March 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.

Avoid spring cleaning spills

As the weather becomes warmer, people start preparing their homes and yards for the spring and summer seasons. Projects such as yard work, cleaning and painting become priorities on the to-do list. The statistics show that thousands of orthopaedic injuries occur each year as a result of mishaps around the house and is one of the reasons why the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) urges people to take the proper safety precautions to reduce the number of spring cleaning-related accidents.

  • More than 532,000 ladder injuries, nearly 119,000 garden tool-related injuries and approximately 226,000 lawn mowing injuries were treated in hospital emergency rooms, doctors' offices and clinics in 2007, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

"Many spring cleaning injuries occur when people rush or do not follow the proper safety precautions," explained Danton Dungy, MD, spokesperson for the AAOS. "Because most injuries are preventable, orthopaedic surgeons stress using the appropriate equipment for each project and that people take their time when cleaning in order to minimize these seasonal accidents."

Because orthopaedic surgeons not only treat, but try to prevent injuries of the bones, joints and muscles, the Academy recommends the following spring cleaning tips:

  • Proper techniques for lifting, carrying and bending should be part of any spring cleaning project:
  • Separate your feet, shoulder-width apart, keep your back upright and bend at the knees while tightening the stomach muscles.

  • Lift with your leg muscles as you stand up; don't try to lift any object by yourself if it is too heavy or an awkward shape.

  • Use a step stool instead of furniture, such as a couch or dining room chair, when dusting hard to reach areas. Ladders used for chores, such as washing windows, painting, cleaning gutters and trimming trees, should be placed on a firm, level surface. Never place a ladder on ground or flooring that is uneven, soft or wet.
  • Over-reaching or leaning too far to one side when working on a ladder can also make you lose your balance and fall. Your bellybutton should not go beyond the sides of the ladder.
  • When gardening, avoid prolonged repetitive motions during activities such as digging, planting trimming and pruning. It is also important to wear gloves to reduce blistering and protect the skin.
  • Read product labels for proper use and wear protective clothing and gloves when using chemicals for gardening or cleaning. Store all chemicals at the appropriate temperature, which is usually indicated on the package, in a place that is out of reach of both children and pets.
  • Take frequent breaks and replenish fluids to prevent dehydration. If you experience chest pain, shortness of breath or other signs of a heart attack, seek emergency care, such as calling 9-1-1.

The lighter side of gardening:
Gardening communication improvement

By Carl Wayne Hardeman
Master Gardener

Education is arguably the most vital part of the mission of the Master Gardeners program. Not only education for the public at large, but education for the next generation of Master Gardeners. In industry this is termed knowledge transfer. It is well known that to be most effective, education should involve as many of the senses as possible.

Recently I've been thinking a lot about why it is so hard to explain some of the more technical and finer, yet critical, points of practicing effective gardening.

I've noticed when I visit relatives in the country that they are mechanical geniuses. They can fix or jerry-rig almost anything. They work on problems at least as complicated as say, raising the pH level in an azalea bed. Did you ever try to replace the boot on a compensating velocity gear on a John Deere tractor, or unsnarl the line on a 10-year-old fishing reel and not lose an eight-pound bass? It's a snap for them. See what I mean!

As an astute observer of human behavior, of particular interest to me is their multi-channel knowledge transfer methodology. When describing a technique to a novice, their conversation is punctuated and animated with hand gestures and body postures, which serve to visualize and emphasize the more salient points. I have become tired just watching one explain how to tighten a strand of barbwire with nothing but a broomstick and seagrass string, or how to pluck a chicken for supper on the kitchen table when it's raining outside.

One can think of whole areas of technology, each with its own ontology and lexicon of hand motions, such as baseball coaches instructing a runner to steal, steelworkers and crane operators guiding I-beams into place, and automobile drivers instructing other drivers who cut them off in traffic.

We can learn from that. We Master Gardeners are no less creative and resourceful. But what we are missing are the manual gestures and body postures to augment our explanations. I recommend Agricultural Science schools immediately pair up with psychologists in academia and begin developing these visual clues forthwith.

I worked up a few examples on a trial basis, such as pruning a McIntosh apple tree and spreading cypress mulch, which I find to be less complicated than the gestures and postures necessary to effectively explain how one would raise soil pH or increase its tilth.

