~~~ Texas Gardening Adventures ~~~

Vegetable Gardening in Hot, Dry Texas

I have updated my gardening blog

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I moved my blog to my own server because of issues with wordpress.


my site is   http://gardening-blog.blueroseweb.com


All my new posts will only be posted at the new link, so I hope that the 20K visitors here each month will be able to find my new/current site.

Written by texasgardeningadventures

May 20, 2020 at 9:58 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

What a mess

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I accidentally deleted my wordpress blog file on my own serever, the site I linked my last few posts to.  Thankfully, wordpress still has all of my many years of posts that I was able to export as an xml file.  Will have to reinstall it all on my other server, import the xml file and try to rewrite as many of the 2018 posts that I can, which probably won’t go well.  So much data lost.  Folks, be careful your really know what all those old directories on your web server are before you think they are something else and you delete them!  I did not have backups of the text of my posts for this year, only the pics.  Ugh.

Written by texasgardeningadventures

December 10, 2018 at 1:57 am

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Army worms devastated fall garden

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I have moved my blog to my own website, http://garden-blog.blueroseweb.com.  This post is at http://gardening-blog.blueroseweb.com/2017/11/18/army-worms-devastated-my-winter-garden/  .

If wordpress deletes my links to my permanent, new blog site, you can see the address printed in red on the photo above.

Written by texasgardeningadventures

November 18, 2017 at 1:30 am

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Blanching & Freezing Overgrown Zucchini

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Somehow I carelessly missed about a half dozen overgrown zucchini. Since it is early in the season and the weather is still wet, I hoped that they would not be seedy and that I could freeze them. Yes, that is how it worked out.

I had put black several gallon nursery buckets sideways under the enormous zucchini plants that are spreading over the sides of my raised beds. These zucchini were hard to tell apart from the black pots in the shadows under the leaves. By the time I realized they were zucchinis, they were overgrown. It happened during a week of overcast, wet weather.
overgrown zucchini

To continue reading the rest of the post, please go to my new gardening blog. The post is at http://gardening-blog.blueroseweb.com/2017/06/28/blanching-freezing-overgrown-zucchini/

WordPress will probably delete this link. Gardening dash blog dot blueroseweb dot com

The URL is also written on the picture above.

Written by texasgardeningadventures

June 27, 2017 at 7:59 pm

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Powdery Mildew Strikes Again

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We have had a very cooler and wet spring and the powdery mildew is back with a vengeance.

A day before our last good rain, I sprayed all of my crops with a mixture of Garrett Juice (2 tbsp per gallon), neem oil (almost 2 tbsp per gallon), and a tablespoon per gallon of ocean minerals. After wards, the leaves had a nice rich green shine to them and the powdery mildew could not be seen. I suspect that it was just hidden under the glossy finish. After a few more days of very light sprinkles, enough to wash the spray off, I can again see spots of powdery mildew all over….. continue reading at my new blog address:

I have moved my blog over to another URL, http://gardening-blog.blueroseweb.com/2017/06/27/powdery-mildew-strikes-again/

WordPress has been zapping my links, so I am writing it out here, maybe they will leave it:
This is : gardening dash blog dot blue rose web dot com

The URL is also written on the image below:

powdery mildew on squash plants

Written by texasgardeningadventures

June 27, 2017 at 4:09 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Ouch, That Io Moth Caterpillar Stings!

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I noticed that one of my mulberry trees that I planted this spring had most of it’s leaves eaten off. I walked down the driveway to get a personal up close look, assuming that it was the usual Fall grasshopper damage. To my surprise, I found large, spikey, green caterpillars.  These things were about 3 1/2″ to 4″ long and as round as my finger.  Simply enormous for a caterpillar.
io moth catepillar

Automerisio means a long row of tubercles armed with green and black spines.

I didn’t come prepared, meaning that I didn’t have any leather gloves in my pocket, so I flicked one, knocking it off, but also receiving a sharp sting.  I kept sucking on the sting spot as I picked up a twig and knocked the other dozen things off of the tree.

They did tremendous damage to my baby tree.  This is the leading main branch.

stripped main branch of mulberry tree

I have outlined the tree and eaten branches with red lines.  If I had let it go a few more days, they may have stripped the tree bare of leaves.  Also note the interesting little clay vase like thing circled in red – more on it later.

