Blanco County News
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Bill's Organic Garden – Observing Changes
Wednesday, November 13, 2013 • Posted November 15, 2013

All of the male Ashe Junipers (Cedar Trees) are loading up with their insidious pollen in preparation for their explosion of the reddish pollen dust to which so many folks are allergic. There is a solution to the problem listed below.

The Ashe Juniper (Cedar Tree) berries that are a strategic part of the solution to the cedar pollen problem are definitely ready to be harvested. They are in abundance on our place this year, yet another indicator of a really hard Winter.

My dear friend Harris Greenwood has observed that on his ranch the abundance of acorns has kept the deer away from his feeders. One of Harris’ favorite sports writers, Jim Doggett (now retired, says that what you put in your deer feeders is the B-Corn and what the deer really want is the A-corn!

Cedar Fever Time

It is Cedar (Ashe Juniper) berry collecting time. Shortly, very shortly there will be a time for our daily dose of “Cedar Tea” to keep Cedar Fever away. What does this mean? Well, if you are affected by the cedar pollen as so many are, you will definitely want to know Betty Branch’s tea recipe (page 62 in my book). For those of you who don’t have my book yet, gather one half cup of Juniper Berries. Clean the cedar berries by rinsing them in tap water. Next, place the berries in a saucepan with one and half cups of water. Bring water and berries to a boil and then remove from the fire. Cover pan and let cool. After the tea has cooled, pour entire contents into a jar that has a top and place the jar with contents into your refrigerator. Recently I have filtered out the berries and only keep the tea in the jar. Either way works. Each morning drink a teaspoon or two of the tea depending on your size and weight. Warning: Be sure and check with your physician before drinking this concoction to make sure it is safe for your level of allergy. Here is what happens. The male tree is the pollen spreader/producer and the female is the one that produces the berries that give us relief. So, ladies, once again you all have come to the rescue of us men. What in the world would we do without you? I for one don’t even want to think about that scenario.

Last Chance

November is your last chance to plant Wildflowers. Reread last month’s column about Wild Seed Farms and their selection of wildflowers seeds to plant. will take you to their site. Most of our wildflowers love poor soil conditions. Boy, they ought to love most of the Texas Hill Country.

It is only a couple of weeks till the average first freezes arrive here in the Hill Country. Be sure that you are prepared to take all the necessary precautions to protect your veggies and other tender vegetation.

November Duties

Now is a good time to begin to clean up our tools and put them away for the Winter. Last year at this time we had already experienced our first freeze, according to the weather journal I keep for our place at Oatmeal. The average first freeze in the Texas Hill Country is November 15th. It is time to start thinking where you are going to put those tender plants for the Winter that have been outside all Spring and Summer.

When you put away for the Winter anything that operates on gasoline or diesel, be sure and drain or better yet run till dry all pieces of equipment in order to store the equipment. The fuel left in the equipment till next Spring just may cause you lots of damage and repair cost before you can use them again.

Don’t prune your Live Oak trees until after the first freeze. Those pesky beetles will become dormant at that time. Late December and January are the best months for pruning Live Oak trees. If you are thinking about pruning your fruit trees, then those will be pruned in late Winter, early Spring and I will give you a heads up at that time.

This is a great time to begin to plant new trees. Always keep in mind where you are planting and the eventual size of the tree before you plant. Locate all electrical and telephone, and water lines before you start to plant and look up for roof lines and overhead obstacles before you dig.

Wildlife Management

As you know, I am a believer and supporter of Wildlife Management versus Agricultural exemption. Under Wildlife management, I can run livestock, but I don’t have to have animals and this option allows me to be a better steward of my land. During this horrible drought, I did not have to abuse my land by having too many livestock animals on my land in order to maintain an Agricultural exemption. The 1d1w Wildlife Ag Exemption from full valuation of our lands for ad valorem tax purposes is one of the laws that I can really get behind and support.

There are several good firms that perform all of the required Wildlife Plan and annual reporting requirements to establish and maintain the Wildlife Ag Exemption for you. One such firm that does a good job is a new firm by the name of Peaceful Springs Wildlife Management, owned and operated by the nationally acclaimed Wildlife photographer Karen Kilfeather. Karen Kilfeather’s web site is and email address is By the way, Karen is who does my Wildlife Management Plan each year. At this time she is in Burnet County.


Thanksgiving day as we sit down to dinner with friends and family, let’s remember to ask ourselves to name all the things that we are thankful for this past year. Our list should be very long.

“Oh, that man would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and for His wonderful works to the children of men! Let them sacrifice the sacrifices of Thanksgiving, and declare His works with rejoicing.” Psalm 107:21-22

Till Next Month!

Keep your souls and your soles in your garden!

Remember the True Master Gardener: Jesus said, “I am the vine; my Father is the Gardener.” John 15:1

Have questions or comments? Contact Bill Luedecke at The Luedecke Group Realtors, P.O. Box 1632, Bertram, TX. 78605 (no Post Office in Oatmeal) or email For additional gardening web sites, go to his web site; www.TexasLand.Net and click on links.

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