March 10, 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.



  Invasive species watch: Buffelgrass

By Buddy Gough
The Nature Conservancy of Texas

The eyes of Texas aren’t quite what they used to be when trained to spot invasive non-native plants and trees threatening the beauty and health of the state’s natural landscapes.

All it takes is an outing with someone knowledgeable in plant identification to be able see one alien invader or another encroaching on native habitats. The land managers with The Nature Conservancy know them well because they are battling them on preserves across the state.

One invasive of particular concern for the Conservancy is buffelgrass, which has spread across much of South Texas.

A tough and drought-resistant native of the African savanna, buffelgrass was brought to the so-called Brush Country in the 1930s to improve grazing on ranches where it was typically planted in cleared and root-plowed areas.

As an especially dense type of “bunch grass,” buffelgrass grows from a single clump with many long, thin leaves drooping low to the ground and stems extending upward to fuzzy, plume-like seed clusters.

The thick stands can appear bright green in wet conditions and a tawny tan in dry times, but wherever it occurs it exhibits pernicious characteristics:

  • It can out-compete and supplant native grasses and plants important to wildlife and leach the soil of moisture and nutrients necessary to sustain native habitats.
  • Its areas of infestation can double each year, spreading exponentially from one acre to two acres to four acres and so on.
  • If subjected to fire, it can burn two to three times hotter than natural vegetation, making it hot enough to kill native plants ranging from trees to cactus.

In South Texas, buffelgrass is regarded as a primary threat to the coastal plains of the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge on the Lower Gulf Coast.

The 65,096-acre refuge is Texas’s remaining home range of the endangered ocelot and jaguarundi and provides nesting habitat for 95 species of birds. It is also an important foraging area for a vast array of wintering waterfowl and raptors and migrating shorebirds and songbirds.

A worrisome example of buffelgrass's ability to spread can be found in Arizona, where the invasive plant has raced like a tidal wave across the Sonoran Desert.

With the wildfires stoked by hot-burning buffelgrass threatening to destroy desert habitat, The Nature Conservancy in Arizona has joined with state and federal agencies and many volunteer groups in battling the invasion. Texans, particularly the residents of South Texas, are encouraged to do the same in the Lone Star State.

For more information about The Nature Conservancy's work in Texas, including other invasive species we help control, visit nature.org/texas.


Long, cold winter likely will continue affecting some Texas lawns

By Mike Jackson
Texas AgriLife Extension Service

Texas’s exceptionally tough winter is nearly over, but its effects on grass are likely to linger through the spring, said an expert with the Texas AgriLife Extension Service.

Home lawns, golf courses, athletic fields and other grassy areas could suffer from the effects of the 2009-10 winter season, said Dr. Jim McAfee, AgriLife Extension turfgrass specialist in Dallas.

“While children and adults seemed to have enjoyed record snowfall in some areas, the long, cold winter could have a major impact on grasses, particularly warm-season grasses,” McAfee said.

Grasses already weakened by poor management, diseases and insects were particularly susceptible to damage caused by cold weather, especially in areas where temperatures dropped into the teens a number of times, he said.

Some property owners can expect to see patches of dead grass as spring unfolds, he said. In late winter and early spring, what should be tan, dormant grass might instead be dead, gray patches of lawn.

“It’s too early to determine how much, if any, damage has been done to a lawn,” McAfee said. “But we’re interested in getting the word out early so people are made aware of potential problems.”

McAfee said professionals in the lawn care industry have been wary after this year’s rough winter. In the Dallas-Fort Worth area, for example, they cited low temperatures and the region’s record snow fall in mid-February as measured officially at the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

“That could be bad news for grasses,” McAfee said.

All warm-weather grasses are vulnerable, including Bermuda, buffalo, centipede, St. Augustine and zoysia, he said. However, the most susceptible are St. Augustine and centipede.

“Winter kills are generally worse during extreme weather either early or late in the season,” McAfee said. “Very cold weather can damage a lawn going into dormancy late fall and early winter, or when it is attempting to emerge late winter or early spring.”

