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Nancy Donovan


Shan Wheeler, Master Gardener The rains we had this summer were so much better for plants than our West Texas hard water! After one of our big rains, I was dutifully making the rounds emptying everything that could hold water to help deter mosquitoes, pouring each into flowerbeds or collecting it in a five gallon bucket to use later. But the compost container is a large wash tub which was heavy so I just lifted up one end and drained it. Then I thought, that was dumb – that could have become Continue Reading...

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  Barbara Porsch, Permian Basin Master Gardener Herb Enthusiast I want to talk to all of you out there who have basil growing in your garden.  Take this as a warning to use as much of your basil as possible now before the first frost.  Basil will be the first herb to succumb to even a little frost. Basil has been cultivated in Europe for 2000 years and there are at least 200 different varieties.  It has been thought to be poisonous, good for the heart and used for bites of venomous Continue Reading...

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Carol Siddall, Master Gardener   To me, it is hard to imagine a garden without some pansies.  These charmers have endeared themselves to gardeners for almost two centuries.  You can't help but smile when you look at their cheerful "faces".  They should be in our local nurseries before too long, and I know I will have to bring some home. The pansies grown today are hybrids derived from several species of Viola.  The common name "pansy" comes from the Continue Reading...

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Ann Parker, Master Gardener A weed is a plant located where it is not wanted.  Have you spent too many hours down on your knees pulling weeds or repetitively spraying weed-killers?  Pre-emergents are a group of lawn products that offer relief from countless hours of handpicking weeds.  It is not an instant fix, but diligence at putting these products on your lawn can pay off in the long run. Typically, applications should occur early spring (February-March) before warm season weeds appear Continue Reading...

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Carl White, Greenhouse Specialist Gardeners often think in terms of gardening within the limits of last frost to first frost.  This would normally constitute the spring, summer and fall months for our growing season, but what about the cool weather plants and vegetables we would love to have from our own gardens during the winter months? Vegetables possible include: radishes, leeks, carrots, arugula, lettuce(s), spinach, Swiss chard (Bright Lights), Red Russ Continue Reading...

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Carol Siddall, Master Gardener I love fall.  It is probably my favorite season for more reasons than gardening.  The cooler temperature is a welcomed relief to both humans and the garden. Fall is far from a forgotten season.  There are less insects, and there are weeks (sometimes) when our weather is pleasant and a relaxing time to be outside working in your garden or just sitting and enjoying it.  Even in West Texas we do have some color changes in a few tr Continue Reading...

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Jim Longstreet, Master Gardener and Vegetable Specialist   Now is the time to plant your fall vegetable garden.  The summer heat is finally all but over as the average overnight low temperatures are finally below 70 degrees.  The soil temperature is dropping as well and it is now safe to plant many vegetables for a fall crop. I recommend the following vegetables, many of which you can buy as transplants in our local stores: arugula, beets, Continue Reading...

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Bruce Shearer PBMG Rainwater, Earthkind, and Irrigation Specialist “Rainwater Harvesting” is the capture and collection of rainwater to be used at a later date. To our ancestors, using cisterns to capture and hold rainwater was a way of life.  It is hard to think of doing this after receiving over 3" of rain this last week, and a hurricane going on, but in West Texas it is needed. Rainwater is great for landscape use. It is free of salts, minerals, Continue Reading...

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Carol Siddall, Master Gardener This bulb is also known as Oxblood, Hurricane, and Red Spider Lilies.  It is in the Amaryllis plant family, and it is native to Japan.  You sometimes see them sold in nurseries across Texas and they can be ordered from out of state nurseries, or you can try talking  your friends into sharing some of their bulbs!  They are one of my favorite bulbs to plant.  They are unusual from other bulbs as the flower appears first.  It is such a treat to look Continue Reading...

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