Lubbock Master Gardener Association

Garlic Parmesan Pasta

Ingredients

  • 120ml (1/2 cup) butter
  • 2 tsp. dried basil, crushed
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 3/4 tsp. seasoned salt
  • 220g (8 oz.) fettuccine or angel hair pasta (cooked and drained)
  • 360ml (1 1/2 cups) broccoli floweretts (cooked tender-crisp)
  • 3 Tbsp. walnuts (chopped )
  • fresh, grated Parmesan cheese

Procedure

  1. Melt the butter in a large skillet.
  2. Add the basil, lemon juice, garlic powder and seasoned salt, blending well.
  3. Add the fettuccine, broccoli, walnuts.
  4. Blend well and toss to coat the fettuccine.
  5. After tossing, add fresh grated Parmesan cheese to top off the dish.

This article uses material from the Wikibooks article “Cookbook:Garlic Parmesan Pasta“, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

Guacamole

Ingredients

  • 4 avocados
  • 2 tablespoons of pico de gallo
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 2 chopped Jalapeño OR 2 tablespoons of crushed red pepper OR 1 tablespoon of cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 4 teaspoons of olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon of chopped garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • 1 minced jalapeño OR 2 minced serrano chiles OR 2 tablespoon minced of any chile pepper like (adjust for spiciness)

Procedure

  1. Pit the avocados.
  2. Score avocado without cutting through the skin.
  3. Scoop out one avocado with a large spoon and place in mixing bowl.
  4. Add the lime juice and stir to evenly coat the avocados.
  5. Stir in the Pico de Gallo, garlic, oil, jalapeño, salt, red pepper, and black pepper, mashing and tossing the avocado pieces until thoroughly mixed.
  6. Then scoop out the other avocados and gently mix and toss in the larger pieces.
  7. The guacamole is the right consistency when more large pieces than mashed parts remain.
  8. Garnish with a sprig of cilantro.

This article uses material from the Wikibooks article “Cookbook:Guacamole“, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

Spiced Pumpkin Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 cup peeled and cubed sweet potato
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 14-oz cans of nonfat and low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable stock
  • 1 15-oz can of pumpkin
  • 1 cup 1% milk
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice

Procedure

  1. Melt butter in a Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium-high heat. Saute onion for 3-4 minutes then add flour, curry, cumin and nutmeg and saute for 1 minute.
  2. Add sweet potato, salt, chicken broth and pumpkin and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered for about 20-25 minutes or until sweet potatoes are cooked through and softened. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes to cool.
  3. Place half of the pumpkin mixture in a blender and process until smooth. Using a strainer, pour soup back into pan. Repeat with rest of soup.
  4. Raise heat to medium then stir in milk and cook for 5 minutes or until soup is heated through.
  5. Remove from heat and add lime juice.

This article uses material from the Wikibooks article “Cookbook:Spiced Pumpkin Soup“, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

Gardening App Review: Garden Tags

Use this Garden Tags app for:

Identifying plants, looking at other peoples’ plant and garden photos, task reminders, social media for plants.

 

Who should use Garden Tags app:

People who are looking for the Instagram of plant identification, but with a task feature.

 

Features of Garden Tags:

  • Take a photo
  • Upload a photo
  • Look at other people’s photos
  • Get alerts about your plants

 

Shortcomings of Garden Tags:

Very limited featureset – it’s social media for gardening

 

The Garden Tags app boasts:

Garden Tags is the ultimate all-in-one app for gardeners of all abilities that’s making the art of growing easy and fun. Get planting inspiration, advice, identification and garden management in one free app. It’s simple – you’ll grow more plants and less weeds.

With the Garden Tags gardening app you can manage your entire garden and plant collection in one place. You can also experience the joy of gardening with our rapidly growing community of 100,000+ gardeners and receive garden and plant advice in return. And if you don’t know what the plant is. No Problem. Our gardeners will identify it for you for free…You really can’t beat gardener powered plant identification.

CATALOGUE YOUR ENTIRE GARDEN FOR FREE

With Garden Tags you can keep a record of all your plants in your garden in one place. When you add a plant you also get access to all the information about that plant in our growing encyclopedia of 18,000+ plants. What’s more, you get a handy record of how each plant has grown over the seasons too.

