VOLUME 13, ISSUE 17 • April 27, 2017

Neil Sperry editor. Gretchen Drew design and circulation.


When I was a kid, this was my favorite time to garden. Warm enough to love being outdoors. Cool enough not to become molten. Nurseries are full, and it's a great time to be planting. Ya gotta rejoice!

In this issue…
• Important tasks to tackle this weekend;
• Neil's 10 favorite summer annuals;
• How to recognize and treat iron deficiency;
• Question of the Week on galls;
• Take All Root Rot returns to St. Augustine.

Book sale short while longer…
We’ve moved a lot of books out in two weeks, and my wife thanks you! I still have more books than Lynn wants hanging around in big stacks in our house.

I’m continuing the sale a short while longer. Neil Sperry’s Lone Star Gardening (not in stores, not on Amazon) is only $29.95 plus tax, postage. Not a re-do of old “cowboy boot book” from 1991. This one has 840 photos and 344 pages. 25 years newer! Covers everything in your landscape and garden.

Buy it only from my website (anytime) or by calling my office (800) 752-4769 during business hours. All books go out signed. Satisfaction guaranteed! Great for Mother’s Day or Father’s Day. Order now while price is low.

Photo: Coleus is one of my favorite sources of summertime color. See related story this issue.


Gardening This Weekend

We're making a big turn toward the summer, which means there are things you need to get done soon that simply shouldn't be postponed. I have the most critical among them.

Photo: St. Augustine plugs from local nursery one good way to start turf.


Personal Favorites for Summer Color

Texas summers are a challenge to many of our annual color plants, be they flowers or foliage. Every gardener has a list of favorites. I've assembled my own Top 10 from our gardens.

Photo: Pentas


Identifying, Treating Iron Deficiency in Plants

Many cases of iron deficiency ("chlorosis") get misdiagnosed and mistreated. Do you know how to recognize it? Do you know what to do? I have the facts. I'll even tell you how to avoid it.

Photo: Sweet gum shows yellowed leaves with dark green veins.


Question of the Week: April 27, 2017

"Neil, what are these growths on my red oak and pecan? What should I do about them?"

These questions have come up many times in the past week. I have the answers.

Photo: Shumard red oak (L) and pecan


Take All Root Rot (TARR) Shows Up Again

I'm getting questions, Facebook posts and inquiries on the street about St. Augustine that is slow to green up this spring or that has a yellowish cast in "washes" across the lawn. I suspect this is TARR. I have a lot of information for you.

Photo: Image from my Facebook page shows TARR.


And, in closing…

If you like what you receive every week in e-gardens, the small favor I ask in return is that you tell someone around you. Do tell others about us!

And so as we close, let's make plans to have the best possible time gardening this weekend. It's a great hobby in a great state at a great time of year!

See you right here next Thursday at 6, so take a stool over to wait by the computer. Lines start to form early.

And in the meantime I'll see you in nurseries, restaurants (but only affordable ones this week - it's the end of the month), on my Facebook page, via my podcasts, on the radio, in newspapers and in church.

Tell our advertisers you see them here!

Thanks, and Happy Gardening!