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Plant Swap Tips + Colorado Lessons to Texas

air date: November 2, 2019

Celia Cawthon learned from expert gardeners when she lived in Colorado. When she moved to Georgetown’s Sun City, she brought along her drought-tough lessons. Find out how she’s cultivating ideas for pollinator-friendly, resilient gardens in her new community. In San Marcos, Rasmey Mau Raymond turned hard-baked, weedy soil into a cottage garden overflowing with pollinator plants, orchards, and vegetables for her young family. Plant swaps are a fun way to swap tips with gardeners face-to-face and diversify your collection by exchanging your extras. Leslie Halleck, certified horticulturist and author of Plant Parenting, shows how to prep for success. 

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Episode Segments

On Tour

Family Vegetable and Pollinator Garden: Rasmey Mau Raymond

In San Marcos, Rasmey Mau Raymond wanted organic food for her young family, a fragrant cottage garden for pollinators, and habitat for birds. See how she and husband Matthew reclaimed hard-packed soil to restore their land’s diversity.They repurpose wash tubs, feed bins, and other discarded materials for raised beds and rainwater collection.

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Interview

Colorado Lessons Planted in Texas: Celia Cawthon

Celia Cawthon learned from expert gardeners when she lived in Colorado. When she moved to Georgetown’s Sun City, she brought along her drought-tough lessons. Even though she can grow many of the same plants, the context is different. See how she’s bringing new ideas for pollinator-friendly, resilient gardens to her new community. Host: John Hart Asher. Find out more at www.centraltexasgardener.org.

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Question of the Week

Should I remove fruits from young citrus trees? And should I cover in winter?

Brooke Koppy’s small orange tree is about two years old and was given to her by a friend who’d grown it in a container. Brooke planted the tree in the ground in March and it started to produce fruit.

Because the tree was so small, she’d heard that you should remove some of the fruit, so she took off four oranges from the top branch in late summer.

Removing the fruit from young trees is indeed a good practice. Young trees have fewer leaves to photosynthesize, and will be better off long-term if they’re allowed to focus on their own growth and development, before expending precious resources on the next potential generation.

Also, the fruit can become very heavy, putting a strain on thin, underdeveloped branches.

But leaving a few fruits won’t completely decimate the tree, so it’s really a judgment call. In many cases, the tree will naturally drop fruit it can’t sustain.

Update: in late October, Brooke’s small tree has several gorgeous oranges to harvest!

Should we cover citrus trees in winter? It depends on the cold hardiness of the variety, how well it’s established, and what kind of winter we get.

To take no chances, cover with row cover or even a sheet when temperatures drop into the 40s. Container plants are more susceptible to freeze than ground plants. Even if the tree gets slightly browned, the roots may be fine, so prune off damaged growth in late February and March.

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Backyard Basics

Plant Swap Prep: Leslie Halleck

Certified horticulturist Leslie Halleck, author of Plant Parenting, shows how to prep for a successful plant swap. Find out more at www.centraltexasgardener.org.

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