the show

Growing Garlic

air date: September 10, 2011

Love garlic? See how easy it is to grow and the best varieties to plant with tips from Sam Slaughter of Gabriel Valley Farms. On tour, visit a garden in Jarrell reclaimed from an old cow pasture. Daphne analyzes a peach tree problem and highlights hummingbird-magnet, Agastache. Pet of the week: Flash the Wonder Cat! Trisha Shirey shows how to have success with seeds.

Episode Segments

On Tour

Jarrell Garden Design

On an old cow pasture in Jarrell, Austin Daylily Society gardener Doris Green imagined great things. Helped by her husband, Arnold, they turned ravaged ground into a home for antique roses, daylilies, and other passalong plants. They revived an abandoned stock tank as a pond where the family gathers to feed the fish and wander the Wizard of Oz daylily trails with their grandchildren.


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Question of the Week

What’s wrong with my ornamental peach tree? Is this a disease or an insect?

Thank you to Jennifer Loeffler for this great question! Her ornamental
peach tree is bleeding marble-sized balls of sap along the trunk, as well as the middle and upper branches. As a good plant detective, she peeled off the hardened balls of sap and looked underneath. At first, she didn’t see any holes, until she used a magnifying glass.

While holes on fruit trees often indicate borers, Jennifer didn’t see any insects or larvae, and the holes that she saw were very small. She also noticed that all of the branches with oozing sap had very few leaves on them, while the rest of the tree appeared healthy.

Well, this is a great and timely question. With our record-breaking drought and heat, all plants and trees are suffering, and fruit trees are even more sensitive to drought stress than other trees. We consulted Dr. Larry Stein and Jim Kamas, fruit tree specialists with the Texas AgriLife Extension Service, and they both agreed that the problem here is bacterial canker, which is very common on stressed peach, plum, and other stone fruit trees.

Unfortunately Jennifer, as with most plant diseases, there is no cure. The best thing to do is to prune out the affected, leafless limbs and then begin a thorough watering and fertilization regime for the tree. Be sure to water year-round, not just in the summer. Proper watering and fertilization are also the best way to prevent bacterial canker before you get it. And be sure to watch for rain during the fall, winter, and spring, and adjust your irrigation regime appropriately.

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Plant of the Week

Agastache ‘Acapulco Salmon and Pink’

Agastache ‘Acapulco Salmon and Pink’

Thank you to Diana Kirby for sending this photo from her garden and her tips on this drought-tough perennial. She's had her Agastache for a couple of years, planted in morning sun with afternoon shade. This Agastache cultivar gets about 2.5' tall and a 1.5' wide. It is a member of the mint family and has lovely mint-scented leaves. Agastaches have the common name of hummingbird flower, and this one is covered in delicate orange and pink tubular blooms. This perennial dies back to the ground in winter, but comes back and is covered in blooms through spring and summer, but may not flower as long during times of exceptional heat and drought. This Agastache is smaller and more compact than some of the other available cultivars, so it looks great at the front of beds and along borders. It tolerates slightly heavy soil but prefers a little drainage, so don't overwater. Also, don't fertilize much. And if they get overgrown, simply dig and divide them in the fall to place in other areas of your garden, or pass some along to friends. You may also find some errant seedlings, but this plant is not really invasive.