Category Archives: Uncategorized

Upcoming Gardening and other Educational Programs

This is the time of year that is loaded up with opportunities to sharpen your skills or learn more about gardening, landscaping and related topics. The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service provides a variety of educational programs and topics to the citizens of our great State. Here is a listing of some of the many upcoming programs in the northeast Texas area that might be of interest to you. For more details and other regional educational opportunities, go to the East Texas Gardening web site and the Educational… Read More →

Time to Plant Home Orchard

If you have been contemplating walking out your back door and harvesting fresh blueberries, peaches, blackberries, figs, persimmons, or other fruiting delights, now is the time to plan and plant for those future harvests. Nurseries are beginning to receive fresh shipments of fruit, nut and berry plants, ready for planting. Before rushing to make that purchase, you first need to do some homework. Make sure that the fruit type and variety you select will grow and produce for you – and that you are able to provide the… Read More →

Salvias for Texas-Tough Summer Color

  One of the most diverse and useful groups of plants for summer color must be the sages – botanically known as the Salvias.  Native to many places in the world, including Texas, salvias have become a staple for garden designers creating long-lasting colorful beds.  Garden-worthy salvias range from Texas-tough perennials to tender annuals that have been extensively bred for the bedding plant industry.  Colors take on the rainbow, from purple to red, with blues, whites, and even yellow. Salvias are in the mint family, all of which… Read More →

Watch Out for Falling Pecans and Branches

It was a beautiful, sunny afternoon – not a cloud in the sky. The air was still, almost stifling, when suddenly, “Craaack! Wham! Thud!” You look around and there is a very large pecan limb lying (hopefully) in the middle of the lawn. A close inspection of the broken ends reveals no clues as to what happened to make this large branch unexpectedly break and fall. The break was right in the middle of the branch, and there is no sign of insects, borers or decay. What happened?… Read More →

Summer Bulb Flower Power

Most of the time, when flowering bulbs are mentioned, tulips and daffodils are what first come to mind. But, these heralds of early spring are not the only bulbs that dazzle and beautify Texas landscapes. There’s another set of flowering plants that grow from bulbs, corms and rhizomes that bloom in the summertime. Crinums. Big and beautiful – that describes the summer blooming crinum lily. Large fountains of leaves erupt from the ground in early spring from large bulbs. After a summer rain, long stalks emerge, topped with… Read More →

Good Guys in the Garden

  Insects rule! Or, so it seems. There are approximately 250,000 insect species in the U.S., with 30,000 of these living in Texas. That’s more insect species than all the kinds of birds, mammals, reptiles, fishes and plants combined. We are continually surrounded by insects, both in and around our homes. Insects have a bad rap since the most familiar ones are the ones that bug us. Some insects can do considerable damage to crops; others are vectors of serious diseases. But, did you know that only 3% of… Read More →

Grow Your Own Groceries

Wouldn’t be nice to step out of the kitchen into the backyard and harvest some fresh lettuce, tomatoes, blueberries, figs or peaches? If fresh blackberries for cobbler or red sweet, or hot, peppers for stuffing or salsa are on a future menu, stop dreaming and get to planting. Now is time to plant or at least make preparations for growing your own groceries. Let’s start with fruits. A basic need is a sunny location with enough room. Some fruiting plants don’t take up too much space, like blueberries… Read More →

Gardening Tips for December

The first hard freeze of the season finally arrived for most of the area, and put an end to our annual flowers, tomatoes, peppers, and other tender, tropical vegetation. Unless, of course, you took action to protect them. But, cold weather does not mark the end of the gardening season. This is an ideal time of year for some important gardening activities. One nice benefit is that we can work outside a lot longer without passing out from heat exhaustion. Another important fact is that almost all trees… Read More →