Posts In: Garden

Top tips for a successful fall vegetable garden

By Gabe Saldana
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

  • Plan for adequate sunlight. (at least 6 hrs of direct unobstructed sunlight)
  • Give roots and fruits the most sun.
  • Consider moving leafy greens into slightly shadier garden areas.
  • Amend your soil with compost. Compost helps sandy soils keep more water and it helps clay soils drain better. The quality and health of your soil will determine the health of your garden.
  • Check out the online Fall Vegetable Gardening Guide.

Lawn Care

Make a fall application of an organic fertilizer in late September. If your lawn is not dense and sunlight can reach the soil surface, weeds are likely to become a problem.
Cool season weeds start to sprout in late September. We recommend using Corn Gluten for an organic pre-emergent.
The best way to have a reasonably weed-free lawn is to build a dense turf with proper mowing, watering, fertilizing and adequate sunlight. If you don’t, you’ll be on a chemical treadmill year after year, fighting weeds.

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August 10, 2020

Water My Yard App

Tom's Thumb Nursery

Whether you are beginner gardener or have a green thumb, it can be difficult to figure out the right way to water your plants.

Tom's Thumb Nursery

Keep your yard healthy and save water with The WaterMyYard app. It can help you determine exactly how much to water and when. Get access to up to date watering recommendations and features to maximize your water conservation. You can even customize your settings to get automated recommendations based on your local weather conditions!

You can download WaterMyYard app for Android and iOS here!

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magnificent yesterday today and tomorrow
magnificent yesterday today and tomorrow
magnificent yesterday today and tomorrow

Just as its name suggests, the Magnificent Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow is beautiful all year round! It has large showy purple flowers that fade to lilac to white, so you have an everchanging arrangement in your garden.

Plant it in moist, rich soil and keep it regularly watered. It can be the perfect flower to have in Galveston because it loves some direct sunlight. Just make sure it gets partial shade every now and then as well!

You can learn more about the Magnificent Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow here: https://www.almostedenplants.com/shopping/products/498-magnificent-brunfelsia-or-magnificent-yesterday-today-and-tomorrow/#:~:text=Solanaceae&text=This%20large%20flowered%20Magnificent%20Yesterday,throughout%20much%20of%20the%20year

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butterfly

June 22nd marked the beginning of summer. But did you know that June 22nd also marked the beginning of  Pollinator Week? From June 22-28 and until August, Journey North will celebrate pollinators, specifically monarchs and hummingbirds. Read Pivotal Pollinators: Small in Size, Large in Impact to find out more about the importance of pollinators and why Journey North will celebrate Pollinator Week not just June 22-28 but all summer long.

butterfly

How can you help Pollinators?

Pollinators need each of us to plant and protect habitat whether in our back yards or public spaces. These “pollinator patches” collectively create habitat corridors that provide vital resources to pollinators such as milkweed for monarchs and nectar-rich flowers for hummingbirds during migration and breeding. Creating more pollinator-friendly habitat protects other wildlife as well. Native plants work best for pollinator gardens. Our knowledgeable staff at Tom’s Thumb can help you with your plant selections. Consider eliminating pesticides or reducing the amount and using organic alternatives.

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July 2, 2020

Organic Products

Medina Hasta Gro Lawn

At Tom’s Thumb Nursery, we take pride in offering lots of organic options for your lawn & garden needs. Some of our favorites include FoxFarm soils, Microlife, Medina & Nature’s Creation lawn fertilizers, Monterrey Bt & Captain Jack’s Dead Bug Spray, and Bonide Burnout weed killer. Stop in and let us help keep your yard safe for you and your pets.

MicroLife at Tom's Thumb Nursery

Tom’s Thumb Nursery is proud to now carry MicroLife products!

“We believe that healthy soils, healthy plants, healthy planet, and healthy people are all connected. As such we take great care in how we manufacture all of the MicroLife products. We make sure that all of our products have the highest nutritional value possible so that all soils, plants, and people benefit.”

Visit our website

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Milky Spore

Organic Control

Milky Spore

Milky Spore Granular is an organic long-lasting control for the Japanese beetle grub. The granular product can be applied using a drop spreader for easy complete coverage of your yard. Apply Spring, Summer, and Fall for two consecutive years. Guaranteed to last 10 years after the final application.

Learn more about the control of Japanese Beetles!

Lace Bugs on Lantana

Recently, several of our customers have brought in lantana infested with lace bugs. The following article is an excellent source of information concerning this problem.  Lace Bugs on Lantana. Recommended treatment is spinosad, horticultural oils, or garlic pepper tea.

Ladybugs are general predators that feed on a variety of slow-moving insects including aphids, moth eggs, mites, scales, thrips, leafhoppers, mealybugs and other slow-moving insects. Ladybugs are a must-have for organic gardening or organic farming.

Education: Dr. Johnson’s Weekly Garden Columns

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Lantana

Don’t forget about your plants if you are planning a vacation this summer. Install a timer on your drip system. Here is a tip from the Texas Gardener: If your plants are in containers, set the containers in a shallow kiddie pool with a few inches of water. Place mosquito dunks in the water to prevent mosquitos. Another suggestion is to use a plant nanny in your pots and in the ground.

BT

Web Caterpillars


These insect pests produce a web that envelopes leaves near the tips of the branches. They prefer mulberry and pecan, however, webworms will feed on a wide variety of other landscape trees ( Oak) and shrubs.
These pests can be controlled with organic insecticides such as Dipel, Bio-worm Killer or other organic spray products containing Bacillus thuringiensis. B.t. The caterpillars eat it, become sick almost immediately, stop feeding and then die within a few days.

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June 29, 2020

Pentas

Pentas

Imagine butterflies & hummingbirds visiting your garden all summer long!

Pentas are sun lovers and so easy to care for, featuring sparkling star-shaped flowers in either pink, red, white, purple, or lavender colors. .
Available at Tom’s Thumb Nursery!

Pentas
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Hummingbird Feeder

Fill your hummingbird feeder with this recipe from the Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute.

Ingredients

  • Refined white sugar
  • Water
Hummingbird Feeder

Directions for making safe hummingbird food:

  1. Mix 1 part sugar with 4 parts water (for example, 1 cup of sugar with 4 cups of water) until the sugar is dissolved
  2. Do not add red dye
  3. Fill your hummingbird feeders with the sugar water and place outside
  4. Extra sugar water can be stored in a refrigerator
  5. Change feeders every other day and thoroughly clean them each time to prevent harmful mold growth

Some tips on hummingbird feeders:

  • Hummingbirds prefer red feeders because most of the flowers they feed on have red in them.
  • Pick a spot in your backyard with vegetation no more than 10 to 15 feet away: Hummingbirds feel most comfortable where there’s cover nearby
  • What else attracts hummingbirds to a feeder? Fresh nectar

Source: Good Housekeeping

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June 14, 2020

Purslane & Portulaca

Portulaca

Ornamental portulaca:

often called moss rose, has more needle-like leaves than purslane foliage.

The flowers also are showier, often looking either like a cactus bloom or a tiny carnation or rose.

Flowers do not open on cloudy or rainy days.

Learn more here:

Purslane:

  • is a fast-growing herbaceous annual with succulent leaves and stems. 
  • was grown in India originally and provided nutrition and reported health benefits. Those who eat purslane have described its taste as lemony or similar to spinach. (read more about their nutrition value)
  • They typically open only on hot, sunny days from midmorning to early afternoon.

Learn more:

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