May 6, 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.


OPEI supports new legislative tax incentive for alternative energy powered non-road equipment

The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) on April 29 announced its support of legislation from Senators Patrick Leahy (Vt.) and Bernie Sanders (Vt.) and Congressman Peter Welch (Vt.) that provides consumers with a 25 percent tax credit towards the purchase of alternative energy powered lawn, garden and forestry power equipment.

According to the Leahy, Sanders and Welch offices, this "tax credit to purchase clean lawn and garden equipment would give Americans a powerful incentive to operate clean, alternative energy power equipment that will reduce our dependence on imported oil."

Outdoor power equipment manufacturers currently offer a wide range of alternative energy powered equipment from battery, electric, hybrids, propane and solar to compressed natural gas and diesel.

At the same time, gasoline powered equipment uses the latest technologies to produce the cleanest, lowest emission products ever and is fully regulated by the EPA. The agency began regulating outdoor power equipment emissions with its Phase I in 1997, followed by Phase II in 2002. In August, 2008 EPA announced its Phase III emissions regulations for outdoor power equipment. Once fully implemented, the outdoor power equipment industry will have reduced emissions by 95 percent in just 15 years since it first became regulated.

"We are pleased to support this new tax credit that truly incentivizes consumers to seek out a range of alternative energy sources when operating outdoor power equipment," said Kris Kiser, Executive VP at OPEI. "Our members are responding to stated public policy that aims for energy independence with innovative, technology-driven product."

Product purchases that qualify for the 25 percent tax credit include equipment that

  • is powered by a motor drawing current from solar, electricity, or rechargeable or replacement batteries,
  • has a hybrid-electric drive train and/or cutting system powered by a generator or electrical storage device combined with a small engine, or
  • is powered by alternative power sources and regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency.

 

The garden reader:
Dirt's small breath

By William Scheick
University of Texas at Austin

Niall Dunne (editor). Healthy Soils for Sustainable Gardens. Brooklyn Botanic Garden, 2009. 119 pp. $9.95.

John Reader. Potato: A History of the Propitious Esculent. Yale University Press, 2009. 336 pp. $28.00.

"Nothing would give up life: / Even the dirt kept breathing its small breath."

So Theodore Roethke concludes "Root Cellar" (1948), a poem featuring stored bulbs pushing toward light through the chinks of their coffin-like boxes.

The poet's inspirational point here is grounded on a gardening insight about dirt. In the garden so much depends upon soil's ability to "breathe" — to participate in the same life-sustaining oxygen-carbon dioxide exchange shared between plants and animals.

To "breathe" properly, soil needs to be aerated — ideally 50 percent porous. Tiny pockets of air provide oxygen for roots, worms, insects and beneficial microorganisms, such as mycorrhizae. These pockets also provide space for escaping carbon dioxide.

Aerated soil allows water to seep down into the ground rather than merely run off drought-hardened surfaces. Water is critical to a plant's ability to absorb nutrients through its roots as well as to maintain its above-ground structural form. Without sufficient moisture, growth slows, leaf tips die, stems droop, dehydrated foliage detaches and roots atrophy.

Also, the farther water seeps down into the earth, the more roots can expand and deepen their grip. Deep roots not only improve a plant's overall performance, they ensure that plant's greater resistance to wind, freezes and droughts.

Protracted droughts, high temperatures and drying winds can steadily deplete moisture until soil's crucial tiny air pockets collapse, compacting dirt into a stone-like hardness. This condition threatens home foundations, as well.

As a guide to managing this and many other dirt-related issues, Healthy Soils for Sustainable Gardens is superb. This handsomely designed and well-illustrated handbook contains more surprises than its seemingly basic spade-and-towel subject might at first suggest.

Included, for example, is a section on how the weeds in your yard can provide clues to soil fertility, pH and texture. There's another unit on managing contaminated soils. And if you are thinking about applying sphagnum peat moss or a compost tea, you might reconsider after reading Healthy Soils for Sustainable Gardens.

Well-aerated soil is a must for growing potatoes. I enjoy harvesting the little red ones in slightly sloped, loose dirt, and sometimes I think of them as underground earth-eggs that have silently "tumbled" downhill.

Readers might recall Buried Treasures: Tasty Tubers of the World, which occasioned my paean to potatoes in an earlier column (http://www.texasgardener.com/newsletters/080102/default.htm).

