CBMGA PLANT RAMBLINGS
and Kridler’s Korner
Issue 2 – October 2016
Featured Speaker Rosemary Morgeson spoke of Roses – Planting, Pruning, Propagating
We had another great social time before the meeting featuring some wonderful German food in honor of Oktoberfest. I should have written some of the names down but some of them were long enough they might have taken up most of the newsletter space. All of it was outstanding but Ladd and Evelyn Winkleblack made a special trip to Munster (an old traditional German community) to pick up original German sausage, strudels and then made even more. Great job everyone. Many more evenings like this one and we may need to get an affiliate membership to Weight Watchers.
And we got great news from the County Commissioners!!! The following article appeared in the Mt. Pleasant Tribune.
Commissioner’s approve sign for Extension Office
Flowers decorate the surrounding grounds of the County Extension Office on Industrial Blvd. The grounds are filled with horticultural projects implemented by the Cypress Basin Master Gardeners.
Posted: Friday, October 14, 2016 12:00 am
The Titus County Commissioner’s Court approved a request for funds to purchase a sign for the Titus County Extension Office at their meeting last Tuesday. The sign will cost the county $432. Court commissioner Mike Fields said the sign should have been put up two years ago as it would let people know where the office is at.
“It was kind of embarrassing to not know what building you’re going to,” Fields said.
In a letter to the commissioners, Rhonda Lesher, treasurer of the Cypress Basin Master Gardeners, said that the organization had a lot of pride in their county and their extension office.
“We have landscaped a lot of the property surrounding the office,” Lesher wrote to the court. If you have not been by to enjoy our beautiful gardens, test plots and nature trail, I hope that you do.”
A non-profit volunteer organization, the mission of the Cypress Basin Master Gardeners is to volunteer in association with the County Extension Agent to increase the availability of horticultural information, perform horticultural projects that extend the knowledge of horticulture throughout the community and educate the community on the best horticultural methods.
The Master Gardener program is an educational and volunteer program offered by the AgriLife Extension of the Texas A&M University System.
Lesher wrote that Texas A&M had selected the organization to do research for Earth Kind varieties of landscaping plants, roses and grape and muscadine varieties. She said that the organization took pride in the fact that the gardens were promoted as a Mt. Pleasant tourist attraction in the Texas State Travel Guide. “Our Gardens also provide horticultural education for folks in the community, demonstrating plants for Texas landscapes, methods of composting and raised bed construction, to name a few items,” she wrote. She then praised extension agents Kenny and Lou Ann Rollins, who she described as helpful and, her gratitude for the facility. “We don’t take it for granted as we are aware that few counties have great Extension agents and a great building in which to hold their meetings,” she wrote. Sharon Cowan of the Master Gardeners, said that the organization currently has 27 projects going on. “We work very hard and we work many, many hours during the course of the year for aesthetics if nothing else,” Cowan told the court. “We appreciate any help.”
For more information about the organization, go to https://txmg.org/cbmg/
We want to thank the commissioners for their generosity in not only paying for a new sign to let the public know where the County Extension Office is located but for their generosity in helping the Master Gardeners improve the area and help the public.
There has been a lot going on since the last meeting.
1. We have completed the construction of and the planting of the new grape beds behind the extension office,
2. Established two new wildflower areas (thanks Roger and Sue Farr (and everyone that helped)
3. Designated a new bed head for an upcoming bed – Our Butterfly Garden headed up by Regina Clark,
4. Approved plans to add a Raspberry bed just south of the Superstar beds (to be headed up by Dale Vanhoose),
5. Started back on completing the path from the front of the Superstar beds around to the back of the Superstar beds (thanks to Tommy Morgeson for bringing his tractor),
6. Cleared a large portion of the property south to the business parkway south of us with plans to move our roses to the cleared area and up to the fence, and move the Vitex tree to this general area (huge thanks to Keith Kridler and Andre Brogoitti for their work on sawing, using their tractors and brush hogs, and mowing this area to get it ready)
7. Added to the Hugelkultur areas to improve the decomposition of the materials (thanks Michael Clark for taking this on)
8. Cleaned up the gourd bed area (and added the material to the Hugelkultur areas)
9. As mentioned above got a new sign approved (Thanks Tommy Morgeson for drawing it up and getting the bids for the sign), which includes cleaning up the sign mounting post and frame and repainting it.
10. At the meeting we approved a change in the number of required hours to maintain Master Gardener certification from 12 volunteer hours a year to 25 volunteer hours a year. While still less than most other Master Gardener organizations, this will help the group to be able to maintain the current projects around the extension office.
