VOLUME 20, ISSUE 9 • February 29, 2024

Neil Sperry editor. Gretchen Drew design and circulation.


Happy Leap Day 2024! I promised you a big surprise for this day, and you'll see it in a moment. You'll also find a truckload of important early spring info.

In this issue…
It's time for pre-emergents
Quick Tip: how vines climb
A plum-perfect little tree
This weekend's critical jobs
Our weekly dip into the mailbag


Just a sample of the 1,600 pens I've used to sign books to date.

Reg. $33.95-$38.95
A limited supply at $16*

The one Texas-based gardening reference that covers everything about landscaping and lawns, including annuals and perennials, fruit and vegetables.
344 pages. 840 of my photos. Hardback. High-quality paper. Printed in Texas!

These are the same books I've been selling the past several years.
Some are earlier printings - odds 'n ends left over right at the end of a run as I started selling a new printing.
Some are books where I made a mistake as I signed a book. In those cases, I have affixed a permanent label over the original signature and signed again. (Signatures only, please. No personalizations on these books.)
All are in perfect condition.
Subject to supply on hand. Do not delay. The offer will disappear from my website when the supply is exhausted.

*Plus tax and postage.

My website is your
better way to order
Or call (800) 752-4769 M-F 9-5.

Photo: Mexican plum flowers are favorites of gardeners and their bees.


Gardening This Weekend

I guess you could say we've been gifted an extra day this year. Hopefully you've spent it gardening. Well, not to pile on, but I have a few things to finish up this weekend before we get into the fast lane of springtime. Take a look.

Photo: Ornamental peaches are grown for flowers, not fruit. While short-lived, they're stunning in spring. Nurseries offer them primarily in early spring.


Time Here for Pre-emergent

This is a tough topic to address for a state as large as Texas because it centers on the average date of the last killing freeze, but for the wide beltline of Central Texas it's time to apply pre-emergent granules. Let me explain.

Photo: These are the two prime weeds you're trying to prevent.


A lovely little gem of a tree

Mexican plum might be the perfect third or fourth tree for your landscape. Use it as an accent or for shade in a smaller part of your gardens. It's xeriphytic, so plant it along your dry stream bed. Or just use it because you love it.

Photo: Mexican plum on Industrial Blvd. McKinney this week.


Quick Garden Tip … Know vine's habits before planting

Before you start planting vines to grow over or against supports in your garden you need to do your homework on how it will climb. Different vines: different methods. I'll explain.

Photo: Tendrils of passionvine are visible as it grows.


Ask Neil

You folks threw hard curve balls this week. I swung and at least made contact. See how I answered: "Raleigh or Palmetto?" "Best shade grass mix from seed for Austin? "Best reseeding annual and perennial flowers?" And those were the easy ones!


And, in closing…

I'm back to my full-time radio schedule this weekend:
Sat. 11:06-noon statewide via 33 stations. Call (866) 256-1080.

Sat. 1-2 p.m. KLIF 570AM Call (888) 787-5543.

Sun. 8-9 a.m. WBAP 820AM Call (800) 288-9227.

Now that we're finally getting some great weather for gardening, my next challenge will be to get you not to rush things too much. The 10-day forecasts are reasonably accurate, but it's a coin toss beyond that. Don't get overly anxious and get caught by a late frost or freeze.

Click image for larger view.

From the kitchen of Todd…

Our son Todd often sends stunning drone videos to us from his travels across California and beyond. This time, however, it was from his kitchen as he prepared his "Baby Bella" mushrooms for their trip into his oven. Todd has an eye for what's appealing, and he thought you might enjoy this.

He also sent along information on his little buddies. (He said they were delicious.)

That's it for e-gardens for now, but more awaits you same time same place next week.

Thanks for checking in. And happy gardening!



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