Texas Snow – Protect your plants

Texas Snow Protect your Plants

We had snow twice in 2021 and I wasn’t sure my garden would survive. I had newly tip layered blackberry plants in small pots now covered in snow. I also had new apple trees and a strawberry patch to protect. I used clear plastic containers to make some mini green houses to protect my celery and onion plants and this worked well. Check out the video above to see how it all worked out including the before and after.

Strawberry Plants Free – Propagate Easily with Runners

Strawberry Plants Free and Easy with Propagation by Runners

Easy way to get more strawberry plants and free is by using runners. I have tried planting strawberry seeds and it takes much longer than you may want to wait. I’ve found the easiest way is to get some bare root strawberry plants and then when they send out runners – you can propagate them directly into small containers. Simple and fast!

How to Germinate Seeds Quick

Germinate Seeds Quick

How to germinate seeds quicker and easier.
I’ve found that simply peeling the seed coating makes the seeds germinate faster. I’ve done this will several seeds including avocado, lemon, apple, and peaches. I use the paper towel method to start them and the ones that have been peeled start the process faster than those that have not. This saves me time when planting seeds as I’ll know which ones are ready several days sooner. See the video above.

Free Blackberry Plants with Tip Layering

Propagate Blackberries with Tip Layering

You can easily propagate your blackberry plants by tip layering them. Also called tip rooting – I like to do this directly into small plastic cups making it easy to verify that the roots are growing and then share with others! I reuse a plastic container and drill a few holes in the bottom for drainage. Take a blackberry (or raspberry) cane and bring it down and bury the tip about 2-3 inches into the middle of the cup. Cover with a rock on top to keep it in place. Check back in about 3 weeks to see the roots along the bottom. To separate, go back up the cane leaving at least 3 or 4 nodes of leaves and cut. Now you can transplant this to another area of your garden or simply give the cup to family or friends that want to grow their own!

How to Serpentine Layer Blackberry Plants

Serpentine Layering Blackberries

Serpentine Layering is one of the two ways I propagate my blackberry and raspberry plants. Trailing varieties work best as they are easier to layer in this manner. I take a cane that easily bends down to a pot and I lay it across and bury the center of the cane. As it grows, usually about another week or 2 then I bring it over to another pot and repeat the process. The most I’ve gotten is 7 new plants from a single serpentine layered cane!

Grow Mango Tree From Store Bought Fruit

Grow Mango Tree From Seed

How I grew a mango tree from the seed of a store bought mango.

First – enjoy the mango fruit then extract the seed from the endocarp.
Now peel the coating and cover with a damp paper towel for a 3-6 weeks until you see it has germinated.

Lightly cover with soil with the roots facing down and the stem facing up.
Cover the seedling with a large plastic bag and keep moisture inside as the tree begins to grow. Watch the video above for seed to 4 month progress.

Install Bird Netting With Cattle Panel Frames

My strawberry garden has started to produce strawberries and the birds have found them. Time to install bird netting. I looked at several options including pvc to make hoops and other options but I settled on using a cattle panel. I’ve used cattle panels to make an arch trellis for my watermelons and cantaloupes in the past and it has worked well. Video of the process I used to make an arch with the cattle panel and secure bird netting over it is below. It has worked well so far to keep the birds out!

Install Bird Netting with Cattle Panel Frames