Harris County Master Gardeners

Harris County Master Gardeners Proven gardening information provided by trained volunteers. Please submit all questions at: https://hcmga.tamu.edu/ask-a-question/

For anyone wishing to visit the Genoa Friendship Garden, it is open Mondays & Wednesdays from 9am-noon.
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Master Gardeners are trained volunteers who assist AgriLife Extension in bringing research-based horticulture information to the public.

Operating as usual

Blueberry (Vaccinium 'Sunshine Blue'),3'-4'T&W, FS to PS, can be grown as a hedge or in containers, read more at http://...
03/15/2021

Blueberry (Vaccinium 'Sunshine Blue'),3'-4'T&W, FS to PS, can be grown as a hedge or in containers, read more at http://bit.ly/3rLNpSN 031321aldtx

Tips for caring for your azaleas and roses after the deep freeze.
03/14/2021
Greg Grant Gardens

Tips for caring for your azaleas and roses after the deep freeze.

My latest Tyler Morning Telegraph garden column is about caring for azaleas and roses after the recent freeze damage.

https://tylerpaper.com/lifestyle/how-to-care-for-azaleas-and-roses-after-the-freeze/article_f3df453e-8130-11eb-826e-d70c1caa7304.html

Caring for Frozen Azaleas and Roses
Greg Grant, Tyler Morning Telegraph
March 14, 2021

It doesn’t take a genius or even a gardener to tell that our azaleas and roses suffered mightily during this winter’s DEEP FREEZE. Many other plants from southeast Asia suffered damage as well, including Asian jasmine, banana shrub, camellia, citrus, fatsia, fig ivy, gardenia, loquat, loropetalum, pittosporum, privet, rose, sago palm, sasanqua, star jasmine, sweet olive, and wax leaf ligustrum.
It’s still too early to tell the full extent of the damage, but the best advice that I can give you is to wait and let the plants tell you what portions to cut off and what portions to leave. It’s likely that many plants will sprout back from existing stems or crowns, most at least below the snow line, and others possibly from the ground.
Splitting stems and brown leaves indicate that those branches are dead. Swelling buds and green shoots mean that those branches are alive. Once your azaleas, roses, and other shrubs start to grow back, use hand pruners, loppers, hedge shears, or hand saws (even chain saws on larger specimens) to cut away the dead branches. Instead of daily scratching of stems and whittling away at branches, I’d personally wait until the plant clearly shows the growing portions and do all my pruning at the same time to save labor and the chance of cuttings off live stems. After all, just because the leaves are brown, doesn’t mean the stems are dead. Loropetalum (Chinese fringe flower) is a good example of a plant where some just lost all the foliage and none of the stems. In this case, new leaves will soon cloak the bare branches and all will appear normal. Because of microclimates, all plants will be different, depending on the species, location, and how protected they were. Be patient and selective. I think most plants in our landscapes, even cut back to several feet, will easily attain the size of five gallon nursery stock by mid-summer and fall.
Once you cut your azaleas back to live wood, you can fertilize them to help them recover. The most important factor in feeding azaleas is to use small amounts per application. Use any of the commercial granular azalea/camellia/gardenia fertilizers made for acid-loving plants and follow directions on the label. Larger plantings might find ammonium sulfate (21-0-0) more cost effective. Above all, evenly distribute the fertilizer throughout the bed, never in concentrated piles, and water in after applying (or apply before a rain) to make sure the fertilizer isn’t still on the foliage which will cause burning.
On roses and other shrubs you cut back, you can use a light sprinkling of a general lawn fertilizer like 15-5-10 or even better, one with slow release nitrogen like 28-3-12.

Greg Grant is the Smith County horticulturist for the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. He is author of Texas Fruit and Vegetable Gardening, Heirloom Gardening in the South, and The Rose Rustlers. You can read his “Greg’s Ramblings” blog at arborgate.com, read his “In Greg’s Garden” in each issue of Texas Gardener magazine (texasgardener.com), and follow him on Facebook at “Greg Grant Gardens.” More science-based lawn and gardening information from the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service can be found at aggieturf.tamu.edu and aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu.

