Fragrant plants can be pleasant to your sense of smell and attract pollinators

By Josh Fuder for CAES News

When I set about building the landscape at my house in 2015, I selected plants based on a number of criteria. The factors I considered included edible fruits; aesthetics, such as blooms, foliage colors and textures; bloom season; adaptability; and price. A successful landscape incorporates these factors with design to create something that has multi-season interest.

In my opinion, a home landscape should go beyond a visual experience. It should say “someone lives here.” I realized last year that I was not paying enough attention to all of my senses when selecting plants. I had done a good job of mixing textures and bloom colors from plants that perform well in our area, but I was completely overlooking my nose and not judging plants on fragrance. Continue reading

Be on the alert for fall armyworms this fall

From Insects in the City

Pest management professionals who care for lawns should be on the alert for fall armyworms this fall. Higher-than-normal populations of this lawn-eating insect have been reported from many areas in Texas these past two weeks.

While fall armyworms are nothing new, according to Dr. Allen Knutson, extension agricultural entomologist in Dallas, this year they are a widespread problem for hay producers and small grains producers across the state.  “I’ve had calls as far west as Wichita Falls, south to Comanche and across east Texas,” he said.  Locally in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, my turfgrass colleague, Dr. Lindsey Hoffman, and I have gotten many calls this week from concerned lawn owners, schools and the media. Continue reading