What is it?
Problem: There is a plant we see growing around our gardens and would like to know what it is. I believe it may be edible or have health properties. It is sturdy, with small dark-green teardrop leaves with deep pink tinges, kind of waxy looking.
Shalomiyah Baht Malahk
Solution: That is purslane (Portulaca
oleracea), a summer annual. It is
edible. In India it is considered a
Time for Peas?
was wondering if it is too late to plant
black-eyed peas. After I dig my potatoes
out, I hate to leave the spot empty.
Will store-bought black-eyed peas grow
or do they have to be seed peas?
Southern peas such as black-eyed peas
love hot weather, so go ahead and fill
that space with peas. Remember, there is
no need to fertilize them as they are a
legume and make their own nitrogen. Just
keep them well watered and enjoy!
Store-bought peas should work if you are
on a budget. However, you will usually
do better with seed purchased that has
been tested and is of a known variety
from a reputable garden center or seed
Veggie Gardening Book?
have just purchased a house with a big
yard and want to start my first garden.
I was wondering if there were any books
on what I need to do to get the soil
prepped before I start planting, what
would be good to start with and how many
plants to grow for just me and my wife.
I’m afraid of planting too many of one
type. If you could point me toward
something to help me out, I would
appreciate it. I read your magazines
when they come out and I’ve learned a
lot. Thank you!
If you can have just one book, it should
be The Vegetable Book by Dr. Sam Cotner.
It covers every home-garden crop from A
to Z. A few other books that would be
helpful include Texas Organic Vegetable
Gardening by Howard Garrett, Texas Fruit
and Vegetables by Greg Grant and
Vegetable Gardening in the Southwest by
Trisha Shirey. We carry all of these
books, and you can order with credit
card by calling 1-800-727-9020 or
have noticed a tree near a 100-year-old
historic home here in Big Spring (West
Texas) — I feel it is very old — it is
small — about 8–10 ft. tall, with sharp
spikes on the branches. It has beautiful
small orchid-like blooms, creamy to
white in color with yellow centers. No
one seems to know what it is, but
everyone wants to! I have not seen any
others like it in this area.
Solution: With help
from Greg Grant, we have identified this
tree is a black locust Robinia
pseudoacacia. It is probably not
native to Texas, but it has been planted
here for ages and is well established in
parts of the state. It originates from
the Appalachians, the Ozarks and the
Ohio Valley. The wood has been used for
fence posts, marine timbers and even
ship nails, and is considered the finest
firewood in the country, having a heat
index even higher than hickory. It makes
a great yard tree, but it does have a
tendency to produce root suckers. All
parts of the tree, except for the
flowers, are considered poisonous.