Category Archives: Gardening Notes

Pruning the Fruit Orchard

One of the more common questions I get at this time of year when everything is dormant is when, and how, to prune various fruiting plants, like peaches, blackberries, figs and blueberries.  In general, January and February is an ideal time train and trim most of our orchard fruits. Each type of fruit is trained and maintained differently, and so it is helpful to know some general guidelines for what you are growing. For example, figs are NOT annually pruned to enhance fruit production, whereas peach trees need… Read More →

Pruning for Healthy, Attractive & Productive Plants

At this time of year, as our trees and shrubs enter dormancy, homeowners often think about pruning their plants. Improper pruning can destroy in a few minutes the beauty, grace and vigor of a plant that nature has worked for years to create. It is better not to prune at all than to do it incorrectly. Proper pruning of trees and shrubs involves art and skill. The artistic part is to prune plants so the result is pleasing to the eye – a compliment to the yard and… Read More →

2014 Calendar, Garden Journal and Planning Guide for Northeast Texas

For the gardener, winter is a time for reflection on the past year’s successes, failures, and wished-for accomplishments. It is also when we look forward to the return of the balmy days of spring, whose arrival always stirs up a renewed interest in the gardens that surrounds us. When thinking about things we did last year (or in previous years) in our yard or garden, our memory is often not the best record keeper. Exactly where did I plant that special variety of daffodils I bought at the… Read More →

December Gardening Tips

December is turning out to be a cold month this year, but nevertheless gardeners love to be outdoors. It’s a great time of year to do some of the heavy work in the garden as opposed to sweating it up in the heat of summer. Leaves. Don’t put up the mower yet. Not all leaves have blown off the trees.  Although turfgrasses have stopped growing, you can use the mower to chop up and recycle the leaves back into the lawn or collect them for mulch or a… Read More →

Colorful Foliage for the Yard

  This is the time of year when foliage takes over flowers for center stage in the landscape. Many people have commented that fall foliage in our neck of the woods is just as good as the more renowned northeastern foliage. No need to take a long road trip; a drive around town or out into the surrounding countryside will reward you with a bounty of reds, yellows, oranges, purples, and the various hues of green from different evergreens. You may not have room in your yard for… Read More →

Blooming Plants That Measure the Darkness

Some of the most beautiful blooming plants wait until the shorter days of fall to erupt with colorful flowers, a last glorious display before the first freeze of winter arrives to end it all. Flower color is always better, more vibrant during the cooler fall weather, too. The summer sun and heat often cause blooms to fade quickly, and colors seem to bleach under sunny Texas skies. But why do some plants wait until now to flower, while others bloom from spring through frost? The answer is fall… Read More →

November Gardening Tips

With the arrival of November and the end of daylight savings, the time to complete outdoor gardening activities is lessened with each passing day. Fortunately, there is not a lot of activity going on in our landscapes and gardens, but there are a few items you can do to keep your gardens growing great. This is a great time to be planting new trees and shrubs in your landscape. The roots will continue to grow, while the tops remain dormant until next spring, giving the plant many months… Read More →

Beware of Garden Bullies

  Occasionally gardeners may introduce a plant into their yard’s flower beds that initially seemed attractive and innocent, only to later discover they have a garden thug or bully. It’s the kind of plant that will race to occupy every available inch of soil, crowding out meeker and less aggressive plants, even to the point of becoming the dominant plant in the area. Experienced gardeners know what I am talking about, and many will have stories about what it took to eradicate the bully (assuming they were indeed… Read More →