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Gardening: Luke's Onions Picture

Onions and garlic are easy to grow in the home garden and so necessary in the kitchen. Shown on the left is Master Gardener Luke Stripling with his bumper crop of onions harvested from his garden in Dickinson.

Master Gardener Sam Scarcella will conduct a "Grow Your Own Onions & Garlic" workshop on Saturday, October 30, at the Galveston County Extension Office in Dickinson.

Photo by Herman Auer.

Gardening: Extension Office To Sponsor Open House On October 29

by Dr. William M. Johnson, Galveston County Extension Agent - Horticulture
October 20, 2004

The Galveston County Extension Office extends an invitation to all area residents to participate in our upcoming Open House program of activities on Friday, October 29, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Come meet the County Extension Office staff and members of our volunteer support group, including Master Gardeners.

You will have the opportunity to meet the various County Extension Agents including Julie K. Massey who has program responsibility for Marine Science, Corrie Bowen who has program responsibility for Agriculture, Marilyn Simmons who has program responsibility for Family & Consumer Sciences, and Tad Pfeifer who has program responsibility for the county 4-H program.

There will be tours of the Horticulture Demonstration Garden. The Master Gardener volunteers will also be available at the County Extension Office to discuss gardening problems and questions. Are you interested in starting a garden but need some guidelines on getting started? Are you concerned about an insect pest or disease problem with one or more of your landscape or garden plants? Then visit the Galveston County Extension Office during our Open House to talk with one of the Master Gardeners about your home gardening and landscape problems. You are also invited to bring samples of insect, disease and other plant pest problems for a free diagnosis. Be sure to include your name and address with each sample. All samples should be enclosed in a plastic or paper bag to avoid drying out.

The staff of the Galveston County Extension Office and our Extension volunteers welcome you to come look us over. We're part of Texas Cooperative Extension which forms a Texas-sized partnership between a great educational institution–The Texas A&M University System–and each Texas County Commissioners Court. Texas Cooperative Extension is the educational outreach arm of The Texas A&M University System.

There will also be ongoing educational seminars. Additional information will be provided in next week’s column.

So be sure to pencil in a notation on your "Things-To-Do List" to get acquainted with our staff and volunteers at the Galveston County Extension Office and to attend our seminars and tour our Horticulture Demonstration Gardens during our Open House activities on October 29.

Seasonal Decorating for the Home Workshop on October 23

It's never too early to start creating festive holiday decorations and gifts yourself. Be sure to make a notation on your calendar to register for a hands-on workshop to learn techniques for "Seasonal Decorating for the Complete Home . . . Inside & Out." The workshop will be held at the Galveston County Extension Office on Saturday, October 23, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Era Mathews, who is a Certified Master Gardener and a Galveston Island resident, will demonstrate a variety of easy-to-master techniques that the homeowner can use to provide a creative and festive touch to the holiday seasons. While the rest of the world spends time prowling the malls for the perfect holiday decoration or gift, you can be creating your own festive holiday decorations and gifts with very little financial investment.

There is a $5.00 registration fee which includes a light lunch and program materials. Each participant will leave with one self-decorated item. Pre-registration is required (phone 281-534-3413, ext. 6 or by e-mail GALV3@wt.net) as seating is limited.

Home-grown Onions & Garlic Workshop on October 30

Vegetable gardening is great fun in early spring when the weather is cool and after we have spent most of the winter imagining what our next garden is going to look like. However, gardeners who know about fall gardening can get just as enthused about planting this time of year.

A glorious thing takes place toward the end of summer. We get another opportunity to re-establish the vegetable garden with hopes of a grand harvest in the cool, fall climate. Two of my favorite veggies to grow in the fall garden are onions and garlic. They are easy to grow and so necessary in the kitchen.

Onions rank among the more important culinary vegetables. One anonymous gourmet said, "Without onions there would be no gastronomic art. Its absence reduces the diner to despair." And, it was General Ulysses S. Grant who said, "I will not move my armies without onions." We know onions are a very important part of our diet but we may not know when to plant them or how to grow them.

Garlic grows very well in our Upper Gulf Coast soils also. Garlic is a condiment and is often used as a flavoring and seasoning in prepared food products such as soups, sausages, and pickles. Garlic is also frequently used in salads and other home cooking. Garlic salt is made from pulverized, dehydrated garlic cloves. In some areas, the green tops are used as well as the bulbs. Onions and garlic are very frost hardy and crops will mature during late spring and early summer.

Since fall is the ideal time to plant onions and garlic, the Master Gardeners will be conducting a workshop "Grow Your Own Onions & Garlic." The workshop will be conducted on Saturday, October 30, from 9:00 - 11:00 a.m. at the Galveston County Extension Office located at 5115 Highway 3 in Dickinson. Pre-registration is required due to limited seating and reservations are made on a first-come, first serve basis. Visit or contact the County Extension Office (phone 281-534-3413, ext. 6 or e-mail GALV3@wt.net) to make your reservation.

The workshop will be presented by Sam Scarcella who is an expert onion and garlic grower and a Certified Texas Master Gardener with the Galveston County Extension Office.

Dr. Johnson is a horticulturist with the Galveston County
Extension Office of Texas Cooperative Extension, Texas A&M University. Visit his web site at http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/index.htm

Gardening: Scale insects and pampas grass - July 17, 2004 article

Gardening: Bananas - August 1, 2004 article

Gardening: August Gardening Calendar - August 16, 2004 article

Gardening: Trio Of Extension Programs Includes Pear Tasting, Master Naturalist Class & Rose Seminar - August 20, 2004 article

Gardening: Prepare Now For Fall Gardens - August 26, 2004 article

Gardening: September’s Garden Calendar Includes Fall Pecan Field Day - September 2, 2004 article

Gardening: Ornamental Grasses - September 8, 2004 article

Gardening: Don't Let Landscape Become A High-Maintenance Nightmare - September 22, 2004 article

Gardening: Oct. 10 Plant Sale & Seminar To Feature Butterfly Gardening - Butterflies Bring Color, Motion to Garden - October 2, 2004 article

Gardening: Plant It And They Will Come: Getting the Butterflies of Galveston County to Grace Your Yard - October 2, 2004 article

Gardening: Rose Propagation & Seasonal Decorating Workshops To Be Held - October 13, 2004 article

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