Image caption: Azaleas with freeze damage will need to be cut back once they start to grow.

Harris County Master Gardeners's cover photo
03/14/2021

Harris County Master Gardeners's cover photo

Just in time for spring and the MG plant sales 😎.  Happy Friday and happy gardening!
03/12/2021

Just in time for spring and the MG plant sales 😎. Happy Friday and happy gardening!

Do you love old roses?  In this article, Dr. William C. Welch states, “Old rose varieties tend to be stable, long lived,...
03/12/2021

Do you love old roses? In this article, Dr. William C. Welch states, “Old rose varieties tend to be stable, long lived, and sturdy, especially when grown from cuttings. Many show a strong resistance to black spot and other diseases. The unforgettable 'true rose' fragrance lives in its undiluted form in old roses; such richness and diversity of fragrance are not found in the modern hybrids.” https://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/southerngarden/antique.html
Here is also a review of Dr. Welch’s book Antique Roses for the South: https://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/southerngarden/BkRevRoses.html. The publisher states the book is “filled with gorgeous images and offers chapters on care and propagation, landscaping and arranging, and rose crafts. The comprehensive dictionary lists more than 100 of these magnificent flowers, complete with helpful descriptions.” It's a beautiful book and recommended reading.

Good news!  Bluebonnets!!
03/11/2021
Texas Highways Magazine

Good news! Bluebonnets!!

Don't worry, y'all! The wintery weather last month did not ruin our wildflower season.

03/10/2021

We are working in final totals for our two upcoming pick up events.
Unfortunately there are some shorted items. We will issue refunds at the event. You will just need your credit card and your refund will be processed immediately.
We are terribly disappointed but the freeze took its toll across the state and certain plants did not make it.
Your patience is greatly appreciated.

Looks like this Heuchera 'Red Lightning' is making a comeback after the freeze. Did you know Heuchera are derived from N...
03/08/2021

Looks like this Heuchera 'Red Lightning' is making a comeback after the freeze. Did you know Heuchera are derived from North American native perennials? Read more at http://bit.ly/3v36Ecx 030721aldtx

As many of us are planning for landscape plant replacements, it is a good time to consider the Earth Kind plants that ar...
03/05/2021
Earth-Kind® Home - Earth-Kind® Landscaping Earth-Kind® Landscaping

As many of us are planning for landscape plant replacements, it is a good time to consider the Earth Kind plants that are tough, disease resistant, and drought tolerant. This web site features wonderful information on Earth Kind plants as well as the Earth Kind Plant Selector to assist you in making choices for your yard:

https://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/earthkind/

Texas A&M University - Academic analyses and information on horticultural crops ranging from fruits and nuts to ornamentals, viticulture and wine.

The Master Gardener Spring Perennial, Pepper and Tomato has been extended until Sunday night 11:00PM.  Order now for exc...
03/05/2021

The Master Gardener Spring Perennial, Pepper and Tomato has been extended until Sunday night 11:00PM. Order now for excellent transplants, Microlife and more. Happy Friday and Happy Gardening! https://hcmga.tamu.edu/shop/

Don't forget to register for our FREE COMPOSTING talk with our Green Thumb Gardening Lecture Series this Monday (8th) at...
03/04/2021
~ HCC Community Learning Program ~ Spring 2021

Don't forget to register for our FREE COMPOSTING talk with our Green Thumb Gardening Lecture Series this Monday (8th) at 10am! Registration is required for this webinar via WebEx https://hcc.events.idloom.com/hcc-community-learning-program-on-line This is a FREE talk lasting about an hour and a half available by registering through Houston Community College (HCC)
** We have a second composting lecture via facebook live on the 16th that is just a bit shorter. Join us for one or both!

Please click REGISTER above to see full Spring SCHEDULE and make your selections. The HCC Community Learning Program is offering a variety of ON-LINE personal enrichment workshops/classes that provide opportunities to learn a new skill, build on proficiency, or explore a new interest. ...

