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Master Gardener: Lawn and Garden Expo to be held in March

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Gail Haynes and Susan Guynes

Ellis County Master Gardeners’ 2011 Lawn and Garden Expo will be held on Saturday, March 26, from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. This annual event will be held at the Waxahachie Civic Center, 1950 North I-35E. The keynote speaker will be Neil Sperry and there will be other landscape gardening presentations by local Master Gardeners.

There will be more than 100 gardening-related exhibitors. You will be able to purchase plants: hanging baskets, perennials, roses and vegetables.

The 4-H will provide a concession area. Free tickets are available from the sponsors of the Expo. The cost for children under 12 is free. The admission for everyone 12 and older is $5 at the door.

Susan Guynes writes, "One of the highlights of the Lawn and Garden Expo will be the Children’s Room.

Like most parents I am constantly looking for something to do with my daughter. I usually want the activity to be inexpensive, fun and have something for everyone. It is a bonus if my daughter learns something while she is having fun."

To find such an activity look no further than the 2011 Lawn and Garden Show at the Waxahachie Civic Center the last weekend in March. This annual event is always a big hit with children and adults.

The Lawn and Garden show not only provides booths and classes for adults, but a fun and educational area for the children. In the children’s area you will find many different crafts and educational activities.

The children will learn about composting, recycling, plants, insects, and birds. They will make useful garden crafts to take home as well as plant seeds that can be transplanted later into the garden. There are activities and crafts for preschoolers as well. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Bring your children and come join us at the 2011 Lawn and Garden show on Saturday, March 26, 2011.

Garden Checklist for January offered by Texas A&M

Continue to water and fertilize cool-weather annuals such as snapdragons, Bells of Ireland, stocks, larkspur, pansies, violas and sweet alyssum to encourage the best blooms.

Now is an excellent time to transplant mature or established trees and shrubs while they are dormant.

Make flower and vegetable garden plans now before the rush of spring planting.

Time spent in armchair gardening before the fireplace will pay off in improved plant selection. Besides, it is fun to page through the garden catalogs and books while contemplating changes in your garden.

Apply slow release fertilizer to pansies and other cool season annuals.

Distribute five pounds of cotton seed or alfalfa meal per 100 square feet of bed area or use commercial slow release fertilizer products according to label instructions.

Check junipers and other narrow-leaf evergreens for bagworm pouches. The insect eggs over winter in the pouch, and start the cycle again by emerging in the spring to begin feeding on the foliage.

Hand removal and burning of the pouches reduce future damage.

When buying plants, the biggest is not always the best, especially when dealing with bare-root plants.

The medium to small sizes (4 to 6 feet) are usually faster to become established and more effective in the landscape than the large sizes.

Hold off on pruning bush roses until February or early March. Use good shears that will make clean cuts. Remove dead, dying, and weak canes. Leave 4 to 8 healthy canes, and remove approximately one-half of the top growth and height of the plant.

When pruning shrubs, first prune out any dead or damaged branches; then thin out by removing about one-third of the canes or stems at ground level, removing the oldest canes only; and last, shape the rest of the plant, keeping in mind the natural shape of the plant.

Water foliage plants as well as other containerized plants only when needed and not by the calendar.

Now is the ideal time to select and plant grapes, fruit trees and berries. Contact your local Texas AgriLife Extension agent for localized variety recommendations. Prune peaches and grapes at this time.

Herbaceous perennials and hardy ornamental grasses may be cut back at this time. It may be difficult to assess the extent of freeze damage on citrus and semi-tropical plants until warm weather arrives. When new growth begins damaged material can be removed.

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