February 18, 2009

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.



Dahlia 'Happy Single Date' (Happy Single selections).


Dahlia (Decorative Group).


Dahlia 'Franz Kafka' (Pompom Group), (Photos courtesy Netherlands Flower Bulb Information Center)

Hello, dahlias!

Netherlands Flower Bulb Information Center

Dahlias are back on the A-list of gardeners around the globe. Whatever it was that dulled their luster to post-World War II gardeners has passed. What could it have been? Who cares! There are few flowers on earth that rival the charms of this charismatic late summer classic.

If you've never grown dahlias, now is a good time to start. Popularity has increased the assortment available and few flowers give more bang for the buck. These mid- to late-summer bloomers offer more flamboyance per plant, and in more varied flower colors and shapes than most other garden plants (only tulips top dahlias in number of colors). If you can dream up a dahlia look, it probably exists. Choose from nearly every color under the sun (except true blue or black), and from flower types as varied in shape and size as cactus, decorative, water lily, pom pom, collarette, peony-like, dinner plate (which are truly that big) and more. In fact, official registries list thousands of named varieties.

Dahlias are tender summer bulbs (tubers, to be exact). They grow quickly and flower profusely, reaching their peak in the sun-dappled months of late summer and autumn.

Native to Mexico, dahlias are sensitive to frost and should not be planted outdoors until the threat of frost has passed. To get a jump on the season, start up tubers indoors in pots in early spring then plant them outdoors when the weather has warmed garden soil to approximately 60º F (or slightly warm to the hand). Appealing selections of bare bulbs and pre-grown nursery plants are available in spring at garden centers, home centers and via mail-order or internet gardening firms.

Dahlias come to flower in July and continue to flower till the hard frosts of fall. Lucky you, if you love cut dahlias in the vase. Dahlias in the garden are virtual flower factories. The more you cut them, the more flowers they produce.

As tender bulbs, dahlias will not survive exposure to harsh winter weather. At summer's end, either leave the bulbs as you would annuals, compost them, or store them in a protected spot over-winter for replanting the following summer.


Gardening tips

Avoid those weed and feed products that you see advertised each spring because both of these activities should be done at different times. If you have a weed problem, consider using a safer, natural solution like corn gluten meal. When it comes to fertilizer, organic and natural products are healthier for your lawn and the environment.

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 send 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...

Early blight is a fungal disease that attacks tomatoes and several related crops. In the spring, the fungal spores that cause the disease are spread by the wind. The disease is characterized by dark spots that appear on older leaves that later appear on younger leaves and stems. One way to avoid this disease is to wrap your plants with fiber row cover during the early spring when the spores are most likely to be spread. Be sure to remove the protection when the plants start to bloom because tomatoes are wind pollinated.


Upcoming garden events

Bryan: Brazos Country Master Gardeners will host Earth Kind Gardening 101 "Top 10 Plant Picks for the Brazos Valley," Thursday, February 19, 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m., at the Bryan Public Library. Learn what plants thrive and survive in the Brazos Valley from some of the pros. A panel of Master Gardeners will share their “Top Ten” choices of perennials, roses, vines, butterfly attractors, trees and Texas Superstars. “Earth Kind Gardening 101” is a series of classes designed to teach the gardening techniques that are essential for success. Participants will leave with practical information and knowledge needed to have attractive landscapes and gardens in the Brazos Valley. Download the registration form at brazosmg.com and pre-register, $10 per person.

San Antonio: Children's Vegetable Garden Program conducted by the San Antonio Botanical Garden in partnership with Texas AgriLife Extension Service begins on February 21 and continues each Saturday through June 6, 9 a.m. until 11 a.m.. Children, 8-13 in age, are provided an opportunity to grow vegetables and ornamental plants under instruction of Bexar County Master Gardeners and other volunteer organizations. Children are allotted two 2'x12' garden plots in which to garden. Participants may also earn Junior Master Gardener certification by completing program requirements. Program fee is $10. Applications may be obtained from the San Antonio Botanical Garden, 555 Funston, San Antonio, TX 78209; (210) 207-3250. Application deadline is February 15.

Houston: The Harris County Master Gardeners will host an Open Garden Day from 9 a.m. until 10:30 a.m., Monday, February 16 for the public to visit and tour their demonstration garden at Genoa Friendship Garden, 1202 Genoa Red Bluff, Houston. See plant varieties that survive well in our local area. Master Gardeners will be available to answer questions. For additional information, visit http://hcmgap2.tamu.edu.

