Category Archives: Uncategorized

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 →

December Garden Bloggers Bloom Day

The 15th of the month in the gardening blogosphere is Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, when folks who blog about gardens and plants post what is blooming (or colorful) in their gardens (thanks to May Dreams Gardens blog). Here in North East Texas, there isn’t a lot of different things in bloom, thanks to a couple of below freezing nights. But, here and there, in protected areas, you can spot some flowers, (of course, the fall-planted pansies and snaps which haven’t had time to hit their stride). But, the… 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 →

Explore “The Secret Garden” in AgriWorld at the East Texas State Fair

There’s a bug in our garden – quick, kill it!! Whoa, not so fast. Maybe it’s one of the thousands of good bugs helping our plants grow! Fall is coming – burn those leaves!! Wait! – There’s a better way to recycle leaves and not add to air pollution – composting! Besides, we are under a burn ban and cannot burn leaves anyways. Wish you had some more water for your plants? Save some rain for a drier day. So many of us have grown up in an… Read More →

March Gardening Guidelines

Spring is on its way. You can smell it in the air and see it in the woods. Daffodils, flowering quince, forsythia, deciduous magnolias, pears and plums are blooming, indicating cold weather will soon be a thing of the past. BUT, we are not out of the woods yet as the weather could easily once again turn cold. The average last freeze for the Tyler area is mid-March, about the 15th. Note the word AVERAGE. On the one hand, we may have already seen the last freeze, yet… Read More →

Prepare Peaches for Spring

It won’t be long before spring is here, pushing dormant leaf and flower buds into action. Some important orchard chores need to be accomplished before these sleeping buds begin to swell. This includes treating peach trees for scale with a dormant oil spray and the annual pruning of peaches. Dormant Oil Sprays Winter time is prime time to apply a dormant oil spray to deciduous fruit, nut and certain landscape trees and shrubs to control scale and other insect pests. Horticultural oils are highly refined petroleum products for… Read More →

New Year Garden Resolutions

With a New Year knocking at the door, many folks are examining their lives and events of 2010, often resulting in making resolutions to do better. It’s not a bad idea to look back a little at your 2010 garden and landscape and consider what could be different or better. Let me suggest a few resolutions to add to the several you probably already have on your list. First, keep a garden journal. I have tried this in the past, and often never make it through to the… Read More →