Category Archives: Horticulture

Trees CODIT for Ice Storm Aftermath

Travis County Master Gardener Yvonne Schneider shares helpful tips on using trees CODIT method to help with storm damage. Tree – Heal Thyself! With the most recent ice storm and freezing temperatures, it makes you wonder what mother nature will do next to our trees and landscapes. Think about it, we had the “Snowpocalypse” of 2021, the drought of 2022, and now the “Icepocalypse” of 2023. Our trees are definitely in a weakened state and with so many also incurring ice damage, is a large portion of our… Read More →

Cutworms by Wizzie Brown

It’s That Time of Year for Cutworm Damage Granulate cutworms are damaging in the immature, or larval stage. Cutworms can cut plant seedlings stems off at the soil level and on older plants they can climb the plant and feed on foliage or fruit. Young larvae skeletonize leaves while older larvae eat holes in foliage, feed on the surface of fruit, or burrow into fruit. Larvae are nocturnal, which may make it difficult to discover the culprit of plant damage. You may need to inspect the garden at… Read More →

What’s Happening in Austin’s March Vegetable Garden

March Vegetable Garden Checklist Tips from Paula Wolfel The March vegetable garden is where the magic happens in my Austin yard! Every year, I plant the bulk of my spring garden the week after spring break—I have 3 elementary age children who are off of school 10-19 March. By late March, daytime temperatures are consistently warm enough for spring and summer vegetable (often reaching the 80s), and nighttime temperatures no longer drop below freezing. However, keep an eye out for a late-season cold front.  The last average frost… Read More →

Science of Agriculture – Youth Event 2023

Eat a Rainbow Presented by Travis County Master Gardeners The Travis County Master Gardeners enjoyed an action-packed day at the Science of Agriculture – Youth Event this past Thursday, February 16, 2023, at the Travis County Expo Center. Except for the last two-year COVID hiatus, this event has been an annual tradition for Master Gardeners to participate in. We coordinate with the Texas Farm Bureau, Master Wellness Volunteers, 4H Members and Travis County Extension Agents to present useful information in a fun way to Third and Fourth Graders… Read More →

Container Gardening at 2023 Earth-Kind Field Day March 25th

Container Gardening 101 Focus for 2023 Earth-Kind Gardening Field Day Come join the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and Travis County Master Gardeners for our spring 2023 Earth-Kind Gardening Field Day! It will be Saturday, March 25th from 9 am to 1 pm at the Travis County AgriLife Extension office located at 1600 Smith Road, Austin, TX 78721. Parking is available along Smith Road. The event is free and open to the public. The spring 2023 theme is Container Gardening 101 – for indoor and outdoor gardening. The… Read More →

What’s Happening in Austin’s February Vegetable Garden

February Vegetable Garden Checklist Tips from Paula Wolfel February is a fun month for Austin gardening because we start planning for our spring and summer gardening. It is almost as if what occurs this month will dictate your gardening all the way through the fall! Hopefully you have been keeping up with the weeds, if not, use the warmer days to get out there and start spring cleaning in your garden. Early in the month, work 1-2” of compost into your beds. There are a wide range of… Read More →

Insect Life Cycles by Wizzie Brown

. Two Categories of Insect Lifecycles Wizzie is kicking off the year with some basic insect biology about metamorphosis. Insect life cycles can be broken down into two major categories: incomplete and complete. Incomplete can then be further broken into three varying types. Paurometabolous Incomplete metamorphosis, also called paurometabolous, has three life stages. The first stage is the egg which hatches into an immature insect called a nymph. The nymph eats, grows and molts, going through several different nymphal stages called instars. With each successive molt, the nymph… Read More →

What’s Happening in Austin’s January Vegetable Garden

January Vegetable Garden Checklist Tips from Paula Wolfel January is surprisingly an exciting time for Austin vegetable gardeners because this is when the bulk of your spring garden planning can occur! Continue to make preparations for the lower temperatures, and watch the rain because this time or year we can reduced our irrigations needs. Make sure you continue to protect all new transplants from freeze and their first frost.  If the temperatures falls below 28 degrees then cover your plants, securing them with soil, bricks, rocks, or pins. … Read More →

Austin’s December Vegetable Garden by Paula Wolfel

Hooray for Rain! Gardening slows down a bit during this month.  As predicted, some of us had our first freeze a few weeks ago, as well as lots of rain!!   So hopefully all preparations were made last month for the lower temperatures, and the rain reduced irrigations needs. Make sure you continue to protect all new transplants from freeze and their first frost in the December vegetable garden.  If the temperatures fall below 28 degrees then cover your plants, securing them with soil, bricks, rocks, or pins.  In… Read More →

Help Overwintering Insects by Wizzie Brown

Provide Shelter for Overwintering Insects If you want to help increase the survival of overwintering insects these next few months, there are some things you can do to provide them with shelter during colder times of the year. Why Bother? First of all, why should you provide shelter for overwintering insects? Not all insects are pests! It is estimated that less than 5% of insect species are considered pests which means the majority of insects are beneficial or just hanging around the landscape. Any of you that have… Read More →