Newspaper Articles

Ornamental Grasses

By Debbie Roland, Compost Specialist Permian Basin Master Gardeners Landscaping has changed in the last twenty years. As West Texans have become conscious of conserving water and preserving the native habitat, wildflowers and native plants have become popular. Formal, squared-off landscape designs are fast becoming a thing of the past. One of the new trends, along with perennial flowering plants, is the use of ornamental grasses in the landscape. Grasses are no longer just to walk on. Almost all ornamental grasses are perennials, coming up in spring, from their roots. Whether you’re planning a new landscape or rejuvenating an established one, ornamental grasses can add pizzazz. M

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Too Many Veggies

WHEN YOU HAVE TOO MANY VEGGIES Barbara Porsch, Master Gardener     john's tomatoes There often is a time about now when the garden has been producing like crazy that you liken it to a political campaign. Cannot wait for this madness to be over! I am not ashamed to admit it has crossed my mind. Your poor counter top hasn’t seen the light of day for weeks because it is covered up with squash, cucumbers and now maybe ok

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Want Pumpkins

WANT PUMPKINS? PLANT NOW! Carol .Siddall Master Gardener   I learned something this week that I did not know, and I wanted to share with you. Neil Sperry, horticulturist from McKinney, Texas, and the Natural Gardener in Austin, Texas, say you can still plant pumpkin seeds July 4th. We will have missed that by the time you read this, but I bet you can still plant the seeds the first week of July. They need that warm soil to germinate so I feel you are safe. This will give you a harvest in October. Don't plan on planting the HUGE pumpkins as they won't have time to fully develop. Daphne Richards, horticulture extension agent for Travis County, recommends not pl

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Straw Bale Gardening

STRAW BALE GARDENING Debbie Roland, Compost Specialist     Have you ever thought about raising a plant or two in a bale of hay? Well, you can and it’s easy and fun, and avoids some West Texas problems like bad soil, weeds, lack of water and limited space, and is great for people who can’t get down on the ground or bend over but still want to garden. You can have just one bale or stack them several high. Joel Karsten developed this process after watching what happened at his farm when they lost a hay bale on the way to the barn. Before you knew it there would be plants growing from the bales themselves. The hay was decomposing and becoming the planting mix that was gr

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Butterflies In Your Garden

Butterflies in Your Garden Karen Miller, Entomologist Specialist

  butterfly Which red butterfly have you had in your garden? Is it a Monarch, a Queen, a Viceroy, or maybe a Soldier? All often these are considered “red butterflies”, but the favorites here in West Texas have to be the Monarch and the Queen. Do you know which is which? The Queen butterfly (Danaus galippus) and the Monarch butterfly (

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Garlic

Garlic Allium sativum
by Master Gardener Barbara Porsch – Herb Enthusiast
garlic-small         Garlic, or as it is affectionately called “stinking rose” was selected by the International Herb Association as the herb of the Year in 2004. Gilroy, California, has been known as the “Garlic Capital of the World” since 1979. Will Rogers once described Gilroy as “the only town in America where

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Aquaponics

FISH PLUS PLANTS = AQUAPONICS
Wina Garrett and John Geib
aquponicss           Are you wondering, like I did the first time I heard the word Aquaponics, what is that? The simplest definition I have heard is that it is the marriage of aquaculture (using fish) and hydroponics (the soil-less growing of plants) that grows fish and plants together in one integrated system. The fish waste provides an organ

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MicroGreens

MicroGreens
By Ben Bretz Master Gardener
microgreen.pic         My wife and I were at a farmers market in the metroplex a couple of years ago. One of the things that caught her eye was “Micro Greens””. We bought a small plastic container of greens, the size of the ones you get at the grocery store with blueberries or raspberries in them. It was EIGHT DOLLARS!! I thought that was outrageou

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Watch Out For A Few Insects!

WATCH OUT FOR A FEW INSECTS!
Karen Miller, Entomology Specialist
bumble bee     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! We face bees and wasps who try to sting us. We face ants who try to bite us. The sun tries to burn us and mosquitoes steal our blood while possibly infecting us with serious diseases. I hope I have compiled a few remedies for

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