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SQUARE FOOT GARDENING

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SQUARE FOOT GARDENING Powered By Docstoc
					                                                                                          MAY 2006
                                                                                     Vol. 16 Issue 5




      THE SCION
    Published by Texas Cooperative Extension, Bexar County for the Bexar County Master Gardener Volunteers

                                SQUARE FOOT GARDENING
       This gardeners hold passionate beliefs about the virtues of organic gtrolling pests so different and so
Note:Many article was authored by     always got the same answer, "Be- cause it was and other nui-
      reprinted the permission of     cause that's of way we've always easy.
and sances in with garden. Here are the opinionsthe proponents of each side of the issue—Malcolm
      Harris, MG class 13. It origi-
Tom Beck and Jerry Parsons.
                                      done it." Not good enough for           Mel announced that you could
nally appeared as    part of a series
on Square Foot Gardening. Tom         Mel. Back to the drawing board.       now get rid of the plow, the
also recently taught a class on SFG     He got some people together tiller, the shovel, the spade, the
to our MG Class 43 now in session.    who also wanted to learn about wheel barrow, the rake, the hoe
For those going to the May State      gardening and together they and all the other big ol' garden-
convention, you will have opportu-    started a community garden on a ing tools you had collected over
nity to hear Mel Bartholomew as a
featured speaker.
                                      vacant lot in town, determined to the years. All you'd need now
                                     learn together as they went along.      would be a trowel—and you
                                     Same thing happened. Work hard          could get a plastic one at any
   Back in the early '70s, a re-     to prepare the soil, plant a whole      "dollar" store for less than a
tired civil engineer named Mel       packet of seeds in each row, water      buck that'd do just fine.
Bartholomew decided that he          and fertilize, watch it grow, aban-       The reason you don't need
wanted to devote a lot of his        don it after it gets boring and let     these tools any more is that you
time to gardening and so he          the whole thing go back to weeds.       don't work the soil any more.
bought all the tools he thought      How disappointing.      Gotta be a      You make your own soil (he
he needed, fertilizer, seeds,        better way.                             calls it Mel's Mix) and since it's
etc. and had a go at it. Pretty        After what he considered a dis-       made with controlled sub-
quickly he discovered that it        mal failure in his gardening efforts,   stances, you no longer have
was a lotta hard work to get         Mel Bartholomew started search-         weed problems and very few
the beds prepared by spading,        ing for a better way to garden;         pest problems either.
tilling or whatever.    He also      one which was more economically           Mel's Mix is very simply equal
was kinda disappointed when,         feasible, easier on the ol' back,       parts of compost, peat moss,
after planting a whole 30 ft.        and more productive if possible.        and vermiculite. I asked Mel
row of seeds, the instructions       What he discovered was that it             (see SQUARE FOOT col. 3, pg. 5)
on the seed envelope said to         really wasn't necessary to work
thin the plants down to 2, 3, or     the soil down to 12 inches deep; it                     In The Scion
                                     wasn't necessary to plant a 30 ft.          Square Foot Gardening ........... 1
4 inch spacing and throw the
                                     row of seeds and use up the whole           President’s Letter ................... 2
seedlings away. What a waste,                                                    Update from David Rodriguez .. 3
he thought.      Then when it        packet; it wasn't even necessary
                                                                                 MG of the Month .................... 3
came time to harvest what he         to fertilize all the time; and you          April Gardening Chores ........ 4-5
had planted, he found that he        really only need to plant as much           Give Your Flowers A Nip .......... 5
couldn't eat 30 cabbages all at      as you can eat and that's it. No            Boston Ferns ......................... 6
once, or a bushel of green           more wasted effort, time, and               Election of Officers & Board ..... 6
beans, or a hundred radishes.        money. No more weeds, either.               Scenic SA Award to BCMG ....... 7
He decided there had to be a         No kidding.                                 Fund Raising ......................... 7
                                       In 1976 Mel announced to the              Festival of Flowers ................. 8
better way.
                                     world his new discovery that he             Herb Lore & Memories ............ 9
   After touring all around the                                                  Volunteer Opportunities .... 10-11
country watching people gar-         called Square Foot Gardening (SFG
                                                                                 Nominations.........................11
den, he discovered that almost       for short). Needless to say, it did-        A New Challenge...................12
everyone gardened the same           n't go over real big with the old           May General Meeting Info ... 12
way. When he asked why, he           stuck-in-the-mud gardeners be-
   BOARD OF DIRECTORS
President
Sandy Justice
210-200-8861
sandy@sandyjustice.com                                                                                   May 2006
Vice President                       Have you seen the rose garden at the Hemisphere Park? The Belinda’s Dream
Dennis Fortassain                  are in full glory. The Alamo Gate gardens look good even with all the heat and
210-923-1996
dennis_fortassain_aicp_rla@        lack of rain. These beds are maintained by a dedicated group of Master Gardeners
yahoo.com                          who plant and maintain the three beds in Hemisphere Park. They also have fun
Treasurer                          together enjoying lunch and one another’s company after a morning’s hard work.
Shanna Ciano                         After you view these gardens stroll down and take a look at the Schultze House
830-816-2140                       Gardens which are at the height of their bloom. Goldfish are swimming happily
Shanna@wildblue.net
                                   in the Pond among the very attractive water plants thanks to all the efforts of in-
Secretary                          tern Pat Harris, a member of the present class in session. I bet she would be will-
Maria Salvatierra
830-460-8213
                                   ing to share some pond points with fellow master gardeners. I look forward to
Salvatierra@att.net                visiting with her again at the garden. Edna says she can’t compete with the fish.
                                   A couple of weeks ago while they were working in the garden a group of school
Assistant Secretary
Anna Cervantes                     children and their teacher stopped to admire the gardens and visit. Edna was shar-
210-872-3530                       ing how the toadflax and snapdragons blooms snap and other interesting kid-type
amcervantes@earthlink.net          plant information when a boy discovered the fish and announced to the class that
Planning Director                  there were fish in the pond. Edna said it was all over for her. The children were
Vacant                             interested in the plants but she couldn’t compete with the attraction of the fish.
Membership Coordinator             But one thing for sure we certainly know the gardens are enjoyed by all ages and
Mary Fernandez                     thanks go out to this dedicated group that keep it looking good.
