Parker County Extension Office demonstration beds a must see

Posted Tuesday, May. 07, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Would you rather read about a plant in a book, look at a picture of a plant, see a plant growing or all of the above?

The Parker County Master Gardener Association (PCMGA) has written and made available to the public The Second Edition of A Handbook for Parker County, the Real Dirt to provide the written and pictorial information you need. This book contains important written and visual information to guide you when making plant choices.

To provide opportunities for gardeners to touch, smell, view and size up plants as they are actually growing, PCMGA has planned and installed demonstration gardens in several places in Parker County. The demonstration beds at the County Extension Office, 604 N. Main Street, are just such an installation, providing first-hand knowledge about plants that grow well in Parker County’s environment. Open 12 months of the year; all day, any day.

Before the plant list was compiled for each of the beds there, attention was given to the nutrient content of the soil and the pH level. Drip irrigation and mulch were planned for each of the beds. The importance of IPM (Integrated Pest Management) was recognized as important to avoid harming beneficial microorganisms in the soil by the use of harmful chemicals.

Then the fun part, making a list of plants to use in the beds. The spectrum goes from medium sized crape myrtles to small trees like possumhaw hollies and Mexican Bird of Paradise, to a very long list of perennials such as roses, santolinas, rosemary, salvia greggiis to annuals and bulbs for seasonal color such as crinum lilies, Dutch iris, bluebonnets, pansies and dianthus. If you need information on evergreens so that you can have winter interest in your landscape, PCMGA has those. They have colors, reds, pinks, yellows, purple, whites and various shades of green. They have multiple textures from fine leafed Russian sage to more boldly leafed Holly Fern and full sun plants and shade loving ones.

The plants are labeled so you can know how to get the written information needed to know how a particular plant will fit into your landscape needs. You need to know sun and water requirements, you need to know mature size, you need to know pH tolerance, and you need to know bloom and foliage color when planning your personal landscape design.

Many Parker County residents have moved here from other types of growing environments. Everything PCMGA does is oriented to Parker County’s conditions. The purpose is to help you gain knowledge about what works here. They invite you to visit the Demonstration Gardens at the County Extension Office and learn from and enjoy the gardens and can be contacted in the following ways for additional information.

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