Newspaper Articles


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 T

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 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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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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  I wish I knew then what I know now. That’s especially true when you garden and plan your yard. As you gain more gardening knowledge you will find yourself saying that more often. You learn which parts of your yard are protected from the blazing sun and which spots are affected when the wind is blowing 60 mph from the west. If I knew then what I know now, I would plan a keyhole garden for the corners of my yard and may

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Gardening in West Texas.   What a job.  How will your plants survive when its 105 degrees, when it hasn’t rained in two months and the wind is blowing 40 miles per hour. As Master Gardeners we all try different methods.  Raised beds, trellising, adding compost, eggshells, coffee grounds.   In the last few years several of us have become fans of the Keyhole Garden.  It does not require that you get down on the ground or even bend over.   It is a no-dig design in a 6’  in diameter round bed.  As the picture shows, an overhead view of this type of raised bed would look like a large keyhole in a circular plot with easy access to the center basket where  manure, vegetable scraps, paper and oth

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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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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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John and Shirley Kelley

Winter is a great time to start planning your landscape for a nice water feature. A water feature can be a small urn or fountain, a water garden with a waterfall, fish & plants.

A water feature can be a great asset to any home. It makes a great gathering spot when having a party or friends over. It can add value to your property, compliment any landscape, and reduce your lawn maintenance.

But you are saying to yourself that takes too much water! Not really.  It takes less water for a water garden in a year than it does to maintain a lawn. Ponds need to be installed in the right place. To be considered:  Child safety (only 24" deep

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Everyone who grows roses is probably wondering what they can do now to prepare roses for a healthy beautiful year.  It begins with proper pruning at the proper time. February and early March in West Texas are the best times to prune most varieties of roses.  But be sure to wait until the last hard freeze has passed. Before starting, make sure your tools are sharp.  Dull tools may cause tears and rips in the stems.  It is also important that tools be disinfected either with bleach water or a disinfecting spray between each rose.

There are several different varieties of roses and each will appreciate being pruned differently.


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