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Thoughts from the Garden July 2018

Hi everyone, happy July!
So, the other day I was sitting at my desk minding my own business, working on a landscape design, when I accidentally looked at an email.
Ok so it wasn’t really an accident, I looked on purpose.
But it makes the story more interesting if I start it by accidentally opening the email, so let’s stick with that.
Anyway,  the email is from the rep of one of the pottery suppliers we like to buy from, I open the email.
“Jim, Would you be interested in a really good deal on cast iron planters?”
“Why yes I would”, I thought.
I decided to call and asked him what did it mean when he said I’d get a very good deal.
Sometimes it might mean free freight or a 10% discount which is not too exciting.
I had stopped carrying cast iron planters a few years ago because they had just gotten too darn expensive.
I like them a lot. They look cool, almost can’t blow over because they are so heavy. They almost last forever. I still see cast iron pots around that were made in the 1800s.
As I am talking to my sales rep I find out that they have decided to quit carrying cast iron planters.
He says he will send me a special offer from the company. I get the special offer the next day.
Yes, they wanted to quit carrying cast iron planters.
This kind of thing has worked out very nicely for us in the past so I read on.
They will give me a big discount if I buy way more than I need.
THAT HAS NEVER STOPPED ME BEFORE.
$ 24,000 retail for a big discount.
I do the math, that’s a lot of planters.
I keep reading.
If however, I buy their entire inventory I can get twice the discount. Now we’re talking.
Whoops, they still have over $150,000 retail in inventory.
I had to think about it for a minute. That’s really a lot of planters.
I made a counter offer a few dollars lower with free freight.
By the time you read this, they should be here.
I’m pretty sure we now have more cast iron planters than anyone else in Texas.
Care to guess what’s on sale this month?
If you guessed cast iron planters, you are right!
We are able to retail the new cast iron planters for a bit under what was once our wholesale cost.
BUT, I have a LOT of planters.
The July sale is 1/2 price. Remember our new normal retail price is less than I used to pay wholesale.
 So when we have them 1/2 off, you are paying 25% of wholesale.
 Now we’re talking.
Come check ’em out.
See You in the Garden,
I’ll be the one standing beside the big stacks of cast iron planters!

We All Need Water

by Kim Nichols Messer

          It is always a good time to add a water feature.  Our birdbath in a shaded corner of our yard is a very popular place to visit on a hot afternoon.  Each day we check the water level.  We add clean water daily.  The high temperatures increase the rate of evaporation.  Almost immediately after we add water, a Blue Jay or two will land on the edge, jump into the water and splish splash until clean.  They move up into a tree to shake off.  The little birds, like Wrens come by in a pack of ten or so.  They are very social and chatter while they bathe or wait for their turn in the water.

 

        The birdbath is like a beacon announcing open for business.  The birds drink and bathe.  The squirrels come by for a drink, but the bees are our favorite.  The bees seem to sense that water is being added.  They arrive in a small group and hover above the birdbath waiting for the water to stop.  Once stopped, they land on the rim and drink from the full bowl.  It is fascinating to watch.  And, you feel like you have helped everybody out with a cool and refreshing drink.

 

          The bees help pollinate my veggie plants and my citrus.  The birds bring the gift of song and sometimes a mystery plant from afar.  The squirrels give my puppy some exercise.  And by providing a water source, the squirrels, will leave my tomatoes alone. Most tomatoes are consumed in search of liquid.  The birdbath provides both a distraction and a water option for the squirrels.

           Add a birdbath to your yard… It is like a tiny waterpark that never closes.  Sit back and enjoy!

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Happy, Healthy Soil  

By Kathryn Courtney

Having healthy soil is the cornerstone of success in your garden. It is impossible to have a successful garden without first having happy, healthy soil. Fortunately, healthy soil is easy to obtain. As I researched this article it became clear to me that I could write a book on soil biology. To make things simple there is really only one thing you need to know, your soil is a living ecosystem all its own with its own needs to keep it healthy. As you work in your garden you need to think about what is good for your soil as well as what is good for your plants.

