January 13, 2010

Welcome to Texas Gardener’s Seeds, the weekly newsletter for Texas gardeners. Please do not reply to this e-mail because the sending address is not monitored. See the bottom of this newsletter for information on how to subscribe, unsubscribe, or contact the editor.

Virus may chauffeur useful “packages” into plants

By Kathleen Phillips
Texas AgriLife Extension Service

This time of year, the word “virus” conjures up a bedridden stint with coughs and chills – something everyone goes to great lengths to avoid. But scientists for Texas AgriLife Research have gone the distance to show that at least some viruses can be put to work to help us. A new study by Dr. Karen-Beth Scholthof and her husband Dr. Herman Scholthof, to be published in the January issue of Virology, shows that plant viruses may work like a trucking service loaded to carry freight to its destination.

“The idea is to have a virus do something good for us, like express a foreign protein and carry genetic information into a cell,” said Herman Scholthof. The Scholthofs are plant virologists with AgriLife Research

“The use of viral vectors to produce proteins in plants is attractive because of the potential high-protein output, the transient nature, the rapid applicability and active expression and the relative cost-effectiveness of the system,” the Scholthofs wrote.

A problem with this type of system, however, has been that during transport a virus loses the gene or whatever it is intended to express.

“We’re trying to outsmart the virus and make it stable for the job,” Karen-Beth Scholthof said. Herman Scholthof noted that “a virus recognizes a foreign object and does away with it.”

In the lab, however, the Scholthofs were able to prove that the coat or particle protein of satellite panicum mosaic virus could be used as a tool to help stabilize viral vector genes introduced in Nicotiana bethamiana, a relative of tobacco and a model plant for research.

Satellite panicum mosaic virus only infects grass that is already infected with panicum mosaic virus, the pathogen that causes St. Augustine decline. If the virus particle protein were able to transport a gene into a non-grass species, this is an indication that with further research it could be used in a positive way to help plant breeders who want to carry good traits into the crops they are developing, the Scholthofs noted.

Editor's Note: Gardening news is slow in January, and many gardeners are unable to work in their gardens during winter. We thought you might enjoy a change of pace during this slow season, so following is the second of five gardening-themed short stories we are presenting for your enjoyment. — Michael Bracken

Fertile Fiction
Glory in the Flower

By Sandra Seamans

Mary Kazinski patted the soft earth around the last geranium and leaned back on her heels, a satisfied smile on her face. She clapped her gloved hands together to shake loose the dirt, then wearily rose to her feet, her 60-year-old body complaining all the way. Limping slightly, she made her way to the front porch and the sweaty pitcher of lemonade that awaited her.

The thik, thik, thik of baseball cards on bicycle wheels drew her attention to the dirt road in front of her house. She nearly laughed out loud when she caught sight of the elderly gentleman astride the bike. He was wearing a pair of red and green checked golfing knickers with a matching Tam o’shanter complete with bobbing pompon. The faded red Western Flyer he was riding should have been retired years ago. The bike skidded to a stop and the man stood staring at her house, a bemused expression on his face.

“Can I help you?” she called out.

“I remember this house. There was a beautiful girl who used to live here, but I can’t quite remember her name. It’s this Alzheimer’s, you know. My memory comes and goes kinda like the waves in the ocean. First there’s nothing, then bang, a flood of memories comes washing up in my mind, every memory at my fingertips, then swept away on the next wave.”

“That can’t be very pleasant,” said Mary. “Would you like to step up on the porch and share a glass of lemonade with me? It’s a mighty hot day to be out and about on a bicycle. That’s an old Western Flyer, isn’t it? I haven’t seen one of those in ages.”

“Western Flyer, huh? I found it in a shed out behind the nursing home where I live. I’m pretty sure I never owned one, can’t figure how it came to be there.”

“I used to have one just like it. I lost it the summer I turned sixteen. Would that be the Parker Nursing Home you’re staying at?”

“Yes, ma’am. The place used to be my family home. I sold it to the Parkers with the stipulation that I live there until I die. I don’t have any family and with the Alzheimer’s sneaking up on me I’m gonna need someone to take care of me. Not a pleasant future to look forward to, I’m afraid.”

“I’m guessing you must be Harold Williams, then?”

