VOLUME 13, ISSUE 37 • September 14, 2017

Neil Sperry editor. Gretchen Drew design and circulation.


Who left the oven door open? It's Indian Summer across Texas, and we're going to address it.

I hope you enjoyed e-gardens last week. It was essentially redone stories from a year ago. I didn't want to say it while I was away, but I was in the hospital with my first, and hopefully last, bout of diverticulitis. I'm feeling much better now, and I'm under the care of some of Texas' finest doctors. My sincere thanks to the Baylor Scott and White Plano staff. You are simply the best!

It was honestly exciting to come back to my computer today to prepare e-gardens for you. In this issue:

• American beautyberry;
• Chinch bugs are still active;
• Pecan scab hits its peak;
• Gardening tasks of the weekend; and
• Stinging caterpillars to watch for.

Book 'em, Danno!
My newest, Neil Sperry's Lone Star Gardening, will pay for itself before this year is done! That's my prediction. Chapter 2 alone could make that happen. It's the perpetual calendar with extreme details of when to plant, prune, fertilize and spray all the plants at your place.

• Only $31.95 plus tax and postage.
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Photo: American beautyberries close up and personal



Plant of the Week: September 14, 2017

No, they're not edible! I'll get that one out of the way. But American beautyberries certainly are gorgeous right now, and you might be able to grow them. I'll tell you how.

Photo: American beautyberries are at prime in Texas currently.


Gardening This Weekend

Mid-September is another one of those pivotal times in Texas gardening. It may be warm now, but we never know when cold weather will start to arrive. I have your must-do list. You might want to check it.

Photo: Yes! Petunias in the fall! Give them a try!


This "Wooly Worm" is NOT Your Friend!

Beware of caterpillars this time of the year. Some of them, like this asp, or puss caterpillar, inflict painful stings on unfortunate gardeners. People have been asking about them recently. I have details.

Photo: FB friend Nelda E. posted this photo a year or two ago.


Question of the Week 1: September 14, 2017

"Neil, what's wrong with my St. Augustine? Is this some kind of fungus?"

Not even close! These summer pests are still hanging around.

Photo: If your lawn looks like this, I’ll tell you why.


Question of the Week 2: September 14, 2017

"Neil, I have pecans all over the ground. Isn't this unusually early for them to be falling?"

Yes, by two months. And they're not any good, either. I'll tell you what caused it.

Photo: Pecan scab is taking its toll.


And in closing…

That's all he wrote. Another e-gardens done, with thousands yet to follow. (Might as well be optimistic!) If you liked it, step outside and shout it out.

Until next week, I'll see you on my Facebook page, in a newspaper near you, on radio, via a podcast, on my website or in church this coming Sunday. Probably not in the burger joint just yet.

Thanks for reading!

Happy gardening!


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