Our Garden DIARY

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My Garden Diary

3/19/17 Planted sumac bush under AK's window. Plan to pull up some of boxwoods to better see the bed plantings there. Add more mulch to wisteria bed.

3/18/17 I planted the elderberry bush in the back to replace the dead pittosporum to right of pool. Jon and Caroline came over and planted the Wisteria bush in the front for me. They also cleaned up our kitchen. Crazy boy rushed out and took photos of the yard.

3/17/17 Wisteria, elderberry and sumac bare-root plants due in mail. Jon is coming over Sat [?] to help me plant. Bri's back is messed up.

3/16/17 Planted daffodil and crocus bulbs in both taupe containers. Mixed in worm poop. Planted about the depth of three bulbs deep. Watered in. In one container I placed the yellow daffodils on the outside and the purple crocuses on the inside. In the other, I mixed them.

Soaked seeds overnight for squash, asclepius, Thai basil, and cilantro.

1/15/17 Cast seeds of winter rye and oil-seed radishes on both sides of the pool and behind the bridge.

Winter rye 5-30 days. Keep moist constantly.

Oil-seed radish 3-4 days.

Winter Rye For your rye grass to prosper, it needs the days and nights to be at least 20 degrees different in temperature. This year, it is now almost the middle of October and we are still barely getting that 20 degree spread. Also, while the rye will germinate when the day/night temperature spread is 20 degrees, it will not really “take off” until that temperature spread is 30 degrees.

Before spreading your rye grass you need to do two things. First, rye needs to come in contact with the soil. To increase your seeds’ chances of survival you will need to mow your grass very close to the ground. If you have a thick St Augustine lawn you will need to scalp it. Also, germinating rye grass cannot tolerate drought of any kind. To increase your germination rate your soil needs to be thoroughly moist.

Getting it established – Once you have spread your seed you will need to be very diligent in your watering routine for a couple of weeks. Rye grass needs an even moisture level for the most successful germination rates.

When rye germinates it sends out a small, curved single root spike. This spike is called a hook. The hook must remain moist and in contact with the soil if it is going to have any chance of turning into grass. That is why frequent watering is required for the first two or three weeks.

Oil-seed radish Planting depth should be ¼ to ½ inch.

Radishes – A New Cover Crop for Organic Farming Systems seed should be placed ½–1 inch deep. When broadcasting, establishment is enhanced by culti-packing or light tillage. Aerial seeding has been successful using 10–16 lb/ac broadcast into standing corn and soybean canopies when soil surface moisture was favorable for germination for several days. It is important that the seedlings quickly have access to light

Radishes germinate rapidly, emerging within 3–4 days when environmental conditions are favorable. Seed broadcast on the surface can establish well if seeding is followed by a timely rain or irrigation.

1/2/17 Ordered 1 lb. oilseed radishes as cover crop from Johnny's seeds. Also 1 lb winter rye.

Transplanted Parlor Palm into larger pot.

Freezes killed melons and okra. Start much earlier next year.

Neighborhood Crepe Myrtle

Neighborhood Chinaberry tree

12/31/16 Broadcasted white clover seeds in grass at both ends of pool. Watered in.

11/01/16 Melons are forming and the okra is blossoming:

Backyard by pool--Hinterhof

10/29/16 Ordered Victorian Parlor Palm [Neanthe bella].

Victorian Parlor Palm [Neanthe bella]

It thrives in our homes and workplaces where other species may struggle and is one of the cheapest palms you can buy. Popular since Victorian times it has kept hold of this prestige through its easy going adaptive attitude to low light and humidity levels, all the while being effective at cleaning the air and making it on to NASA's list of 50 Indoor plants that clean the air. This is an equally great plant to start with for the beginner or the seasoned houseplant collector.

Whilst a slow grower it should reach a respectable indoor height of 2ft / 60cm within only a few years, after which you may (with good light) receive regular clusters of flowers and for a palm kept indoors that is pretty rare.

you may find it going by Collinia elegans or Chamaedorea elegans.

Low light will be tolerated but like all houseplants deep shade will not go down well (unless for only short periods). Some sun will be helpful, but harsh sunshine will scorch the leaves. The perfect spot for your Parlour Palm therefore should be bright with a little sun in early morning or late afternoon.

Underwatering a Parlour Palm is better than overwatering. Water well then wait until the surface of the soil has dried out, at which point water well again. Limit the amount of water given when light or temperature levels are low simply because in those conditions plant's don't use as much water.

Red Spider Mite can be an issue if humidity is very low or there is a lot of dry air around the leaves, for example if placed near a working radiator. However, providing Spider Mites aren't a problem this is a palm that really doesn't care about low or high humidity.

Because there are often several plants in a single pot all fighting for the limited number of nutrients in the soil, you should look to feed on a semi regular basis. That said, these palms are still relatively small and don't need masses of feed to do well. A general feed once every couple of months will be enough.

10/19/16 Rec'd Lavender French Province 4" pot.

The countryside of southern France is legendary for its fields of lavender (Lavandula x intermedia Provence) grown for the perfume industry. In North America, lavender is a shrubby perennial grown for its flowers and fragrance, but it also serves as a landscape item for its beauty and ability to stand heat and drought. In parts of California, is it used in islands of commercial parking lots, which attests to its toughness.

In a formal garden, lavender may be clipped to form a low hedge or an aromatic border along a path. In a rock garden, a single plant or just a few plants may be used to great effect as an accent. And, of course, lavender is a natural choice for any herb garden. The cool, gray-green foliage contrasts nicely with its own flowers, as well as dark green herbs and other plants.

Lavender also grows quite well in containers. In the Deep South, it actually does better in pots, as it benefits from improved drainage and air circulation. While the plants thrive in arid Western climates, they are usually considered annuals in the South.

Set out plants 12 to 18 inches apart in an open area with full sun and good air circulation. Plant lavender in well-drained, slightly alkaline soil with a pH between 6.7 and 7.3. You can add builder’s sand to the soil before planting to increase drainage, which is vital because lavender will not tolerate excessive soil moisture or humidity. To further improve drainage, plant lavender in a raised bed, along a wall, or near the top of a slope.

In an herb or perennial bed, ensure good drainage by planting lavender on a small mound. Lavender flowers bloom in summer; you can clip faded blooms to encourage continued blooming throughout the warm season. Prune lightly to promote branching, especially in spring once the plants show new growth.

Sprinkle bone meal or other phosphorus-rich fertilizer around each plant in the fall to make it stronger and more winter hardy. Work the fertilizer into the first inch of soil, or let the rain soak it in.


Try your hand at growing lavender indoors. While this pretty herb isn’t a traditional houseplant, you can manage to keep it healthy if you do the right things. In most situations, lavender should be grown outdoors. Even in coldest regions where lavender isn’t hardy, it’s best to keep growing lavender indoors as a fall-back position, something you do in winter when plants can’t be outdoors.

Most indoor lavender plants don’t display ideal growth and leaf color, let alone colorful blooms. The problem is light—or lack of it. Indoor settings have a tough time delivering sufficient sunlight.

Place indoor lavender plants near a bright south-facing window. Most plants won’t fit on a window ledge, so use a small table or plant stand to get your plant near the sun. You can also use supplemental light to mimic sun. Standard fluorescent tubes suspended 6 to 12 inches above lavender provide sufficient light for growth. Or try high output fluorescent lights (T5 type), which yield twice as much light as traditional tubes.

When growing lavender indoors, using the right size container is important. A pot for lavender should only be one to two inches larger than the plant’s rootball. In a larger pot, there’s excess soil that doesn’t have any roots in it to help absorb moisture. That soil can easily become waterlogged and lead to too-wet soil where the lavender roots are. The end result is root rot, which is how many indoor lavender plants die.

Lavender is a Mediterranean plant, which means that it loves lean soil. Fill the bottom of your pot with an inch or two of limestone gravel topped with a basic soilless mix made for containers. Blend a tablespoon of lime into soil to give it more of an alkaline edge. Monthly, blend dried and ground eggshells into the top of soil to add lime. Although lavender loves heat, indoors you’ll have better success, especially in winter, when you locate it away from hot or cold air drafts. In winter, consider growing lavender indoors in a room that’s cooler than the rest of the house. Aim to keep roots alive through winter, but not to push heavy new growth.

Water your lavender after planting, and then pull back on the water. During cooler winter months, water only when soil is dry to the touch about 1 inch deep. Consider using a terra-cotta pot for growing lavender indoors. The porous clay pot sides lose moisture, which can help prevent root rot.

10/17/16 Noticed, while watering, a chile piquine, the fruit just ripening, to the left of the rosebush.

I also noticed a small wildflower, either Butterfly Pea [Centrosema virginianum], Dayflower [Commelina erecta], False Day Flower [Commelinantia anomala], or Granite Spiderwort [Tradescantia pedicellata].

