March 14, 2007

Welcome to Texas Gardener's Seeds, the weekly newsletter for Texas gardeners. Please do not reply to this e-mail as the sending address is not monitored. See the bottom of this newsletter for information on how to subscribe, unsubscribe, or contact the editor.



This is a starter size planting of verbena. (Photo by Chris S. Corby)
  Seeds vs. starter plants

By Michael Bettler
Lucia's Garden

There are big differences between "seeds" and "starter plants," other than size and cost. The biggest differences are time and convenience. When you buy a small box of corn grains or beans to plant in your garden, you get between 50 and 100 count (check the box); when you are buying vegetable seeds such as those for lettuce or broccoli, carrots or radishes, you get roughly the same. On the package are the planting tips, an "agricultural hardiness zone" map and a suggested seasonal planting-growing-harvesting guide. You match the planting date with your zone and know when it is suggested to put the seeds in the garden soil. The same with flowers.

This is all well and good for vegetables and flowers, but for "most" herbs, seeds are somewhat an inconvenience, primarily because of the seed count, the packet collections and end-of-growth seed harvesting. When I first began growing herbs, I soon had a collection of seed packets rubber banded together in the refrigerator, some as old as three years. All I'd wanted of one herb was 4 plants; of another herb, 10 plants; of another, 5 plants. This left me with a lot of extra seeds. Perennial herb starters are usually grown from "stem cuttings," have established roots and leaf systems, and are ready to be planted.

Starter plants have three advantages over beginning with seeds: (1) you don't have to deal with the effects of weather, hungry insects and birds in the initial sprouting and seedling growth; (2) the starters are hardier at the time they are able to be transplanted into your garden; and (3) your garden looks green sooner. It is all a matter of the amount of time that you can devote to starting your garden, whether in containers or in formal landscape design, along with the good gardening practices you have used to establish healthy garden beds.

But there is much to say about seeds. If you know the source of the seeds — whether from last year's crop, a neighbor, or from the local nursery — seeds are an excellent way to begin a garden. They are also a great teaching tool for children who are interested in growing and harvesting flavors like "pizza" and "tea" and "spices." Whether you want to plant for your own kitchen garden, a weekend farmer's co-op, an educational tool for adults in community gardens, or for the beginnings of a business, there is no more economical beginning than a couple of 50 to 150 count seed packets.

We buy eggs in 12 count cartons. These make perfect seed cups for those with limited propagation space. They also work well for children who want to plant different varieties of beans as a school science project, to see how fast each germinates. Styrofoam egg cartons can be recycled as plant cups two or three times. Buy a light, friable soil mix (without the magic water saver beads), fill the cups, dampen the soil (don't soak it), put one to three seeds in each cup (culling the weakest sprouts after they come up), and put it on a window ledge or in a glass cold frame where it can get light and heat. It's that easy. (Plus the inverted and flat egg carton tops are good for leaf propagation by punching holes in them, dropping a single leaf stem through each hole and floating it in a glass dish. The roots that develop are water roots but they can be transplanted to containers once they grow out.)

The seed packets name the variety you have purchased. If you are in a city or neighborhood with a community garden program, they may have an "heirloom seed saver" program that supports the quality and certainty of the seeds they harvest for the next crop. Support your community for such garden programs as they protect the seed stock for their gardens, perpetuating seeds and plants that have not been "genetically altered, or engineered" for other regions of the country or for special growing purposes. For good seeds or good starter plants, get to know your local nurseries. They know their suppliers.

Herbs are grown for the flavor oils ("essential oils") in their leaves, stems and roots, not for an "edible crop" like ears of corn, pods of peas or squash gourds. Perennial herbs are most often grown from the stem cuttings of plants so that they are "true." Cross-pollination of some annual varieties grown close together may produce interesting "new" varieties in seed stock, like sweet basil, lemon basil, purple basil and cinnamon basil.