210-655-3130
fernandesm@aol.com
                                     Prior to the opening of the Home Show Molly Keck and I enjoyed a tour of the
                                   gardens and the company of the gardening crew for lunch on the patio of the
Publications Coordinator
Jack Stutts
                                   Schultze House. The park had lots of people strolling, children playing and visi-
210-492-3773                       tors and business people enjoying a walk on a nice spring day.
jstutts@satx.rr.com                  When you visit look for the butterflies at the Schultze House garden they should
Publicity Coordinator              be in abundant supply as the host plants are being munched on heavily by their
Deedy Wright                       caterpillars. Did you know more than 440 species of the over 15,000 species of
210-556-8594                       butterflies have been reported from Texas?
dwright24@satx.rr.com
                                     Speakers Bureau and SIP’s people were really busy this month. Do you have an
Volunteer Coordinator              area of gardening that you enjoying sharing? Consider trying your hand at speak-
Mary Ann Johnson
210-497-5446
                                   ing to an interested group. If you can talk about your interest to one person you
majmgbc39@mac.com                  can talk to a group. Ask those who do it just how easy and rewarding it is. Try it
Development Director
                                   on a group of your friends then take the step and venture out to a group. I dare
Vacant                             you – remember you are a Master Gardener and you know more about your topic
Members at Large
                                   than 99% of the people you will be visiting with. Let Anna Cervantes know you
Patsy Shows                        would like to give it a try. You pick the subject you wish to share and go from
210-494-7523                       there. Try it! You might like it and may discover a talent you didn’t know you
prshows@earthlink.net              have. Some of the best speakers are those who have a passion they like to share.
Lou Kellogg                        Speakers are not born--they are just someone who has made the butterflies in their
210-647-4985                       stomach fly in formation.
lou_brew@msn.com
                                     Enjoy spring and the benefits of gardening.
TX Cooperative Extension
BCMG Advisor : David Rodriguez
                                                                                                 Sandy Justice,
dhrodriguez@ag.tamu.edu                                                                                              President
Hort. Ofc. Asst.: Linda Shafer
                                   The information contained in this newsletter is for educational purposes only. References to
BCMG Youth Director: Doris Trot-   products and trade names are for identification only and do not imply endorsement or criticism
ter dm-trotter@tamu.edu
                                   of similar products by Bexar County Master Gardeners or Texas Cooperative Extension.
Phone: 467-6575 (BCMG)
Fax: 366-0535
                                                               2
                                                          Master Gardener of the Month
FROM DAVID RODRIGUEZ
                                            Our Master Gardener honoree            Santos looked at the picture
April 9, 2006                            for May is Santos Menchaca             and constructed the project.
                                         from MG Class 13. Over the             Barbara Lutz painted the back-
Hello Bexar County Master                years Santos has helped with           ground blue and the frame
Gardeners,                               various projects and events, but       white. Steve and Madge Cady
  The month of March is past,            as is the case with many volun-        made and laminated the metric
and I am one year older. April           teers, we discovered that he had       and     English   measurements.
seems to be flying by even               a special talent in addition to        Steve asked his business part-
faster. There are so many nice           gardening. Santos can look at          ner’s wife, who is an artist, if
events taking place right now. I         the picture of an item and con-        she would be willing to paint the
keep telling myself that there           struct it without plans or in-         flowers. She came down to the
are only 24 hours in a day...but,        structions. And he can do this         Texas Experience Pavilion and
when the good Lord takes you,            very inexpensively using left-         sketched and painted the flow-
there is plenty of time to rest          over scraps and recycled mate-         ers. Several schools have even
then.                                    rials. His construction projects       requested a picture of the board
                                         have included a potting bench,         and one has an Eagle Scout
   It is great to be experiencing        handout boxes on stands, a             lined up to work on the board
spring again, even if it does feel       curved bridge, easels, and a sit-      for their classroom garden.
like summer on some days! The            ting bench complete with bird-            Before he became one of our
zoo, botanical gardens, and the          houses - all items that we have        chief carpenters, Santos liked to
tea gardens are flushing out             used in our Rodeo displays and         volunteer in the Master Gar-
very nicely. Aren’t the nurseries        other events.      He has made         dener booth at events such as
looking gorgeous and so full of          shelves and a poster storage           the Home and Garden Show.
color now?                               box for the MG office. The large       He also drives the van at Rodeo.
Master Gardener Class #43 is             outline of the state of Texas that     Congratulations Santos! We sa-
coming along just fine. There            we fill with petunias to welcome       lute you as our Master Gardener
are some really good people in           visitors to the Texas Experience       of the Month!
the class. All of the Master Gar-        Pavilion is Santos’ handiwork.
dener projects seem to be on                He also made a large display
the right track. I want to per-          board for our youth activities
sonally thank each and every             that features Texas plants, both
one of you in the Bexar County           metric and English measure-
Master Gardener program.                 ments, and the question, “How
Thank you for your hard work,            tall are You?”      A number of
loyalty and dedication to this           adults were caught at the Rodeo
organization, and for all of the         measuring themselves and tak-
support you give to Texas Coop-          ing pictures! This was a real
erative Extension. The Master                                          team
Gardener “Hotline” is coming                                          effort.            How Tall Am I?
along just fine. We are currently                                      Doris
using the Bexar County Master                                        Trotter
Gardener e-mail site as a tool to                                 saw the
use in answering those garden-                                    board in              GARAGE SALE
ing and landscape questions.                                      the     At-
                                                                  lanta Bo-     The garage sale is Saturday, May 6,
Keep up the good work every-                                         tanical    8am – 4pm, at the home of Joyce Fel-
one, and Remember, Learn                                            Garden      ter, 419 Parland. Drop off items at
and Have Fun!                                                           Chil-   Joyce’s home after April 22. Call
                                                                      dren’s    Joyce, 828-4372, to arrange a day and
                                                                    Garden      time to drop off treasures or leave
       David Rodriguez                                                   and    items on the front porch. Volunteers
   County Extension Agent-Horticulture                            brought       will be needed to price items on May 5
Bexar County Master Gardener Advisor                              home a        and to assist with sale May 6. See
                     (210) 467-6575                               photo.        Volunteer Opportunities for details.