There are other factors that affect lawns besides the cold, he said, such as lawns that don’t get enough water or have areas prone to flooding. Too much shade also could be a problem, and newly planted lawns are vulnerable as they haven’t had enough time to adequately establish their roots.

Lawns in central, southern and western Texas will be especially sensitive as they have been weakened already by severe drought, McAfee said.

“But the best thing people can do is be patient,” McAfee said.

If there are dead patches in a lawn, they will be obvious after the lawn turns green, he said. But property owners shouldn’t act hastily. Give the lawn some time because healthy grass can grow and fill in dead areas.

If a problem persists, however, contact a lawn care professional for help, McAfee said. Professionals can identify winter kills or other problems that affect lawns and determine the best solutions.

More information about caring for lawns, athletic fields and golf courses can be found at: http://aggieturf.tamu.edu/aggieturf2/index.html.



Goji berry.

‘Crimson Star’ goji berry

Anyone can grow a tomato plant. But growing a goji berry plant is guaranteed to win you horticultural bragging rights in your neighborhood.

Goji berry is one of nature’s most nutrient-rich foods. This superfruit is packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to boost immunity and longevity. Lycium barbarum ‘Crimson Star’ is a deciduous perennial plant that grows from 3-9 feet in height. Purple flowers appear on the plant in late spring to early summer, then the bright orange-red Goji berries ripen from August to October.

The sweet, tasty fruit can be harvested by simply shaking the vine. Once the raisin-sized berries are fully ripe, which packs them full of nutrients, they fall off the vine easily. The berries can be eaten fresh off the vine or sun-dried to be enjoyed later. Plant ‘Crimson Star’ in full sun in well drained soil, and a healthy plant can set fruit during the first year. And, yes, this delightful plant is cold hardy to USDA Zone 5.


 

Gardening tips

"For those of us that plant small vegetable gardens within our city or suburban lots," writes Cindy Pierce. "I have found it helpful to use tomato cages for my cucumber and squash vines as well as for my tomatoes.  As long as the fruit of the vine isn’t extremely large (such as watermelon or giant pumpkin) just about any cucurbit can be trained to grow upward, allowing for more plants to be planted in a small space and also assisting with prevention of fungal conditions."

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...

Vegetable gardening is still hot. According to a survey conducted by the Garden Writers Association Foundation (GWAF), 7.7 million American households grew a vegetable garden for the first time in 2009. The total number of U.S. vegetable gardening households was 41 million. When asked if they planned to continue their garden for 2010, 37% of households reported plans to increase their edible gardens, 29% reported they planned to plant about the same as 2009 and only 1% reported they would plant less than this year. The GWAF survey found the main reason given for increasing or maintaining edible gardening in 2010 was to supplement household food supply.


Upcoming garden events.

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. 

Georgetown: The Williamson County Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas will meet Thursday, March 11, from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. at the Georgetown Public Library, Second Floor, 402 W. 8th St., Georgetown. A group of volunteers from the chapter planted and maintained a beautiful native plant demonstration garden at the old Georgetown library, and members of that group developed a guide to maintain the garden. They will walk attendees through the guide for maintaining 31 plants. For additional information, visit http://www.npsot.org/WilliamsonCounty/default.htm.

Nacogdoches: The SFA Gardens will host its monthly Les Reeves Garden Lecture Series at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 11, in room 110 of the Agriculture Building on Wilson Drive on the SFA campus. Dr. Mike Arnold, Texas A&M Horticulturist, will present Knowing the Flowers from the Weeds and Other Fun Things We Learn in Aggie Horticulture. Dr. Arnold is a professor in the Department of Horticultural Sciences at Texas A&M University where he conducts research on bridging the gap from the nursery producer to the landscape professional and home consumer of landscape plants. He has degrees in horticulture from Ohio State University and North Carolina State University, he helped develop the Texas A&M Nursery/Floral Crops Research and Education Facility, and he is the author of Landscape Plants for Texas and Adjacent States. For more information, contact Greg Grant at (936) 468-1863 or grantdamon@sfasu.edu.