Houston: The Harris County Master Gardeners will host John Panzarella speaking on citrus trees that grow well in the Houston area, Wednesday, February 18, beginning at 10 a.m. at The Meeting Room at Clear Lake Park (on the lakeside), 5001 NASA Road 1. Mr. Panzarella has 200 different varieties growing in the largest collection of citrus in Texas north of the Rio Grande Valley. He grows most of them in pots because he doesn't have room to plant them in the ground. For more information, visit http://hcmgap2.tamu.edu.

New Braunfels: The Lindheimer Chapter of Texas Master Naturalists will have its February meeting Thursday, February 19, at the Agri-Life building on Resource Drive, New Braunfels. The meeting starts at 7:00 p.m. and is open to the public. Patty Leslie Pasztor, Botanical Consultant and co-author of Texas Trees — A Friendly Guide, will speak about Native Plants and Their Uses. Pasztor will give a slide presentation on native trees, shrubs & wildflowers and discuss how they were used for food, medicine, fiber, dyes and more by Native Americans and early settlers. Also included in the discussion will be landscape and wildlife uses/benefits of these plants. Pasztor has a bachelor of science degree in Range & Natural Resources Management from Texas A&M University. She has a varied and experienced background as a Horticulturist at the San Antonio Botanical Gardens, as a Park Naturalist at Friedrich Wilderness Park, as a trainer for San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, Friedrich Park, and Cibolo Wilderness. She is a Master Naturalist instructor, teaches workshops on landscaping for birds and butterflies, plant ID, and Ethnobotany for landowners, teachers, and archaeologists. Pasztor has also taught native plant classes for Northwest Vista and Palo Alto Colleges in SA. For additional information, call Judy Brupbacher at (830) 885-2070.

San Antonio: Bexar County Master Gardeners are accepting applications for prospective students in the Master Gardener Program. Classes will be held each Wednesday, March 4 to June 3, from 12 noon until 4 p.m. in San Antonio, at Bexar County Master Gardener Offices, 3355 Cherry Ridge Drive, Suite 212. Cost is $200 to cover training materials. Instructors include David Rodriguez, County Extension Agent-Horticulture and Bexar County Master Gardener Coordinator; Master Gardener Educational Director Lou Kellogg; local experts and representatives of Texas AgriLife Extension Service. Application deadline is February 20. To obtain further information or download an application, access http://bexar-tx.tamu.edu/HomeHort/MasterGardener. Information may also be obtained by calling (210) 467-6575.

Tomball: "Attracting Blue Birds to Your Garden," led by Linda Crum, Texas Master Naturalist, will be held at Arbor Gate, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball, Friday, February 20, 10 a.m. This class is free. For additional information, call (281) 351-8851.

Navasota: The Grimes County Master Gardeners are presenting their Second Annual Spring Landscaping & Planting Seminar at The Navasota Center, 101 Stadium Drive, Navasota on February 21. For additional information, or to register, visit www.grimesmastergardeners.org.

Sunset Valley: The Travis County Master Gardeners Association in partnership with the AgriLife Extension, Travis County, will present "Everything’s Coming Up Roses," February 21, from 10 a.m. until noon, at Sunset Valley City Hall, 3205 Jones Rd., Sunset Valley. Roses aren't just for Valentine's Day — they can bring color and sweet smells to your garden year-round! Come attend this free seminar on selecting and planting roses in your garden. Topics will include Earth Kind Roses, a designation indicating high performance and outstanding disease and insect tolerance, pruning, and the basics of rose care. For more information, call (512) 854-9600 and ask for the Master Gardeners desk or visit http://www.tcmastergardeners.org.

Shreveport, LA: The Gardens of the American Rose Center (just off I-20, Exit 5 in Shreveport, LA) is hosting its Annual Pruning Party on Saturday, February 21, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The public is invited to help care for their roses. Pruning is an important part of rose care that encourages new growth and blooms. In addition to pruning, participants will be planting approximately 600 rosebushes. Participants’ efforts will directly enhance the beauty of the gardens. Everyone is encouraged to participate, regardless of gardening experience, and may bring pruners, gloves and trowels. Noted Consulting Rosarian Baxter Williams will present a “how- to” pruning seminar, and American Rose Center Horticulturist Ray McKibben will also present a “how-to” planting seminar. “This is an excellent opportunity to learn how easy it is to plant and care for roses,” says McKibben. A complimentary lunch will be served at noon at Klima Rose Hall. Please contact Ellen Trice at (318) 938-5402 ext. 109 for reservations. Reservations are encouraged but not required.

