2017-03-16 / Writer's Corner

Master Gardener

HCMGA to give free water gardens presentation
by Lydia Holley

Master Gardener Yvonne Sparks will give a free presentation on “Water Gardens for Your Landscape” on Tuesday, March 21, 5:30 p.m. at the Clint W. Murchison Memorial Library, 121 S. Prairieville, Athens.

Water features in a garden are lovely to look at, soothing to the senses, and attract wonderful wildlife, such as dragonflies. The sound of water can help block out unwanted noises from adjacent traffic or neighborhood children. You can also grow fun and exotic plants in a pond. Water lilies, lotus or pickerel rush are just a few of the numerous plants that grow well in a small pond. You may even be able to add koi or other fish to your water feature.

Come learn how a water feature could enhance your landscape. This is a part of Henderson County Master Gardener Association’s (HCMGA) ‘Learn at the Library’ series. Future presentations will be offered on the third Tuesday of each month.

Learning about water gardens is a great thing to do in March. Something else to do this month is mulching. You should already have a nice layer of mulch suppressing weed seeds from germinating. It is now time to refresh the layer of mulch. The amount you will need to add depends upon how much has decomposed throughout the year. You want about a three-inch layer of mulch to help retain moisture, reduce temperature fluctuations and to continue to keep weeds from germinating.

Before adding mulch, you may want to fertilize any heavy feeders, such as roses or fertilize with a liquid feed- er. Now is also a great time to have your soil tested to determine exactly which nutrients your plants may be lacking in your soil. A soil test is easy to do and the testing starts at approximately $10, depending on how extensive you want your soil tested. The soil sample kit can be obtained by calling the number below, visiting the Ag office located on the 3rd floor of the courthouse, or picking one up at the HCMGA booth at various events throughout the county.

In the vegetable beds, there are several crops you can plant now. Corn can be planted anytime during the month, while beans (both bush and pole type), cucumber, cantaloupe, summer squash, and tomato plants can all be put out mid to late March. You can start seeds indoors for eggplant and pepper plants. Check on your potato plants and mound soil up around them as needed. This is called ‘hilling’ or ‘earthing’. Leave approximately two to three inches of green stems above the soil so your potato plants will continue to grow.

For more information, call 903-675-6130, email hendersonCMGA@gmail.com or visit henderson-co-tx-mg.org.

Return to top