VOLUME 17, ISSUE 40 • October 7, 2021

Neil Sperry editor. Gretchen Drew design and circulation.


October. My favorite gardening month. And I've put together an e-gardens that's filled with important topics. I think you'll enjoy it.

In this issue…
FAQs about leaves - really;
Gives-and-takes in gardening;
This weekend's goals;
Soot 'em up; and
Little goof, big problem.

Early-order SUPER holiday special

First book only $36.95*
2nd and 3rd books to same address
Only $31 each
Save almost $6 per book!

A gift that will be used and remembered for years.
11 chapters that cover everything about lawns and landscapes, fruit, flower and vegetable gardening.
Written for every county in Texas.
344 pages and 840 of my best photos.
Hardback. Printed in Texas.
I sign every copy as it sells.
Satisfaction guaranteed or full refund.
*Plus tax and postage.

How to order…
Call my office M-F 9-5 at (800) 752-4769, or
(The better way) order anytime online from my website.

Note: Clock is ticking. This offer is valid only through Nov. 15, 2021. Price will increase at that time.

Photo: Shumard red oak shows off the best of its fall color.


Gardening This Weekend

Cool weather isn't too far away. Wise gardeners are tending to the normal mid-fall tasks, ignoring the fact that it feels almost like summer. I've made a list of the most important ones. Better check it out.

Photo: Time is here to dig and divide daylilies.


Compromises in the Landscape

Sometimes I feel like a counselor asked to mediate between two opposite opinions. Fast-growing trees. Native plants. Grass in the shade. Flowering shrubs for the foundation. Tired of planting annuals. How can I help them? Click to find out.

Photo: When turfgrass won't grow in the shade, you find something that will.


Tiny Pruning Error, Huge Consequences

Back when grandson Nolan was playing baseball regularly, I walked by this tree several times each year. It always made me sad. I could see the small stub of a branch that had been left at some point in years past. What I'll show you is what developed as a result.

Photo: It doesn't take any longer to prune a tree properly.


Gardeners Ask About Leaves

If I grouped the questions I'm asked into categories, these are the ones that would get filed under "Leaves." I'll bet you've asked a few of them. Click through to see.

Photo: What plants have great fall color in Texas? That's one of the questions.


Question of the Week: October 7, 2021

"How can I eliminate this black mold that's all over my plants?"

It's called sooty mold, and it's caused by a fungus, but you're aiming at the wrong target. I'll explain.

Photo: Sooty mold is a secondary invader on citrus.


And, in closing…

That's it. With e-gardens finished, I shall now make my way back to my table of torture - where we're finishing up our taxes.

Before we meet again here in your crowded e-mailbox, maybe you'll tune me in on the radio or join me on Facebook. My website is always available. That's where you get the great deal on my book.

Have a successful horticultural week, and wish me well with the taxes. I'm about to decide that my slide rule isn't the best tool for the job.

Be kind and be well!

Happy gardening!


Subscribe to Neil's Podcast!

Available for both Apple and Google Play

Click here to listen on Neil's web site »