420 North 6th Street, Waco, TX 76701
McLennan County Master Gardeners
Call 757-5180 for information on upcoming extension events.
From McLennan County Master Gardeners: Growing Tips For Earth-Kind ™ Roses
…from Dr. Steven George at the
THANK YOU…to all who shopped at the April Earth-Kind Rose Symposium in Waco
Master Gardeners’ Plant Sale
on May 19th. • Plant in full sun (8 hr. or more daily),
May all your purchases grow – away from trees
and exceed all expectations!! • Have good air circulation with a foot of
open space around a fully-grown plant
• Use drip or leaky hose irrigation, not
overhead sprinklers during the evening
************************************ or night hours
You Are Invited…to stroll through the Texas • For sandy and loam soils, incorporate 3-
Superstar garden area at the Carleen Bright 6 inches of organic matter (compost)
Arboretum in Woodway, corner of Estates and • For local clay soils, incorporate 3 inches
Bosque. Check out these bright, colorful of expanded shale, then 3 inches of
blooming plants in the demonstration garden organic matter (compost) to create
planted by the McLennan County Master raised beds that are 6 inches above the
Gardeners. See some of the plants that grow surrounding soil. Making beds higher in
well in central Texas. The area is to the right the center assists drainage.
and rear of Whitehall building. • Layer of organic mulch 3-4" thick which
************************************* will act as a slow-release, all natural
Fruit Gardening in Texas - Information on fertilizer and replenish as necessary
varieties which grow well in Texas, properly • With the above soil preparation,
managing fruit crops, and controlling problems commercial fertilizers are not required.
with fruit is available at: If fertilizer is used, apply in March and
http://aggiehorticulture.tamu.edu/extension/fruit June with a slow-release nitrogen form.
garden/fruitgarden.html. Soil test is recommended to determine
• Water thoroughly when the soil is dry to
She had only to stand in the orchard, to put her hand a depth of one inch. Once plants are
on a little crab tree and look up at the apples, to make established, do not water too often in
you feel the goodness of planting and tending and heavy clay soils.
harvesting at last. • Very little annual pruning except to
- Willa Cather remove dead, diseased or broken
branches should be needed.
Extension programs serve people of all ages regardless of socioeconomic level, race, color, sex, religion, disability, or national origin.
The Texas A&M University System, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the County Commissioners Courts of Texas Cooperative.
Prepare For Fall Garden the stem can easily damage the tender plant
During Late Summer and the seedling will be stunted. Plants can be
carefully transplanted to larger containers and
If you didn't properly prepare your garden soil eventually to the garden or flower bed as they
last spring, late summer is the time to correct it. grow to sufficient size. Morning sun and
Adding liberal amounts of organic matter to all afternoon shade are recommended for tender
types of soils is highly recommended. Hay, young plants and careful attention should be
compost, rotten grass clippings, or leaves given to their moisture needs until they are well
applied to the garden surface 2 to 3 inches established.
deep, then tilled or worked into the soil will
greatly improve sandy or clay soils. Disease Control
Spring fertilizer has washed out of the soil and A good home gardener recognizes
adding fertilizer to the fall crop will be symptoms of plant diseases quickly and takes
necessary. Use a slow-release fertilizer at a steps to prevent or control them. Diseased
rate of 3 pounds per 100 square feet. Mix in plants do not grow normally and may have one
well. or more of these symptoms: stunted, wilted,
spots on leaves, stems or fruit; decayed fruit,
Seeds for fall transplants should be started in decayed areas on the stems, distorted leaves,
August. Among the cool season transplants rapid death of leaves, and discoloration of
are pansies, violas, calendulas, flowering leaves and fruit.
cabbage and kale, broccoli, cabbage, lettuce,
spinach, Swiss chard and cauliflower. One Plant diseases are worst when light rain
method is to use a sterile potting soil mix and showers or heavy dews have fallen and when
foam coffee cups for good seed-starting temperatures are mild. During these times,
containers. Poke 3 or 4 holes in the side at the watch your garden closely for signs of disease.
bottom of the cup. Write the variety name
being planted on the side of the cup where it 1. Fertilize and water plants properly to keep
will remain and not get lost. The white cups, them strong. Healthy plants do not get
discarded by coffee drinkers whenever they diseases as easily as weak ones.
take a coffee break, will reflect heat. Most 2. Irrigate by running water between the rows
seeds should be barely covered with the soil or by trickle irrigation. Do not sprinkle leaves,
mix, however lettuce should not be covered at this only encourages more disease problems.
all. Place the cups in pan of 3. Plant productive disease resistant varieties
water to allow the soil to soak when available.
from the bottom. Drain well and 4. When spraying the garden, make sure the
then put them in a plastic bag foliage is well covered with the fungicide.
out of the sunlight. Within a few Spray both the top and lower foliage of the
days the seedlings will begin to plant. In many foliage diseases, the disease
grow. As soon as this happens, symptoms first appear in the lower foliage.
take the containers out of the 5. Use the proper control for a specific
bags and put in a well-ventilated area. As they disease. One of the most frequent causes of
begin to grow, use a diluted soluble houseplant failure is using an insecticide where a disease-
fertilizer to keep them growing vigorously. control product should have been used.