Tomball: "Spring Vegetable Gardening," led by Tom LeRoy and Bill Adams, authors of The Southern Kitchen Garden, will be held at Arbor Gate, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball, Saturday, February 21, 10 a.m. Prepare to be entertained as well as educated!  Tom and Bill have many years of gardening experience as county extension agents. Advanced and beginning vegetable gardeners alike will benefit from this class. This class is free. For additional information, call (281) 351-8851.

Victoria: Victoria County Master Gardeners will present "Types of Vegetables for Spring," Noon-1 p.m., February 23, at the Pattie Dodson Health Center, 2805 N. Navarro St., Victoria. Gerald Bludau will speak. Free to public. Bring sack lunch. For additional information, contact Victoria County Extension Office, (361) 575-4581.

Pittsburg: Texas AgriLife Extension Service will present a "Prospective Wine-Grape Growers Workshop" from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. on February 25 in Pittsburg. It will be held at Los Pinos Vineyard, 658 County Road 1334. "The workshop is designed for people who are considering growing wine grapes," said Fran Pontasch, North Texas viticulture advisor for AgriLife Extension. "It presents basic information on commercial wine-grape production and some of the economics associated with owning and operating a commercial vineyard." Topics addressed at the workshop will include vineyard site selection, risk factors, and vineyard labor and operational costs. Registration is $125 per individual and $200 per couple, and includes a catered lunch, beverages and study materials. Purchase orders will not be accepted. Cash or checks will be accepted at the door, but participants must pre-register to ensure adequate space and materials. To register online, go to http://agrilifevents.tamu.edu. More workshop details can be found under Educational Opportunities heading on the Texas Winegrape Network Web site, http://winegrapes.tamu.edu/. For more information, contact Pontasch at (254) 968-4144 or fmpontasch@ag.tamu.edu.

Austin: The Travis County Master Gardeners Association will present "Getting Ready for Spring Gardening," February 26, 6:30 p.m. until -8:30 p.m., at the Yarborough Branch, Austin Public Library, 2200 Hancock Dr., Austin. Learn how a little planning now results in healthier and more beautiful gardens all year, what makes plants thrive, and pruning and fertilization techniques to get perennials, trees and shrubs off to a strong start. Also covered: lawn care, including the how and when of fertilization. Do your plants a favor and don’t miss this great kick-off to spring gardening. This seminar is free and does not require reservations. For additional information, visit http://www.tcmastergardeners.org.

Tomball: "Herbs 101," led by Ann Wheeler, Log House Herbs, will be held at Arbor Gate, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball, Thursday, February 26, 10 a.m. and Saturday February 28, 10 a.m. The basics of herb growing-easier than you think! Ann will focus on bed preparation and growing information for your favorite herbs. She will also include information on maintaining your herb garden. Lastly, expect to receive some tasty herb recipes! This class is free. For additional information, call (281) 351-8851.

Bryan: Brazos Country Master Gardeners will host Swing into Spring the Earth Kind Gardening Way, Saturday, February 28, 8:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m., Brazos County AgriLife Extension, Bryan. This event will include four outdoor interactive mini-lectures and demonstrations: 8:30 a.m.-9:15 a.m. — "Composting/Vermiculture" by Margrit Moores, Master Gardener & Master Composter; 9:30 a.m.-10:15 a.m. — "Testing Your Soil" by Dr. Sam Feagley, Professor & State Soil Environmental Specialist; 10:30 a.m.-11:15 a.m. — "Programming Your Irrigation System" by Charles Swanson, Irrigation Specialist; 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. — "Rainwater Harvesting" by Justin Mechell, AgriLife Extension Assistant. Download the registration form at brazosmg.com and pre-register, $10 per person. (In the event of inclement weather, event will be canceled.)

Houston: The Harris County Master Gardeners of Precinct 2 will hold a plant and fruit tree sale on Saturday, February 28, from 9:15 a.m. until 1 p.m. at Landolt Pavilion at Clear Lake Park, 5001 NASA Road 1. The sale will feature fruit trees and tomato and pepper plants. Heidi Sheesley, the owner of TreeSearch Farms, Inc., a wholesale grower of perennials, natives and unique plants, will present a lecture beginning at 8 a.m. to highlight fruit trees available at the sale. Heidi's lectures are packed with gardening information. For more information, visit http://hcmgap2.