I won't repeat myself here, but do want to note the publication of John Reader's Potato: A History of the Propitious Esculent, which details the complex political and economic role of potatoes in the course of human history.

At different times potatoes were alternately feared or craved. They also could, paradoxically, trigger booms and busts.

Potato's up-and-down reputation is hardly only a thing of the past, though. Today, many people still look upon these starchy tubers with considerable uncertainty or suspicion.

Current erroneous charges against the spud include: it's not a vegetable, it lacks nutritional value, it contains excessive carbohydrates and it offers only empty calories. Perhaps the worst fashionable indictment is that potatoes are fattening — as if eating them bewitches you into looking like them!

As with other foods, moderation in serving portion and care in preparation (e.g., roasting and stewing) are all that's needed to enjoy, conscience-free, the historically colorful pomme de terre.


The compost heap
Frost and hail protection

"I just read the tip in Seeds about frost and hail protection," writes Jennifer Michulka. "When a late (for us) frost threatened on April 7 we had most of our peppers, eggplants and tomatoes planted — never mind green beans, corn and potatoes. We had plenty of tarps stockpiled from Hurricanes Rita and Ike so we made a tent city over the tomato and pepper cages. The eggplants got 2x4 wire hoops and blankets. We were up before the sun to spray water on the other plants. We gardeners are UWA (use what's available) proficient."


Gardening tips

"When I am working in my yard and I see a nice cutting or new plant of my old one I take it off and plant it in a small plastic pot that I have recycled from my purchase of plants," writes Delores Reeves. "So when I have a friend that comes by to enjoy my plants and they want one, I already have one potted and labeled to share with them. Also, this gives me plants to take to the plant swap each month. I have received so many new and exotic plants this way because everyone wants to share with me also."

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...

Excessive fertilization and moisture in late summer raises the auxin levels in plants. Auxin counteracts the effects of the dormancy hormones and delays the onset of early acclimation, making your perennials more vulnerable to early frosts as well as the more extreme cold of winter. The bottom line: avoid over fertilizing and over watering in late summer and early fall. Source: Understanding Perennials, A New Look at an Old Favorite, by William Cullina.


Upcoming garden events

Aransas/San Patrico Counties: The Aransas/San Patrico Master Gardeners will host a Hidden Gardens Tour, Saturday, May 9, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Explore eight beautiful gardens in Aransas and San Patricio Counties. $10 per person. Tickets may be purchased at Green Acres, 611 E. Mimosa, Rockport, and at Greens N Things, 801 Moore Ave., Portland. For additional information, e-mail ararsas-tx@tamu.edu or call (361) 790-0103.

Needville: The final rose sale at Vintage Rosery will take place Saturday, May 9, from 9 a.m. until noon at the former site of the nursery on Highway 36 in Needville. No sales will be made prior to 9 a.m. Bring your own wagons. Cash or local checks only.

Sugar Land: The Sugar Land Garden Club will host its tenth annual Spring Garden Tour on Saturday, May 9, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The tour, which is open to the public, will highlight eight delightful gardens in the Sugar Land area and feature diverse gardening styles. Tickets are $12 to view all eight gardens or $3 for a single garden and are available for purchase at any of the gardens. For a listing of all addresses and a map to the gardens, visit www.sugarlandgardenclub.org or call (281) 491-9609.

Glen Rose: The Somervell County Master Gardener Association will host its monthly Community Horticultural Education Program at 6:30 p.m., May 11, at the Somervell County Citizens Center, 209 SW Barnard, Glen Rose. Garey Wylie, former TMGA President and National Coordinator of the Earth Kind Rose Program for Parks Departments, will speak on roses.

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.

Pearland: Louis Mickler, Harris County Master Gardener, will present "Growing Plants from Seeds and Cuttings," Tuesday, May 12, from 6:30 p.m. until 9 p.m. at Bass Pro Shops, Highway 288 at the Same Houston Tollway, Pearland. This free program is present by the Harris County Master Gardeners. For additional information, visit http://hcmgap2.tamu.edu.

Georgetown: The Native Plant Society of Texas, Williamson County Chapter meets from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month at the Georgetown Library, 402 W 8th St., Georgetown. On Thursday, May 14, Kelly Bender, Texas Parks and Wildlife, will speak about Texas wildscapes.