I am often asked questions about the "organic" origins of seeds and cuttings for the potted herbs at our shop. "Organic seeds and cutting sources" is not the only criteria for plant health on the shelf at your favorite nursery. Having confidence in the wholesale nursery growers your nursery chooses from, knowing the manner in which starter plants were propagated and raised to their purchase size is of concern to the whole Texas retail nursery industry. And just as humans can change diets, plants can also adapt to nutrient source changes, often more readily than they can to some environmental changes such as soil types, watering conditions, sunlight and seasonal heat and chill factors. Most herb nurseries are not "certified organic" by the State of Texas. Some maintain their starter plants in a manner referred to as "least toxic," meaning they consciously use naturally sourced fertilizers. They have confidence that their customers can take herb plants home that are healthily established, environmentally safe and can be used immediately in cooking.

Feed your starter plants from 3" and 4", 6", gallon and larger containers with a 1/3-1/3-1/3 mixture of fish emulsion, seaweed emulsion and "raw" molasses. Blend a single tablespoon of each ingredient in one gallon of water and give them a weekly feeding until they are established and on their own, usually in a week or two. (If some continue to look a bit distressed, give them another shot of this blend.) The first two ingredients feed the plants their basic needs, but smell like a bad day on the Gulf Coast. The untreated molasses is pure plant sugars with minerals, with a scent of sweetness that is stronger than the Gulf Coast fisheries. When the heat of the day comes on and volatilizes the fish and seaweed emulsions, the sweet molasses lingers on. (And no, the fish smell does not attract cats and the molasses does not attract dogs and insects.)

Read the planting information on the seed packages and plant identification stakes in the pots for planting depth, spacing, and watering needs, as well as the approximate height and width of their mature growth. Then plant them as you designed your garden, including a little "elbow room" between plants for good air circulation and let your garden grow.

Seeds vs. starter plants? It is often a matter of preference. I let the green houses do the hard work of propagation and establishing the roots and leaf systems in containers. I can take them from that point forward. With both seeds and starter plants, you still control the numbers and the varieties, as well as your garden's landscape design.


  The compost heap
T
opping trees and growing peppers

"The article about topping trees ("Topping trees can be deadly") was very interesting," writes Nell Freedman. "Only homeowners doing this was addressed. What about utility companies? Any recourse from them doing this...they top trees all along their lines. Of course, we do not want these trees to fall on utility lines causing us not to have power to our homes. However, perhaps they could remove the tree and plant another tree in a protected place."

Utility companies, homeowners, and even local city councils wrestle with this issue every year and have yet to reach a solution that satisfies all parties. As a homeowner with several beautiful trees in my yard, I watch with dread as they slowly grow toward utility lines. I plan to get my trees trimmed before they interfere with utility lines and I wake to find tree butchers in my yard. — Michael Bracken, Editor

"I have some 10 year old seeds from chili peppers that we plucked from my grandmother's garden in Kingsville," writes Jaime Martinez. "Is it possible to germinate these seeds? Some of the seeds are still inside of the withered fruit which I have. My mother has kept these in a sealed plastic container.

"I tried to germinate some of the seeds by just planting them in potting soil; these failed. I then tried per a friend's recommendation to soak them in water to start the germination process. This worked as the seed grew some 'hairy' roots/extensions. When I moved these seeds to soil, they failed to grow in potting soil.

"I am open to any help (even recommendations on a greenhouse in Houston that I could pay to grow these).

"If this is not possible, is there any way I could find out what kind of pepper this is? The fruit was slender with a point, shiny, no greater than 1" in length, started green before turning red, was very hot with a kick, grew on small bushes/trees 2 feet high, and had soft, furry leaves with little white blooms prior to producing fruit."

Unfortunately, the seed you have is probably not viable anymore. The seed that had some hairs on it was probably just sprouting some kind of fungus. I suspect that the pepper you are referring to is the chile petin. You can find this one growing wild all over south Texas. In fact, there is even a creek named Chile Petin Creek down that way. If I remember correctly, it goes through Alice and Sinton. It is a wonderful little pepper that is hotter than a firecracker but makes a wonderful salsa. You shouldn't have any trouble finding some plants or seed. — Chris S. Corby, Publisher


  Gardening tips

Having trouble keeping a cloth on your outdoor table? Hella Wagner suggests, "Cut a piece of fleece-lined oil cloth or vinyl large enough for the table with about 16 inches drop at the sides. Cut it with four corners (even for a round or oval table). Use scraps to stitch 'pockets' onto the wrong side of each corner. Insert a weight (small rock, etc.) into each pocket and your table cloth will stay put even in windy weather."

