the show

Road to Zero Waste

encore date: October 21, 2015

original air date: October 24, 2015

How can gardeners help reach a goal of zero waste? Susanne Harm from Austin Resource Recovery turns scraps into garden gold, even for no-yard gardeners. On tour, Lori Daul gave her underwhelming yard a garden personality without breaking the bank. Daphne explains how to cover plants this winter—if they really need it—and highlights some of our viewers’ summer faves. Trisha shows how to speed up that compost pile.


Episode Segments

On Tour

New Gardener Makeover

When Lori Daul bought her first house as a new Texas gardener, she dumped the pristine lawn for an adventure with drought-tough plants, art, flood issues and hardscape she could fit into her small car. See how she painted an old fence to turn an eye-sore into backdrop magic and recycled materials for raised gardens that control flooding.


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Question of the Week

How to cover plants in winter?

We have relatively mild winters in Central Texas, so most plants don’t need to be protected. But if we have an unusually harsh winter, or if you have a few tender plants in your garden, you may need to do a little extra work.

First, don’t use plastic directly over plants (a greenhouse/patio situation is fine).  It traps too much moisture, might actually decrease the temperature, and could end up doing more harm than good.

Specially-designed frost protection cloth is best, of course, and if you live in colder parts of the nation, you might need to leave it on for several days or longer, so it would be a good investment.

But here in Central Texas, the temperatures are rarely in the danger zone for more than a day or two, so temporary blankets or old sheets will usually suffice. In fact, if your plants are small enough, you can even use a bucket.

Whatever you use, the key is to make sure it reaches all the way to the ground, to the point that no air can sneak in underneath it. With a bucket, you might place a rock or brick on top, to make sure it doesn’t blow off.

If you’re using fabric thrown over your plant, make sure it’s long enough to drape onto the ground. Then, weigh the ends down with bricks or rocks, so it doesn’t blow around. It’s logical to think about protecting the upper plant parts from frosty air and cold winds, but you also need to protect the soil. Soil holds moisture and warmth, which will radiate up around your plant, increasing the temperature slightly, so enclosing a bit of ground in your protection zone is critical.


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Plant of the Week

Summer Favorites

Summer Favorites

This summer, we asked our experts (YOU!) to tell us their summer favorite plants. Pride of Barbados won hands-down with votes from Shirley Fox, Linda Goodale, Robin Mayfield, Matt Boring, Tracy Simons and Stephanie Skarren. Plumbago was another winner with votes from Linda Goodale, Ovaltene Jones, Velia Sanchez-Ruiz and Robin Mayfield. Mexican honeysuckle received a ringing endorsement from Bob Beyer and Pamela King Malone. And Pamela also likes purple hyacinth bean for late summer color. Morgan Goldberg and Lori Garven Horton went for lantana, as do the butterflies. Lori especially likes a mix of white and purple flowering varieties. Lisa Louden Rhoden picked Texas bluebells, Chet Gresham went for Maximilian sunflower, and Yael Abraham is keen on tropical butterfly milkweed. Sherry Cordry likes succulents, including squid agave, which works well in part shade. Also in part shade, go for Ceci Burklow’s pick: native American beautyberry. And trees were not left out: Cindy McClimans likes retama and Eva Van Dyke went for another native, Texas Torchwood. Our Viewer Picture comes with a super great story! Gail Standley’s husband Mike built a beautiful pond for her this year as a wedding gift.  Shortly after they added the water, they noticed they had frog eggs, then tadpoles, and now lots of healthy frogs, along with lovely water lilies!