Gardening Tips for Frigid Temps and a Terrarium DIY

Don’t let chilly temps and winter dormancy leave you feeling cooped up. In their most recent visit to WFAA, Water Expert Denise Hickey and Horticulturalist Patrick Dickinson show you just the thing to satisfy your craving for warmer temperatures and greenery. Here’s your recap with full video segment below.

Outdoor Focus – Water Conservation and  Tackling Winter Weeds
There is no reason to lose focus on the outdoors just because it’s cold. Despite the vast amount of rainfall North Texas has received this fall, there is still water waste happening because irrigation and sprinkler systems have not been turned off. It’s important to remember to check your irrigation controller and make sure it is turned off or in manual mode for the winter months. Lawns and landscape need much less water in the winter, and keeping irrigation systems turned off saves water for when we need it the most. Not to mention, it saves money on your water bill. For information on when to turn those sprinklers back on for Spring, visit

If you have winter weeds, you should continue to mow to keep them from reseeding. One of the most common winter weeds is a purple flower called Henbit which reseeds annually. If you keep them mowed and without blooms, the chances of it reoccurring next year are lowered. No chemicals required.

If you are lucky and don’t have a weed problem, enjoy the break from yard work!

Terrarium DIY Project
Building a terrarium is a fun project which provides a green element to the indoors. Terrariums are self-efficient once established and demand very little of the owner. Over time they begin to function as their own micro-environment with their very own functioning water cycle.

There are two different types of terrariums, closed and open. Closed terrariums are meant to hold humidity and moisture and require high humidity loving plants like tropical plants. Open terrariums are for temperate plants that require less humidity like cacti and succulents.

Find a glass container to re-purpose and then add these ingredients in this order:

  • Drainage – perlite is recommended.
  • Activated charcoal – helps with odor and neutralizing bacteria and other toxins.
  • Soil – use a good potting soil that has no soil moisture control in it.
  • High humidity  plants – for example, fern, dwarf ivy, air plants, etc.
  • Decorations – like wood, rock, or figures.
  • Water – use distilled or rainwater and pour down the inside of glass to rinse and water.
  • Cover and enjoy.

Over time the humidity builds up condensation on the inside of the glass which then falls like precipitation and waters your soil and plants. Once complete, you will have bottled a micro-environment with its own water cycle. Terrariums require plenty of indirect sunlight. For closed tropical terrariums, the artificial light inside offices work well. Watch this video from Water University that shows you step by step how to build a terrarium.

For more information on these and other topics, visit and