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Purple Martins

On a nippy, very windy Saturday, February 7, 2016, a dedicated group of Purple Martin landlords readied the four houses for spring arrival. Six gardeners (Bob Cook, Wayne Slaikeu, Dawn Asher, Ross Asher, Kat Elder and Becky Stemper) were joined by two Volunteer Houston volunteers, Patricia and Emily Tucker. Together we dropped the houses, cleaned them, prepped […]

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For the Love of Loofahs!

I have purchased an occasional loofah at the health food store and I always thought it was a sort of coral or sea anemone. But thanks to Nancy Ehrlich’s latest garden adventure, I now know the loofah is a member of the cucumber family. And it is currently growing on a vigorous tropical vine with […]

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Westbury — Neighborhood Of The Year

Westbury Civic Club President (and WCG co-founder), Becky Edmondson, presented the story of Westbury Community Garden and won Neighborhood of the Year at the Neighborhoods USA! conference held at the Hyatt Regency Houston downtown last week. The national conference had four finalists in each of three categories 1) Physical Revitalization / Beautification in a Single Neighborhood, […]

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Work Day – We Can Move A Mountain!

May 16 was the big work day to weed the aisles and put down mulch before the Neighborhoods USA! tour. You may have heard that Westbury is a finalist for neighborhood of the year. Westbury Community Garden and Willow Water Hole are two big reason why Westbury is among the finalists, not to mention our […]

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YES Prep 6th Graders Volunteer At The Garden

On Wednesday, April 8, a group of 40 6th graders from YES Prep Northside came to the garden to help on the prairie.  Their main task was to clear the bamboo that had been dumped between Plant It Forward Farms and the Westbury Pocket Prairie. In one hour 28 students, under the direction of Al […]

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Thank You Donors!

Please visit and support these businesses and thank them for participating in our 5th Birthday Celebration! Urban Harvest Free one year membership and one free class (at any location) Year Round Vegetables, Fruits and Flowers in Metro Houston by Bob Randall, PhD Barnes & Noble 3003 W. Holcombe Blvd. Texas Organic Vegetable Gardening by Garrett […]

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Black Rot Disease in Brassicas

What is it? Black rot is a bacterial infection that affects the vascular system of members of the Brassica (broccoli) family. It is caused by the bacterium Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris. Which plants are affected? All cruciferous crops are susceptible including arugula, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage (including Chinese cabbage), cauliflower, collards, garden cress, kale, kohlrabi, mustard (including mizuna), radish, rutabaga, and turnip. NOT AFFECTED seems to be nasturtium (it must be far enough away on the family tree). Where did it come from? We don’t know the origin of our current outbreak. The bacterium infects all parts of host plants, including seeds, so it could have come in on a seed or on a commercial transplant. There are also some Brassica family weeds that can harbor it in the wild. Why is it such a problem now? We have had the perfect warm, humid weather for it to spread and multiply these past few months – temperature has been between 50-75,  it has been breezy and wet. It wasn’t until Wayne saw the same pattern on several of his plants that he brought it to Ray’s attention. We’ve probably been living with it for months without realizing it, which allowed it to spread widely. How is it spread? […]

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