One teaspoon of a  typical, healthy soil contains more living organisms than there are people on earth. Pretty mind boggling right? We have all seen beetles, earthworms and other animals living in our soil.  Algae, bacteria, fungi, nematodes and protozoa are all microorganisms living in the soil that we can’t see. Soil requires all these living organisms to be healthy. These are the organisms that supply nutrients to our plants. Keeping our organisms alive requires organic matter, macro and micro-nutrients all found in most organic fertilizers. The key to keeping your soil healthy is organic practices.

Organic fertilizers feed the soil and add organisms back into your garden. Compost, such as leaf mold, adds valuable nutrients to the soil. This is the food that the microorganisms live on. Humates are like concentrated compost. They consist of a combination of humic and fulvic acid which is produced by degradation of dead organic matter. In short, it is super compost. Using these organic products on your yard and garden give your grass and plants a tremendous boost and make them stronger and better able to survive disease and weather stresses such as drought. In contrast, chemical fertilizers do not feed your soil microorganisms. In fact, chemical fertilizers produce salts that harm the living soil. Your plants and grass become completely dependent on the fertilizer for their nutrition, destroying the soil in the process. Switching to organic methods can rejuvenate the soil and restore healthy microorganisms. Biological inoculants are used to restore your soil faster and to get rid of  toxins. Bio inoculants contain beneficial bacteria and fungi, along with food for these microorganisms, to replenish your soil.

Macro nutrients required for healthy soil are Nitrogen, potassium, phosphorous, calcium, magnesium and sulfur. Each of these chemical elements contributeto  different plant processes. For example, nitrogen is the building block for most of the plants parts especially the leaves and stems. It’s what keeps a plant green. Potassium and phosphorous help with the plants blooms and roots. All of these elements are essential to a plants health. Organic fertilizers provide your plants with these elements in a form that is easy for a plant to use. These fertilizers also contain microorganisms that help the plant absorb these elements. Micro nutrients such as iron, manganese, zinc and copper are also needed for plant health. Healthy soil and good organic practices will provide all these nutrients.

To keep your soil alive, no chemical pesticides, herbicides or fungicides should be used. If a chemical kills your grass or the bugs in your yard, it will also harm your soil. Because fungi and mycorrhizal fungi in particular are critical for nutrient uptake by your plants, it should go without saying that fungicides are devastating to your yard and garden.

At Maas we have a vast inventory of organic products that will take the place of any chemicals you need to use. We have premixed organic soils for your yard, garden and pots. The nursery has a vast array of organic fertilizers and soil additives for any type of plant or problem. If pesticides, herbicides or fungicides are needed there are organic choices for these also. If you have questions about any organic methods, ask someone in the nursery for help. We can find an organic product for any problem. Come see us and start making you soil happy and healthy. Your yard and garden will be happy too.

Here are some of our organic products :

Fertilizers
Microlife Fertilizers
Lady Bug Fertilizers
Fox Farm Fertilizers
Soil Additives
Microorganisms and Nutrients
Mycorrhizae
Soil additives
Organic Soils
Seed Starting Soil
Organic Garden Mix
Organic Potting Soil
Organic Problem Solvers
Organic Herbicides
Organic Pesticides
Organic Fungicide

In the Garden

By: Shirley Holguin

“…I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.”                                                      John 14:6

 

It’s a delight to proclaim that The good LORD has chosen “LIFE” as His annual theme for 2018!

 

“Chai” is the Hebrew word for “Life”. Not only is “Chai” a word but it is also a beloved and popular symbol in Judaism. The two letters that spell “Chai” are Chet and Yud. In Judaism, each letter of the Hebrew alphabet has a numerical value. The numerical value of Chet is 8, and the numerical value of Yud is 10; totaling 18. Now, how cool (and perfect) is that, that The LORD would choose “LIFE” as His theme for 2018!

