VOLUME 14, ISSUE 1 • January 4, 2018

Neil Sperry editor. Gretchen Drew design and circulation.


Well, this has certainly been a brisk week, hasn't it! Hopefully your plantings have all survived intact. I'm sure we'll address that as the upcoming weeks start to unfold.

As for e-gardens this week, I've brought some interesting topics.

For your reading enjoyment…
• Everything you ever wanted to know about fruit crops;
• Help spread the word: Don't top crape myrtles;
• Protecting tender plants and one man's experience;
• Gardening tasks for this first weekend; and
• Bed preparation basics.


Read a good book lately?

This could be the one. I'm admittedly biased, but I think it's the best work of my career.

• 344 pages and 840 of my photos;
• Covers all aspects of outdoor gardening in Texas;
• Completely different format from my 1991 "boot" book;
• Hardback and printed in Texas;
• Not in stores and not on Amazon;
• I sign every book, personalize if requested;
• Available only from my website or by calling my office weekdays (800) 752-4769.
• Only $31.95 plus tax, postage.

And now it's time to head into e-gardens. I hope you enjoy it.

Photo: Aglaonemas indoors need little or no fertilizer during winter.


Gardening This Weekend

Hopefully we'll all be able to get outside sometime in the next few days to tend to our plants. I've made a list of important activities.

Photo: Aglaonemas are perfect house guests: low-maintenance!


Bed Prep 101

It's not the most glamorous topic in gardening, but it's one of the most critical. If you don't have good soil, you won't have a good garden. I have some critical guidelines.

Photo: Time is here to prepare garden soils.


Ultra-Handy Web Page from TAMU!

I keep this page up front on my bookmark bar. It's that good. I refer to it several times every week. It covers every aspect of fruit and pecan growing in Texas. I predict you'll save it as well.

Photo: Blackberries and all other fruit crops are covered on this webpage!


Question of the Week Number 1: January 4, 2018

"Neil, I get the message: 'Topping crape myrtles ruins their shape and does nothing to help them.' How can I help get that word out?"

That's an actual question. Please read my reply.

Photo: There's nothing handsome about this butchered crape myrtle.


Question of the Week Number 2: January 4, 2018

"Neil, how best can I protect my sago palm from cold like we've had this past week?"

My Facebook friend Dave Harris posted this great photo of his sago palm. He and others have been asking me this question.

Photo: Sago palm is dressed to chill.


And, in closing…

That's it for our first e-gardens of 2018. If you enjoyed it, please let others know. And please tell our advertisers as well.

Until next week, when we hope the weather will be warmer, I'll hope to meet up with you on my Facebook page, on my website, on my podcasts or radio programs or in church this coming Sunday.

Thanks for reading!

Happy gardening!


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