Have a favorite gardening tip you'd like to share? Texas Gardener's Seeds is seeking brief gardening tips from Texas gardeners to use in future issues. If we publish your tip in Seeds, we will seed you a free Texas Gardener T-shirt. Here's a chance to get published and be a garden stylist as well! Please send your tips of 50 words or less to the editor at: Gardening Tips.


  Did you know...

Old folk names for plants often offered clues about how the plants were used.  For example, Johnny jump-ups viola tricolor were named for their habit of jumping up everywhere, but in Europe they were called heart’s ease since they were used in a potion to cure melancholy.


 

  Upcoming garden events

Austin: Texas Cooperative Extension and the Travis County Master Gardeners will sponsor "A Passion for Plants" garden fair in East Austin from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 17 on the grounds of the Horticulture Building at Austin Community College Riverside Campus at the intersection of Grove Boulevard and Hogan Street. The event is free and open to the public. Plants and seeds will be given to attendees while quantities last. Activities will include hands-on demonstrations and how-to instructions for growing trees, plants and vegetables. Educational topics will include composting and mulching, vegetable planting, preparing soil, growing plants from seeds and cuttings, and growing plants in containers. Other topics will be insects, plant diseases, native and adapted plants for East Austin, environmental awareness, tree planting, lawn care and weed control. Children's activities will include games and a display of live tarantulas and centipedes, as well as a giant cave cockroach, by "The Bug Lady," Wizzie Brown, Extension entomologist. Experts from Extension and several East Austin gardening organizations will be available to answer questions relating to horticulture. Horticultural demonstrations and instruction will be targeted to >those living on Austin's east side, but those from other areas also can benefit from attending, he added. For more information, call the Travis County Master Gardeners at (512) 854-9600.

Austin: The Wheatsville Herb Fair 2007 takes place Saturday, March 17, from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. at 3101 Guadalupe, Austin. Speakers include Mick Vann (noon to 1 p.m.) on "Cooking with Essential Herbs of Thailand," Chris Winslow (1 to 2 p.m.) on "Growing Culinary Herbs of Thailand," and Coleen Dieter (3 to 4 p.m.) on "Landscape Mixing Herbs & Natives." Live music includes performances by Laura Freeman (10 to 11:30 a.m.), Purly Gates (2 to 3 p.m.), and Dana Falconberry (4 to 5 p.m.). Growers from all over the the state will offer herbs, flowers, garden plants, native plants, vegetable starts, herbal products, and bird houses and baths.

Tomball: Arbor Gate, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball, will host the Sixth Annual Herb Luncheon Saturday, March 17, 11 a.m. featuring Molly Fowler, The Dining Diva, and Ann Wheeler, Log House Herb Farm. Learn about different types of herbs and how to grow them while you enjoy a scrumptious lunch. $35 Due upon registration. For more information, call (281) 351-8851.

Conroe: Montgomery County Master Gardener Association Annual Spring Plant Sale, Saturday, March 17. Lecture 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. featuring varieties available in the sale. Sale 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sale will feature perennials, annuals, trees, shrubs, herbs and vegetables selected for outstanding performance in our area. Montgomery County Extension Office, 9020 FM 1484, Conroe. For more information, call (936) 539-7824.

Woodway: The Woodway Beautiful Commission for the City of Woodway will hold A Gardeners Gathering Sunday, March 18 at the Carleen Bright Arboretum from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. This event is free and will feature representatives from many garden organizations to share information as well as a Children's Corner, local garden vendors, a walk with the Audubon Society, Country Store, and featured speakers throughout the afternoon. Music and refreshments will be provided.  For information call the Arboretum (254) 399-9204. In the event of rain the event will be held in the Woodway Family Center.

Bryan-College Station: The A&M Garden Club is sponsoring a photo contest at their April 11 Horticultural Celebration. The deadline for entering the contest is March 21. Winning photos will be displayed at the A&M Garden Club's 70th Anniversary Horticultural Celebration on Wednesday, April 11, 11 a.m. until 6 p.m., at the Brazos Center, 3232 Briarcrest Drive, Bryan. For additional information about the contest, contact AMGCPhoto@yahoo.com or visit www.sallysfamilyplace.com/Clubs/GardenClub.htm.

