Category Archives: Gardening 101

Posts on basic gardening topics.

Compost vs Mulch

Compost vs Mulch by Wayne Bowman, Master Gardener. Not all mulch is compost, but all compost can be used as mulch. To be clear, the terms are not interchangeable. Unlike compost, some forms of mulch will never decompose– such as shredded rubber tires. Various woods are slow to decompose– like cypress or redwood. This doesn’t mean they are bad mulch products– they still keep the soil moist and at a lower temperature– but they’ll not turn into quickly useable compost. Another way to distinguish between the two is… Read More →

Making Garden Decor

Making Garden Decor by June Morgan, Master Gardener. A beautifully planted garden often has whimsical, useful, or comforting additions to grace its landscape.  Unfortunately, many store-bought items, especially those made of concrete, are very expensive.  The do-it-yourselfer does not have to be an artist in order to make striking sculptural decor out of concrete. Hundreds of different shapes can be made with this medium, such as spheres and leaves of all sizes which can be used for projects such as fountains, stepping stones, and wire sculptures. Molds for… Read More →

Water Efficient Gardening

Water Efficient Gardening by Wayne Bowman, Master Gardener. There’s one constant fact of gardening: If it grows, it needs water. This includes the garden you call your lawn, your flower beds, and that patch where you struggle to grow a few edible vegetables. In case you haven’t noticed, Northeast Texas is booming, and there’s no end in sight. A critical issue for now and in the future is maintaining an adequate supply of quality water. The pressure on an already limited supply is increasing with the population. Other… Read More →

Hanging Baskets

Hanging Baskets by June Morgan, Master Gardener. Hanging baskets can add much to the outdoor porch and deck summer decor, but it can be a challenge to keep them looking their best. Proper siting, basket design and proper watering are key elements of good management. The best setting is a protected area which allows sunlight from above or the sides such as a deck canopy out of the strong winds which will tear the plants apart.  In contrast to the ordinary solid plastic container, the larger mesh basket… Read More →

Raised Bed Gardening

Raised Bed Gardening by Wayne Bowman,  Master Gardener. Spring; time to look ahead to planting, growing, and eating our own fresh vegetables.  So, you thought you’d try your hand at raised beds, since you don’t have loads of space.  Great!  First, though, you’ll need to build it, and planning is the key. When planning your raised beds, placement, materials, size, and use must all be considered. Placement:  Just about any nearly flat surface is good.  For many, however, there’s another consideration; the Home Owner Association.  If you live… Read More →

Water Wise Ways

Water Wise Ways by Byron Chitwood We are currently out of the woods on water supply and soil moisture compared to what we have been through in the past.  However, knowing Texas and the hot summers, there is no time to conserve like the present.  We might need to do that in the present. First of all some facts are that agriculture and water management are a global issue.  The population is increasing while the supply of water worldwide remains about stable.  Less than 3% of the world’s… Read More →

eGardening Newsletter for April

Square Foot Gardening

Square Foot Gardening by Byron Chitwood Some good advice for a person who is thinking about starting a vegetable garden is to start small and gradually increase the size until you have reached your tolerance level for taking care of one.  There is plenty of tilling, planting, watering and weeding in a small garden that should make you think, can I handle more?  One of the best pieces of advice is to consider a square foot garden. Square foot gardening is an easy way to garden if you… Read More →

Choosing and Maintaining Garden Tools

Choosing and Maintaining Garden Tools by June Morgan January is an excellent time to assess the contents of the gardening shed.  Whether a beginning gardener starting anew or needing to replace old and worn out hand tools, quality should take first consideration.  That, and proper care will add much to the pleasure of gardening. The collection should have at least two spades, one wide bladed for shoveling dirt and compost and a narrow bladed for digging. Add a heavy-tined fork for digging rough ground and a lighter tined… Read More →

Bird Feeding in Winter

Bird Feeding in Winter by Dave White. We spend many hours watching and enjoying the numerous species of birds that visit our yard every day. They provide unlimited entertainment, color, activity and music. Some of the native birds frequenting our yard are finches, cardinals, titmice, bluebirds, chickadees, nuthatches, flycatchers, wrens, woodpeckers and crows. There are also many other species who stay for short periods when migrating through our area as they travel to and from their summer and winter destinations. Everyone can experience the same enjoyment by doing… Read More →