Initial trials with Master Gardener colleagues so far have proven unproductive. It's another case, in my humble opinion, of new technology being rejected by seasoned veterans who fail to see the value in something they didn't invent themselves and is not the way they have always done things. One younger gardener suggested we use PowerPoint presentations, but we rejected that idea because that's not the way we have always done things.

I toyed with using Symbolic Explanatory eXchange as the three letter acronym (TLA), to name this new technology, but my wife Mimi nixed that idea, so the name is still open to input from the gardening community at large. She suggested Symbolic Transfer Using Polite Indicative Directions would be better.

Adapting this new technology to pruning would be an excellent place to start, since the gestures for sawing a limb and dressing a wound have fairly intuitive hand gestures, while finding a tree's drip line and having the soil tested would be more problematic. But with the large number of Master Gardeners we have, we can make short work of those problems, because after all, no problem can withstand 10,000 hands.

Gardening tips

"When I have garlic that starts to sprout, I plant the whole cluster in the ground," writes Edwin Smith. "After they are up about 6 inches I dig them and use them in salads like onions. They are good in scrambled eggs."

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...

Mexican folklore suggests that once the mesquite tree has leafed out the possibility of freezing weather has passed. Because the mesquite is one of the last native trees to leaf out, it stands to reason that this would be a good rule to follow when setting out frost-sensitive plants.

Upcoming garden events

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

New Braunfels: The March meeting of the Lindheimer Chapter of Texas Master Naturalists will be held at 7 p.m. at the AgriLife building on Resource Drive (behind the recycle center) in New Braunfels on Thursday, March 19. Speakers for the meeting include: Kelley Clifford, the new Executive Director of Ravenstar Outdoors, speaking about the current projects and future plans, and LMN member Art Williams, who will present "Troubled Waters" dealing with the state of the world's oceans, their problems, and some possible solutions. The public is invited to join LMN for this meeting.

San Antonio: General meeting of Bexar County Master Gardeners is scheduled for Thursday, March 19, at the Extension conference room, 3355 Cherry Ridge Drive, San Antonio. Social begins at 6 p.m., followed by the business meeting at 6:30 p.m. Bob Packard will address the group on the topic of Earthworms. Contact the Bexar County Master Gardener Office at (210) 467-6575 for additional information.

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.

Kemah: The Kemah-Bay Area Garden Club will hold its next meeting on at 9:45 a.m., Wednesday, April 1, at the Kemah Visitor Center and Schoolhouse Museum, 603 Bradford Street, Kemah. At 10 a.m. Dr. Vanderloop, from Clear Lake Regional Medical Center, will give a presentation on “How to Look 25 Years Younger.” The meeting will be followed by “The Galveston Bay Foundation: Preserving, Protecting and Enhancing Galveston Bay” presented by Vanessa Mintzer, Director of Community Programs for Galveston Bay Foundation. Light refreshments will be served and the public is invited. For additional information, call Mary Ellen Chapman, President, at (281) 559-1912.

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.

Kingsland: The Kingsland Garden Club will have their annual Plant Sale on Saturday, April 4, at 10 a.m. at the House of Arts and Crafts Spring Sale behind Well Fargo Bank on FM 1431 in Kingsland. A selection of mostly home grown plants will be offered at very reasonable prices. Come early for best selection. For more 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, 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.

Burnet: Join Master Gardener and photographer Robert Yantis for a free presentation "Local Butterflies and the Plants that Attract Them" as part of the Highland Lakes Master Gardeners Green Thumb Program at the Herman Brown Free Library, 100 E. Washington, on the Square in downtown Burnet on Saturday, April 18, at 10 a.m. For more information, call (325) 388-8849.

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.

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 NOTE: The April meeting date and location have changed. The April meeting will be held Tuesday, April 14, at the Antique Rose Emporium, 7561 E. Evans Road, San Antonio. Robbi Will, former commercial plant nursery manager, will present a program on propagating native plants. As usual, the program begins at 7 p.m., followed by a short business meeting.

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

Brownwood: Brown County Master Gardeners Association meets the second Thursday of each month, from Noon to 1 p.m., at the Brown County AgriLife Extension Office, 605 Fisk, Brownwood. For additional information, call Freda Day (325) 643-1077, or Mary Engle (325) 784-8453.

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 ●