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    The Garden Thymes


    January 14 6:00 Executive

    Committee Meeting, Taylor Coun-

    ty Extension Office

    January 21 6:15 Social Time,

    Education, and January Business


    There will be workdays at for the

    Extension Office Demo Beds,

    Meditation Garden, and Swenson

    House so please watch your email

    for dates and times for these


    A message from our president…….Sandy Shaw

    Omigosh- it’s

    2020 already…how

    does it all pass so fast?

    I still consider myself a newcomer to Abilene- we moved

    here in May of 2015 and my first acquaintance with BCM-

    GA was in attending the fall plant sale that year. I was so

    impressed, and the MG’s were so ‘smiley’ and friendly and

    helpful! Not to mention the plants – they were gorgeous. I

    wondered how they did that, getting everything to peak at

    one time- they must be really, good gardeners? I was al-

    ready a certified MG from New Mexico. Actually, I trained

    in Burnet County while living in Llano, then a small number

    of us initiated very own Llano Master Gardener Association

    in Llano County. That was in 2005-2006, so I was already a

    Texas certified MG when we moved to New Mexico in

    2012. I signed on for NM training, certified, worked hard

    and when we did arrive in Abilene that May, I was thinking,

    ho hum, it might be time for a rest!......that is until I visited

    the BCMGA Fall Plant Sale.

    So, here we are in 2020; we are always busy. BCMGA

    does such fine work and with such dedication, most of the

    time I am just out of breath trying to keep up. Please con-

    sider joining a project or committee that is out of your nor-

    mal scope. You will meet a new friend, learn a new tech-

    nique and have a good time! I say thank you to Jan, Char-

    lotte, Kathy and Gene…those are my leaders, since I came

    to Abilene… I will try hard to follow their example (maybe

    breathlessly but having fun all the way.)

    Big Country Master Gardener

    Association Newsletter


    January 2020

    2020 Officers

    President – Sandy Shaw President Elect – Jackie Sledge Vice President – Sarah Adams Secretary – Terry Shuffield Treasurer – Richard O’Shields Past President – Gene Shelhamer

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    2020 Advanced Training Offerings

    VEGETABLES – May 5-7

    hosted by Bexar County - San Antonio, TX

    Save the Dates! (Further information upcoming!)

    Vegetables - February 19 - 21

    Dallas County - Dallas, TX

    Plant Propagation – April 17-18, 2020;

    hosted by Tarrant County in Fort Worth, TX

    Texas Superstars® – May 26-28, 2020;

    hosted by Bexar County in San Antonio, TX

    Rainwater Harvesting – September 24-26, 2020;

    hosted by Tarrant County in Fort Worth, TX

    Greenhouse Management – October 15-17, 2020

    Big Country Master Gardener Association Newsletter

    Garden Tips by Neil Sperry and Doug Welsh

    Pre-emergent weed killers are products that form a barrier across the soil surface to prevent the ger-

    mination of annual grassy or broad leafed weed seeds. Timing is critical for these to be effective so

    they must be applied before germination. If you can already see the weeds, the pre-emergent won’t

    control that round of weeds. If the pre-emergent products are applied at the correct time so they do

    their job, you will never see the weeds at all.


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    Big Country Master Gardener Association Newsletter

    Cowboy Stew

    Brown hamburger meat. Transfer to large pot and add remaining ingredients. Cook until potatoes and carrots are done. Serve with hot cornbread.

    Air rooting Flapjack Paddle Plant(Kalanchoe thyrsiflora)

    1 lb ground beef

    2 large onions, chopped

    ½ c celery, chopped

    ¼ c bell pepper, chopped

    1 clove garlic

    1Tbsp or more sugar

    8 carrots, sliced

    1 can tomatoes

    1 16-oz can corn

    6 medium potatoes

    1 32-oz can Ranch

    Style beans

    3 cups or more water

    Salt and pepper to taste


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     Order seed catalogues. It’s so much fun to look through them and see what’s available and what’s now.

     Plant seeds now so you will have spring flower and vegetable transplants for your yard and garden.

     Plant spring bulbs (such a tulips and Dutch hyacinths) early in the month and in well- prepared beds. Close plantings give the best results.

     Plant cool season annuals such as pansies, pinks, snapdragons, ornamental cabbage and kale.

     Plant locally recommended fruit and pecan trees, grapes, and blackberries from containers or as bare-root plants.

     Plant snap peas and onions late in the month.

     Plant trees and shrubs – either newly purchased ones plus any trees and shrubs that need to be relocated to a better space.

     Prune crape myrtles, summer-flowering shrubs, and vines.

     Prune evergreen shrubs to reshape them and remove damage.

     Remove dead or damaged branches from shade trees.

     Remove strongly vertical shoots from peaches, plums, and apples.

     Remove damaged or dead branches from pears, pecans, figs, and pomegranates.

     Feed winter annual color plants, late winter perennial color plants, greenhouse plants, and house plants with recommended fertilizers or

    plant food.

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    The Garden Thymes

     Feed fescue lawns and temporary ryegrass turf late in the month to promote early growth.

     Use broad leafed weed killer to control clover, dandelions, chick- weed, and other non-grassy winter weeds

     Be prepared with frost cloth to protect plants during extremely cold weather.

     Treat plants for scale insects and household pests.

     Mulch beds to help with temperature control and weed growth plus help conserve soil moisture.

     Take mowers and other equipment for repairs and servicing before the spring rush.

     Take time to plan for new additions to the landscape. Check out garden magazines and catalogues for ideas.

     Get a soil test from Texas A&M Soil Testing Lab. You can get the information from the Extension Office.

     Water during dry spells.

     Remember to provide water and food for birds and butterflies.

     Also, smile and enjoy your yard and gardens.

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    January 2020 At McMurry Greenhouse

    Many of the plants currently in the greenhouse are available for adoption or you can take a

    cutting a propagate a new plant. Contact Molly Lorch if you are interested.

    ‘Mother of Thousands’

    Many people run or laugh

    when I ask them about owning

    a plant commonly referred to

    as ‘Mother of Thousands.’

    These photos were taken in

    January of one at the McMurry

    Greenhouse. I wanted you to

    see what it looks like in bloom.

    The flower stalks reach over 7

    feet high. The plant is properly

    named either Kalanchoe dai-

    gremontiana or Bryophyllum