Granite Spiderwort [too open] / False Day Flower [very close, even the same foliage, but too open]

Day Flower [very close, same foliage, but too open] / Butterfly Pea [too open and wrong foliage]

The blue flower petals were partially closed over the yellow stamin. It remains a mystery for me. The foliage is like the Day Flower, but the bloom is closer to a pea.

I also noticed a morning glory. It looked like Purple Bindweed [Ipomoea trichocarpa], but very blue. Maybe a typical morning glory but seeded by wild birds?

When I was a teenager tending my horse, a Winecup [Callirhoe sp.]. I was struck by its beauty.

10/12/16 Ordered Baltic English Ivy. 4" pot. Many different plants have the word "ivy" in their common names, but most often ivy refers to plants belonging to the botanical genus Hedera. Among the most widely used in outdoor gardens, as indoor houseplants or grown as topiaries, is the species called English ivy (Hedera helix). Baltic ivy (Hedera helix var. baltica) is a natural variant of English ivy although nurseries and literature may list this plant as a cultivar.

Baltic ivy (Hedera helix var. baltica)

Both English and Baltic ivies grow best in fertile, moist, well-drained soils that have lots of organic matter. They do tolerate a wide range of soil types. In hot summer climates, these ivies are best grown in partial shade to prevent leaf scald or browning from the intense sunlight or dry, warm soils.

Baltic ivy (Hedera helix var. baltica)

10/16/16 opened the box. Set the bulbs in their ventilated bags in my closet.

Location: can be planted most anywhere, except in the dense shade on the north side of buildings. Exposure: Full sun to partial shade. Crocus do best in full sun, but since they bloom so early in the year, there are few leaves on the trees to shade them anyway. If the temperature heats up, crocus will fade quickly.

Okay, so that means in the front, or in containers.
Make sure the soil drains well, because bulbs will rot in soggy ground. Work in organic matter such as compost, peat or a substitute, such as shredded leaves to a depth of at least 10 inches. Plant crocus bulbs 3 to 4 inches deep (with the pointy end up). After planting, water well.

just 2 to 4 inches tall, so plant them around the daffodils. Crocus are in the Iris (Iridaceae) family.

Many have strong perfumes that lure bees out of their hives in February or March. they naturalize, meaning that they spread and come back year after year—with minimum care

Plant bulbs in groups or clusters rather than spacing them in a single line along a walkway or border. Single flowers get lost in the landscape.Plant a few inches apart, and plant in groups of 10 or more.

In the language of flowers, crocus means cheerfulness.

Daffodils: SUN EXPOSURE: Full SunPart Sun
SOIL PH: Slightly Acidic to Neutral

The dependable, spring-flowering daffodil is a favorite for its long life and carefree, colorful blooms. Other common names include jonquil and narcissus.

Daffodils bring cheer to the spring garden with abundant flowers in hues of yellow, white, pink, and salmon. Daffodils grow best in areas with cold winters, cool springs, and cool summers.

Site Selection: Select a site with full sun to light shade and well-drained soil. Choose a well-drained, sunny place.

Dig a hole about 3 to 4 times as deep as the height of the bulb. Set the bulb in the hole, pointy end up, then cover with soil and press firmly. Space bulbs 4 to 6 inches apart. Water thoroughly after planting.

Plant the bulbs when grounds have cooled, in some climates September and for warmer climates in November.

Choose a well-drained, sunny place. Hillsides and raised beds are best. DRAINAGE is the key. Slightly acidic soil is best, so you might add soil sulfur if you have alkaline soil.

So, maybe in containers... move to front after blooming by pool.

I need some companion plants to put in the containers with the bulbs. Cover and interest until they bloom and afterwards.

Unknown / Brunnera

10/14/16 My crocus and daffodil bulbs came from High country. Busy, busy, left in box.
9/19/16 UPS site filed claim

9/12/16 I went to a doctor appointment and noticed the air was filled with small brown moths. I at first thought there was a huge fire and I was seeing ash particles floating in the air.

9/10/16 Leaves of pecan tree and Red Oak trees beside bridge in back

9/10/16 Leaves of sago palm beside bridge / sago palm and pecan tree beside bridge in back

Ananas Melon plant on 9/10/16 /

9/10/16 Leaves of tree growing behind/beside bridge. Probably Spanish Oak, Texas Red Oak.. very susceptible to oak wilt / Leaves of two pecan trees growing behind bridge rear NW corner of yard; good for wildlife.

It struck me yesterday that I have a shady spot in front of the wheelbarrow in back. I could do a lasagna bed and plant hostas, ferns, elephant ears. The spot does face north, so they will probably freeze down every winter. Other possible more hardy plants? Check on this.

My water plants are on the way. No sign of the water conditioner yet. The tub came for resting the water plants for 24 hours in the shade. No sign of the hula hoop to keep the plants from being sucked into the skimmer. I may have to turn off the pump until the hula hoop gets here.

Anita says she wants the back concrete patio, which has sunk into lopsided pieces, broken up and thrown in the deep end of the pool. This may block the pump inlet which is at the bottom of the deep end. Solution?

Also, I shall need some really big rocks to build the waterfall. I was considering the deep end for the waterfall location, but that would block access to the greens bed and the bridge. Maybe the middle of the far side?

I should take several pictures of the pool before conversion.

E-mail from Nature's Pond Care that my plants were shipping...

ORDER SRU2663 .. $54.44

UPS tracking number: 1ZEW80290340097334

Customer information

Shipping address

Colby Glass
3211 Quakertown Dr
San Antonio TX 78230
United States
Shipping method: UPS Ground

UPS Tracking info:
Delivered On:
Monday, 09/12/2016 at 4:07 P.M.
Left At:

9/9/16 Checked on water conditioner for pool/pond. I had ordered it on 9/3. It got shipped on 9/8. So it should be here soon.

I have removed everything from the pool now, and filled it with water to the very top. Birds and animmals can easily drink from it now.

9/8/16 Visit with Dr. Chou. I showed her a photo of my Ananas melon plant. She proposed that we trade seeds--my ananas melon for her Tiger melon.

Wild morning glories on the pittisporum in the backyard 9/10/16 / Red okra doing well on 9/10/16

8/14/16 ordered seeds:

Mosquito Repellant Seeds Basil, Cinnamon; Basil, Lemon; Genovese Basil; Catnip; Lavender; Lemon Balm; Lemon Grass; Herb Mix [To keep the mosquitoes away from your body, rub a handful of crushed basil leaves on your skin.]; Marigold, Crackerjack Mix; Marigold, Sparky; Pennyroyal [Crushed pennyroyal stems stuck in your hat and pockets really will repel gnats and mosquitoes. Dog owners often see their dogs rolling in pennyroyal patches, and dog instincts can usually be trusted]; Rosemary [extremely fragrant]; Sage; Tansy [(Tanacetum vulgare) is a perennial, herbaceous flowering plant of the aster family]; Wormwood [can make a lovely, unique border and the strong odor does a good job of keeping mosquitoes at bay; Note: Do not rub on skin.]
Epsom Salt fertilizer One of the BEST fertilizers you will come across is EPSOM salts. Just mix into your soil and see amazing results! When used in your garden as a natural source of magnesium... roses, tomatoes and peppers will thrive! Try mixing one tablespoon of EPSOM salts into a one gallon container filled with water. Now water the roots of your plant, directly after planting. Avoid getting this mixture on the leaves
All-in-One Rainbow Garden Variety Pack Beet - Chioggia; Broccoli - Early Purple; Cabbage - Acre, Red; Pepper - Sun Bright Yellow; Eggplant - Turkish [tennis ball size bright orange eggplants. Extremely flavorful.]; Kale - Red Russian; Lettuce - Lollo Rossa; Onion - Crimson Forest (Bunching); Pepper - Cayenne, Purple; Pepper - Nu Mex Twilight [small but very very hot! ]; Radish - Easter Egg; Radish - Watermelon; Squash - Scallop, Golden Bush; Swiss Chard - Rainbow Mix; Tomato - Heritage Rainbow Mix

Organic, 100% Raw, Un-Treated, Heirloom, NON-GMO Seeds.

Rec'd 8/16/16

Ananas Melon plant 9/4/16 (on the left, that's my shadow at the bottom)

CRYSTAL CREEK POND SUPPLY LLC Pond Plants Floating plants.

9/6//16 Your receipt number for this payment is: 3694-2739-9323-6270. for Red Stemmed Parrot's Feather and Hardy Floating - Frogbit

SHIPPING IS TRAUMATIC FOR PLANTS! - They need water as soon as possible to prevent transplant shock.