Round Top: The 12th Annual Herbal Forum, "A Celebration of Lemon-Scented Herbs and Lemon Balm, Herb of the Year 2007," presented by The International Festival-Institute at Round Top and The Herb Society of America-Pioneer Unit, will take place at Festival Hill near Round Top, from 7:30 a.m. until 5 p.m., Saturday, March 24, with optional participation workshops the previous day. The forum includes lectures by Lucinda Hutson, celebrated food, garden and lifestyle writer; Jim Johnson, director of the Benz School of Floral Design; and Henry Flowers, garden director at Festival Hill. While the plant sale, gift shop and bookstore are free and open to the public, registration for the forum is $75, with additional charges for lunch, dinner, and the Friday workshops. For more information, call (979) 249-3129 or visit www.festivalhill.org.

Tomball: Arbor Gate, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball, will host “Vegetable Gardening for the Gulf Coast” Saturday, March 24, 10 a.m. Learn great tips as well as garden basics from Tom LeRoy, Extension Horticulturalist, and Bill Adams, Horticulturalist Emeritus. Free. For more information, call (281) 351-8851.

Austin: It's About Thyme, 11726 Manchaca, Austin, will host "How to Create a Beautiful Easter Wreath," a workshop led by Diane Winslow, Sunday, March 25, at 2 p.m. Learn about the materials to use and the secrets of arranging them. $30/person. To register, or for more information, call (512) 280-1192 or visit www.itsaboutthyme.com.

Tomball: Arbor Gate, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball, will host “Herbs Made Easy” featuring Ann Wheeler, Log House Herb Farm, Sunday, March 25, 1 p.m. With the knowledge from this class you can start your own herb garden or simply add herbs to your existing beds. Free. For more information, call (281) 351-8851.

Edna: "Oak Trees and Oak Wilt" will be the subject of Jackson County Master Gardener's "Come Grow With Us" program on March 27.  Mike Hiller, CEA, Jackson County will speak at 7 p.m. at the Jackson County Service Building, 411 N. Wells, Edna, Texas.  All seminars will be free to the public, and pre-registration is not required. We offer 2 CEU hours for Master Gardeners. For more information contact: Jackson County Extension Office, 411 N Wells St., Ste 105, Edna, TX 77957, call (361) 782-3312, fax (361) 782-9258, or e-mail: Jacksontx@tamu.edu.

Bonham: The Fannin County Master Gardeners are hosting their 3rd Annual Garden, Lawn and Home Expo on March 31, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Multiple Purpose Complex in Bonham. One of the speakers, Mark Chamblee of Tyler's Chamblee's Rose Nursery, will talk about EarthKind Roses. The educational event also features varied vendors for plants, garden crafts, and more. For more information, call (903) 583-7453 or visit www.fannincountymastergardeners.org.

Marble Falls: The Highland Lakes Master Gardener Association will sponsor the Ninth Annual Hill Country Lawn & Garden Show March 31, at the Lakeside Pavilion in Marble Falls. It is open 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free Admission and seminars. It features garden related vendors, demonstrations, a children's booth, raffle and seminars by Malcolm Beck, Bill Luedecke and the Antique Rose Emporium. For more information go to hillcountrylgshow.com or call (325) 388-8849.

San Antonio: The San Antonio Botanical Garden, 555 Funston, will host a Spring Plant Sale, Saturday, March 31, 9 a.m. until sold out. Purchase healthy, hardy plants suitable for the San Antonio environment and get expert advice from SABG volunteers, many of whom are Master Gardeners. Admission to the garden: $6 adults, $3 children 3-13, $4 students, military and senior citizens. Admission to the event is included with admission to the garden. For more information, contact (210) 829-5100 or visit www.sabot.org.

