Scion – September 2023

Peggy Qualls, Secretary BCMG

My name is Peggy Qualls, and I am the current Secretary of the Bexar County Master Gardener Board of Directors.   After retiring from Bexar County in 2015, we moved to the North Texas area where I joined the Collin County Master Gardeners as a new Intern in 2019.   Fortunately, I received my certification at the last meeting before the COVID shut down. My biggest challenge was finding volunteer opportunities to gain valuable hands-on experience during this time. Since I was very interested in learning more about successfully growing vegetables, I was able to volunteer in the culinary garden at Myers Park (McKinney, TX) where the Collin County Master Gardeners maintain an assortment of demonstration gardens.  In January 2021, we moved back to San Antonio, and I had to shift gears and start learning more about gardening in this area.  Fortunately, there were volunteer opportunities for Bexar County Master Gardener docents in the Culinary Garden at the San Antonio Botanical Garden.  I have enjoyed learning more about the growth cycle of many vegetables that grow well in South Texas including when to plant and the specific varieties of vegetables that do well in our often-challenging growing conditions.   I also learned how to recognize and stay ahead of insect and disease pressure in order to have a successful garden harvest.

I quickly learned that it is possible to enjoy two growing seasons in San Antonio.  To Texans, September is still considered summer, however it is also time to plan ahead to grow some fabulous fall vegetables.  Unfortunately, like last summer, the high temperatures create some challenges in getting that new fall crop going.  The poor young plants and seedlings must not only be protected from the overpopulation of veggie destroying bugs but require some form of protection from the scorching afternoon sun.  Because I grow many of my veggies in containers, it is easier to move them as needed. But those that are “in place” such as those in my planting bed in a converted water trough require other measures.  Shade cloth provides great plant protection from the hot sun.  I built a teepee form in my larger planters and use clothespins to attach shade cloth.  I have also discovered that when I extend the cloth down the sides of the container it helps to keep many of the bugs off of my tender plants, so they have a better chance to survive.   I grow some of my veggies from seed in trays outdoors which presents an added challenge of keeping the soil in the trays damp and not soggy or too dry in this heat.  What I have come to understand is that no matter how much I know about plants, I have to keep learning and adjusting my methods to our specific climate.   When I run into problems my “go to” resources are the Aggie Horticulture and the Bexar County Master Gardener websites!   If those don’t give me an answer, we have experts at the Bexar County Master Gardener Hotline that can help.  

Welcome to the fall growing season!  Be sure to check out our BCMG calendar for many fall related educational opportunities this month.

In the Garden…with Bexar County Master Gardeners

Marsha Krassner, Principal Editor “In the Garden”

September Monthly Garden Checklist

Henrico Master Gardeners (part of Virginia Cooperative Extension) assist with a healing garden at St. Joseph’s Villa for children on the autism spectrum.

Review: “Gardening as a Therapeutic Resource” (Raeline Nobles at the 2023 Texas Master Gardener Association Annual Conference)

By Nora Fellows, Bexar County Master Gardener

Five Intermediate Bulk Containers for rainwater harvesting

Rainwater Harvesting

 by Ted Tragus, Bexar County Master Gardener Intern

BCMG News!

Presenter Nancy Mills, BCMG

August Lunch and Learn Presentation


Summary by Sherri McShane, Bexar County Master Gardener

Texas A&M AgrilLife Extension News!

Growing a Fall Vegetable Garden Part 1: WARM Weather Vegetables

Summary by Michelle Hobbs, Bexar County Master Gardener

Presenter David Rodriguez, Horticulturist, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

On Saturday, August 19 at Milberger’s Landscaping and Nursery, David Rodriguez, Horticulturist, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service gave a presentation on Warm Weather Vegetables. While you may have missed the window (July 4 to September 1) to put in a second planting of warm weather vegetables (such as tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, summer squash, and cucumbers) now is the time to prepare and plan for fall planting.

From Mid-September through November 1, we have a 6-week window for cool weather vegetables such as leafy greens, cole crops (ex. broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage) and root crops (ex. carrots, beets, radish). We can grow many more vegetables in the fall and winter than in the spring…

Gardening Education Opportunities

The BCMG Calendar has many new and interesting programs open to the public. Click Here for this month’s offerings.

Helpful Resources

Ask a Master Gardener

Question: Why is it important to work on my lawn in September?

Answer: Because it is time to apply a pre-emergent herbicide to prevent winter weeds.  Check the label to make sure the weeds you had last year in your yard are on the label. Rescue grass, bedstraw, dandelions, thistle, henbit, and annual bluegrass are common.  Also, you need to discontinue watering in the evening and let the lawn go a little dry in order to prevent brown patch fungus.  If it appears anyway, apply a treatment of a labeled soil fungicide.

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)

Or Submit A Question Online

The phones and the Hotline are being operated from Master Gardener home telephones; hotline calls are being directed by the AgriLife Extension receptionist.

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!

Do you need help choosing plants for your landscaping needs?

Click here for options highly recommended by Texas A&M AgriLife

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