Blanco County News
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How Does Your Garden Grow?
Rain's Effects on a Landscape
Wednesday, November 4, 2009 • Posted November 3, 2009 10:00 PM

It’s amazing what rain, cool weather and sunshine can do for the landscape. The lawns and flowers are lovely and the vegetables are putting on blooms and fruit. Even the redbud trees are blooming again. They must be very confused.

I let my parsley and cilantro go to seed this past summer. I was trying to encourage more pollinators into the garden; now I have a garden bed full of new plants. I’ll take up some of the herbs and place in small pots and take inside.

The multiplying onions have been growing until the guineas found a way into the garden and broke off all the tops. Now they are in plastic bags waitng for Thanksgiving. The onions will continue to grow and make more tops.

Gourds are an interesting and easy crop to grow. They come in all shapes and sizes. They are a member of the squash family. You will need full sun, water, fertile soil and a trellis or fence for the vines to attach to. They make great pieces of art, birdfeeders, birdhouses, vases and purses made from the gourds. When you pick the gourds, they must be placed in a dry, warm space with good circulation. Keep them from touching until they are cured. If any of them begin to rot, discard them. You’ll know when they are cured; the seeds rattle and the skin is dry. For small ones, this may take a week or two, but for larger ones it may take several months. Look for seeds in your favorite seed store or ask a friend to save you some seed from their gourds. That’s how I got my start. Plant them apart from their relatives. They will mix with squash. You can mix with other gourds and come up with very unusual produce.

If you are planting trees this Fall, this is a good time to check out the colors of different trees in our area. Some of the trees on our property that are changing colors are native black walnuts, Spanish oak (Texas red oak) box elder, green ash, Chinese pistache, crape myrtles, red bud, flame sumac, soapberry and mulberry.

It’s time to bring the house plants back inside for the winter. They need to be checked for disease and insects, cut back to fit inside or repot if needed. Have you heard of the ant that is more disasterous than the fire ant? It is called rasberry’s crazy ant. They have been found in East Texas and Louisiana but I haven’t heard of them in our area, yet.

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