Growing Memories, Fruit Tree Problems

Stores are wafting cinnamon and pumpkin spice our expectant way. Already they’re tempting us with plaid flannel shirts and fuzzy sweaters—as we hit 101° for the 52nd day. But to get into the spirit, here’s Chi and Steve Barefield’s gold Christmas ornament version of a partridge in their League City pear tree!

Recently, CTG’s gotten a bushel-load of fruit tree questions. My go-to person is always Jim Kamas, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Associate Professor & Extension Horticulturist.

Should you prune fruit trees in fall, what’s that growth on Texas persimmons, and why did these peaches rot this summer?

Watch now for Jim’s answers.

And check out A&M’s Fruit & Nut Guide, an essential resource for selection and cultivation, including citrus and avocados.

Even though it seems we’re stuck in summer forever, it’s time to get going on homegrown holiday gifts. Since some of our container succulents are due for a little grooming about now, we’ve got gifts at our clipper-wielding fingertips!

Monique Capanelli of Articulture Designs clues us into tips for success with leaf cuttings, stem cuttings, and splitting.

Watch now!

Always I envy Northerners who get a jump on that pumpkin spice season. But the transplanted gardeners I’ve met in Texas don’t regret the cold and snow they left behind (most of the time, anyway). They do miss favorite plants like peonies that croak in heat, humidity, and alkaline soil.

So, this week, Jennie and Matt Horvath from Wimberley Gardens start new memories with Texas tough plants that take the place of those you left behind.

Jennie’s from Minnesota where hydrangeas frame precious memories. In Texas, she’s found her comfort plant with oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia) for part shade conditions, flaunting fall color and spring to summer flowers.

Matt’s from Pennsylvania, where he loved mountain laurel. This is where common names get confusing, because his hometown fave, white flowered Kalmia latifolia, doesn’t grow here. The Texas native mountain laurel (Sephora secundiflora) along drought-tough medians and our gardens has won his heart.

This evergreen small tree dazzles us in spring with fragrant purple flower clusters (and some white ones) that reward us with bees and butterflies.

Moving to Texas is good news for gardeners who love lantana and the wildlife that feed on it. For us, it’s a perennial that usually browns back in winter but returns in spring. For cold climate gardeners, it’s an annual to replant every year.

Autumn favorites Northern gardeners don’t have to leave behind include perennial fall asters!

And chrysanthemums, that are actually quite heat and drought tolerant. Like asters, cut frost-browned stems down to evergreen rosettes for spring regrowth.

Watch now!

On tour in Georgetown, Lori and Jack Shreves’ design engages gardeners from every climate.

In their small main street front yard, they went for contemporary cottage style in a National Wildlife Federation Certified Backyard Habitat that brings together native and hardy adapted plants.

To grow vegetables and fruit trees in bad soil, they arrayed large stock tanks in a walk-around pattern for them and safe run-around for their cute, frisky dog.

Watch now!

Thanks for stopping by! See you next week, Linda