1. It is important upon arrival of your plants to put them in a plastic tub of some of your pond water (not tap water) and keep them in a shaded area outside with indirect sun exposure for a day before placing them in your pond. The roots of the plants start drying out during shipping. The roots need to get restarted pumping water to the leaves again before they are exposed to full sun. A leaf has no way to get moisture from a root system that is partially dry and not pumping fluids yet. Full sun exposure the first day may burn the leaf for lack of liquid cooling in the plant capillaries. You can accidentally kill a healthy plant by putting it in direct sunlight when it is just out of the shipping box. Be sure to follow these instructions!

2. Whatever you do, just don't sit the box aside for any length of time after you get it. An extra day or two of sitting around without water and light may well kill the plants.

3. We guarantee the arrival of healthy, viable plants. If you should receive a plant that appears to be in unhealthy or damaged condition, we must be notified within 24 hours of your receipt of the plant.

4. Some plants varieties are light sensitive and may appear slightly brown, limp or lifeless from the stress of shipping. They will come back fine if you take care of them promptly.

PLANTING FLOATING OXYGENATOR PLANTS - These are the easiest to plant. Just lay them in the pond! Shade them in pond water for a day before exposing them to full sun. If you want to contain them so they don't float into your skimmer you will need to make a floating fence for them. An old Hula Hoop spray painted flat black, with a large fishing weight anchoring it in place, works very well. Or you can get some clear plastic tubing and connect it in a circle making it air tight. Place your floaters in this area to keep them where you want them. IMPORTANT - Koi love to nibble on floating plant root tips! Always keep some floating plants in the top of your waterfall box to replace the ones the koi tear up.

My new Montezuma Cypress in Front yard 8/2/16

8/2/16 planted asclepias seeds in white container farthest to the left.

Cypress still alive, but not thriving. Probably has girdling and was planted too deep.

My new Montezuma Cypress in Front yard 8/2/16

7/31/16 Planted okra seeds in new container. Planted squash seeds in butterfly bush container and in basil container. Planted cleome flowers in far side of okra container. Planted ananas melons in old container.

If okra doesn't germinate in seven days, soak some seeds and try again.

Ordered from Sample Seed Shop seeds of Mexican Mint Marigold, Marigold 'Durango Bee', Marigold 'Lemon Gem', Nasturtium 'Empress of India', Nasturtium 'Jewel Mix'. Marigolds are companions for melons. Nasturtium are companions for okra and many others.

Birds feeding in backyard / Big planters at Grace Medical [Dr. Chou]

Galvanized Metal Planters none big enough
Hayneedle planters some good-looking choices
Interesting planter Crafted from strong and durable ecoFLEX, which is comprised of recycled polymers and reclaimed wood fibers, this planter is resistant to anything mother nature can throw at it. Only 15" high, $80.27
Here it is! Galvanized Trough Planter. $149.95 apiece from Williams-Sonoma. Dating from the 1920s through the 1940s, these Vintage Galvanized Bathtub Planters originally were used as laundry washtubs. Each one-of-a-kind tub (salvaged from Central Europe) is approximately 32 inches long. Approx. 32' x 18' x 12' high.

Foter planters Other choices
Corrugated Metal Raised Garden Bed by Aquabarrel 17" high x 40" x 40"
Corrugated Metal Garden Bed by Gardener's Supply Co. 12" high
$49.95 + $11.95 shipping. 34" square x 12" H

7/14/16 received okra and melon seeds. Also, bonus pkg. of cucumber seeds.

6/16/16 Called Mr. Silva and he is sending 4 more bags of composte.

Malabar Spinach sprouting / Coneflower with basil

6/4/16 Butterfly bush [buddleia] and Cone flower [echinacea] are blooming. Also the Sago palm.

Cone Flowers-Echinacea / Closeup of butterfly bush

5/30/16 Has rained for two days. When stopped I planted the 6 Crown Vetch roots and the one sunflower root against the fence, side yard, south side of house. I did not try to amend the soil.

5/28/16 received seeds from SeedsNow.com:

Amaranth, Red Garnet
Heirloom Kale
Lavender, English
Lemon Balm

5/10/16 ordered 1 Maximillian Sunflower plant and 6 Penngift Crown Vetch plants from Gurney's. order number is 61310889700

5/11/16 googled "inexpensive or free software to plan house or yard or garden or permaculture"

4/29/16 Received from Johnny's Seeds:

Matricaria [feverfew] 'Magic Lime Green'
Dill "Bouquet'

Heavy rain, hail, wind at night today.

4/23/16 Ordered from Johnny's Seeds: Matricaria [feverfew] 'Magic Lime Green', Dill "Bouquet', and Epazote. 4/9/16 Planted seeds of Agastache fragrant, and Swiss Chard Verde de Taglio in a new container. I also put some chard seeds in with the perennials 2 containers.

I also put coffee grounds and bark mulch around the rose bush and watered it in. I also deadheaded the roses.

The potatoes are coming along famously, although the ones in the hard container are doing much better than the ones in the canvas bag. I added more soil today and watered in.

3/24/16 Received from Burpee seeds:

Carrot, YaYa Hybrid
Mixed flowers, bee & butterfly garden
Agastache, Aurantiaca Fragrant mix

3/16/16 Ordered from Burpee:

Carrot, Yaya Hybrid very sweet
Agastache fragrant

3/3/16 rec'd backordered seeds from Sample Seed Shop{
Lettuce Freckles
Radish French Breakfast

3/1/16 Radishes and lettuce are up! Tiny but promising!

2/25/16 Planted seeds of Red Meat Radish and Brune d'Hiver Lettuce in small cardboard box.

2/22/16 called Gurneys and asked them to please send the seed potatoes now. Rec'd seeds from Sample Seed Shop:

Dill "Dwarf Fernleaf
Lemon Balm [good green manure]
Lettuce "Buttercrunch"
Lettuce "Freckles" [back ordered]
Lettuce "Mild Gourmet mix"
Nasturtium "Alaska mix"
Shiso, Green
Mustard Greens "Osaka Purple"
Pak Choi with white stems
Radish "French Breakfast" [back ordered]
Radish "Red Meat"
Spinach "Bloomsdale Long Standing"
Malabar Spinach, Red
Swish Chard Fordhook
Mache Big Seeded [bonus]
Yu Choy Sum "Red Stem"

2/21/16 Some leaves on rose are turning yellow. Web: what your rose is doing is normal, natural, and no different from any other rose. during it's growth season it is clasified as an evergreen plant. that means it is always making new foliage. new leaves form, old ones are shed. just as deciduous trees do each fall. the tree sucks the good stuff out of the leaf and stores in away in it's roots to use as food in the spring. as the tree sucks in the good stuff, the empty leaf looses it's green color, turns yellow and drops off. your rose is doing the same thing (almost). it is using the old leaf to help feed the new ones it is growing now. nature does away with the old in favor of the new. if you have alot of yellow leaves your rose bush is telling you, hey, i'm hungry, feed me. roses are regular chow hounds. major eaters, always hungry. when it can't get enough from the ground, it pulls food from it's older leaves to feed the newer ones.

Ordered from Grow Organic: Ladino White Clover 1 lb. Nitrocoated Seed SCL320 $7.39
and Non-Dormant Alfalfa - Nitrocoated Seed (1 Lb) SCL016 $8.59
7 2/20/16 Small bush under A's window is blooming [spirea? Japanese boxwood? Glossy abelia? ]. Tea tree in front is blooming. New rose in back has a bud--looks red.

I put bark mulch around the new rose in back.