We have extended out Spring Perennial, Pepper and Tomato ordering until Sunday night   11:00PM   Order now for excellent...
03/04/2021

We have extended out Spring Perennial, Pepper and Tomato ordering until Sunday night 11:00PM Order now for excellent transplants, Microlife and more.

Don't let this happen to you!!  GFG plant sale ends this Friday, March 5.  And, YES, we even have Habanero peppers for s...
03/01/2021

Don't let this happen to you!! GFG plant sale ends this Friday, March 5. And, YES, we even have Habanero peppers for sale - all 200,000-300,000 Scoville heat units!
Tomatoes, peppers and more.
Pick up only event the weekend of March 19-21.
Visit our shop here in Facebook
Or
Visit https://hcmga.tamu.edu/shop/
Proceeds help our community services and projects.

More tips for winter storm damaged plants.
03/01/2021

More tips for winter storm damaged plants.

Check out what our Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Agent - Smith County, Greg Grant is working on. We've got a great resource for moving forward after the winter blast. There are a lot of questions on how to care for our plants moving forward, let us help!

Sadly, many bats around Houston have died due to the freeze, especially Mexican free-tailed bats. One positive aspect is...
02/28/2021
Hundreds of dead bats under Houston bridge are proof of winter storm's toll on wildlife

Sadly, many bats around Houston have died due to the freeze, especially Mexican free-tailed bats. One positive aspect is that not ALL the bats were there, as some migrate south and haven't returned yet. They are encouraging the public to report them in iNaturalist and to be aware that it's happening, in case you find any. No need for alarm. If you find a live bat, contact a wildlife rehabilitator.

Experts say the bats either died due to exposure to sustained freezing temperatures or because of starvation in the storm's wake.

A rare beauty in Houston! Here is a frost flower, Verbesina virginica, found in McGovern Centennial Gardens last week. W...
02/26/2021

A rare beauty in Houston! Here is a frost flower, Verbesina virginica, found in McGovern Centennial Gardens last week. When it freezes, the stems release water that create lovely shapes.
Photo taken by Harris County Master Gardener, William Isbell.

A rare beauty in Houston! Here is a frost flower, Verbesina virginica, found in McGovern Centennial Gardens last week. When it freezes, the stems release water that create lovely shapes.
Photo taken by Harris County Master Gardener, William Isbell.

“Squatting and lifting, bending and twisting. The garden can be your green gym.”Which hobby helps you live longer?  Turn...
02/26/2021

“Squatting and lifting, bending and twisting. The garden can be your green gym.”
Which hobby helps you live longer? Turns out it’s gardening! If you’re resolved to live a healthier lifestyle, eat better, and get more exercise, gardening can give you all that and more. Here are surprising benefits to starting even the smallest of gardens or caring for a few green friends. Happy Gardening! https://www.almanac.com/8-reasons-why-vegetable-garden-makes-us-happy-and-healthy?fbclid=IwAR1Mevgl8RuPtbAxtkafZv8I5uVXHZGSpAxYqA2TMHuCJTvUD7LrkNoXcDg

Look for the Snow Moon tonight when the moon will move toward the east at sunset. It will reach the highest point around...
02/26/2021
Moonrise and Moonset Calculator

Look for the Snow Moon tonight when the moon will move toward the east at sunset. It will reach the highest point around midnight EST. On Saturday, February 27, at 3:19 a.m. EST, the Snow Moon will be its brightest, but don't worry, you don't have to be up quite that early to get a good look. Check out The Old Farmer's Almanac moonrise and moonset calculator (https://www.almanac.com/astronomy/moon-rise-and-set#) to figure out the exact time you should look outside. There's only one Snow Moon each year, and you won't want to miss it.
The Snow Moon's name simply comes from the fact that there's a heavy amount of snowfall in February. Some Native American tribes refer to the full moon by different names. The Cree call it the Bald Eagle Moon, the Dakota refer to it as the Racoon Moon, the Algonquin name it the Groundhog Moon, and the Haida say it's the Goose Moon. The Cherokee call it the Hungry Moon because February is known for its lack of food. (That makes me sad about the lack of food.)
https://www.bhg.com/health-family/seasonal/snow-moon/

Rise and set times for the Moon for locations in the U.S. or Canada. Also learn the illumination, and the meridian crossing time.

