Weatherford Democrat

August 18, 2013

ASK A MASTER GARDENER: Plant kale in early October


Weatherford Democrat

— Here are this week’s gardening questions and answers, provided by Parker County Master Gardeners. To submit a question, send it to pcmgaquestions@gmail.com. For more information about Parker County Master Gardeners, or to become a member, call 817-598-6096 or visit www.pcmg-texas.org.



Does kale grow in Parker County?

Kale is a type of cabbage, with large and distinctly ruffled leaves. It is a cold-season vegetable often planted in flower beds and borders around Parker County.

It is best to plant kale in early October. It flourishes through the winter but begins to wither as the temperature rises in March. You can then pull it then to make room for other plants. Kale is easy to grow from seeds and takes little care. It prefers water from a drip line rather than a spray.



I am putting a chain link fence around a swimming pool and want to cover it with vines. What vine grows pretty fast, but more importantly will not drop leaves?

The following vines perform well in Parker County: Crossvine (Madame Galen), Coral Honeysuckle, Pam’s Pink Honeysuckle and Carolina Jessamine.

Each of these vines is perennial, evergreen and blooming. English Ivy is a perennial evergreen that does not bloom; however, it requires some afternoon shade.

You may also want to consider evergreen shrubs such as boxwood or dwarf yaupon holly because they do not bloom or drop leaves. Check our website for other suggestions (www.pcmg-texas.org).



How can I become a master gardener?

The Texas Master Gardeners training program is offered through the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension every other year. The next training program in Parker County is scheduled in 2014.

Interested candidates must attend an orientation in August 2014. Those who apply and are accepted will begin their internship by attending six weeks of full-day horticulture classes, two days each week beginning in October of that year.

The following year, interns must volunteer 50 hours of service to the AgriLife Extension to become a certified master gardener.

Renewal of certification is offered every year to those who complete the necessary hours of continuing education and volunteer service.