 

The LORD’s annual theme is always a timely word for us, and it’s marvelous how He interestingly transitions from one theme to another each year. What a great theme He has chosen for this year. No doubt there are countless messages interwoven in this theme of “LIFE”. Could one be to counter the “spirit of murder in the land” (quote by my friend); and a reminder that Life is precious, Life is a wonder.

 

The verse this year’s theme is based upon (John 14:6) embodies the authority and sovereignty of The LORD JESUS CHRIST. It makes a definite distinction between the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes in the manger, to the suffering servant hanging on the cross, to the King in a royal robe seated on His heavenly throne!!

 

According to Scripture, there is only one way to Life. John 14:6 raises the question, “Why is Christ the only One entitled to claim the above position and to make this royal
decree?” Let’s explore the Scriptures to try to understand and to try to answer this age-old question which has sparked much debate and division among men. Understandably, this is predicated on the belief that The Bible is the Word of G-d.

 

John tells us, “G-d is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:24) Since the only access to G-d is in the spirit, what is it about The LORD JESUS that qualifies Him to be this One in the spirit?

 

In the first chapter of Matthew, it is written that Mary’s conception of the child in her womb was of the Holy Ghost, not from the seed of man. The Bible also states that this supernatural conception was prophesied.

 

Although the concept itself is a mystery, it is in the seventh chapter of Isaiah that such an event was prophesied; and the fifth chapter of Micah even tells the birthplace of Him that is to be the ruler of Israel, which is Bethlehem Ephratah aka the City of David. In the second chapter of Luke he heralds the advent of a Saviour would be in Bethlehem, which is Christ The LORD.

 

The LORD JESUS Himself said He is the Son of G-d (John 10:36). So, if you will knit together and ponder in the garden of your heart the declarations He made in John 10:36 and John 14:6; and if G-d is Spirit, and If The LORD JESUS CHRIST is born of the Holy Spirit, who then other than The LORD JESUS is worthy to be Saviour of the world?

 

Let’s ring in the New Year with thanksgiving to G-d and with a toast to G-d!

 

                                                            ” L’ Chaim! “
                                                           ” To LIFE! “

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Spring Gardening

 Believe it or not, it’s time to start preparing your spring vegetable garden.  We are barely into 2018, but get out there and do a little work every day to get things ready for the beautiful spring weather.

When considering where to plant your veggies this spring, don’t forget that you can use containers for lots of vegetables – especially tomatoes and peppers.  Any tomato or pepper variety can be grown in a container, but the container should be no smaller than 20 gallons. We had a customer whose tomato plant outgrew a 65-gallon container!    You will need to water tomatoes and peppers planted in containers daily and well, but this would be true for those planted in the ground too.  Whether planting in the ground or in a container, be sure to use the following guidelines when planting:  Plant in full sun (at least 6-8 hours of sun), fertilize with a good organic fertilizer like Microlife 6-2-4, use a good garden soil that drains well and add a very light layer of mulch on top (adding a little leaf mold compost to the soil is a good idea too).  Another great tip – add a tablespoon of Magnesium Sulfate (Epsom salts) to the soil around these plants to increase the number of blooms and, therefore, fruits you will get to harvest.

With all the wonderful veggies we can plant in early spring, you still have some time to get your garden soil ready.  If you are prepping a new bed or trying to get rid of weeds from an old bed, the best method is to cover the area with black plastic sheeting for 4 to 6 weeks.  Yes, 4 – 6 weeks – that’s why you need to start NOW!  Lay the sheeting so that rainwater does not get underneath.  Once all the weeds have died, you can remove the tarp and rake the soil clean.  I would allow the sun to bake the soil a little under the plastic sheeting after the weeds have been removed as well.  Once you have done this, you do need to amend the soil with good organic material like Microlife 6-2-4, a little agricultural molasses, leaf mold compost and/or composted manure and keep the soil moist to allow for good bacteria to grow for your plantings.