   email:dhrodriguez@ag.tamu.edu           SANTOS' CREATION
           http://bexar-tx.tamu.edu
                                                          3
                                     MAY GARDENING CHORES
Birds and Wildlife                   mandevilla vines in containers       thrive in shade with dappled
• The purple martins are already     for tropical landscape color.        light, and their colors of
finishing up breeding for the        • Fertilize container plants and     green-white,   green-pink  or
year. They will hang around for      hanging baskets plants on a          green-red fit into almost any
a month or two more but do not       regular basis with a wa-             landscape.
breed in mid-summer. Once            ter-soluble fertilizer product and
they move on, lower the martin       be sure that a slow-release fer-     Shade Trees and Shrubs
house to prevent several more        tilizer such as Osmocote has         • This is NOT a good month to
generations of English sparrows      been mixed into the potting me-      prune oak trees. The oak wilt
and starlings.                       dia at the label recommended         fungal spores and sap beetle
• Change    your   hummingbird       amount.                              carriers are active. If you must
feeder sugar water every week                                             prune, be sure to paint with a
when the warm weather arrives.       Fruits and Nuts                      latex-based paint immediately
                                     • Peaches are ready to harvest       after cutting.
Color                                when the base color changes          • If you have red-tipped photin-
• Get the begonias and impa-         from green to yellow.                ias and the leaves are getting
tiens in quickly if you expect       • This is the month for pecan        black spots, remove the leaves
them to fare well when the heat      casebearer. On or about May          with the black spots and throw
arrives. Wait to mid-month to        10, apply lorsban or Malathion       them in the trash. Don’t burn
plant periwinkles. Do not water      to reduce casebearer damage to       them or put them in the com-
overhead.                            your pecans.                         post pile.    Treat for black spot
• Mandevilla, bougainvillea and                                           every 10 days for at least 4
Chinese hibiscus are great patio     • Pick peaches, apples and           treatments with a good fungi-
plants.                              plums as soon as they ripen.         cide and be sure to follow the
• Don’t plant vinca until at least   • Keep suckers pruned off your       instructions exactly.
June 1.                              fruit trees—they come from the       • Be careful with the weed-eater
• Deadhead (pinch/cut off) spent     root stock and will take over if     around young trees. One trip
flowers to encourage more            unattended.                          around the bark at the base will
bloom.                               • Keep fruit trees well watered      kill it.
• Hot weather plants include         as long as there is fruit on the     • Summer weight oil does a
firebush, lantana, poinciana,        tree.                                good job of temporarily control-
esperanza, firespike, caladium,                                           ling scale on euonymous and
coleus, begonia, moss rose, hi-      Ornamentals                          other shrubs.     Follow the in-
biscus, bougainvillea, purslane,     • Control army worms and web         structions carefully.
cannas and blue princess ver-        worms with Bt or Malathion. Bt       • If your red-tip photinias re-
bena.                                must be applied when the             quire constant pruning, consider
• As the weather gets warmer,        worms are feeding.                   replacing them with holly, nan-
regular fertilizing of your pot      • If you collected bluebonnet        dina, xylosma, eleagnus, or
plants with a water soluble          seeds, hold them in paper bags       pyracantha.
product will bring rich color to     until fall.                          • Leaf miners make translucent
your environment.                    • Firebush for full sun and fire-    trails on the leaves of Texas red
• Roses should be blooming with      spike for full shade are two of      oak and other plants. They can
color. Continue to fertilize them    the best hummingbird plants.         be controlled early with Bt, but
for continued blooming.              Hibiscus, cigar plant, dwarf Chi-    usually are not a major prob-
• Let your wildflowers go to seed    nese trumpet creeper and fire-       lem.
before mowing.                       bush on the patio will bring
• Do not transplant vincas (peri-    hummingbirds in close for ob-        Turf Grass
winkle) until June after the rainy   servation.                           • May is the best month for
season is over.                      • Caladium corms are planted         starting a new lawn in the San
• Seeds that may be sown di-         now. Wait until the soil warms       Antonio area.        Our recom-
rectly in the warm soil include      and night temperatures are           mended grass varieties respond
amaranthus, celosia, morning         above 60 F. Caladiums prefer a       well to the warm weather and
glory, sunflowers and zinnias.       loose, well-drained soil with        there is time for it to get estab-
Plant hibiscus, bougainvillea or     plenty of organic matter. They

                                                     4
lished    before    the    summer      tendency to produce a large             SQUARE FOOT, (from page 1)
drought.                               number of male flowers (the             why he liked vermiculite
• Don’t bag those lawn clippings.      ones without the small fruit at-        over perlite. He said that
Let them fall to the soil to com-      tached to the base of the bloom)        the main reason was that he
post and return nutrients to the       and, consequently, few fruit.           didn't like the little white
roots of the grass.                    Okra, Southern peas and egg-            specs in his soil mix. Other
• May is the only month to fertil-     plants will continue to set fruit       than that, they're about the
ize buffalo grass.                     in the summer.                          same. I also told Mel that in
• If you’re starting a new Ber-        • Tomatoes are ready to pick            South Texas, compost and
muda grass lawn, use 2-3 lbs. of       when they change from green to          mulch don't last very long
seed per 1,000 sq. ft. on well-        green-white color.      For maxi-       and because of that, I had
prepared soil and water twice a        mum production, pick them at            modified his formula to be 2
day. It will be up in 3-6 days         this stage and let them ripen on        parts compost, one part peat
and need mowing in about 3             the kitchen counter.       If you       moss and one part vermicu-
weeks.                                 leave tomatoes on the vine until        lite or one-half part per-
• Your St. Augustine grass will        they ripen, the vines will stop         lite...and he was OK with
fill   in  drought-killed      areas   producing thinking they have            that.    If you're gonna be
quickly if you can water regu-         “done their thing” for the year.        making up some of this soil,
larly.    Water when the grass         • Keep the tomatoes well wa-            be sure to buy the coarse
doesn’t spring back in your foot-      tered and mulched to avoid              vermiculite or perlite—it's
prints as you walk across it.          blossom- end rot. Avoid water-          larger particles and not
• Place several tuna or cat food       ing the leaves.                         nearly so dusty.
