April 14, 2010

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Texas Forest Service schools Sam Houston State student teachers in environmental education

Holly Huffman
Communications Specialist
Texas Forest Service

Texas Forest Service Forester Dawn Vollmer scattered dozens of red, white and blue poker chips on the ground and then watched as the crowd of college students dropped their up-stretched arms and scrambled to collect them.

Each chip color represented something trees need to survive – water, sunlight and nutrients – and the Sam Houston State University students who were pretending to be trees had been told to scoop up as many as they could.

“Who got one of each? Who didn’t?” Vollmer asked as the students surveyed their loot and determined whether they collected enough to survive. “Can you see this happening in the real world?”

More than 200 Sam Houston students studying to become teachers converged Wednesday at the university’s Bearkat Camp for Walk in the Forest, the largest Project Learning Tree workshop in the state.

A premier environmental education program, Project Learning Tree uses hands-on, interdisciplinary activities to get prekindergarten through 12th grade students reconnected with the outdoors while teaching them lessons that correspond with state curriculum standards.

A national program, Project Learning Tree is provided by the American Forest Foundation. In Texas, it’s sponsored by Texas Forest Service and Texas Forestry Association. The Walk in the Forest workshop was sponsored by Texas Forest Service, Rotor-Tech Inc, First National Bank of Huntsville, Walker County Timber Growers Association.

“It’s about kids — getting kids outdoors and actively engaged in learning,” said Jake Donellan, lead workshop facilitator and district forester with Texas Forest Service. “It’s based on the whole mantra of No Child Left Inside.”

The No Child Left Inside slogan is a takeoff on the name of the No Child Left Behind Act. It’s based on the concept that many children have lost their connection to the natural world because they now are so tied to video, television and computer screens.

Children learn what they see, so it’s important to expose them to a variety of different people and careers. Walk in the Forest helps student teachers learn how to incorporate forestry into their future classrooms.

“I see this with my own son. I see him tied up with video games,” Donellan said. “When I get him outside, he loves it and he has just as much fun as he does with the video games. He’s interested in the outdoors. But if I let him play video games all day, that’s what he’s going to do.”

At the training, the student teachers rotated through six different stations, each focused on a hands-on sample activity they could plan for their classrooms.

While participating in the Tree Factory, students learned about the different parts that make up a tree. At How Big is Your Tree, they learned how to measure trees using only their hands, eyes and a reference point. At Every Tree For Itself, the students, pretending to be trees, battled for different colored poker chips.

“We had to act it out. Little kids would love that,” Melissa Pacobit, a 23-year-old senior at Sam Houston, said, referring to Every Tree For Itself. “Kids get tired of sitting in the classroom. There’s so much outside kids can learn from.”

The day also allowed the students to brainstorm with each other and facilitators. Pacobit said she was working on a science lesson and had planned to bring in fake leaves for the students to study. But she learned Wednesday that it would be more engaging for the children if she took them outside and let them find their own leaves.

Mance Park Middle School teacher Sandra Bounds co-led the Project Learning Tree History/Hike Through the Guide/Lesson Planning session, which was designed to help the future teachers navigate through the program guide.

Though any teacher can become involved with Project Learning Tree, Bounds said it’s particularly successful to catch the student teachers while they’re still in college. Doing so allows them to accumulate a ready base of information — potential classroom lessons and a bank of natural resource professionals and forestry experts who can help them — before they get entrenched in the daily grind.

“Nowhere else can you educate 200 people in one day with these kind of resources,” said Bounds, who has been involved with Project Learning Tree for most of her 17-year career. “It connects them to the community.”

Senior Loren Van Huss, 24, said the sessions helped her learn how to incorporate the activities into the classroom, as well as how to engage the kids and get them learning outside.

“You can tell how passionate these people are,” Van Huss said, referring to the organizers and facilitators. “They really care about forestry.”

Online tomato growing course ripe for picking

By Kathleen Phillips
Texas AgriLife Extension Service

People who want to try their hand at growing tomatoes may want to try their intellect on a new Web site first.

"Tomato Growing 101" is an online course by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service that walks people from seed to harvest in nine easy-to-learn chapters. Tests after each section enable one to see what information was learned and what needs more attention. At the end of the instruction and tests, participants can print out a certificate of completion, according to its developers.

"For the home gardener, we know their main questions revolve around the three Ts — tomatoes, turf and trees. We know this from the questions that come to AgriLife Extension agents in the counties," said Dr. Joe Masabni, AgriLife Extension vegetable specialist. "Of all the vegetables, the tomato is the No. 1 interest of home gardeners. We decided that if we were to develop a self-paced, self-taught course, the needs and demands were for tomato information."

Masabni developed the online course with AgriLife Extension assistant Patrick Lillard.

Participants first log on by selecting the course at http://www-horticulture.tamu.edu/extension/. After a quick sign-up process, one can select any of the nine sections to study.

In the first section, "Thinking about Tomatoes," information is given to help a person decide whether to start with seed or with transplants. Advantages of starting with seed include being able to try unique varieties that are not locally available as transplants. Reasons for starting with transplants include being faster and requiring less work than beginning with seeds.

