Newspaper Articles


Carol Siddall, Master Gardener The dahlia, in my book, is one of the prettiest and showiest flower in the family garden.  My mother could grow beautiful dahlias that would have taken prizes if she had ever entered them.  Me, I am not so fortunate, but that doesn't keep me from trying!  Dahlias are gorgeous heat lovers that provide color summer through frost. The dahlia was named in the late 1700s for Swedish botanist Andreas Dahl.  The dahlia began to be popular in American gardens around 100 years ago with good reason.  They are easy to grow in full sun and thrive in any soil type.  Their blooms can last up to a week, and they make wonderful cut flowers and be

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by Carl White     Learning to recognize the insects of the garden is so helpful in order that we don’t destroy the beneficial predators which aid us. Now who, among us, would love to see this monster on our flowers? But actually, they do us no harm if left alone and effectively help us. This effective predator hunter uses the large rostrum, snout, to puncture and secrete tissue dissolving saliva in its prey, thusly killing in this manner. Too numerous to picture here, browse this insect on your computer to see the brown, black, grey and bright colors in which it comes. These are the predatory monsters of the insect world, often wearing the exoskeletons of their victims

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by Barbara Porsch Today, we will look at Cilantro.  I love cilantro.  Have I not said the same thing about other herbs?    For many, the taste of cilantro is an acquired taste.  You either adore it or abhor it! The fresh green leaves are called cilantro or chinese parsley.  The seeds are called coriander.  Go figure!   So if you find a recipe that calls for fresh coriander or Chinese parsley, you know it is actually wanting cilantro.  Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum) is one of the oldest seasonings known to man.  In the Old Testament, coriander seed was compared to manna.  It appeared in colonists gardens in America in the 17th century, with lots of ot

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Carol Siddall, Master Gardener There are probably very few people that love to travel  more than I do.  In fact my family says my middle name should be "Go".  I do love to travel, but I love my yard and garden also.  You might have to bury me if I came home to a brown and dying yard!  But, I am blessed to have a neighbor and former Master Gardener that takes care of my yard while we are gone.  I do not worry when we go away as I know Don is taking care of things.  It wasn't always like that for me as it isn't that way for many people.  A week or two without the usual TLC can leave your plants feeling dry and wilted, vulnerable to all sorts of critters and ailments.  But your time away doe

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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 thorax that senses

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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 others hail

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Karen Miller 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 colored clothing. Limit

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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, and seeds you want to sprou

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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 ( for suggestions.  Try to use Texas native plants.

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