cans around the lawn and meas-         • Side dress vegetables with 1             In his earth-shaking an-
ure how long it takes the sprin-       cup slow release lawn fertilizer        nouncement, he also said
klers to put 1 inch in the cans.       per 20 feet of row every 6              that you should only plant
That’s how long you set the            weeks.                                  what you can eat at harvest
timer on the sprinkler system.         • Harvest, harvest, harvest. If         time. In other words, don't
Usually, a properly maintained         you don’t, production will slow         plant a whole packet of
system will put out an inch in 5-      or stop.                                seeds and then pull up about
6 minutes. Running your sys-           • Yellowing grass leaves with           90 percent of what sprouts.
tem for this period of time is all     darker green veins signals              Instead, just plant 9 green
that is necessary to maintain a        symptoms of iron deficiency             bean seeds for example, or
nice, green lawn.       Train your     which is common in alkaline             4 lettuce seeds (out of a
lawn to be drought resistant by        soils. Apply iron sulfate (Cop-         packet of 1,200 seeds) and
only watering when the grass           peras) onto mulches or decom-           then save the rest of the
needs it and then water deeply.        posing organic material (com-           seeds for the next planting.
The equivalent of 1 inch of rain       post) to make a slow-release,           Put them in an airtight con-
per week is all that is necessary      chelated product. Use 6 table-          tainer in the frig and they'll
to keep St. Augustine grass            spoons per gallon and apply             do just fine.
healthy.                               with a pump-up sprayer.                         Tom Harris, MG Class 13
• If you didn’t get the lawn fer-                 Compiled by Tom Harris
tilized in April, there’s still time                         MG class 13
if you do it early.

Vegetables
                                                      Want shorter flowers? Just add liquor
• Fruit set of many vegetables
are sensitive to high tempera-           ITHACA, N.Y. - For home gardeners who don't want their flowers
tures, so plant okra, Southern           to tip over, a Cornell University horticulturist thinks he has the
peas, peanuts, sweet corn, wa-           answer: Get the flowers a little tipsy with some hard liquor.
termelons, cucumbers, squash,              Giving some plants diluted alcohol — whiskey, vodka, gin or
cantaloupes and eggplant during          tequila — stunts the growth of a plant's leaves and stems but
the first part of May for best re-       doesn't affect the blossoms, said William Miller, director of Cor-
sults. High temperatures, both           nell's Flower Bulb Research Program.
day and night, interfere with            Miller reported his findings in the April issue of HortTechnology, a
pollination and fruit set in many        peer-reviewed journal of horticulture.
vegetables. Snap beans tend to             "I think with a little jiggering — no pun intended — the method
drop their flowers readily under         will work for tulips, though I think it will (See ALCOHOL P. 2, Col. 3)
these conditions. Squash has a
                                                       5
                    BOSTON FERN CARE
                                                                            ELECTION OF OFFICERS
  Boston ferns have long been         the plant in, the original soil
popular house and patio plants,       level will be about an inch below
                                                                            AND BOARD MEMBERS
whether in a hanging basket or        the rim of the pot. Clip off all of     Election of officers and Board
on a pedestal. Look at them at        the dead fronds from the plant        members will occur at the Gen-
the nurseries—where they al-          and put it into the new pot, then     eral meeting to be held on May
ways look so green and fresh          add more potting soil to the          18. (See back page for details
and healthy.     Does your fern       sides, watering liberally to move     of the meeting.) The new offi-
look like those? Does your Bos-       the soil down into the root           cers and Board members will
ton look like the one in the pho-     structure. Keep adding soil until     take office on July 1 and will
tograph below? Bet not.               the pot is filled to within an inch   serve a twelve-month term.
                                      of the pot rim. The important           The nominating committee
                                      things to remember are that you       was chaired by Kathy Littlefield
                                      want to use good, sterile soil,       and included Patsy Shows, Jack
                                      and to eliminate all of the air       Stutts, and Al Guzman.
                                      pockets around the roots. You           Nominees are as follows:
                                      will probably lose some more          OFFICERS:
                                      fronds before you are done be-         PRESIDENT: SANDY JUSTICE
                                      cause of shock and root dam-           VICE PRESIDENT: LOU KELLOGG
                                      age, but just trim them off, and       SECRETARY: LYNN PLUNKETT
                                      the plant will recover on its own.     ASST SECRETARY: MARGARITA
                                      GUIDELINES FOR DIVIDING.                     THOMPSON
                                         Remove from pot, again sepa-        TREASURER: BARBARA HALL
                                      rating the roots and removing
                                      the old soil. Either cut the root     BOARD MEMBERS:
   When ignored, it will probably
                                      ball vertically with a sharp           MEMBERSHIP: MARY FERNANDEZ
shows dead leaves and stems.
                                      butcher knife in half or quarters      PUBLICITY: JAN CRAVEN
Have you repotted it in recent
                                      or use your hands and separate         PUBLICATIONS: JACK STUTTS
years? Can you feel any dirt in
                                      the roots. Cutting with the knife      PLANNING:
the pot amidst all the roots?
                                      is easier and will do less root        VOLUNTEERS: MARY ANN JOHNSON
How do you divide a Boston
                                      damage. Then follow the same           DEVELOPMENT:
fern? How do you care for it
                                      procedure as if repotting.            BOARD MEMBERS AT LARGE:
properly so that it will thrive?
                                      CARING FOR A THRIVING FERN.            SHANNA CIANO
   Here are some tips, with
                                         If your Boston is thriving, you     CLARKE EHRLICH
thanks to The Garden Helper, at
www.gardenhelper.com.                 probably already know how to             As you may have noticed, two
   Whether you decide to move         care for it. Boston ferns like it     of the positions do not have
the fern to a larger pot or divide    cool and would be very happy to       nominees.      Nominations for
it, the temporary stress to the       have a 60 degree room, with           Planning and Development di-
plant will yield beneficial results   bright light. Since we can’t do       rectors and all other positions
in the long run.                      that, keep your fern as far away      will be accepted from the floor
GUIDELINES FOR REPOTTING.             from heat sources as possible,        at the meeting. Should any of
   Remove the plant from its          even at the sacrifice of some         you have a particular interest in
current pot and carefully loosen      light. Ferns thrive on humidity,      either position and want more
up the root mass. Remove as           so they appreciate a daily mist-      information in advance, please
much of the old soil as possible.     ing. If there are dead or dying       contact Kathy Littlefield (413-
The roots will have become in-        fronds, cut them off, so that         6018 or 654-0534) or Sandy
grown over time, and you will         your plants energy can go to          Justice (200-8861) prior to the
want them to be able to reach         replacing them rather that sup-       meeting.
out into the new soil. Don’t          porting them.                            In the absence of nomina-
worry too much about some                When to water? Try letting the     tions, the Board will search in
root damage. If in a 12-inch          fern soak up water in a sink or       more detail for reliable candi-
pot, you will want to upgrade to      large shallow pan for a few           dates for these two important
a 15-inch pot which will also be      hours, and then not water it          positions and fill them in accor-
a bit deeper.                         again until the soil is dry again.    dance with the BCMG by-laws.