El Paso: The Garden Conservancy's Open Days Program — a self-guided tour of four of the best private gardens in El Paso — will be held Saturday, May 16, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Visitors may begin the tour at 1101 Rim Road, El Paso, for directions to each private garden. No reservations required; rain or shine. $5 per garden; children under 12 free. For additional information, visit www.opendaysprogram.org or call The Garden Conservancy weekdays from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. at (888) 842-2442.

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.

Rockwall: The 2009 Tour of Gardens sponsored by the Rockwall County Master Gardener Association will be held May 16 from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. This year the tour features four private gardens with a variety of styles, two local business gardens and the ever growing and changing Rockwall County Discovery Garden. Tour addresses and a map will be on the tickets. This is an at-your-leisure tour. Tour the gardens in any order you choose, just be sure to leave enough time to visit all the gardens before they close at 2 p.m.! Tickets are on sale at American National Bank, all Rockwall branches; Calloway's in Mesquite; Covington's in Rowlett; Culver's Restaurant in Rockwall; Homesley's in Forney; Land Art, Landscape Source and North Texas Waterscape, all in Rockwall. Tickets are also available at the County Extension Office, 1350 East Washington Street, Rockwall, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. (closed noon until 1 p.m. for lunch), as well as any Rockwall County Master Gardener. For more information, call (972) 204-7660 or visit http://rockmga.org.

Victoria: The Victoria County Master Gardeners Association will hold its 2009 Annual Garden Tour May 16, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., and May 17, from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. Six beautiful gardens which extend into home living areas will be featured. Tickets are $15 per person and may be ordered by check payable to VCMGA and addressed to Victoria County AgriLife Office, 442 Foster Field Dr., Victoria, TX 77904. For additional information about locations and the May 16 tour plant sale, call the AgriLife Office at (361) 575-4581.

Waco: The McLennan County Master Gardener' Seventh Annual Plant Sale will be held from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., May 16, at 4605 West Waco Drive, Waco. For additional information, contact ijcarothers@juno.com.

Wichita Falls: The Wichita County Master Gardeners will present the 2009 Over the Garden Gate Tour, Saturday, May 16, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. This year’s theme is Redesign of the Existing Landscape and will feature the Wichita Falls homes of four Master Gardeners. The home at 4404 Ward Street is in the beginning stages of work and will feature a plant give-away. The home owners at 4301York are six years into the renovation of their yard and there will be a container gardening demonstration. The home at 5216 Navajo Trail is eight years into a makeover and will feature a Hyper Tufa pot making demonstration. The home owners at 1530 Celia have more than 12 years invested in the redesign of their landscape and will showcase a new rainwater harvesting system. Tickets are $5 each and available at each home along with maps. For more information or to purchase tickets, call Beth Turlington at (940) 781-9084. The rain date will be Sunday, May 17, from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m.

Houston: Tour the working and demonstration gardens maintained by the Harris County Master Gardeners at Precinct 2 on Open Garden Day, Monday, May 18, 9 a.m. until 10:30 a.m., at Genoa Friendship Garden, 1202 Genoa Red Bluff, Houston. Visit a wonderful garden that includes an extensive vegetable garden, fruit orchard, perennials, roses, herb and cactus gardens and two working greenhouses. Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer gardening questions during this free event. Children are welcome, but must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Bring 1 gallon or smaller plastic plant pots and trays to re-cycle and the Master Gardeners will put them to good use. For more information, visit http://hcmgap2.tamu.edu.

Rockport: The Aransas/San Patrico Master Gardeners will host "Composting the Easy Way," presented by Russell Bell, Master Gardener, as one of their Brown Bag events, from noon until 1 p.m., Tuesday, May 19, at the Aransas County Library, 701 Mimosa, Rockport. For additional information, e-mail ararsas-tx@tamu.edu or call (361) 790-0103.

Seabrook: Mike Howlett, Assistant Director of Jessie Jones Park & Nature Center, will present "Frogs and Toads," a program about the benefits of frogs and toads in the garden, including tips on how to identify species of frogs and toads by sight and sound, May 20, beginning at 10 a.m., at The Meeting Room at Clear Lake Park (on the lakeside), 5001 NASA Road 1, Seabrook. For additional information, visit http://hcmgap2.tamu.edu.

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 www.huntcountymastergardeners.com or call (903) 455-9885.