Austin: Zilker Garden Festival will be held at the Zilker Botanical Garden, 2220 Garden Springs Road, Austin, March 31 through April 1, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. This annual festival heralds the start of the gardening season for many Austin-area gardeners and has something for every member of the family. There are clinics for gardeners, an activity area for children, music and food. Colorful booths with garden-related crafts of all sorts are everywhere; potters, soap makers, jewelers and other craftspeople sell their wares. There are plants of all sorts by the thousands — herbs, orchids, cacti, succulents, annuals, natives, perennials, houseplants, water garden specimens — as well as the tools, soils and best of all, information to grow them. Gate admission is $5 per person, free for ages 12 and younger. Advance tickets are available for $3 at the gift shop so buy your tickets early. All proceeds from the Zilker Garden Festival benefit the activities of the Austin Area Garden Council and Zilker Botanical Garden. Please note that dogs are not allowed on the grounds during the festival. The grounds will be closed to the public and to photographers all day Friday, March 30 in preparation for Zilker Garden Festival. NO DOGS will be allowed on the grounds during festival. For additional information, call 477-8672 ext. 13 or e-mail info@zilkergarden.org.

Rockport: The Rockport Herb & Rose Study Group will present the Third Annual Rockport Herb Festival Saturday, at the Rockport-Fulton High School Commons, 1801 Omohundro, Rockport, April 7, from 8:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. The festival will include a variety of herb programs, herb cooking demonstrations, herb booths with lots of information and products for sale, and a plant sale that will include herbs, roses, heirlooms, orchids, bromeliads, tropicals, palms, garden art and pottery. There is no admission fee. For additional information, contact Linda T. Collins at ltcollins_1@charter.net or visit www.rockportherbs.com.

Bryan-College Station: The A&M Garden Club Horticultural Celebration will host "70 Years of Gardening in Brazos Valley," a celebration of the club's 70th anniversary, Wednesday, April 11, from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. at the Brazos Center, 3232 Briarcrest Drive, Bryan. This community-wide activity will include horticulture and design entries and educational displays by local garden clubs, local horticulture businesses, and a photo contest for individuals. The Horticulture Tables will have three classes: Foliage Plants, Cactus and Succulents, and Flowering Plants, with correct nomenclature, groomed pots, and specimens placed on top of the tables. Admission is free. For additional information, contact Idalia Aguilar at IdaliaAguilarV@hotmail.com.

Nacogdoches: The annual Spring Garden Gala plant sale at Stephen F. Austin State University’s Mast Arboretum will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 14, at the intramural field on Wilson Drive, Nacogdoches. “We will offer a great selection of rare, unusual, and Texas-tough trees, shrubs, succulents, and herbaceous perennials, as well as many heat loving tropicals,” said Dawn Stover, Mast Arboretum research associate. “All of the plants are produced at SFA by the staff, students and volunteers.” Greg Grant, Pineywoods Native Plant Center research associate, will have a number of his introductions available as well, including the pink flowered ‘Pam Puryear’ and large flowered ‘Big Momma’ Turk’s cap. “Many of the rare Aromi hybrid deciduous azaleas will be offered, as will a good number of the rarely available native East Texas red buckeye,” Stover said. Proceeds from the plant sale help support the SFA Mast Arboretum, the Ruby Mize Azalea Garden, the Pineywoods Native Plant Center and educational programs. For more information, call (936) 468-4404 or visit http://arboretum.sfasu.edu/.

Cedar Hill: Petal Pusher's, 813 Straus Road, will host "English Gardening Texas Style" by Master Gardener and British Native Andrea Rucker on Saturday, April 14 at 10:30 a.m. This event is free. For more information, call (972) 291-7650.

Cedar Hill: Petal Pusher's, 813 Straus Road, will host "Petal Pusher's Picks" by nationally known landscape architect Rosa Finsley on Saturday, April 14 at 1 p.m. This event is free. For more information, call (972) 291-7650.

Waco: "Easy-Care Roses for Busy People," an EarthKind Rose Symposium hosted by McLennan County Master Gardeners and Texas Cooperative Extension, will take place in Waco, Saturday, April 21, 9 a.m. until 6 p.m., at Texas State Technical College, 3801 Campus Drive. Among the speakers will be Dr. Steve George, Professor and Landscape Horticulture Specialist, Texas Cooperative Extension, Dallas; Mark Chamblee, owner Chamblee Rose Nursery, Tyler; Gaye Hammond, President, Houston Rose Society; Steve Huddleston, Senior Horticulturalist, Fort Worth Botanic Garden; and Rachelle Kemp, Landscape Design Instructor, Texas State Technical College, Waco. Registration is $56 per person and pre-registration is required. Registration includes snacks, beverages, all course materials, and a two-gallon rose. For more information, call (254) 757-5180 or visit www.mclennanmastergardeners.org.