   Put enough good commercial         Feed your fern once a month              Newly elected officers and
potting soil into the bottom of       with a balanced (10-10-10) liq-       members will meet with outgo-
the pot so that when you put          uid houseplant fertilizer.            ing Board members in June.
                                                      6
            SCENIC SA 2005 AWARD TO BCMG                                   AN EXPLANATION
        The Scenic SA third         resentative   David   Liebowitz.           ON SIPS
          annual award celebra-     Organizations recognized in-          AND FUNDRAISING
          tion on March 24          cluded the Helotes Area Heri-         AND OTHER THINGS
recognized the BCMG volunteers      tage Association, Warren High          An MG recently remarked
for gardening at the Japanese       School, GVST, and our BCMG.          that we seem to spend an
Tea Garden and other commu-         The Most Improved Developer          awful lot of time and energy
nity projects. On hand to be        award went to KB Homes for           on fundraising these days
recognized were Pete Mendiola,      their Fox Grove Development          and that it is often written
Jack Hoover, Lonnie Blanchard,      and Citizen of the Year recog-       about in The Scion. This is
Judie Lopez, Virgil Powell, and     nized Maria Leake, an art            true to a certain extent, un-
Jo Fletcher, with Jack Stutts       teacher at Fox Tech High School      fortunate that we must (to a
representing the Board of Direc-    for her landscaping project at       certain extent), and neces-
tors. Though not present, Lupe      the school.                          sary. As most of you know,
Alvarez, Patsy Shows, Ruth Mor-                                          we lost the grant that has
ris, Beth Wrockloff, Charlie                                             paid Doris Trotter’s salary all
Long, and Joe Shinners have                                              these years, leaving us to
also been contributers to the                                            scramble to keep her pay-
garden restoration.                                                      check coming.
   Former mayor, Lila Cockrell,                                            We do not want to be con-
as president of Friends of the                                           sumed by inordinate efforts
Parks, presented the award,                                              to raise funds to cover the
making very favorable com-                                               shortfall, so here is what we
ments about the efforts of our                                           are doing.
BCMG. Pete accepted the award                                            • We are writing grants, but
on behalf of the BCMG. It was                                               with so much competition
an honor to receive the award                                               for grant money, odds are
from Ms. Cockrell, as all of the                                            low. (Any expert grant
other awards were made by                                                   writers please step for-
Scenic SA members.                                                          ward.)
                                                                         • We focus on fundraisers
                                                                            that yield the most pay-
                                        PETE'S ACCEPTANCE SPEECH            back for the least effort.
                                      We congratulate all who have       There are three programs
                                    worked so diligently at the Tea      that do yield a good return
                                    Gardens and all of the other         and are relatively painless to
                                    projects that contribute to the      participate in. All MGs can
                                    quality of life in San Antonio.      help here.
                                                                         • Birdies for Charity. That
                                                                            campaign will start in a
                                                                            few months and there will
                                    FIELD TRIPS PLANNED                     be information forthcom-
                                       Field trips are in the planning      ing in the next Scion.
                                    stages to Cathedral Park and an      • SIPs (Seasonal Irrigation
                                    olive orchard south of San Anto-        Program).      We have a
                                    nio near Elmendorf.                     contract with SAWs that
                                       Firm dates are not set, but we       can yield a maximum of
                                    may try to visit Cathedral Park         $12,000 this year if we
SCENIC SA PRES KATHY TRENCHARD,     in early June, possibly on a Sat-
LILA COCKRELL, AND PETE MENDIOLA,                                           manage properly.
                                    urday morning, while it is still     • The Low Flow toilet rebate
RECEIVING AWARD
                                    cool. Our visit to the olive or-        program, which we sup-
  Others receiving awards by        chard will be scheduled around          ported for the first year.
Scenic SA included public offi-     their work schedule.                    Few signed up for free toi-
cials Senator Frank Madla, Rep-        Watch for specific dates in the      lets, but we did estimate
resentative Carter Casteel, Rep-    June Scion.                             $800-$1,000 earned.
resentative Mike Villarreal, Rep-                                            (SEE FUNDING, COL 3, PAGE 8)

                                                    7
               8th Annual Festival of Flowers                              FUNDING (FROM PAGE 7)
                                                                           WHERE CAN YOU HELP THE MOST?
   The 8th annual Festival of         There is also a free plant and       Right now, we are concentrating
Flowers is happening two weeks        package checkroom. Food and          on the SIPs program. You can
earlier this year—Saturday, May       drinks are available during the      make a significant contribution
13 at     the Alzafar Shrine, on      day.                                 that is almost painless. Each of
North Loop 1604.                        Admission is $5 for adults.        you can help by arranging SIPs
   This year’s seminars are all       Children under 10 are free.          presentations with any group
about plants. Dr. Jerry Parsons       Parking is also free.                you belong to—church, service
begins the morning with a talk          For more information about all     club, PTA, even a bunko or
on 15 Must-Have Plants for San        of the attractions at this year’s    bingo group.      For each 30-
Antonio Landscapes.                   Festival of Flowers, including       minute presentation, we are
   Charles Bartlett of Green Ha-      how to participate in the plant      paid a fee plus a bonus based
ven Industries presents Time-         exchange, call (210) 930-1100        on the number attending who
less Treasures: Gingers and           or check out                         agree to join the program.
Tropicals That Survive and            www.SAFestivalofFlowers.com             Presentation fee: $150
Thrive in San Antonio. Dr. Larry                                              1-10 people:        25
Stein, fruit and nut specialist for                                           11-20 people         50
Texas A&M University, speaks                 Reporting hours                  Over 20 people: $150 plus
on Fruit Trees for Home Land-                                                   an additional $3 each, up
scapes.                                  The Board is always exhorting
                                                                                to $300 for 120 present.