.99 postage

2/19/16 rec'd seeds. 33.25 + 3.50 shipping: from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds:

Dill Bouquet
Sweet Alyssum Tall White
Lettuce Brune d'Hiver
Tomato Pink Icicle
Cucumber Horace Boyette Burpless
[Bell] Pepper Canary Bell
Lettuce [Romaine] Little Gem
Pepper Tam Jalapeno
Canton Bok Choy heat tolerant
Radish, Early Scarlet Globe 22 days. The classic, round red radish with crisp white flesh that is mild and tasty. Has better warm weather tolerance than many.
Mustard, Oriental Greens Japanese Giant Red Mustard (B. juncea) Beautiful large Japanese type. Purple-red leaves with a delicious strong, sharp, almost garlic-like, mustard flavor. Review: Looks like I'm the odd one out here, but I cannot eat this stuff! I guess I'm not a huge spicy fan anyway, but this mustard tastes exactly like wasabi. However, I let it go to seed and reseed itself, as it has many uses. The finches loved the seeds, the plants are beautiful, and the roots are breaking up the soil for my new beds (I no-till garden). I've also used the seeds for cooking. Overall great plant. Review: This is my favorite plant to grow! It succeeds every time in full sun or partial shade and is very slow to bolt. The color contrast of red on top, green on bottom is beautiful and the taste is deliciously spicy. I get volunteer plants outside of my garden bed as well, in horrible clay soil and sidewalk cracks! I have had tremendous success fermenting these greens also. They are the BEST! Review: Plant once, let your nicest plants go to seed, you will have it forever coming up all over the garden spring through fall. Beautiful and decorative, the bees are attracted by the yellow flowers when it bolts. Enormous leaves. I have plenty for me and for sharing. Nice flavor. Love it.
Chinese Green Luobo Radish (Qingluobo) A popular radish from north China; the tasty flesh is bright green. Very unique and colorful, they are shaped like Daikons. These only grow well in cool weather; great for fall planting. Review: These little beauties are so easy to grow. I just threw them down at the beginning of August and they're already (Sept. 19) an edible size with pretty, inch-wide green tops poking up above the soil. Have not yet tasted the greens, but they look and smell delicious, so I'll probably fry them up tonight. Review: I planted these with other fall radishes to see how I liked them. I thinned them and we ate the thinnings in salads. They grew to quite large, some of them and rarely pithy. A big hit. all in all; we eat them raw or cooked, they stored in the root cellar all winter so we were still eating them in May, plus they are good in fermented vegetables.
Swiss Chard, Verde De Taglio "Green Cutting Chard" Very thin stems support large leaves of unusual substance. Outstandingly sweet and tender variety. Excellent for "cut and come again" style harvesting.
Cabbage, Brunswick 90 days. A large drumhead cabbage, very cold hardy. A fall/winter type cabbage, stores very well. Introduced in 1924. Good for storage. Review: Review: We're in zone 5 and had good results with the Brunswick Cabbage. The heads were a little small, but my only real complaint is that they seemed to be a slug magnet.
Cabbage, Golden Acre Very early, high quality sort. Dense, solid heads are very spherical, 5-7 inches in diameter and weigh 3-5 pounds. Plants are very compact relative to the size of the heads,allowing closer spacing than some varieties. Fine for cole slaw, stir fries and other fresh uses; not usually considered an excellent storage type. Review: Golden Acre cabbage is easy to grow and finishes fast, before slugs, mice, or moose have time to find them. I put row cover cloth over mine for the first month, to keep most troublesome bugs away, and harvest before bugs set in. It's a delicious table cabbage and makes good sauerkraut, too. The inner flesh is tender and delicious raw or steamed. The heads get nice and large for an early cabbage.

2/13/16 Ordered seeds for winter & spring from Baker. Chinese Green Luobo Radish (Qingluobo), Canton Bok Choy, Golden Acre Cabbage[very early], Chinese Cabbage, Hilton Horace Boyette Burpless cucumber Japanese Giant Red Mustard Greens Canary Bell Pepper Tam Jalapeno Pepper Early Scarlet Globe Radish Early Prolific Straightneck Squash Verde De Taglio Swiss Chard Pink Icicle Tomato Brune D'Hiver Lettuce Little Gem Lettuce [romaine] Dill Bouquet Tall White Sweet Alyssum Order Number: 100779221 Planted some basil seeds in the northern container by the pool.

The parsley looking weed in the northern container may be Parsley-piert, or Carolina Geranium, henbit. Looking at multiple photos, it is probably the second. "Geranium carolinianum is a species of geranium known by the common name Carolina crane's-bill,[1] or Carolina geranium.[2] It is native to North America, where it is widespread and grows in many types of habitat. This is an annual herb reaching just over half a meter in maximum height. It has erect stems covered in spiky hairs... Carolina Geranium (Geranium carolinianum) is a member of the Geranium family (Geraniaceae). It is a native, broadleaf winter annual. One will typically find Carolina Geranium in poor soils and near dry areas; mainly landscape beds and thinner turf areas. This weed has been used medicinally as well. Mainly, it has been used to stop bleeding and sooth sore throats when crushed.

Stork’s Bill, Cranesbill The G. carolinianum is a miniature version of the G. maculatum. It has a history of medicinal uses. The whole plant, but especially the roots, is astringent, salve and styptic. ... At least three Indians tribes picked up on the plant and included it into their diet, the Blackfeet, Shoshone and Digger Indians. Man is not the only one who favors the Stork’s Bill. Besides grazed upon by cattle, sheep and goats, the seeds are collected by various species of harvester ants. The seeds are also loaded with vitamin K and have little tails that coil and uncoil with changes in humidity, burying the seed. The seeds are also eaten by upland game birds, songbirds, and small rodents including kangaroo rats. The Brown Argus butterfly also feeds off the plant. And as it is often a very lowly plant the desert tortoise finds it a meal as well. “the young leaves are eaten raw or cooked (like any herb.) Harvesting is done in the spring before flowering. It is delicious and nutritious. Added to salads, sandwiches, soups, etc. are The shoots can be eaten like asparagus. The root is eaten and used in chewing like chewing gum.

Posted to Davey Facebook page 2/13/16:

I would never use Davey Tree again. They planted a Montezuma Cypress for me, and they did everything wrong. They told me to plant at the wrong time, they purchased a root bound tree [girdled roots] and then they planted it too deeply. Much of this was admitted to me by one of their "experts."

They also knew nothing about mycelium, which was why I went to them in the first place. The extension agent said they knew all about it.

I would not recommend them to anyone.

2/10/16 Ordered 4 cu ft of peat moss & 4 cu ft of vermiculite from Milberger's. $124.33 including #35 delivery fee.

Delivery went well.

Steve showed up and apologized. He planted a new rosebush. No idea what it is.

Ordered seeds for winter veg's from Sample Seeds.

2/8/16 Steve [lawn guy] chopped down my rose bush!

Ordered 2/8/16 planter tubs, seed potatoes [Purple Viking [Solanum tuberosum 'Purple Viking'; Family: Solanaceae (Nightshade Family)]]. Order Number: 60390157200. (513) 354-1492 but don't call; they have foreigners answering calls and they can't do anything for you.

1/2/16 drizzled all day.

Plant Hardiness:

By Zip 1st freeze 11/12... last freeze 3/20
USDA 8b 1st freeze 12/1... last freeze 3/1

Earlier bought several bags of mulch at Rainbow. Turned out to be BARK mulch. Not expensive at all. Also got 4 bage of 1 cu ft composte from city. See CITY above.

11/12/15 Finally planted the Echinacea in a large container by the pool--full sunlight. I mixed in compost from the City with the original soil in the pot. It is already blooming. Gorgeous!

There was already Purslane growing in the pot. I left most of it to grow with the Echinacea. We'll see if the combination works.

I should also seed some cilantro seeds in the milkweed pot.

Verbascum looks poorly. I should hurry and plant it by the old palm stump. Buddleia isn't doing much better. I should hurry and plant it by the rose. Both in the backyard.

11/4/15 Cerinthe is definitely dead. I called Annie's and they are going to send me a gift card.

Rain has delayed plantings.

10/19/15 Mark from Davey tree came to see the almost dead tree. He pointed out that under pressure the limbs would not break; they would bend. He dug around and said they planted it too deep and it couldn't breath. He dug out quite a bit of dirt until the flaring of the trunk was visible. He said that is what's supposed to be at the top of the soil. He removed quite a bit of soil and tore away some roots. He said just water with grass every other week and check back in March. We'll see.

10/17/15 Burpee had sale. I bought three perennials: / Echinacea Glowing Dream, Hibiscus Lord Baltimore, and / Butterfly Bush Peach Cobbler. Due to show up at end of month.

Mexican Milkweed is doing well in container. Looks like it is getting ready to blossom.

10/14/15 Ordered from Annie's. Verbascum sp. ‘Cotswold King’ for container by palm or to replace palm. Cerinthe major purpurascens "Blue Honeywort" for container by pool.

Montezuma Cypress in front yard looks dead. All the needles are brown. I called Davey Tree.

10/11/15 I planted it in the back yard to the right of the pool. As suggested in the instructions, I did not amend the soil. I watered it in and covered with wood mulch.

10/07/15 Rose bush arrived by FedEx. Most of the leaves were in the box, not on the plant. I soaked it and waited. 10/01/15 Mexican Milkweed [Asclepias curassevica] plant arrived today by FedEx from Annie's Annuals and Perennials. Nice looking plant. I immediately planted it in a prepared really large pot in the backyard to the left of the pool [partial sun in mornings; shade in afternoons] and watered it well.

Received several seeds earlier. Still contemplating what to do with them. Papalo, Thai basil, cilantro, heirloom cilantro, Emily basil, plantain, Love-in-a-Mist mixed colors.