Austin: “Starting Your Vegetable Garden Right” a seminar about soil and the first steps of starting a vegetable garden, will increase participants’ vegetable gardening knowledge. Learn about soil amendments, the correct way to prepare and handle transplants and how to prepare and plant seeds. This demonstration presented by the Travis County Master Gardeners Association is free, open to the public and will be held: Friday, March 12, 9 a.m. until 11 a.m., at the Demonstration Garden at AgriLife Extension Office of Travis County, 1600B Smith Rd., Austin. For additional information, call (512) 854-9600 or visit www.tcmastergardeners.org.

Houston: Houston Urban Gardeners (HUG) will meet Friday, March 12 at 6:30 p.m. at the Houston Garden Center, 1500 Hermann Dr. in Hermann Park, Houston (713-284-1989). The topic will be how to cook vegetables for serving our families and friends. Chef Tarsha Gary with Ecotone and other local chefs will give us cooking demonstrations. Attendees will also share favorite vegetable recipes. For up-to-date information, visit www.houstonurbangardeners.org.

Austin: Enjoy juicy tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, and delectable green beans straight from your garden. Learn how to plant and maintain a spring vegetable garden from Master Gardener Vegetable Specialist and Texas Gardener Contributing Writer Patty Leander, who will share her expertise on vegetable varieties that perform well in Central Texas, recommended planting times, and composting Saturday, March 13, from10 a.m. until noon, at Zilker Botanical Garden, 2220 Barton Springs Rd., Austin. This seminar is loaded with basic facts and helpful ideas, useful to both new and experienced vegetable gardeners. This seminar is free and open to the public. This is one of our most popular seminars, so please come early to get a seat. Presented by the Travis County Master Gardeners Association, a volunteer arm of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service in Travis County. For information, visit www.tcmastergardeners.org or call the Master Gardeners desk at (512) 854-9600.

Huntsville: The Walker County Master Gardeners will hold their annual spring sale from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m., Saturday, March 13 at the Texas AgriLife Extension office, 102 Tam Rd, Huntsville. Roses, natives, heirloom vegetables, herbs, bulbs, variety of trees (including fruit), seeds and much more will be available at the sale. There will be a pre-sale seminar Saturday, Feb 27 at the Texas AgriLife Extension office from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Roses, natives, heirloom vegetables and perennials will be covered at this seminar. For additional information, call (936) 435-2426 or visit www.walkercountymastergardeners.org.

Nacogdoches: The Stephen F. Austin State University Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden will host the annual Nacogdoches Azalea Trail Symposium March 13 in Room 110 of the Agriculture Building on Wilson Drive on the SFA Campus in Nacogdoches. Noted Texas A&M horticulturist Dr. William C. Welch will be the featured speaker. Dr. Welch will share his enthusiasm for camellias and other heirloom plants in his lecture "A Passion for Camellias." Dr. Welch is the author of Perennial Garden Color, Antique Roses for the South, The Southern Heirloom Garden, and The Bountiful Flower Garden. Southern Heirloom Gardening by William Welch and Texas Gardener Contributing Editor Greg Grant will be published by Texas A&M Press in the spring of 2011. Bill Welch is a regular contributor to Southern Living magazine. His homes and gardens have been featured in books and articles throughout the South, and he was recently presented the Great Gardeners Award by the American Horticulture Society. In his lecture, Dr. Welch will present the many benefits of adding fall-blooming Camellia sasanqua and spring-blooming Camellia japonica to residential azalea gardens. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m.; the program is from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Lunch is provided, followed by tips on pruning camellias, propagating azaleas, and a guided tour of the SFA Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden by Barbara Stump and Dr. Welch. The symposium is sponsored by SFA Gardens and the Texas Chapter of the Azalea Society of America. Admission is $30 to SFA Gardens members and $40 to non-members. For more information and to register, contact the Nacogdoches Convention and Visitors Bureau at (888) OLDEST-TOWN or www.nacogdochesazaleas.com. For information about the Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden, e-mail sfagardens@sfasu.edu or call Barbara Stump (936) 468-4129.

