*Limited Seating Available*
Are you ready to discover one of the greatest secrets to successful plant growth? From home gardens to large-scale farms, from home lawn care to the largest of landscaping operations, this secret is bearing fruit, so to speak, for those in the know. Experience the joy of faster germination, higher fruit and vegetable yields, healthier soil, and some of greenest grass and the most colorful plants imaginable. What’s the secret? Earthworm Castings! Finally, there is a local company that produces this horticultural wonder with unmatched quality, nutrient content, and best of all, affordable prices.
MAGIC Worm Ranch, a newly founded Plantersville company, is ranching worms (no lasso/saddles needed). More specifically, the ranch refines what the worms produce; earthworm castings. Owner and founder, Gary Green, has thousands of African nightcrawlers residing at the ranch in an indoor, temperature controlled environment. They are being cultured in the best, black Texas dirt available. This means that not only is the quality unrivaled, but these castings are Texas tested for Texas gardens.
The lowly earthworm, and what they produce, is nothing short of amazing. Come meet “Sir William” and Gary Green, the “Wormologist” at Martha’s Bloomers on May 20th at 11:am.
How to Plan Your Salsa Garden
Select an area that receives at least 6 hours of sunlight a day. A 4×4 foot raised bed or square foot garden will grow plenty of ingredients for fresh salsa. A trellis on the north side of the bed will provide extra room for vining tomatoes to grow without shading the other plants.
Divide your raised bed garden into one-foot sections to make it easy to map out the growing area so you know where to plant everything in your salsa garden. Beginning in the back of the bed:
Row 4: 3 Tomatoes along a trellis.
Row 3: 4 Peppers in front of the tomatoes (1 per square foot).
Row 2: 9 Onions per square foot.
Row 2: Garlic Fall planted garlic = 6/square foot OR Spring planted Garlic = 9/square foot.
Row 1: 9 Cilantros per square foot.
Start onions, peppers, and tomato seedlings from seed under lights or use transplants. Onion sets, garlic seeds, garlic chive, and cilantro seeds are available at Martha’s Bloomers or at your local garden center.
What to Grow in Your Salsa Garden
The basic ingredients that go into salsa are tomatoes, peppers, garlic, onions, and cilantro.
Select meaty indeterminate varieties of tomatoes with good flavor, such as Amish Paste, Juliet, and San Marzano. These are dense, have few seeds, and not a lot of moisture to water down the salsa. Other fleshy varieties to consider are Cherokee Purple, Brandywine, or Bloody Butcher.
Indeterminate tomato plants grow very tall and produce their fruit over a period of time. Three tomato plants located on the north side of the garden bed along the trellis will provide you with plenty of tomatoes for salsa beginning mid-summer until frost.
Start seeds indoors, under lights, 6 weeks before your last frost date. Transplant hardened-off seedlings into the garden after all danger of frost has past. Plant them 16 inches apart along the north end of your garden in front of the trellis. Tie the vines to the trellis as the plant grows. Prune out the lower branches to aid in air circulation. Water regularly if rainfall is scarce. Plants need about 1 inch of water weekly once they are actively growing.
Do you like your salsa mild or hot? For hot salsa, select varieties of chili peppers such as Jalapeno, Serrano, or Habanera. If you prefer mild salsa, opt for bell peppers and mix with a mildly hot pepper like Anaheim. Four different pepper plants will allow you to mix, match, and experiment with a variety of salsa flavors.
Start seeds indoors, under lights, 8 weeks before your last frost date. Transplant hardened-off seedlings into the garden after all danger of frost has past. Space pepper plants at least 12 inches apart. Use small tomato cages to help support the plants. Water regularly if rainfall is scarce. Plants need about 1 inch of water weekly once they are actively growing.
Onion flavors range from sweet to pungent. Select onion varieties that grow well in your area. Grow from seed or small bulbs in the spring. Space onions 4 inches apart or place 9 per square foot.
Garlic is usually planted in the fall for larger bulbs, but it can be planted in the spring as soon as the ground can be worked. The spring grown bulbs will be smaller, but will taste the same. Space fall planted garlic 6 per square foot and spring planted garlic 9 per square foot.
Another option to add garlic flavor to your salsa is to purchase a garlic chive plant, which we carry at Martha’s Bloomers. Chopped garlic chives will add a nice, mild garlic flavor to your salsa and will make a nice addition to your salsa garden.
Cilantro adds a nice, fresh zing to salsa. Cilantro matures quickly, especially in warm weather, so to keep a continuous supply of cilantro available for your fresh salsa, grow a slow bolt variety, such as Cilantro Long Standing and keep seeding every 3 weeks.
