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I have recently had several questions from frantic monarch butterfly lovers that were in dire need of milkweed plants to feed to all the monarch caterpillars they had. Unfortunately, the lack of milkweed leaves to feed these caterpillars has become a real problem for many of us in our area. …

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We’ve been enjoying an unusually warm winter, but that doesn’t mean anything to the purple martins. They start showing up this time of year regardless of the severity of the winter. For them, it’s spring.

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I love my plants. I love to grow them from seed, nurture them, transplant them, fertilize, trim and water them. When they begin growing, I want to do all I can to make sure they can bloom and thrive in the warm and humid climate of Victoria – and that usually means adequate and appropriate t…

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If you have been to Quintana Beach lately, you may have noticed weird, spiky shells spread along the shore. While surveying for non-breeding shorebirds along Quintana Beach, I came across these shells and figured out that they belong to longnose spider crabs. They are often yellow or brown w…

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Being a gardener usually, in some form or another, involves pottery. Whether to use plastic or clay pots is sometimes a question asked by new gardeners. I find the answer is a matter of taste, but here are some pros and cons of both clay and plastic plant containers.

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I find indoor plants tend to be a bit more popular this time of year because of the weather. Cold, damp, cloudy days can keep many gardeners indoors with their indoor plants. That could be a good thing, since it’s been proven that some indoor plants are able to clean the air and reduce stres…

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Happy New Year, everyone. Here’s to another year of successful gardening. Hopefully, you will find useful information in the Lunch and Learn programs we have planned for you.

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You may know someone that is a bird biologist, or you might have seen someone on the beach counting birds. You may know about an organization dedicated to the well-being of birds, such as the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory, that have big research projects focused on birds. But do you know why p…

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Many homeowners never consider the damage that can possibly be done to their landscapes when adding to their properties. It’s important to plan how to protect your plants during the construction phase of the job.

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Last spring, my sister-in-law, Valeria, gave me a tour of their wonderful Connecticut yard and pointed to an area outlined with rocks. She said, “This is where John (my brother) is planting his moon garden.” My response was, “What’s a moon garden?” Valeria casually said, “It’s a garden of al…

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Here it is, the end of another year. But it’s still not too late to add more vegetables to your gardens. There is still time for onions, radish, beets, carrots, collards, Swiss chard, leaf lettuce and spinach. There is also time to plant garlic cloves in your garden for spring harvesting.

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This year was an extremely busy and rewarding year for Victoria County Master Gardener Association. We hosted four major events, conducted tours for hundreds of visitors to Victoria Educational Gardens and made horticultural presentations throughout Victoria and surrounding counties. We did …

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While we are all enjoying the holiday season, our birds will continue their regular routine of finding food and water each day and shelter each night. We can help them out in a number of ways starting with keeping our feeders clean and full. Bird feeders can be a source of disease if they ar…

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Deer can be one of the biggest challenges any gardener can have. Finding little black beady pellets of dung in your landscape near plants that have been chewed down to nubs is a pretty good sign that you’ve been visited by deer. Gardening with deer can be a challenge, mainly because they alw…

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There are all kinds of magic around us this time of year – from lights and decorations to Santa and his helpers with packages galore. The warmth and tidings of Christmas bring families together and home for the holidays, remembering those who have gone before. There are smiles on faces of ch…

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Sanderlings are a type of sandpiper that you often see on the beach in winter and summer. For those of us who watched the movie “Finding Dory,” you might recall seeing a short film called “Piper,” which was actually based on sanderlings. The film stayed true to their behavior and how they fe…

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Each week the Victoria County Master Gardeners have the honor and privilege to share their knowledge and expertise on gardening tips in this section.

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Migration allows birds to reach areas with more or better resources. In the Northern hemisphere, birds tend to migrate north in the spring, moving toward blooming plants, burgeoning prey populations, and preferable nesting locations. Then in the fall they make their way Southward again to re…

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I have a very dear older friend whom I love visiting with. She is in her mid 90s and loves gardening, although her physical health has pretty much brought a halt to that. Even though she can’t do the physical part of gardening she can still “talk” gardening for hours. I love hearing all her …

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This week, I want to cover a subject I believe I’ve written about at least once, and maybe even a few times. Because of all the reports and questions I keep getting from people about this problem, I feel it’s necessary to go over it once again.

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Have you ever had the experience of visiting a garden and seeing the beautiful tulips, crocuses, paper whites, and other spring blossoms and wishing you had them in your flowerbeds? Oops, you should have started wishing about four to six months earlier. Now is the time to plant those spring-…

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Why do birds flock together? For centuries, humans have wondered how and why birds move in coordinated groups across huge distances. We know now that there are many advantages to flocking and various species get various benefits depending on how they flock.

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Plants with variegated foliage are usually very popular. Many times, variegated plants are used to brighten up shady, dim areas or as focal points in landscapes or even as indoor plants. Variegation in plants is when the normally green portion of the plant is replaced with a white, creamy or…

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Most gardeners know what compost is, but many people just don’t really understand how remarkable it is. For example, compost can improve a plant’s, tree’s or lawn’s resistance to both diseases and to insect pests; it can improve the effectiveness of your fertilizers; it helps the soil to hol…

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The Gulf Coast Bird Observatory monitors shorebird species throughout the year. In the winter, GCBO monitors red knots in areas of the Upper Texas Coast. During non-breeding shorebird surveys, they have been observed probing along the shores of Follet’s Island and Matagorda Beach.

