“Autumn arrives in the early morning, but spring at the close of a winter day.”
― Elizabeth Bowen
It’s almost spring y’all! I’m Nora Fellows and this is my second year serving as the Membership Director for the Bexar County Master Gardeners.
The first day of spring (Spring Equinox) is Monday, March 20th. The date of our last frost is usually around March 20th and the date of our last potential freeze is March 2nd, but it can be later in March, especially if you live in the Hill Country. I think this is the most fun time of year for gardeners. The nurseries are full of plants and we have beautiful days for working outside. It’s just an exciting time to dream and begin again.
Your Master Gardeners have a number of great educational programs this month to help you get the most out of your gardens. We start off with a bang at the beginning of March with “Cultivate!” on Friday March 3rd and Saturday March 4th. All “Cultivate!” sessions will be held as a virtual conference. It’s free, fun and informative and eligible for WaterSaver Rewards Points for SAWS members. Six different sessions will be offered including What to do After a Big Freeze, Lawn Management, and Soils, Compost and Mulch on Friday. On Saturday we will be talking about Drip Irrigation, Earth-Kind Landscaping, and Spring Gardening Tasks for the Landscape. You can earn almost all your water saver points (an $80 value) just by attending Cultivate! Register here for Cultivate!
Don’t miss the continuation of our Earth-Kind Brown Thumb Series on March 8th (Lawn & Landscape Water Conservation and Shade Trees) and on March 29th (Growing Tomatoes). Then there is Spring Bloom (sponsored by SAWS) on March 11th, our Lunch & Learn Presentation on March 10 (Drip Irrigation), and Bee Keeping on March 24 (in-person) or Virtual in April.
Register here for Bee Keeping
Register here for Earth-Kind Brown Thumb Series
Learn more about SAWS WaterSaver Rewards
Learn more about Earth-Kind Gardening
It feels good to be back outside in the sun and in nature, and it’s good for us too. Did you know that being in the presence of plants can improve and speed up physical healing after injury? Learn more fascinating info on how plants can have a positive impact on our health & life.
May your garden grow strong. Happy Spring!
In the Garden…with Bexar County Master Gardeners
Marsha Krassner, Principal Editor “In the Garden”
March Gardening Chores
March is a major gardening month in our area. The weather stabilizes and by the end of the month it is warm enough to consider planting warm season plants. The last average freeze date occurs early to mid-month.
Winter’s Abundant Vegetables
By Suzanne Watson, Bexar County Master Gardener
We all know that eating more vegetables is a major part of a healthy diet, but eating the recommended 5-8 servings per day can be difficult!
By taking advantage of the many cruciferous vegetables that are in season in our gardens, and going to farmer’s markets and grocery stores, we can more easily reach this goal.
Cruciferous vegetables are of the family of Brassicaceae. They are sometimes referred to as Cruciferae, a Latin word which means “cross bearing.” Indeed, the shape of their flowers and four petals often resemble a cross.
Cruciferous vegetables are a nutritional powerhouse: they contain folate, Vitamins C, E, and K, multiple nutrients, phytochemicals and large amounts of soluble fiber…
Growing & Using Roselle Hibiscus
By Rhonda Bell, Bexar County Master Gardener Intern
Roselle Hibiscus, also known as Jamaican Sorrel or Florida Cranberry, is a tropical plant native to West Africa. With its bright red calyx and tart flavor, it has long been used in drinks, teas, and culinary dishes in many cultures around the world. This plant is versatile and attractive, easy to grow and is an excellent addition to any garden.
Growing Roselle Hibiscus
Climate: This plant thrives in hot and humid climates, making it an ideal choice for tropical and subtropical regions. It will grow well in temperatures ranging from 60°F to 95°F. It tolerates the heat well. The growing season is late spring and summer. This annual plant will not survive cold and frost.
Soil: Roselle Hibiscus needs well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter. Before planting, make sure to amend the soil with compost to improve its texture and fertility.
Light: Roselle prefers full sun, but it can also grow in partial shade. Make sure to provide at least 6 hours of direct sunlight each day to promote healthy growth and flowering.
Watering: Roselle Hibiscus is drought-tolerant, but it needs consistent moisture to thrive. Make sure to water the plants regularly, especially during super-hot, dry periods. Avoid overwatering as the plant is hearty and can thrive in the heat…
Texas Superstar Spotlight- Blue Daze
‘Blue Daze’ Evolvulus glomeratus is a heat and sun loving low spreading annual. Growers are rewarded with summer long flowers in a beautiful sky blue hue. The brilliant blue funnel-shaped flowers are small but plentiful and presented on a backdrop of grey green foliage. ‘Blue Daze’ will thrive in those garden hotspots that threaten less hardy species.
Exposure: Ideally grows and blooms in full sun. Flowering is reduced in areas that are too shady. ‘Blue Daze’ is tolerant of salty conditions and should be considered for coastal gardens.
Size: Height — Grows 9 to 18 inches tall and spreads to 36 inches wide.
Plant type: Generally grown as an annual where frost is experienced. Tender perennial in USDA zones 9-11.
Planting time: Plants are readily available in the spring through the summer months starting with 4 1/2 inch or quart size containers progressing later in the season to larger 10” hanging baskets…
Gardening Education Opportunities
March 3 @ 9:00 am – March 4 @ 1:00 pm
Presented by Bexar County Master Gardeners and David Rodriguez, Horticulturist, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and held online. 6 different topics will be presented during the Friday & Saturday sessions.
