March 11, 2009

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Menard Morning Glories youth garden group wins coveted national title

By Steve Byrns
Texas AgriLife Extension Service

Like the flower the group is named for, Menard's Morning Glory Junior Master Gardener group just keeps blooming and growing.

The Texas AgriLife Extension Service horticulture group started in 2005 with just eight members and has now blossomed to 30 youngsters fourth grade and older.

They currently have 22 raised-bed garden plots where they maintain and grow a number of spring, summer and fall vegetables including onions, potatoes, all types of greens, tomatoes, egg plants, peppers and a host of other plants plus a few morning glory vines, said Mary Kniffen, the group's volunteer adult leader. The plots are located across the street from Menard Junior High School in an area provided by the Church of Christ in Menard. Participants learn how to plant, water, care for, harvest and eat their production.

The group also performs community beautification projects around this rural West Texas town of 1,300. But their latest bounty is perhaps their biggest, Kniffen said.

The group has been awarded the 2009 National Junior Master Gardener Group Service and Achievement Award. They will be formally recognized at the International Master Gardener Conference March 23 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The Morning Glories received the award for exemplifying excellence through hard work, personal achievement and service to their community, according to the award requirements. They were among three groups that made it to the finals in their category. The other finalists were the Midway Junior Gardeners of Powder Springs, Ga., and the Riverview Raccoons of Brooklyn Park, Minn.

Menard Elementary/Junior High principal Kyle Chambers lauded the program and the young people it involves.

"The leadership, responsibility, community involvement and confidence these students learn through the program are of immeasurable value," Chambers said. "The program not only teaches these values, it also is an incentive for students to achieve at high levels.

"Our school is 70 percent economically disadvantaged and 80 percent at risk," Chambers said. "The program gives these students opportunities to be involved in activities that no other program can provide. It's a true asset to our school and community.

"It is key to keeping our school beautiful, but its top value is giving some of our most needy students a positive productive way to be successful and self-confident."

The program is under the leadership of Kniffen, said Jerry Kidd, AgriLife Extension agent for agriculture and natural resources in Menard County.

"Mrs. Kniffen and her husband Billy practice the lessons they teach their Junior Master Gardeners," Kidd said. "The couple's home, gardens and greenhouse and the native and acclimatized plants they propagate and raise are watered solely by rainwater harvested through an extensive rainwater harvesting system the home employs."

Billy Kniffen is also AgriLife Extension's water resources specialist for rainwater harvesting headquartered in Menard.

To date the group's activities have included beautification projects at the local fire department, library, elementary and junior high schools, garden club and at locations serving senior citizens.

To learn more about the Junior Master Marketer program click on:

In memory of Madalene Hill

Madalene Hill, botanist, breeder, grower, author, international herb garden lecturer and designer, teacher, mentor, former President of the Herb Society of America, and reference source for all things herbal in the plant world, passed away March 4, 2009. Madalene Hill was the resident designer and Garden Director of the McAshan Gardens at the International Festival-Institute at Round Top.

Remembrances and memorial thoughts may be sent to Gwen Barclay, Madalene's daughter, care of the McAshan Gardens at Round Top.

Gwen Barclay
c/o The McAshan Gardens
International Festival-Institute at Round Top
P.O. Box 226
Round Top, Texas 78954

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Library of the Herb Society of America.

The Herb Society of America
Pioneer Unit
P.O. Box 226
Round Top, Texas 78954

For additional information about Madalene Hill, visit Playin' Outside, Texas Gardener contributing writer Vicki Blachman's blog.

Sales of seeds skyrocket

Recession? Not for companies that sell vegetable seeds. Americans are buying vegetable seeds and starter plants in record numbers, according to a survey of garden catalog and Web site companies. "Sales of vegetable seeds are up from 28 to 60 percent from 2008," said Randy Schultz, spokesperson for the Mailorder Gardening Association ( Sales of vegetable seeds and starter plants are up more than 40% at Harris Seeds ( At Wood Prairie Farm (, which sells organic seed potatoes and organic vegetable seeds, early spring sales are up 30%, and that's on top of a 20% increase last year. "We're shipping seeds as fast as we can," said Jim Gerritsen, co-owner of Maine-based Wood Prairie Farm. Bruce "The Onionman" Frasier at Dixondale Farms in south Texas ( says sales of onion plants are up 28% this year, led by a new variety called Red Candy Apple.

The popularity of growing vegetables isn't limited to America's backyards. Recent reports reveal that President Obama is going to plant a vegetable garden at the White House. The last time the 18-plus acre White House lawn was used for vegetable gardening was during the 1940s, when first lady Eleanor Roosevelt started a home-gardening movement that helped feed the nation during World War II.

Wherever you live, you can attract and enjoy hummingbirds


Spring brings hummingbirds, and these little birds aren't shy! They'll visit apartment balconies, windowpanes, porches or decks, and backyards big and small. With a simple feeder and a little sugar-water, anyone can enjoy these delightful little jewels.