“Yes, yes I am. Do you remember me? Were we friends?”

Mary shivered as her fingers stroked the old scar that puckered its way across her cheek. “Yes, I remember you, but no, we weren’t friends.”

Harold’s face grimaced into a frown. “Funny, I thought you were the girl I remembered.”

“What girl would that be? The pretty one?”

“Yes. I did something awful to her.”

“And what? You’ve come here to beg her forgiveness?”

“I doubt she could forgive me for what I did to her.”

“You’re probably right.”

“Probably best I didn’t find her then.” Harold finished his lemonade, smacking his lips together before setting the glass on the table between them. “Those mounds of dirt on your lawn. Moles?”

Mary nodded.

“Rat poison. You can kill them with rat poison.”

“You can kill all kinds of vermin with rat poison, Mr. Williams.” Mary rose from her rocking chair. “Would you like more lemonade? I have a fresh pitcher in the refrigerator.”

“Yes, please.”

Mary returned with the new pitcher of lemonade. Ice cubes tinkling, she filled Harold’s glass. “Aren’t you going to join me?” he asked as she sat back down.

“No, I’ve had my quota for the day. I have to watch my sugar intake. But, please, go ahead and enjoy yourself.”

Harold looked at the glass, closed his eyes and took a big gulp. He opened his eyes to the sight of a police cruiser pulling up the driveway. “You called the police?”

“I figured the nursing home was looking for you so I called Sheriff Tompkins to let him know you were here.”

“You didn’t poison the lemonade? I’m not going to die?”

“Of course not.”

“But you were supposed to kill me. Aren’t you angry about what I did to you? Don’t you want to see me dead?”

“Mr. Williams, for years I wanted nothing more."

“Then why didn’t you?”

“You see that big flower bed over there by the maple tree? I used a pick and shovel on that ground all of one summer pretending it was your head I was beating to a pulp. That bed over yonder by the lilac bushes? I beat you to death all over again when I found out I couldn’t have children. Once I had all that dirt churned up, I decided to plant some flowers and all of that hurt and pain turned into something beautiful. Killing you wouldn’t give me half the pleasure those flowers do.”

“But I wanted you to have your revenge.”

“No, you wanted me to kill you so you didn’t have to face what the Alzheimer’s is going to do to your mind and body. I’m sorry, Mr. Williams, but you’re going to have to live with your own pain, same as I did. You’ll be luckier than me, though: you’ll forget. I never will.”

Sandra Seamans, whose notorious brown thumb keeps her from being the brilliant gardener she aspires to be, is the author of several dozen short stories. You can find more about her at http://sandraseamans.blogspot.com.

Kay Jeffrey, SFA Gardens volunteer, explores a river birch tree at the SFA Mast Arboretum with local elementary school students. (Photo courtesy of SFA Gardenes)

Volunteer opportunity combines enthusiasm for plants and children

SFA Mast Arboretum Education Coordinator, Elyce Rodewald invites area residents to join some great people and gorgeous plants in the garden for the Spring 2010 Garden Guide training class. This class prepares volunteers to give guided tours of the SFA Mast Arboretum and Pineywoods Native Plant Center to area school children. Garden Guides introduce small groups of students to the Gardens through hands-on activities. They might be found encouraging students to explore the inside of a flower, learn about honeybee communication, take a closer look at soil, investigate forest habitats, or measure a tree.  Advanced horticulture knowledge is not necessary, but a love and appreciation for energetic, curious children is!

An orientation will be held on January 19 from 9:30-11:30 a.m. at the Pineywoods Native Plant Center, 2900 Raguet Street in the Tucker House Conference Room.  Training classes will be held January 20-21 and January 27-28 from 9:30-11:30 a.m. at the same location. To register for the class, or for more information, contact Elyce Rodewald, Education Coordinator, at (936) 468-1832 or erodewald@sfasu.edu.

The compost heap
They love Lily

"Please print more by Carol Kilgore," writes Linda Page. "I love her Lily story ('Lily's Purrfect Life,' January 6, 2010)."

