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Cool season plants at the Master Gardener Expo

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These are some of the plants that will be available at the Ellis County Master Gardener Lawn and Garden Expo plant sale on March 27.

Snapdragons (Antirrhinum majus)

Although often considered as a fall and winter season annual, snapdragons will do better planted in the spring in this area. They can be planted in the fall, but normally will not survive the winter in North Texas.

Plant them right away in full sun or partial shade for early spring color.

They will tolerate our alkaline soil, but it is recommended they be planted in well-drained beds that have been amended with organic matter and expanded shale. Since the last average freeze date for this year occurs around March 17, you should enjoy them until hot weather arrives.

Snapdragons can also be planted in containers in the spring and fall. In the fall, they are frequently used with other cool season annuals such as: pansies, Swiss chard, ornamental kale and dianthus. They will have more impact if planted together as a single color; however they can also be used in a mixed-color scheme as well. "Snaps," as they are often referred to, come in a wide range of colors: red, white, yellow and purple as well as shades of these colors.

They originated from the Mediterranean region. The name comes from the shape of the flower which appears like a dragon’s mouth.

By pinching the sides of the flower lightly with your finger and releasing, the jaws will snap open and shut – a feature that amuses young children.

Dianthus (Dianthus)

This is another cool season plant that will also be for sale.

Planted in the fall they will bloom until spring in mild winters.

They are a low growing, mat forming plant with grey-green leaves.

Their small carnation-like flowers are borne profusely often covering the entire plant. Deadhead (removing dead flowers and seed heads) after blooming in the spring and cut the foliage back by about half to encourage additional flowering until summer.

They may bloom intermittently during the summer, but they are mainly a cool season plant that needs full sun and good drainage.

Flower color ranges from white to pinks, reds, and purples. Some flowers are bicolors.

Stock (Matthiola incana)

Stock is another plant that likes cool weather. It is a plant that is not commonly found in this area. It is an annual planted in the fall or late winter. It needs afternoon shade. It has tall, erect spikes of white, red and pink and can be used in well-prepare beds or in or containers with other cool season plants as mentioned above.

If you have never grown these cool season plants before, the EXPO is your opportunity to try some.

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Nelson Propane

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