Living With Snakes + Time For Vinca?

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Living With Snakes

First and foremost, I want to say that gardeners should love snakes! Snakes are a very important part of our ecosystem, and they keep away rats, mice, and other pests from our houses and gardens. martaWith all this rain, you have a much higher chance of running into snakes in your yards and garages (hopefully not in your house). Most snakes are good, but there are a few that you should watch out for. In our area we have coral snakes (red-and-yellow, Kill-a-fellow!), rattlesnakes, and water moccasins. If you see a snake near you, the best thing is to leave it alone! If it’s a garden snake, then it’ll keep your garden in top shape by deterring unwanted rodents. If you’re unsure if a snake is venomous, please call Animal Control (361-232-5627) BEFORE you try to relocate/dispose of it.     –Marta

good-snakes

Make Room For These Friendly Snakes!

Time for vinca?

We all love our vinca (a.k.a. periwinkle) and the time is finally right for them!! With the rainy spring this year we delayed bringing them into the garden center. They are susceptible to Phytophthora Stem Blight and Root Rot Fungus primarily caused by heavy rains. Preventing fungus is always better than curing it once it appears. Water management is the main preventative measure. Frequent watering, even in moderate to dry sites, can make conditions favorable for development of branch blight and root rot. It is also important to provide excellent drainage. When preparing a planting deannabed, thoroughly dig up the entire area adding plenty of organic matter such as Cotton Burr Compost.Treat the area with Actinovate, a biological fungicide to help prevent the disease. Space the plants 8-10 inches apart and mulch heavily with Hardwood Mulch to prevent water from splattering off the soil. Also never water over the top of the plant. Always water slow and thorough on the ground below the plant. It looks like we’re going to  have warm dry days ahead which is what makes vincas happy!!     –DeAnna

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