Direct sow cilantro seeds in one square, 4 inches apart or 9 per square foot. Cover seeds with ½ an inch of soil and keep moist. Sow another round in the next square 3 weeks later, then the next 3 weeks after that, and then the next. Keep rotating and this will maintain a steady supply of fresh cilantro growing and ready for harvest for your salsa.
This Saturday, April 15th, the lovely Karen Weir will be giving a free seminar on container gardening and which plants make great companions for them. The seminar will be at 11 AM in The Arbor Room of Café M. Bloomers.
Karen Weir has lived in Texas since 1976. She graduated from Sam Houston State University with a degree in Horticulture and did all of her internships with the Smithsonian Plant Research Programs. Prior to that, she was a Master Gardener and a Houston Nurseryman for many years. She has also enjoyed doing a Saturday radio spot and occasional television segment with PBS in Houston. At retirement, she moved to College Station and she now gives talks to garden clubs and seminars at Martha’s Bloomers. She is quoted as saying, “Gardening is a great love of mine and plant people are very special folks!”
Join us with Master Gardener, Gay Houston on Saturday, April 1, 2017 at 11 am. The seminar will be held on the Patio, right outside of our famous Café M. Bloomers. Gay is presenting a seminar over which annuals perennials are complement each other for our area.
Gay Houston was employed at Martha’s Bloomers from the time it was under construction in December of 1999 until her retirement. While at Martha’s Bloomers, she established the plant areas and loved being “The Plant Lady”. Gay is a Master Gardener and a licensed Texas Certified Nursery Professional with a degree in Biology. During her years of employment, she enjoyed meeting and advising the people she met on many different aspects of horticulture. After many years of growing her own garden, she loves sharing knowledge of her favorite perennials with her many gardening friends.
Join us with Dr. William C. Welch of Texas A&M on Saturday, March 11, 2017 at 11 am. The seminar will be held in The Arbor Room, right inside Martha’s Bloomers. Dr. Welch is presenting the first spring seminar of the year and will cover which annuals and perennials are best to add summer color to your gardens.
Dr. Welch is a professor and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service landscape horticulturist. He is a regular contributor to Southern Living and speaks often to garden clubs and nursery organizations in the US and Europe. He is a member of the board of directors of the Southern Garden History Society and an honorary member of the Garden Cub of America, which awarded him the distinguished service medal in 2008. He recently coauthored (with Greg Grant) Heirloom Gardening in the South (Texas A&M University Press, 2010), which received the 2012 Silver Award of Achievement from the Garden Writers Association.
Law enforcement officers work on the frontlines every day to keep our cities and communities safe. These courageous men and women, who put their lives on the line to protect others, must have the resources they need to do their jobs safely and effectively. Currently, there is an unfunded need for protective equipment, such as body cameras. Benefit the Blue was created to support this need for the Grimes, Brazos, Washington, and Burleson County Sheriff’s Departments. These funds will ensure many local law enforcement can continue their days safely, improve their ability to share information, and even assist training frontline officers to recognize indicators of crime.
When it comes to advancing our public safety efforts, we simply can’t afford to ignore the needs of law enforcement. We must take action now. You can donate to Benefit the Blue today and help us serve those who serve us by calling 936-825-7400 or donating in person at Martha’s Bloomers, located at 8101 Hwy 6 Bypass in Navasota, Texas. Donations will be accepted until December 31, 2016.
On November 18th, Martha’s Bloomers will host their 16th Annual Holiday in the Garden. This event is free and open to the public from 5:30 PM until 8:30 PM. There will be complimentary wine and drinks, holiday sweets and treats, festive gifts and décor, door prizes, live music, and more!
For each Annual Holiday in the Garden, Martha’s Bloomers enjoys giving back to the community. This year, we will be raising funds for Benefit the Blue, which supports the unfunded need for body cameras and protective equipment for the Grimes, Brazos, Washington, and Burleson County Sheriff’s Departments. If you are unable to attend, but would like to donate to Benefit the Blue, please call 936-825-1500.
To RSVP for the 16th Annual Holiday in the Garden, click HERE.
Visit our booth at Canton First Monday Trade Days the largest flea market in the world. We are located at Arbor III booth 311. Put your finger on the first Monday of the month on a calendar. Now go back to the weekend prior to that Monday. That is the weekend of Canton First Monday Trade Days. Canton is located on Interstate 20, an easy hour drive east of the Dallas Metroplex.