Category Archives: Gardening Notes

By Moon or President’s Day, It’s Time to Plant Potatoes

Whether its according to the phase of the moon, or by George Washington’s birthday, mid -February is time to plant Irish potatoes. The Almanac indicates February 10-17 as moon-favorabile dates for planting potatoes, and those who garden according to the weather say about 4 weeks before average last freeze, both put it about now for potato planting time! Potatoes grow and produce best between 60 and 75 degrees during the day and 45 to 55 degrees at night, which doesn’t happen for very long each spring. Potatoes must… Read More →

Time to Plant Onions

How sweet it is – Noonday Sweet Onions, that is. You don’t have to live in Noonday, Texas to grow your own crop of tasty onions, though. Several factors are involved in producing a successful onion crop. The first factor for success is planting the right varieties. Onion varieties are classified as short-day, long-day and intermediate. Plant the wrong type, and you won’t get a bulb! Short-day onion varieties are the best for our area, although intermediate types will also produce bulbs here in northeast Texas. One of… Read More →

Upcoming Educational Programs in Gardening & Horticulture

This is the time of year when the calendar gets 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 and topics in our area that might be of interest to you. The annual all-day East Texas Turfgrass Conference will once again be held at the Texas A&M AgriLife… 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 →