Blanco County News
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How Does Your Garden Grow?
Happy New Year
Wednesday, January 6, 2010 • Posted January 5, 2010 10:00 PM

Happy New Year! If the rain keeps up it’s regular pattern, we will have wildflowers this year. The bluebonnets are looking healthy and thick. It should be a lovely Spring.

January is a busy month. If we have enough dry and warm days to be outside, we need to:

1. Clean up frozen plants. Most perennials can be cut to the ground and mulched.

2. Rake leaves and use them for mulch around trees, shrubs and in the garden. Make walkways through the gardens with the leaves.

3. Cut Esparanza (yellow bells) back halfway or to firm wood. Wait until the Spring, then cut back to new growth. Mulch the roots.

4. In late January, prune large shrubs and trees, except Spring blooming shrubs such as flowering quince, redbud trees, wisteria, Texas mountain laurel, dogwood and roses that bloom only once. Prune these after they bloom.

5. Fertilize cool season flowers; you may use the same lawn food, or Rose Glow, for all blooming flowers. Sprinkle on the ground, rake it in and water.

6. For Winter and Spring flowers, plant pansies, ornamental kale and cabbage, snapdragon, viola, alyssum, cyclamen, nasturtium, dusty miller, calendula and stock. Continue to fertilize and water.

7. Plant fruit trees, shade trees and shrubs now. Check that the trees are correct for our area. The roots have time to become adjusted before the hot weather. You do not need to wait until February to plant roses. Use the soil from the planting site when planting shrubs and trees. I’ve always had good results mixing a handful of good compost and cottonseed meal with the soil.

8. Bareroot trees, roses and shrubs are available now. They are usually less expensive and there is a larger selection.

9. If you can find the transplants, plant broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, leeks, onions and collard. Seed lettuce, spinach, beets, carrots, mustard, radishes and turnips.

We are having a prediction for very cold weather. Keep covers nearby to cover the new plants.

Why is Downtown Important?

By Retta Martin

Can malls and discount centers take the place of downtown? The answer is definitely no. Downtown is much more than a shopping center. It is critical for everyone involved in downtown revitalization to understand the value of downtown. Some reasons downtown is important are:

1. It is our central business district and prominent employment center.

2. It represents the largest concentration of businesses in our community

3. Most of our downtown businesses are independently owned

4. Our downtown is a reflection of how our community sees itself

5. Our downtown represents a significant portion of our tax base

6. Downtown is our central business district and is an indispensable shopping and service center.

7. Our downtown is the historic core of our community

8. Our downtown represents a vast amount of public and private investment

9. A central business district is often a major tourist draw

10. Our downtown is our government center

Most important is our downtown provides a sense of community and place. It is the heart and soul of our town.

Our Blanco Historic District has been undergoing changes since 2000 with the renovations and rehabilitation on the west side of the square by Uptown Blanco. The sidewalk and railing are in, and the awnings are beginning to go back up and work is continuing.

Last week, the OBCCP began the excavation for their Master Landscaping Plan. This is the very center of our historic district and will be beautiful when completed.

The City of Blanco has approved a resolution for the Streetscape Committee to work on a Master Plan for the Blanco Historic District that will preserve our history and heritage.

The KBB beautification volunteers work each week, weather permitting, to keep the Blanco city property and sidewalks beautiful with landscaping and plants. It is time to look back on a year that just ended and start planning for 2010. We need volunteers to come and work with our community to help Make and Keep Blanco Beautiful.

If you are making News Year’s resolutions for 2010, please add to your lists that you will help clean Blanco and keep it clean and healthy by recycling, and by helping rid our yards of trash, junk cars, and discarded item.

The Keep Blanco Beautiful 11th Annual Trash Off and River Cleanup will be held on the first Saturday in April 2010. There are plans to have two additional days for special items in 2010 and more information is to come. Until then, please take your discarded items to the IESI yard located between Blanco and Johnson City.

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