FREE GARDEN AND PLANT INSPIRATION

Garden Tags members have already shared hundreds of thousands of gardens, plants and beautiful flowers on the gardening app. With GardenTags you’ll never be stuck for garden design and plant inspiration again. Follow expert growers like the RHS and TV Gardener Michael Perry or organic growers like Ellen Mary Gardening. From rose specialists, to organic allotmenteers to succulent growers – they’re all sharing daily inspiration to expand our growing horizons. If you like garden design there are thousands of designs to choose from too.

FREE PLANT IDENTIFICATION & ADVICE FROM REAL GARDENERS

Do you need to identify a plant or flower? Want to know which plants will grow best and flower in your garden? Thinking of going organic? GardenTags has 1000s of experts on hand and ready to answer your garden, plant and flower questions. Our gardeners will also help you identify pests and diseases. You may need an answer to a design question or quick answer to an organic solution to green fly. Easy. Just hashtag your question #advice and you’ll get an answer.

GARDEN JOURNAL AND PLANT CARE TASKS 

When you upgrade to Garden Tags Premium you’ll receive plant care tasks when your plant needs care e.g. when it’s time to prune. There are also handy videos showing you the best way to approach the garden task too. Whether you’re an organic allotment gardener or a succulent grower they’ll be answers to your growing needs and personalised tasks alerts. You’ll also be able to add growing notes to each plant and task.

Beginner gardeners love GardenTags because of the plant identification and answers to many common gardening problems but also because they find the plant encyclopedia invaluable. As you get more confident you can follow the RHS, organic growers, allotment gardeners, succulent growers and experts in garden design. You never know you may be able to help someone identify a flower or help with a plant care task for someone’s planting journal.

 

My two cents:

This app is neat as a community resource for plant identification, but I think the garden planning apps like Homegrown are better suited for task reminders. However, the social and photo aspects of this app make it fun and interactive.

 

Screenshots and Features:

You must create an account in order to use the app.

 

Creating an account was a little more cumbersome than expected… this is just the first screen.

 

It asks some questions about experience…

 

It asks some questions about your garden “style”…

 

It asks you to upload a plant photo…

 

It asks you to pay money…

 

As you upload a photo, it asks you to label your photo with the plant type.

 

If you don’t know what plant it is, the community will help you identify it.

 

Based on the plant identification, the app with generate care tasks for your plant, which it will then notify you about when they’re due.

Gardening App Review: My Garden

Gardening App Review: Plantix

Gardening App Review: Homegrown with Bonnie Plants

Use this Homegrown with Bonnie app for:

Cataloging, making notes, logging, planning, tracking harvests, and discovering information about your gardens.

 

Who should use this Homegrown with Bonnie app:

Beginning, intermediate, and experienced gardeners.

 

Features of Homegrown with Bonnie:

  • Planning tool
  • Growing journal
  • Pest guide
  • Plant guide with library
  • Add your own plants
  • Project guide
  • How-to’s

 

Shortcomings of Homegrown with Bonnie:

No garden mapping tool

 

The Homegrown with Bonnie app boasts:

Homegrown is THE gardening app for beginning and experienced gardeners.

Wouldn’t it be great to remember what you planted last year? To have a history of how your garden looked and performed? With the Homegrown app from Bonnie Plants, you’ll be able to:

Take Notes – Track your garden’s progress through the seasons, including planting, watering, feeding, and harvesting.

Track Your Garden – Browse more than 250 veggies & herbs and create a list for your garden.

Learn to Grow – Read articles that help you have a successful garden.

View the Weather – See current and forecasted weather for your location.

Take Photos – Create a visual history of everything you grow. 

Share with friends – Post photos and notes to Facebook and Twitter.

Since 1918, Bonnie Plants has become the most trusted provider of vegetable and herb plants in the United States, and we want to help you plant your best garden ever! 

We welcome you to download and try this first Android version of Homegrown, the FREE gardening app for every type of gardener. Please send us your feedback, and together we’ll create an app that makes learning how to garden an enjoyable and rewarding experience.

My two cents:

This app is by far my favorite. Other apps might be prettier, but this one’s got almost every feature I could want.