Rockport: The Aransas/San Patrico Master Gardeners will host "Rainwater Harvesting," a seminar presented by Karen Ivey, Administrator, San Patricio Municipal Water District, from 8:30 a.m. until 11:30 1.m., Saturday, June 6, at the Old Rockport School,, 619 N. Live Oak, Rockport. For additional information, e-mail ararsas-tx@tamu.edu or call (361) 790-0103.

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.

Austin: Travis County Master Gardeners Association will present "Rainwater Harvesting for Your Garden," Saturday, June 13, from 10 a.m. until noon at Riverplace Country Club, 4207 River Place Blvd., Austin. Enjoy a free seminar concentrating on capturing rainwater and lowering water usage in your landscape. This session will teach you all the basics on building a non-potable rainwater harvesting system. In addition, learn about rain gardens which capture valuable rainwater in your landscape. Vendors representing tank and gutter companies will be available to answer specific questions. City of Austin representatives will be available to answer permit and rebate questions. This seminar is free and open to the public and does not require reservations. For more details, visit http://www.tcmastergardeners.org or call the Travis County Master Gardener's help desk at (512) 854-9600.

Austin: The Travis County Master Gardeners Association are hosting "Becoming A Garden Detective: Diagnosing Plant Problems," from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m., June 16, at Steiner Ranch Towne Square Community Center, 12550 Country Trails Lane, Austin. Just when you think you've done everything right by your plants, one of them starts to go downhill. One of the biggest challenges for gardeners is correctly diagnosing plant problems and finding effective, safe solutions. Is your plant dying because of an insect, environmental or disease problem? Learn the causes of plant problems, the process for diagnosing plant problems, and preventive garden management techniques. This class is free and open to the public. A plant clinic will run during the seminar to help you diagnose current problems so please bring samples of problem plants. For more information, visit http://www.tcmastergardeners.org or call the Travis County Master Gardener's help desk at (512) 854-9600.

Rockport: The Aransas/San Patrico Master Gardeners will host "Weeds to Watch For," presented by Lonnie Matthew, Master Gardener, as one of their Brown Bag events, from 11:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m., Tuesday, June 16, at the Aransas County Library, 701 Mimosa, Rockport. For additional information, e-mail ararsas-tx@tamu.edu or call (361) 790-0103.

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 http://woodcountyarboretum.com. 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 friendsarboretum@yahoo.com.

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.

Austin: The Austin Pond Society will host the 2009 Pound Tour July 18 and 19. Approximately 15 ponds will be included in the tour on Saturday and another 15 on Sunday. For additional information, visit www.austinpondsociety.org.

Rockport: The Aransas/San Patrico Master Gardeners will host "Xeriscape Gardening with Native Plants," presented by Karen Ivey, Administrator, San Patricio Municipal Water District, as one of their Brown Bag events, from 11:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m., Tuesday, July 21, at the Aransas County Library, 701 Mimosa, Rockport. For additional information, e-mail ararsas-tx@tamu.edu or call (361) 790-0103.

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.

Schertz: The next Guadalupe County Master Gardener training class is for anyone with a love for gardening and a desire to learn more about horticulture. Classes are on Wednesday August 12 to December 9th from 6:15 p.m. until 9:15 p.m. and two Saturdays at the Schertz Civic Center, 1400 Schertz Parkway, Schertz. Instructors include Texas A&M AgriLife Extension specialists, staff and local experts, including Malcolm Beck, Patty Leander and Drs. Larry Stein and Mark Black. Topics include botany and plant growth, entomology, Xeriscaping, propagation, herbs and vegetables, tree care and pruning principles, composting and organic horticulture, water conservation and much more. Registration is $170 with a 10% discount if received by June 10, and $125 for 2nd household member if sharing a handbook. Payment plan also available. For more information, an application and a list of speakers, please email gsammermann@gvec.net or call (830) 372-4690. Applications are also available on our Web site at www.guadalupecountymastergardeners.org.

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 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 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.

Pearland: 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 Bass Pro Shop, Highway 288 at Sam Houston Tollway, Pearland. For more information visit http://hcmgap2.tamu.edu 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 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.

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 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 Senior Circle Rooms, College Station Professional Building II, 1651 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.

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.

Glen Rose: The Somervell County Master Gardeners meet at 10 a.m., the third Wednesday of each month at the Somervell County AgriLife Extension office, 1405 Texas Drive, Glen Rose. Visitors are welcome. For more information, call (254) 897-2809 or visit www.somervellmastergardener.org.

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/.

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

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.

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? 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 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