August 19, 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.



An adult soapberry borer.


A soapberry tree damaged by soapberry borers. (Photos courtesy of the the Texas Forest Service)

Something bugging your soapberry tree?

Texas Forest Service

You likely won't see the hundreds of tiny, black bugs crawling along the trunk of your soapberry tree.

You probably won't even realize the tree has been infested until the bark starts to peel away.

And by then, according to Texas Forest Service Forest Pest Manager Dr. Ron Billings, it'll be too late.

"Once you see the bark slough off, the tree is pretty well dead," Billings said, pointing to photos of infested soapberry trees. "It's best to cut it down, take the tree out and get rid of it to prevent the insect population from escaping."

Billings is studying the soapberry borer, an invasive bug from Mexico that kills its namesake — the soapberry tree — by boring into its bark. First detected near Bastrop in 2003, the bugs now can be found across Central and East Texas, stretching from Richmond up to North Dallas and all along the Brazos River. There currently is no treatment to save infested trees.

The US Forest Service recently awarded Billings a three-year, $30,000 grant to study the bug and track its spread across the state.

"It's very easy to identify," Billings said. "If you have soapberry trees with the bark falling off and see winding trails or galleries (made by feeding beetle larvae) under the bark, I'm pretty sure you have that problem."

Texas Forest Service first started studying the soapberry borer a couple years ago when arborists from Houston and Austin sent in samples of the bug.

Not much is known about the pest, which is considered a close relative of the emerald ash borer, a destructive invasive pest found in the Midwest. Researchers know the bugs go after only soapberry trees and they tend to bore into specimens that are at least two or three inches in diameter.

A tree can be infested long before it shows any symptoms, Billings said. Because the leaves remain green, most people don't realize there is a problem until the bark begins to fall off, the first sign of infestation. Ultimately, the tree will lose its crown and die.

Billings and fellow researchers are hoping the grant will help them track the location of the half-inch bugs and determine how fast the pests are spreading across the state. As part of the research project, soapberry tree owners are encouraged to report possible infestations online at texasinvasives.org.

It's not feasible to eradicate the bug because it already is well-established in the state, but controls — both man-made and natural — can help, Billings said. He and others also are leading trials in the hopes that they may discover a systemic insecticide to prevent beetle attacks or to save infested trees that still have green leaves.

Currently, the only option for an infested tree is to remove it and have it mulched or chipped to kill the larvae.

"If soapberry was live oak or if soapberry was ash or elm, or another high-value shade tree, this problem would be much more significant," Billings said, explaining that the soapberry is important even though it's considered a secondary species. "It's a native tree species. It's part of the Texas landscape. It would be a shame to lose it."

For more information or to report an infestation, go online to texasinvasives.org.



The cowpea or black-eyed pea, as it is more commonly known, is a New Year’s tradition for good luck. But disease and particularly aphids, which can wreck a crop within a few a days, are especially bad luck for the cowpea, according to scientists. (Texas AgriLife Research photo by Blair Fannin)
Gene developed through conventional breeding to improve cowpea aphid resistance

By Blair Fannin
Texas AgriLife Extension Service

The cowpea or black-eyed pea, as it is more commonly known, is a New Year's tradition for good luck. But disease and particularly aphids, which can wreck a crop within a few a days, are especially bad luck for the cowpea, according to scientists. Several new lines of cowpeas with genes that are aphid-resistant and less susceptible to disease are currently being tested by researchers with Texas AgriLife Research and other Texas A&M System entities.

"The cowpea has been an important and popular food crop throughout the southern U.S.," said Dr. B.B. Singh, a visiting professor in the soil and crop sciences department at Texas A&M. "It's commonly known as the southern pea, field pea, crowder pea, black-eyed pea, purple-hull pea and pinkeye pea widely grown in the southern states."

The researchers' discoveries could yield big rewards. An international food crop, the cowpea was most popular in the southern U.S. from the 1930s through '70s, and East Texas remains a large U.S. cowpea-producing region.

And during times of drought, the cowpea can be a viable alternative forage crop for livestock producers, due to its ability to fix nitrogen, tolerate drought and provide high-quality fodder, Singh said. It is a high-quality forage for cattle producers, with a protein content as high as 28 percent in seeds and 17 percent to 20 percent in the fodder after harvesting the seeds.

However, the aphid is currently the biggest threat to cowpea producers, Singh said.