Our smallest bird, the amazing hummingbird is a joy to watch. They can hover in place, fly up, down, forward and backward, even sideways. And they're one of our most colorful birds, with beautiful iridescent plumage that flashes like gems in the sunlight. Having hummingbirds nearby is a constant source of entertainment!

Feeding and attracting hummingbirds is easy. In the wild, hummingbirds feed on the sugary nectar of flowers, tree sap and small insects. But they also thrive on a mixture of sugar and water, offered in a "nectar" feeder, made to hold the sweet liquid.

Gardening tips

"Some growers in Hawaii have been able to produce lettuce year round by using shade cloth" writes Brent E. Moon, Urban Garden Program Manager for the City of Houston Parks Department. "Plant your seeds as you normally would, then erect shade cloth over the area. Shade cloth will lower the ground temperature, allowing the seed to germinate. This may not work in our hottest months here in Texas but could extend the lettuce-growing season by a month or two on either end."

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 copy of Texas Gardener's 2009 Planning Guide & Calendar. Please send your tips of 50 words or less to the editor at: Gardening Tips.

Did You Know...

Wood ash from the fireplace is a source of potassium, but adding it to alkaline soil should be avoided because it will increase the pH. Instead, use greensand as a source of potassium if your soil is deficient in this element.

Upcoming garden events

Kingsland: The Kingsland Library Lunch and Learn and the Highland Lakes Master Gardeners Green Thumb Program present a free class “Square Foot Gardening, Victory Garden, Gardening in Pots” by Master Gardener Violet Carson on Wednesday, March 11, at the Kingsland Library, 125 W. Polk St. at Noon. For additional information, call (325) 388-8849.

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

Tomball: "Herbs Unplugged Two" will be held at Arbor Gate, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball, Saturday, March 14, at 10 a.m. Ann Wheeler, Log House Herbs, and Chef Chris Crowder will discuss Simple Herbal Recipes along with easy growing tips. Gunters Heirloom Vegetables will also be on hand. This class is free. For additional information, call (281) 351-8851.

Houston: Tour the working and demonstration gardens maintained by the Harris County Master Gardeners at Precinct 2, Monday, March 16, 9 a.m. until 10:30 a.m., Genoa Friendship Garden, 1202 Genoa Red Bluff, Houston. The garden includes an extensive vegetable garden, fruit orchard, perennials, roses, herb and cactus gardens and 2 working greenhouses. Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer gardening questions during this free event. For more information, visit

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 or call The Travis County Master Gardeners help desk at (512) 854-9600.

Seabrook: The Harris County Master Gardeners lecture "Color Your Garden — Master Gardener Favorites" will be presented by Ginia Keen-Matern, who is both a Harris County and Chambers County Master Gardener, March 18, 10 a.m., at The Meeting Room at Clear Lake Park (on the lakeside), 5001 NASA Road 1, Seabrook. Keen-Mater is an accredited landscape design consultant for National Gardening Clubs of America. She has taken pictures of master gardener gardens and will explain how the use of sound design principles create beautiful gardens. For more information, visit

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.

Houston: The Harris County Master Gardener Propagation Workshop, "Growing Plants from Seeds and Cuttings," will be offered Saturday, March 21, 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., at Environmental Institute of Houston, University of Houston Clear Lake, 2700 Bay Area Blvd., MC540, North Annex Office, Houston. Propagation is a great way to save money. In this hands-on workshop, learn about and practice a variety of methods to propagate popular plants. All participants will take home the plants they propagate. Early registration fee $15 before March 14. Registration at the door $20. Attendance is limited. For more information, visit

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 to register or for more information.

Tomball: "Southern Treasures," featuring Dr. Bill Welch and Chris Wiesinger sharing their passion for southern garden gems, will be held at Arbor Gate, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball, Saturday, March 21, 10 a.m. This class is free. For additional information, call (281) 351-8851.

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.

Tomball: "A Simple Approach to Life and Gardening" presented by Malcolm Beck, is a timely and special visit by the father of organic gardening practices in Texas, held at Arbor Gate, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball, Tuesday, March 24, 10 a.m. This class is free. For additional information, call (281) 351-8851.

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 or (830) 693-5061.

Northeastern Texas: The Texas AgriLife Extension Service is now accepting registration for the Northeastern Texas Panhandle Master Gardener 2009 Educational Series, a seven-month training for gardening enthusiasts. This advance training will cover topics such as landscape design, vegetable gardening, soil science, pesticide management, insects/disease management, irrigation management, lawn and turf, and proper plant selection. Registration is open to anyone willing to participate and agree to give back to the program through 50 hours of community service efforts. Fifty hours of advanced training will be offered in various locations throughout the area and are scheduled monthly from April through October. Applications and a complete list of dates and topics, as well as registration packets, can be picked up at AgriLife Extension county offices in Wheeler, Hemphill, Lipscomb, Gray, Roberts, Ochiltree and Hutchinson counties. Applications should be turned in with the $150 registration fee by March 31. For more information, call one of these AgriLife Extension county offices or contact Kyle Barnett, AgriLife Extension agriculture and natural resources agent for Hemphill County, at (806) 323-9114.

