A Lone Star Healthy Streams workshop is set for Nov. 16 at the Texas AgriLife Research Center, 1229 N US Hwy 281 in Stephenville. The workshop will begin at 10 a.m. and end at 3 p.m. A catered lunch will be provided at no cost, but an RSVP is requested by Nov. 12.

Workshop presentations will focus on basic watershed function, water quality and specific best management practices that can be implemented to help minimize bacterial contamination originating from beef cattle, horses and feral hogs, said Matt Brown, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service program specialist in College Station.  Three general continuing education credits will be provided for certified pesticide applicators through the Texas Department of Agriculture.

To RSVP contact the Erath County Extension Office at 254-965-1460.

Garden Checklist

Plan now for your spring flowering season with a mixture of annuals and perennials. Late December through February is usually the best time to prune woody plants. Place orders for seeds this month so you will have them available when you are ready to plant. November through February is a good time to plant trees and shrubs. Bring in late-blooming plants such as decorative kalanchoes or Christmas cactus so they may finish flowering in the warmth of the house. Reduce fertilization of indoor plants from late October to mid-March. Drain and store garden hoses and watering equipment in a readily accessible location. Continue to set out cool-season bedding plants, such as pansies, violas, stock, snapdragons, and dianthus. Prepare beds and individual holes for rose planting in January and February. Use composted manure, pine bark, and similar materials mixed with existing soil. Plant spring-flowering bulbs if you haven’t already done so. Refrigerate tulips and hyacinths for 6-8 weeks prior to planting. Take advantage of good weather to prepare garden beds for spring planting. Work in any needed organic matter, and have beds ready to plant when needed. Don’t forget tulip and hyacinth bulbs in the refrigerator. They can be planted any time in December if they have received 60 or more days of chilling. Want to start cuttings of your favorite Christmas cactus? As soon as it has finished blooming, select a cutting with 4 or 5 joints, break or cut it off, and insert the basal end into a pot of moderately moist soil. Place it on a windowsill or other brightly lit area. The cuttings should be rooted within 3 to 4 weeks. Don’t spare the pruning shears when transplanting bare-rooted woody plants. Cut the tops back at least one-third to one-half, to compensate for the roots lost when digging the plant. Take advantage of bad weather and holiday time to study seed and nursery catalogues as well as good gardening books. Berrying plants, such as holly and yaupon, may be pruned now while they can be enjoyed as cut material inside the house. Lonnie Jenschke is an Erath County extensions agent. He writes a weekly column for the E-T.