Scion -October 2020

Volume 30, Issue #10 – October 2020

Lynn Cox,
BCMG President

October is pumpkins, jack-o-lanterns, and cool-season veggies. It’s mari-mums and fall zinnias in gardens and containers, leaves changing colors, and the temperatures cooling down. For me, October is one of the best months to spend time outdoors!

October also starts a new series in the Scion. Bexar County Master Gardener, Bill Swantner, is going to delve into What’s Wrong with My…?. This series is designed to help you understand more about what affects your plants and what might be causing the problems you experience.

So, get outside if you can, enjoy the great outdoors and the wonderful gardens in San Antonio and Bexar County! And if you have a “what’s wrong with my…” problem, remember, the Master Gardeners are always ready to help you!

Stay safe!


Scion Index – Click and Go!

BCMG offices are open at 25%. You must have an appointment to go in. Call before going over.

All monthly meetings and presentations for the rest of 2020 will be on-line webinars held on Zoom.

The first time you use Zoom, allow a few minutes extra to get set up. Zoom can be used free on home PCs, Macs and on smartphones.

Pre-Registration on Zoom is required for each webinar. (Equivalent to the “Sign-in sheet”). Register weeks ahead of time or even just a few minutes before the webinar and the link will be sent to you in email.


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Hello Fellow Gardeners!

We have finally gotten some rain and relief from the triple digit temperatures! The mornings and evenings have been perfect for taking a stroll through the garden and catching up on some fall garden tasks.

This much needed rain we have received should remind you to switch the irrigation system controller to manual and also to check your irrigation systems for any leaks or problems. Remember that cooler temperatures mean less evaporation so the soil will retain moisture longer, which means we don’t have to apply water as frequently. Check the soil to make sure the top 2-3” are dry before applying additional water.

Fall is a great time to identify and pull any weeds that have made their way into our landscapes. Weeds compete with the same water, sunlight, and nutrients our plants need, removing them gives a direct benefit to the health of our plants.

This is also a great time to add a 1” layer of complete compost to our garden beds and turfgrass. Remember that organic matter benefits our plants in so many ways including adding nutrients, giving clay soil better drainage, and allowing sandy soil to hold more moisture.  In the garden beds, move mulch out of the way and add the compost right on top of the existing soil and bring the mulch back on top.

And finally, this is a great time to top off all our beds with another layer of mulch to insulate the soils and plant roots for the upcoming cooler temperatures. You don’t have to remove the older mulch, just place another 1-2” right on top.

These little steps will make your landscape plants stronger and healthier while saving water (and money) as well.  Enjoy this upcoming fall season!

Conservationally Yours,

Anna Vogler, BCMG Water Conservation Coordinator

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Gardening Education Opportunities


Oct 14 – 12 pm – 1 pm Common Spiders of Texas

Oct 21 – 12 pm – 1 pm – Common Arachnids of Texas

Oct 28 – 12 pm – 1 pm – Venomous Spiders

Join these webinars Meeting ID: 990 2593 9574, Passcode: Garden2020

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How to choose the right fertilizer for home vegetable gardens

Apply fall preemergence herbicide to avoid spring weeds

Top tips for a successful fall vegetable garden

How to avoid and remove poison ivy

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Frequently check the BCMG Calendar, as that is where all the new, upcoming programs will be posted. Click Here

Past webinars are posted on YouTube for your viewing (or reviewing) pleasure! Check often for new postings! Click here for the list.

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Click to see the full list of available recorded video events:

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

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Many free, on-line courses you can take at your leisure, covering a range of gardening topics. Developed by Agri-Life Extension, Texas A&M.

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
  • Composting
  • Designing an Earth–Kind® Landscape
  • Landscaping for Energy Conservation
  • Creating Native Habitat
  • Earth–Kind® Roses
  • Integrated Pest Management

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A full gardening online course, broken down into 8 sections.
Free and open to the public.
Click here to register

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
  • LawnCare

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BCMG is on YouTube! Watch classes on a computer (or on your smartphone)!

Check often for other new videos! The whole list of available videos is HERE.

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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 from 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, tablet or phone, anytime! Listen on your phone while you drive!

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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)

Or Submit A Question Online

Even during Covid-19 precautions, the phones and the Hotline are being operated from home telephones, hotline calls are being directed by AgriLife Extension receptionist Nick Vasquez.

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Stuck inside ordering online? If you are buying on Amazon, please consider using their charitable site to place your order. It’s easy! Just sign in under using your regular Amazon login (bookmark it for easy access) , designate Bexar County Master Gardeners as your charity of choice (upper left corner of the screen), and that’s it! Each time you order from AmazonSmile, a small percentage of your order will be donated to BCMG, at no cost to you. We are grateful for all you do and all you give.

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Member’s Corner

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 September.

  • Veronica Long
  • Arthur Vasquez
  • Andrew Waring

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We won’t have any Halloween photos to show for October 2020, so we thought we’d show a few from last year! Photos by Lou Kellog -Thanks, Lou!