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Northwest Iowa Dairy Outlooks

A local discussion of current science and issues concerning dairying in northwest iowa

Category Archives: Master Gardeners

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 If you want to know more about Aquaponics, Habiturf, sustainable landscapes or native and adapted plants then you need to mark Saturday, April 5 on your calendar! Or if you know just the spot in your landscape for a native or adapted plants you can’t miss the plant sale hosted by the Williamson County Master Gardeners during their spring educational fair. Both events plus tours of the demonstration gardens will be held from 8 am to 2 pm at the Williamson County AgriLife Campus located at 3151 SE Inner Loop in Georgetown.

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Citizens will have the opportunity to get their hands on the newest irrigation technology during the Williamson County Residential Irrigation Workshop. The workshop will be a come and go event beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday, March 22 at the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Williamson County campus and ending at 12 noon. The campus is located at 3151 SE Inner Loop in Georgetown.

Demonstrations will give homeowners insights on how their sprinkler system works; how to recognize water pressure issues; how to set controllers for water efficiency; how to diagnose problems and make simple repairs plus how to do simple drip conversions.

The presenters will include professionals from Ewing Irrigation, Rain Bird Irrigation, Texas Land & Water Designs, City of Round Rock, City of Georgetown and the Lower Colorado River Authority.

Williamson County Master Gardeners are coordinating the event to help citizens understand that landscape irrigation accounts for up to 70 percent of residential water usage in the summer months– with most homeowners overwatering landscapes, sometimes to the detriment of their landscape.

As water availability continues to be a growing concern in Central Texas, citizens need to understand how to conserve more water while still maintaining a beautiful landscape.

For more information contact the Texas AgriLife Extension Service office in Williamson County at 512.943.3300.


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The Wichita County Master Gardeners are hosting a drip irrigation for homeowners educational program at the Kell House on Saturday, October 13 beginning at 10 a.m. Bill Bosworth from North Texas Design and Landscape will present a program on how drip irrigation works and how it can save you on water and on work.

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On Saturday, September 1 the Wichita Falls Farmers Market at 8th & Ohio in Wichita Falls will host “Fall Gardening with Master Gardener Bonnie Jones” The program will run from 9 until 11 am. Master Gardener Bonnie Jones’ presentation will include: What to Plant ~ When to Plant ~ How to Build a Cold Frame ~ Mulches & Potting Soil ~ Compost Recipe for Raised Bed Gardening & More. She will also be able to sign-up folks for the next Master Gardener Program.

The Farmers Market hours are 7:30 am to 1 pm. and is sponsored by the Charlie ~ Thornberry Farmers Market Association.

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Local Gardeners are encouraged to exhibit produce at the Texas Oklahoma Fair in Wichita Falls. The Agricultural Produce classes include: Beans – 6 of one variety Apples – 4 of one variety; Carrots – 4 of one variety Figs – 6 of one variety ; Cucumbers – 4 of one variety Pears – 4 of one variety ;Okra – 4 of one variety Persimmons – 4 of one variety ; Peppers – 4 of one variety Grapes – 3 clusters of one variety ; Pumpkin – 1 of any variety ; Squash – 4 of one variety ; Tomato – 6 of one variety ; Sweet Potatoes – 3 of 1 variety; Melons- 1 each ; Gourds1-3 single or different varieties.

There will be an entry fee of $2.00 per item and there is no preregistration. Exhibits should be taken to the MPEC Exhibit Hall on Monday, 10 September, 2012 between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. No items will be accepted for competition after 7 p.m. on Monday, September 10. Exhibit entry forms must be completed by each exhibitor. Each exhibitor must complete an exhibition tag. The exhibitor’s name should not be visible on the entry.

Exhibits will be on display beginning Tuesday, 11 September, 2012 at 6 p.m. Exhibits must remain on display until 9 p.m. Saturday, 15 September, 2012, when they should be removed, or removed at a time to be announced at the time of registration.

Judging will begin Monday after 7 p.m. Ribbons will be awarded for the first through 3rd place and honorable mention. The decision of the judges will be final. If there are no exhibits in a category meriting ribbons, then no ribbons will be awarded. No exhibitors shall be present during the time of judging.

The entry must have been grown by the exhibitor. There are two age categories: youth(under 18) and adults (over 18).


A local Master Gardener found three-striped blister beetles in her yard this week. Blister beetles are commonly found in the yard and garden. They’re a unique insect because they cause all kinds of reactions on people and pets. They readily feed on plants and insects and their body contains cantharadin, a known toxin, which is the real culprit. When handled, the beetles will release cantharadin which can cause nasty blisters to form on the skin. Blister beetles readily infest vegetables and fruits and organic gardeners commonly come in direct contact with them while unknowingly removing them by hand from infested plants. Be careful not to handle or touch them; reactions vary from person to person. Out in the yard, a good option for large areas would be a product that contains Lambda-cyhalothrin and is labeled for use on plants and gardens. Lambda-cyhalothrin belongs to a group of chemicals called pyrethroids. Pyrethroids are manmade chemicals that are similar to the natural insecti-cides pyrethrins. Products containing either can be labeled for control of blister beetles.