Pollinators! Our gardens can’t survive without them. Join us for these two very interesting and timely programs. Session 1 will give you insight on how to create a garden for caterpillars and adult butterflies. We will discuss all the necessary elements you need to have a flurry of butterflies in your yard. Session 2 will teach you how to breed those most important queens for your hives.
By Nita Schiro; Master Gardener
Here is a quick update to the MCMGA Spring Plant Sale on March 24th about our herb selection.
Herbs are fun to grow and they provide a wide range of earthy scents in the garden. Most gardeners plant an herb garden for culinary purposes or simply because they have their favorite herbs. I know I love the smell of basil and rosemary and always have some planted in a container on my patio. When you shop the Montgomery County Master Gardener’s Spring Plant Sale on March 24th you are sure to be impressed with the assortment of herbs that will be available.
There are too many to mention here, but if you are looking for a few, we will most likely have them! From basil, lavender, rosemary, peppermint, and thyme plus hundreds of others, you will love our assortment of herbs.
One herb I am especially fond of is parsley. It doesn’t really matter which variety – curled, Italian, flat leaf or not. Parsley is a familiar herb that makes an attractive garnish and provides a distinct flavor as well as nutrition to soups and other dishes. Parsley is easy to grow and the ruffled leaves add beauty and interest to the herb garden. However, did you know parsley is a butterfly-friendly plant? It is especially attractive to black swallowtail butterflies. They love it for rearing their young, and of course for eating the leaves. So, when you think of your herb garden be sure to pick up parsley, as you will be doing the eastern black swallowtail butterfly a huge favor. You will have two varieties of parsley to choose from at the MCMGA Spring Plant Sale – Curled and Italian parsley.
Visit the MCMGA website at http://www.mcmga.com for the complete plant list. Make plans now to come visit us on March 24th, and be sure to arrive early for the best selection of herbs, perennials, citrus, vegetables or trees. Don’t forget to bring your own wagon if you have one, as we have a limited number available.
The MCMGA Spring Plant Sale will be held at the Texas AgriLife Extension Office at 9020 Airport Road in Conroe, Texas on March 24th. The pre-sale talk begins at 8:00 a.m. and the sale is from 9:00 am until 12:00 noon.
See you there!
By Nita Schiro
September has arrived and with it Hurricane Harvey! Most of the Houston area received record rain, and much of Texas will be recovering for some time from the effects of Harvey. Despite this, the MCMGA is on course with preparations for the Fall Plant Sale. With a little luck, temperatures will be cooler and we will feel inspired to plant a fall garden. A change in weather always seems to entice us to get outdoors and do a little gardening. The MCMGA Fall Plant Sale is set for Saturday, October 14th, starting at 8 am for the program, and 9 am – 12:00 for the sale.
Master Gardeners have been busy cultivating and caring for a wide variety of plants for the sale. This year we will have one fall sale with vegetables, herbs, and perennials to meet all your gardening needs.
As you know, fall is the perfect time of year to plant in Montgomery County. Vegetables are particularly popular for fall planting, and we will have many varieties available. A few veggies we will offer include greens (Turnip, Mustard or Collard), cabbages, Brussel sprouts, Kale, Lettuce or Cauliflower varieties.
If you are willing to try something different, consider Cheddar cauliflower, which is bright orange, or Graffiti cauliflower, which is purple. Cauliflower is considered a “super food” and is known to contain outstanding antioxidants and vitamins. You can find a multitude of Cauliflower recipes online if you need some inspiration! Here are some tips for growing Cauliflower:
- Set the plants out right away, about 6-8 weeks before the first frost. We usually don’t have a freeze in our area until around Thanksgiving.
- Cauliflower needs at least 6 hours of full sun; more is better. It also needs fertile, well-drained, moist soil with plenty of rich organic matter. (http://bonnieplants.com)
- When the cauliflower heads are about 2 inches wide, you may need to pull the leaves up over each little head and fasten with a clothespin or twine. This shades the head to ensure it will be white and tender at harvest (called blanching).
We will have many other veggies for sale, as well as herbs and of course, a variety of beautiful perennials. Be sure to check out the Plant Sale list (coming soon) on the MCMGA website. (www.mcmga.com) Updates may be made to the list before the sale date.