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WaterSaver newsletter
Monday, January 17, 2011 Back to Issue Archive
No-Fail Fruit Trees for San Antonio
By Calvin R. Finch, Ph.D.
Did you know there's a large assortment of fruit trees you can grow with much success in San Antonio?

Around February, area nurseries will begin receiving shipments of fruit trees for the year. Did you know there's a large assortment of fruit trees you can grow with much success in San Antonio? The key: choosing the right variety.

Some fruit trees such as pears, oriental persimmons, figs, and pomegranates are easy to grow since they do well in our native soils and don't require extensive pesticide spraying to survive and produce a crop. Apples, peaches and plums are another story. They do best in raised garden beds with drip irrigation and must be sprayed every week with an insecticide and fungicide to prosper.

It is best bet is to select fruit trees that are suited for our warm winters. Consider these:

  • For peaches, 'June Gold,' Tex Royal' and 'La Feliciana' do best; 'Elberta' will not survive here.
  • For apples, try 'Dorset Golden' and 'Anna;' forget about 'Red Delicious.'
  • The best pear varieties are 'Warren' and 'Kieffer;' 'Bartlett' pears are highly susceptible to fire blight.
  • The 'Methley' plum is the best choice for San Antonio.

Full sun and good drainage are musts for all fruit trees whether they're grown in native soil or raised beds.

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Calvin R. Finch is the director of regional initiatives and special projects for
San Antonio Water System.

Friday, May 23, 2014
0 in. Bermuda (Full Sun)
0 in. Buffalo (Full Sun)
0 in. St. Augustine (Full Sun)
0 in. St. Augustine (Shade)
0 in. Zoysia (Full Sun)
0 in. Zoysia (Shade)
Use these amounts to water this evening after 8 p.m. or tomorrow morning before 10 a.m. Remember, it's winter. For a healthy lawn, water no more than twice a month, or less if you have drought tolerant grass.
Rain benefits continue this week with established plants. No water necessary. Hand water newly planted plants. Donna Fossum, SAWS Conservation Planner.

Ask A Garden Geek
What citrus will grow in San Antonio?
With the exception of most oranges, you can grow just about every kind of citrus – provided you can keep them warm during unusually cold temperatures (below 25 degrees). Our favorites are Satsuma mandarin, Changsha tangerine, Meyer lemon, and Mexican lime.
E-mail your question to

Watering Too Much or Too Little?
Schedule a one-on-one consultation with our conservation experts by calling 210-704-SAVE (7283). Ask for WaterSaver Home Check-up.
Seasonal Star
(Cyclamen spp.)
Dr. Finch's favorite winter annual, cyclamen is noted for its dark foliage and luminescent flowers. Once established, cyclamen is moderately drought and cold tolerant and able to withstand low temperatures if they are very brief. Cyclamen is native to the mountains of Turkey.
Past Peak
Inland Sea Oats
(Chasmanthium latifolium)
Inland sea oats is ideal for shaded areas, especially under large trees where nothing else will grow. This is not a turf grass nor does it require any mowing or pruning, except once in early February. Enjoy its graceful foliage and seed heads throughout the year.
Event Calendar
A Winter Paws
Jan. 22-23, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
San Antonio
Botanical Gardens
555 Funston
Bring your favorite four-legged friend to the San Antonio Botanical Garden! Regular garden admission plus $5 (cash only) per dog; cash proceeds to benefit local nonprofit animal organizations. Click here for more information.
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