   The San Antonio Botanical          MGs to report volunteer hours.
Garden is sponsoring a special        We know intuitively that MGs
                                                                           We earn: $175 for 1-10 pre-
seminar on Bringing Home              work many hours and fail to re-
                                                                           sent. We earn: $200 for 11-20.
Texas from the Ground Up. Paul        port them. Some of us on the
                                                                           We earn: $290 for 50 present.
Cox will talk about Texas native      Board are guilty ourselves.
                                                                           We earn: $500 for 120 present.
plants and Janis Merritt covers          Why is reporting hours so im-
                                                                              Wow! $500 for a 30 minute
ideas for incorporating them into     portant? Some think it is only
                                                                           presentation! In addition, we
hill-country style landscapes.        used for recertification purposes
                                                                           may earn $300 administrative
   The afternoon Organic Round-       and quit reporting after fifty
                                                                           costs monthly if we make at
table returns with Malcolm Beck,      hours. Others look at it as a
                                                                           least one presentation to at
Bob Webster, Howard Garrett,          nuisance, which maybe it is.
                                                                           least 10 people.
Bruce Deuley, John Dromgoole,             Is important to document
                                                                             Think how easy it can be to
and Stuart Franke, president of       hours, because the data col-
                                                                           help meet our $12,000 goal
Medina Agriculture Products—          lected are used to support re-
                                                                           when you arrange for a pro-
maker of Hasta-Gro.                   quests     for  funding    grants.
                                                                           gram. You do not have to
   Attend a seminar or the            Foundations granting funds give
                                                                           speak—you only coordinate the
roundtable and receive a free         high priority to volunteer effort.
                                                                           arrangements. Now you know
copy of SAWS’ new publication,        The information is also used by
                                                                           why we literally beg you to sign
the San Antonio Landscape Care        the Extension to justify requests
                                                                           up one group, such as your
Guide, if you do not already          for funds that advance garden-
                                                                           neighborhood     association  or
have one.                             ing here in San Antonio.
                                                                           neighborhood garden club.
   New this year is a tree care          To make reporting easier and
                                                                              Our chairman for SIPs is
demonstration area sponsored          more efficient, the Board is re-
                                                                           Warner Fassnidge.         If you
by the Texas Urban Forestry           viewing options to report elec-
                                                                           have a group to present to, con-
Council and featuring Mark Pe-        tronically and on line.
                                                                           tact Warner at 826-7899 or
terson, Texas Forest Service.            The Board is also looking at
                                                                           email     jwebster2@satx.rr.com
Visit with Mark throughout the        the hours requirements for re-
                                                                           and he will arrange for the
day about recommended varie-          certification, but more informa-
                                                                           speaker and the reports to be
ties and how to properly plant,       tion will be forthcoming in sub-
                                                                           made.      Help us out here,
prune and care for your trees.        sequent months. Watch for up-
                                                                           please.
   The City-Wide Plant Exchange       dates in the Scion and by e-
                                                                              Speakers are MGs who have
will be back, as well as the “Ask     mail. Meanwhile, report those
                                                                           volunteered and been trained on
the Expert Booth”. Last year, a       hours.
                                                                           the presentation. If you would
record 1,200 plants were traded                                            like to be a presenter, contact
throughout the day. Bringing a                                             Warner.
wagon or cart is a good idea.
                                                      8
                   GRANNY SANTOS HERB REMEDIES AND LORE
   Using    herbs as    landscape    vated for its use in cooking            San Antonio’s hot summers
plants and for cooking some          Menudo at least once a month.        and occasional hard winter
doubles the pleasure for many        Not to forget the Rosemary and       freezes require careful planning
Hispanics.      Here are some        Sage, she used it to cook many       to grow herbs. We all know that
thoughts understood by many of       dishes, especially pork and on       a half-day of morning sun with
the older generation and passed      turkey t Thanksgiving.               afternoon shade is the most
on to me by my Grandmother              Another family belief was the     ideal condition for growing herbs
Maria Santos.                        use of Rue (Ruda), which was         in this area.    If you live in the
   I have written many articles in   passed along to combat witch-        inner city you probably have
the past about my granny and         craft. It was also placed along      that rich black soil or sandy
her gardening methods but I          holy statues to ward off evil. To    loam that has built up through
never wrote about her Herb           keep the insects away from the       the years of soil erosion from
Garden. She planted herbs in         garden she planted Tansy, a          the hills west of us. If you live
various locations. She intuitively   strong smelling herb. Others         elsewhere, say northern San
understood the soil and light        Grandma had in her garden            Antonio, you have nothing but
requirements      and    stationed   were chives, onion, and garlic to    hard     caliches and    alkalinity.
them accordingly.                    add flavor in meals. Comfrey         These soils could use and
   Here are some of my memo-         (alconfor) was used as a bitter      greatly     benefit    from     soil
ries of her herb remedies. I re-     tea for many ailments. Her herb      amendments and a little addi-
member if I got an insect sting      favorite, Cilantro, was used in      tion of ironite or copperas, but
or    a   finger burn    from    a   everything from salsa to salads      remember to apply in accor-
stove, she would immediately         and as a topping like lettuce on     dance with instructions on the
pull a leaf from the Aloe Vera       tacos. Yerba Buena, the mint         container. With a little trail and
plant, squeeze the juice from it,    herb, was another favorite we        error you should be well on your
and spread on my wound. She          used in salads and teas. Marjo-      way to a well established Herb
said it was really good for minor    ram was substituted for oregano      Garden site.
