January/February 2013 Newsletter

Once again, another year of gardening officially ends and a new one begins. As we welcome the New Year 2013, winter brings us brisk mornings and the promise of much needed rain. Our plants will get a well deserved rest, because this is the dormant season. A time when gardeners can reflect on their gardens success and possible changes they might want to make. We are also making some changes. We have made the decision to be closed on Mondays. Everyone needs time to rest. As we announced in the last newsletter, we now have a uniques and antiques area that is really fun to check out. New items are being brought in regularly. We hope to see you soon.

We will begin receiving our vegetable, herb and flower seeds in February for all of those who enjoy starting their plants from seed. Fresh shipments of herbs and vegetable plants will arrive soon after. Now is a great time to begin preparing your garden by cleaning them and working in compost and manure. Leaves are generally very plentiful in the fall and are a great way to mulch your beds; recycled organic matter is a great compost that’s FREE. Rotating your crops will help your productivity and also aid in preventing disease.

Bluebonnet Herb Farms Favorite Roses for Texas

  1. Limoncello- “The Tough Guy” for hardiness, very heat tolerant & Disease resistant– Yellow (H) 4ft (W) 4ft
  2. Belinda’s Dream- “The Performer” for repeat blooming and the bloom itself- Pink (H) 4ft (W) 6ft
  3. Duchesse de Brabant- For its intense fragrance – Pink (H) 4ft (W) 6ft
  4. Yellow Lady Banks- “The Gentle Beauty” (thorn less) – Yellow (H) 12-20ft
  5. Red Cascade-“The Climber” for its beautiful mini red blossoms – Red (H) 0-5 ft (W) 0-5ft This versatile rose can be trained to climb or used as a carpet rose.
  6. The Drift Rose –”The Carpet Rose” for the miniature rose- Available in various colors (H) 2 ½ ft. (W) 3ft
  7. The Knock Out- “The Hybrid” for its earth kind features – Available in Various colors (H) 4ft (W) 4ft
  8. Old Blush-“The Antique” For those who prefer Antiques – Pink (H) 3-6 ft (W) 4-6ft
  9. The Sun Blaze Rose- “The Container Rose” Available in Various colors (H) 1-2ft (W) 1-2ft
  10. Cinco de Mayo- “One of a Kind” for its indescribable blend of smoked lavender and rusty red – orange multi-colored clusters and glossy green foliage. (H) 4ft (W) 4ft

Duchesse de Brabant Orange Knockout Rose Yellow Knockout Rose

How to make a Pinecone Bird Feeder

PineconeWhat you need: Pinecones, peanut butter, string, and bird seed

This is also a great project for kids to join in on as well.

Take a pinecone and tie the twine to one end so that you have something to hang it with when finished.

Using the spoon push the peanut butter into the petals (openings) of the pine cone.

Fill all the petals with peanut butter. Use a tray or some paper to catch the spillage. Pour the birdseed over the pinecone so that it sticks to the peanut butter, covering the pine cone in bird seed.

Then just hang it up outside and you have a lovely little birdfeeder.

November 2012 Gardening Tips for the Backyard Gardener

Yes, winter is knocking on our door once again. November is a great time to prepare your garden for the prospect of freezing weather ahead. First, weed your garden thoroughly, and mulch well around the base of the plants to protect them against hard freezes and to deter winter weeds.

November is the last time to do any light pruning to your roses. Remove the dead wood, water well and fertilize. Fall is also primetime to do any planting or transplanting in your garden.

November through December is a great time to plant the following by seed/plant: Alyssum, bluebonnets, calendula, cleome, coreopsis, four-o-clocks, larkspur, petunias, phlox, snapdragons, verbena, violas, and most daisy varieties. You may also plant pansies and violas by seed but try to get them sown into the ground before December.
Texas Bluebonnets Calendula officinalis Spring in my Backyard Corepsis and Bee violas Petunia

November/December 2012 Newsletter

Dear Gardening Friends,
Autumn is such a wonderful time of year! Not only do we get well deserved relief from the heat but it also means Thanksgiving is just around the corner. 🙂

We’ve made it through another long, hot summer; thankfully without the stress of another drought. I hope all of your gardens are looking beautiful. Our landscaping is still doing great and it’s been another wonderful year for us.