Appointment tomorrow for Thomas from Davey tree to look at my Montezuma Cypress. It was planted by them in February. I innoculated it with mycelium slurry. Mushrooms have come up since indicating it is thriving. But last week I noticed several browning branches! I have been watering the lawn [in which the tree is located] every Monday from 7-11am. Then on Thursdays I drip water the tree all day, moving the hose every couple of hours. It seemed to be doing great until last week. Maybe a pest? We'll see.

Thomas was hospitalized. On 10/02/15 Shawn Cressman from Davey tree came by. He tested for bugs and pests. None. He pointed out that buds were emerging from the ends of all limbs. He suggested cutting back on the watering and see what happens in March.

Davey Tree co. San Antonio office
acct. 3857009
contract # 44468504 for $621
Purchase & plant 30 gal. Montezuma Cypress

Previous seed orders received:

From Baker:
Basil, Emily
Plantain English Plantain (Plantago lanceolata)
Love-In-A-Mist, Mixed Colors (Nigella damascena)
Cilantro Slo Bolt

From Seed Savers Exchange:
Tomato, Cherry Roma

From Sample Seed Shop:
Papalo aka Summer Cilantro (Porophyllum ruderale) papal--I grew this this past year (2012,) and I was very pleased with it. The spoon shaped leaves added to tacos, etc. made them taste very authentic of Mexico. The chopped leaves should be added to uncooked dishes or right before eating cooked items as it looses its flavor when cooked. Papalo is a plant in the aster family and grows tall to about 5' and will get tall even even in pots. It is good for hot summer climates as it does not bolt. In fact it will not flower or make seeds in short season climates. A few other names this herb goes by are Papaloquelite and Bolivian Coriander.
Basil, Thai (Ocimum basilicum var. thyrsiflorum) basTha--This is another favorite basil of mine. It has dark green thinner leaves than regular basil. The flowers are purple. It is quite attractive. The spicy scent and flavor is fantastic.


Permaculture forum Google Sketchbook & Sketchbook Express came up ... there are free versions plus The pro version is $59.99

Inkscape free & opensource. For Apple & 32-bit Windows

Google Earth With the free sketch-up version you can import google earth captures. They can be switched between 2d/3d. You can simply trace around the site to make a graphic digital model. All the measurements, elevation, area calculations are for the most part simple operations. I know, for instance, the property sub-division I have in mind is exactly 15.062 acres. And the pasture area I plan to use for a permie garden is 3.8728 acres. The field is 315' long on the south, ~280' 4 13/16" long at the north, ~ 561' 1 1/8" on the east, and 575' on the west. Simple to calculate that my site is of average 3% grade. With this, site planning is much easier. I also know roughly how much seed, trees, bushes, fencing, etc I will need. I really have only begun to scratch the surface. As I understand it, you can also play with sun-angle animations to see best direction for facing houses, greenhouses, etc. My site is almost lined up exactly with N/S E/W.

Hillmap won't let you get very close via google maps, but google earth you can zoom in closer.

Google map & satellite

TPE The Photographer’s Ephemeris (TPE) helps you plan outdoor photography shoots in natural light, particularly landscape and urban scenes. It’s a map-centric sun and moon calculator: see how the light will fall on the land, day or night, for any location on earth.

a FREE design tool made for photographers that show where light is falling on your land. Very useful to permies when trying to plan where to place greenhouses, gardens, etc. Could be especially useful if you are looking to buy land and have yet to do a site visit.

"The Photographer’s Ephemeris (TPE) helps you plan outdoor photography shoots in natural light, particularly landscape and urban scenes. It’s a map-centric sun and moon calculator: see how the light will fall on the land, day or night, for any location on earth.

TPE is a universal app with optimized user interfaces for both iPad and iPhone/iPod Touch devices."

Topo Maps - USGS Topographic Maps on Google Earth You don't need to be technologically advanced to overlay a topo map on a Google Earth satellite terrain image. Here is a super easy way to do a simple 2D version that will help you do your planning (though not so "super cool" as the one above in the demo).

First, if you don't already have it, download the latest version of Google Earth. Then, go to this website... http://www.earthpoint.us/topomap.aspx and click on the button that says "View On Google Earth" right near the top of the page. It will open up Google Earth for you.

Find your property. After that, just follow the instructions under "Hints" on the same link to overlay a topo map directly on top of the satellite image. When you use the slide bar (explained in the instructions), you can control the transparency, so you can see your house, fields, etc. along with the contour markings giving you the elevations.

If you want to draw a fence line or something, create a "path" using the path tool in Google Earth to place it exactly where you want to build the fence, etc. on your property. You can then check the length of the line in several measurements (feet, inches, kilometers, miles, etc.) -- which is handy for calculating your materials needs and so on or figuring acreage.

You can also use the view tool to do an elevation profile -- which gives you the exact elevation in feet (or whatever measurement you choose) of any precise point along the path line.

The other programs take a bit of a learning curve to master (which I have NOT done yet), but this is something anyone can do within a few minutes -- really!


I am not anymore on top of the latest developments. But there were two types of programs mentioned something like paint and vector based. You want the last one Because only with vector based programs you can draw in scale, these are programs like AutoCAD.

I've been looking for not only a plot designer, but a full on planner with an array of Permaculture functions, but I cannot find any one stop shops. I want to be able to create designs with the massive knowledge of sites like this one behind me - and easily share what I'm learning with others. The garden planners I've seen are pretty awful, and the mapping software that exists, while free, seems to be complicated and not tailored to a Permaculture bent. Ideally, what I'd like to see would start with a map, and allow you to "drop" perennials and annuals into a space, and then accelerate time to see how they would develop over the next several years. It would have useful information about climate (probably based on GPS location data) and send alerts when frosts were arriving, or when the soil might be getting dry and it was time to water. Users could "upload" their garden profiles and share designs right through the program, so you could see what other permies around you were growing and where you might be able to get knowledge or resources. Topographical data (entered by users or even gleaned from LIDAR) could reveal consistently sunny spots that might go otherwise unnoticed. Maybe augmented reality on a mobile device could even let me do a virtual walk through of the garden before anything is even planted. Of course, it would connect people to experts, too, when the computation got too complicated or new questions not answerable from the app arose. Tutorials for permaculture design with free software The basic idea is that you can use free tools and data available online to make a nice, detailed map of your property and then draw the features on it that you want to create.

Inkscape - This is a vector drawing program, which means that you can make images that have teeny tiny details and zoom way in without losing image quality. The alternative is called "raster drawing," and is based on editing pixels (think photoshop). The downside of that is that if you zoom in too much, everything gets grainy and you can't add any more details. With a vector program, you can draw a 100 acre property and still zoom in enough to draw individual plants, if you want. You'll use this to draw the actual design.

gimp - This is a raster image editing program, useful for retouching photos or stitching together background images that you get from screenshots (you'll see what I'm talking about in a future challenge). You'll use this to clean up imagery you use in your report, and to create a backdrop for your design.

libreoffice - This is an office productivity suite, along the lines of Microsoft Office. The advantage it has over Microsoft's stuff is that it's free while being mostly compatible with Microsoft's formats. If you already have MS Word, MS Excel, etc, then you can skip this step as it would just be duplicating functionality. You'll use this to write your design report.

I used to recommend MWSnap, but after a lot of awesome feedback I have better recommendations now for a screenshot tool! Any of these tools will do what you need - install one that's compatible with your system and you're ready to go. Credit goes to Ty Morrison, Quintin Holmberg, Erik Little, and Manolis Karamous, all of the permies forum, for these recommendations:

SnagIt - Windows,Mac,Chrome

GreenShot - Windows

ScreenCloud - Windows, Mac, Linux, also automatically uploads to a cloud service or web server, which is handy.

Another new addition (updated 5/14/2014) is Google Earth. This has proved very useful in later tutorials, so I recommend installing it as well.

My mainstay is SketchUp also free in the 'make' version or use one of the versions, SketchUp 8 being most popular. This is most handy if your work moves towards buildings. In any case, it works well with Google Earth and allows a pretty high resolution 'grab' of the site site image with all sorts of possibilities including topo.

Erik ... I used to use MWSnap and would like to offer an alternative. Greenshot (http://getgreenshot.org/) is another good, free screenshot tool. Unlike MWSnap, it is an actively managed project and is open source.

Drawing stuff in inkscape

Plan-a-Garden good video advice.

Free KGI Garden Planner Our KGI Garden Planner makes it easy to draw out your vegetable beds, add plants and move them around to get the perfect layout. Either feet and inches or metric units are supported and any shape of garden can be created.

The KGI Garden Planner has over 180 vegetables, herbs and fruit and detailed growing information is just a click away. As you add vegetables the space they require is clearly shown by the colored area around each plant and it calculates how many plants will fit into the area.

Crop rotation is easy as the KGI Garden Planner warns you where you should avoid placing each vegetable based on what was in your previous years' plans.

