Volume 30, Issue #7 – July 2020
Happy July! Summer is here in its full glory! We’ve been having rain showers which have helped keep our gardens and water bills looking good. The weather people are saying that the great Saharan dust storm (yuck) has tempered our early hurricane season (yea). Harvests are bountiful and blooms are glorious!
And speaking of harvest, check out the new page on our website: Vegetable Gardening. I would like to thank Anne Moss, BCMG, for her idea and work to bring it to fruition.
Enjoy July and stay safe!
Scion Index – Click and Go!
- This Month’s Presentation
- Wise Water Words
- Texas Superstar Spotlight – ‘Allyson’ Mexican Heather
- In the Garden Articles
- Circada Killer Wasp or Asian Giant Hornet
- Mars Early Orange
- Queen of the Night Dozier
- Gardening Education – Online Opportunities
- Master Gardener Corner
- Can You Help?
BCMG offices are still closed at this time. That could change, so call before you make a trip over there.
Speaker: Bill Swatner, Bexar County Master Gardener
Earth-Kind is the Only Kind of Gardening for Master Gardeners
The Zoom presentation and the following BCMG meeting are open to members and the public. You can join us live via Zoom (click here) or watch at your convenience after it has been posted on Facebook.com. The business portion of the meeting will begin immediately after the speaker concludes his presentation.
Hosted by the Bexar County Master Gardeners
Thursday, July 16, 2020 6:00 p.m.
July is for Watermelon and Water Conservation
by Anna Vogler, BCMG Water Conservation Coordinator
As we celebrate Independence Day and enjoy the refreshing fruits of summer, let’s remember to keep conservation practices in mind for our gardens and landscapes.
The best practice for watering all parts of our gardens, lawns, and landscapes is to water infrequently but deeply. This method will use our water most efficiently and give our plants, trees, and grass the best chance of survival through the hot summer temperatures. Watering deeply will promote deeper roots in the soil, which will also better insulate these roots from the heat and it will decrease the amount of water lost to evaporation. Allow the water to soak 5-6” into the soil. This can be checked with a long shafted screwdriver. (If the screwdriver sinks easily into the soil 5-6” down, it is sufficiently moistened.) Even if you have rocky soil and it is more difficult to check moisture depth, it is best to water deeply. Once you know the time or water required, you can adapt your water schedule accordingly.
Even if rules allow watering every day, it is best to wait until the plants need the water. Infrequent watering allows the soil to dry out enough in between watering, which also allows the plant requirement of oxygen to be supplied to the roots. Watering only for a short time and not allowing the moisture to sink down into the soil is not beneficial at all to the plants, and is a waste of this precious resource. Over watering is also a waste and not healthy for plant roots. As with everything, the right balance is important. Checking the soil for the moisture depth is very important and truly the only way we actually know how much water to apply.
If there has been a rain event, adjust your irrigation schedule and only apply more water once the soil has had time to dry out. Remember that plant roots need oxygen as well and they can’t get to the oxygen if they are immersed in water.
It’s also best to water early in the morning as this allows any water on foliage to dry off, reducing the potential for disease. Never water during the day as the heat will evaporate much of the water, reducing what the plants receive and costing you more money.
For more information on irrigation methods, check this Earth-Kind publication on irrigation: https://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/earthkind/drought/efficient-use-of-water-in-the-garden-and-landscape/ .
The Bexar County Master Gardener website has a large number of publications linked in our digital gardening library that can be found here: https://www.bexarmg.org/may-we-help/gardening-information-library/ .
I hope you all have an enjoyable and safe 4th of July.
Want pumpkins this fall? Time to get planting
When do you need to water your yard?
Three Tips to Pick Out A Sweet Watermelon
Gardening Education – Online Opportunities for Master Gardeners and the Public
Frequently check the BCMG Calendar, as that is where all the new, upcoming programs will be posted. Click Here
- July 14 -12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. – Live Gardening Q&A Chat – This is a great opportunity to Listen Live and chat in your gardening or landscape questions as well as the opportunity to hear and learn other people’s issues and concerns.
