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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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. email@example.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? firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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. email@example.com Enjoy spring and the benefits of gardening. TX Cooperative Extension BCMG Advisor : David Rodriguez Sandy Justice, firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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:firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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) email@example.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 (firstname.lastname@example.org.) 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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.