Please notice that I have not mentioned the use of herbicides to clear areas for planting.   And I won’t.  Yes, glyphosate will clear the weeds faster than the plastic sheeting method, but you will ruin your soil in the process.  Just say no to herbicides and go organic – especially when growing things to eat.   Growing organic really doesn’t take more effort or more money, but it does take a little more time and research to do it right.  Patience and vigilance is the key to organic gardening.   The health of your plants and your environment and your family is so worth the effort to grow organically.  To find out more about the negative effects of glyphosate in our environment, go to http://permaculturenews.org/2012/11/01/why-glyphosate-should-be-banned-a-review-of-its-hazards-to-health-and-the-environment/ .

If you are making a new bed and really want to grow the best veggies, raised beds work well.  You can find lots of vegetable garden raised bed plans online, but really, it’s hard to go wrong.  Just be sure to plant your garden in full sun.  Raise your beds at least 12″ off the ground (higher bed = easier to reach the veggies) and use good material to make the frame.  Untreated framing lumber works well.  Be sure your garden is not too wide.  You want to be able to reach your veggies and pull weeds without stepping into your garden.   When planning your garden, remember that space is very important to plants.  So, pay attention to how big your plants will be when mature and give them plenty of room to grow.  Good air circulation in a garden is important to keeping fungi and some pests at bay in our humid climate.  Also, giving your plants plenty of space will keep them from competing with each other for water and nutrients and you will get bigger and better harvests.  Be sure to keep your garden weeded through the season.  If you allow weeds to grow, they will steal water and nutrients from all the yummy things you want to eat. Lastly, but most importantly, water your garden daily.  Watering by hand is great because you can be sure each plant gets the water it needs (remember to water at the base of the plants) and inspect for pests or diseases every day as you water.   A light layer of fine mulch (not the big, chunky stuff) will help retain some moisture in your garden and keep fallen fruit from lying directly on the soil.

If you have an existing bed and are an organic gardener, don’t till the soil before you plant.  You will disturb all those beneficial microbes that you have been working to build up in your soil.   If you aren’t an organic gardener but would like to be, it will take TIME to make the switch.  Just stop using synthetic chemicals to feed and treat and start using organic options.   Once you start using Microlife to fertilize (and boost with a little agricultural molasses), it will be just a matter of time before you notice that your plantings are much healthier.

The keys to a successful spring vegetable garden are full sun, good drainage, good air circulation, daily watering, daily check for pests and diseases, organic fertilizer, organic pest/disease control, nutrient-rich soil and a light layer of fine mulch.  That’s it.

So, what can you grow this spring?  Lots of great veggies!!!   And, if you pay attention to the Environmental Working Group’s list of supermarket fruits and veggies that contain the most pesticide residue http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/list.php, you are going to want to grow as much of your own produce as possible…

Remember, gardening is not an exact science.  You just have to grow stuff to see what works for you in your home garden.  Trial and error is the methodology.  Boy!  I am really good at the error part.  But, that’s how you really learn.  To quote Nike, “Just Do It.”   If you go into growing a vegetable garden with an open mind and use the information you read as a guide, you will be happily surprised by your ability to grow your own produce.  You will also probably come away saying  “Ohmygosh!  That didn’t work.” and  “Why doesn’t anybody tell you that?” and some good laughs too.  Don’t forget, you have a great resource in Maas Nursery.  Don’t hesitate to call us with questions about your garden.

