Newspaper Articles



by Carol Siddall, Master Gardener

This time of year is hard for gardeners in all stages of experience.  The desire to go outside is there, but the cold says stay inside.  A good option for keeping your green thumbs busy, have a windowsill garden.  A sunny windowsill is all you need to bring microgreens or fresh herbs to your table. First thing, choose where you will put them. It is best to not have them near a heater vent, but they will need 5 to 6 hours of sunlight a day. While temperature needs vary from one plant to the next, you will need to try and keep it in the 70 to 75 degree range. Select your pots making sure they have drainage holes. 


Master Gardeners Carl White, Bee Enthusiast, and Ron Nelson BeeKeeper

  The soft buzz around the flowers, the constant flow of bees from the hive and one knows honey is in the making. However, the future of bees is in question at present, as the decline of hives and bees is a real problem. The problem seems to be CCD, or colony collapse disorder, in which colonies of bees are dying, sometimes finding only a queen and egg cells but no workers. The worldwide use of pesticides, bee viral diseases and fungi and the Varroa mite are a part of the problem. Our fascination and benefit from bees comes from the gentle bee, normally the Italian Honey Bee, f

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Jim Longstreet, Vegetable Specialist

Are you still trying to grow tomatoes in the Permian Basin?  Many growers just give up because of poor yield, disease, pests, lousy soil and water, late frost, hail and death.  Fortunately in West Texas it is still legal to kill a plant, though it is usually the case of negligent homicide (vegyside). We do have significant challenges and problems in growing tomatoes here -- like our climate.  The last frost is usually in mid-April and people usually wait until after that date to safely plant.  But if you wait until mid-April, then you have only  two months to mid-June when the average low temperature rises above 70 de

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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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Permian Basin Master Gardeners It is Christmas Day!  The greatest day of the year and our gift to you is a list of gardening tips that have been tried and proven true by master gardeners.  The average years of gardening from these Master Gardeners is 45+ years.  Each one of us applied to become a Master Gardener, and when accepted, spent  50+ hours in the classroom.  In addition to that, we did 60 hours of volunteer time in Master Gardener gardens and other volunteering entities in a one year time frame.  To keep certified as a Master Gardener, you must take 12 hours of training each year and complete 30 hours of volunteer time. So, with that said, these gardening

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By Karen Miller Entomology Specialist    Christmas is almost here, and what better way for an entomology specialist to start off the season than to give you the scoop on “the Christmas beetle.” Yes folks, there is really a beetle called the Christmas beetle. Christmas beetle is a name commonly given to the Australian beetle genus anoplognathus. They are known as Christmas beetles because they are abundant in both urban and rural areas very close to Christmas. They are large members of the scarab family and can be from 3/4 inches to 1 1/8 inches in length. The Christmas beetle is found in the forest and woodl

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Carl White, Greenhouse Specialist

Gardeners often think in terms of gardening within the limits of last frost to first frost.  This would normally constitute the spring, summer and fall months for our growing season, but what about the cool weather plants and vegetables we would love to have from our own gardens during the winter months? Vegetables possible include: radishes, leeks, carrots, arugula, lettuce(s), spinach, Swiss chard (Bright Lights), Red Russian Winter Kale, beet greens, and turnips, to name a few. Intermittent harvesting of tender new growth makes some wonderful additions as microgreens as salad. Leaf lettuce is undoubtedly the best crop

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It’s Christmas!!!

IT'S CHRISTMAS! Carol Siddall, Master Gardener amaryllis         It is Christmas Time!  The most wonderful time of the year.  For a gardener, December does not mean we don't have any new plants in the home.  Two of my favorites that I have are many Christmas Cacti and an Amaryllis or two.  Both are easy to grow and they help add to the Christmas spirit. The Christmas Cactus is a long lived plant with flat, seg

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Gardening Is Good For Your Health

GARDENING IS GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH Carol Siddall, Master Gardener img_0992-small   Those with green thumbs have long known that gardening is good for you both physically and mentally.  And now it has been proven scientifically.  Researchers have found that smelling the roses and pulling up those nasty weeds can lower blood pressure, increase brain activity, and produce  a general good feeling.  Just looking at a garden can give

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