The weather has been so nice this year. Even though we had a few unbearably hot days, we’ve been blessed with occasional rain and now it’s really starting to feel like fall.

‘Tis the season for shopping, and we are pleased to announce the re-opening of Bluebonnet Herb Farms Antique shop on November 12th. Not only will we have antiques and uniques, but our new shipments of gifts and decor for Christmas will soon be arriving. Hope you will come to see us.

March/April 2012 Newsletter

Dear Gardening Friends,
How about this rain we have been given?  This is going to help our gardening efforts immensely.  The past year was very hard on gardens and flower beds in the state of Texas.  I have a different appreciation for rain now and try not to complain when it interferes with my schedule.

The lack of rain has made us realize that if you want to have a nice yard; native plants are your best bet.  We are receiving large shipments of native plants at this time to help provide our customers with plants that are low maintenance, hearty and beautiful. Over the last year, native plants have been the mainstay in many of our landscaping jobs.  Natives really help to cut down on your water usage.

The good news is, with all of the rain we are getting, the wildflower display should be breathtaking this spring.  If you are looking for wildflower seeds, we now have a wide variety.  Our new seed arrivals include bluebonnets, Alamo fire bluebonnets, larkspur, daisies, flax, vegetable, herb seeds and much more.
Happy Gardening!

March 2012 Gardening Tips for the Backyard Gardener

Yes, spring is knocking on our door and I can’t wait to be back in the garden tilling, fertilizing and planting.  A garden is becoming a necessity, with the price of food and fuel.  If this is your first garden, here are a few things to keep in mind.

  1. Make sure you are putting your garden in a well drained area.
  2. You will need at least 6 hours of sunlight a day.
  3. Your soil will most likely need some compost or manure to beef it up.  A soil test wouldn’t hurt.  Your local extension office should be able to help you with that.
  4. It is best to buy your seeds or plants locally to ensure that they are going to thrive in our area.
  5. Keep in mind that our spring and fall are short lived and the summer is very long and hot.

India - Haridwar - 010 - vegetables for sale in Bara BazaarMarch is when most of the Gulf Coast area begins planting corn, beans, squash, cucumbers, and peas.  Eggplant, pepper, and tomato plants can be put out now also.  Though few and far between, keep an eye open for an unexpected frost and cover to protect your new transplants.

April kicks the growing season into high gear.  All kinds of melons can be planted now.  Pumpkins, zucchini, black eyes, limas can all be put in.  In late April, okra and sweet potatoes can be planted.  If you would like your okra seeds to germinate faster, pour hot water over the seeds and let them sit overnight in the water.  The next day, they will be ready to plant.

Color Me Beautiful

I don’t know about you, but I am really tired of looking at brown plants, so March is the time to plant some color.  Before the heat sets in, lobelia, petunias, coreopsis, cosmos, zinnias and many more plants can be put in beds, containers and hanging baskets.

When buying petunias, you need to think about the length of time you want to keep them.  The good and the bad of it is, some varieties of petunia can not take our hot, hot summers and will die or become very leggy and unattractive. The good news is there are many new and unusual varieties but once again, most can not take the hot summer.  If you are just needing a temporary splash and enjoy changing out your color then plant one of the new types.  If you want a hardy variety of petunia, you might choose Laura Bush petunias or wave petunias.  These endure the heat much better and have an almost continuous bloom.

A few weeks after you have put in your flowering plants, give them a little boost with a 3-1-2 or a 4-1-2 ratio fertilizer.  With the warmer temperatures of April, you can plant vinca, caladiums, pentas, impatiens, and celosia.

Be sure to mulch your beds about 4 or 5 inches deep.  This will make weeding a lot less time consuming and it will save you money on your water bill.  If you find that you have extra seed, place in an envelope, then put the envelope in a glass jar with lid and store in the freezer.

March will bring on a profusion of color if you have azaleas, spirea, camellias, redbud, dogwood, mock orange or spring blooming roses.

Sometime in April though, the blooms will be fading and when they are finished with their performance, it will be time to trim any unsightly shoots or branches.  Try not to cut them back hard, just what is necessary, then you can fertilize them. Container grown roses can be planted and enjoyed now too.   When March approaches, the fruit trees will begin to bloom and what a wonderful scent they have.  Mulching them out to the drip line will help keep more water for the trees and less for the weeds.  I hope your garden and beds are a great success this spring.

Happy Gardening!