burns and rashes. Aloe likes to      in cooking. Others we used for                    Manuel Santos Class 1
grow in the shade with a little      teas were Lemon Balm and--you
morning light.                       would not believe--she also
   When I had a stomach ache,        boiled the leaves from pecan                   Star Jasmine
Artemisia, particularly Worm-        trees with lemon grass as an         Most people think of Star (Con-
wood, was her remedy. She            iron supplement. My favorite         federate) Jasmine as a fragrant
called it Estafiate. She would       tasting tea was the one she          rambling climber, but it is much
boil some leaves and serve a         made from the leaves of the Lo-      more.        A
cup after it cooled down. I re-      quat tree: she would boil them       most versa-
member she would also plant          and place the solution in the        tile     land-
Borage (Boraja) to attract bees      fridge and serve with a little       scape plant,
to the garden. Basil was used in     sugar. The tea took a pink color     it      grows
cooking and salsa (it was called     and is a good source of vitamin      happily     in
Albacar in Spanish). Another of      C. I still use both the pecan and    the sun or
her favorites was Manzanilla, or     the loquat tea. It is believed       shade in a
Chamomile. This she gave me          the loquat tea also helps with       wide variety of soils. Although a
and grandpa in a tea solution so     diabetes but that's another story    little slow growing, it never be-
we could sleep well. Epazote, or     that has not been proved. One        comes invasive. Apart from pro-
American wormseed, was used          last remedy I remember was to        viding a year round dense ever-
to cook with beans to prevent        use two leaves of mint taped         green foliage cover in early
the gaseous effect. A few leaves     with band-aids between both          summer Star Jasmine is covered
to a pound of beans did the          ears and eyes over a smear of        in thousands of tiny starry white
trick. The afternoon dinner          menthol overnight, to cure sinus     flowers that are extremely fra-
sometimes was served with a          or cold. I would wake up feeling     grant, the flowering lasts for
cold glass of lemon grass tea; it    wonderful and occasionally I still   several months. Few fragrances
was served hot in the winter.        use this with leaves from the        are more exotic than the fra-
She believed this prevented in-      Vicks plant.                         grance of Star Jasmine its per-
digestion. Oregano was an in-           Here are a few comments on        fume fills a garden on a still hot
teresting plant in the landscape-    growing herbs here in San An-        summer’s night.        Use it on
-it was showy and well culti-        tonio.                               fences or as a groundcover.

                                                     9
                                       Volunteer Opportunities
            If no phone number or email appears after contact person, see page 2, left column
* At the end of each opportunity description the classification number is listed to assist in fill-
ing out Volunteer Hour Form. Example: (200)

May 2, 3, 4                                                 The sale is open to Botanical Society members at
Children’s Day in the Garden @ SA Botanical                 8am and the general public at 9am. (200)
Garden 8:30 am - 2:30pm Doris Trotter 12 tour
                                                            May 12
guides will be needed each day. Volunteers may
                                                            Set up for Festival of Flowers Barbara Lutz
call Doris and tell her when they can volunteer (ie
                                                            699-0663 or bblutz@stic.net contact Barbara for
how much time they have each day and she will
                                                            set up time. MGs needed to help and have fun set-
give them tour(s) based on the time available. This
                                                            ting up booth at Alzafar Shrine Temple, 901 N
is the spring celebration for the schools that par-
                                                            Loop 1604 W.
ticipate in the classroom garden project. The chil-
dren are introduced to the different areas of the           May 13
garden including the conservatories. Approxi-               Festival of Flowers 8:30 am – 5:30 pm Barbara
mately 1000 students, kindergarten – 4 th grade,            Lutz 699-0663 or bblutz@stic.net
participate. (100)                                          Festival of Flowers will be held at Alzafar Shrine
                                                            Temple, 901 N. Loop 1604 W. BCMG will be selling
May 5
                                                            bulbs, books and staffing MG/SIP booth, 6 MGs per
Summer hours begin at Schultze Cottage
                                                            shift. Shifts: 8:30am to 1:00pm and 1:00 -
Garden 8 – 11am
                                                            5:30pm. There will be a raffle for 2 for lunch at the
May 5 & 6                                                   Carriage House with Paul Cox and David Rodri-
BCMG Annual Garage Sale Joyce Felter 828-                   guez; followed by a tour of the Botanical Garden
4372/jfelter@satx.rr.com May 5 pricing: shifts              with Paul and David. (200)
11am – 3pm & 3 – 7pm. May 6 day of sale shifts:
                                                            May 12
8am – Noon & 12 – 4pm; 4 or more volunteers
                                                            Set up Waterfest @ Alamodome time TBA Doris
needed for each shift on both days. Joyce lives @
                                                            Trotter,    Clarke    Ehrlich    490-7491      or
419 Parland. (400)
                                                            tehrlich@satx.rr.com Setup tentatively in the af-
May 6                                                       ternoon; MGs to assist with creation of xeriscape
Botanical Society Plant Sale Setup 9am -                    garden. Help set up for children’s activities and
noon for SAWS Jazz Fest, Lou Kellogg or Brenda              MG/SIP booth. Truck or van may be needed to
Laureano (plantsalesbgsa@gmail.com.) Plant                  transport material and equipment. Alamodome:
Sale Setup for the San Antonio Botanical Society            100 Montana (400)
Plant Sale Group at the San Antonio Botanical Gar-
                                                            May 13
den, 555 Funston. Assist with setting up of the
                                                            Waterfest @ Alamodome 9:30am – 3:30pm
plant sale area, wear sunscreen, old clothes and
                                                            Clarke Ehrlich, MG/Sip Chairman, 490-7491 or
comfortable shoes, bring gloves. and wear name
                                                            tehrlich@satx.rr.com, Doris Trotter, Youth Activity
badge. Parking is available at the Botanical Society
                                                            Chairman. Master Gardeners will staff MG/SIP
Greenhouse, use the Elmhurst St. gate (off New
                                                            booth, 5 MGs per shift. Three children's activities
Braunfels Ave.) and follow road back to the Bo-
                                                            require 3 MGs per activity or 9 per shift. Shifts:
tanical Society Greenhouse. (200)
                                                            9:30 am – 1pm and 12:30 pm – 3:30 pm. (300)
May 7
                                                            May 16
Botanical    Society   Plant    Sale    7:30am   –
                                                            Summer Hours begin @ Plant Propagation
2;30pm         for      SAWS        Jazz      Fest,
                                                            Green House 8 – 11am
plantsalesbgsa@gmail.com, Lou Kellogg or                    Youth Activities Doris Trotter. At this time of the
Brenda Laureano. Plant Sale for the San Antonio             year there are many requests for Children’s
Botanical Society Plant Sale Group at the San An-           Speakers Bureau presentations. Due to all the
tonio Botanical Garden, 555 Funston; on the Gran-           youth activities there is also a need for volunteers
ite Plaza; from. Be sure to wear MG name badge,             to assist with prep work. (100)
MG apron, shirt or cap, sunscreen, comfortable
shoes, gloves. Park in Botanical Garden parking lot
                                                            June
not the one by the Botanical Society Greenhouse.
