Newspaper Articles

Composting in the Desert

COMPOSTING IN THE DESERT By Debbie Roland, Compost Specialist So what is composting and what’s the big deal? All composting works on the concept that organic waste (anything that comes from plants or animals that is biodegradable.) will break down into a rich natural soil amendment if the conditions are right.  Composting is the same wherever you live, but different rules are suggested for desert composting.  It’s a challenge to compost with high winds, intense sun and low humidity so the old rules have been tweaked to better ensure success. Your ideal bin should be a 3’ square that is open on the top and bottom. Use a bin with solid sides so that you can better manage the airflow t

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Spice up your life this winter with a kitchen herb garden. by Master Gardener Barbara Porsch – Herb Enthusiast

Now that most of the decorations are down and winter doldrums are trying to set in, fend them off by spicing up your life and foods by cooking with herbs. Going into my favorite grocers the other day I noticed huge racks of beautiful herbs at the exit. All of these herbs can be grown in the winter, and if you have a bright sunny window you can have a kitchen herb garden. It is so handy to pinch off a leaf here and there to flavor your food. If you don’t have the requisite bright sunny window, these herbs can be grown outside in a warm sunny bed. For convenience, it is

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Carol Siddall, Master Gardener Loving Christmas and flowers, it is no wonder I have three of my favorites in my home at Christmastime, the Poinsettia, Amaryllis, and Christmas Cactus. I will touch on the Poinsettia.  Having been a December bride, the Poinsettia was my choice of flower in my flower arrangements. After danger of frost and the ground had warmed, my mother planted all the potted ones that had survived the winter, along a south facing wall. (This was in El Paso, Texas.) The next Christmas she had LARGE blooming poinsettia plants! El Paso is quite a bit warmer then the Permian Basin, a bit more like the countries it is native to - Mexico and Central America. This plant was f

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by Barbara Porsch-Permian Basin Master Gardener Texas Master Gardener Oak Wilt Specialist Drive around in some areas of Midland and Odessa and mourn the dead and dying oak trees. There is Oak Wilt in the Permian Basin, and it is a serious problem despite thoughts to the contrary. Oak Wilt is one of the most destructive tree diseases in the United States. It is caused by a fungus which invades and disables the water conducting system of oak trees and greatly reduces the flow of water up the stem of the tree. Eventually, as more of the vessels become clogged, the trees will begin to wilt and most often die. Red oaks are extremely susceptible and typically die very quickly, often withi

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By Debbie Roland-Compost Specialist If you’ve been yearning to start composting – this is the year to do it! Composting mimics nature’s recycling plan.  Using a compost bin requires a little elbow grease but speeds up nature’s process when done right. Here are some options to turn your garbage into rich, nutritious compost so you can fertilize your flowerbeds and garden.  If you are not yet a compost convert or you're in the market for a new composter, read on. Search the internet and you will get all the advice you could ever want about compost bins; unfortunately, composting in West Texas, has a new set of rules and following them will help with your success. The mos

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