Rosenberg: Fort Bend Master Gardeners will hold their annual Perennial Sale and Seminar on Saturday, March 13 at the Fort Bend County Fairgrounds, Building D, 4310 Highway 365, Rosenberg. At 8 a.m., Heidi Sheesley, owner of TreeSearch Farms, will give an overview of plants at the sale. The sale will begin at 9 a.m. and continue until 1 p.m. or until sold out. Visit www.fbmg.com for more information about varieties that will be on sale.

Tomball: The 9th Annual Herb Luncheon, featuring Chef Molly Fowler, The Dining Diva, and Ann Wheeler, Log House Herbs will be held Saturday, March 13, 11 a.m. at The Arbor Gate, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball. Make reservation early. Space is limited. Cost $40.00. For additional information, visit www.arborgate.com or call (281) 351-8851.

College Station: Gardening Study School, Series 13, Course III will be held March 15-16, TAMU, College Station Registrations requested by March 5. Taught by Dr. Joe Novak, Texas A&M University Department of Horticulture Curriculum includes plant growth, pruning techniques, growing outdoor flowers, botanical gardens, classifying plants, and bonsai. Most classes will be at the Horticulture Building at TAMU. Tours include the Holistic Teaching Garden and the Horticulture Research Gardens. A copy of the registration form can be download from the A&M Garden Club Web page: http://www.sallysfamilyplace.com/Clubs/GardenClub.htm. Admittance is limited to 35 attendees. The National Garden Club's Gardening Study Courses are designed to provide information on topics of interest to those especially interested in gardening, horticulture and related topics.

Houston: Tour the working and demonstration gardens maintained by the Harris County Master Gardeners at Precinct 2, at the Genoa Friendship Garden, 1202 Genoa Red Bluff, Houston, Monday, March 15, from 9 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. Included in the tour are an extensive vegetable garden, fruit orchard, perennials, roses, herb and cactus gardens, and two working greenhouses. Master gardeners will be on hand to answer questions during this free event. For more information, visit http://hcmgap2.tamu.edu.

Rockport: Jeanna C. Godfrey, DVM, Master Gardener, will present "Plants and Pets, What's Toxic and What's Not," from noon until 1 p.m., Tuesday, March 16, at the Aransas County Library, 701 E. Mimosa, Rockport. For additional information, call (361) 790-0103 or visit http://aransas-tx.tamu.edu.

Tomball: Diana Foss, Urban Wildlife Biologist, will discuss “Great Habitat Plants for Spring and Summer,” Tuesday March 16, 10 a.m. at The Arbor Gate, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball. Encourage and maximize wildlife in your garden and landscape through plant selections. For additional information, visit www.arborgate.com or call (281) 351-8851.

Seabrook: Linda Knowles, president of the Native Plant Society of Houston will speak about "Using Native Plants in Home Landscaping" as part of the Harris County Master Gardener Association's Master Gardener Lecture Series, at 10 a.m., Wednesday, March 17, at The Meeting Room at Clear Lake Park (on the lakeside), 5001 NASA Road 1, Seabrook. Knowles will discuss how she developed her front yard landscaping using native plants and was able to satisfy her neighborhood association. For additional information, visit http://hcmgap2.tamu.edu.

Tomball: Chef Chris Crowder & Ann Wheeler, Log House Herbs, host “An Evening with Chef Chris and Ann," Friday, March 19, 6:30 p.m. at The Arbor Gate, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball. From the garden to the kitchen, Ann and Chris combine their talents preparing culinary treats. For additional information, visit www.arborgate.com or call (281) 351-8851.

