Orchid Growing Tips

Orchids are one of my favorite plants to grow and if I could get away with it I would spend all day in the orchid greenhouse. I have grown orchids for over 10 years and today I wanted to share a few tips with you and teach you how NOT to kill your orchid plant.

  • Most orchids grown commercially these days are grown in sphagnum moss rather than a bark based material. This is because sphagnum moss is the only thing that overseas growers are able to import into the US. I have killed numerous orchids by leaving them in sphagnum moss. Sphagnum moss holds so much moisture that you […]

Fall Orchid Care

Fall Orchid Care

Fall is the time of the year to get your orchids ready for spectacular blooms over the winter months and even into early spring.  With these few simple tricks, you should be able to bring your orchid into bloom.

  1. Has your orchid been re-potted in the last two years?
  2. Have you been fertilizing your orchid? You will want to
  3. Is your orchid getting a temperature differential between night and day of 10-20 degrees?

Read below for tips and tricks on how to get those orchids blooming!

Phalaenopsis Orchids (Moth Orchid) – If you have not re-potted your Phalaenopsis in the last two years, now is the perfect time (as long […]

To Plant or Not To Plant? That Is the Question.

With the arrival of fall, and finally some cooler weather in the Central Texas area, I have had the itch to get out in the yard. The question is, “where do you start?” A great place to start is with planting trees.  Although they are a big investment, the return you get from them is priceless. Not only do they provide shade, habitat for animals, wind breaks, and oxygen for us to breathe they also increase the value of your home. Right now is the best time of the year to plant woody shrubs, trees, and even perennials. The idea is to get them in the ground while the moderately […]

Organic Fertilizing

What is organic fertilizing?

Organic fertilizing is the natural method of revitalizing your soil to reach its optimal condition. A healthier soil creates a positive environment for growing lawn, plants, and trees. Organic fertilizing simply puts the biological life back into your soil…naturally!

How does it work?

All plants require their own specific sets of nutrients to survive and flourish. Plants provide chemical compounds from their roots, called exudates, to attract the particular microbes that it needs. In turn, the microbes in the soil process these chemical compounds to make nutrients readily available to each plant as it needs them. This harmonious relationship is the foundation upon which all plants rely, in order […]

By | November 15th, 2016|Organic, Soil, Composting & Fertilizer|0 Comments

Tips for Winterizing Your Landscape


  • In the Veggie Garden: Compost with premium compost
  • Plant another round of brassica species
  • In the Lawn: aeration, compost, and brown patch prevention
  • Cover Crops
  • Plant Trees and hardy shrubs. It’s the best time of the year to do so.
  • Mulch flower beds and trees. Mulch volcanoes are bad, mulch donuts are good. No cypress mulch, use aged double ground native hardwood mulch.
  • Have Frost Cloth Handy: No lollipops. Drape the ground to trap heat.


After First Hard Freeze:

  • Cut back perennials that die to the ground such as salvias, esperanza, pride of Barbados, and lantana.
  • Don’t cut back: roses or woody perennials (salvia greggii) and evergreens. Wait until mid-February
  • […]

November December Gardening Checklist

November December Gardening Checklist

The best tree and shrub planting season continues now through mid-March. The sooner you get those trees in the ground the better. Even though the tree may go dormant up top, those plants are still growing long deep roots below ground. This gives your tree a head start on establishing that root system before our het sets in late spring. This not only conserves water, but it also places less stress on your tree and prevents transplant shock making the3se plants more drought resistant next year. Try planting some spring-flowering trees and shrubs such as azaleas, redbuds, and Mexican plums, anacacho orchid tree,  and Texas scarlet flowering […]

Worm Composting 101 –Building Your Own Simple Worm Compost Bin

Worm castings are one of the best unknown secrets in the gardening world. Castings contain millions of natural microbiology that is just waiting to do work for you cycling nutrients, fighting pathogens, and amending your soils.

This method of worm composting is for use with Red Wiggler worms also known as Red Worms. If you want to be scientific they are Eisenia fetida species of worm. They are a special type of composting worm that is not a true earthworm. It is a manure worm! They live in the top 2 to 6 inches of soil. You can find them sometimes sold as fishing worms.

Do not use Night Crawler Worms or […]

By | November 14th, 2016|Soil, Composting & Fertilizer|0 Comments

November Checklist

Today I have a cool weather gardening checklist for you…….

With cooler weather knocking at our door you can cut back on you irrigation schedule for you grass. I recommend watering once or twice a week until your grass goes dormant. Once your grass has gone dormant you can cut the irrigation down to once a week or turn it off altogether to your grass zones. We normally have adequate rainfall through the winter to supplement your grass.  Don’t forget to give your newly planted trees and plants a steady supply of irrigation through the winter by watering them at least once or twice a week. This only applies once they […]

By | November 14th, 2016|Fall, Trees & Plants, Yard|0 Comments

No Deer Not Tonight

It’s Saturday morning and you’ve just finished your cup of coffee. Motivation is at its peak and your ready to step out into the yard and enjoy the flowers, and then you discover that the deer have already enjoyed the flowers during an overnight party in your yard that you were not invited to. This puts a big halt to the morning’s relaxing schedule of flower enjoyment. Gardening with deer can be one of the most challenging feats in the Texas Hill Country. Luckily, Backbone Valley Nursery has plants, products, and best of all experience so that you can have that perfect yard and enjoy it too.

If you think you […]

By | November 10th, 2016|Pests, Trees & Plants, Yard|0 Comments