June 3, 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.



'Prostratus' rosemary in bloom. (Photo by William Scheick)

The garden reader:
Going herbal

By William Scheick
University of Texas at Austin

Judy Barrett. What Can I Do With My Herbs?: How to Grow, Use and Enjoy These Versatile Plants. Texas A&M University Press, 2009. 134 pp. $19.95.

Beth Hanson (editor). Designing an Herb Garden. Brooklyn Botanic Garden, 2004. 120 pp. $9.95.

When you're a kid, words are wild things not yet securely tethered to the hitching post of conventional meanings.

There's no telling what children will imagine the first time they hear a word. Or what they will conjure up even on the second or third instance of hearing the same strange word because some words don't tame easily.

When I was a youngster in the 1940s, I thought the name of my father's favorite candy was more than strange. Whenever he said it, my mind would freeze for an anxious second or so, as if performing a reality check.

"Where," he'd say aloud to himself, "did I put my horehound?"

The word struck my child-mind as wildly unleashed, and while mentally stalled for a reality-check, it always seemed strange to me that my father could say that word out loud with a straight face.

My father, who smoked cigarettes and would eventually suffer severely from emphysema, soothed his chronically dry throat with horehound candy. By sheer taste he could tell the difference between the real thing and an imitation.

When the real candy was no longer available commercially, I once gifted him with a bag of decent imitations. But he was disappointed and complained.

One year, at a much later point in my life, I grew horehound, a sun-loving perennial which thrived in my dry and poor north Austin soil. My daughter and I harvested the herb's abundant gray-green foliage to make candy. It required, I recall, some trouble, although the process is by no means hard.

My daughter (no master of the straight face) hated the candy, while I was ambivalent. It got eaten, though.

I had followed a very basic recipe, whereas Judy Barrett offers an enticing, spicier alternative in What Can I Do With My Herbs? And she also differentiates between white (Marrubium vulgare) and black (Billola nigra) horehound.

Barrett's entry on this herb tracks an easy-to-follow pattern also applied to the other 39 herbs detailed in her handsome book. In separate sections, varying in topics depending on the herb, she summarizes each plant's historic background, indicates how to grow it, identifies what it attracts or deters, advises about possible ornamental uses and shares ways to cook and eat it, if it's edible.

Some entries include unusual suggestions, such as steaming thyme to freshen complexion while opening pores and combining rosemary and vinegar for a kitchen-cleaning solution.

All of these plant profiles are well done and should be especially helpful to beginners. Experienced herb gardeners should learn a thing or two, as well, and will particularly savor the beauty of Victor Z. Martin's color drawings.

When appropriate, Barrett also offers design suggestions. But the go-to book on that subject is Designing an Herb Garden, which makes a great companion volume to Barrett's book.

Richly illustrated, Designing an Herb Garden begins with a brief chapter on the history of herb-gardening patterns followed by advice on kitchen gardens, formal configurations, gray-and-green combinations, container arrangements, shade herb plans, fragrance islands and butterfly-attracting compositions. Particularly impressive is the sheer range of lesser-known herbs (e.g., stone mint, sweet woodruff) featured in this book.

Herbs are easy, practical and fun to grow. On windowsills, where I keep mine, they add a soothing green-beauty to a room. And, mirabile dictu at least for now, our rambunctious huskies ignore them.


Mosquitoes sure to follow abundant spring showers

By Mike Jackson
Texas AgriLife Extension Service

Spring rains and warming temperatures have done more than nourish gardens and lawns, an expert warned. They have begun to awaken the dreaded mosquito.

"This is a critical time because of all the rain that we've had recently," said Mike Merchant, an urban entomologist with the Texas AgriLife Extension Service in Dallas.

"We are beginning to see our first big influx of floodwater mosquitoes in the area," said Merchant. "Over the next few days we should start seeing more mosquitoes coming out from creek bottoms and river bottoms, which are areas where they tend to breed."

In addition to 'floodwater' mosquitoes, 'container breeding' mosquitoes will also be on the increase over the next few weeks, invading backyards and other prime breeding areas as they grow in numbers, he said.