Granbury: The Lake Granbury Master Gardener Association Plant Sale will be held April 4, 8 a.m. until 2 p.m., at the Hewlett Park Pavilion across from the Hilton Hotel. Texas natives, perennials, annuals, vines, vegetables, shrubs and trees will be available along with a limited amount of beautiful, handmade garden art. Master Gardeners will present hourly mini-seminars beginning at 9 a.m. For more information, contact Kristi Brooks at

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

Bellville: The Bluebonnet Master Gardeners will host their 6th annual plant sale from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m., Saturday, April 4, at the Austin County Fairgrounds Pavilion, State Highway 159 East, Bellville. Arrive early for best selection of annuals, perennials, shade, semi and full sun plants, roses, shrubs, trees houseplants tomato plants and more. Some plants that are not normally at local nurseries will be available. There will also be some "pass along" plants from the members. Master Gardeners will be available to assist customers in selection and maters regarding the culture of each plant. For additional, information, call Judy Manning at (979) 865-0102.

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.

League City: The Kemah-Bay Area Garden Club will again award a $500 scholarship to a graduating senior in the Dickinson or Clear Creek School Districts. Students planning to study Horticulture, Floral Design, Agriculture, Aquaculture, Landscaping, Forestry, Environmental and related subjects may apply. Last year's recipients may reapply. The deadline to submit applications is April 15. For applications and more information, please contact Eileen Gilley at (281) 535-1978.

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 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

San Antonio: Spring is budding April 18-19 at the San Antonio Botanical Garden! Walk Across Texas, an official Fiesta event at the San Antonio Botanical Garden, 555 Funston at North New Braunfels Avenue, San Antonio, will be held 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, April 18. Just in time for spring planting, gardeners will want to get there early for the Spring Plant Sale on the same weekend. All varieties of San Antonio-friendly plants will be on sale Saturday-Sunday, April 18-19, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. The annual Walk Across Texas event literally gives visitors a "walk across Texas" right in the heart of San Antonio. The loop trail system of the Texas Native Trail winds through an 11-acre native area of the Botanical Garden allowing guests to experience the diverse ecosystems of the Hill Country, East Texas Piney Woods and South Texas Plains. And don't forget the Spring Plant Sale held in the Garden's Greenhouse area. Hundreds of spring plants expertly cultivated by the San Antonio Botanical Society Plant Team of Volunteers and several plant societies will be on sale Saturday and Sunday, April 18-19, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Botanical Society members may get a sneak peek of the Plant Sale a day early — Friday, April 17, 5:30-7:30 p.m. as well as 8:00 a.m. on Saturday morning. For more information, call (210) 829-5100 or visit

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, or visit

Greenville: The Hunt County Master Gardeners Town and Country Tour will be held from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. May 30 at Heritage Garden, 2217 Washington St., Greenville. In the event of rain, the event will be held June 6. For additional information, visit or call (903) 455-9885.

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.

Quitman: The Friends of the Arboretum is hosting a photography contest to promote and document the natural resources, history and beauty of Wood County. Both amateur and professional photographers are encouraged to participate in this contest. Photographers are to submit electronic images of flowers, native plants, landmarks, architectural elements, and landscapes that depict one of the four seasons in Wood County. Images must have been taken within Wood County, and within the last two years. These photographs will be used by the Friends of the Arboretum various print and electronic media to be distributed at various venues and displayed on the Friends' website. First prize winners in each class will receive a professionally printed 11 X 14 canvas of their original work, which will be donated by jeb Originals in Winnsboro. Second and third place winners will each receive a ribbon. And, all prize winners will receive recognition from the display of their work in various venues and forums. Classes are: Adult Amateur, Adult Professional, Student Senior Division (Ages 17 to 14), and Student Jr. Division (age 13 and younger). There is no entry fee, but all entries must be accompanied by the completed official entry form, which can be downloaded at Entries must be received prior to midnight on July 1. Contestants may enter as many times as they wish, but a separate official entry form must be included for each entry. The Gov. Hogg Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, located in Quitman, is a 23-acre site dedicated to gardens, walking trails and the preservation of historic buildings. The development of the site is ongoing with volunteer help from Wood County Master Gardens, local garden clubs, various civic organizations and the generosity of the area businesses. The Friends of the Arboretum is a non-profit group dedicated to raising funds and volunteering time in support of the development of the Arboretum & Botanical Gardens. For additional information, contact Pam Riley at (903) 967-2820 or email

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.


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 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 at 7 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month, February through December, at the Allen Heritage Center, 100 E. Main St., Allen. For more information, visit

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

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 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

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

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

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

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

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

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 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 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? These new CDs provide easy access to all six issues of
volume 23 (November/December 2003 through September/October 2004),
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

Publisher: Chris S. Corby Editor: Michael Bracken

Texas Gardener’s Seeds, P.O. Box 9005, Waco, Texas 76714 ●