VOLUME 14, ISSUE 39 • September 27, 2018

Neil Sperry editor. Gretchen Drew design and circulation.


That's cool. The weather, that is. It's a grand time to be a gardener, and this week's e-gardens should be a fun read.

Here's what you'll find…
• Top tasks of the time;
• Those fascinating mushrooms;
• Fabulous firebush;
• Trees losing their leaves early; and
• The final word (maybe) on the armyworms.

I feel like signing your book…
I'll be speaking for the Henderson Co. Master Gardeners next Thursday evening (October 4) at the Athens Country Club. Beforehand I'll have a book sale and signing. If you have one of my older books, bring it along and I'll sign it, too. Click here for information and for tickets to the event.

If you prefer, I can sign and mail a copy to you right now. Remember, Neil Sperry's Lone Star Gardening is not in stores and it's not on Amazon. You can only buy it from my website (anytime) or by calling my office (800) 752-4769 M-F 9-5. And it's only $33.95 plus tax and postage.

The book has 11 chapters, 344 pages and 840 of my photographs. Hardback and printed in Texas (not China)! It covers all areas of outdoor landscapes and gardens. Satisfaction guaranteed.

Crape Myrtle Trails Fun Run, 5K and 10K this Saturday…
If you're within driving distance of McKinney, join us for this annual fun and fundraising run. This is how we raise funds to give crape myrtles to every 5th grader in McKinney ISD on the Friday before Mother's Day.

Registration begins at 7, Saturday, September 29. The 1-mile Fun Run starts at 8. 5K and 10K start at 8:30. North parking lot of Boyd High School, 600 N. Lake Forest Blvd., McKinney. Click for more information.

Photo: Firebush is a fantastic addition to your summer, fall color.


Gardening This Weekend

The eastern half of Texas got a lot of rain last weekend. And then it turned steamy. Yesterday's cold front let us know that fall is here - and so am I, with a new set of gardening guidelines.

Photo: Nursery wagons are ready to fill with fall bargains.


Plant of the Week - September 27, 2018: Firebush

It's still one of my all-time favorite sources of summer and fall color in Texas. Firebush (Hamelia patens) ought to be in every garden next season. It's looking great right now. Let me tell you its virtues.

Photo: You'll find firebush looking like this in 1-gallon pots in nurseries in springtime.


Question of the Year: September 27, 2018

"Will my lawn ever be the same again? Armyworms have devastated it!!!"

Dr. Mike Merchant of Texas AgriLife Extension gets the final vote.

Photo: Here's what armyworms have done to one homeowner's bermuda.


Question of the Week - Number 2: September 27, 2018

"What is this mushroom? Is it edible?"

You may be surprised by my answer.

Photo: Mushrooms are interesting. They can also be beautiful.


Question of the Week - Number 3: September 27, 2018

"What is causing my tree to lose its leaves so early? What should I spray to save it?"

This question has come up regarding several tree species. I’ve conferred with arborists, and I’ll share our opinions.

Photo: Patrick T.'s cedar elm photo.


And, in closing…


That's it for another edition of e-gardens. I hope you've found this one useful, and I hope you'll pass it along to your friends.

In the meantime, if you know my wife, wish her Happy Birthday tomorrow, but don't tell her how you found out.

I'll see you on Facebook, on my website, tuned into my podcasts, maybe listening to my programs live, in the newspaper (I write for almost 20), in church and at a burger joint and nursery. Busy week!

Until next week,

happy gardening!


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