Edna: The Jackson County Master Gardeners will have a plant sale on Saturday, April 21, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Jackson County Services Building Auditorium, 411 North Wells, Edna. Shrubs, bedding plants, flowering shrubs, and plants propagated by the Master Gardeners are being sold. Yard accessories being sold include decorative indoor and outdoor birdhouses. The public is invited.

Longview: The Northwest Texas Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas is having its annual plant sale at Wal-Mart, 2440 Gilmer Road, Longview, on April 28 beginning at 8 a.m. and usually sells out by noon. Attendees who join the NPSOT will receive a plethora of butterfly plant seeds. For additional information, contact emmanell@peoplepc.com.

Tyler: The Smith County Master Gardeners will host the 6th annual Spring Home Garden Tour May 5, Tyler. Area gardens will be showcased and will offer visitors ideas an inspiration for their own garden, large or small. Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer questions or discuss planting ideas. For more information, call (903) 894-7950.

Salado: The 4th annual Salado Yard and Garden Tour, a tour of yards and gardens in the historic village of Salado, will highlight characteristic and varied private and public gardens for the Central Texas landscape. From large to small, rambling to organized, annuals to perennials, water wise planting to courtyard container gardens, there is something for everyone to enjoy. The tour will be Saturday, May 12 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. and Sunday, May 13 from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. Gardens will be self-guided with volunteers helping to answer questions when needed. Tickets will be $15 to view all gardens and are good for the two days. Maps will be available leading to each location with a description of each garden. Tours will be conducted rain or shine. The tour is sponsored by the Salado Garden Club and the Public Arts League of Salado. For further information, visit the Village of Salado website at www.salado.com or call (254) 947-8300.

Ft. Worth: The Greater Fort Worth Herb Society presents its 21st Annual Herb Festival May 19, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens in Fort Worth. The Festival will feature the sale of herb plants and herb-related products. There will also be a silent auction, crafts, music, demos, food and much more. Special event speakers will be Randy Weston of Weston Gardens and Mary Doebelling of Our Thyme Garden. Admission is $5 for adults. The Botanic Gardens are located at 3220 Botanic Garden Blvd Dr., Fort Worth. For more information, please visit www.greaterfortworthherbsociety.org or call (817) 966-7126.

San Antonio:The San Antonio Botanical Garden is sponsoring a trip to Italy September 4 through 15, featuring Italy's villas and gardens. Escorted by Bob Brackman, the Director of the Garden, an exceptional itinerary has been designed for lovers of leisurely travel and beautiful homes and gardens. Famous for their gardens, Italians still build on their ancestors' legacy with the creation of exquisite country villas surrounded by terraced, fountain-filled gardens that have become symbolic of Italian style. Experience the rich cultural heritage of Italy. Visit special gardens, famous museums, the important cities of Florence and Rome, plus the Lake District, and the small villages which make Italy so charming, such as Cinque Terre, Santa Margherita and Tuscan villages. Feast on fabulous Italian cuisine and enjoy la dolce vita. Land cost per person sharing is $3550 plus air, which includes a $100 tax deductible donation, most meals and gratuities. For more information, contact Marianne Martz of Fuller Travel at (210) 828-6311 or marianne@fullertvl.com.

Garland: The Garland Organic Club meets the first Sunday of each month in the little red school house at 1651 Wall St., Garland. All interested gardeners are invited to attend. For more information, call (972) 864-1934 or (800) 864-4445.

Austin: Austin Organic Gardeners meet at 7 p.m. on the second Monday of each month at the Zilker Botanical Gardens in Austin. For more information, visit www.main.org/aog.

Rockport: An herb study group founded in March 2003 meets the second Wednesday of every month at the ACISD Maintenance Department (Formerly Rockport Elementary), 619 N. Live Oak Street, Room 14, Rockport at 10 a.m. to discuss all aspects of using and growing herbs, including the historical uses of the herbs and tips for successful propagation and cultivation.

San Antonio: The San Antonio Herb Society meets at 7 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month at the San Antonio Garden Center, 3310 N. New Braunfels (corner of Funston & N. New Braunfels). For more information on programs, visit www.sanantonioherbs.org.

