Newspaper Articles


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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