“Today, I especially enjoyed your cat article ('Lily's Purrfect Life')," writes Nell Freedman. “I have two cats left from a seven-cat litter which was dropped off in front of my house when they were barely, or not, weaned. I have left Spot and Black 1 or 2. Black, other 1 or 2, ended up at my country neighbor's house and when I saw that cat, he told me. ‘Nell, I have named him and fed him. He is mine.’ Fine with me. I didn't want them, seven, much less two or three.

“I go out to the place where they are twice a day to feed them. I feed them inside the house because the dogs come around from houses nearby and eat their food if they are not fed inside. I nuzzled them when they were first dropped off at my house and I think this is why they are attached to me. They are affectionate, outside cats, and seem to love me.

“The place where they are is a 19-acre place where my husband and I had moved an old house and which we were remodeling when he died unexpectedly on Sept. 10. I am left to finish it up and I must say I did not realize how much he did for me. He had many medical problems but never complained, although he suffered much in his life. He got a final living physical life gift from God when he died in his sleep with a peaceful look on his face. He did not like cats, but I prevailed about this litter left in front of our house, so he built them a pen at the remodeling place with a dog's plastic house inside, which rather protected them, and provided a place for us to feed them. He would feed them, calling out to them, ‘Come on, Babies....come on and eat.’ As I said, I go out to that place to feed the two that are left.....and call to them, ‘Babies, come eat.’"


Gardening tips

If you get tired of filling those sticky, messy hummingbird feeders every year, now is the perfect time to plant nectar producing vines in your landscape, guaranteed to attract hummingbirds without the mess. Here are four hummingbird favorites: trumpet vine campsis radicans, blood-red trumpetvine distictis buccinatoria, coral honeysuckle lonicera sempervirens and cape honeysuckle tencomaria capensis.

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 2010 Planning Guide & Calendar. Please send your tips of 50 words or less to the editor at: Gardening Tips.

Did You Know...

Damping off disease can be a very frustrating problem at planting time. This disease is caused by several different species of fungi that inhabit the soil. As the name implies, damp conditions at planting and time of germination favor damping off disease. Next time you plant seeds, your goal should be to help your seedlings germinate fast and maintain steady growth. Use fresh seed and test the viability of old seed before use. Avoid sowing seed too thickly and provide good drainage. Water your seedbeds in the morning so they aren’t damp overnight. Inside, water containers from the bottom but avoid leaving containers sitting in water and provide lots of light by keeping your seedlings close to a bright window or 2 to 3 inches under a fluorescent light.

Upcoming garden events

Kingsland: Join Master Gardener Robert Yantis for “Living with Purple Martins” and learn about our beautiful springtime visitors at a program presented by the Kingsland Garden Club on Friday, January 8 at 1:15 p.m. at the Kingsland Library, 125 W Polk St. Visit the Kingsland Garden Club Web site to be put on the reminder email list to be notified a week before these presentations: http://yantislakesidegardens.giving.officelive.com/kgc.aspx.

Houston: Urban Harvest's annual fruit tree sale will take place from 8 a.m. until noon, January 9, at the Rice University Football Station Concourse, Houston. The 2009 sale featured almost 6,000 trees and berries and the organizers except even more tree for this sale. For additional information, visit www.urbanharvest.org.

Pearland: The Harris County Master Gardener Association will present a program on fruit tress for Harris County, from 6:30 p.m. until 9 p.m. Tuesday, January 12, at Bass Pro Shops, Highway 288 at the Sam Houston Tollway, Pearland. This lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, visit http://hcmgap2.tamu.edu.

Houston: Dr. Carol Brouwer will dispel the myth that vegetables don't grow in the winter when she speaks to the Houston Urban Gardeners at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, January 13 at the Houston Garden Center, 1500 Hermann Dr., Houston. For additional information, call (713) 284-1989.

Georgetown: Jim Rogers, Director of Williamson County Parks and Recreation, will speak to the Native Plant Society of Texas about current and projected activities in the parks of Williams County, from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m., Thursday, January 14, at the Georgetown Public Library, second floor. Visitors are welcome. For additional information call (512) 863-9636 or visit http://www.npsot.org/WilliamsonCounty/default.htm .

The Woodlands: Join certified arborist and forester, John Ross, at The Natives are Restless: Tree Care & Health on Thursday, January 14 at 7:30 p.m. Featuring tips about selecting, planting and caring for urban trees, the free program is presented by The Woodlands Township and is hosted at McCullough Jr. High School, 3800 S. Panther Creek Dr. For more information, Call (281) 210-3900.