Tomball: "Home Vegetable Gardening," led by Jeremy Kollaus, will be held at Arbor Gate, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball, Tuesday, March 3, 10 a.m. Jeremy’s low key approach to gardening appeals to the laid-back gardener in each of us. Not only an experienced vegetable gardener, Jeremy is also a great cook, so expect some culinary tips! This class is free. For additional information, call (281) 351-8851.

Houston: The River Oaks Garden Club's 74th annual Azalea Trail will take place Friday, Saturday and Sunday, March 6, 7 and 8, from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. each day, and will feature four beautiful private homes and gardens. Tickets for admissions are $15 before March 6 and $20 during the trail or $5 per location. For additional information contact the River Oaks Garden Club at (713) 523-2483 or visit www.riveroaksgardenclub.org.

Glen Rose: The Somervell County Master Gardeners Association Community Horticulture Education Series host "Rainwater Harvesting," a presentation by Greg Marsh, at 6:30 p.m., March 9, at the Somervell County Citizens Center, 209 SW Barnard, Glen Rose. For additional information, visit www.somervellmastergardeners.org.

Victoria: Victoria County Master Gardeners will present "Weed Control," Noon-1 p.m., March 9, at the Pattie Dodson Health Center, 2805 N. Navarro St., Victoria. Paul and Mary Meredith will speak. Free to public. Bring sack lunch. For additional information, contact Victoria County Extension Office, (361) 575-4581.

Huntsville: Walker County Master Gardeners will present a free seminar "Creating a Backyard Habitat" on Tuesday, March 10 at 6 p.m. at the County AgriLife Extension Office at 102 TAM Road (located on the corner of Hwy. 75 North and TAM Road approx. 2 miles north of the Pilot Truck Stop). The seminar will provide information on how to create a habitat for butterflies, bees and birds in your own yard using Texas native and perennial plantings, some of which are deer-resistant, too. Plants used by pollinators for larval food and nectar will be identified and earth-friendly methods for creating a habitat will be discussed. If you have questions, please call (936) 435-2426.

Tomball: "Native Plants for the Gulf Coast," led by Jason McKenzie. Pineywoods Nursery, will be held at Arbor Gate, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball, Tuesday, March 10, 10 a.m. Jason shares his extensive knowledge of native plants. His enthusiasm for this wonderful group of plants is infectious and he will have you incorporating natives in every corner of your garden. This class is free. For additional information, call (281) 351-8851.

Georgetown: The Native Plant Society of Texas, Williamson County Chapter meets from 7 to 9 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month at the Georgetown Library, 402 W 8th St., Georgetown. On Thursday, March 12, Jason Radcliff, landscape architect with TBG Partners, designed the landscape at the Wolfe Ranch Town Center. He will talk about plants, design and a bit about maintenance.

Huntsville: Walker County Master Gardeners will present a free seminar "Herbs and Heirlooms" on Thursday, March 12 at 6 p.m. at the County AgriLife Extension Office at 102 TAM Road (located on the corner of Hwy. 75 North and TAM Road approx. 2 miles north of the Pilot Truck Stop). The seminar will provide information on the wonderful world of herbs — culinary and medicinal. Topics also include discussion of heirloom vegetables, especially tomatoes. Come away with a list of herbs and vegetables for your own kitchen garden and recipes for your kitchen table. If you have questions, please call (936) 435-2426.

Huntsville: It's a Spring Thing! Walker County Master Gardener's will hold their Spring Plant Sale on Saturday, March 14 from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Master Gardeners Greenhouse located north of Huntsville on the corner of Highway 75 N. and TAM Road (102 TAM Rd.) approximately 2 miles north of the Pilot Truck Stop. Bring your wagon, your gardening and landscaping ideas and load up with a wide assortment of vegetables (including heirloom tomatoes and peppers), herbs, Texas natives and perennials, hard-to-find pass-along plants, citrus, persimmon, blackberries, blueberries and much more. Many of these selections won't be found at the "big box" stores. Gardeners willing and weather permitting, we may have fresh, seasonal produce. Come early and shop the Country Store for gardening shoes/boots, gloves, hats, books and tools. Refreshments will be available. Proceeds will be used to benefit Master Gardener community activities and educational projects. For more information, please call (936) 435-2426 or visit www.walkercountymastergardener.org/.