To help North Texas residents prepare for the mosquito onslaught, Merchant and others have developed a new, free interactive Web site called, 'Mosquito Safari.' The site, http://mosquitosafari.tamu.edu/, is available to teach visitors about mosquitoes and how to control them, he said, and contains scientifically based information in a lively, entertaining format.

Merchant said there isn't much people can do to keep floodwater mosquitoes from being a problem when venturing outdoors other than wearing a good insect repellent with the active ingredient DEET. That's because floodwater mosquitoes move easily from their breeding sites, he said. These mosquitoes breed in standing water near creeks and rivers after flooding in residential areas.

"Floodwater mosquitoes are really strong fliers, so you can live far from a creek and still be affected by them," Merchant said "They're there all the time and they're going to come out after any big rain. They can fly up to five to 10 miles from their breeding sites and affect people who don't even live close to water. This affects everyone in the metroplex in any community." The good news, however, is that floodwater mosquitoes don't tend to carry diseases that affect people, Merchant said.

Container-breeding mosquitoes, on the other hand, can carry important diseases such as West Nile virus, he said. But people can do a lot to control them.

"To find these pests, you really do need to go out on safari in your backyard, which is the origin of the Web site's name," Merchant said. "The goal of a mosquito safari is to search out and eliminate places where disease-carrying mosquitoes breed."

Container-breeding mosquitoes breed in anything that can catch and hold water along with leaf or lawn debris, he said, including soft drink cans, open grills, watering cans, clogged gutters, wheel barrows and puddles. Generally, breeding can be prevented by dumping water and clearing debris.

Morgan Kohut, an entomologist with the Dallas County Department of Health and Human Services, said that people can easily "D-fend" themselves against mosquito bites and West Nile by remembering the "three D's: drain, dress and DEET."

"It is important to get rid of all standing water," Kohut said. "Change the water in pet dishes and birdbaths several times a week and prevent possible breeding sites by emptying, removing, covering or turning containers upside down."

Hiring a pest control professional or using sprays and other do-it-your-self methods may be necessary to protect yourself and home, Merchant said. Detailed information can be found on Mosquito Safari.

"The core of the Mosquito Safari site is a virtual backyard that you can explore with your computer mouse," Merchant said. "As you hit hot spots in the backyard, a window pops up and a narrator discusses what appears on the screen and how it relates to mosquito control."

In addition to showing the most common places for mosquitoes to breed, the site discusses mosquito biology and control methods, including repellents for people and sprays for foliage. It describes what homeowners can do to prevent the insects from breeding in yards and alleys.

It also describes characteristics of six common mosquito species in the U.S., including their behavior, physical characteristics and breeding sites. Mosquito Safari was created as an alternative to other Internet sites on the pests that are bogged down by "heavily text-oriented" pages, Merchant said.

"We felt people would be more attracted by a visually-oriented, interactive site," he said.

"They're more likely to visit and stay at a site that's interactive," he said.

Although visually-oriented, the site is anything but superficial, said Joe Conlon, technical advisor to the American Mosquito Control Association, based in New Jersey.

"It's a lot of fun," Conlon said. "But there's a lot of good information on the site."

The site was designed for a national audience, including both the general public and pest control professionals, Merchant said.

Merchant said he hopes public health agencies link to Mosquito Safari from their Web sites.

The American Mosquito Control Association, City of Dallas Health Department and Dallas County Health Department already have set up links.

Mosquito Safari is sponsored by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service, Dallas County Health Department and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 6 Pesticides Division.


The compost heap
Hair of the dog

"You mentioned in the latest Seeds (May 20, 2009) that hair has a high nitrogen content," writes Letty. "Does dog hair also have a high nitrogen content? Maybe this would be an incentive to brush your dog right now since this is shedding season."

Doggone, we don't see why it wouldn't, but we don't know of anyone who has analyzed it.

"Your latest tip of using Roundup in flower beds (Seeds, May 27, 2009) is not a good tip and could easily go awry," writes Tex Edwards.

That is why we recommend using cardboard to shield sensitive plants. And, yes, it can go awry if you aren't careful.