Here’s a list of spring veggies from Kathy Huber’s article in the Houston Chronicle (February 17, 2010) on spring vegetable gardening in the Houston area and when to plant them:

Vegetable Seed/Transplant When to Plant
Beans, bush snap Seed March to Mid April
Beans, pole Seed March to Mid April
Beets Seed February
Broccoli Transplant February
Cabbage Transplant February
Carrot Seed February
Collard Seed February and March
Corn Seed March and April
Cucumber Seed Mid March through April
Eggplant Transplant Mid March to May
Kohlrabi Seed February
Lettuce Seed February through March
Mustard Seed February through March
Okra Seed April to July
Onion Transplant February
Peas, Southern Seed April to May
Pepper Transplant Mid March to May
Potato, Irish Seed pieces February
Radish Seed February to April
Squash, Summer Seed Mid March to April
Tomato Transplant March and April (sometimes earlier)
Turnip Seed February
Watermelon Seed/Transplant Mid March to May
Posted in Helpful Hints

Fragrant Plants

By Deb Pavlosky

 

“Smell is a potent wizard that transports you across thousands of
 miles and all the years you have lived.” – Helen Keller

 

When most people think of fragrant flowers, I would assume roses come first to mind.  Roses have such a wide array of colors and bloom types and growing habits and, yes, also fragrance.  So, though Shakespeare wants us to believe differently, a rose by any other name does not necessarily smell as sweet.  Actually there are roses with no scent at all.  Peggy Martin is one very popular variety of pink climbing rose that has no scent.   So, if you are trying to grow fragrant plants, and you are planning to use roses, be sure to smell the blooms before you purchase your plants.  Also, check the temperature and time of day when you sniff the blooms.   Some roses have stronger scents in cooler weather and some have stronger scents in the mornings.  So, do a little research before picking your roses.

The following are just a few fragrant rose varieties that you can find at Maas Nursery.

Fragrant Cloud – Coral or red-orange blooms, Strong sweet spice and rose scent

Double Delight – Red blooms with cream interior, Strong spicy rose scent

Don Juan – Red climbing rose, Strong rose scent

Cecile Brunner – Pink Climbing rose, Moderate tea scent

Chrysler Imperial – Velvety, dark red blooms, Strong Damask rose scent

Bulls Eye – Cream or Ivory flowers with cranberry centers, Moderate sweet spice scent

White Licorice – Yellow blooms (more yellow when cool), Licorice and lemon scent

Belinda’s Dream – Pink blooms, Moderate fruity scent

Iceberg – White blooms, Mild honey scent

Beyond roses, there are many choices of very fragrant plants to use in your landscape.

More choices to add fragrance to your garden:

Annuals:

Flowering Tobacco – This plant is also known as flowering tobacco.  Grows to 48″ in sun to part shade.  Can bloom all year and blooms range in colors including white and pink.

Stock (this one likes cool weather) – Stock blooms in a variety of colors (pink, purple, white) in spring.  Grows well in sun to part shade.

Sweet Alyssum – This plant blooms in clusters of very fragrant flowers (colors can be white, pink or purple).  This annual is a prolific bloomer all year and some varieties can be grown as short-lived perennials.

Perennials/Shrubs:

Banana Shrub –  Creamy-yellow flowers that have a banana scent.   This shrub blooms during the warm seasons.  Slow growing, 6′-10′ tall and wide.  Part to full sun.

Brunfelsia – Also known as Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.  Very fragrant purple flowers fade to violet and then white over a period of days.  Some varieties only grow to 4′ tall and wide and others 3′ to 8′ tall and 4′ -6′ wide.  Part sun.

Buddleia – Also known as Butterfly Bush.  Most varieties are purple flowering and bloom summer through fall.  Butterfly bush ranges in size from 3′ to 7′ tall and 3′ to 5′ wide.  Full sun.

Butterfly Ginger – This ginger blooms white from mid-summer to early fall.  Best grown in sun to part shade.  This ginger will grow 4′ to 6′ tall.

Crape Jasmine – White blooms through spring and summer.  Fragrance is stronger in the evening.  Can grow to 6′ to 8′ tall and wide.  Part to full sun.

Elaeagnus – Ebbinge’s Silverberry is a dense evergreen shrub.  Blooms small, white, fragrant flowers in the fall that are followed by small red berries.  Grows 8′-10′ tall and wide.  Great hedges, foundation shrub or small tree.  Full sun.