Austin: Growing a Spring Vegetable Garden, presented by the Travis County Master Gardeners Association, a volunteer arm of the Texas A&M and Travis County AgriLife Extension Service, will be held March 18, from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. at Zilker Botanical Garden, 2220 Barton Springs Road, Austin. Enjoy juicy tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, and delectable green beans straight from your garden. Baskets of okra and armloads of squash can be grown in your garden! Learn how to plant and maintain a spring vegetable garden from Master Gardener Patty Leander, a frequent contributor to Texas Gardener, who will share her expertise on vegetable varieties that perform well in Central Texas, recommended planting times, and composting. This seminar is loaded with basic facts and helpful ideas, useful to both new and experienced vegetable gardeners. This seminar is free, open to the public and does not require reservations. Please arrive early as this is one of our most popular seminars. For more details, visit http://www.tcmastergardeners.org or call The Travis County Master Gardeners help desk at (512) 854-9600.

Conroe: Montgomery County Master Gardeners Spring Plant Sale will be held Saturday, March 21, 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.. Program by Montgomery County Horticulturist Tom LeRoy begins at 8 a.m. Limited seating. Texas AgriLife Extension Office, 9020 FM 1484, Conroe. For additional information, call (936) 539-7824.

Nacogdoches: Nacogdoches Azalea Trail Symposium: Azaleas and More—Companion Planting will be held Saturday, March 21, 2009, from 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. at the Stephen F. Austin State University Agriculture Building on Wilson Drive, Nacogdoches. Symposium presenters focus on colorful companions for azalea gardens: “Japanese Maples in the Landscape” by Elizabeth Mundy, owner of Acer Acres, Inc. in Beaverdam, Virginia, and “Perennials for Shade” by Dawn Stover, Ornamental Plant Evaluations Research Associate at the Mast Arboretum. Includes Japanese maple grafting workshop, grafting knife, and tree to take home. Lunch is provided, followed by tips on propagating azaleas and a guided tour of the SFA Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden by Barbara Stump. Co-sponsored by SFA Mast Arboretum and the Texas Chapter of the Azalea Society of America. Fee $40 to SFA Gardens members; $50 to non-members. Call (936) 564-7351 or sfagardens@sfasu.edu to register or for more information.

Victoria: Victoria County Master Gardeners will present "Budding and Grafting Ornamentals," Noon-1 p.m., March 23, at the Pattie Dodson Health Center, 2805 N. Navarro St., Victoria. James Rother will speak. Free to public. Bring sack lunch. For additional information, contact Victoria County Extension Office, (361) 575-4581.

Cleburne: The Johnson County Master Gardener Plant Sale will take place Saturday, March 28, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., at Hulen Park, Cleburne. Natives, herbs, butterfly plants, tomatoes, peppers and much more will be available. Demos and lectures will be presented by the Master Gardeners throughout the day and there will be activities for the kids in the Jr. Master Gardener booth. For more information, contact Pat Kriener at (817) 793-4625.

Bonham: The Fannin County Master Gardeners will host the 5th Annual Fannin County Garden, Lawn & Home Expo from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., March 28, at the Multi-Purpose Complex in Bonham. There will be five guest speakers, a variety of vendors, and lunch may be purchased from the Fannin County 4-H Club. For additional information, call (903) 583-7453.

Burnet: The Eleventh Annual Hill Country Lawn and Garden Show sponsored by the Highland Lakes Master Gardeners Assn. in conjunction with the Burnet Co. AgriLife Extension Service will be held on Saturday, March 28, from 9 a. m. to 3 p. m. at the Burnet Community Center located at 401 E. Jackson St. in Burnet. Vendors feature only lawn and garden products, such as herbs, native plants, vegetable plants, bedding plants as well as the latest in equipment and garden decorations. There will be informative speakers and demonstrations as well as children's activities. No charge for admission. For additional information, contact Sammye Childers, Publicity Chair, at sammyenmike@yahoo.com or (830) 693-5061.

Stephenville: The annual Native & Heirloom Plant Fair will be held April 4, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Stephenville Museum, 525 E Washington St., Stephenville. Vendors will be offering native Texas plants, adapted plants, herbs and vegetables, arts & crafts, gardening supplies, nature and garden related gifts, concessions, and much more. Speakers will be delivering informative presentations and/or workshops. A self-guided nature trail along the Bosque River is on site. Vendor space is FREE; interested vendors should contact Russell Pfau at pfau@tarleton.edu.

Georgetown: The Native Plant Society of Texas, Williamson County Chapter meets from 7 to 9 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month at the Georgetown Library, 402 W 8th St., Georgetown. On Thursday, April 9, Kerry Blackmon, District Landscape Architect with the TxDOT Austin district, will discuss survey factors that have to be considered when designing roadside landscapes and native plant use. There will also be a question and answer session.

