Garden View: Spring into your garden

ASHLEY GREGORY | SPECIAL TO THE MONITOR

With temperatures in the 40s early this week, it didn’t seem as if the first day of spring was fast approaching. If we can trust our weather report, however, it looks as if warmer days are heading our way, which means that the local garden stores are stocking up with fresh plants for spring, a great time to get out and add some bright, beautiful spring color to your garden.

Getting new plants in the ground now gives them time to establish their root systems, allowing them to better tolerate the heat of summer.

There are so many things you can do this time of year, but only so much that can be shared in the column. If you are interested in advancing your gardening skills, we have plenty of opportunities. One of the best parts of my job is getting to train and work with the deep South Texas Master Gardener volunteers, who assist in educating the community on a variety of horticulture topics. These volunteers have completed 50 hours of training in local horticultural topics and issues and an additional 50 hours of hands on training in the garden. They do an amazing job of sharing what they learn with the community and I can’t thank them enough for all their help.

Here are some Master Gardener events coming up in March that we would love to see you at:

>> March 16: If you have an interest in starting an herb garden, join us for a step-by-step tutorial on how to start basil from seeds. In this all-inclusive workshop you will learn how to grow basil, its nutritional benefits and even some tasty recipes to try out once you have grown your own fresh basil.

>> March 22-24: The Master Gardeners will be at the Annual Home and Garden Show at the McAllen Convention Center sharing their knowledge and selling some gorgeous garden goodies. They will be selling plants in decorative pots, garden gifts and yard art to raise funds for our yearly programming efforts. Stop by and shop or just visit. Master Gardeners will be on site to answer your gardening questions.

>> March 30: The annual Master Gardener Spring Festival and Plant Sale takes place at our Educational Garden in San Juan. Come out and visit our 1 acre educational garden that consists of a variety of smaller gardens as examples of what you can do in your own landscape. We will be selling plants and answering questions; there will be a silent auction and four different workshops. This a wonderful chance to visit the garden for ideas, buy some plants and get all your questions answered.

Visit the Hidalgo County-Texas AgriLife Extension Service website to learn more about these events, to register for upcoming workshops, and how to become a Master Gardener. We are accepting applications for the 2019 summer Master Gardener Training program which will be held in the evenings.

Ashley Gregory is the Horticulturalist for Hidalgo County with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. She can be reached at the Hidalgo County Extension Office at (956) 383-1026 or by email at ahgregory@ag.tamu.edu.