Over 1.4 million Houstonians garden for a hobby or pastime, and GardenLine is where they listen for advice and information on gardening and landscaping.
Every Saturday and Sunday morning from 6 to 10, GardenLine's Randy Lemmon answers listeners' questions on everything from aphids to zoysias. He's Houston's absolute expert on lawns and gardens, offering help to listeners both with and without "green thumbs."
Randy's a Texas Aggie who truly KNOWS plants and flowers. He explains them with ease and candor, and is as competent a "plant person" as there is. He studies, and he practices. He embraces "new methods" as well as the "old" ways of dealing with problems. Call for Randy's solution for your question ... 713-212-KTRH (5874).
I travel the world from time to time, thanks to my wife's job, and I sometimes get into conversations with folks about what I do for a living.
"I answer gardening questions on the radio" gets some funny and often bewildered responses from those who live north of the Mason-Dixon Line. Most often, "You do this year-round?"
Yes, thank you very much!! GardenLine has been on the air in Houston continuously since the mid '80s, and it's also interesting to note how the marketing of horticultural goods and services has become a year-round practice as well. There was a time, as recently as 20 years ago, when many Houston gardening retailers would shut down for the winter months. And those open in December and January seldom had new stock come in.
My favorite recent change is that fruit tree sales are now common in October and November. When I first took over GardenLine from Bill Zak, it was known that if you wanted specific fruit trees — citrus or stone fruit or vine fruit such as blackberries and grapes — you had to wait until January or February to buy them. They would be completely sold out by early spring, and you would have to wait until the next year if you missed out.
These days, more nurseries are selling fruit trees longer into spring, and in just the past year many specialty nurseries and garden centers began having fruit tree sales in October and November. This is amazing news for many gardening enthusiasts.
Now it just so happens that one nursery having a fruit tree sale this weekend will also be getting a visit from GardenLine 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday. The Calendar Garden, 30730 Old Hockley Road in Magnolia, is actually one of the newest gardening jewels in our community. If you're one of the folks who've asked me over the past 15 years where they can get a Meyer lemon or a peach tree in November, there's no longer a need to wait for the new year!
The Calendar Garden, as the name suggests, focuses on selling color and landscape materials specific to the growing calendar. That means they have all the right cool-season annuals and winter-blooming shrubs for sale right now as well. And since our friends at Nitro-Phos Fertilizers are helping to sponsor our visit, we will have a myriad of products from their warehouse to give away — just come by and say hello to qualify.
If you've subscribed to my weekly email tips for any length of time, you can already answer the first question I'm going to get about planting fruit trees. "Randy, can I (or should I) plant one at this time of year?" YES ... November is one of the best months to plant trees, period.
Another reason to visit The Calendar Garden is their discount on fruit trees — something very few nurseries offer, especially at this time of year.
Here's the dealio:
Purchase one fruit tree, get 10 percent off.
Purchase two, get 15 percent off.
Purchase three or more, get 20 percent off.
These deals and discounts are good only while supplies last.
And if you're wondering what they have for sale, here's the complete list (at least as of Thursday morning).
Lemons: Meyer, Ponderosa, Lisbon, variegated pink
Limes: Mexican, key, Kaffir
Oranges: Moro blood, Republic of Texas, mandarin
Satsuma: Miho, Owari
Others: grapefruit, tangerine, kumquat, apples, nectarine, olive, peaches, pears, plums, avocado, fig, pomegranate, persimmon