VOLUME 14, ISSUE 40 • October 4, 2018

Neil Sperry editor. Gretchen Drew design and circulation.


I welcome you to what I suspect is the most-read weekly gardening newsletter in Texas. This week our list of topics is quite varied.

In this issue…
• Protecting St. Augustine from diseases;
• Recent rains bring down trees' twigs;
• A checklist for this weekend's gardening;
• One of my favorite tropical flowers; and
• What's that black, sooty stuff?

Best book I've written…
At least that was my goal when I started it. And I chose a wonderful editor (Carolyn Skei) and graphic designer (Cyndy Smith) to work alongside me.

Neil Sperry's Lone Star Gardening is already in its 3rd printing. If you don't have it, better get one right away to enjoy fall gardening to the max.
• 344 pages and 840 of my photographs;
• 11 chapters covering every possible aspect of outdoor gardening in Texas;
• Hardback and printed on high-quality paper;
• Printed in San Antonio (not China) to keep jobs here in Texas.
• I sign every book, personalized if requested.

How to buy it…
• Only $33.95 plus tax, postage.
• Available only from my website or by calling my office weekdays (800) 752-4769.
• Not in stores and not on Amazon. They're still selling the old "boot book" from 1991.

Photo: Ornamental (“flowering”) kale planted now will brighten up drab winter landscapes.


Gardening This Weekend

This is one of the finest times of the entire gardening year. I have a short list of critical assignments that you'll want to do very soon. Check them out to be sure!

Photo: Ornamental kale's colors intensify as weather turns cold.


Plant of the Week - October 4, 2018: Brugmansias

I love this group of plants and have since I first saw it in a nursery catalog 30 or 40 years ago. It's having a heyday right now. You might want to include it in your garden next year.

Photo: Brugmansia 'Cherub' in the Sperry landscape earlier this week.


Protecting St. Augustine

We have two diseases working on St. Augustine lawns currently. One (brown patch) is coming, while the other (gray leaf spot) ought to be going. I'll explain how to recognize and cope with each of them.

Photo: Early stage of brown patch is here.


Question of the Week Number 1: October 4, 2018

"Neil, what has nipped the little branches off my tree recently? They look like they've been cut with a knife."

I have the answer, and it may relieve you.

Photo: Small branches from a bald cypress tree.


Question of the Week Number 2: October 4, 2018

"What can I do to eliminate the black mold on my (insert your plant's name here)?"

Folks who ask this are usually addressing the wrong problem. Click through and I'll explain.

Photo: Sooty mold coats trunk of crape myrtle.


And, in closing…


That's it for e-gardens for this week. It's been a great deal of fun getting it ready for you, and I've already started thinking about next week's edition.

In the meantime, I hope to see you in a nursery this weekend, on my website where you might be downloading a podcast, tuning your radio to a station that carries one of my programs, or in church this Sunday morning.

Until next time, thanks for reading, and

Happy Gardening!


Subscribe to Neil's Podcast!

Available for both Apple and Google Play

Click here to listen on Neil's web site »