11. The last field trip of the year was announced to visit Los Piños Winery. The tour of the winery will include a tour of the orchards and winery with an optional lunch (members pay) after the tour. The winery specified they could only accommodate 30 people on a tour so slots filled up quickly. Should be great weather to view the grounds and the winery finishing up with a great meal with some great folks. Thanks to Debbie DeWolf and Kay Miller for setting this up.
12. CBMGA had a booth and a group marched in the parade at the Pittsburg Pioneer Days. We were well represented by the Marching Master Gardeners playing kazoos and entertaining the crowds being led a one famous celebrity, the one and only Mr. Potato Head.
13. CBMGA also had a booth at the Titus County Fair where we met the public, shared some knowledge, gave out some free seeds and hopefully found some future members of CBMGA.
And from Kridler’s Korner
October To Do List:
Leaves are dropping, talk with lawn service crews, ask them for tree leaves/lawn clippings. Some are now putting big vacuum attachments on their Zero turn mowers. In the Mt. P. area, ask them to dump the clippings at the Extension office. Many MG groups will write an article for the newspaper telling people to drop off bulk leaves at community composting areas and or write an article telling them what to do with organic materials.
Time for a soil test if it has been three years since your last test.
Time to set pocket gopher, mole, rat and mouse traps around your property. See how many rodents might want to move into and under your property.
Wait till the end of Oct. to trim back over grown landscape shrubs, so that they will not simply re-sprout new growth before first killing frost.
Time to pull out the last of summer annuals, replant with winter hardy annuals like pansy’s, mums Etc. Wait till after a killing freeze to trim back perennials that are still in bloom.
Still time to plant wildflower seeds, clover and rye grass cover crops. Winter Wheat and Oats can still be planted. Winter greens can be planted.
Stir up your organic mulch covers in all of your flower beds. These wood chips and bark nuggets get glued together with fungi, forming a water proof barrier. Check to be sure you have three inches of fresh organic mulches over flower/shrub beds before Thanksgiving.
Old garden vines/larger garden plants need to be stacked up to dry, then chopped up with lawn mowers or bush hog mowers. Do NOT reuse or compost these garden plants back into the garden. Use garden plants and old fruits around trees and shrubs. Use hardwood leaves back into the vegetable garden area. Pull up tomato, pepper, egg plants then look for nematodes in the root balls of these plants.
If the soils in flower beds and or garden soils are heavy, hard packed then mix in Gypsum and more organic matter. Gypsum helps break up packed soils, much better to till this in to mix it into the top 7 inches of the soils.
Chicken litter can be tilled into garden soils with the next fall tilling. Wait two weeks then till the soil again. Depends on the litter but one ton per acre of garden area works pretty well.
Last gasp to spray Round-up for Bermuda, Bahia and the Nut Grass Sedges.
Time to gather pecans, black wall nuts, begin to taste test persimmons for ripe fruit. There is a “huge” difference in the sugar content from tree to tree with persimmon fruit. More full sun on the trees means more sugar in the fruit. The Orient Pears are still ripe on some trees. Maybe a few Kieffer pears still on trees. Watch for a couple of species of Hickory Trees locally. We have several different species, the smallest nuts come off of the “Pig Nut” hickory. Hickory trees are closely related to Pecans. There maybe a few of the Carpathian Walnut trees still in this region. Or the Paper Shell walnut trees.
Watch for the Florida Dogwoods that might be loaded with red berries. They can be harvested in another month. We also have the Rough Leafed Dogwood or Drummond Dogwood native to this area. It will have clusters of white berries and this takes more full sun, is more disease resistant than the Florida Dogwood trees. The Drummond Dog wood is more common between White Oak Creek and the Sulfur River.
Gather any of the Burr oak or the other species of White Oak Acorns to spread in local woods. Acorns are falling now from all oak species.
Link below is the best link I can find about Fall Web Worms. It has excellent hot links to good photos of the various life cycles. I am seeing these on my Bald Cypress trees, normally people don’t notice a pest problem until it has almost completely wiped out their shade trees in the yard.
Hopefully in the future we will be adding a couple of new items of interest to CBMGA Plant Ramblings, Plant of the Month and Featured Members Plant. We are still playing with the format, so if you have a thought and wish to share it, please use the Contact Us form on the web site. We also hope to add a regular Gardening Calendar.
In closing for this month CBMGA thanks everyone for all of the planning, hard work and all of the efforts that is making CBMGA shine like it does. Good job everyone.
And if you are not part of our organization, maybe you should be.
Come Grow With Us
Cypress Basin Master Gardeners