Category Archives: Gardening Notes

January Gardening Tips

Let me join the chorus to wish you a Happy New Year, and a successful, bountiful and colorful gardening year! It may be cold and miserable sometimes at this time, but January is a month for some important items for the landscape and garden. Starting Transplants: If you want to grow your own transplants, start vegetable and flower seeds indoors right now for planting later this winter and early spring – broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, kale, lettuce, parsley, petunias and begonias. Later in January start tomato, pepper and… Read More →

2015 Gardening Suggestions

Happy Gardening New Year! Here’s hoping your garden grows great, and the grass gets greener but grows more slowly. What is New Years without resolutions to improve or do better? Setting goals is always a good thing, even if we stumble and not carry through all the way. Here are a few items you could choose from to add to your list of resolutions, for a greener  (or more colorful) 2015. Dress up the front of your home with a fresh planting. Even a small project can have… Read More →

Solving Wind, Sound, Visual Problems with Plants

A cold, blustery winter wind can make a chilly day very miserable. In heavily wooded areas the effects of wind are minimized by the trees, and in cities buildings affect the wind. But larger suburban and rural properties often have wide open spaces where the wind can race unfettered to infiltrate homes with cold air. A well-designed windbreak can reduce the chilling effects of winter winds. A windbreak, or a hedgerow of shrubs and trees, can also be used to buffer unwanted noises and screen unsightly views. A… Read More →

The Winter Landscape

Winter is not the most favorite time of year for most folks when it comes to gardening and enjoying your yard. The bright flowers of summer are a faded memory, fall tree colors have dropped to the ground, and the days grow shorter as we approach the winter solstice, bringing chilly, often damp, cloudy and dreary conditions. Yet, the changing seasons also bring about transformations in the yard and landscape that cannot be appreciated at other times of the year. Now that trees are bare, their interesting branching… Read More →

Holiday Plant Care

Although artificial trees have become quite common, having a fresh-cut tree for the holidays is still quite popular. A question we sometimes get is, “What special solution is best for keeping my Christmas tree green?” The answer is – good ol’ plain water! Research done at North Carolina State University a few years ago compared several homemade solutions to plain water. They looked at water only, water plus household bleach, water with aspirin tablets, and water with 7-Up. Nothing was found to work as well as clean, plain… Read More →

Put Your Garden to Bed and Get Ready for Spring

This is the time of year to put your flower and vegetable garden to bed, and start getting ready for your spring garden. Now that we’ve had some hard freezes, annual flowers and warm-season vegetables are finished and can be removed from the garden. Cut back browned tops of herbaceous perennials like salvias, phlox, lantana, cuphea, cannas, and others. Chop them up and throw them in the compost pile. I like to leave until spring the dried coneflower seedheads for finches to feed upon. Ornamental grasses can be… Read More →

Gardening Tips for November

Standing in my yard today reminded me of why we typically call this time of year “fall” instead of autumn. Almost with no breeze, elm leaves float down like confetti, requiring yet another sweeping of the walk leading to the front door. But, I’m not complaining. This is a lovely season, with mild weather and beautiful scenes both in landscapes and in the country side as trees begin their transition to winter dormancy. Fall leaf color can vary year to year based on temperature and soil moisture leading… Read More →

Gardening Tips for September

September is a swing month in the garden, since summer has not completely left us yet, but the milder days of fall are around the corner. You could almost say this is a time of preparation because many consider fall to be the best time to be planting both cool season vegetable crops and trees and shrubs for our landscapes. September also has a couple of local gardening educational opportunities. The First Tuesday in the Garden series presented by Smith County Master Gardeners in their I.D.E.A. Garden starts… Read More →