BCMG Blog

  • Amaryllis Bulbs
    by Mary Cennamo, Bexar County Master Gardener The Amaryllis (Hippeastrum) is a tropical plant that originated in regions of South America and Africa.  The genus Amaryllis comes from the Greek word amarysso, which means “to …
  • AN OUT-OF THIS-WORLD FERN – STAGHORN FERN
    By Marsha Krassner, Bexar County Master Gardener One day about a year ago, I wandered into the greenhouse located at the back end of one of my favorite nurseries and saw a most other-worldly looking …
  • Brugmansias and Daturas
    Patricia L. Brown, Bexar County Master Gardener Brugmansia and Datura are frequently confused at first. This is probably because both have large, trumpet-shaped blooms. While both are members of the Solanaceae family, which include tomatoes, …
  • Children’s Vegetable Garden at Phil Hardberger Park
    Runners, walkers, and cyclists often begin their exercise workouts at the Voelcker Trailhead near the Phil Hardberger Park. Yet, many are unaware that there is a special section called the Children’s Vegetable Garden adjacent to the old white house near the trailhead. The high fence and raised beds are visible from the trailhead, but many of us don’t know exactly why it exists. The history behind the garden is intricately connected to the Voelcker Ranch and dairy farm.
  • Climate Change & Plant Hardiness Zones
    By Agnes Palys-McLean Most of us are familiar with plant hardiness zones that appear in many plant and seed catalogs.  They serve as a guide to help determine which plants and trees are best suited …
  • Compost, Fertilizer, More Fertilizer and… What’s Mulch?
    by Bill Swantner, Bexar County Master Gardener It’s almost Spring garden time and there will be a lot of talk about compost, fertilizer, and mulch. What is the difference? Compost is a soil amendment. Good …
  • DISCOVERING DAHLIAS
    By Melody Stramer, Bexar County Master Gardener As a Master Gardener of many years, I both espouse and practice the use of growing plants suited to their environment. Here in San Antonio, we are talking …
  • Frosts, Freezes, and Hard Freezes
    by Bill Swantner, Bexar County Master Gardener Last month, the nighttime temperature was officially registered at 28oF (my south Texas thermometer doesn’t go below 50o). When the temperature gets this cold, the weather forecasters spoke …
  • Growing Cucumbers
    Michelle Hobbs, Bexar County Master Gardener One of things I like most about gardening is sharing with friends and family. Last summer I gave a friend several cucumbers which she peeled, added a little salt, …
  • Growing Plumeria
    by Barbara Lutz Plumeria, also known as Lei Flowers or Frangipani, are a fragrant, deciduous shrub or small tree native to tropical regions. Related to Oleander and Jasmine, there are hundreds of named and Registered …
  • How Well Do You Know Your Weed(s)?
    Controlling weeds is an ongoing challenge for all gardeners, whether you’re a weekend gardener or a full-time gardener. The temptation is to spray the weed with something… anything. But spray with what? How much? How often? There is an integrative approach to weed control, much like integrative pest control: Cultural, Mechanical, and Chemical.
  • How Well Do You Know Your… Herbicides(s)?
    This is the first in a series of articles about weeds and weed control.  Herbicides are the most common treatment for weed control.  But before getting started, you might want to add these words to your vocabulary, as there are a wide variety of herbicide treatments…
  • Inland Sea Oats: A Low-Maintenance Shade Plant
    By Melody Stramer, Bexar County Master Gardner Two of the most common questions we encounter at Master Gardener presentations are:  (1) what plants grow well in shady conditions and (2) what plants are deer resistant?  …
  • January in the Vegetable Garden
    By the BCMG Vegetable Gardening Advance Training Team When the holidays are over, the temperatures are colder, and the nights seem longer. For some, it’s hot chocolate and dreaming of warmer days. But, for the …
  • Key Limes in San Antonio
    By Mary Cennamo, Bexar County Master Gardener When I moved into my house twenty years ago, there was a small lime tree. The trunk had a diameter the size of a pencil. It was planted …
  • Light and the Landscape
    Holiday lights are up for a short time but, flood lights, porch lights, street lights, and “light-scaping” are more permanent. Can this source of artificial light during dark hours affect flowers, trees, and turfgrass? Generally speaking, “it depends”, but it’s quite possible that artificial sources of light at night can be detrimental to landscape plants.
  • Mexican Oregano Bush (or, Rosemary Mint) (poliomintha longiflora)
    By Mary Cennamo, Bexar County Master Gardener Mexican Oregano Bush has an interesting history in Texas. In the early 1930s, this dried herb was known as  Wild Mexican Sage and was found most frequently at …
  • Mystic Spires Salvia
    By Tera Marshall, Bexar County Master Gardner I am passionate about feeding our pollinators and have developed, over the years, an extensive pollinator garden. There are so many great plants to feed our bees, butterflies …
  • New Year in the Garden
    by Melody Stramer, Bexar County Master Gardener After being confined to our homes for so long, some of us may feel we are in a rut. Here are some ideas to consider at this time …
  • Protect Yourself: Be Safe, Beware, Be Observant, Be Prepared
    By Janice Tapp, Bexar County Master Gardener Intern There are many risks gardeners are aware of in South Texas and some risks are not as evident. Gardening can be a fun, relaxing, safe, and productive …
  • Pruning Landscape Roses
    by Janice Tapp, Bexar County Master Gardener The olfactory and visual rewards of cultivating roses are some of the many benefits reaped from the labor of love in cultivating the many varieties of roses. Roses …
  • Shrimp Plant, Justicia brandegeeana
    By Tera Marshall, Bexar County Master Gardener Shrimp plants are a must-have for any pollinator garden! They are drought tolerant once established, bloom from June until frost and attract tons of bees! They also freeze …
  • Swanflower
    by Deva Brown, Bexar County Master Gardener I was watching the black pipevine butterflies in my yard, which were flitting around and occasionally landing briefly, but persistently, in one area. Not seeing any flowers there, …
  • This month in the Vegetable Garden: February
    In February, the nurseries start selling tomatoes; the larger tomatoes earlier in the month, “cherry” tomatoes (Ruby Crush, BHN968) later in the month. The 4” tomatoes can be potted up into 1-gallon containers but it’s …
  • What’s Wrong with my Turfgrass?
    by Bill Swantner, Bexar County Master Gardener There must be a dozen types of grasses grown as “lawn grass” in the state of Texas – but Texas is a big state. Along the coast of …
  • Why Gardening With Children Matters! 
    This article will examine past research on the effects of school gardens on children related to health, social behavior including environmental stewardship and on academic learning.  Specifically, my recent research will be shared in detail. Proven strategies to engage children in early gardening experiences can be valuable for families, communities and our country.
  • Winecup Wildflowers
    by Paul A. Foerster, Bexar County Master Gardener Each spring as the bluebonnets finish blooming in our yard, my wife Peggy and I enjoy the winecup wildflowers (Callirhoe involucrate) as they begin to bloom. The …