Cleaning Fruits and Vegetables

By Penny Howard I am guilty of simply rinsing some of my fruits and vegetables before cooking and serving them.  If I pick things in my garden, I do not even rinse them.  When I am picking tomatoes, I eat quite a bit as soon as I pick it.  There is nothing better than a sun-warmed ripe cherry tomato. …

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October Garden to do List

Planting Tree, shrubs, woody vines, ground covers, and some perennials should be planted now. Spring bulbs such as daffodils, hyacinths, etc.  Pre-cool tulips and Dutch hyacinths for 45 days to about 40 degrees before planting in November. Spring flowering perennials such as daisies, iris, lilies, etc. can be planted now. Cool-season spring-flowering annuals like alyssum, poppies, dianthus, flowering cabbage,…

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Soups

By Penny Howard For some, Fall means Pumpkin Spice everything.  For me, it means starting to change out my menus from big dinner salads and plates of fresh-cut veggies as sides to some grilled meat to some of our favorite comfort foods and soups.  We love soup and casseroles.  Crockpots are ok, but I was never able to get…

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Blossom Drop

Blossom drop is a problem that can affect several plants in the vegetable garden.  Peppers, snap beans, and a few others can be affected by blossom drop, but, by far, the largest number of questions I get is about tomatoes. Blossom drop is characterized by the sudden drop from the vine of the blossoms. In the case of tomatoes,…

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Nutgrass

Cyperus esculentus and Cyperus rotundus Also known as Nutsedge, purple or yellow nutgrass Nutgrasses are perennial sedges imported from Eurasia, which spread by seeds, nutlets, and creeping tendrils.  Considered an invasive, they tend to appear in wet, anaerobic soils.  Nutgrasses are easily identifiable by their narrow, grass-like leaves which can be green to yellow-green.  The leaves erupt erect from…

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Lawns – What?

What do you really know about lawns?  I ran across some interesting statistics a few days ago.  This discovery prompted me to do a bit more research and what I found turned into an eye-opener, even for me. The Problem with Turf You should know by now if you follow my articles, blogs, and newsletter (if you don’t, you…

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Plant of the Week – Prickly Pear

Prickly Pear Opuntia – Also, know as nopal Everyone in West Texas is familiar with our plant of the week – prickly pear.  It is ubiquitous on rangeland, along roadways and even in landscapes.  Once it gets a foothold, it seems to thrive anywhere and is almost impossible to eradicate.  It can grow large 16 – 23 feet in…

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Planting Your Transplants

It’s about time to start planting your transplants in your garden.  You can give them the best possible start by following a few simple guidelines as you transplant. Prepare your beds before you start planting. Don’t wait until your plants are sitting in the sun in your garden to start getting your garden beds ready to plant.  If you…

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Dirt and Sun – The Dr.’s Rx?

I, of course, can’t speak for the Doc, nor can I dispense medical advice.  What I can do is tell you what I have learned, what I have found, and what I believe.  Digging in the dirt is good for you.    Studies have shown and continue to show that moderate-intensity physical activity is a healthy choice.  Routine levels…

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Plant of the Week – Culinary Sage

Sage is a plant that almost everyone knows.  The problem is the term “sage” identifies with such a wide range of plants that it is almost impossible to tell what plant someone is referring to with the simple four-letter word “sage.”  Let’s see if we can’t make a little sense of the confusion. Sage is a member of the…

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