The KGI Garden Planner adapts to your own area using our database of over 5000 weather stations. Print your own personalized planting chart showing how many of each plant you require and when to sow, plant and harvest them.

Twice a month the KGI Garden Planner sends email reminders of what needs planting from your garden plans.

The KGI Garden Planner is both easy to use and flexible. Organize which crops will follow on from others using the succession planting feature and see how your garden will look for each month of the year. Customized varieties can be added with their own spacing and planting dates.

Like a garden journal, you can add notes to your plants and plans to track how they grow.

The KGI Garden Planner works just like software you are familiar with, including features such as undo, copy and paste. Built-in tutorial videos show you just what you need to know to get the most out of the software.

You do not need to install anything as most computers already have the required Adobe Flash Player plug-in.

The KGI Garden Planner is completely free for 7 days - ample time to plan out your whole growing area.

Setting up your KGI Garden Planner account is easy, no credit card details are required and there is no obligation to subscribe. If you find it useful the annual subscription is $29.

SmartDraw Use SmartDraw on your computer, browser or mobile device—Windows®, Mac®, Android®, iOS®, or any other platform. Share online without worrying about device or compatibility issues.

Use SmartDraw on any device with an internet connection to enjoy the full set of features, symbols, and high-quality output. To design a landscape, pick one of our landscape templates or pre-made examples and customize it using our intuitive designer tool set. Drag-and-drop or stamp common landscape features, furniture, and greenery. Colorize it or apply realistic textures.

Try SmartDraw FREE; free download.

3D Landscape for Everyone 2.0

EarthSculptor 1.05 Realtime terrain editor designed for the development of 3D landscapes. ...future garden or ...interface designed exclusively ... Fast 3D ...

VizTerra 3D Professional Hardscaping and Landscaping design software

Video showing how it works.

Victoria Magazine: Best free landscape design software



Queried 5/20/16

5/24/16 I queried A&M extension office.

Here is the answer I got from A&M:

I would contacting a TNLA (Texas Nursery and Landscaping Association) certified landscaping professional if you are interested in having the pool filled with soil. 

Look online for appropriate landscaping services.

The reason for this recommendation is that this is more of structural question than a gardening question.  A lot of things could go wrong if a homeowner tries to simply fill a pool with soil. 

Gardening can be planned once the pool area has been appropriately filled. 

Linda Maldonado
Master Gardener

6/1/16 looked at http://www.homeadvisor.com/

They recommended 5 certified landscape people:

Fusion Pool Service, Inc. 210-632-5990 5 star rating
Providing Service to 78230
Services Include: Swimming Pool - Opening & Closing Service

Business Address = 227 North Route 160 East, Unit 150, San Antonio, TX 78232 10 years experience, Free Estimates Average Project Cost = $121 - $333

American Pools and Spa's 210-374-6661--5 star rating
Business Address: 222 South WW White Road, San Antonio, TX 78202

Average Project Cost = $121 - $333

Alamo Heights Pool House, LLC 210-826-7665--5 star rating

Business Address = 1106 Austin Hwy, San Antonio, TX 78209
In Business Since: 1989
Average Project Cost = $121 - $333

Free Estimates
Credit Cards Accepted

Ordered from Seeds Now 5/24/16: Amaranth Seeds

Hyssop seeds very fragrant. likes full sun and heat. Woody perennial. Cut back after seeding.

caraway seed for poor soils. fragrant

lemon-balm The lemon balm plant produces beautiful lemon scented leaves.

- The leaves are typically used in teas, sauces, salads, soups, stews, and drinks.

- Lemon Balm tea is said to stimulate the heart and calms the nerves.

- A variety native of Europe.

- Perennial.

English lavender-seed Lavandula angustifolia fragrant. Lavender is used for restlessness, insomnia, nervousness, and depression. It is also used for a variety of digestive complaints, loss of appetite, vomiting, nausea, intestinal gas, and upset stomach.

- Some people use lavender for painful conditions including migraine headaches, toothaches, sprains, nerve pain, sores, and joint pain. It is also used for acne and cancer, and to promote menstruation.

- Lavender is applied to the skin for hair loss, and pain, and to repel mosquitoes and other insects.

2/5/17 ordered from Growers Exchange:
Date: Order#:
02/05/2017 68717
Additional Information:
Your Choice Cancel Any Plants Not Ready
Bill To: (Customer ID#87883) Ship To:
Colby Glass
3211 Quakertown Dr
San Antonio, TX 78230
United States
colby.glass@yahoo.com Payment Method : Shipping Method:
Credit Card: MasterCard
Colby O. Glass III
Express (3Day Air)
Code Description Qty Price Total
HER-JPW01 Joe Pye Weed 1 $6.95 $6.95
HER-ASC02 Asclepias 'Hello Yellow' 1 $6.95 $6.95
HER-LOB02 Lobelia 1 $6.95 $6.95
HER-GAL01 Gaillardia 'Blanket Flower' 1 $5.95 $5.95
DSC-401 Buy Natives and Save [HER-JPW01] [HER-ASC02] [HER-LOB02] [HER-GAL01] 1 -$4.02 -$4.02
Subtotal: $22.78
Tax: $0.00
Shipping & Handling: $10.95
Grand Total: $33.73



Mulch when freezes are in the forecast
Plant trees and shrubs.
Plant tulip, daffodil and hyacinth bulbs no later than the first part of this month.
Plant Anemone and ranunculus bulbs late in this month.
Plant cutback perennial areas in the flowerbed with pansies, violas, larkspur or bluebonnets
Be sure outdoor plants are well-watered. Cold weather can damage plants that are too dry.
Prune summer-flowering shrubs and vines such as crape myrtle, althea and trumpet vine.
Water your St. Augustine grass lawn deeply if temperatures of 24 degrees are forecast
Add new compost to all plants.
Order seeds for spring vegetable and flower gardens
Prune and clean evergreen shrubs.
3RD WEEK: This is the beginning of the coldest part of winter (Jan.15 to Feb.15)
January To Do List
CTG To Do List


Check for SCALE on roses very early this month and spray if needed.
15th plant potatoes.
Plant your spring crop of broccoli, cabbage cauliflower, carrots and asparagus
Potatoes, English peas, onions, radishes, carrots, and sweet peas can be planted now.
Reapply SLUG and SNAIL bait to pansy, strawberry and primrose beds.
Vegetables such as tomatoes and peppers and flowers such as begonias and petunias can be started now from seed. The seedlings will be ready for transplanting in the garden in 6 to 8 weeks.
Prune shade trees to restore good shape and remove damaged branches.
SPIDER MITES attack conifers (junipers, Hill-Country cedars, arborvitae, cypress, pines etc.) earlier than other plants. Look for browned, thinned interior needles. Use a miticide (or a hard blast of cold water every 3 days, 3 times).
Perennials planted now will bloom in spring.
Browse catalogs and select flower and vegetable varieties now before the rush of spring planting
Last chance to plant cold-weather flowers: snapdragons, stocks, sweet alyssum, et al.
Now is the time to build the trellis for your indeterminate tomatoes, squash, and gourds, so purchase materials this month.
Have you made your plan of what you want to grow this year?
If you plan to start from seed, have you ordered your seeds?
Feb. To Do List
Demesne To Do List
CTG To Do List



The first of March is typically the last frost date, but we have gotten nipped as late as the first week of April.-SB

plant vegetables and herbs in containers if you don’t have space for a full garden.

It’s easy to find blooming plants in springtime, but budget for a few perennials that also bloom in summer and fall so you escape the “sea of green” that happens after your spring blooms end. -RSR

The first few days of this month is the last call for planting bare-root dormant rose bushes. They can be planted later with success, but they will not grow off as quickly or as well.-AJW

Complete all transplanting of trees and shrubs. Water well until roots have had time to establish.-LR

Check irrigation systems for broken or misaligned sprinkler heads, correct water pressure, and proper coverage. This will save you water and money during our hot growing season. Consider purchasing a rain switch that will automatically turn off system when rainfalls have been adequate. -RSR [Consider irrigation plans and timers -C]

It’s too early to fertilize lawns. Instead, aerate with a core-extracting aerator and top-dress with 1/2 inch of compost or compost-sand mix to revitalize grass.-EO Wait to fertilize later in the month after your second mowing of the season.

If you haven’t already, mow your lawn to remove browned winter stubble.

Fertilize pecans with 21-0-0 or other high-nitrogen fertilizer on 30-day intervals early March through early May.-NS [use worm castinngs -C]


Geraniums, dianthus and petunias are good color plants for the sun during this transition from cool weather to hot. Salvia plants can be set out too.-EO

Feed deciduous trees and shrubs as they resume growth. The live oak leaves may be falling, this is normal, no cause for alarm. The round growths on the leaves are wasp galls, harmless to the tree. Use them for mulch.