"(Aphids) like dry weather," explained Singh, who has spent his entire career studying the cowpea. "Immediately after infestation, they start sucking the juice (sap) from cowpea leaves, stem, flowers and pods of the plants reducing their growth and development and causing severe reduction in yield. They also spread viruses. Aphids can ruin a crop within a few days."

Singh, came to the department as a visiting professor following his retirement two years ago from the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, considered the epicenter of cowpea research.

At Texas A&M, Singh is working with colleagues Dr. J. Creighton Miller, D.C. Sheuring and Dr. Bill Payne using field trials in College Station to find a solution to the aphid problem.

Singh has brought more than 35 lines of cowpeas with drought and aphid tolerance, as well as resistance to other diseases and higher yield potential, to College Station. His work there has involved using conventional breeding methods to cross those lines with six Texas and California varieties in greenhouse and field settings.

"Many of the IITA lines are resistant to aphid, bacterial blight, powdery mildew and drought, whereas most of the U.S. lines are susceptible," Singh said. "A number of crosses were made to transfer the resistance to aphids and drought from the IITA lines to the U.S. lines."

In mid July, an aphid infestation hit the College Station trials, putting the new varieties to the test.

"It's been fairly severe, permitting selection of resistant plants from the F2 and F3 populations," he said. "Due to drought and aphids this crop season, all of the susceptible cowpea varieties and segregating plants have been completely damaged, showing 80 percent to 100 percent yield loss, while the aphid resistant varieties and segregating plants are completely healthy with normal yield. The resistance is simply inherited, very effective and highly stable across environments."

From the segregating populations, the resistant plants with diverse maturity dates, plant type, growth habits and seed types have been selected to meet the need for grain type, fodder-type and pasture-type cowpea varieties, he said.

"These are being advanced to achieve uniformity and multi-location testing for stability of resistance and yield potential," Singh added. The new aphid-resistant, high-yielding varieties could be available to farmers as early as 2011, Singh said.

"The cowpea has worldwide importance as a crop for both human and animal nutrition," said Payne of Texas AgriLife Research, assistant director for research at the Norman Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture. "Introducing improved disease- and drought-resistant and higher-yield varieties could not only have tremendous potential for Texas and U.S. agriculture, it could help provide poor and developing countries with an important alternative source of nutrition."

According to the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture in Africa, the cowpea is an important food crop in many African, Asian and South American countries, especially as an alternative source of protein where people cannot afford meat and fish. The crop typically is grown by subsistence farmers with limited agricultural resources, who use it to feed livestock or sell for additional income.

The international Food and Agriculture Organization estimates more than 7.5 million tons of cowpeas are produced annually worldwide, with sub-Saharan Africa responsible for about 70 percent of that amount.

"We are already involved in international research projects in Africa relating to cowpeas," Payne noted. "It's exciting to think where these new activities in College Station and the research already under way in Africa may lead."


 

 

The compost heap
Mead and diatomaceous earth

"The term mead ("Did You Know?" Seeds, August 12, 200) is generally used for honey wine only," writes Devin Taylor. "A cyster is cider and honey blended, and a sack mead is an extremely sweet mead, and doesn't necessarily contain herbs. Like hops in beer, herbs in mead can improve the finish."

"While I appreciate the hard work that you put into your Seeds newsletter," writes Michael Bialas, "I think you ought to give some space to organic, non-poisonous solutions. I’m talking about the issue I received today about grasshoppers ("Grasshoppers got you hoppin' mad?" August 12, 2009). I have no problems with grasshoppers because I use food-grade diatomaceous earth. I apply it with a flour sifter and watch the grasshoppers hop right out of the area! My 97-year-old father-in-law was amazed and he has been farming the same place since he was a boy… he had never seen anything like it.

"For hard-shelled insects, crawling through DE is like us crawling through razor blades… it gets in their joints and they become desiccated. It works on ants, roaches, any hard-shelled bugs. I sprinkle it around the perimeter of the house to keep bugs out of the house… it has worked for me for years. It is non poisonous so my two dachshunds can play in the yard and I don’t have to worry about them. And when my two grandsons visit, I don’t have to worry about them and the poisons you mentioned in your article.

"For more info see http://www.dirtdoctor.com/organic/garden/view_question/id/28/."


 

Gardening tips

"I tear open my tea bags and sprinkle the used tea leaves onto my flower garden/yard. (This is ecology at work.)," writes Ruth Williams. "I save the bags, without the strings, to use in the bottom of my flower pots to fill in the seep holes, to hold the dirt but allow the water to drip out. I would do the same for coffee but I drink instant."

