Volume 30, Issue #8 – August 2020
Hot, hot, hot… welcome to August in Bexar County! I visit my garden in the cooler parts of the day, early morning and after the sun drops low. I’m glad I fertilized and mulched my beds with compost this spring. It has really helped the plants cope with this heat.
What I have noticed is that while some plants have taken a beating from the heat, others are looking fantastic. It’s no surprise that many of the outstanding plants are Texas Superstars®! The Pride-of-Barbados, esparanza, thyrallis and firebush are in full color; as are the Blue Angel althea and Dakota Gold helenium. I’ve just cut back the Henry Duelberg and Mystic Spires Blue salvias to get them ready to bloom again in the fall. And the Lindheimer’s muhly grass and Mexican bush sage are looking great.
As I walk through the garden, I’m taking notes, because if anything does not survive this heat, those spots will probably hold Texas Superstars next year!
Scion Index – Click and Go!
- This Month’s Presentation– Native Plants for Native Birds
- In the Garden Articles
- How to Collect Your Own Zinnia Seeds
- Texas Blue Bells
- Culinary Gardens in Bexar County
- Key Limes in San Antonio
- In the Garden Articles
- Gardening Education – Online Opportunities
- Master Gardener Corner
BCMG offices are still closed at this time. That could change, so call before you make a trip over there.
All monthly meetings and presentations for the rest of 2020 will be on-line webinarsNative-Plants-for-Native-Birds3
August Brings More Heat and Water Restrictions
I hope everyone is staying healthy, busy, and cool. As we move into the 8th month of this year, our temperatures continue to rise and rain still hasn’t come. As you should be aware, we are under Stage 1 Water Restrictions. Specifically, you may water only once a week before 11:00 am, or after 7:00 pm on your designated watering day and not overnight. There are some exceptions for hand watering and drip irrigation systems, but its important for all of us to help conserve water while the aquifer is below normal levels. Remember that watering in the morning is best to reduce potential fungal diseases on your plants. See the SAWS conservation website GardenStyleSA.com for the details.
Reducing the frequency the irrigation system runs is not the only way we can help to conserve our precious resource of water. How we prepare our planting beds and select our plants can reduce a landscape’s overall need for water. Amending the soil with compost and topping off garden beds with mulch also really helps to conserve water in the home landscape. There are numerous publications on conservation methods and proper practices in the BCMG digital gardening library, which can be found on the website at: https://www.bexarmg.org/may-we-help/gardening-information-library/ .
This site holds links to numerous trusted resources on gardening, landscaping, best practices and other horticultural topics. A great place to start is with the Earth-Kind Principles and this publication below from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service:
There are seven Earth-Kind Principles that are outlined and explained in the linked publication. Following these guidelines will help all of us to be better gardeners and responsible stewards of our Earth.
I hope you all have a great August.
by Anna Vogler, BCMG Water Conservation Coordinator
This article was first printed in the July-August 2020 issue of Texas Gardener Magazine and was authored by Bexar County Master Gardeners.
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
Growing a Fall and Winter Vegetable Garden – Zoom Webinar, August 25 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm. Find out more »
Keeping Your Fall and Winter Garden Pest Free – Zoom Webinar, August 26 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm. Find out more »
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
- Tropical Escape with Texas Superstar Plants
- Growing Citrus on your Patio and Landscape
- Basics of Landscape Ground Covers
- Beneficial Insects!
- Top 10 Pests of Blooming Trees!
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
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 Superstars
- Starting Vegetables from Seed Indoors
- Organic Gardening
Check often for other new videos! The whole list of available videos is HERE.
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 July.
- Leslie Butterworth
- Marsha Krassner
- Mike Lyle
- Michael Mangiapane
- Matt Matthews
- LaVunn Mims
- Anne Moss
- Ann Vargas
- Anna Volger
- Liana Benavides