March 8 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
San Antonio Botanical Garden, 555 Funston Pl, San Antonio, TX
Presented by Bexar County Master Gardeners and hosted by San Antonio Botanical Garden. Free but registration is required by March 7 at 10:00 A.M. This seminar is WaterSaver Rewards eligible.
March 8 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service – Bexar County, 3355 Cherry Ridge, Ste. 208, San Antonio, TX
Presented by David Rodriguez, Horticulturist, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and Certified Master Gardeners. This month’s topic: Lawn & Landscape/Water Conservation/Shade Trees. $20/session.
March 10 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Bexar County Master Gardeners, 3355 Cherry Ridge, Ste. 208, San Antonio, TX
Presented by Bexar County Master Gardeners. Bring your favorite lunch and learn from one of our Bexar County Master Gardeners at this free seminar. Seating is limited and walk-ins will not be accepted, so please make your reservation in advance. Others will be waitlisted and notified in the event of a cancellation.
March 11 @ 10:00 am – 11:30 am
Spring Vegetable Garden – Free
Milberger’s Landscaping & Nursery, 3920 North Loop 1604, San Antonio, TX
Presented by David Rodriguez, Horticulturist, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and hosted by Milberger’s Landscaping & Nursery.
March 16 @ 1:00 am – 3:00 pm
San Antonio Botanical Garden – Culinary Garden Education Center, 555 Funston Place, San Antonio
Hosted by Bexar County Master Gardeners. Presenter Sabina Carr, CEO, San Antonio Botanical Garden will discuss how the San Antonio Botanical Garden will continue to grow and become a model of excellence over the next ten years.
March 18 @ 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
San Antonio Garden Center 3310 N New Braunfels Ave., San Antonio, TX
Annual Plant Sale and Bexar County Master Gardeners will be available to answer your gardening questions. Annuals, Perennials, Natives, Succulents, Herbs, Hanging Baskets and much more. This is a Tax-Free event.
March 24 @ 8:30 am – 4:00 pm
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service – Bexar County, 3355 Cherry Ridge, Ste. 208, San Antonio, TX
Presented by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. If you have ever wondered what it takes to be a beekeeper, we have the class to teach you all about it! Geared for those who have little to absolutely no experience with beekeeping, we cover all the basics. What to buy, how to use the tools, what an apiary looks like, how to set up hives, how to purchase bees, how to manage them, feed them, and so much more! Cost of class is $65.
March 29 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Presented by Molly Keck, Entomologist, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. Join this Zoom Webinar Meeting ID – 863 6857 1398 (Password – 15BUGS).
March 29 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service – Bexar County 3355 Cherry Ridge, Ste. 208, San Antonio, TX
Presented by David Rodriguez, Horticulturist, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and Certified Master Gardeners. This month’s topic: Growing Tomatoes and More. $20/session
Frequently check the BCMG Calendar, as that is where all the new, upcoming programs will be posted. Click Here
We were really excited to be back at the 2023 San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo! Thank you to all of our BCMG volunteers and those that came by to visit our booth.
If you didn’t have an opportunity to visit us, be on the lookout for the Thunderbird tomato at your independent garden nursery.
Thunderbird -The 2023 San Antonio Rodeo Tomato Release
Thunderbird is an improved quality, high-yielding hot set determinate round hybrid variety with a strong plant and good general disease resistance. The plants have a good balance of cover and ease of harvest. Fruit is extra-large in size, very firm, with good shelf-life. The color is deep red and part of the Sakata high color range. Thunderbird is a dual-purpose variety with both vine-ripe and mature green potential.
Texas A&M AgriLife News!
By Dr. Larry Stein, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service
Texas A & M AgriLife Extension Service in cooperation with the University of Arkansas have released a new table grape, Southern Sensation Seedless. This grape is especially adapted to the south because over a 34-year period it has defied the most limiting factor to grape production, Pierce’s Disease, under very intense PD pressure. This grape has been productive whereas other table grapes in trial with it, Flame seedless, Blush seedless, Beauty seedless have died. To date it is one of the few “true” table grapes with PD tolerance.
Southern Sensation seedless has attractive clusters and very good fruit quality. Clusters are large, averaging a half pound up to a pound and a half. Clusters are well filled to tightly filled with no cracking observed in Texas…
WOAI Lawn and Garden Show
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
Question of the month: I have Red-tipped photinia and have been battling a fungus disease for several years. After this very wet/cold winter one section has completely defoliated (about 4 bushes, each one is over 6 feet tall. This is leaving a gaping hole in my backyard since my whole yard is enclosed with these. Is there anything I can do to save these plants?
Answer: Once a photinia plant is infested with the Entomosporium fungus it becomes a losing battle. Those that have lost their leaves completely were stressed by the disease and the combination of that and the cold has probably meant their demise. I know of no way to rejuvenate them.
Answer by Art Vazquez, BCMG
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)
The phones and the Hotline are being operated from Master Gardener home telephones; hotline calls are being directed by the AgriLife Extension receptionist.
Bexar County Master Gardeners will once again participate in the Champions fore Charity fundraiser for 2022-2023. We ask for your support to help us raise funds that will make us eligible for the additional 7% match from the Valero Texas Open. BCMG uses the funds to support our mission of providing unbiased, research-based, locally relevant gardening information through our hotline, seminars, workshops, children’s gardens, and culinary docent program.
Did you know that you may be able to make a qualified charitable distribution (QCD) directly from your IRA to BCMG? Consult your tax or financial advisor for more information on this strategy that may even lower your taxable income.
We appreciate your consideration. Your donations are welcome through April 2nd. The link to make your donations is Valero Texas Open – Champions fore Charity.
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