We still have until next Friday to order from our Genoa Friendship Garden Spring sale.Tomatoes, peppers and more. Pick u...
02/25/2021
Shop

We still have until next Friday to order from our Genoa Friendship Garden Spring sale.
Tomatoes, peppers and more.
Pick up only event the weekend of March 19-21.
Visit our shop here in Facebook
Or
Visit https://hcmga.tamu.edu/shop/
Proceeds help our community services and projects.

Shop Thank you for visiting the HCMGA online store. Our new and exciting platform will be able to provide plants, tools and more throughout the year. Sales from our online store supports our Educational Programs throughout Harris County. Programs like, Ask a Master Gardener, Green Thumb Garden Lectu...

02/24/2021
Aggie Horticulture

Winter plant damage

Join us to talk about winter damage to your plants!

02/22/2021
Texas A&M Agrilife Extension - Harris County Horticulture

Texas A&M Agrilife Extension - Harris County Horticulture

Here is a good read on citrus cold damage. Limes, lemons, and citrons are the most at risk at being lost. The temps we had in 2018 is proof of that, as many lost their lemon trees around Houston. Ultimately, we have no way of being able to tell if your tree comes through at this point.
There are many variables, such as maturity, health of the tree at the time of the freeze, and protections taken, like banking and wrapping. If you did bank, or pile mulch up at the base of tree, then keep in place until we know the danger is gone.
Freeze damage in branches and trunks of trees may take some time to show. A small fingernail scrape on a branch will reveal a brown, green or creamy color. Brown indicates damaged tissue. This may affect part of the tree or all of it. It will be a waiting game for us all.

02/21/2021
Texas A&M Agrilife Extension - Harris County Horticulture

More advice for your freeze-damaged plants.

What do we do with our freeze-damaged plants? Give them time right now. Don't prune, don't fertilize, don't overwater. Just let them be. If there is soft, mushy material, you can remove that. In case we get any other frost or freezes, the plants will have a little protection. The last thing we want to do is encourage growth by pruning. Let the patience begin!

In case you have not  checked your email.  If you have an order for Fruit Trees and/or tomatoes the pick up has been pos...
02/20/2021

In case you have not checked your email. If you have an order for Fruit Trees and/or tomatoes the pick up has been postponed to a future date,

Urgent update regarding this weekend’s pick up event
HCMGA Fruit Tree & Tomato Sale Pick up Customer
>> Your Plant Sale order Delay Notice
>> Due to the momentous winter storm and extraordinary low weather, the weekend's Harris County Master Gardener Fruit Tree & Tomato Pick up Event will be rescheduled for a future pickup date. We will put our best efforts into rescheduling after caring for house, family and health. Our grower has worked the last two weeks preparing they are hopeful but delivery is impossible this week.
You will be notified by email as quickly as possible to alert you of the re-arranged date for pick up.
>> We thank you and appreciate your loyalty to the great contributions we as gardeners bring to our world. Your support, understanding and assistance is immensely appreciated.
Be safe

02/19/2021

The big question is, what do I do now that our plants appear freeze-damaged? We will address this next week, but the main point for now is to just be patient. We don't want to do a lot of pruning in case there is another frost or freeze. Some plants will pop back quickly, some slowly, and others may be a loss, but give it some time once the temps increase. In the meantime, we'll focus on getting fresh water to the area and our grocery stores stocked. Wishing you all well!

02/19/2021
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension-Harris County Family & Community Health

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension-Harris County Family & Community Health

Here is the current list of water distribution for today :
. Most open today at 11 AM.

