Joette Reger's archive

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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The International Seed Saving Institute has the mantra “Feel the need for seed!” Yes, this institute does exist. It is located in Arizona and is a great resource for seed saving, permaculture and any questions related to seed saving.

Why should you become a seed saver? Seed saving is as old as gardening. Years ago gardeners considered seeds from their favorite plants to be treasures to be guarded. Since seeds these days are relatively inexpensive, you may ask, “Why should I be a seed saver.”

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As long-time gardeners know, the bank is not the only way to save for the future. They save seeds from their harvest and from favorite plants. By saving seeds, you can save money. Also, by saving the seeds of the tallest or most colorful of the plants, you can begin to manipulate the preferred genetic traits in your next year’s plants.

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Bulbous, smelly, yet oh so good is one description of the Allium genus, or onions. These popular rhizomes can be either perennial or biennial. The onion is native to the northern hemisphere, Ethiopia, South Africa and Mexico.

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How aptly named can a plant be? Just look at the “Topsy Turvy” for an answer to that question. This quick-growing succulent takes on a swirling, rosette shape with its leaves pointing inward toward the center of the plant. It looks like your favorite ride at the carnival.

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