Gardenias – There are many varieties of Gardenias and they range in size from Radicans (6″ to 12″ tall and 2′ to 3′ wide) to First Love (5′ to 8′ tall and 3′ to 6′ wide).  First Love blooms late spring through early summer,  Radicans and Frost Proof bloom in the summer and August Beauty blooms spring through fall.  Most people are familiar with the stark white blooms and amazing fragrance of gardenias.

Geraniums (lemon scented) – Blooms in summer with light pink to purple flowers.  It’s the foliage with the lemon scent that you smell.  Grows 18″ high and wide.  Part to full sun.

Heliotrope – Can be perennial, but mostly grown as an annual.  Purple flowers with an intense fragrance that bloom spring through summer.  Part to full sun.

Mock Orange – Blooms white flowers in April and May.  Can grow to 6′ to 8′ tall and wide.  Full to part sun.  This shrub is deciduous.

Natal Plum- White flowers are very fragrant and this plant will bloom all year in sun to part shade.   Fruits will form on this plant, but leaves and flowers are poisonous.

Night Blooming Jessamine (aka Night blooming cestrum or night blooming jasmine) – Very small greenish-white flowers bloom in the summer.  Grows to 8′ to 10′ tall and 3′ wide.  Part to full sun.   Blossoms only open at night.

Pineapple Sage (Tender perennial) – Blooms, showy red flowers in late spring to fall.  The foliage has a pineapple scent and can be used in drinks and foods.  Grows 3′ to 4′ tall and wide.  Full sun.

Pittosporum – Pittosporum shrubs bloom with very small clusters of orange-blossom scented flowers in spring.  The Japanese Mock Orange variety can grow to 10′ to 12′ tall and wide.   The Variegated Japanese Mock Orange grows 6′ to 8′ tall and wide or even larger with age.  Wheeler’s Dwarf Pittosporum grows 2′ to 3′ tall and 4′ to 5′ wide.  All like part to full sun.

Sweet Olive – Small white blooms in the spring that are very fragrant.  This plant likes morning sun and afternoon shade.  It can grow to 10′ tall if un-pruned.

 

Viburnums- Eastern snowball viburnum blooms masses of white flowers through summer.  It will grow 12′ tall and 10′ wide or larger with age.  This shrub requires part to full sun.  This shrub is deciduous.

 

Vines:

Arabian Jasmine (can be considered a shrubs as well) – The fragrant white flowers open at night and bloom June through September.  This plant will reach 6′ to 8′ tall and 3′ to 4′ wide.  Part to full sun.

Carolina Jessamine – Blooms bright yellow flowers in late winter to early spring.  This vine will grow to 20′ with support.  Part to full sun.

Confederate or Star Jasmine – Very fragrant white flowers from spring to summer.  This vine can reach 18′ to 20′ with support or 1′ to 2′ as groundcover.  Part to full sun.

Honeysuckle – Hall’s Japanese Honeysuckle has white to yellow flowers that bloom in the summer.  This plant can be grown as a vine to 15′ tall or groundcover to 2′ tall.  Full sun.  Trumpet Honeysuckle has trumpet-shaped scarlet-orange flowers and blooms spring through fall.  It grows fast to 20′ long.  Part to full sun.

 

Passionvine – The incense variety blooms violet to lavender from late spring to early fall in sun to part shade.  This vine can grow to 10′ long.

Pink Jasmine – Very fragrant light pink flowers spring to early summer.  Will grow to 20′ long.  Full sun.

Rangoon Creeper- Also known as Drunken Sailor, this plant blooms in clusters of red flowers that fade to pink from late spring to mid fall.  Can grow to more than 40′ in sun to part shade.  This is a tender perennial.

Wisteria – The Texas Purple Japanese Wisteria blooms purple flower clusters in the spring.   This is a fast growing, deciduous vine that will grow to 25′ long.  This vine likes full sun.  Amethyst Falls Wisteria is also deciduous and will to 10′ long.  This vine blooms with purple racemes in late spring and repeats lightly through summer.   This vine likes part to full sun.  Evergreen Wisteria blooms late summer to early fall and will grow to 15′ long in full sun.  Evergreen Wisteria has been described as having a camphor-like scent.

