This Week’s Harvest
Summer is one of our biggest harvest periods. Though sadly mango season is over for us, the LONGANS, SUGAR APPLES, STARFRUIT, GUAVAS, RUKAM, STRAWBERRY GUAVAS, BANANAS, PAPAYAS and JAMBOLAN PLUM are filling up baskets and boxes.
Some of these fruits are highly sought after, so please remember your favorite fruit might be gone by the end of the day. If you want to make arrangements to get fruit during the week, you will need to send us an emai through our Contact Form with the amount of fruit you wish to purchase and your preferred day. When we are able to fill this order for you, we will send you an invoice.
For family and friends out of town, we do ship boxes of Sugar Apples and Guavas this time of year. Check out our Online Store to place an order.
On September 12 we are having our Annual Fall Ice Cream Social. This event’s serving will include Mango Ice Cream, Guava Ice Cream, and JakFruit Ice Cream, Mango Sorbet, Coconut Sorbet, and Nuthin’ But Fruit Sorbet, Passion Fruit Frozen Yogurt and Valley Lemon with Blueberry Frozen Yogurt.
You can get First Scoop Tickets at the Nursery through Friday, September 11. These tickets give you a second scoop free along with your first selection. Online you can purchase the 5 Scoop Special Ticket getting you 2 more scoops free. This is a good choice for families.
Our Annual Fall Sale takes place September 25 through October 3. Make sure you are on our mailing list to getting notice of our Preferred Customer Specials for this event.
Check out our FaceBook Page for the latest on what’s happening and watch for the “Where did you put your Mango Sticker” Photos.
Dealing With Drought—Some Water Saving Tips
It hasn’t been that long ago we were all talking about how much rain we were getting in South Texas, but it has been a dry spring and summer for many parts of the country. Being consienses about our own water use does not mean we have to let our plants die.
WATER LESS Water weekly. Over a growing season, you can train your yard to be less thirsty by water less frequently but more deeply to encourage deeper root penetration into the soil. Frequent , light watering result in shallow roots that need much more frequent irrigation. Yes, plants may wilt and leaves will drop but the plants will survive.
FOCUS YOUR WATER ON TREES AND SHRUBS Lawns and annuals can be replaced but a 20 year old tree is worth a lot – the cooling effect of its shade; the food value of its flowers to pollinators like bees, butterflies and hummingbirds; and you can’t buy the 20 year time line.
DON’T USE CHEMICAL FERTILIZERS Use organic gardening techniques that restore the soil’s health and increase its water holding capacity. Soils are badly damaged by the long term use of chemical fertilizers. They eventually kill the soil’s complex underground network of earthworms, bacteria and fungi (yes there are “good bacteria and fungi”).
INOCULATE THE SOIL Inoculate the soil with beneficial mycorrhizal root inoculants to increase your plants’ ability to absorb water from the soil. Many plants depend on the symbiotic relationship between plant roots and root fungus to greatly improve the extraction of water and nutrients from the soil. And they will make a huge difference in plant health and resilience during a drought.
MULCH TO PROTECT THE SOIL’S MOISTURE from the drying effects of the sun and wind. Use and inch or two of mulch on top of the soil around smaller flowering plants and 3 to 4 inch deep layer around trees and shrubs.
CHECK YOUR SPRINKLER SYSTEMS FOR LEAKS AND OVER-SPRAY. Understand how to use your irrigation controller and check how often and for how long the water comes on. Don’t water for 15 minutes daily or every other day as this causes shallow root growth and reduces a plants ability to withstand dry conditions. Water for longer periods but water much less frequently. You’ll use less water and make what you do use more beneficial your landscape.
It is important to get the water down to where the roots are. For lawns, annuals and vegetables, the goal is for moisture to reach 6 to 8 inches depth. Generally that requires the application of about 1 inch of water. You can use pie tins scattered about your yard to measure how much water you are applying in a specific area. For trees and shrubs, the water should penetrate the soil to at least 8 to 10 inches.
Make sure you are making the best use of your water to maintain the beauty and comfort that your landscape provides while reducing the use of water, energy and resources.
AND ABOUT THE PLANTS
Once you have finished harvesting your mangos, continue with your light pruning. We encourage everyone to practice the 18 (or 20) inch and pinch rule. All shoots on your mangos should be allowed to extend to a length of 18-20 inches. The flush can be pinched off with the fingers or cut. Multiple shoots will again grow from the buds below this cut. Three or four horizontal shoots should be selected and the remaining shoots removed. If the selected shoots have a vertical orientation, they can be weighed down for about 4 months to improve their orientation.
Major pruning should be done annually, immediately following fruit removal. Excessive wood development can become a problem in vigorous cultivars. Trees with large structural limbs divert energy from fruit production. Thinning cuts can be used to annually remove a portion of this wood by removing an entire limb within the canopy. This will renew the canopy of the mango tree in 4 to 5 years and have a less dramatic effect on the vigor of the tree.
August through September is your last best chance to plant and establish tropical perennials. Planting much later may subject these plants to devastating arctic cold fronts. Now is the best time to complete the pruning of most tropical perennials before winter.
August through October is the start of the fall vegetable season. As a general rule, late August through March is the time to plant tomatoes, peppers and eggplant.
August and September can be tough times for plants. Weeks of high temperatures and for some water saturated soils, are perfect conditions for many insects, fungi and bacterium. Many plants will may need a dose of fertilizer to keep them green. Too much water can cause citrus fruits to split, especially thin-skinned oranges and tangerines.
September is usually the worst month for white flies. Mealy bugs and scales are two other sucking insects found in abundance now. All three excrete honeydew which produces the unsightly black sooty mold fungus. Stop by the Nursery for some suggestions on what might help you with any of these problems.
Enjoy the beauty of the plants around you, and keep a song in your heart.
Visit our website by clicking here: Rivers End Nursery