the show

Sweet Tips for Starting Beehives

air date: February 4, 2017

Bee-fore you jump into beekeeping, Master Beekeeper Tanya Phillips sweetens the deal with top tips for starting beehives. Owner of Bee Friendly Austin and founder of the Travis County Beekeepers Association, she’s got the buzz from set-up to honeycomb harvest. On tour, Vicki Blachman took out lawn a bit at a time for drought-tough pollinator habitats. Attract bees and pollinators of all kinds with mealy blue sage (Salvia farinacea), Daphne’s Plant of the Week. And find out if a viewer’s frozen euphorbia can be saved. Trisha explains why digging in the soil promotes well-being and helps alleviate allergies and depression

Question of the Week

Can this euphorbia be saved after freeze damage?

So many of us lost succulents or suffered damage in a few brief blasts of below-freezing temps.  On the first cold night, Vicki and Jack Newton covered their Euphorbia amaak that was growing in a pot in their front door courtyard.

It was damaged anyway, so they brought it inside after that.

It may have enough healthy tissue to survive, but it will always have that scorched appearance.

Eric Pedley from East Austin Succulents advises to cut it down to perhaps 12”, where there is still green. It should branch, though it may take a year or so.

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Plant of the Week

Mealy Blue Sage

Mealy Blue Sage

Salvia farinacea

Mealy blue sage is a great perennial for full sun or light shade. It gets 2-3' tall by about 3' wide. It does get a little taller in shade and more sprawling in the sun. The flower spikes are about 12" tall, and are usually a pale blue to dark blue purple. More rarely you can find a white cultivar. It flowers from late spring to first frost, attracting lots of butterflies and hummingbirds. The leaf color varies from either a greenish-grey to darker green depending on the cultivar that you choose. These plants are perennial and hardy down to 0. In winter you will shear them back and they will return in spring. They are very drought tolerant, meaning that they can take periods of drought, but they do prefer to be watered regularly, but don't over water them, especially if you have a heavy clay soil as many of us do. They do prefer lighter soil, but they can tolerate sand and heavy clay. Like many of our salvias they are reported to be deer resistant, although no plant is deer proof.