Mix 1-2 inches of compost into soil & containers to prepare for veggie planting.

Sow sweet corn, snap and lima beans and cucumber seeds. Plant watermelons, squash, seed potatoes, carrots and all types of beans. Avoid planting seeds too thickly, think about final spacing and add just a few extra for insurance.

Finish pruning evergreen shrubs. Wait on spring-flowering shrubs.

Apply slow-release fertilizers [worm castings, composte] to landscape plants (not lawns) to gear up for the growing season.


We have passed the average last frost date for San Antonio. It can still freeze! (The time of the latest freeze is still two weeks away.) Spring is an exciting time for backyard bird watching as some of our familiar friends migrate home and join those who stayed all winter.

Plant warm-season annuals and vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers, petunias and Dahlberg daisies, but protect the plants if frost (or hail storm) is predicted.

Wait to fertilize your lawn until you have mowed real grass twice. Fertilizing too early only benefits the weeds.

Weather is probably warm enough now to lay sod. Remove weeds, fill in low spots and rake soil smooth for good sod-to-soil contact.

Aphids are feasting on cole crops and other plants (and my roses). Try to wash them off with a blast of soapy water until the predator insects get them in control, or you can spray with Spinosad or Pyrethrin, or release ladybugs to chomp them away (no pesticides can be used when ladybugs are dwelling). Oust aphids!-

Revitalize leggy salvia, pomegranate, vitex, ceniza and other shrubs by removing the old stem at ground level. Leave three to eight young stems.

Clean up all perennial beds that have last seasons growth.

Replenish the mulch of young trees. Place it in a donut shape so the mulch is over the roots but not against the trunk(at least 3 inches away).-CF

Sow bush lima beans, pole lima beans, cantaloupe and watermelon seeds.-EO

If weather is looking good, this is a good time for planting cantaloupes, watermelons and cucumbers.


Consider geraniums for a splash of color on the patio or balcony. They can handle full sun until temperatures increase. Then move them to a location with less sun.

Cold-sensitive plants can be placed on the patio now (check weather forecast). Be prepared to protect them if a late freeze threatens.

The first set of potted tomatoes can be placed in the garden now. Place N-sulate on the cages for protection from wind and cool nights.

Hold off on mulching new veggie transplants. Allow the sun to continue to warm up the soil for a while.

Add more mulch around hardy perennials, shrubs, and trees if it is now less than four inches deep. Keep mulch away from base of tree trunk.

Peak wildflower time in the San Antonio area probably will be during the first week of April.

Ground temperature is warming up, and hot-season crops can be sown. Consider planting Southern peas, pumpkins, peanuts, squash and okra.

Clean and oil pruning tools after you’ve finished all your pruning this month.

Rainbow Gardening by Month




Inspect Crepe Myrtles weekly for APHIDS or mildew.

Pull up, and discard squash vines if squash vine borers have bored into the stems.

If birds are attacking your tomatoes, try harvesting them when they turn from green to white. They will be nearly as good as vine ripened in a day or two.

Feed roses and other hungry individuals (according to their needs and water availability).

Oaks, magnolias and other trees will drop their leaves if we experience drought and hot weather conditions. No treatment is necessary, but a deep watering on the drip line once a month will help minimize the stress.

Plant iris, spider lilies, gloriosa lilies and caladiums.

Prune actively growing shrubs, such as elaeagnus and pyracantha, frequently.

Sun-loving flowers such as portulaca (moss rose) and purslane still can be planted. – EO

Mulch around trees and shrubs to save water and protect plants roots from the drying sun. Replenish as needed to conserve moisture and reduce weed growth.

Consider raising mower height before cutting your turfgrass. Taller grass will shade the soil and protect the root system.

There’s still time to plant okra, but germinating your own seed is probably necessary. This vegetable loves the heat and will do well planted even into June. – TAE

Plant summer annuals for color. Good candidates for sunny areas are moss rose, firebush, copper plant, celosia and lantana.

Remove flower buds from caladiums, coleus, mums and santolina to keep the plants growing vigorously.

As temperatures rise, tomatoes are susceptible to blossom-end rot. It occurs when soils dry out. Use mulch and water regularly to reduce the problem, keeping mulch away from the stem of the plant. Tomatoes may not bloom or set fruit with excessive heat. Once temperatures exceed 85 degrees, don’t expect new fruit. – CF

It is time to compost squash, brussels sprouts and other vegetable plants that are at the end of their productive life.

Plant Southern peas (black eye, purple hull, crowder, etc.) for a summer harvest and soil improvement.

Be careful near brush piles, weedy or overgrown areas and junk accumulations; the hybrid European/Africanized bees might lurk there.

Water young (less than two years old) trees and shrubs deeply every two weeks during summer (if there hasn’t been at least 1? rain per week).

Bougainvillea don’t like to be pampered. Let them get rootbound and let them dry out to 1 inch below the soil line between waterings. Fertilize every 4 weeks with hibiscus food or similar fertilizer for bountiful blooms.

Check for insects and diseases and destroy badly infested plants. SPIDER MITES can be especially troublesome if it’s hot and dry.

Soak coleus, caladiums and geraniums to a depth of 8" to help them cope with summer heat.

Maintain mulches at a depth of 2 to 6 inches, depending on the material used. – EO

Pinching back the tips of vigorously growing foliage plants will stimulate new growth and make plants fuller.

Plant crape myrtles while they are in bloom so you can be sure of the color you want.

SPIDER MITES may be hitting tomatoes, marigolds, beans, violets, junipers and verbenas (these are primary hosts but, there may be others); depending on if we have had hot, dry weather.. (*Keep in mind that companion planting can help enhance kitchen flavorings while at the same time discouraging pesky insect population. Plant garlic to deter red spider mites. – AS)

Fall WEBWORMS are making their homes in pecan and mulberry trees. Open the webs with a cane pole so wasps can feed on the worms. Another option is to spray Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) on the foliage where they are feeding or to let them run their course without treatment.

Start tomato and pepper seeds now so you can be ready for fall planting.

If container plants such as geraniums are declining despite regular watering, move them to a less sunny spot. Be careful to gradually decrease the amount of light they receive.

For dry, sunny beds now is the time to plant vinca for summer bloom. Water in the mornings or use drip irrigation (sprinkling over the top causes fungal die back). Mulch beds.

To encourage more flowers on annuals and perennials, remove faded flowers before plants set seed (a light application of fertilizer will help also, be sure to water in)

Plant heat-loving shade plants such as coleus, caladiums and begonias.

June is the month to select daylily varieties as they peak bloom.

Remove faded flowers from zinnias and roses for a longer bloom season. Get the same effect on verbena and lantana by skimming the plants with a string mower every four weeks.

Place firebush in a container to attract hummingbirds to the patio.

Mulch all beds two to four inches deep to keep soil cool, roots healthier, conserve moisture and minimize weed germination. Pine bark adds nutrients back into the soil as it breaks down and decomposes.

Finish pruning spring-flowering shrubs, vines and climbing roses.

Plant: Annuals: zinnia, cosmos, sunflower, celosia, penta, periwinkle, gomphrena, portulaca and other “ice” plant succulents, Mexican sunflower, salvia coccinea. Perennials & vines: (shade them for a week or so). Semi-tropicals like Pride of Barbados. Tropical plants. Succulents. Crinum lilies, cannas, caladiums, ginger. Clean up and replant containers—annuals, perennials, herbs, hibiscus, vegetables in larger containers

Top new containers with light layer of mulch to conserve water

Plant: herbs--Basil, catnip/catmint, oregano, thyme, rosemary, Mexican mint marigold, peppermint, lemongrass, lemon balm, lemon verbena, bay laurel

Plant: food crops--Cantaloupe, okra, Southern peas, sweet potato slips, pumpkin, summer & winter squash, watermelon

Collect cilantro seeds when totally dry for coriander in the kitchen or to plant next year

Mulch, but avoid touching the base of trees and roses

WEED! Do not let weeds go to seed. Do not apply chemicals: pull them up or mow down before they set seed.

Deeply water new plants. Even if rain comes, check the soil to 3” deep to make sure their roots have water. A brief shower doesn’t mean it penetrated to the roots.

Keep a garden journal to note bloom times and insect habits.

Prune herbs often to encourage new growth

Walk the garden in early morning to pick off stink bugs and largus bugs from tomatoes. Look under the leaves to for their eggs.

Water fruit and nut trees deeply to avoid fruit drop-off

Avoid over-watering plants as we head into heat. To avoid root rot, check soil moisture. Water deeply and then let dry out.


