Category Archives: Horticulture

What’s Happening in the Austin June Vegetable Garden

The June Vegetable Garden Checklist by Paula Wolfel June is a fun month in the garden.  Although the heat starts to set in, most Austin gardeners are still reveling in gratitude for April and May’s rain.  Plants are green and growing and harvest is abundant.  With that said, this time of year many Austin gardeners are disappointed to find what once was a thriving squash or pumpkin plant has died.  If you grow a plant in the squash or pumpkin family then you are most likely very familiar… Read More →

Saltmarsh Caterpillars

Woollybear Cousins Active Now Saltmarsh caterpillars seem to be a common sight in gardens, lawns and traveling across roads and sidewalks.  These caterpillars are a particular species, Estigmene acrea, and turn into saltmarsh moths.  They are often mistakenly called “woollybears” which are a different species, Pyrrharctia isabella, that turn into Isabella tiger moths. The two species are related and in the same family Erebidae. Many Fuzzy Colors Saltmarsh caterpillars are extremely variable in color and have many setae in the late instar which creates a hairy or fuzzy… Read More →

Texas Superstar – Bluebonnet Seed Harvesting

Create Your Own Display By Harvesting Bluebonnet Seeds Our Texas state flower, the Bluebonnet (Lupinus texensis), is a low maintenance winter annual whose color is an early spring welcome and a reason for a Sunday drive. It’s now available in white, pink, classic blue, and royal blue.  You might ask, how do you replicate the display of bluebonnets so prominent along the state highway? A little planning and effort right now will reward you next year, as you might notice the seed pods are currently ripening. Let Your… Read More →

Don’t Give Up on Pride of Barbados Plants

Texas Superstar® – Pride of Barbados Pride of Barbados (Caesalpinia pulcherrima – means “very pretty”) is a tropical plant that is native to South America and the Caribbean and is a reliable perennial in Travis County. The alternate common names, such as flame tree, peacock flower, and flowering fence hint at its magnificent display. It is a fast-growing shrub or small tree that can reach heights of up to 10 feet and can be pruned to maintain its shape and size. Pride of Barbados is known for its… Read More →

What’s Happening in the May Vegetable Garden

Austin’s May Vegetable Garden Checklist Tips from Paula Wolfel May provides a window when a few more vegetables can be planted before the summer heat arrives, but is mainly a month when Austin gardeners tend to the plants that were put in the ground earlier in the spring and start harvesting. Many gardeners are harvesting beans, peas, tomatoes, squashes, radishes, carrots, lettuces, and squashes, to name a few. Unfortunately, also in May, insects and diseases are in full force. Pill bugs, tiger moth caterpillar and the saltmarsh caterpillars… Read More →

Texas Community Futures Forum on May 7th

Every five years, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service hosts the Texas Community Futures Forum to address local issues facing the general public in the areas of  Agriculture and Natural Resources, Families and Health, Youth and Community Development.  In order to ensure that the educational programs being planned for the future are on target, we invite your participation in the Texas Community Futures Forum to be held on May 7th from 9-11:30 am at Pflugerville Lions Club, 500 N Railroad Ave, Pflugerville, TX 78660  Your opinion is valued in… Read More →

Mountain Laurel Mirid

Mountain laurel mirids, Lopidea major, are relatively small insects that reach a little over ¼” as adults. Nymphs, or immatures, look like adults, but don’t have fully developed wings and are smaller in size. These mirids are a type of plant bug that is red and black in color. Bodies and front part of the wings are red while the head, antennae, legs, and back part of the wings are black. They have piercing-sucking mouthparts and use them to puncture foliage of plants. Feeding can lead to deformation… Read More →

Inside Austin Gardens Tour Set For May 11

The Travis County Master Gardeners Association has set Saturday, May 11, 2024, 9:00 am-3:00 pm, for their popular Inside Austin Gardens Tour (IAGT). The tour provides a rare look inside four private gardens that demonstrate realistic, sustainable gardening practices for Central Texas that will inform and inspire. Featured Gardens Showcase Diverse Settings The tour’s theme is “For Gardeners. By Gardeners”, focusing on the vast variety and practical beauty of native and well-adapted plants in the garden. In turn, each garden has a theme that highlights a particular set… Read More →

What’s Happening in the Austin April Vegetable Garden

Enjoy the April Vegetable Garden! All warm weather vegetables can be planted during the month of April. Remember to choose vegetable varieties that grow in Central Texas. Seeds or Transplants? You can find almost all vegetables available to purchase as transplants for the April vegetable garden. However, you can save money by planting seeds when possible. Some vegetables like tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers need to be transplanted instead of planting seeds to allow the crops to mature before hot weather sets in and extends the productive period of… Read More →

Texas Tough Plants Featured in 2024 Webinar series

Texas Tough Plants for Austin These past couple of years have been especially hard on our landscapes. The extreme cold and summer droughts have left gaping holes in many of our yards, and it’s hard to know which plants should be chosen as replacements. Help is on the way! Webinar Series Focused on Plant Selection Travis County Texas A&M AgriLife will be hosting several programs in 2024 to help Austin area gardeners be more successful. Topics range from native landscapes to container gardening. The program features experts from… Read More →