Athens Review, Athens, Texas

Breaking News

Local News

March 18, 2013

Master Gardeners brave high wind for Saturday workshop

Athens — Neither the hard wind, nor the cool temperatures kept the warmth out of the subject of square-foot gardening, in a workshop staged at the East Texas Arboretum early Saturday.  This event attracted about 250 people.

An educational workshop was administered by Pat Kriener, a program sponsored by the Henderson County Master Gardeners.  The program focused on growing vegetables using the square-foot gardening method.

According to Kriener, square-foot gardening is “a simple, unique and versatile system that adapts to all levels of experience, physical ability and geographical location.  Grow all you want and need in only 20 percent of the space of a convention row garde.  Save time, water, work and money.”

Kriener said the need for less work is one of the excellent features of the method.

“There is no weeding, no digging, no tilling – no kidding,” she said. “By using raised beds, individuals with physical limitations can also participate in vegetable gardening,” Kriener said. “If you can grow your own food, you can never go hungry.”

She said square-foot gardening is a “great hobby, stress relieving and beautifies the environment.”

The layout of square-foot gardening is an arrangement of squares, not rows, in 4-foot by 4-foot areas.

The gardener builds boxes to hold a new soil mix above ground, only six inches deep.  The boxes are spaced 3-feet apart to form walking aisles.

Boxes are filled with special soil mix, consisting of 1/3 compost, 1/3 peat moss, 1/3 coarse vermiculite.  Existing soil doesn’t matter.

Make a square foot grid for the top of each box to organize the garden for planting.

Never walk on the growing soil.  Tend the garden from the aisles. Few, if any weeds sprout, and are easily pulled with a person’s fingers.  Soil stays loose.  They are easy to protect from weather.

Plant a different flower, vegetable or herb crop in each square foot, using spacing of one, four, nine or 16 plants per square foot. Crop rotation happens naturally.

Conserve the seeds.  Plant only a pinch (two or three seeds) per hole.  Place transplants in a slight saucer-shaped depression. Plant only what you will use during each season.

Kriener enjoys all kinds of gardening at her 2-acre mini-farm, Wildwood Cottage, located in Johnson County. She is a Certified Square Foot Gardening Teacher, a Master Gardener, a Master Naturalist, Master Composter, horticulture therapist and Certified Herbalist.  She teaches classes related to all these specialties.

Henderson County Master Gardeners Vice President Cheri Tannenberger said the occasion was a success in spite of the wind.

“Mother Nature gave us the sun we were looking for, but the wind was strong,” she said. “I am happy about how everything came out.  Master Gardeners are used to conditions in which the weather is not exactly as it should be.”

Joyce Hester won the largest door prize, a square-foot garden box and square-foot gardening book donated by Henderson County Master Gardeners. The prize’s soil mix was donated by Athens Organic.  Other door prizes were offered.

For more information about square-foot gardening, call 903-675-6130, or visit

Text Only
Local News
  • DSC_0005.JPG Hydrating first responders

    First responders were invited Wednesday to the Athens Brookshire’s grocery to celebrate a promotion formulated by the store.  When customers purchase five 32-ounce bottles of Gatorade, they will receive 200 points. Customers are encouraged to donate the Gatorade to first responders. The promotion will last one month. Shown, from left, are Brookshire’s Store Manager Charles Beasley, Athens Police Department Patrolman Wesley Hoover, APD Cpl. Billy Westover, APD Assistant Chief Rodney Williams, APD Lt. Jeremy Hugghins, APD Patrolman Taylor Chancellor, APD Sgt. Eddie Smith, APD Chief Buddy Hill, Athens Fire Department Firefighter Brian Davis, AFD Firefighter Aaron Munn and AFD Firefighter Payton Lambe.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif HC fine-tuning application to get CETZ funds

    It’s been three months since Henderson County got word that money has been allocated from the Texas Department of Transportation in the form of a County Energy Transportation Zone grant, but Commissioners Court is still fine-tuning its application to get the funds.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-31 stokes mug.jpg Police arrest suspect with meth and scales

    A 47-year-old woman faces felony drug charges after she was arrested in Athens Tuesday morning.
    Connie Loraine Stokes was booked into the Henderson County Jail for manufacture/delivery of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and a traffic offense.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-31 free concert.jpg Corbin to perform at Cain Center

    Easton Corbin will be in Athens on Sunday, Aug. 3 to say “Thank You” with a free concert at the Cain Center. The invitation-only concert will begin at 4:30 p.m. The concert is free, but a ticket is required. Tickets can be obtained from any Athens or Brownsboro Future Farmers of America (FFA) member.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-31 Bark for life.jpg Bark for Life honors contributions of Canine Caregivers

    In honor of Canine Caregivers, Bark for Life, an American Cancer Society event, will be held at  Gun Barrel City Park on Saturday, Sept. 6 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
    The event is to honor the life-long contributions of Canine Caregivers. It's an opportunity for everyone to be empowered through their canine companion partnership and to contribute to cancer cures.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bryan (pictured center) with the rest of team United States.jpg Mabank High School senior represents USA

    Amanda Woods of Mabank is very proud of her son, and for good reason. Seventeen-year-old Bryan Henderson, a senior at Mabank High School, just came home from playing baseball in Europe.
    In January of 2014, Woods received an e-mail from a college coach in New York. In that e-mail was an invitation for Bryan to join a 22-man baseball team to play 10 games against French and German National teams.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-31 CCL Rotary.jpg Silent auction Saturday, August 9

    Andrea Pickens at Tri-County Ford is collecting silent auction items for the upcoming Rotary at Cedar Creek Lake Celebrity Waiter event. Celebrity Waiter, the largest fundraiser the Rotary hosts, is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 9 at Athens Country Club. Any business wanting to donate an item to the silent auction can contact Kathi Nailling at 903-340-7597 or Andrea Pickens at 903-887-2121.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Third elementary school to replace Athens Intermediate School

    The Athens Independent School District school board approved campus realignment Monday that will go into effect for the 2015-16 school year.
    While full details of the plan are still being discussed, the district unanimously approved adding a third elementary school, while doing away with the intermediate level.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_0128.JPG Laying Splash Pad bricks

    Workmen from Rosenberg’s Outdoor Designs of Athens are shown installing bricks purchased by individuals, businesses and other organizations at the Kiwanis Park Splash Pad.  Shown, left to right, are: Nick Rosenberg, owner of the company; Jonathan Perez and Gutierrez Concepcion.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Burton’s severance approved

    The Athens City Council on Monday narrowly approved a budget amendment from reserves, to fund a severance package for City Administrator Pam Burton who is retiring at the end of 2014.
    Mayor Jerry Don Vaught and council members Monte Montgomery and Tres Winn entered yes votes, while Joe Whatley and Charles Elliott opposed the adjustment.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo