Volume 31, Issue #02 – February 2021
As a Bexar County Master Gardener, February is feeling somewhat strange. Usually, we have spent the last two weeks building out the inside of the Little Buckaroo Barn at the fairgrounds of the San Antonio Livestock Expo and Rodeo. It would be filled, inside and out, with exhibits demonstrating a variety of gardening topics including raised bed gardening, gardening with chickens, bee keeping, rainwater harvesting, adaptive and vertical gardening and more. The Bexar County Master Gardeners’ plant sale area would be filled with recommended varieties of tomatoes, peppers, herbs, great landscape plants, hanging baskets and, of course, the highlight would be the Rodeo Tomato of the year!
Unfortunately, the fairground component of the Rodeo has been cancelled for 2021, but David Rodriguez, AgriLife County Extension Agent – Horticulture for Bexar County, has still announced the 2021 Rodeo Tomato… Ruby Crush! While you will not be able to purchase this fantastic tomato from the Master Gardeners at the fairground, you should be able to find it at the many great local nurseries in San Antonio.
Stay safe and happy gardening,
Scion Index – Click and Go!
You can now print or download Member Articles to your computer. Just click the Blue Button beneath the article you wish to save, and a pdf version of the article will pop up on your screen. From there, you can print or download using the indicators at the top right of your screen.
- This Month’s Presentation– Greenhouse at San Antonio Botanical Garden
- New Year in the Garden by Melody Stramer
- Compost, Fertilizer, more by Bill Swantner
- Frosts Freezes & Hard Freezes by Bill Swantner
- Pruning Roses by Janice Tapp
- February in the Garden by Bill Swantner
- Gardening Education – Online Opportunities
BCMG offices are open at 25%. You must have an appointment to go in. Call before going over.
Offices will be closed February 15 for Presidents’ Day
All monthly meetings and presentations for 2021 will be on-line webinars held on Zoom, until further notice.
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 .
I hope this finds you all doing well and planning your spring gardens. It’s likely that most of you are either poring through seed catalogs or already planting seeds indoors in anticipation of spring. This is the perfect time of year to plan out the year’s plantings. It’s also a great time to check your landscape for areas where water could be conserved throughout the year. Conserving water has the added benefit of conserving money, so it’s a win-win situation.
If you have an irrigation system in your landscape, the first place to look at conserving water is at the irrigation control box itself. If it’s an older model, replacing it with an updated controller can save you water usage and money, because the new control boxes have water-saving features such as the ability to check for leaks or issues with the system. This is also a good time to give a visual check to all for any broken or damaged irrigation heads.
For San Antonio Water System customers, there are numerous coupons and rebates that SAWS offers for making some water reducing changes in your landscape. The WaterSaver Patioscape Coupon is worth $100 of flagstone or pavers for a new outdoor living space, when you remove at least 200 square feet of lawn and sprinklers. This is a great time to consider adding an outdoor living space to your landscape and can be done in time to enjoy the warmer temperatures and longer days of spring and summer. For more information on this coupon, visit https://www.gardenstylesanantonio.com/watersaver-patioscape-coupon/.
The WaterSaver Landscape Coupon is also worth $100 for a new garden bed, when you remove at least 200 square feet of lawn and sprinklers. Garden beds add so much interest to our landscapes and can provide a habitat for beautiful butterflies and other beneficial insects, as well for as our feathered friends. Flower beds also require less maintenance once the plants are established and they add curb appeal to our homes. Additional information for this coupon can be found at https://www.gardenstylesanantonio.com/watersaver-landscape-coupon/.
The Residential Irrigation Design Rebate will give cash back, based on how many changes you make with your existing irrigation system, and the amount will increase with the number of permanent changes to the irrigation system, resulting in long-term water (and money) savings. For all of the details on this rebate, visit https://www.gardenstylesanantonio.com/residential-irrigation-design-rebate/.
