VOLUME 19, ISSUE 17 • April 27, 2023

Neil Sperry editor. Gretchen Drew design and circulation.


A big old Texas 'Howdy' to May as it rolls in next Monday. That means there are tons of things going on.

In this issue…
Chinquapin oaks coming of age;
Fire blight attacking ornamental pears;
This weekend's top tasks;
ZZ plants new and really popular; and
Your questions and my answers.

Spring sale about to close out…
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Photo: Lantanas in summertime in McKinney. Upright types are more tolerant of cold than are the trailers.


Gardening This Weekend

The weather across Texas has been strange enough this week that I make no predictions, but hopefully we'll have some good days between now and Monday during which you can accomplish these prime end-of-month tasks.

Photo: Lantanas can be planted as you find them in nurseries now.


Chinquapin Oak Comes of Age

It's a Native Texan that's been here a lot longer than we have, yet few of us knew it or grew it. Let me tell you the virtues of Chinquapin oak and why you ought to consider it.

Photo: Young Chinquapin oak in urban landscape.


New stars in town are ZZ to grow

They were strangers in these parts little more than 30 years back, but ZZ plants have become some of our most popular houseplants since then. Let me tell you about them.

Photo: Striking foliage plant has hit the big time.


No Fun with Fire Blight

It looks like this bacterial disease is back big-time this spring, and it's likely to do serious damage to some of our most important landscape and garden plants. Let me give you the symptoms and how best you can deal with fire blight.

Photo: Fire blight on ornamental pear showed suddenly over entire tree.


Ask Neil

It's blankets of bur clover (comfy!), planting and replanting roses, shrubs that want to die and shrubs you want to kill, plus a bois d'arc finds a new home - in Colorado Springs. Lotsa variety!


And, in closing…

That's it for this week's e-gardens, but I've already started gathering materials for next week's edition and you won't want to miss it.

Please join me this weekend live on the radio and scroll through my website for lots of good information.

You probably have local elections going on now in your city and county. Do vote. Those races matter greatly.

Special note to my McKinney readers: My wife is running for re-election to the McKinney ISD Board of Trustees. It's too complicated to explain here, but wealthy people outside our district - outside our county are trying to buy control of many of the school boards in our area. It's explained on her Facebook page "Lynn Sperry for school board". If you live in McKinney, please vote for the incumbents Amy Dankel, Stephanie O'Dell and Lynn Sperry. Early voting now through Tuesday (no voting on Sunday), with Election Day May 6.

Now back to our regular programming:

Thanks for reading, and until next week…

Happy gardening!


McKinney ISD



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