Victoria: Victoria County Master Gardeners will present "Color Your Landscape With Annuals and Perennials," Noon-1 p.m., April 13, at the Pattie Dodson Health Center, 2805 N. Navarro St., Victoria. Nancy Kramer will speak. Free to public. Bring sack lunch. For additional information, contact Victoria County Extension Office, (361) 575-4581.

Nocogdoches: The SFA Mast Arboretum will host its annual Garden Gala Day on April 18 from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the SFA Intramural Fields on Wilson Drive, Nocogdoches. This event features the annual spring plant sale fundraiser benefiting the SFA Mast Arboretum, Pineywoods Native Plant Center, Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden, and their educational programs. All of the plants are produced at SFA by the staff, students and volunteers. The public is encouraged to arrive early and bring a wagon. For more information and a list of plants for sale call (936) 468-4404, or visit http://arboretum.sfasu.edu and click on “upcoming events.”

Rosenberg: The Texas Rose Rustlers and the Fort Bend Master Gardeners will present "Fling With Felder," 10 a.m., April 18, at the Fort Bend County Fairgrounds, Building C, Rosenberg. Felder Rushing has authored 15 gardening books, writes numerous newspaper columns, and hosts a radio garden talk program. He uses an off beat, “down home" approach with humorous anecdotes and irreverent garden metaphors to help gardeners get past the “stinkin’ rules” of horticulture. Admission is free. For additional information, contact Becky Smith at bas@wcec-wb.net.

Woodway: A Gardener's Gathering will be held at the Carleen Bright Arboretum, Woodway, from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m., April 26. The free event, sponsored by Woodway Beautiful, will include an opportunity to gather growing tips and advice, purchase plants, and enjoy an afternoon of music and events for the entire family. For additional information, contract (254) 399-9204.

Victoria: Victoria County Master Gardeners will present "Insect Control," Noon-1 p.m., April 27, at the Pattie Dodson Health Center, 2805 N. Navarro St., Victoria. Helen Boatman will speak. Free to public. Bring sack lunch. For additional information, contact Victoria County Extension Office, (361) 575-4581.

Tyler: 2009 Home Garden Tour, sponsored by the Smith County Master Gardeners, will be held May 2, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Five delightful homes, ranging from a large formal traditional garden in an historic neighborhood to a modest home in a country setting, spotlight a variety of landscaping styles and methods. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 the day of the tour. To order tickets: make checks payable to SCMG and mail to 14608 Foxwood Circle, Tyler TX 75703.

Georgetown: The Native Plant Society of Texas, Williamson County Chapter meets from 7 to 9 pm on the second Thursday of each month at the Georgetown Library, 402 W 8th St., Georgetown. On Thursday, May 14, Kelly Conrad Bender of Texas Parks and Wildlife, and author with Noreen Damude of Texas Wildscapes: Gardening for Wildlife, will speak on creating wildscapes and how you can get the latest information, since the book is now out of print.

Victoria: Victoria County Master Gardeners will present "Rainwater Harvesting," Noon-1 p.m., May 11, Pattie Dodson Health Center, 2805 N. Navarro St., Victoria. Glen and Kathy Chilek will speak. Free to public. Bring sack lunch. For additional information, contact Victoria County Extension Office, (361) 575-4581.

Fort Worth: The Greater Fort Worth Herb Society's Annual Herb Festival will be held from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., May 16, at the Fort Worth Botanic Center, 3220 Botanic Garden Blvd., Fort Worth. For additional information, call (817) 874-6405, e-mail festival@gfwhs.org, or visit www.gfwhs.org.

Victoria: Victoria County Master Gardeners will present "Essentials for Building a Trellis, Arbor and Raised Beds," Noon-1 p.m., June 8, at the Pattie Dodson Health Center, 2805 N. Navarro St., Victoria. Ed Gregurek will speak. Free to public. Bring sack lunch. For additional information, contact Victoria County Extension Office, (361) 575-4581.

Victoria: Victoria County Master Gardeners will present "Water Gardening," Noon- 1p.m., July 13, at the Pattie Dodson Health Center, 2805 N. Navarro St., Victoria. Pat Plowman will speak. Free to public. Bring sack lunch. For additional information, contact Victoria County Extension Office, (361) 575-4581.