Conroe: The Montgomery County Master Gardeners Spring Plant Sale will be held from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., Saturday, March 20, at 9020 FM 1484, Conroe. Beginning at 8 a.m., County Horticulturalist Tom LeRoy will discuss sale items. Seating is limited. For additional information, call (936) 539-7824.

San Antonio: The Native Plant Society of Texas will present "Native San Antonio" from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m., Saturday, March 20, at Eisenhower Park, 19399 NW Military Drive, San Antonio. Events include presentations by Judit Green, Howard Peak, Phil Hardberger, and Dave Barrett; a tree giveaway; a native plant sale and exchange; and much more. For additional information, contact D. J. Edwards Jr. at djedwardshomes@yahoo.com or (210) 824-3556.

Tomball: Seth Knight, retire Professor of Horticulture, will discuss “Bugs, The Good and The Bad,” Saturday, March 20, 10 a.m. at The Arbor Gate, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball. Learn to tell the good guys from the bad guys as well as control options available. For additional information, visit www.arborgate.com or call (281) 351-8851.

San Antonio: The Native Plant Society San Antonio Chapter will meet Tuesday, March 23 at 7:00 p.m. in the Lions Field Adult & Senior Center, 2809 Broadway at E. Mulberry, San Antonio. Guest speaker Tom Castano will discuss harvesting fibers from Texas native plant to make useful items and craft projects. This meeting is free and open to the public. Social and seed/plant exchange at 6:30 p.m. For more information, contact Bea at (210) 999-7292 or visit www.npsot.org/sanantonio.

Tomball: Dr. David Creech, Regents Professor of Horticulture, Stephen F Austin University, will discuss “Fifty Plants You Shouldn’t Live Without,” Tuesday, March 23, 10 a.m. at The Arbor Gate, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball. Dr. Creech, respected horticulturalist, will share 50 rare and unusual plants and then auction after the presentation. . For additional information, visit www.arborgate.com or call (281) 351-8851.

Bonham: The 2010 Garden, Lawn and Home Expo will be held Saturday, March 27, from 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Multi-Purpose Complex, 700 FM 87 at Hwy 56 West, Bonham. Speakers include Kimberlly Schofield, Beneficial Arthropods; Steve Upson, Home orchard and small fruit production; Dr. Dotty Woodson, Plants that beat the heat and keep blooming; and Dr. Greg Church, Dinner from the dirt. Vendors, lunch and refreshments provided by the Fannin Co. 4-H, children's activities, silent auction and door prizes throughout the day. $4.00 admission. For more information, visit http://grovesite.com/mg/fcmg.

Rockport: The Aransas/San Patricio Master Gardeners will hold their spring plant sale from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., Saturday, March 27, at Green Acres, 611 E. Mimosa, Rockport. In the event of rain, the event will be postponed until April 3. For additional information, call (361) 790-0103 or visit http://aransas-tx.tamu.edu.

Tyler: The East Texas Orchid Society will host "The Golden Age of Orchids Show," 11 a.m. until 6 p.m., Saturday, March 27, and noon until 4 p.m., Sunday, March 28, at Discovery Science Place Annex, 302 N. Broadway, Tyler. For additional information, visit www.centraleasttexasorchidsociety.org.

Waxahachie: The Ellis County Master Gardeners will hold their 10th Annual Lawn & Garden Expo on Saturday, March 27, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the Waxahachie Civic Center, IH-35E and 287 Bypass. Neil Sperry will be the keynote speaker. More than 100 exhibitors will be selling and promoting lawn and garden-related products. Ellis Master Gardeners will hold workshops throughout the day, and there will be a children's workshop area and door prizes. For additional information, visit www.ecmga.com or call (972) 825-5175.

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-Fulton: Presented by the Rockport Herb & Rose Study Group, the Sixth Rockport Herb Festival will be held Saturday, April 3, from 8:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., with programs starting at 9 a.m., at the Paws & Taws Fulton Convention Center, 402 N. Fulton Beach Road, Rockport-Fulton. For more information, visit www.rockportherbs.org.