Seabrook: Dr. Paul Nester, Entomology Specialist for Harris County Extension Service, will present a program on Rasberry Crazy Ants, a new, exotic, invasive pest and species found in Houston in 2002. Dr. Nester will speak on identification, harm the ant does, and management of the ant. His presentation begins at 10 a.m., January 20, at The Meeting Room at Clear Lake Park (on the lakeside), 5001 NASA Road 1, Seabrook. For more information, visit http://hcmgap2.tamu.edu.

Houston: Urban Harvest will host "Food for Thought," a new, thought-provoking series of panel discussions on today's hot topics that support growing and eating locally. The panels will be lead by local and regional experts, are scheduled for the third Wednesday of each month, and began November 18. Each evening will begin at 7 p.m. with a brief period to socialize, then a panel discussion from 7:15 until 8:15 followed by a Q&A session until 8:45. Upcoming dates and topics are: January 20, "Living the Locavore Life," and February 17, "Tools of the Trade." For additional information, including event location, call (713) 520-7111.

College Station: "Get Your Earth-Kind Garden Growing" will be presented by Dr. David Reed, Dr. William Welch, Sharon Banister and Brazos County Master Gardeners, from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m., Saturday, January 23, in the Senior Circle Room, College Station Medical Center, 1651 Rock Prairie Road, College Station. The seminar includes a hands-on propagation workshop. $25 per person. Preregistration is preferred. For additional information, visit brazosmg.com.

Marble Falls: The Highland Lakes Master Gardeners will present a free Green Thumb public program "All About Hill Country Roses" with Master Gardener Sheryl Yantis, where you can learn about choosing roses, soil preparation, planting and pruning tips for beautiful low maintenance roses in the Hill Country, at the Marble Falls Library, 10:30 a.m., Saturday, January 23. For additional information, visit: http://yantislakesidegardens.giving.officelive.com/sherylsgarden.aspx.

Nacogdoches: SFA Gardens’ horticulturist, Greg Grant, will present his latest lecture and workshop The Hole Truth: East Texas Bluebirds and Woodpeckers Saturday, January 23, from 9 a.m. until noon in room 118 of the Agriculture Building at 1924 Wilson Drive on the Stephen F. Austin State University campus. This is an informative and fun look at the relationship between woodpeckers and the many secondary cavity dwellers that depend on them. East Texas is home to eight species of woodpeckers, all of which indicate a healthy forest and ecosystem. The eastern bluebird, the “songbird of happiness” is one of the most popular birds in America and one of Greg’s favorites as well. He owns more than 100 bluebird houses as part of his rural bluebird trail. Come find out how to identify our native woodpeckers, how to construct a bluebird nesting box, and how to attract beautiful bluebirds and beneficial woodpeckers to your landscape. Grant is co-author of Home Landscaping Texas and The Southern Heirloom Garden and writes the popular column “In Greg’s Garden” for Texas Gardener magazine. He is a lifetime member of the Texas Bluebird Society, the Native Plant Society of Texas, and the Big Thicket Society. The cost of the class is $25 for Friends of the SFA Gardens members and $30 for non-members. Seminar space is limited so advance registration is required. To register, contact the education office at (936) 468-1832, e-mail erodewald@sfasu.edu, or send payment with name, address, daytime phone number, and seminar title to SFA Gardens-Garden Seminars, PO Box 13000-SFA Station, Nacogdoches, Texas, 75962-3000.

Buchanan Dam: Master Gardener Robert Yantis will present "Living with Purple Martins" at a free Green Thumb program as part of the Lakeshore Library Speakers Series, at 2:30 p.m., Tuesday, February 9, at the Library located 7346 Hwy 261, 3.6 miles past the intersection with RM 1431 in Buchanan Dam.

Austin: "Growing Your Own Potatoes" will be presented from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m., Saturday, February 13 at the Texas AgriLife Extension Office of Travis Country, 1600-B Smith, Road, Austin. This hands-on demonstration includes planting potatoes in the ground and in baskets, recommended varieties, and tips for success. The demonstration presented by the Travis County Master Gardeners Association is free, open to the public and requires no reservations. For additional information, visit http://www.tcmastergardeners.org or call the Travis County Master Gardener's help desk at (512) 854-9600.

