Newspaper Articles


  Carol .Siddall Master Gardener I learned something this week that I did not know, and I wanted to share with you. Neil Sperry, horticulturist from McKinney, Texas, and the Natural Gardener in Austin, Texas, say you can still plant pumpkin seeds July 4th. We will have missed that by the time you read this, but I bet you can still plant the seeds the first week of July. They need that warm soil to germinate so I feel you are safe. This will give you a harvest in October. Don't plan on planting the HUGE pumpkins as they won't have time to fully develop. Daphne Richards, horticulture extension agent for Travis County, recommends not planting much right now, but pu


  Debbie Roland, Compost Specialist Have you ever thought about raising a plant or two in a bale of hay? Well, you can and it’s easy and fun, and avoids some West Texas problems like bad soil, weeds, lack of water and limited space, and is great for people who can’t get down on the ground or bend over but still want to garden. You can have just one bale or stack them several high. Joel Karsten developed this process after watching what happened at his farm when they lost a hay bale on the way to the barn. Before you knew it there would be plants growing from the bales themselves. The hay was decomposing and becoming the planting mix that was growing great plants. He started exp


Karen Miller, Entomologist Specialist

  Which red butterfly have you had in your garden? Is it a Monarch, a Queen, a Viceroy, or maybe a Soldier? All often these are considered “red butterflies”, but the favorites here in West Texas have to be the Monarch and the Queen. Do you know which is which? The Queen butterfly (Danaus galippus) and the Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) are both brushfooted butterflies and are sometimes called milkweed butterflies. Both species consume milkweed and sequester toxins from the plant in their bodies. This toxin makes these butterflies distasteful to predator such as birds. Both the Queen and Monarch use a warning coloration of brigh

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by Master Gardener Barbara Porsch – Herb Enthusiast
    Garlic, or as it is affectionately called “stinking rose” was selected by the International Herb Association as the herb of the Year in 2004. Gilroy, California, has been known as the “Garlic Capital of the World” since 1979. Will Rogers once described Gilroy as “the only town in America where you can marinate a steak by hanging it on the clothes line.” Seriously!! Garlic was used by the Babylonians as early as 3000 B.C. Later recorded in China. Besides culinary uses it has a reputation as a powerful medicinal. During WW I sphagnum moss was soaked with garlic juice and applied to soldier’s woun

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Wina Garrett and John Geib
aquponicss           Are you wondering, like I did the first time I heard the word Aquaponics, what is that? The simplest definition I have heard is that it is the marriage of aquaculture (using fish) and hydroponics (the soil-less growing of plants) that grows fish and plants together in one integrated system. The fish waste provides an organ

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By Ben Bretz Master Gardener
microgreen.pic         My wife and I were at a farmers market in the metroplex a couple of years ago. One of the things that caught her eye was “Micro Greens””. We bought a small plastic container of greens, the size of the ones you get at the grocery store with blueberries or raspberries in them. It was EIGHT DOLLARS!! I thought that was outrageou

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Watch Out For A Few Insects!

Karen Miller, Entomology Specialist
bumble bee     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! We face bees and wasps who try to sting us. We face ants who try to bite us. The sun tries to burn us and mosquitoes steal our blood while possibly infecting us with serious diseases. I hope I have compiled a few remedies for

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Carol Siddall, Master Gardener
Gardeners and bird lovers are often the same people! Hearing birds sing and watching them eating and flying around in my garden seems natural and of great enjoyment. There are a few musts, however, to provide a habitat that meets their needs. Food, water, shelter, and proper feeders are necessary to the enjoyment of birds in your garden. Starting with food, some like the tube feeders while others prefer tray feeders, and some don’t care! Perching birds prefer tube feeders. There are several different varieties of bird food available. Seed mixes are popular because they attract several different types of birds. Carl White, a Master Garden

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Color In Your Garden

wheelbarrel-container-gardenYEAR AROUND COLOR IN YOUR GARDEN (ALMOST)
by Pat Adams, Permian Basin Master Gardener
        For year around color in your garden you need to think perennials (the bones of the garden). Perennials come back every year. Select a location where you want the plant by deciding if it needs sun, shade or partial shade. Prepare the soil by a

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