National Garden Bureau Announces 2020 “Year of “Crops!
By Sheri Bethard
Certified Texas Master Gardener
Orange County Master Gardeners Association
Each year the National Garden Bureau (NGB) selects the crops of the year. For 2020, they have selected the Lantana, the Iris, the Lavender, the Corn and the Hydrangea. They are divided into categories:
Annuals: Lantana (even tho it grows as a perennial in our area, in a lot of areas it is an annual)
Flowering Shrubs: Hydrangea (this category is new this year)
I will now talk about each of the selections.
Lantana – has been a staple of a lot of Texas gardens for many years. Most of us remember growing up with the pink and yellow-flowered Lantana which is a Native Texas plant. Over the past years, many cultivars have been developed with varying color combinations. There are many, many varieties you might find in garden centers, so choose the best suited for your garden.
Lavender – this is a hard plant to grow in our area. Most Lavenders require a drier climate. There are some Lavenders that are supposed to be able to grow in our area. The Spanish variety (Lavandula stoechas) is one. The Phenomenal Lavender is also supposed to do well in heat and humidity. If you make sure your lavender has excellent drainage, is not overwatered, has plenty of air circulation around the plant, and that it’s in full sun, you might get one year possibly two out of the plant.
Iris – I know we are all familiar with the Iris. We see them in gulley’s and ditches where they grow wild, mostly the purple variety. Irises like their “feet” to be wet, so if you have a low place in your yard staying wet all the time, Irises would be a good plant to put there. Iris bulbs come in many varieties such as: Siberian Iris, Dutch Iris, Japanese Iris, Bearded Iris, Reticulata Iris and many more.
Corn – Well, what can I say about corn? We all have eaten corn in some form – off the cob, out of the can, whole, creamed, in casseroles. There are so many ways you can eat corn. When corn seed shopping always read the package to make sure you are getting what you want.
Hydrangea – are long-lasting shrubs with blooms that seem to last forever. Their flower colors and forms are diverse going from a cone-like form to rounded heads that change color depending on the soil pH. There are many different varieties of Hydrangea in the marketplace. One of my favorites is the Lemon Lime Hydrangea.
Now you have learned about the National Garden Bureau’s “2020 Year of Crops”. We will have some of these plants at our annual Bloomin’ Crazy Plant Fair on March 14, Saturday, from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Cormier Park, 8235 FM 1442, Orangefield. Besides plants we will have vendors there with craft type items, bee products, and fertilizer products.
If you have any gardening questions, please call our Hot Line 409 882-7010, Tuesday or Thursday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. and someone will be glad to help you. Or you may contact us thru our website at https://txmg.org/orange or our Facebook page Orange County (Texas) Master Gardeners.
We will have a FREE program on Saturday, March 7 on “Selecting the Right Plant” from 9 a.m. – Noon at Cormier Park which will include a tour of our greenhouse at the end of the seminar.
On April 2, we will start our next Master Gardener certification class. The class will run until May 28, break for the summer and start back on Sept. 3 and go thru Nov. 12. Cost is $150 which will include your training material, speakers and all supplies. For more information please check our website above.