treatment: Mosaic diseases are managed by using good quality seed and practicing crop rotation. After handling diseased plants, wash hands with detergent and water. Detergent inactivates the virus and reduces the danger of transmitting the virus to other plants.

For more information about the Community Garden Program, e-mail us or call 832.393.4867.