There is a new and interesting garden in the neighborhood.  At river level just below the San Antonio River Authority building, at 100 E. Guenther, is what is called a Monarch Waystation.  It is a garden designed to provide nectar and shelter to monarch butterflies as they migrate through North America.  A sign near the walkway says it is “certified” and that San Antonio is a Monarch Champion City.  Go by on your next walk along the river.  For more information and how you can create one in your own garden, go to monarchwatch.org.  

Read more: Out in the Garden with Alan Cash: May 2017

The King William/Lavaca Tree Project is in need of water hoses.  If you have a hose in good condition its donation would be appreciated.  To help, call Alan Cash at 533-9005 and leave a message (the machine will pickup after 6 rings), or Mary Ann Ohlenbusch at 271-9422.  We will come by and pick it up, or you can leave it at the KWA Office.  Thanks!

Believe it or not, warm weather is not far away and plants will soon be putting on their spring growth.  Valentine’s Day marks the time to start getting the garden ready for the next growing season.  

One of the most important things to do now is to trim evergreens and perennials that have grown too large or have frozen back.  Plants trimmed now will begin to put out new growth in early March, which is usually past the last damaging frost.  Firebush, lantana, thryalis, plumbago, shrimp, Phillippine violets and variegated ginger are popular perennials in many gardens that should be cut back to about 6 inches tall.  Large evergreen shrubs can be trimmed to desired size and shape.

Read more: Out in the Garden: February 2017

We seem to be on a roller coaster as far as weather goes.  A few days of bitter cold, followed by very pleasant porch-sitting weather. Some plants have started budding early.  However, at this writing in early February, indications are that we could still have frost.  Some farmers and gardeners believe it can freeze until mesquite trees put on new leaves.  There is a mesquite tree in the front garden at 735 E. Guenther St. and it shows no signs of budding out.  So be warned.

Read more: Out in the Garden with Alan Cash: March 2017

Fall and early winter is a good time to add trees and shrubs to the landscape .

There are free lists of each to the right of the KWA’s office door. Many if not most can be found at privately owned local nurseries, such as Fanick’s.

To get your lawn and garden off to a good start next spring - yes spring - now is the best time to fertilize using an organic fertilizer. This is something else you can find at privately owned local nurseries. You do not have to immediately water in organic fertilizers. Put it off a day or so if rain is predicted and let Mother Nature do it for you.

We are at the end of another year of gardening. It has been an interesting one. South Texas weather has been described as long periods of drought interspersed by floods.

I hope you gardeners out there enjoyed reading about it as much as I did writing about it. Thanks for the many complements I’ve received about this column.

From The Wit and Wisdom of Mark Twain: A Book of Quotations. Let us endeavor so to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.

Garden Note: The minutes quickly turn to hours when I’m among herbs and flowers. -Alan Cash

Grant Application

The KWA is now accepting KWA Grant applications. Applications are due Friday, June 23rd. Download 2017-18 grant application.