Malabar. (Photo by Chris S. Corby)

Gardening tips

If you are looking for a spinach substitute that is both tasty and ornamental, try Malabar spinach. This tropical vine loves the heat and will right on through July and August. Plant it on a trellis or tomato cage and watch it take off.

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...

Milky spore disease is not anything we humans need to be worried about catching. Instead, it is often used as a biological control for those troublesome white grubs that can damage turf grasses and other plants. It is applied to the ground in powder form and is ingested by the grubs. It is called milky spore since the normally clear blood of the grubs turns white as the spores develop. Eventually, the grubs die.


Upcoming garden events

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.

Glen Rose: Dr. James McAfee, Associate Professor and Extension Turfgrass Sepcialist for Texas AgriLife Extension Service, will present a program on Turfgrass Management, at 6:30 p.m., June 8, at the Somerville County Citizens Center, 209 SW Barnard, Glen Rose. Sponsored by the Somerville County Master Gardener Association, this presentation is free and open to the public. For additional information, visit www.somervillemastergardeners.org.

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

Pearland: As part of the Harris County Master Gardener Association's Green Thumb Gardening Series, Dr. Scott Hume, Master Gardener, will discuss plant pests and diseases and how to identify them from 6:30 p.m. until 9 p.m., Tuesday, June 9, at Bass Pro Shops, Highway 288 at the Sam Houston Tollway, Pearland. For additional information, visit http://hcmgap2.tamu.edu.

Georgetown: William R. (Bill) Carr will speak on Rare Plants of Texas: A Field Guide, a recently published book he co-authored, at the June 11 meeting of the Williamson County Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas. The meeting, held at the Georgetown Public Library, 402 W. 8th Street, Georgetown, will be held from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m., and visitors are welcome. For additional information, contact Billye Adams at (512) 863-9636, or visit http://www.npsot.org/WilliamsonCounty/default.htm.

Alvin: Alvin Garden Club, Kemah-Bay Area Garden Club, and Dig'n Design Garden Club will present "Garden Romance," a standard flower show, on Saturday, June 13, from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. at the Alvin Senior Citizens Center, 309 W. Sealy St., Alvin.

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.

Houston: Tour the working and demonstration gardens maintained by the Harris County Master Gardeners at Precinct 2 from 9 a.m. until 10:30 a.m., Monday, June 15, at Genoa Friendship Garden, 1202 Genoa Red Bluff, Houston. For additional information, visit http://hcmgap2.tamu.edu.

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.

Seabrook: As part of the Harris County Master Gardener Association's Master Gardener Lecture Series, Anita Nelson, owner of Nelson's Water Gardens in Katy, will present "Jazzing Up Your Garden" at 10 a.m., June 17, at The Meeting Room at Clear Lake Park (on the lakeside), 5001 NASA Road 1, Seabrook. For additional information, visit http://hcmgap2.tamu.edu.

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.

Austin: The Travis County Master Gardeners Association will present "Becoming A Garden Detective: Diagnosing Plant Problems" from 10 a.m. until noon, July 11, at Zilker Botanical Garden, 2220 Barton Springs Road, 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? Join us to 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 details, see http://www.tcmastergardeners.org or call the Travis County Master Gardener's help desk at (512) 854-9600.

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.

San Antonio: The San Antonio Botanical Society is bringing David Rogers' Big Bugs to the San Antonio Botanical Garden, 555 Funston at North New Braunfels Ave., this fall. The exhibit opens Labor Day weekend (September 5-7), and will remain on location through December 6.Featuring gargantuan sculptures of insects, the exhibit alters viewers' perceptions and magnifies the role of insects as nature's "hidden gardeners." Sculptures are constructed entirely from natural materials, complementing and blending with the existing landscape. Interactive programs for children and families, and integrated materials for educators, will be available at the Garden throughout the three-month exhibit. For more information, call (210) 207-3255, or visit www.sabot.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.

Cleburne: The Johnson County Master Gardener Association meets at 6 p.m. on the third Monday of each month. The public is invited to attend. There is an educational program each month preceding the business meeting. For information on topics call (817) 556-6370 or visit http://www.jcmga.org/.

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, its 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