Austin: Cool Plants for the Shade Garden is a free, in-the-garden discussion to be held Friday, April 9, from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. in the Demonstration Garden at AgriLife Extension Office of Travis County, 1600B Smith Rd., Austin. See some of the shade loving plants growing and learn about other perennials and annuals which require limited sun. This seminar is free and open to the public. It is presented by the Travis County Master Gardeners Association, a volunteer arm of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service in Travis County. For information, visit http://www.tcmastergardeners.org or call the Travis County Master Gardener's help desk at (512) 854-9600.

Quitman: The Governor Hogg Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. 100 Gov. Hogg Parkway. Quitman, will host a Plant Sale and Dogwood Fiesta Saturday, April 10, at 9 a.m. and is over when the plants are gone. Find new, uncommon and Texas-tough perennials, ornamental grasses, hanging baskets, exotic plants and natives. For more information, visit www.woodcountyarboretum.com or call Pam Riley (903) 466-4327.

Beaumont: The Jefferson County Master Gardeners will host their annual spring plant sale and Market Day April 17, from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Southeast Texas Regional Airport, Hangar #4, Jerry Ware Drive, Beaumont. This event is the largest of its kind in the Golden Triangle, complete with vendors of all kinds and, of course, a huge plant sale. Gardening seminars are offered free of charge and Master Gardeners are on hand to answer questions and to help you choose the right plants for your landscape. For more information, call (490) 835-8461.

Austin: The AgriLife Extension Office of Travis County, 1600 B Smith Road, Austin, will host "Plant Propagation" from 1 a.m. until 11 a.m., April 17. Learning how to propagate from existing plants is a great way to populate your garden or pass along your favorites to friends. This seminar covers various propagation methods including cuttings, layering, and division, and help you overcome that fear of starting plants from seeds. The seminar will be part presentation, part participation so class size is limited to 30 participants. Please call the Master Gardener Help Desk at (512) 854-9600 to reserve your place. Participants must also bring scissors and an empty, clear plastic, 2-liter soda bottle with lid for the hands-on project. This seminar is free and open to the public. For additional information, visit www.tcmastergardeners.org or call the Travis County Master Gardener's help desk at (512) 854-9600.

Nocogdoches: The SFA Gardens at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches will host its annual Garden Gala Day on April 17 from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. in the lower arboretum parking lot on Wilson Drive. Stephen F. Austin State University Outdoor Pursuits will host an Earth Day Celebration in conjunction with this year’s sale. The event features the annual spring plant sale fundraiser benefiting the SFA Mast Arboretum, Pineywoods Native Plant Center, Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden, and educational programs hosted at the gardens. All the plants are produced at SFA by the staff, students and volunteers. A wide variety of hard to find, “Texas tough” plants will be available. The public is encouraged to arrive early and bring a wagon. For more information, call (936) 468-4404, or visit http://arboretum.sfasu.edu and click on “upcoming events.”

Stephenville: The annual Native & Heirloom Plant Fair will be held Saturday, April 17 on the grounds of the beautiful Stephenville Museum in Stephenville.  A wide variety of vendors offer native & adapted plants, herbs, garden supplies, concessions, books, produce, yard art, seeds, and arts & crafts. Informative speakers will share gardening ideas. Vendor space is free; contact Russell for details at pfau@tarleton.edu or (254) 968-9761. For additional information, visit http://www.stephenville.com/museum/.

Rockport: David Ilfrey, Landscape Designer, will present "Deigning with Native Plants" from noon until 1 p.m., Tuesday, April 20, at the Aransas County Library, 701 E. Mimosa, Rockport. For additional information, call (361) 790-0103 or visit http://aransas-tx.tamu.edu.

