Author Archives: sheryl.williams

Don’t Plant Unidentified Seeds – Mystery Seeds Arriving Through the Mail

Over the last several days, residents have been receiving packages of unidentified seeds that they did not order. They arrive from China labeled as jewelry or other items.  The USDA is investigating and is asking everyone for help tracking packages. It’s also important that you don’t plant unidentified seeds, no matter what the source. Do This if You Get This Package If you receive one of these packages, or knows of someone who does, please do the following: Do not open or plant the contents. Keep contents contained… Read More →

Travis County AgriLife Extension Goes Virtual – All Staff Teleworking

The office is closed, but we’re still here! In order to protect the health and safety of our employees and to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhart issued an order directing Travis County Executives, Elected Officials, and Appointed Officials to implement temporary teleworking arrangements for employees whose job duties are conducive to working from home. That includes all Extension staff and volunteers for both Texas A&M and Prairie View A&M University Extension Programs. In addition to this, all face to face AgriLife educational programs… Read More →

It’s Time to Garden in Austin!

Spring has Sprung in Travis County St. Valentine’s Day is the first day of spring for many gardeners in Travis County. February 14th is usually the start of milder weather and with any luck, the hard freezes are over. Now is the time to garden: prune your roses, start your spring vegetable garden, restart your compost, and get a jump on weeds these few weeks before warmer air arrives in April. Get Expert Advice from Master Gardeners at These Events Travis County Master Gardeners are out and about… Read More →

Leaf Landscape Supply Rescues Pfluger Bridge Demonstration Garden

Pfluger Bridge Plants Replaced – Thank you Leaf Landscape Supply! Last month someone stole several plants from our adopted bed on the Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge. Sadly, these sort of things happen in public gardening spaces. When Cathy, the Manager of Leaf Landscape Supply North, heard the story, she arranged for Leaf to donate several plants as replacements. The new plants went into the planting bed over President’s Day weekend. Texas Superstar® Plants and “Bling” Leaf’s donation includes several Texas Superstar® plants and a few flats of annuals to… Read More →

What’s New in the Garden? Time to Fertilize Citrus

 It’s Time to Fertilize Citrus Here in Austin, the prolonged cold usually comes to an end around Valentine’s Day and the warmer air triggers many plants to come out of dormancy. We’ve already noticed plums blooming in the neighborhood and new buds are emerging on just about everything in the Earth-Kind® Demonstration Garden. Joe, our Master Gardener citrus expert, says that now is the time to fertilize citrus plants. There are two trees in the ground at AgriLife, and both received specially formulated citrus fertilizer as an early… Read More →

It’s Time to Apply for Travis County Master Gardener Training Program

Travis County Master Gardener Training Program Now Open! Have you been thinking about becoming a master gardener? If so, applications for the Travis County Master Gardener training program will be accepted at one of three information sessions. The Travis County Master Gardeners are volunteers for the Travis County AgriLife Extension Service. They assist Extension’s mission to disseminate research-based horticultural and environmental knowledge among the citizens of Central Texas. The Master Gardener training program has a limited number of spaces this year. Candidates submitting the best applications will meet… Read More →

What’s New in the Garden – Can You Dig It?

Site Preparation for New Garden Bed A new garden bed and gabion wall is in process at the Earth-Kind Demonstration garden at the AgriLife Extension office on Smith Road, and both require a LOT of digging. The new garden bed is adjacent to a parking area at the AgriLife Extension office and is mostly weeds and grass. The Travis County facilities department regularly mows it but does not provide any other ancillary care or irrigation. Master Gardener Sandy, the wall garden area leader of the Earth-Kind Demonstration Garden,… Read More →

What’s New in the Garden? Time to Cut Back Plants?

Here’s what’s new in the garden this week at the Earth-Kind® Demonstration Garden at Travis County AgriLife Extension and the Travis County Master Gardener garden at Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge. Is it Okay to Cut Back Plants? The recent freeze damaged some of the perennial foliage and flowering plants. JoAnna, the Pollinator Garden leader advises that it’s okay to remove dead foliage on perennials, but hold off pruning woody shrubs. All of the annual vines that didn’t survive were added to the compost pile. To see what else can… Read More →

What’s New In The Garden? Mulch and Blooms

One day it’s freezing, and the next it’s in the 80’s. Welcome to December in Central Texas! Here’s what’s new in the garden this week at the Earth-Kind® Demonstration garden at Travis County AgriLife Extension and the Travis County Master Gardener garden at Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge. More Mulch Added This week’s garden task was to add two yards of first grind mulch. The mulch will help insulate plants from cold and suppress weeds. Teresa, the Travis County Master Gardener Demo Garden Project Leader, thinks that at least one… Read More →

What’s new in the garden? Renovation at Pfluger Bridge Garden

Here’s what’s new in the garden this week at the Earth-Kind® Demonstration garden at Travis County AgriLife Extension. French Sorrel Thriving in the Herb Garden Pat Cabella, Master Gardener for the herb area in the AgriLife garden, cut back the French Sorrel (Rumex scutatus) a while ago. It is now flush with growth and ready to pick again. French Sorrel can be tricky to grow here in Austin because it wants regular irrigation and shade. Luckily it has both in the herb garden bed here at AgriLife. Dahlia… Read More →