Tag Archives: travis county master gardener

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 →

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 →

One and Done Bulbs by Yvonne Schneider

Floral Treasures for Spring Looking for a pop of color or a unique bloom to boost your spring show? Bulbs may just be your answer! In the Austin area we have many bulb varieties that naturalize and bloom each year. However, our warmer winters are not kind to those bulbs requiring ‘chill hours’. ‘Chill hours’ are the minimum amount of time bulbs must stay below temperatures of 40F. But if you don’t mind a ‘one and done’ annual show, then your options are endless. Most bulbs, such as… Read More →

The Gift of Amaryllis Bulbs by Yvonne Schneider

Amaryllis Bulbs Popular Holiday Gift Amaryllis bulbs are a popular gift during the holiday season that you can find at local grocers, big box stores, nurseries, and even online. The Hardy Red Amaryllis (Hippeastrum x johnsonii) is a great variety for Central Texas, but you can find different shapes and colors (white, red, pink, salmon, and yellow hybrids) that grow well in our area. The great thing about Amaryllis is the large bloom, anywhere from 5-10 inches in diameter, depending upon the variety. The foliage grows up to… Read More →

Our Dive into Rainwater Collection by Martha King

Rainwater collection instead of a pool? When I retired, my partner Beverly and I considered building a swimming pool. But the more we thought about a pool, the more trouble and expensive it sounded. It also didn’t seem environmentally responsible in a world that is becoming increasingly more focused on water conservation. Instead we dove headfirst into installing a rainwater collection system. Get the biggest tank that you can afford I consulted with experts about the scope of such a project. The collective advice was to invest in… Read More →

Gifts for the Vegetable Gardener by Patty Leander

Vegetable Gardener Gift Ideas Do you need gifts for the vegetable gardener in your life? Often when I reach for a particular tool or garden aid, I think about how useful it is or what a good gift it would make for a fellow gardener. Below are some of these favorite items that might spark some ideas for holiday gift giving. (Note: These are Patty’s personal selections, not paid endorsements.) Gardening Books There are so many books out there about vegetable gardening. I am partial to those written… Read More →

In the December Vegetable Garden by Patty Leander

Time for Greens and Pomegranates Your December garden checklist is here and ‘tis the season for fresh broccoli, cauliflower, hearty greens, delicious citrus…and pomegranates! It’s hard to resist the beautiful pomegranates available this time of year. The ruby red arils add a pop of color and a little tangy sweetness to salads, pilafs, or even sprinkled atop a dish of Christmas guacamole. If you’ve been to the grocery store lately, you’ve undoubtedly noticed pomegranates prominently displayed in the produce section. Or perhaps you are lucky enough to have… Read More →

Ornamental Grasses – the Perfect Plants? by Linda Drga

The Many Virtues of Ornamental Grasses A good landscape is not just about where you put trees and walkways, it also provides beauty and attracts nature into your yard. As the seasons change so does the color and shape of your garden. Spring brings a burst of new growth. Hopefully in summer there is a variety of flowers and grasses blooming. By fall, late blooms and seeds appear and last through most of the winter. Plants that can do all of this are ornamental grasses. Additionally, as our… Read More →

Fall gardening in a drought? Yes! by Caroline Homer

Texas in Drought Again (Still, Always) It’s mid-November and my garden is as dry as a tumbleweed rolling down 290 West toward Junction. My yard has received less than 3/4 inch of rain in the past two months. Nearly everyone in Austin got a good soaking in the second week of September. But my garden hasn’t seen much more than a brief shower or two since. Meteorologists confirm that Central Texas is in a “flash drought.” This means we’ve moved through at least two drought classification categories in… Read More →