Joette Reger's archive

Someone is giving away free trees? Jefferson County Master Gardeners, under the volunteer guidance of Glen Watz, will be giving away one-year old, bare-rooted seedlings to the local community. Get there early to get yours. The Campbell group is sharing trees with area residents on Friday, Feb. 10, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the Jefferson County Master Gardener test garden at the Jack Brooks Regional Airport.

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We hear about the USDA hardiness zones and most garden centers sell plants with tags clearly marking which zone the plant is best suited for. With few exceptions, gardening success is vitally linked to selecting plants that suit your climate. Our area hardiness zones are Zone 8 and Zone 9.

If you want a low maintenance garden, stick with plants for your zone. But that being said, you can cheat the zones a little. It might be interesting to expand your plant palette and push the limits by creating microclimates.

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When it is just too cold, too wet, and just too nasty outside to plant in your yard or garden, get thee to a nursery that sells seeds. Just standing there and looking at those racks of colorful seeds and dreaming of the garden you could have should make you feel better.

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December is a great month for gardening in our area — in a way. Unlike in areas where the climate means soil is covered in snow, here we can still go outside and get a lot done.

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Gardening doesn’t stop in Texas when it’s December, but it does slow down. This is a good month to check all of your gardening tools. Repair, replace, discard, oil and sharpen tools. Are there some tools or gardening supplies that you need? Make a wish list.

Vines, ground covers, ornamental grasses: Ground covers and ornamental grasses can be planted or transplanted. Make sure they stay moist but no need to fertilize until next spring. Cut back growth of vines if there is a freeze or brown damaged growth. Mulch to protect the roots from extreme cold.

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