McLennan County Master Gardeners by zhouwenjuan


									420 North 6th Street, Waco, TX 76701

                                                        McLennan County Master Gardeners
                                                                                                         Horticulture Newsletter
                                                                                                                               Summer, 2007

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                                         June with a slow-release nitrogen form.
garden/fruitgarden.html.                                                                  Soil test is recommended to determine
                                                                                          fertilizer needs.
                                                                                     •    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
     Green Velvet.
  • 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:
     square feet. The top 3 to 4 inches of soil      Website:
     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

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