• Delmar Stadium at 2020 Mangum Road.
• Greenhouse International Church: 200 Greens Road, 77067
• New Faith Baptist Church N.E.: 8955 North Wayside Dr., 77028
• Garden Oaks Church of Christ: 4926 North Shepherd Dr., 77018
• Kingdom Builder Cathedral: 8146 East Houston, 77028
• J Robinson, SR Community Center: 1422 Ledwicke, 77029
• Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church: 3015 N MacGregor Way, 77004
• Bethel Institutional Baptist: 5530 Selinsky, 77048
• Mt. Hebron Missionary Baptist Church: 7817 Calhoun, 77033
• St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church: 8309 Brandon Street, 77051
• Friday 11 a.m. and Saturday at 9 a.m. at West Houston Assistance Ministries (WHAM): 10501 Meadowglen Dr, 77042
• Saturday at 8:30 a.m. at Church at the Cross: 3835 S. Dairy Ashford, 77082
• Townwood Park: 3402 Simsbrook Drive, 77045
• Fountain Life Center: 14083 S Main, 77035

If you or someone you know is disabled and in need of water, visit this website for help.  You can also offer help for d...
02/19/2021
CrowdSource Rescue

If you or someone you know is disabled and in need of water, visit this website for help. You can also offer help for distribution.

Neighbors Rescuing Neighbors. Neighbors Loving Neighbors.

Address

1202 Genoa Red Bluff Rd
Houston, TX
77084

General information

HCMGA is a nonprofit, 501(c)3 incorporated association, affiliated with the Texas AgriLife Extension Service in Harris County and the Texas A&M System.

Opening Hours

Monday 07:30 - 16:00
Tuesday 07:30 - 16:00
Wednesday 07:30 - 16:00
Thursday 07:30 - 16:00
Friday 07:30 - 16:00

Telephone

+1 713-274-0950

Products

Have a gardening question? We are happy to answer! Please submit all questions at: https://hcmga.tamu.edu/ask-a-question/

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Comments

I am late in cutting back my ornamental grasses. Is there a technique that is easier than others? This has become a practice in frustration and I hope that someone has it already figured out. I also have Louisiana Iris that need cutting back. Thanks in advance for your help!
Would love advice on yard clean up. How to get back our frozen agapanthus, Mexican dwarf petunia, hibiscus, and esperanza. Thank you!
It's almost Valentine's Day. Time to prune your roses.
This is the base of my apple tree. What on earth is causing these holes?
Hello MGs! Does anyone know if there are any leftover fruit trees (specifically citrus?) still at GFG from the previous plant sale? I have a gardener from one of our community gardens that are interested in purchasing at cost, or looking for citrus fruit tree donations to build an orchard and sound block from the highway they are near. Thank you so much in advance for any recommendations!
Has anyone out here tried the liquid aereation stuff?
Stay safe Texas!
Hi There, Is Harris County part of the online master gardener certification program? I saw that Ft Bend is but I live in Harris. TIA!
Hi, this is my new baby Washington Navel Orange tree that I got a few weeks ago from the Houston Master Gardeners sale. I’m a pretty new gardener, so I’m looking for some help with what’s going on with these yellow leaves? Am I watering too much? Not enough? Is it something else? I just put it in a large half whiskey barrel pot last week, with potting soil that said it’s good for fruit and added citrus feed . The yellowing started before that but has gotten worse. Any advice?
Yum.
I registered for Skip's 10 am CEU today on container gardening but the event host never sent me a "ticket" and would not allow me to access this event. There are a number of other events listed on "Eventbrite" for Master Gardeners. Please trouble shoot why we don't get tickets when we register and cannot view any of these events. Thank you.
I have a small backyard garden and I’ve had a great crop of tomatoes until about 4-5 days ago. Since them I’ve been overrun with stink bugs on my tomatoes. Has anyone found something that works in these bugs? I’ve tried washing them with water spray, disposal and water, soap - vinegar- hot water, and finally Spinosad spray. I can drive them off for a few hours, but they come back. They are ruining a lot of beautiful tomatoes. What works?