Newspaper Articles

PRAYING MANTIS-THE MOST REVERENT INSECT

Carl White, Master Gardener

To observe this most beneficial insect, the preying stance in which the powerful forelegs are folded into a praying posture gives the appearance of prayer. While being quite gentle, some people actually keep the insect as a pet and feed it regularly with an array of bugs. But gentle may be misleading, as the Praying Mantis can be goaded into a self-defense mode in which it will bite. Though harmless and non-toxic, the larger female sometimes will eat the male that breeds with her.

They are hunted in nature, being a tasty meal for frogs, lizards, birds and spiders. Amazingly, they have sound detection, an ear located on the underside of the

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EASY BLOOMS FOR SUMMER – BULBS!

Carol Siddall, Master Gardener

When most of us think of planting bulbs in our garden, we usually think of spring flowering bulbs such as tulips, daffodils, or crocus. These early bloomers do provide us with much needed garden color after a long winter but many gardeners overlook the large number of summer blooming bulbs that add interest to our gardens. Summer blooming bulbs can help fill the gaps in your garden when early flowering perennials have finished blooming. Just like the spring blooming bulbs, summer bulbs are incredibly easy to grow and incorporate into garden schemes. Some are suited for shade and others really like the hot summer sun. Some are cold-hardy, while o

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WATCH OUT FOR A FEW INSECTS!

Karen Miller, Entomology Specialist At the risk of sounding a bit dramatic, we as gardeners put ourselves in harm’s way each time we do what we love…garden!  Bees and wasps try to sting us, and Mosquitoes steal our blood while possibly infecting us with serious diseases . Bees and Wasps:  Let’s start with the bees and wasps.  No one wants to be stung by a bee or wasp and for those of you with bee sting allergies, one sting can be deadly. Bee and wasp sting mostly to defend themselves.  It is important to make sure they do not feel threatened by you. Bees and wasps are able to detect and follow strong scents like perfumes or colognes, so don’t smell like a flower. Avoid wearing bright c

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MICRO-GREENS

By Ben Bretz-Master Gardener

What are Microgreens? Microgreens are the young sprouts of any edible plant that haven’t reached a point that it bears any flower or fruit. In other words they’re only about 2-3” tall.  They’re also SO tender and tasty.

Why Microgreens??  Microgreens can be grown from any seed that you like that will sprout. It's that simple. They grow QÚCKLY! If you plant seeds, you will have Microgreens in 2-3 weeks. As long as you have a window, you can grow them.

This leads us into “How do I do that???” You will need some good potting soil, small containers to accommodate the potting soil, an

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ONE DIRTY WORD – DROUGH

Carol Siddall, Master Gardener

Here we are three months into 2018, and we are around 2 1/2 inches behind in our rainfall.  After last year's good rain, we are a little spoilt and not ready for more drought.  But there are water-saving helps out there.  We have heard them all before, but a little reminder may help.

ORGANIC MATTER - Adding this to our soil helps increase the soil's ability to absorb and store water in a form available to the plant, shrub or tree. When selecting your trees, shrubs, or groundcovers, choose ones that are adaptable to our area.  You can check out the Master Gardeners website (westtexasgardening.org) for suggestions.  Try to use T

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THE EASTER LILY

 I'm reposting this because it is a very good article and good information.

By Roger Corzine, Master Gardener

  The Easter Lily, Lilium longiflorum, is one of those plants we specifically associate with a particular holiday in the same way as the Poinsettia with Christmas. This scientific name can be loosely translated as “long-flowered lily.”  This  flower is shaped like the bell of a trumpet in that it has a tubular body that flares into six petals like the bell of a trumpet. In the early 1900’s most of our lily bulbs came from Japan but that ended abruptly in 1941 with the Pearl Harbor attack. At present, most of our lily

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MINT

by Permian Basin Master Gardener Barbara Porsch – Herb Enthusiast

Mint was selected as Herb of the Year in 1998. It is one of the oldest recorded herbs. There are biblical references to paying taxes with mint leaves. The old herbalists used it for treatment of many ailments.  There are so many varieties of mint that the nomenclature becomes very confusing. There are at least 25 main varieties and hundreds of hybrids and varieties.  There are many shapes and characteristics of leaves, but all have square stems.    There are many exotic varieties such as grapefruit, ginger, lime or chocolate, but three species are best for culinary purposes:  Mentha spicata  (spearmint),

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TRY LIGHTS IN YOUR GARDEN

Carol Siddall, Master Gardener Have you ever tried lights in your garden?  This would be a fun thing to think about during our winter months when the garden is not requiring our attention.  I use lights in my garden, and it gives a magical feeling to my garden at night.  I have a chandelier that is on a timer over my water feature.  It gives me a feeling of comfort to look out and see my garden in a different light.

  1. Allen Smith says to not go overboard with your lighting. He says you want to create a safe, soothing, and subtly lit atmosphere. You don't want to have so many lights that you feel it is still daylight out.
We use our outdoor holiday lights all year l

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VEGETABLE COMPANION PLANTING

This is article that was written and published a couple of years ago.

By Debbie Roland, Compost Specialist

Companion planting is a good way to increase the flavor or deter pests.   Here are a few examples of how and what to plant together. Beans and peas increase nitrogen in soil and can be sown for harvest or as a cover crop.  Don’t pull the plants out when the season is over, simply dig them back into the soil to replace nitrogen.  Swiss chard, kale, lettuce and spinach all require extra nitrogen and can be planted with beans and peas. Onions, garlic, leeks, shallots and chives repel cabbage worms and aphids.  They can be

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