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...

Most folks are familiar with the pretty mistletoe that is used to decorate our Christmas holiday but did you know that it is possible to cultivate this parasitic plant that grows on trees? You can use the spent mistletoe from the holidays or, better yet, gather fresh berries in the spring since they seem to germinate better. Squeeze the berry until it bursts, then stick the gummy seed on the bottom side of a young twig that is growing on a deciduous tree like hackberry or cedar elm. It helps if you gently wound the twig before placing the seed on it. Plant about six seeds to ensure getting a couple of plants to develop. After about a year, you should notice some leaves starting to develop. By the next Christmas, you will be ready to take orders!


Upcoming garden events

New Braunfels: The monthly meeting of the Lindheimer Chapter of Texas Master Naturalists will be held at 7 p.m., Thursday, August 20, at the AgriLife Office on Resource Drive in New Braunfels. The AgriLife building is behind the recycle center. Romey Swanson, currently pursuing graduate study in the Wildlife Ecology Program at Texas State University, will give insights on his thesis work at Palmetto State Park and the Ottine wetlands (mammals, reptiles and amphibian assemblages and changes through time). He will discuss how to sample, the importance of sampling standardization, animals encountered, natural history, differences in spatial and temporal assemblages, and management implications. The public is welcome to attend. For additional information, contact Judy Brupbacher, (830) 885-2070.

Wichita Falls: The Wichita Falls County Master Gardeners will present a free Fall Vegetable Gardening Seminar, Thursday, August 20, from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. at the Wichita Falls MPEC, 1000 5th Street, Room 8, Wichita Falls. Topics will include appropriate plants for the area, getting the garden ready, bugs and diseases, mulching, watering and composting, and there will be a Q&A session at the end. For additional information or to register, call (940) 716-8610.

Austin: The 17th Annual Texas Bamboo Festival will be held August 22-23 at Zilker Botanical Garden, 2220 Barton Springs Road, Austin. There will be bamboo plants and crafts for sale, a live auction, and various presentations. For more information, visit www.bamboocentral.net.

Austin: The Travis County Master Gardeners Association will sponsor "Fall Vegetable Gardening" from 10 a.m. until noon, Saturday, August 22, at Riverplace Country Club, 4207 River Place Blvd., Austin. Master Gardener Vegetable Specialist and Texas Gardener contributor Patty Leander will discuss the basics of vegetable gardening, with an emphasis on varieties that flourish in the fall and winter months. For additional information, visit http://www.tcmastergardeners.org or call the Travis County Master Gardeners' help desk at (512) 854-9600.

Humble: The Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens, 22306 Aldine Westfield Road, Humble, will hold a Tropical Symposium and Plant Sale, Saturday, August 22, from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. Speakers include Brent Moon, Urban Garden Program Manager for the Houston Parks and Recreation Department and contributor to Texas Gardener, speaking about "Growing Bananas in a Marginal Climate"; Linda Gay speaking on "Architectural Foliage for Patio and Garden" and "Tree Ferns, Terrestrial Ferns, and Epiphytic Ferns"; and Tom Wood speaking on "Gingers of Asia." Registration is required: Mercer Society members $40; non-members $50. Lunch is included. For additional information, call (281) 443-8731.

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.

Kingsland: The Kingsland Garden Club will present “Gardening with Deer” by Llano County AgriLife Agent Jamie Osborne beginning a 1:15 p.m., Friday, September 11, at the Kingsland Library, 125 Polk St., Kingsland. For more information, visit http://yantislakesidegardens.giving.officelive.com/kgc.aspx.

Austin: The Travis County Master Gardeners Association will present "Redesigning Your Gardens," from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m., Saturday, September 12, at the Old Quarry Branch, Austin Public Library, 7051 Village Center Drive, Austin (off Far West Blvd.). The seminar is free and requires no reservations. For additional information, call (512) 854-9600 or visit www.tcmastergardeners.org.

Victoria: The Victoria County Master Gardener Association fall plant sale will be held September 12 from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m., or sellout, whichever occurs first. The sale will be held at the Victoria County 4-H Activity Center, 259 Bachelor Dr., Victoria Regional Airport, Victoria. Proceeds will go to VCMGA Victoria Educational Gardens. For additional information, contact rlees1126@aol.com.

Austin: The Travis County Master Gardeners Association will present "Do-It-Yourself Pond Building," from 10 a.m. until noon, Saturday, September 19, at American Botanical Council, 6200 Manor Road, Austin. There is no charge for the seminar, but seating is limited. To register or for additional information, call (512) 854-9600 or visit www.tcmastergardeners.org.

