Forces of Nature by Mario Villarino

As I was writing this piece I could not help to think about the tremendous forces of nature and how little we can do sometimes to curve its course.  After many years of drought we are now living the effect of severe rain in land and plants. Those post oak trees that survived the drought but still got affected, now  are suffering and getting uprooted from the severe wash off of by the storms.

As I was watching thru the windows the crews cleaning tree debris from yesterday’s storms, many trees around the Regional Civic Center got either split or complete washed off by the rain. Normally the extension recommendations for June would be based on hot and dry weather. Of course, this year will not be the case. One of the common problems lately is the presence of slugs into the gardens. Slugs can be controlled using a trap (water container half filled with sugar water) left near the plant with the infestation. The slugs will get attracted to the fermented water and drown. Dr. Welch, Texas A&M Agrilife horticulturist recommendation for the garden in June include: Use of mulch to preserve moisture and to maintain temperature cooler around plants (also good to keep weeds growing back) at a rate of 4-6 inches deep, plant seed of hot tolerant plants (zinnias, portulaca) or direct plant periwinkle, salvia, marigold and purslane. Fertilize roses every 4-6 weeks and make sure to prune out expired flowers. Apply a high nitrogen fertilizer after the bloom. In the vegetable garden, tomato plants start to set fruit (cherry tomato plants are already ripping fruit) and their nitrogen demand increase. Lettuce crop is coming to an end as temperatures increase and so are radishes, onions and beets.  Watch for insects as temperature increases and eliminate fungal affected plants. Trees affected by the storms should be carefully be inspected, since their structure can be compromised beyond remediation. For more information on this or any other agricultural topic please contact the Hopkins County Extension Office at 903-885-3443 or email me at [email protected].




Mario A. Villarino DVM, Ph.D.

County Extension Agent for Ag and Natural Resources

Hopkins County

1200 B Houston Street

Sulphur Springs, Texas 75482


Author: Staff Reporter

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