For those of you who like to attend gardening events, workshops, and classes, SAWS has a WaterSaver Rewards program where you can earn points for each SAWS-approved conservation program you attend. Once you collect 3, 5, and 7 points, coupons will be emailed to you. These coupons can be redeemed at participating local garden retailers for certain products including garden tools, compost, plants and more. These coupons total $150 per person, and the program starts over each year. This is a fantastic opportunity and it’s completely free. To sign up or to read all the details, visit https://www.gardenstylesanantonio.com/watersaver-rewards/.
As always, more information on gardening topics can be found on the Bexar County Master Gardeners’ Gardening Library, https://bexarmg.org/may-we-help/gardening-information-library/ as well as the SAWS Conservation website, https://www.gardenstylesanantonio.com/ .
Anna Vogler Water Conservation Coordinator
Gardening Education Opportunities
Feb 2, 2021 12 noon – 1 pm – Live Gardening Q & A Chat
By David Rodriguez, Bexar County Extension Agent. This is a great opportunity to Listen Live and “chat in” your gardening or landscape questions and to learn about other people’s issues and concerns at the same time!
Feb 16,2021 12 noon – 1 pm. To Do’s, Now and Soon in the Vegetable Garden
By David Rodriguez, Bexar County Extension Agent. Come listen and learn about where your vegetable garden should be now and going into the Spring.
Join these webinars Meeting ID: 990 2593 9574, Passcode: Garden2020
Join the Bug Club (for kids)
Bug Club is an opportunity for youth interested in entomology and insects to learn more about them through interactive, live, virtual lessons with Entomologist, Molly Keck. For those who cannot make live lessons, Monday’s @ 4 pm, you can watch the recorded versions!
Bug Club runs March 1st – May 10th (9 total lessons). Clubbers receive a kit containing materials for activities and experiments, mailed to their home. Cost for registration is $50.
This Spring, we’ll cover Honey Bees and their importance, learn about their lifecycle and how the caste system and bee dances work, and wrap it up with a virtual visit into a real bee hive! We’ll also study mosquitoes and understand where they like to breed, why they are so bad, and how they have shaped our national history with a lesson on Yellow Fever. As it warms up in May, we’ll talk insect collections, ant species, how to use dichotomous keys, and more!
For more info, and to register, click here: https://agriliferegister.tamu.edu/productListingDetails/3309
Space is limited and we did fill up in the fall, so don’t wait too late to register!
New Homeowner Landscape Course by Agrilife Extension – online and free
How To Plant Shade Trees in Texas
Cold temperatures are coming
Plant fruit trees the AgriLife Extension way
How to choose the right fertilizer for home vegetable gardens
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.
- Gardening and Landscape Q&A Chat with David Rodriguez
- Fly Management
- Pantry Pests
- Dragonflies of Texas
- Arachnids of Texas
- Where Do Insects Go When It Rains? by Molly Keck
- 12 Months of Vegetable Gardening by David Rodriguez
- Pests of Tomatoes by Molly Keck
- Growing a Fall and Winter Vegetable Garden
- 12 Months of Pollen and Nectar Producing Plants for Pollinators
- Turf Grass Basics: Surviving Summer and the Rest of the Year
- Vegetable Garden Basics
- Top 10 Insects of Summer
- Tropical Escape with Texas Superstar Plants
Just a few of them are:
- Fall Blooming Flowers and Biennials Planted in Fall
- Growing Muscadine Grapes in Texas
- Toys (tools) For Gardening
- Compost versus Mulch
- Planting Strawberries
- Harvesting Pecans
- 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!
- How to Prune Your Trees
- Indoor Gardening
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
BCMG is on YouTube! Watch classes on a computer (or on your smartphone)!
- Native Plants for Native Birds
- Crape-Myrtle Bark Scale
- Herb Gardening
- Propagation by Cuttings
- Rainwater Harvesting with Lou Kellogg
- Texas Superstars
- 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 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!
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 phones and the Hotline are being operated from home telephones, hotline calls are being directed by AgriLife Extension receptionist Nick Vasquez.