Austin: The Travis County Master Gardeners Association will present DIY Pond Building, Wednesday, April 28, from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m., at Zilker Botanical Garden, 2220 Barton Springs Rd., Austin. Always dreamed of a little pond in your yard? Not only can you have one but you can build it yourself. Attend this free seminar and learn step-by-step lessons on the basics of building a pond yourself. This seminar will help you determine the supplies and equipment needed for the job, gather information about pond plants, and determine which fish will do well in your pond. In addition, hear instructions on general pond maintenance, installing pond lighting and how to prevent unwanted critters in your pond. This seminar is free and open to the public. For more details, visit http://www.tcmastergardeners.org or call the Travis County Master Gardener's help desk at (512) 854-9600.

Austin: "Gardening for Butterflies & Hummingbirds" will be held at the Demonstration Garden at the AgriLife Extension Office of Travis County, 1600 B Smith Road, Austin, from 1 p.m. until 2:30 p.m., Friday, May 7. This seminar is appropriate for anyone wanting to incorporate the correct plants into the garden to attract these beauties. Learn plant food sources, host plants and nesting places for the most common butterflies and hummingbirds in Central Texas. This seminar is free and open to the public. For additional information, visit www.tcmastergardeners.org or call the Travis County Master Gardener's help desk at (512) 854-9600.

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.

San Antonio: The San Antonio Antique Rose Emporium and the Comal Master Gardener Association will present their annual Herb Affair at the Antique Rose Emporium, 7561 E. Evans Road, San Antonio, Saturday, May 8, from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Dill, the 2010 Herb of the Year, will be featured. Demonstrations will include the many ways to use herbs throughout the home and garden, including herbs for pest control, cleansers, nature printing and other crafts. For additional information, visit www.antiqueroseemporium.com, http://grovesite.com/mg/comal, or call (210) 651-4565.

Alvin: The Lone Star Daylily Society will hold a daylily and plant sat, May 15, from 9 a.m. until sold out, at the Alvin Senior Center, Alvin. Judging of flowers begins at 10:30 a.m. and the show opens to the public at 2 p.m., For additional information, visit www.lonestardaylilysociety.org or call Michael Mayfield at (281) 996-9310.

San Antonio: The San Antonio Daylily Society Show and Sale will be held Saturday, May 15, from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. at the San Antonio Garden Center, 3310 N. New Braunfels, San Antonio. For additional information, call (210) 824-9981.

Austin: "How to Create a Wildlife Habitat" will be presented from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m., Saturday, May 22, at the Demonstration Garden at AgriLife Extension Office of Travis County, 1660 B Smith Road, Austin. Learn how to attract butterflies, birds, insects, toads, and other creatures by utilizing plants which create food, cover, water and places to raise young. A Master Naturalist volunteer will lead the discussion. This seminar is free and open to the public. For more information, visit www.tcmastergardeners.org or call the Travis Country Master Gardener's help desk at (512) 854-9600.

Nacogdoches: The Stephen F. Austin State University Pineywoods Native Plant Center will host the 5th Lone Star Regional Native Plant Conference June 2-5 in Nacogdoches. The conference will be held on the SFA campus, home to the Mast Arboretum, the Ruby Mize Azalea Garden, and the 40-acre Pineywoods Native Plant Center. Join a unique blend of naturalists, horticulturists, nurserymen, landscapers, and gardeners and for talks ranging from green roofs to landscape design and native azaleas, guided tours featuring unique local flora, and educational workshops. Registration begins February 1. For more information, visit http://arboretum.sfasu.edu or contact Dawn Stover at (936) 468-4404 or dparish@sfasu.edu.

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 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.

Brackenridge Park: The Native Plant Society San Antonio Chapter meets every fourth Tuesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. in the Lions Field Adult and Senior Center, 2809 Broadway at E. Mulberry, Brackenridge Park, except August and December. Social and seed/plant exchange at 6:30 p.m. Free and open to the public. For more information, contact Bea at (210) 999-7292 or visit www.npsot.org/sanantonio.

Dallas: The Dallas Organic Garden Club meets at 2:30 p.m. on the fourth Sunday of each month at the North Haven Gardens, 7700 Northaven Rd.,  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.


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