Victoria: Victoria County Master Gardeners will present "Mulching, Composting and Water Conservation," Noon-1 p.m., August 10, at the Pattie Dodson Health Center, 2805 N. Navarro St., Victoria. Monica Pilat will speak. Free to public. Bring sack lunch. For additional information, contact Victoria County Extension Office, (361) 575-4581.

MONTHLY MEETINGS

Rockport: The Aransas/San Patricio Master Gardeners meets at 9 a.m. the first Tuesday of each month at the AgriLife Extension Office - Aransas County, 611 E. Mimosa, Rockport. For additional information, e-mail aransas-tx@tamu.edu or call (361) 790-0103.

Kilgore: Northeast Texas Organic Gardeners meets at 10 a.m. on the first Wednesday of each month at Wildwood Eco-Farm in Kilgore. For more information, call Carole Ramke at (903) 986-9475.

Allen: The Allen Garden Club meets on the first Thursday of each month at 7:30 p.m. at the little blue-gray house located at 102 N. Allen Dr., Allen. For more information, visit www.allengardenclub.org.

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.

Friendswood: The second Tuesday of each month the Harris County Precinct 2 Master Gardeners hold a free evening educational program for the public, called the Green Thumb Series, at Southeast Church of Christ, 2400 W Bay Area Blvd., Friendswood, about 1 mile west of I-45 and Baybrook Mall. For more information visit http://hcmgap2.tamu.edu or call (281) 991-8437.

Houston: The Clear Lake City Garden Club meets the second Tuesday of each month September through May at 9:30 a.m. in the Board Room of the Clear Lake Recreation Center, 16511 Diana Lane, Houston. This small garden club is open to all residents of the Bay Area interested in horticulture and making new friends. Visitors are welcome meetings. For further information, please e-mail Sue at flosflores@comcast.net.

Schertz: The Guadalupe County (Schertz/Seguin) Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas (NPSOT) meets the second Tuesday of each month at the Guadalupe County Annex, 1101 Elbel Road, Shertz. A plant exchange and meet-and-greet begins at 6:30 p.m. followed by a program at 7. For additional information or an application to join NPSOT, contact guadalupecounty@npsot.org.

Rockport: The Rockport Herb & Rose Study Group, founded in March 2003, meets the second Wednesday of each month, with the exceptions of June and July, to discuss all aspects of using and growing herbs, including historical uses and tips for successful propagation and cultivation, meets at 619 N. Live Oak Street, Room 14, Rockport at 10 a.m. Sometimes they take field trips and have cooking demonstrations in different locations. For more information, contact Linda (361) 729-6037, Ruth (361) 729-8923 or Cindy (979) 562-2153 or visit www.rockportherbs.com.

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.

College Station: The A&M Garden Club meets on the second Friday of each month during the school year at 9:30 a.m. at the Exit Center, 1600 Rock Prairie Road, College Station. Expert speakers, plant sharing, and federated club projects help members learn about gardening in the Brazos Valley, floral design, conservation topics, and more. For more information, visit www.sallysfamilyplace.com/Clubs/GardenClub.htm.

Dallas: The Rainbow Garden Club of North Texas meets the second Sunday of each month at 2 p.m. Everyone is welcome. Meetings are held at member’s homes and garden centers around the area. For more information, visit www.RainbowGardenClub.com.

Rockport: The Aransas/San Patricio Master Gardeners host Brown Bag events the third Tuesday of each month, from noon until 1 p.m. at Aransas County Library, 701 E. Mimosa, Rockport. For a complete listing of all events or additional information, e-mail aransas-tx@tamu.edu or call (361) 790-0103.

Sugar Land: The Sugar Land Garden Club meets on the third Tuesday of each month, September through November and January through April at 10 a.m. at the Sugar Land Community Center, 226 Matlage Way, Sugar Land. The club hosts a different speaker each month. For more information, visit www.sugarlandgardenclub.org.

Denton: The Denton Organic Society, a group devoted to sharing information and educating the public regarding organic principles, meets the third Wednesday of each month (except July, August and December) at the Denton Senior Center, 509 N. Bell Avenue. Meetings are free and open to the public. Meetings begin at 7 p.m. and are preceded by a social at 6:30. For more information, call (940) 382-8551.

Granbury: The Lake Granbury Master Gardeners meet at 1 p.m. on the third Wednesday of each month at the Hood County Annex 1, 1410 West Pearl Street, Granbury. The public is invited to attend. There is an educational program each month preceding the business meeting. For information on topics call (817) 579-3280 or visit http://www.hoodcountymastergardeners.org/.