Plant: ornamental & wildlife: Succulents, Container plants

Plant: food crops: Okra, eggplant, peppers, corn sweet potato slips, pumpkin, summer & winter squash, watermelon

Prune: OKAY to prune red oaks and live oaks until February. Spray immediately with clear varnish. No need to apply pruning paint to other trees. Dead head flowering plants. Last chance to cut back fall blooming perennials (like aster) that are setting buds.

Fertilize: Foliar feed flowers and vegetables with liquid seaweed. Bougainvilla with high nitrogen. Container annuals. Citrus with high nitrogen fertilizer like Citrus-tone. Fertilize every few weeks through growing season.

Insects: Watch for aphids and spider mites. It’s easy to spray them off with a hard blast of water. Be sure to get the undersides of the leaves. Aphids and other insects can plague crape myrtles and other trees in summer (“raining trees” are due to the honeydew secretions). Blast with water hose on regular basis. Aphids and other insects can create sooty mold on plants, a fungus that develops from their secretions (honeydew). Wash off the culprits and the leaves. Remove damaged leaves to the trash (not the compost pile).

Tips: Prune herbs often to encourage new growth. Water fruit and nut trees deeply to avoid fruit drop-off. Avoid over-watering perennials and annuals in hot, humid conditions. To avoid root rot, check soil moisture. Water deeply and then let dry out.


Enjoy esperanza, firebush, caelsalpinia, salvia, crape myrtle and zinnias blooming all over San Antonio!

Container plants sitting in full sun may be taking a beating in the 100-degree heat. If so, move them to a location where they get a few hours (shade from 3:00 on) less sun. Check the root balls of container plants to make sure they are absorbing water. If the root ball has dried out too much, water will just run down the side. If this happens, soak the plant and container for no more than 10 to 15 minutes to correct the problem.

If tomatoes are infested with SPIDER MITES, harvest the remaining fruit, then pull up and discard the plants.

As temperatures rise, expect some leaves to fall from tree crowns. It is a natural survival tactic.

Water lawns only when grass blades first show signs of wilting in the morning.


Chewing SQUIRRELS, in search of food and moisture, are girdling branches in shade trees, which can cause the whole branch to die. Spray pruning paint on the wounds, where practical, to discourage further chewing.

Lawn clippings left on the lawn decompose to provide nutrients and organic material. Do not waste landfill space by bagging clippings.

Remove spent crape-myrtle flower heads to encourage more blooms, even through September.

Maintain mulch over the root system of young trees to increase growth rate by as much as 50%. (Mulches aid by controlling the moisture content and temperature of the soil, as well as providing necessary organics.)

Plant crape myrtles while in bloom to ensure selection of color (also be sure of the variety’s mature height).

Fertilize bougainvillea and plumeria to keep them blooming through the summer.


Turk’s cap and shrimp plant are good blooming plants that attract hummingbirds and grow in light shade.

Don’t waste water. Water most plants deeply on the day before they would have wilted.

Plant Asters, Firebush, perennial garden Mums, Salvias, Marigolds (spider mites are less problematic in the fall), etc. for fall bloom in sunny sites.

Begin seedlings for vegetable garden for fall planting; tomatoes look for Surefire, Celebrity, and Tycoon; eggplant and peppers should also be planted.

Die back in dwarf pittosporum probably is caused by freeze injuries from earlier winters (even a couple of years ago). Check for cracked and peeling bark at the base of the dying branch or branches. Prune out dead material.

Remove suckers from the base of fruit trees. They grow from the root system (stock) and are a different variety than the top, called the scion. Suckers will quickly dominate the scion if left uncut.

Skim the top of lantana and verbena with a hedge trimmer, or long shears, every six weeks to keep the plants blooming consistently.

If you need more summer color in your landscape, use periwinkle, moss rose, firebush, lantana and esperanza in sunny spots. Use firespike, coleus, caladiums or impatiens in the shade. Bear with trees and shrubs with yellowing leaves. Micro nutrients are not absorbed as they should be in super hot weather. The trees and shrubs are reacting to hot, dry weather and will recover in milder conditions. Spray iron sulfate on plants with chlorotic leaves (yellow leaves with green veins) but only in the morning or late at night so you will not burn your plants.

Trim leggy petunias and impatiens to promote new growth and new flowers.

Continue to prune fall-blooming perennials through August.

There is still time to set out another planting of annuals such as marigolds, zinnias and periwinkles. They will require extra attention for the first few weeks because of the heat, but the plants should reward you with color from late September until November.

Establish a new compost pile to accommodate the upcoming fall leaf accumulation.


If you want pumpkins for Halloween, now’s the time to plant. Plant 4 or 5 seeds together about 1 1/2 inches deep in well-drained soil. Space plants about 6 feet apart in order to have plenty of room.

If we want to implement organics such as alfalfa into the soil, the last of July or first part of August is the time to give a tremendous boost to the fall bloom. The alfalfa can be spread on the mulch like fertilizer.. Happy Frog and Espoma products are filled with active soil microbes that can bring your soil back to life by making the root systems of your plants more efficient at picking up and retaining water, fertilizer and other enzyme nutrients.

If you can find sturdy American hybrid marigold transplants that are not blooming yet, plant now for a spectacular fall display.

It is time to plant your fall vegetable garden (or start in shelter if the temperature is hovering around 100 deg.). Put in a simple drip irrigation system for efficient watering. Kits are easy to use. A soaker hose is a simple method to install drip irrigation in vegetable gardens and flower beds. But don’t turn the faucet on full blast. A quarter turn of the spigot is all you need.

GALLS may be prevalent on oak leaves. The round balls, about the size of BB’s, protect eggs of small wasps. They do not harm the trees, and are beneficial; no treatment is necessary.

Sandburs can be collected by dragging a carpet remnant over the area where they are growing.

Firebush, planted in full sun on a patio, will attract hummingbirds. Use fire spike for shaded areas.

Water apple and pear trees weekly.

Spray a chelated micro nutrient iron product mixed with a surfactant on lawns that are yellowing because of iron deficiency (water well before treatment)... or coffee grounds.

Prune dead or diseased wood from trees and shrubs. Hold off on major pruning until midwinter to avoid stimulating tender new growth.

Select and order spring-flowering bulbs so they will arrive in time for planting. Check with the extension service for proper chilling and planting times.

Plant tomatoes now for your fall garden. If planted early enough for the fall garden (last week of July-1st two weeks of August) even indeterminate varieties may be used with great success. Use heat-setting varieties such as Big Beef, Florida 91, Heat Wave II, BHN 444, BHN 602, Tycoon, Phoenix, Solar Fire, Super Fantastic, Sweet 100.

Now is the time to plant cabbage, eggplant, peppers and squash.


Soil Improvement August can be a bit of a ‘graveyard’ month – few things are looking good in the garden as the first flushes of growth on many plants have died or been pruned away and there’s not much (yet) to replace them. It can be one of the hottest, driest months in the UK, too, making watering essential... So this month’s tips are mainly about harvesting, maintaining colour and interest, pruning and propagating new plants – and of course, watering!


In the early part of the month sow your last veg for autumn/ winter harvesting (e.g chard or spinach). You can also sow salad leaves under cover in warmer areas. And sow green manures in ground that is going to be left vacant for a few months so as to help maintain nutrient levels and to keep weeds down.


It's your last chance to sow wildflower and bluebonnet seeds to get them established before they go dormant in winter.

Any month ending in "R" is the best time to plant trees and shrubs. It's still the perfect time to get trees established before next summer's heat.

MULCH MULCH MULCH! It's a good time to replenish beds and tree rings. Tender plants will benefit during cold weather too, as mulch acts like insulation for roots. This protects plants from frost in winter and heat in summer, and helps keep moisture in.

Use liquid seaweed as a winterizer for your plants. The potash found in liquid seaweed helps improve winter hardiness and plant hardiness overall.

Plant spring bulbs like daffodils, dutch iris and paperwhites now. If you want tulips, stick the bulbs in the fridge now until January, then plant. This will give them enough "chill hours" to grow properly in spring.

Don't forget to water your plants before a freeze, then cover. It sounds counterintuitive, but watering helps provide roots with an insulative barrier from cold air!


-December is still spring bulb, corm, rhizome, and tuber planting time in Texas to have a show of color from these plant selections next spring. The cold weather makes the soil a great temperature to keep the bulbs cold once planted.

-Fertilize onions, broccoli, cabbage and other cool-weather foliage vegetables with 2 cups of organic fertilizer or 1 cup of slow-release lawn fertilizer per 10 ft. of row. Use half the amount for carrots, beets, turnips and other root crops.

-Don't prune woody plants, unless they are already dormant. Wait until February.

-Cut back on fertilizer for indoor plants in winter.

Send comments to co@dadbyrn.com, Colby Glass, MLIS, PhDc, Professor Emeritus