La Feria News

Gardening can provide much-needed relief during this extraordinary time in our lives

Working in your garden right now can offer people a wonderful way to get out of the house and get some sun while still remaining socially distant during the coronavirus outbreak. Photo: Ann Johnston / LFN

By ANN JOHNSTON
LFN

Wondering what you and your family can do while school is out and most activities are shut down? Create a daily schedule for yourself and your children in the order of a school day by dividing your time into sections.

Start the morning with P.E. (or physical activity) and work in your yard. Always choose the cooler times of the day to be outside and do inside activities while it is hot.

Suggestions: There is always something to be done in your yard. Even if your gardening area is just a patio with pots.

• “Weeding” is a constant in our valley. Be sure to get the roots or they will reappear. Children need to have this pointed out to them.

• “Deadheading” can be a daily chore. Pinch or snip spent blooms so that the plant will keep on blooming. If you leave the dead flowers on the plant, it thinks it should continue the propagation process of making seeds and will stop flowering.

• Remove dead leaves and plant material from flower beds. They tend to hide insects that will munch on new growth. Vegetable gardens are particularly vulnerable. A hatch of caterpillars can consume a tomato plant overnight. (Yes, some plants are intended to feed our butterfly life cycle; but usually not in our edible gardens. )

Watch for: The Texas Highways magazine has launched a new seven-week email series about our Texas Wildflowers sponsored by the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin. It is called “Petal Pushers.” Contact the Texas Highways magazine to get yours.

Step through the Garden Gate for more gardening suggestions, hints, and things to watch for next week.

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