Houston: The Native Plant Society of Texas — Houston (NPSOT-H) meets at 7 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month except for October (4th Thursday) and December (2nd Thursday). Location varies. For locations, for more information on programs, and for information about native plants for Houston, visit http://www.npsot.org/Houston.

Rosenberg: The Fort Bend Master Gardeners meet at 7:15 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month except December at the Bud O’Shieles Community Center located at 1330 Band Road, Rosenberg. For more information, call (281) 341-7068 or visit www.fbmg.com.

Seguin: The Guadalupe County Master Gardeners meets the third Thursday of each month at the Texas AgriLife Extension Bldg. at 210 E. Live Oak at 7 p.m. For more information, phone (830) 379-1972 or visit www.guadalupecountymastergardeners.org.

Longview: The Northeast Texas chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas meets the third Thursday of each month at St. Mary’s Parish Hall in Longview. For more information, call Logan Damewood at (903) 295-1984.

Edna: The Jackson County Master Gardeners present their "Come Grown With Us" seminars on the fourth Tuesday of each month, January through October, beginning at 7 p.m. at 411 N. Wells, Edna. The seminars are free, open to the public and offer 2 CEU hours to Master Gardeners or others requiring them. For additional information, contact the Jackson County Extension Office at (361) 782-3312.

Fort Worth: The Organic Garden Club of Forth Worth meets at 7 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of each month except July and December at the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens main building. Refreshments are served. For more information, call (817) 274-8460.

Seabrook: The Harris County Precinct 2 Master Gardeners hold an educational program at 10 a.m. on the fourth Wednesday of each month at The Meeting Room (on the Lakeside) at Clear Lake Park, 5001 NASA Road 1, Seabrook. The programs are free and open to the public. For more information, visit http://hcmgap2.tamu.edu.

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. To ensure inclusion in this column, please provide complete details at least three weeks prior to the event.


The Southern Kitchen Garden

By William D. Adams and Thomas R. Leroy

A kitchen garden, or potager, is a celebration of the seasons: brimming with vegetables, herbs, flowers, and even fruit trees, it’s our link with nature and a source for fresh produce. The kitchen garden has always been an important part of life in the rural South, at times meaning the difference between being well-fed or going to bed hungry. In recent times, the kitchen garden has become more fashionable and now more and more homeowners are reaping the delicious rewards of growing their own food.

A kitchen garden needs little more than a small raised bed, so an aspiring gardener with only a modest backyard will have plenty of room to get started. If you have more space on your hands, then you can include some produce requiring a little more space like fruit trees, corn or pumpkins.

In the book, the authors with take you through the process of starting your very own kitchen garden from location to soil preparation to planting and then to harvest. It is also loaded with useful information on propagation, pest control and is laced with mouth-watering recipes and beautiful color photographs.

$21.30 plus shipping*

Order online with credit card at www.texasgardener.com or call toll-free 1-800-727-9020.

*Or with credit card by phone and receive FREE shipping. That is a $3.50 savings! Visa, MasterCard and Discover accepted.


Wish you’d saved them?

Are you missing an important issue of Texas Gardener? Or, perhaps, just tired of thumbing through stacks of back issues looking for the tips and techniques you need to make your garden grow? Three new CDs provide easy access to all six issues of volume 24 (November/December 2004 through September/October 2005), volume 25 (November/December 2005 through September/October 2006), volume 26 (November/December 2006 through September/October 2007), and volume 27 (November/December 2007 through September/October 2008)*.

$16.99 per CD includes tax and shipping

Order by calling 1-800-727-9020.

(Discover, MasterCard and Visa accepted.)

*Other volumes will be available soon.


Doug Welsh’s Texas Garden Almanac

Doug Welsh’s Texas Garden Almanac is a giant monthly calendar for the entire state — a practical, information-packed, month-by-month guide for gardeners and "yardeners." This book provides everything you need to know about flowers and garden design; trees, shrubs, and vines; lawns; vegetable, herb, and fruit gardening; and soil, mulch, water, pests, and plant care. It will help you to create beautiful, productive, healthy gardens and have fun doing it.

$26.63 plus shipping*

Order by calling 1-800-727-9020 or order on-line.

*Mention Texas Gardener’s Seeds when ordering by phone and we’ll waive shipping charges. (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 or order on-line.

(Discover, MasterCard and Visa accepted.)



Texas Gardener’s Seeds
is published weekly. © Suntex Communications, Inc. 2009. 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