Plant sale

Master gardeners will conduct a second fall plant sale from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Thursday at the Discovery Garden in Carbide Park, 4102 Main St., in La Marque. A variety of plants will be available including citrus trees, avocados, blueberries, gingers, salvias, bulbs and fall vegetable transplants.

WILLIAM M. JOHNSON/Courtesy

If you missed the 2017 Master Gardener Fall Plant Sale last Saturday, you will have another opportunity. Master gardeners will conduct a sequel to the fall plant sale from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Thursday at the Discovery Garden in Carbide Park, 4102 Main St., in La Marque.

A variety of plants for the home landscape (including citrus trees, avocados, blueberries, gingers, salvias and bulbs) in addition to annuals will be available. Fall vegetable transplants will also be available for immediate planting in the fall vegetable garden.

HOME COMPOSTING MADE EASY

Compost happens. And it’s a good thing it does or we would all need more than hip boots to get around. Organic matter breaks down or decomposes eventually, except of course, when it’s placed in garbage bags and gets buried in a landfill.

Organic matter decomposition takes place whether we are around or not. However, as gardeners we can speed up the composting process and have the finished compost retain the most nutrients for plant use.

Magazine articles sometimes make it sound like you need a degree in biochemistry before you can compost anything. Once you understand the basic principles, the methods and containers for composting can be quite diverse. Composting is really no more complicated than baking a cake.

Most of the ingredients for the compost pile will be clippings and plants from the garden and landscape. Leaves and grass clippings may be the largest components. Bags of leaves can be saved to add to the pile.

Compost is a most useful product indeed. Finished compost is “black gold” to gardeners. Forget buying peat moss to add to soils. Use compost instead. It acts as a great soil conditioner by loosening heavy clay soils, improving water-holding capacity of sandy soils, and adding all the wonderful microbes, fungi and important plant nutrients back into the soil.

If you want to learn the basics of home composting, be sure to reserve a seat for the upcoming seminar on the Home Composting Made Easy by Master Gardener Jim Gilliam to be held on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office located in Carbide Park, 4102-B Main St., in La Marque. Preregister by email (galvcountymgs@gmail.com) or phone (281-309-5065).

A PASSION FOR PLUMERIA

Plumeria is well known for its striking clusters of intensely fragrant and spiral-shaped flowers which appear at branch tips from around April through November. Plumeria is also known as Frangipani and as the Hawaiian lei flower.

When in full bloom, plumeria can fill a patio with a rich, heady, exotic perfume, especially during evening hours when the air is calm. The aroma lingers deep within each flower in each cluster.

There is absolutely nothing like the sweet fragrance of flowering plumeria, with fragrances of jasmine, citrus, spices, gardenia and other delightful scents. These flowers are also treasured for their durability.

Whether you already grow plumerias or you are interested in growing plumerias, plan to attend an educational program on “A Passion for Plumeria” to be conducted on Saturday at the Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office located in Carbide Park, 4102-B Main St., in La Marque. The program will be presented by Master Gardener Loretta Osteen who is a longtime resident of Tiki Island.

Loretta will provide a PowerPoint program covering the history and culture of plumeria, how to use the flowers, propagation by seeds and cuttings, and grafting, as well as storage and preparation guidelines for overwintering plumeria.

The enchanting plumeria can provide a tropical addition to almost any landscape and deserves wider use.

William M. Johnson is a horticulturist with the Galveston County Office of Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. Visit his website at aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston.

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