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Last March, I purchased a container with four plants. I knew three of them – dichondra, coleus and pothos ivy, but one was a mystery.

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They’re big, they’re a bit smelly and they eat dead stuff. Vultures might not the prettiest of birds – some might even say ugly. But they are some of the most important animals around you. Vultures are what clean up after the rest of nature. They can make an animal carcass disappear in no time.

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You do not have to leave the local area to enjoy autumn color.

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My affection for houseplants began the first time I lived alone. Plants were the only thing that changed while I was at work. Checking on them and observing their growth, needs and unique characteristics intrigued me.

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In American culture, owls are often seen as one of the wisest animals, and that might be due in part to their incredible hunting abilities. Owls are raptors, which means they spend a good deal of their days hunting. Raptors, also known as birds of prey, use talons and sharp, curved beaks to …

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“One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10. Ready or not, here I come.”

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Florida is a state known for thousands of sinkholes that dot the landscape. This is because the state lies on a giant slab of limestone that was formed over millions of years by the accumulation of dead shellfish. The Texas bedrock is the same limestone, and therefore, has the same karst top…

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Losing a plant or tree from causes unknown can be disheartening. After Hurricane Harvey, when many people lost trees, I heard many sad stories from homeowners. Of course, in that case, Harvey was to blame for all those damaged trees.

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Texas ebony (formerly classified as Pitecellobium flexicaule, now Ebenopsis ebano) is a slow-growing thorny, bushy shrub that can be trained into a single or multi-trunked, medium-sized patio tree. It is valued as a semi-evergreen shade tree with a dense canopy. Other common names include Eb…

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Most people realize how important it is to have the proper amount of iron in their bodies to be healthy. Many people don’t realize just how important it is for plants to have access to iron to keep them healthy and strong.

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In honor of Halloween, I thought I’d talk a little bit about birds that are black, some of which are blackbirds and some of which are not. The first one is the great-tailed grackle. If you’ve been to any shopping center along the Texas coast, you’ve seen a great-tailed grackle. The males are…

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Vermicomposting is the process of using vegetable kitchen waste from meal preparation and other organic materials to make a really fine soil amendment and letting red wiggler earthworms do all (most) of the work. Raising worms, producing rich compost that is very beneficial for plants and di…

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What is wrack? Wrack is basically the material that washes ashore on beaches and bays due to waves, wind and tide. It is often brown in color, contains stick like material, and depending on the level of decay, it may have a slight odor.

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Last week’s sudden cold front caught many of us off guard. That sudden cold temperature, along with lots of wind also caught many of our plants off guard. As the weather affects humans, it can also affect plants. The cold front had me wondering if many people realized just how much the weath…

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Until just a few years ago, I had never heard of or seen a Persian shield plant, known scientifically as Strobilanthes dyerianus. When I did, I became quite enamored with it. Derivation of name – not from Persia

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Here we are in October – what many gardeners call our second spring time. I realize it doesn’t actually feel like fall yet, but we are slowly getting there. Mornings and evenings are starting to feel cooler, and some of us have had some rain, albeit small amounts, but any amount is better th…

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A sweet “zee-doo-zee-dee-ZEET” rings through the thick juniper forests as dawn breaks over the Hill Country of Texas. The golden-cheeked warbler is an endangered warbler species that migrates from eastern Mexico to Texas to breed. Their breeding range is located solely in Texas, roughly in t…

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Orchids are strikingly beautiful and make wonderful gifts, yet, all too many people enjoy them until they quit blooming and then throw them away.

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1015 or 10/15? What does this mean to you? To many gardeners, or non-gardeners for that matter, these numbers mean onions. Not just any onions but the famous Texas Sweet 1015s. This onion variety was developed by a Texas A&M horticulture professor. After 10 years of researching and devel…

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By the time late August rolls around, I am so ready for that first cool front. I can almost smell the leaves on the ground. We used to create piles that we would jump into. I was nostalgic for my bedroom in Pennsylvania perched on a hill where I could view the splash of autumnal color in the…

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  • Michael Gomez said:

    Glenn,read carefully, those were not my examples. It contradicts the author who said Judicial Watch was non partisan...I don’t engage in TRUTHER conspiracy theories.

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  • Glenn Wilson said:

    Mike, you picked the 3 worst examples in modern times of people wrongly investigated just because of their party affiliation, especially the Clintons. That said though, there are enough corrup…

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  • Michael Gomez said:

    DescriptionJudicial Watch is an American conservative activist group that files Freedom of Information Act lawsuits to investigate claimed misconduct by government officials. Founded in 1994, …

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  • Glen or Janice Ullman said:

    Mr. Janak, With all that corruption out there it’s really hard to tell if Trump was duly elected or not. All we can do is hope there are enough whistle blowers out there on the left and right …

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