Dallas: The Dallas Organic Garden Club meets at 6:45 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of each month at the Fretz Park Recreation Center, located at the corner of Hillcrest and Beltline Road in Dallas. For more information, call (214) 824-2448 or visit www.dogc.org.

Arlington: The Arlington Organic Garden Club meets from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. on the last Thursday of each month (except November and December) at the Bob Duncan Center, 2800 S. Center Street, Arlington. For more information, contact David at (817) 483-7746.

If you would like your organization's events included in "Upcoming Garden Events," please contact us at Garden Events.


  Book Sale:
  Garden Bulbs for the South

In Garden Bulbs for the South, acclaimed garden expert Scott Ogden introduces Southern gardeners to more than 200 warm-climate bulbs that will perform wonderfully in their garden — bulbs new, exotic, extraordinary, or unjustly neglected. A bulb for any need and any reason — many of which will return to increase in beauty. With nearly 200 gorgeous, full-color photographs, Garden Bulbs for the South is an inviting way to take the guesswork out of bulb planting. This book is not available through the on-line bookstore. Limited supply available.

 $24.50 while supplies last!
 

  Gourds in Your Garden

At last! Ginger Summit's complete, easy-to-use guide to help you identify popular gourd shapes; plan and prepare your garden; grow, train and harvest a bountiful crop of gourds; and prepare your gourds for use, from recipes to art projects. This book is not available through the on-line bookstore. Limited supply available.

 $21.30 while supplies last!
 

  The Louisiana Iris

A comprehensive guide to the culture of the Louisiana Iris, Marie Caillett and Joseph K. Mertzweiller's The Louisiana Iris represents more than 200 years of combined experience of the editors and 18 other contributing members of the Society for Louisiana Irises. This book is not available through the on-line bookstore. Limited supply available.

 $29.84 while supplies last!
 

  Roses in the Southern Garden

In this valuable review of 100 antique roses, from and for southern gardens, G. Michael Shoup shows each rose as a separate personality. Included in Roses in the Southern Garden are hundreds of evocative photographs illustrating creative and imaginative gardens blended with Old Garden Roses. This book is not available through the on-line bookstore. Limited supply available.

 $37.36 while supplies last!
 

  Southern Lawns

If you're tired of your neighbor bragging about his superior lawn, this is the book for you! Southern Lawns provides complete step-by-step instructions for planting and/or maintaining every major type of southern grass lawn, including Bermuda Grass, Centipede, St. Augustine, Zoysia, Fescue and Kentucky Bluegrass. In addition to a special "month-by-month" section with activity lists for every month of the year, author Chris Hastings includes a complete glossary of lawn care terms. This book is not available through the on-line bookstore. Limited supply available.

 $26.62 while supplies last!
 

  Texas Wildscapes

Noreen Damude and Kelly Conrad Bender's Texas Wildscapes helps gardeners design gardens to provide habitat for native wildlife. More importantly, it furnishes lists of beautiful and useful native plants appropriate to the specific region of Texas in which you live. This book is not available through the on-line bookstore. Limited supply available.

 $26.63 while supplies last!

Order any of the above books by calling 1-800-727-9020.

(Discover, MasterCard and Visa accepted.)


  Fiber row cover valuable year-round

Grow-Web encourages plant growth and development, and also provides protection from insects, birds, diseases and frosts. It is also air and water permeable and allows for ventilation. Grow-Web provides excellent protection to seedlings when applied directly to the seedbed.

 $30.64 per 12.3' x 32.8' roll (includes shipping!)

Order by calling 1-800-727-9020. Not available through on-line bookstore.

(Discover, MasterCard and Visa accepted.)


 


Texas Gardener's Seeds
is published weekly. © Suntex Communications, Inc. 2007. All rights reserved. You may forward this publication to your friends and colleagues if it is sent in its entirety. No individual part of this newsletter may be reproduced in any manner without prior written permission from the publisher.

Missed an issue? Back issues of Texas Gardener's Seeds are available at www.texasgardener.com/newsletters.

Publisher: Chris S. Corby Editor: Michael Bracken

Texas Gardener's Seeds, P.O. Box 9005, Waco, Texas 76714 ● www.TexasGardener.com