Karen Beaty

Karen works as forestry specialist for the city of Austin’s Wildland Conservation Division. She received an M.S. in Land Resources from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a B.S. in Biology from Davidson College. As a 5th-generation Texan she is fascinated with the native flora of the Southern Plains region and enjoys hiking and camping as a way to meet new plants. Her outside interests also include vegetable gardening, homesteading, and building things with scavenged materials.

  • summer and fall vegetable garden
    Southern Plains Regional Reports

    Choosing Where to Build Your Vegetable Garden in the Southern Plains

    Every climate type presents certain challenges to vegetable gardeners. Here are a few region-specific tips to keep in mind when siting a new vegetable garden in your Southern Plains garden.…

  • Gro Mor MWS-1 Mini Wand Seeder
    Article

    Great Garden Tools for the Season

    Gro Mor MWS-1 Mini Wand Seeder If you’ve ever struggled with sowing the nearly invisibly small seeds of poppy (Papaver spp. and cvs., Zones 2–10), impatiens (Impatiens spp. and cvs.,…

  • Southern Plains Regional Reports

    4 Must-Have Plants for the Southern Plains

    As garden centers start to open their doors for the season (and we get ready to run into them with open arms), we decided to ask some regional experts what…

  • downed tree limbs from winter storm
    Southern Plains Regional Reports

    Recovering Your Garden After a Winter Storm in the Southern Plains

    Your electricity is back on, you’re no longer flushing toilets with melted snow, and it’s no longer 15 degrees colder than the coldest day of your life. Congratulations—you’ve made it…

  • big muhlies
    Southern Plains Regional Reports

    How to Selectively Prune Muhly Grasses in the Southern Plains

    I’m a big fan of using muhly grasses (Muhlenbergia spp. and cvs., Zones 5–11) in Southern Plains gardens. They are native to our region, and their size and salient features…

  • White Mistflower
    Southern Plains Regional Reports

    Great Native Plants for the Southern Plains

    Growing native plants is the gardening equivalent of having your cake and eating it too. Not only are these plants beautiful and more likely to thrive in your landscape, they…

  • half rotted compost
    Southern Plains Regional Reports

    How to Make Great Compost in the Southern Plains

    One of the secrets to a successful, productive garden is compost. Although you can buy commercial compost in bags or in bulk from gardening stores, it’s easy and enjoyable to…

  • Caliche soil
    Southern Plains Regional Reports

    Gardening with Caliche Soil in the Southern Plains

    How many times have you heard gardeners lament the presence of caliche in their soil? If you live in the Southern Plains or the desert Southwest, it’s likely you’ve heard…

  • Purple poppy mallow
    Southern Plains Regional Reports

    Low-Growing, Native Perennials for the Southern Plains

    Do you ever have a spot in your garden, usually at the very front of a bed, that needs a short plant? Maybe you even want it to grow up…

  • Southern Plains Regional Reports

    Southern Plains: January Garden To-Do List

    Transplant early spring bloomers like bluebonnets (Lupinus texensis, Zones 3–9), baby blue eyes (Nemophila phaceloides, annual), and spiderwort (Tradescantia spp. and cvs., Zones 4–12). While October and November are a…