Conroe: The Montgomery County Master Gardeners will hold a Fruit and Nut sale from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. (or until all the plants are sold) February 23 at the Texas AgriLife Extension office, 9020 FM1484, Conroe. More than 3,000 plats will be available for sale and Tom LeRoy will present a program at 8 a.m., prior to the sale. For additional information call (936) 539-7882 or visit www.montgomerycountymastergardeners.org.

Schertz: Grow Local Festival will be held from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., Saturday, February 27, at the Schertz Civic Center, 1400 Schertz Parkway. Hosted by Guadalupe County Master Gardeners. Admission: $5.00 for adults, children under 18 free. Includes a complimentary Gardener Goodie Bag. Thinking about putting in a vegetable garden this spring? Don’t know what to do to get started? Need to know about those bugs in your garden? Then this may be the place for you to be. Seminars include "Spring Vegetable Gardening" by Patty Leander, a Texas Gardener contributing writer, from 9:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. and "Good Bugs, Bad Bugs" by Molly Keck from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. Get advice from local experts on gardening and landscaping. Shop for bedding plants and seeds, annuals, fruit trees and other quality garden products. For more information visit www.growlocalfestival.com.

Houston: The River Oaks Garden Club will host the 75th Anniversary Azalea Trail. March 5, 6, and 7. Azalea Trail features tours of four private homes and three well-known historic sites: Bayou Bend, Rienzi and River Oaks Garden Club Forum of Civics Building and Gardens. Tickets for seven admissions: $15 before March 1, $20 during the event, or $5 per location. For additional information, visit www.riveroaksgardenclub.org or call (713) 523-2483.

Houston: Dr. Douglas Tallamy, author of Bringing Nature Home, will speak in Hamman Hall, Rice University, on Wednesday, March 31. The event begins with a social at 6:30 p.m. Tallamy's lecture begins at 7 p.m., followed by a panel discussion from 8 until 8:30 p.m. For parking information, visit http://www.ruf.rice.edu/~hamman/parking.htm. For additional information, call Houston Audubon, (713) 932-1693.

Rockport: The 10th Annual Hidden Gardens Tour by Aransas/San Patricio Master Gardeners will be held from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., Saturday, May 8. Tickets are $10 and are available from the Aransas County Texas AgriLife Extension office, 611 E. Mimosa. In the event of rain, the tour will be rescheduled for May 15. For additional information, call (361) 790-0103.


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 library, 798 Schertz Parkway, Shertz. A plant exchange and meet-and-greet begins at 6:30 p.m. followed by a program at 7 p.m. 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.

Orange: The Orange County Master Gardeners meet at the Salvation Army in Orange on the second Thursday of each month. A covered-dish dinner at 6:30 p.m. is followed by a speaker and business meeting at 7 p.m.

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/.

Arlington: The Arlington Men's Garden Club meets from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. on the third Tuesday of each month (except December) at the Bob Duncan Center, 2800 S. Center Street, Arlington. For more information, contact Lance Jepson at LJepson@aol.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 at 7 p.m. the third Thursday of each month,  except December, at the Texas AgriLife Extension Bldg. at 210 E. Live Oak, Seguin. An educational program preceeds the business meeting. The public is invited to attend. For topic or other information, call (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.

Texas Wildscapes:
Gardening for Wildlife

By Kelly Conrad Bender

NEW EDITION of the popular Texas Parks & Wildlife book, now with fully searchable DVD containing all the plant and animal information you need to customize your backyard habitat.

Whether you have an apartment balcony or a multi-acre ranch, the Texas Wildscapes program provides the tools you need to make a home for all the animals that will thrive in the native habitat you create.

In Texas Wildscapes, Kelly Conrad Bender identifies the kinds of animals you can expect when you give them their three basic needs: food, water, and shelter. She then provides guidelines for designing and planting your yard or garden to best provide these requirements for the many birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates the environment will attract.

$31.88 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 20 (November/December 2000 through September/October 2001),
volume 21
(November/December 2001 through September/October 2002),
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. 2010. 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