October Gardening Check List

The best tree and shrub planting season continues now through mid-March. Root systems will continue to grow all winter long, giving you a fairly well-established plant by the time the real heat sets in. A better established root system conserves water and is more drought resistant next year. (It is also easier on YOU,  as you will be watering less often in the winter!) Try planting some spring-flowering trees and shrubs such as azaleas, redbuds, Mexican plums, anacacho orchid trees, and Texas scarlet flowering quince. -Don’t miss the fall fertilization [...]

By | 2017-10-05T14:55:30+00:00 October 5th, 2017|Lawn Care, Plants, Vegetable Gardening|

Cool Season Color

Pansies are one of the most rewarding plants for cool-season planting. They require 6-8 hours of sun, and a soil enriched with compost. Remember that winter is their season, and that they are HEAVY feeders. Fertilize monthly with NutriStar Color Star time-release fertilizer, and the blooms will never stop. I have had them bloom in an ice storm! Dead-head the fading flowers when possible to encourage more blooms, and you will be greatly rewarded. Violas are one of my favorite winter bloomers. They will tolerate part sun (even dappled shade) [...]

By | 2017-09-26T15:23:30+00:00 September 26th, 2017|Plants|

Mum’s the Word

Most of us think of mums as a fall flower to welcome in the cooler weather in a pot by the front door. They certainly pair well with pumpkins as a fall decoration! When grown in a container, mums do not need additional fertilizer. Regular watering is a must, as wilting shortens the life of the flowers. Be sure to soak the soil thoroughly, and do not let water stand in a saucer beneath the pot. Daily soaking is often required. Water the soil, not the plant. Water on the [...]

By | 2017-09-20T16:16:55+00:00 September 20th, 2017|Plants|

Growing Bougainvilleas in Central Texas

I am so fond of having Bougainvilleas in pots in my landscape. Nothing really compares to the riot of color that they can produce during the heat of the summer. Add that to the fact that they are so easy to care for, and we have a real winner on our hands. Simply familiarize yourself with their needs, and you will have vivid color in your yard, too! Bougainvilleas require at least 5 hours of sun each day in order to bloom well. Because they bloom on new growth, promoting [...]

By | 2017-08-30T17:13:50+00:00 August 30th, 2017|Plants|

Texas Ranger

August is the perfect time to look around your neighborhood and see what is thriving in this oppressive Central Texas heat. If you have been thinking about planting in a new area, adding screening or simply rejuvenating an existing landscape, observing what does well at the hottest time of the year should give you some great ideas of what will thrive in years to come. Texas Ranger, also known as Texas Sage, Cenizo, or Barometer Bush, has been giving us a particularly good show the past week. Abundant flowers appear [...]

By | 2017-08-15T15:53:25+00:00 August 15th, 2017|Plants|

Don’t Overlook Ornamental Grasses

A balanced landscape requires many elements, and ornamental grasses are a great choice to fill the need for a structural variation in foliage. While everyone loves the plants that give us color, we also need to “break up” the landscape to avoid monotony, and give texture to our plantings. We have a wonderful selection of native ornamental grasses available to us, and not only do they fill a design void, but they are often quite heat and drought tolerant as well. Wait until late February to cut these grasses back, [...]

By | 2017-07-12T13:27:36+00:00 July 12th, 2017|Plants|

July Checklist

Vegetables:  Vegetable planting is still going on-just be sure to water new seedlings well and often! Don’t let them dry out while they are germinating and getting their “true” leaves, as moisture is critical at this stage. Fall vegetable gardening in many ways can be better than a spring garden in Central Texas. Believe it or not, we plant tomato plants for “fall” tomatoes in July!  We suggest choosing either a “determinate” type tomato (see info sheet), or a variety that has 60-70 “days to harvest”. I have also grown [...]

By | 2017-07-06T14:16:05+00:00 July 6th, 2017|Plants, Vegetable Gardening|

Is it CLEM-a-tis or clem-A-tis?

Whichever way you pronounce it, it is one of my favorite flowering vines, and I am excited to introduce it to you! Clematis, in nature, germinate their seed in the shade of other plants, and climb into the sun, keeping their roots in more cool temperatures. Hence, the adage “tops in the sun, roots in the shade”. This can be accomplished by planting a shrub to shade the roots (Liriope works well), or even by placing a large flat stone over the root area. A thick layer of mulch also [...]

By | 2017-05-11T15:51:13+00:00 May 11th, 2017|Plants|

Photinia Leaf Spot

My Photinia Leaf Has Spots? If you have Red Tip Photinia in your yard, you are most likely familiar with the red-purple photinia leaf spots that can appear on the leaves. This spotting is caused by a fungus, Entomosporium, and can cause damage to Photinia and Indian Hawthorn. Other plants in the rose family that may be infected include loquat, flowering quince, pyracantha and pear. We frequently see severe damage after periods of frequent rainfall, although overhead watering for lawns that hits the shrubs is also a factor. The disease starts [...]

By | 2017-06-07T07:50:13+00:00 April 25th, 2017|Plants|

Growing Roses in Central Texas

Growing Roses Knowing which class of rose you want to grow is an important decision. Shopping for roses can be confusing, and having a basic knowledge before you choose your rose can increase your chance of success. Roses with similar characteristics are grouped in to a number of different “classes”. Hybrid Tea roses are usually grafted (budded) on a vigorous rootstock, and bear large, many-petaled flowers that grow on a long stem. They can bloom continually throughout the growing season, and many are fragrant. These roses usually grow quite tall, [...]

By | 2017-06-07T07:37:58+00:00 April 19th, 2017|Plants|