When large enough to transplant, handle the
young seedling only by the leaves. Grasping
Hot Weather Plants drought, once established. It blooms best
when grown in full hot sun. Blooms are red
Lantana: of the vervain family Verbenaceae. which attract hummingbirds. The top of this
Wild lantanas are hairy and often prickly- perennial will be killed by the first hard freeze
stemmed. If rubbed and bruised their leaves of winter, needing cut back to the ground and it
usually have a disagreeable odor. Verbena- will regrow the next year when soil warms in
like flowers are formed in stalked clusters or May or June. The foliage will turn red in fall.
spikes from the leaf axils or at the ends of This plant is NOT deer resistant but an
branches. In some regions lantanas grow wild excellent hot weather blooming plant.
as weeds, spread by birds that are fond of their
juicy fruits. Periwinkle (vinca rosea): One of the most
colorful and reliable summer flowering plants
In recent years, strains of for Texas conditions. This shrubby plant
dwarf varieties have become produces an abundance of 1 to 1-1/2 inch
popular. These varieties are phlox-like flowers that vary in color from pure
bushy and spreading, early white to pink or lavender rose. Newer dwarf
blooming and free-flowering, varieties grow from 8 to 10 inches high and
and available in a wide color spread as much as 2 ft. Coquette (Little
range from white through yellow, orange, to Pinkie) has rosy pink flowers, Bright-Eyes has
deep red, hot pink, and purple. lustrous white flowers with a red center, Little
Lantana is a great landscape plant provided it Blanche is an all white flower, Little Delicata
is grown in a sunny location. When (pink with a rose center) and Little Mixture is a
established, they are very drought tolerant and mix of all colors above. The trailing or ground
continue to produce attractive, bright blooms in cover type is Carpet vinca with similar colors.
the hottest of weather. A tender perennial, it
can also be replanted each spring as a warm Few pests bother periwinkle which can be
season annual. It is somewhat deer-resistant. planted in full sun or partial shade. Do not
plant where automatic watering systems are
Best varieties found at nurseries are: used as periwinkle must be planted in well-
New Gold - bright yellow, spreading habit, drained soils and watered infrequently.
sterile flowers which never form berries that
must be removed before flowering again. Other Desirable Summer Sun-Loving Annuals
Weeping Lavender and Weeping White - include Portulaca (moss rose), Purslane,
fragrant, lavender, sterile flowers, low Gomphrena (Bachelor buttons), Salvia,
spreading habit Verbena and Zinnia.
Pinkie - pink/cream bicolor, extremely compact
plant Malabar Spinach - An Eye Catching Climber:
Texas Flame (Dallas Red, New Red) - (Bassella alba 'Rubra'), also known as climbing
orange/yellow/red tricolor blooms which turn to spinach, hot weather or vine spinach, is one of
deep red, compact bush...reddest lantana the most charming hot-weather plants to grow.
available. It is a red-stemmed vine which can grow to 10
Samantha (Lemon Swirl) - bright yellow, sterile feet, so should be grown on a trellis. It is
blooms with variegated foliage. Beautiful plant unrelated to true spinach, but is edible - either
even without blooms. raw in salads, boiled, steamed, stir-fried. The
leaves are rich in vitamins A and C and a good
Firebush (Hamelia patens): This plant can source of iron and calcium. It will thrive in
thrive in rocky, caliche soil; can withstand summer heat when regular spinach has
succumbed to warm weather. • Central Texans are in luck as far as
okra’s water needs. The plant grows fine
The thick red stems contrast with the round, even when it’s pretty dry, but you will get
highly textured, 2 to 4 inch long dark green more okra by watering it every week to
leaves. Inconspicuous white-tinged pink 10 days. If your soil is sandy, water
flowers will develop into small, highly more often.
ornamental, single-seeded purple berries • Watch for large flowers a couple of
which are used as a food colorant. months after you plant the seed; then
start picking your pods three or four
Malabar spinach can be grown from seeds or days after that. The pods should be 3 or
cuttings, preferring a humus-rich loam and full 4 inches long. Wear gloves and long
sun. Saving the seed is easy: dry the fruit and sleeves to cut them, because the tiny
use it for planting next summer. Seeds will hairs irritate bare skin. Chill immediately,
also fall to the ground and new plants will but don’t wash until ready to use.
spring up the following year. This is a • To save seeds for next year, leave a few
delightful, colorful plant that will "wow" any pods on the plants, then remove and dry
grower and catch everyone's eye. them. Seeds are easily removed.
Okra: The best planting time for okra, which Okra is not pest-free.
grows best in full sun, is from April to mid-July. Stinkbugs and aphids like it,
Gardeners can begin planting two to three and fire ants have been
weeks after the last chance for spring frost. A known to bore inside. Watch
fall crop should go in the ground three months and determine your best
before the first frost. Known as a moderate course of action.
maturing plant, okra takes about 60 to 80 days
to mature and gets to an average height of 6 **********************************************************
Ready to plant? Here’s how: Ways to contact us...
• Get the best varieties of seed that you
Mail: Texas Cooperative Extension
can for this area. They include Clemson
420 North 6th St.
Spineless, Emerald, Lee, and Louisiana Waco, TX 76701
• Work your soil about 8 to 10 inches Phone: 254-757-5180
deep, then work in fertilizer before you Fax: 254-757-5097
plant, using 2 to 3 pounds for each 100 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
square feet. The top 3 to 4 inches of soil Website: mclennan-tx.tamu.edu
should get the most food.
• Plant the seed to a depth of 1 inch, and Sincerely,
space the seeds 2 inches apart. Your
rows should be at least 3 feet from each
other. When the plants are growing, thin
to allow about a foot of space. A family
should have all the okra it needs with Donald W Kelm
four or five plants, unless canning or County Extension Agent-AG
freezing is involved. McLennan County