                                                       10
Sunflower House Orientation @ Botanical
Garden, Date and Time TBA, Doris Trotter (100)                  ALCOHOL (from page 5) not be as simple as with
                                                                paperwhites," he said.
July - August
                                                                   Miller began his investigation after receiving a
Sunflower House @ Botanical Garden, Days
                                                                call from The New York Times about a reader who
and Time TBA, Doris Trotter
                                                                had written to the garden editor claiming that gin
 Master Gardeners volunteer with other community
                                                                had prevented some paperwhite narcissi from
groups helping to heal emotional trauma through art
and nature for homeless children in the San Antonio             growing too tall and floppy and asked if it was be-
area. Volunteers assist with presentations, gardening,          cause of some "essential oil" in the gin.
art and craft activities. Master Gardeners provide fruit            Intrigued that diluted alcohol might act as a
and other healthy snack. This project began as a one            growth retardant, Miller began conducting ex-
day camp in 2002 growing to its present 5 weeks,                periments with ethanol. Because hard liquor is
Monday – Thursday, 2 sessions per day each week.                easier for consumers to obtain, he switched to
Tentatively BCMG will volunteer on Wednesdays this              alcohol and began trying different kinds, including
year. (100)                                                     dry gin, unflavored vodka, whiskey, white rum,
                                                                gold tequila, mint schnapps, red and white wine
                                                                and pale lager beer, on paperwhites.
                                                                   The beer and wine did not work, likely because
       On Going Volunteer                                       of their sugar content, he said.
         Opportunities                                          "While solutions greater than 10 percent alcohol
                                        HOMEOWNER’S             were toxic, solutions between 4 and 6 percent al-
  HOTLINE (200)                                                 cohol stunted the paperwhites effectively," said
  Linda Schafer 467-6575                                        Miller. "When the liquor is properly used, the pa-
TERRARIUM/ECOSYSTEM (100) Lani Ord 493-6375                     perwhites we tested were stunted by 30 to 50
                                                                percent, but their flowers were as large, fragrant
PLANT CLINIC   ON   WATERSAVER LANE SA Botanical
  (200) Pat Brown 653-4999                                      and long-lasting as usual."
                                                                   Any economic benefits, at least directly, are
SCHULTZE HOUSE GIFT SHOP (200)                                  slight, he said. Commercial horticulturists already
  Barbara Lozier 789-1434                                       have other growth-control methods for large-scale
Schultze House Cottage Garden (200)                             production. But for home gardeners, the gain is in
  Jim Feighny 822-7229                                          terms of product quality. According to the NGA,
                                                                83 percent of all U.S. households participate in
PLANT PROPAGATION GREENHOUSE@SA BOTANICAL                       some type of indoor or outdoor gardening activity.
  GARDEN (200) Lou Kellogg (Page 2) or                          Miller, however, said he could envision profitable
  Brenda Laureano plantsalesbgsa@gmail.com
                                                                marketing schemes emerging from the study.
SPEAKER’S BUREAU (200) Anna Cervantes (Page 2)                     "Maybe, instead of charging $1 for a bulb, you
                                                                can add a mini bottle of Tanqueray, insert a little
CHILDREN’S SPEAKER BUREAU (100)
  Doris Trotter 467-6575
                                                                card with some history and instructions, put it in a
                                                                fancy package and charge $10 for it."
MADISON SCHOOL CLASSROOM GARDEN (100) Nancy                        Miller isn't sure why the alcohol stunts plant
  Heneghan 736-6476                                             growth but he has three theories that he is ex-
CHILDREN’S GARDEN @ BOTANICAL GARDEN (100)                      ploring.
  Nancy Heneghan 736-6476                                            • Growth is caused when plant cells absorb
                                                                         water and expand. The alcohol could be in-
JAPANESE SUNKEN GARDENS (300)                                            juring the plant roots, preventing the roots
  Pete Mendiola 653-7284
                                                                         from absorbing the water as efficiently.
SIP PRESENTATIONS (300)                                              • When alcohol is mixed with the water, the
  Warner Fassnidge 826-7899                                              plant has to use more of its growing en-
                                                                         ergy to extract the water from the solu-
MANY HANDS MAKE LIGHT WORK (400)
  Holly Julian 764-1767
                                                                         tion.
                                                                     • The plant uses its growing energy to rid it-
HEMISFAIR HORTICULTURE GROUP (300)                                       self of the alcohol it has absorbed.
  Maria Salvatierra 830-460-8213                                Miller will be working this spring to see if a little
   If you have a question or need help with some-               booze works for amaryllis and such vegetables as
thing, call TCE (467-6575) and ask the reception-               tomatoes and peppers.
ist. She will direct you to someone to assist you.                 Imagine, he joked; “you may be able to grow
Your cooperation is appreciated.                                your own Bloody Mary.”

                                                           11
     A New Challenge                                                          General Meeting
       Learn how to be a volunteer for                                                                May 18, 2006
               Homeowner’s Hotline
                                                                                     Extension Center Conference Room
              Attend a Training session:                                                      (the usual place)
                      Friday, May 12                                                               6:00-6:30 Social time
        Extension Center Conference Room                                        6:30 Our Special Guest Speaker, Mr. Bob Webster
                                                                                        Owner, Shades of Green Nursery
                          1-3 P.M.
                                                                                                    Election of officers
           Earn 1 CEU credit for attending
Learn how to use the phones and the com-                                        Master Gardeners love to eat! IF you plan to at-
puter.
                                                                                tend and wish to contribute to the food table,
Presently our homeowner’s hotline is under-                                     please bring something savory, sweet, or healthy
staffed. Your help is needed in order to take                                   (the three seem to be mutually exclusive). We
the extra work load off TCE agents, specialists
                                                                                will not worry about it being too fattening, as we
and support staff.
                                                                                can always work those calories off in the garden.
If you can assist on the hotline or desire train-
ing contact Sharon Hutto at the Extension Of-
fice 467-6575 or ss-hutto@tamu.edu                                                                  See ya’ there!
                 Many, many thanks!


  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 Cooperating.

				
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