Weatherford Democrat

Local News

March 31, 2013

ASK A MASTER GARDENER: Growing grass under trees

Here are this week’s gardening questions and answers, provided by Parker County Master Gardeners. To submit a question, send it to For more information about Parker County Master Gardeners, or to become a member, call 817-598-6096 or visit

The grass is dead under my trees? What do I do?

Turfgrass needs sun to grow. While St. Augustine is the most shade-tolerant grass we have, it needs six-to-eight hours of direct sun each day.

For shaded areas, you have two options. You can prune lower branches from the trees to let light in, or you can change the landscape. You may replace the grass with pavers or decomposed granite to create a sitting area, or create a bed with shade-tolerant plants and ground cover such as blue mist flower, coral bells, lenten rose, phlox and liriope.

We will have these and many other varieties available at our annual plant sale on Saturday, April 13, from 8 a.m. to noon, at the AgriLife Extension Office.

What are the planting dates for tomatoes in Parker County?

Tomato transplants should not be planted until after the last normal Parker County freeze/frost date.

In spring the best dates are March 25-April 15. If you plant them and a late freeze/frost occurs, you must give them protection.

For fall gardens, suggested planting dates are July 1-July 25.

What can I do about webworms?

One of the most common foliage-feeding caterpillars in north Texas is the fall web worm. This caterpillar is active throughout the warm season and will mature into a non-descript white moth. If you catch the nest before it spreads, you may be able to prune the limb to remove the infestation.

You may also remove the web by hand, pulling off the caterpillars and disposing of them in a garbage bag. If you cannot reach the web or there are too many to remove by hand, you may choose to treat the tree with a low impact pesticide such as: insecticide soap, horticultural oil, Bacillus thuringiensis (BT), or an insecticide spray containing spinosad or pyrethrum.

Unless the infestation completely covers the tree, they usually are not that damaging to tree health. An otherwise healthy tree may withstand up to 40 percent defoliation during summer months and still re-leaf after being stripped by caterpillars.

Special thanks to Michael Merchant, Extension Entomologist, Texas A&M University.

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Local News
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  • Parker County Heritage Society to meet Aug. 19

    Parker County Heritage Society will meet Aug. 19 in the home of Nathan and Abby Hamessely at 410 W. Spring St. at 7 p.m. 

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  • AgriLife to offer parenting classes Aug. 19, 21

    The Texas AgriLife Extension Service of Parker County will offer parenting classes on Aug. 19 and 21, 2014, at the Parker County Agricultural Services Center. The classes will be from 1-5 p.m. each day and will include lunch. The cost to attend the class is $10 per person for the two-day class. Scholarships are available.

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    Members from the Weatherford FFA chapter attended the 86th annual Texas FFA State Convention July 14-18 in Fort Worth.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • DAILY RECORD: Marriages and deaths

    Marriages and deaths recorded from July 16, 2014 to July 22, 2014. This information is being provided as a courtesy by the Parker County Clerk. Every effort is made to see that the information is correct and complete. The Parker County Clerk is not responsible should there be an error within the information provided.

    July 25, 2014

  • Dept. of State Health Services releases Aug. schedules

    Texas Department of State Health Services immunization clinics for August:

    July 24, 2014

  • 0723 loc WC upward bound.jpg Traveling the path to success

    Several factors aligned to set Louriann Villa on the path to success including a mother she considers a hero, the Weatherford College Upward Bound program and scholarship funds.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Weatherford DAR to host summer workshop

    Weatherford Chapter-DAR will be hosting the District II summer workshop with 94 members from across North Texas attending on Saturday, July 26, from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at North Side Baptist Church.

    July 23, 2014

  • Painting with a Twist/Painting with a Purpose

    Looking for a fun night out? Join us for the Parker Paws Painting with a Purpose fundraiser from 7-9 p.m. 

    July 20, 2014

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