|Welcome to the Aransas/San Patricio Master Gardeners website
We’re your neighbors who love gardening and want to pass that love along. Here you’ll find tested advice about gardening in the Coastal Bend area of South Texas. The lack of severe winters, heat and humidity, wind, unique soil, and lack of water – all conspire to form a unique and challenging environment for growing plants. Whether you’re a newcomer or an experienced pro, we’ve got the scoop on the latest and greatest in gardening for our area.
Who are the Master Gardeners? We are members of a non-profit program of Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service designed to increase horticultural knowledge in our area and around the state. Started at Washington State University in the early 1970s, the Master Gardeners program spread to Texas A&M University in 1978 and then to all 50 states and 4 Canadian provinces. Currently, the program has almost 100,000 members who volunteer 5 million hours of service per year to their communities. Master Gardeners is a federal and state non-profit program and depends totally on donations and fund-raising for its programs and activities.
Locally, the program is led by Ginger Easton Smith, County Extension Agent for Aransas/San Patricio County. To join Master Gardeners, we offer a 3-month training course starting in August. Please contact the Extension Office, 892 Airport Road, Rockport, Texas, 78382, 361-790-0103, for more information.
Coastal Oaks Garden, consisting of the Demonstration Gardens designed and maintained by the Master Gardeners, is now open to the public Wednesday and Thursday mornings, from 8:00 a.m – 10:00 a.m. (closed holidays). There will be Master Gardeners present to answer any questions you might have about what you see.
DECEMBER NEWS ARTICLES
DECEMBER GARDENING TOPIC
Plumerias Sleep Through Winter
Plumeria are natives of truly tropical climates. To survive here, they need help from gardeners who cherish their summer splendor. Like all deciduous trees, in the fall, their leaves yellow and fall off.
To ease these trees into hibernation, stop fertilizing in mid-October and stop watering the first of November.
Though variable, November 15 is the locally accepted date for moving the plants indoors, but they may drop leaves when exposed to temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit so monitor local weather reports. (Be aware: Disease and criters can cause yellowing and leaf drop out of season.)
Resist the temptation to pull off any remaining leaves. It is not good for the plants to weep when going dormant. (If you really have to reduce their size, leaves that have not naturally dried and fallen should be cut from the trees about 2 or 3 inches from the trunk.) And, though it may sound like a good idea, do not water the plants until spring as they will be damaged by the effort of producing new growth.
Plants that are in the ground should be dug up, the roots gently cleaned of dirt, and stored on wood or cardboard, bare-rooted, in an unheated storeroom or garage until freezing weather is over and they begin to show new growth. Talk about a harbinger of spring!
Plumeria can be grown in pots, but wind and the weight of their leaves can be a problem, so, many growers sink their pots in the ground. These plants should be taken in and overwintered in their pots, but should be repotted into a larger size first so that spring growth can expand the root ball instead of being compacted or set back by spring repotting. These plants grow surprisingly fast when conditions suit them.
And, if you break off a limb, do not despair. Use a black sharpie pen to write the name of the tree and its color on the “cutting” and store it with the trees until spring. In spring, it will add to your collection.
Aransas/San Patricio Master Gardeners are volunteers who work with the Texas AgriLife Extension Service to improve gardening skills throughout the community. We share our gardening knowledge through community service and outreach, gardener training and educational programs.
Our Mission: Improving the lives of people, businesses, and communities across Texas and beyond through high-quality, relevant education.