Beets, a fall favorite, can be pickled, baked, and boiled. Their green tops are tasty in a salad.

Beets, a fall favorite, can be pickled, baked, and boiled. Their green tops are tasty in a salad.

White-winged, mourning, Eurasian collared, white-tipped, common ground, ruddy ground, and Inca doves are all found in Central Texas. The two most abundant native doves are the mourning and the white-winged. (Eurasian collared doves are not native.) 
Mourning doves prefer hard-coated seeds like the ones quail eat. However, mourning doves are “pickers,” not scratchers like quail. Doves think “insects are unimportant,” (Texas Parks and Wildlife Department). White-winged doves will eat seed but prefer a diet of fruit and nuts. While mourning doves nest in pairs, white-winged doves generally nest in colonies. 
We enjoy the cooing of the mourning doves, and Inca doves always just look so cuddly. Enjoy the fall with our avian friends.


Fall officially arrives on Sept. 23, 2023 — counting the days until cooler weather. Beets love the cool fall weather. Their tops can be eaten as greens in your salad and are full of vitamin A and calcium. The roots are often served pickled, baked, and boiled, and we have met folks that eat them like apples.  
After 7-8 weeks of planting, your beets should be ready to harvest. You could serve beet salad at Thanksgiving. While you’re waiting for harvest time, keep a careful eye out for these pests: flea beetle, aphid, webworm, and beet armyworm (no we didn’t make that name up.)


Lisa from Burnet asks: “What are some tips for photographing plants for identification? I’ll take a few photos with my phone, but then when I get back to my computer to ID the plant, I don’t seem to have all the information I need.”
Great question, Lisa. Several points to remember when photographing for identification. First, perspective. For instance, what size is the plant? Whenever I am out in the field and discover a new plant, I always take a photo with either my boot or my hand in the photo. I know that my mucks are 11 inches long and my hand without my thumb is 3 inches wide. 
Second, try to take a photo from the top and the side. These shots will tell you how the leaves are connected to each other and to the stalk. The angle will also show the shape and characteristics of the leaves. 
Third, if the plant is blooming or fruiting, take a photo of that. Leaves often can be similar, but the flower and fruit will give you more insight to what type of plant you are identifying. Happy exploring.
Till next time. Keep your souls and soles in your garden! Remember the True Master Gardener: Jesus said, “I am the vine; my Father is the Gardener.” John 15:1
"In the Garden" is written by daughter-father gardening team Martelle and Bill Luedecke. If you have gardening questions, contact Martelle at 512-769-3179 or or Bill at 512-577-1463 or Read more "In the Garden" columns in the 101 Lawn & Garden Guide.