The gardening journal felt a little cumbersome at first, but the more I used this app, the more features I discovered. Truly a gem, and one of the under-utilized apps on the market, according to the ratings in the Google Play store. 

This app, though clearly Bonnie-centric, offered the ability to add plants to your gardens that Bonnie didn’t already offer in their library – meaning you can use this app to track plants that Bonnie doesn’t sell. This may sound like a simple thing, but all of the other gardening apps offered by other major plant companies actually “lock” you into using their plants. For this simple feature, I’ll continue using this app throughout the summer.

Additional features include how-to guides, pest guides, planting guides, garden area planning, harvest tracking, and more. Bonnie really knocked it out of the park with this one.

 

Screenshots and Features:

When you first open the app, it appears to download a plant library.

 

Understandably, the app is very “Bonnie-centric”.

 

The app basically is a gardening diary, where you log activities and tag your plants.

In the diary, you can log pests, etc.

 

It even provides some basic information about the pests you spot.

 

You can create gardens in the app, too.

 

For each garden, you can add plants.

 

Each plant even provides some basic information.

 

For each plant, you can log when it was planted, etc.

 

Bonnie also offers helpful information for beginning gardeners on growing projects and basic how-to’s.

 

This is an example of one of the how-to’s, a guide for basic container planting.

 

 

Summer Water Conservation

As we approach the summer months each year, the City’s water consumption increases. Most of the increase is due to outdoor water usage. Outdoor water usage is dependent upon rainfall and the heat index experienced during the summer. Even during hot, dry periods, we can be smart about irrigating our lawn and landscape. Please irrigate on designated days only. This helps reduce our daily summer demand. Do not apply more than 1.5 inches to your lawn each week since that is all your yard needs to thrive during the summer. Let’s be WaterSmart. For more information about irrigation and water conservation visit mylubbock.us/water

Gardening App Review: Gardenize

Use this Gardenize app for: 

Entering notes about your garden into your phone.

 

Who should use this Gardenize app:

People with very small gardens

People who like to type on their phone or tablet

People who want very detailed notes on their plants

 

Features of Gardenize:

  • Planner feature
  • Task feature
  • Comprehensive data storage
  • Clean and modern interface

 

Shortcomings of Gardenize:

  • No mapping features
  • You generate the plant list
  • Everything must be entered
  • No location-specific information
  • Time-intensive data entry

 

The Gardenize app boasts:

GARDENIZE IS THE APP FOR YOUR GARDEN. 

In Gardenize you collect information about YOUR plants, YOUR garden areas and YOUR garden activities. 

PLANTS

Use the phone in your mobile phone to take pictures of the plants in your garden, from the time you plant a seed and as times goes by and the seed grows and develops to a full plant. 

Write notes such as scientific name, seeding time, height etc. You can also note in what area you planted your plant

GARDEN AREAS

Take photos of your flower beds, raised beds and green house and name them as you want. 

You can also make notes such as how much light the area gets, what kind of soil you have and how big the area is. You can also make notes in free text. 

DIARY

Connect your plants with a garden area and an activity type such as: “Watered” Roses” in “Flowerbed by the kitchen” Add one or several photos, and write as many notes as you want. 

INSPIRATION

Gardenize is filled with insparation from bloggs and you tube!

SUPPORT: 

If you need help when using Gardenize or if you have suggestions for improvement, please contact as at http://www.gardenize.com or info@gardenize.se. We provide support in Swedish and English.

 

My two cents:

If you need a place to store your information about your garden, Gardenize might be the place to do it. I found this app incredibly time-intensive to use, but if you only have a small garden with a few species / varieties, or if you’ve got the time and determination to manually enter every.single.detail about each of your plants… this might be the app for you. 

The clean interface makes for an easy-to-navigate application, but is deceptively simple in that you expect similar considerations about user-friendliness to exist throughout the application (hint: such expectations will leave you disappointed). This app is basically a digital notebook for you to fill out with details about your garden. Super handy and well laid out, if you don’t have many plants or if you’ve got the time to enter all that information. 

To start using it, I needed to define an “Area”. I started laying out my 4 by 8 raised backyard bed, which I use for squarefoot vegetable and herb gardening. There was some useful information to be entered, like light quality, soil composition (limited options), soil pH, etc. I thought this was cool, and I hadn’t seen anything with this level of detail in Burpee’s planning app nor in the From Seed to Spoon guides.

After entering the details for my first Area, I started adding plants to it. Honestly, I got halfway through adding the first plant and gave up. I know I’ll never have time to set all this up… because I have to do it completely from scratch. I was so excited about the flexibility of this app, but unfortunately, while working in this app, I just kept thinking, “Why is there no library of plants!?” I mean, honestly, even just plant name would be a good start. There are a ton of details that can be entered for each plant. Even though the fields are all very much optional, I actuall want to be able to reference this information at some point, I just don’t want to have to be the one to enter it. (Yes, I’m so very much a millenial in many ways, I know!)

If this app had a plant library like Burpee’s planning app, or like the From Seed to Spoon app, but still contained all of its other features, I would not only use it, I would uninstall the others! Instead, I’ll be uninstalling Gardenize shortly, wishing I had time to manually enter all of the information it wants from me. I’m not sure if I have too many plants, or if

That being said, if I did have the time, persistent, or dedication to enter each of my plants – OR if I only had a small window or porch garden with less than 10 or 20 types of plants, I could definitely see myself using this app happily and for a long time.

If Gardenize and Scotts’ My Garden app had a baby, that would be my favorite app in the world.

Hands down one of the most visually appealing garden apps available.

 

The app does require that you create an account, but it’s quick and simple to do so.

 

Modern features like a setup wizard really set this app apart.

 

The app asks whether you want it to access your location – I found this incredibly considerate! Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear to actually do anything with this information once you opt-in. I was expecting some zone-specific information, and was disappointed.

 

You start by entering a new plant, area, or event.

 

When adding a new area, you’ve got some pretty handy info to enter.

 

When entering a plant, the detailed fields are just as handy as the Area options. All of the fields are optional, so you can enter as much or little information about this plant as you want.

 

When entering an activity, you can put in whichever details you want.

Heat Stress

What is heat stress?
Heat stress occurs when temperatures are sustained over a sufficient period of time as to cause irreversible damage to a plant’s functions and growth. Plants can be damaged by high day temperatures as well as high nighttime temperatures and by high air temperatures as well as high soil temperatures. A plants’ temperature typically runs just above air temperature, the risk of heat stress for plants increases substantially at temperatures above 85 degrees.

High daytime temperatures above 85 degrees can cause direct damage to plant tissues, or indirectly by creating deficit in the plant/water ratio throwing off a plant’s transpiration rate. Transpiration is comparable to sweat in humans, it’s the way a plant stays cool. When temperature climb a plant may utilize more water than is available when this happens the plant is not able to sustain its cooling mechanisms and foliar collapse (wilting) is the first major symptom, followed by browning and defoliation. If left unnoticed heat stress will escalate to a decrease in photosynthesis, increased respiration (utilization of plant sugars), a slowdown of transpiration and ultimate starvation as the plant tries to compensate for lack of food reserves. Adding hot wind hastens the process of the plant’s demise. Heat stress also increases a plant’s vulnerability to pests, disease and other environmental stressors.

Cool water…

This past week the temperatures have been in the high 90’s and I’ve had to revive my wilted Sweet Potato Vine more than once. A bit of water quickly revives a wilted plant within minutes allowing it to resume its normal rate of transpiration, but if left unnoticed heat stress can do irreversible damage to tissues. Wilting is the first sign that plants are overheating- take heed, it is at this point that plants can still be saved.

What can I do to help my plants handle the heat?

  • Plant using drought tolerant/Native plants.
  • Mulch around plants and trees, mulch lowers soil temperatures and helps to keep temperatures more even.
  • Mulch decreases evaporation of moisture from soil
  • Water should be applied to thoroughly moisten the root zone, the amount will vary by the size and species of plant.
  • Carefully check the root zone to determine the moisture level of the root zone before applying water.
  • Well established plants will need less water during warm summer months than newly established plants.
  • Mixing humus into soil that is sandy or clay heavy will aid in retention of water.
  • Partially shading with arbors or trellises and utilizing ground covers (to help absorb heat) are also good ways to help your plants cope with the heat.