Austin: The Travis County Master Gardeners Association will present "For the Love of Trees," from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m., Saturday, October 10, at the Old Quarry Branch, Austin Public Library, 7051 Village Center Drive, Austin (off Far West Blvd.). The seminar is free and requires no reservations. For additional information, call (512) 854-9600 or visit www.tcmastergardeners.org.

Huntsville: Walker County Master Gardeners' will hold their Fall Plant Sale on Saturday, October 10 from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Master Gardeners Greenhouse located north of Huntsville on the corner of Highway 75 N. and TAM Road (102 TAM Rd.) approximately 2 miles north of the Pilot Truck Stop. Bring your wagon, your gardening and landscaping ideas and load up with fall vegetable transplants, herbs, daylilies, daffodil/narcissus bulbs, Texas natives and perennials, hard-to-find pass-along plants, fruit trees, blackberries, blueberries and much more. Many of these selections won't be found at the "big box" stores. If the 100+ heat relents, we may have fresh, seasonal produce. Come early and shop the Country Store for gardening shoes/boots, gloves, hats, books, tools. Refreshments will be available. Proceeds will be used to benefit Master Gardener community activities and educational projects including scholarships for high school grads planning to major in horticulture or environmental science. For more information, call (936) 435-2426 or visit www.walkercountymastergardener.org/.

Waco: Texas State Technical College and The World Hunger Relief Organization have teamed up to teach you how to garden more successfully in a pair of two-day gardening workshops. The he second workshop will be held from 8 a.m. until noon, October 10 and 17. Registration for the two-day workshop is $96, and is limited to 15 participants. To register, or for additional information, contact Melissa Curtis at (254) 867-3113.

Arlington & Fort Worth: The Garden Conservancy’s Open Days Program — Tour of Private Gardens in Arlington & Fort Worth will take place from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., Sunday, October 11. Enjoy a self-guided tour of six private gardens. No reservations required; rain or shine. Cost: $5 per garden; children under 12 free. A portion of the proceeds collected will be shared with the Tarrant County Master Gardeners. For more information, visit www.opendaysprogram.org or call The Garden Conservancy toll-free weekdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST, 1-888-842-2442. For descriptions of participating gardens, visit http://www.gardenconservancy.org/opendays/events.pl?ID=255&SortBy=&State=.

Austin: Learn how to install one type of drip irrigation system, Friday, October 16, 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. at the Demonstration Garden at Travis County AgriLife Extension Office, 1600 "B" Smith Rd., Austin. This is a hands-on demonstration, so you can help with construction or just watch. This free event is sponsored by the Travis County Master Gardeners Association. For additional information, call (512) 854-9600 or visit www.tcmastergardeners.org.

Fredericksburg: The Texas Gourd Society presents the 14th Annual Lone Star Gourd Festival, October 16 through 18, at the Gillespie County Fairgrounds, 530 Fair Dr., Fredericksburg. The festival will be open from 1 p.m. until 6 p.m., Friday; 9 a.m. until 6 p.m., Saturday; and 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., Sunday. Admission is $5 for adults; children 12 and under free. For additional information, visit www.TexasGourdSociety.org.

Chambersville/Farmer's Branch/McKinney: Celebrate roses at the second annual RoseDango in Chambersville, Farmer's Branch and McKinney, October 17 and 18. RoseDango features guest speakers Marilyn Wellan and Stephen Scanniello, this year's Great Rosarians of the World (GROW) honorees, as well as Mike Shoup of the Antique Rose Emporium and Dennis Jones, President of the Fort Worth Rose Society. For additional information visit www.RoseDango.com.