- July 15 – 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. – How Insects are Beneficial and Harmful and the Truth About Asian Giant Hornets. Get the scoop on the ways we consider insects to be beneficial and how they can be so detrimental to our world AND what if you should really worry about the Asian Giant Hornet.
- July 28 – 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. – Getting Ready to Grow a Fall Vegetable Garden – Come visit live with David Rodriguez, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Horticulturist on how to have the best family vegetable garden this fall.
To join each Gardening Webinar at the appointed date and time, click here...
Past webinars are posted on YouTube for your viewing (or reviewing) pleasure! Check often for new postings! Click here for the list.
- 12 Months of Pollen and Nectar Producing Plants for Pollinators
- Turf and Lawn Basics
- Vegetable Garden Basics
- Top 10 Insects of Summer
- Getting Your Landscape Ready for Summer Heat
- Tropical Escape with Texas Superstar Plants
- Growing Citrus on your Patio and Landscape
Just a few of them are:
- Raised Garden Beds, Location, Soil Mixtures and more!
- Home Fruit Production – Tips for Success!
- Small fruits for the backyard
- Floral Designs from your backyard – Growing, Cutting, Using your flowers and shrubs!
- Backyard Grapes/Vineyards
- How to Prune Your Trees
- Drip Irrigation Essentials
- Indoor Gardening
- Growing Blueberries in Containers
Bexar County Master Gardeners Group is changing soon to Bexar County Master Gardeners Page, with weekly postings on gardening topics from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and the Bexar County Master Gardeners.
Get the full list here
- Landscape Water Conservation
- Low-Volume Irrigation
- Irrigation System Auditing
- Safe Use and Handling of Pesticides
- Safe Use and Handling of Fertilizers
- Designing an Earth–Kind® Landscape
- Landscaping for Energy Conservation
- Creating Native Habitat
- Earth–Kind® Roses
- Integrated Pest Management
- Pest Management for Crape Myrtles
- Rainwater Harvesting
Learn more about:
- Plant Growth and Development
- Soil, Water and Plant Nutrition
- Earth-Kind landscaping
- Plant Health
- Fruit and Nut Plants
- Vegetable and Herb Gardening
- Landscape Horticulture
BCMG is on YouTube! Watch classes on a computer (or on your smartphone)!
- Crape-Myrtle Bark Scale
- Herb Gardening
- Propagation by Cuttings
- Rainwater Harvesting with Lou Kellogg
- San Antonio: It’s History and Water
- Texas Superstar
- Starting Vegetables from Seed Indoors
- Organic Gardening
Check often for other new videos! The whole list of available videos is HERE.
Call in to Live Radio on Saturday mornings, with your gardening questions for David.
Call in: 210-737-1200 or 1-800-383-9624 on Saturdays from 7 am to 10pm
Or just listen to the show, and learn about everyone else’s questions!
WOAI 1200 AM – Lawn and Garden Show
Host: David Rodriguez, Bexar County AgriLife Extension Horticulturist
Past shows are archived here, for easy listening on your computer or phone, anytime! Listen on your phone while you drive!
Ask a Master Gardener
Master Gardeners are available to help you with your gardening questions. We provide unbiased, research-based, locally relevant gardening information. Free service. You can reach us:
By phone: (210) 631-0400 (Ask to speak to a Master Gardener)
Mon-Fri 9 am – Noon, 1-4 pm (Closed on county holidays)
Even during Covid-19 precautions, the phone and the Hotline is being operated from home telephones, hotline calls being directed by AgriLife Extension receptionist Nick Vasquez.
Each year, Master Gardeners must certify for the following year. Once they complete requirements, they receive the Maroon Bluebonnet Service Pin. They must complete:
- at least 30 volunteer hours in the community
- 6 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) to keep their knowledge current
- attend two regular BCMG monthly meetings.
Congratulations to the Bexar County Master Gardeners who earned their 2020 certification in June.
Ann Marie Pease
BCMG Col. Robert (Bob) K. Cochran, Jr., age 80, passed away on May 31, 2020. He served in the US Air Force, retiring in 1984 after 23 years of service and pursued a 15-year career at USAA.
Bob, MG Class 48, was a Master Gardener of the Month and on the the Rodeo Construction Team serving as co-chair for several years.