VOLUME 13, ISSUE 14 • April 6, 2017

Neil Sperry editor. Gretchen Drew design and circulation.


Great greetings from the middle of springtime! How happy can a gardener be!

I have important information for you this week:
• Gardening This Weekend (the most-timely tasks);
• Plant of the Week: Butterfly weed;
• Question of the Week 1: Threat to Italian cypress (revisited);
• Question of the Week 2: Dieback of crape myrtles; and
• Thinning your fruit crops.

We continue our short-term sale on my newest book (not in stores, not on Amazon). Not a re-do of my 1991 Complete Guide to Texas Gardening.

I took delivery on too many from the warehouse. Our dining room is full and Easter is nearing. Neil Sperry's Lone Star Gardening, only $29.95 plus tax and postage. All books go out signed, satisfaction guaranteed. Order your book here.

Photo: Butterfly weed cheers up the springtime.


Plant of the Week: Butterfly Weed

It's difficult for a guy who grew up in College Station to find anything beautiful about something orange, but this is one of my favorite perennials - and Texas wildflowers. Want to know more?

Photo: Butterfly weed blooming beautifully in McKinney.


Question of the Week 1: April 6, 2017

"Neil, is it possible there is anything else besides spider mites killing Italian cypress?"

I want to revisit this Question from last week! There’s another problem!

Photo: Italian cypress in landscape this afternoon.


You Gotta Thin Out the Fruit

Most of our popular fruit crops over-produce. They fill their branches with young fruit, but the quality sags. We have tips on thinning your fruit.

"Thinning" is a fruit-growing must. This plum would be the size of a cherry had others not been plucked off weeks earlier.


Question of the Week 2: April 6, 2017

"Neil, my crape myrtle doesn't look like it's going to put out any leaves. Is it dead? What would have caused that?"

It's not dead, but you have a bit of work ahead of you. I have the roadmap.

Photo: What happened to these crape myrtles?


Gardening This Weekend

Last weekend was a bit of a washout, so you may find yourself behind in your gardening responsibilities. I've assembled the most important jobs to help you catch up.

Photo: Cosmos in McKinney garden.


And, in closing…

That's it for another e-gardens. Fun, wasn't it! Well, I'll be back with more at the same time next week.

In the meantime, let your friends know about us. We're nearing a subscription milestone, and I could use that extra boost from your recommendation.

Until our next e-gardens masterpiece, I'll see you in nurseries, maybe at the movies, hopefully at church and maybe out dining somewhere (choose something casual, please). Oh, and on my website, on the radio and therefore my podcasts - lotsa good places.

One additional place we can visit is on Facebook. I asked my nearly 60,000 FB friends to tell us their favorite nurseries across Texas and why they liked them. It makes fabulous reading and could be the beginnings of a great road trip! Here’s a link.

Happy gardening!