HARKER HEIGHTS — Expert gardeners and amateur enthusiasts gathered Saturday afternoon at the Activities Center.
The city’s second Seed and Plant Swap was sponsored by the Parks and Recreation Department.
“We held a swap last January and it was quite successful. We plan to continue holding the swap twice a year; in the spring and fall,” said Sarah Mylcraine, activities specialist. “With the fall planting season right around the corner, now is the time to get ready.”
Mylcraine said in addition to the Community Garden in Carl Levin Park, a Gardener’s Education Series is every second Monday at the Harker Heights Activities Center.
Chante Gray came to the seed swap from Killeen.
“A friend of mine on post taught me a lot about gardening,” Gray said. She had selected a Coral Turks Cap to take home and plant with her teenage daughter, Lenaye. “I like shrubs and flowers. I tried container-planting, but that didn’t work well. Now I just put them in the ground and watch them grow.”
The Bell County Master Gardener Association was represented by Melinda Arriola, Gail Christian and Gail Garner. Sponsored by the Texas A&M Agri-Life Extension, the ladies were on hand to offer local gardeners expert advice.
“The biggest challenge gardeners have is putting the right plants in the right soil,” Arriola said. “We teach new gardeners many things including how to take a small cutting and grow a whole new plant.”
Temple resident Robert Snelson picked up wildflower seeds to plant around the edges of his backyard.
“I’ve been gardening all my life and now I actually do aeroponics. It’s neat and a lot of fun,” he said, describing his system for growing plants without using conventional gardening techniques. “The yield is faster and it’s easier to control. My kids thought it was weird at first, but after watching everything grow and the harvest, now they think it’s kind of cool.”
For more information on the Carl Levin Park Community Garden and the Gardener’s Education Series contact, call Mylcraine at 254-953-5600
For gardening questions and additional information about the classes offered by the Bell County Master Gardner Association, call 254-933-5305.