 

Trees:

Angels Trumpet – These small trees can grow in sun to part shade.  Blooms can be pink, white, yellow or orange and appear from summer to early fall.  They usually grow 6′ to 8′ tall and these are poisonous plants.  Angels Trumpet flowers are most fragrant in the early evening.

Citrus – All varieties of citrus trees produce fragrant flowers before they fruit.

Magnolia – Brackens Brown Beauty is a moderate grower to 50′ tall and 30′ wide in full sun.  This variety blooms in late spring.  The creamy white flowers are very fragrant.  Sweet Bay Magnolias are moderate growers to 20′ tall and wide in part sun.  The creamy-white, lemon scented flowers appear through the summer.

Mexican Plum – This tree will grow 15′ to 35′ and blooms fragrant white flowers before leaves appear.  This tree does well in full sun.

Texas Mountain Laurel – This small shrub or tree blooms purple blooms in the spring that smell like grape soda.  This plant prefers full sun and is slow growing to 10′ to 15′ tall and 8′ to 10′ wide.  Can also be trained on an espalier or grown as a patio tree.   Once established, it will only need occasional watering.

These are just a few options for adding fragrance to your garden.  There are so many more….

Spring is just around the corner and I am looking forward to the aromas of freshly mowed grass and sweet smelling blooms.  Time to add some sweet smelling plants to your garden too.

Let’s Talk About December 2017

By: Pat Cordray

 

It is hard to believe we are here, the end of the year, the holidays, and maybe even cooler temperatures.  We have had lots of sun in November and not enough rain.  Usually, I’m able to turn off my sprinkler system in October and wait until March to turn them back on.  Not so this year, everything is dry and I have to hand water to make sure that all the plants get a drink.  What kind of gardening can we do this month?  There is still a lot of gardening to do, even if it is December.  It is not too late to add color to your garden or containers, vegetables are still an option and camellias.

Now for the freeze warning. If we have a freeze warning for our area, first water your plants; this protects the roots, so water thoroughly, not just for 60 seconds.  Next, cover your plants tenting the fabric to the ground then secure it with pegs.  Once the weather warms up remove the fabric. Use fabric made to protect plants or use fabric to cover the plant and plastic to cover the fabric, like a windbreaker.   For hanging baskets, take them in or set them on the ground, water and cover.  For plants in containers, take them in or water and cover.  These instructions are for plants that are tender to the cold.  This doesn’t freeze proof your tender plants but it will help add a little warmth and that may be all that is needed to save a plant.  It is better to be prepared than scrambling around at the last minute trying to find your cold weather gardening supplies.  So, place your N-Sulate cloth and pegs where you can find them.  The Nursery usually keeps these supplies in stock if needed.

Plants for fall and winter have wonderful bright vibrant color. Here are a few of the beautiful plants that bloom this time of year.  The pansy
Frizzle Sizzle Pansy
6-8″ tall
Blooms best in full sun
but can bloom in part shade
Snapdragon,
Snapdragon
Full Sun
Snapshot 6-10″ tall
Montego 8-10″ tall
Solstice 16-20″ tall
Sonnet 18-24″ tall
Rocket 24-36″ tall
And dianthus.
Floral Lace Dianthus
Full sun
6-8″ tall

 

These are just 3 examples of beautiful color for now.  Brighten up your garden with any of these.

What else can you plant in December? You can still plant vegetables.  Plant cauliflower, broccoli, green onions, Brussels sprouts, leeks, greens, and turnips.  Get busy now so you can eat soon!

Camellias are another beautiful fall through spring bloomer.  There aren’t too many flowers, that bloom down here,  as beautiful. Check out the pictures below

 

So much beauty!

Enjoy your garden,
Pat