Category Archives: Gardening 101

Posts on basic gardening topics.

Cover Crop

Cover Crop by Wayne Bowman, Master Gardener. In an earlier column, I wrote about putting the garden to rest for the season using compost and mulch. An alternative to that method is the use of a winter cover crop. Many of you might consider cover crops to be something only used in commercial fields after the harvest of the cash crop, but there are benefits to be had for the smaller garden, too. After your harvest, cover crops can nourish your garden, protect it against erosion and weeds,… Read More →

Winterizing Your Garden

Winterizing Your Garden by Wayne Bowman, Master Gardener. Thalassa Cruso reminds us that “Fall is not the end of the gardening year; it is the start of next year’s growing season.” By the time you read this, it’s likely that we’ve already experienced our first frost in North Texas. Time to turn out the lights in the garden; summer’s party is over. You’ve coaxed the final tomato from the vine and your neighbors and relatives no longer smile when you say the word “squash”. An excellent time to… Read More →

Winter Planting of Onions, Garlic and Leeks

Winter Planting of Onions, Garlic and Leeks by Byron Chitwood, Master Gardener Although onions, garlic and leeks have been around for a long time, it is not really known where they originated. Archaeologists have found evidence that they have been used as a food source through cultivation for at least 7,000 years. No doubt, the early hunter-gatherers foraged for them in the wild along with anything else growing wild that could be eaten. The earliest evidence of domestication and cultivation has been found in China, Asia and Persia…. Read More →

Planting Garlic

PLANTING GARLIC by Karla Basallaje. Garlic (Allium Sativum), is in the amaryllis family and is native to central Asia. There are two types of garlic, the hardneck variety (the bolting type) and the softneck variety (the non-bolting type). Bolting refers to the production of a flower stalk and bulbil, in this case. Garlic is considered by many, as an easy crop to grow; however, it is best to remember the basics: know your soil, your climate and location. Choose a sunny spot to grow your garlic, most growers… Read More →

Landscape Trees

Landscape Trees by Karla Basallaje, Master Gardener “I think that I shall never see a poem lovely as a tree.” No doubt you have read or previously heard this famous couplet by Joyce Kilmer, and without waxing too poetic, or straying too far off topic, I agree with the poet’s sentiment. Trees are spectacular plants offering a wide range of size, color, shape and function, making them a great addition to any landscape design. Before choosing a landscape tree, determine your soil’s drainage and water holding capacity by… Read More →

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 →