Author Archives: sheryl.williams

About sheryl.williams

Horticulture Program Assistant

In the April Vegetable Garden for Austin by Patty Leander

Add Perseverance to Your April Gardening Checklist Who could have imagined that our pandemic spring of 2020 would be followed by a paralyzing deep freeze in 2021? Gardening and restarts go hand in hand but the recovery and resets in the season ahead are still to be determined. Like many gardeners, I am wondering about the status of several plants in my landscape. Roses and dandelions act like nothing happened, lantana is showing signs of regrowth, Barbados cherry appears brown and brittle, and poor prickly pear cactus turned… Read More →

Micro-Orcharding in Urban Growing Spaces by Reed Burnam

Micro-Orcharding: Stacking Edible Diversity into Suburban and Urban Growing Spaces “Micro-Orcharding” is a high-density planting technique that allows for maximum diversity in fruit and nut crops in smaller planting spaces. This method works well in the city and suburbs where space is at a premium, but is useful anywhere. The concept is simple – you plant trees closer together than recommended. Then you keep the size of individual trees smaller year on year. This helps to maintain spacing and light whilst maximizing fruit diversity. Consistently reducing the size… Read More →

In the March Vegetable Garden

Starting Over in the March Vegetable Garden? Wow. The Arctic Blast of February 2021 was a doozey! Many cool season plants that normally can withstand cold, suffered damage or died during the week of freezing temperatures. I plant fava beans in the fall so that I can get a nice crop as early as January. They normally do just fine, even in a freeze, but not this year. The tops suffered a lot of damage, but have put on new growth in the days following the ice storm…. Read More →

For the Love of Roses by Carolyn Williams

The love of roses is a subject that captivates gardeners and poets alike. Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “There is simply the rose; it is perfect in every moment of its existence.” This is my fourth post on roses. I hope I’ve answered a few basic questions in order for you to have enough rose knowledge that you can either plant a new rose or help an older established one produce better sweet smelling roses. Fertilizer Basics Have your soil tested so that you know how much fertilizer you should… Read More →

Maintaining Roses by Carolyn Williams

Maintaining Roses is Easy Maintaining roses is one of the easiest things to do in the garden. The trick is to select roses that do well in our climate, plant them at the right time, and give them enough light. Best Time to Plant Roses Most container roses, especially Earth-Kind® or antique, can go into the ground most anytime as long as they have supplemental irrigation. But the best times to plant roses in the Austin area are early fall through early spring. Roses need to establish roots… Read More →

February – the Rose Pruning Month by Carolyn Williams

Here in Central Texas, February is the month of on-and-off nasty weather, Valentine’s Day, and Presidents’ Day. All of these remind me it’s time to check on my roses. Choosing a mild day in Mid-February and arming myself with the necessary clothing (long sleeve shirt, hat, glasses, heavy gloves and no open toed shoes) I’m off to start the rose pruning process. Check your Tools First Before I start my rose pruning, I like to sharpen and then sterilize my clippers and pruners. Because you use your clippers/pruners… Read More →

The History of Roses by Carolyn Williams

Roses Cultivated for Over 5,000 Years The history of the rose goes back around 5,000 years ago to China. There is fossilized evidence of the rose plant eons earlier. The Romans grew them, the English fought a war symbolizing them, (white rose of York and red rose of Lancaster.) The French Empress Josephine Bonaparte became an early collector and breeder of them at her estate, Château de Malmaison, outside of Paris. Cultivated roses were introduced into Europe from China in the late 18th century. Roses in North America… Read More →

Please Participate in TexasSpeaks Survey

TexasSpeaks is being conducted in Travis County and across the State of Texas to allow the citizens of Texas to provide their input on the assets and issues in their communities. The local branch of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service has a rich history of providing educational programs that address the most critical issues in the county, and invites your participation in the TexasSpeaks process. The AgriLife Extension Service highly values the opinions shared through the TexasSpeaks community assessment. The expectation is that the assessment will take… Read More →

In the February Vegetable Garden by Patty Leander

Last Chance to Plant Cool Season Vegetables Your February garden checklist should include your last opportunity to plant cool season vegetables. They need to have a chance to mature before the arrival of hot weather. It’s also a time for hard decisions. If we fill our garden beds with broccoli, lettuce and carrots this month, where will we put tomatoes, green beans and squash next month? With the exception of quick-growing radishes and mesclun greens, the vegetables we plant in February will take 2-3 months to reach harvest… Read More →

Compost Treasure Hunt Time! by Yvonne Schneider

Winter is Compost Prep Time You might consider winter a gloomy season with the trees shedding their leaves and perennials wilting with the cooler temperatures. But for gardeners, it’s compost treasure hunt time! This is the optimum time to begin gathering the ‘brown’ material needed for composting throughout the next year. My relatives (and husband) think I’m crazy about this time of year, as I scoop up as many leaves as possible, ask family to bag up their excess leaves, and volunteer to clear-off and bag-up my Mom’s… Read More →