New Braunfels: Applications are now being accepted for the fall 2009-2010 class of the Lindheimer Chapter of the Texas Master Naturalists. The Master Naturalist program is a natural resource-based volunteer training and development program jointly sponsored statewide by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service and Texas Parks & Wildlife. The mission of the program is to develop a corps of well-informed volunteers who provide education and service dedicated to the beneficial management of the natural resources and natural areas within their communities for the state of Texas. The Lindheimer Chapter in Comal County offers a course every year to train new Master Naturalists to be knowledgeable about the nature and wildlife of the Texas Hill Country and to assist in education and volunteer missions. The fall class begins with an orientation on October 26 from 6:00 until 9:00 p.m. Curriculum consists of 12 classes, held the first Tuesday of each month beginning November 3, from 6 p.m. until 9 pm. Curriculum includes 36 hours in the classroom taught by subject matter experts from a wide range of natural resource disciplines. In addition, 40 hours of volunteer work, and eight hours of advanced training qualifies trainees for certification as a Master Naturalist. Training is conducted at the AgriLife Extension Service, Comal County, at 325 Resource Drive, New Braufels, located behind the Comal County Recycling Center on Texas 46 West. Applications will be accepted through October 19 and are available at http://comal-co.tamu.edu by clicking on “Comal Master Naturalists”; at the Texas AgriLife Extension Service, 325 Resource Drive, New Braunfels; or at the Lindheimer Chapter Web site at http://grovesite.com/tamu/lc. Tuition is $120.00 and includes course materials. The class is limited to 20 students. For additional information, call the AgriLife Extension Service (830) 620-3440.

Dallas: The Garden Conservancy’s Open Days Program – Tour of Private Gardens in Dallas will take place from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., Sunday, October 24. Enjoy a self-guided tour of five private gardens. No reservations required; rain or shine. Cost: $5 per garden; children under 12 free. For more information, visit www.opendaysprogram.org or call The Garden Conservancy toll-free weekdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST, 1-888-842-2442. For descriptions of participating gardens, visit http://www.gardenconservancy.org/opendays/events.pl?ID=255&SortBy=&State=.

Austin: Learn which bulb varieties are best for the Austin area, Friday, October 30, 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. at the Demonstration Garden at Travis County AgriLife Extension Office, 1600 "B" Smith Rd., Austin. Learn bulb requirements and planting methods to enhance your success with bulbs. This is a hands-on event. This free event is sponsored by the Travis County Master Gardeners Association. For additional information, call (512) 854-9600 or visit www.tcmastergardeners.org.

Austin: "Limestone & Water" — Four garden design experts share their experience with innovative design in a hot climate from 8:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m., Saturday, October 31, at Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, 4801 La Crosse Avenue, Austin. Seminar speakers include Stephen Orr, Scott Ogden and Lauren Springer Ogden, and Dylan Crain Robertson. Co-sponsored by the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, University of Texas at Austin. Cost: $75 general admission; $65 Garden Conservancy/Wildflower Center members; $40 students. To register, visit www.gardenconservancy.org or call The Garden Conservancy’s West Coast Program Office, 415-441-4300. For more information, visit http://www.gardenconservancy.org/events.pl?ID=285.

Waco: World Hunger Relief, Inc., will host its Fall Farm Day Festival from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., Saturday, November 7, at 356 Spring Lake Road, Waco. There will be farm-fresh food, tours of the farm, hayrides and demonstrations. Plants, grass-fed meat and seeds will be available for sale. Directions: From Waco, go north of I-35. Take Exit 342B and follow the signs to World Hunger Relief Farm. For additional information, call (254) 799-5611 or email info@worldhungerrelief.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 except July and August 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.

Beaumont: The Jefferson County Master Gardeners meet at 7 p.m. the second Thursday of each month at the AgriLife Extension Office, 1225 Pearl Street, Suite 200, Beaumont. For more information, call (409) 835-8461.

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.

Georgetown: The Williamson County Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas meets from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. the second Thursday of each month at the Georgetown Public Library, 402 W. 8th Street. Georgetown. For additional information, contract Billye Adams at (512) 863-9636 or visit http://www.npsot.org/WilliamsonCounty/default.htm.

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.

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.


Lone Star Wildflowers:
A Guide to Texas Flowering Plants

By LaShara J. Neiland and Willa F. Finley

Each spring throughout the celebrated Hill Country and well beyond, locals and visitors revel in the palettes and variety of Texas wildflowers. From the Panhandle canyonlands to the islands of South Texas, from the eastern Pineywoods to the farthest reaches of the arid Trans-Pecos, some 5,000 species dot Texas's 268,820 square miles. Now Lone Star Wildflowers offers easy identification through color grouping and a wealth of insight from the origin of scientific and common names to growth cycles, uses, history, and native lore.

Nieland and Finley have made countless forays with camera and notebook and have broadened their approach through years of research. In language accessible to every enthusiast, they offer wildflower lovers unparalleled enrichment.

$37.22 includes tax and shipping

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

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 22 (November/December 2002 through September/October 2003),
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),
volume 27 (November/December 2007 through September/October 2008) and
volume 28 (November/December 2008 through September/October 2009)*.

$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