poop and odd clay vase things

Very impressive growth for just one season.  This tree was maybe 2 feet high and a one year old sapling.  It grew taller than I am in one season and has nicely branched out.  Hopefully those voracious caterpillars didn’t cause too much damage to the tree’s attempt to make and store food thru it’s leaves.

io moth catepillars eat mulberry tree
They didn’t leave much – the eat the leaves and part of the stem.

stips leaves down to stem

After I knocked about 13 of the monsters off the tree, squashing them on the ground, I figured that the fire ants would be the first to get to them. I was wrong, yellow jackets were all over the bug juice and then the squashed bugs.
yellow jackets on dead catepillars

Here is a closeup of the yellow jacket, or what I am calling a yellow jacket.  I learned that hard way that they nest underground – I was pulling up some trash that the previous owner left – a  broken screen door that was partially buried and these little buggers swarmed in the broken sun rays.  Ouch.  I’m careful now when I dig up or move debris on the ground.

yellow jacket on leaf

Another view of yellow jackets on the squished bug.  Actually, I have seen them before going after some bug that I killed and should have remembered that they find bug juice fairly quickly.

yellow-jacket on dead bug

This is an image of what the Io moth looks like.

This Io moth catepillar is called an Urticating caterpillar because of its urticating hairs or bristles.  This means that its bristles are Irritating, a defense mechanism.  (like nettle plant hairs).  “The immature stages of several species of moths in states east of the Rocky Mountains are venomous to humans because of their external poisonous spines and hairs”.  That was from a public health warning about these things.

One of their favorite trees is the mulberry tree.

Their stings can cause serious allergic reactions.  I really think that because I sucked on the sting, it mitigated that allergic reaction.  I did that mainly, though, because it lessened the sting that I was feeling.

io moth

This is a closeup of the little round vase like clay vase that is fastened to a twig.  It is obviously some kind of bug house.  Maybe I’ll google it later.

clay vasel like thing, a bug house

Written by texasgardeningadventures

October 22, 2016 at 9:52 pm

Moving . . . .

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I just moved my site to my own server, will make it easier for me to post.  I have lots of pics and lots of new posts planned.

Spring is here and it is time to get posts going.

Please bookmark my new website, http://gardening-blog.blueroseweb.com

Thanks for your support

Written by texasgardeningadventures

February 13, 2016 at 9:37 pm

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American Sweet Gum Trees Don’t Transplant Easily

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We have American Sweet Gum tree seedlings popping up all over the place. Most of them pop up in the wrong places and I try to transplant the nicest looking ones. They do not transplant easily. I take a big scoop of dirt from around 8 to 12 inch seedlings and when the dirt crumbles I can see that most roots are intact. I place them in nursery pots with my usual tree soil mix. I’m lucky if half of them make it. Some trees transplant easily, sweet gums not so. If I accidentally cut the tap root, the gum tree definitely will not make it. And the ones that do survive in pots don’t always seem to thrive like the ones popping up around the yard do.

american sweet gum trees don't transplant easily

I just hate to see a nice looking tree seedling go to waste, that is why I try to save to many of them. The ones that look the nicest seem to sprout in unfortunate locations!

Written by texasgardeningadventures

October 10, 2015 at 10:25 pm

Posted in Trees

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Two Buckeyes Rise From The Dead

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I didn’t take enough care of these 2 buckeyes. I kept them in these pots and watered them, but they shriveled up and it looked like they died. I decided to just leave these 2 in the pots (I discarded a third pot). After 3 months of summer, I took a closer look at these pots and noticed that each had a few inch stem that looks exactly like the end of buckeye branches. These are buckeyes!

buckeyes come back to life

I had left these 2 pots alone all summer because each had an elm growing in it. Next spring they both get planted in the woods!

Written by texasgardeningadventures

October 10, 2015 at 9:45 pm

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Wasp Spray Kills Wasps & Broccoli Seedlings

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I have several trays of cabbage and broccoli seedlings on a porch table. We have a red wasp nest in the soffit above the table. A red wasp dive-bombed me so I sprayed toward it, not thinking about my seedlings. A breeze blew some of the insecticide onto the nearest seedlings. Within a few minutes the seedlings shriveled and the nearest were dead.

wasp sprayed seedlings

Note: don’t spray chemicals ANYWHERE around seedlings.

Written by texasgardeningadventures

October 10, 2015 at 9:30 pm