Tomato students are also taught how to decide how many plants to produce.

"If you are just wanting to eat them fresh as they ripen, one to two plants per person should be more than enough," Masabni recommended.

The course continues at the participant's pace — even if one needs to do only a portion of the study over a period of days. Other portions of the course include chapters on soil, planting, training, watering, fertilizing, plant pests, general care and a conclusion. Each section includes a test that scores as one selects answers.

Presently, the Tomato 101 course is a beta version. The complete version will be relaunched soon for a nominal fee, Masabni said, which will support the development of future online courses such as Squash 101 and Cucumber 101.

"The comments we've gotten from participants during the beta version have been great. They have remarked about how much they learned and asked where they could take additional courses like it," he said. "So, we will keep Tomato 101 and continue to refresh and add information over time."

The compost heap

"I have a fairly large front yard garden (there was not enough sun in the back yard when we started in 1999)," writes E. Brian Graham. "Down by the street I have planted Xeriscape plants that need little care (except in last summer’s drought). Terraced up behind three levels of those plants I have two large tomato beds plus several smaller areas in other beds where I grow peppers, egg plant, herbs, etc.

"I use both a handheld hose and a soaker hose system, which I have put together over the years to water the vegetables, etc.

"In the past I have used cypress mulch, but I wonder if that is the best. Would pine straw or something else be better? What do you recommend?"

When available, we like to use lawn clippings and leaves from our landscape for mulch. Sometimes we don’t have enough and we use wood chips that we get free from local arborists and even old newspaper. Pine straw makes a good mulch and it is a renewable product and plentiful in East Texas. So, it fits our requirement for being environmentally friendly and is on our list of preferred materials. Also, cedar bark is an excellent choice for garden mulch and is derived from cedar or, to be correct, ashe juniper, an invasive species that plagues many parts of the state particularly the Hill Country. Cypress bark makes good mulch but we do not like to use it because it has been known to come from old growth cypress stands in Texas and Louisiana that are cut down and not replanted. Unlike ashe juniper, these native cypress trees are not invasive and should be protected. — Chris S. Corby, publisher


Gardening tips

Are you looking for plants but don’t have a lot of cash? Try post a want ad on Craigslist, asking for free plants. Most gardeners love to help others out when they have excess in their own garden. Another site where you can request free plants is www.freecycle.org.

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...

Although some garden retailers start offering caladium bulbs in late winter, it is way too early to start planting them. They will likely rot if planted in cold soil. These tropical bulbs require a soil temperature of at least 70 degrees before they should be planted. A good rule of thumb is to wait until it is time to start using the air conditioner at night, then plant those caladiums. Go ahead and plant some more in the middle of summer if you like. They love warm weather.

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.

Hermann Park: The Houston Urban Gardeners will meet at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 14, at the Houston Garden Center in Hermann Park. Dianne Norman with Wabash Antiques and Feed Store will talk about "What to Plant NOW." For additional information, visit www.houstonurbangardeners.org.

New Braunfels: The Lindheimer Chapter of Texas Master Naturalists will meet Thursday, April 15, at 7 p.m. at the AgriLife Building, 325 Resource Drive (behind the recycle center), New Braunfels. The speaker will be Floyd McKee who will bring some of his many Native American artifacts from the Archaic to Early Prehistoric periods in geological time. Floyd lives along the banks of the Guadalupe River and recently found an archeological treasure trove in his backyard. His site has been described as one of the richest archeological sites ever found on the Guadalupe River. Meetings are open to the public.

Austin: The AgriLife Extension Office of Travis County, 1600 B Smith Road, Austin, will host "Plant Propagation" from 9 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.

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.

Cleburne: "Texas Tuff Plants" is the theme of the Johnson County Master Gardener Plant Sale on Saturday, April 17. The sale to be held at the Cleburne Senior Center, 1212 Glenwood Drive, Cleburne, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. will feature perennials, shrubs, and annuals selected for their ability to perform well in harsh Texas conditions. There will be talks by gardening specialists and master gardeners will be available for consultations. For additional information contact Joan Leach, leach@ticnet.com.

Georgetown: Spring Garden Fair, sponsored by Williamson County Master Gardeners, will be held April 17, from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the WilCo AgriLife Extension Office, 3151 Inner Loop Rd., Georgetown. The fair will include gardening classes, a country store, demonstrations on rainwater harvesting, identifying oak wilt, a huge plant sale and so much more!  A Plant Preview class is offered at 8 a.m. highlighting the plants available; attendees will get early admission to the sale.

Granbury: Lake Granbury Master Gardener's Annual Plant Sale will be held Saturday, April 17, from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Hewlett Park Pavilion, Granbury, across from the Conference Center. All of your favorite plants will be offered as well as some new items. Mini seminars will be presented by Master Gardeners and will include drawings for prizes. For more information, contact the Hood County AgriLife Extension office at (817) 579-3280.

Nacogdoches: 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.”

San Marcos: Heirloom tomatoes and native plants will be for sale along with free garden tool cleaning and sharpening service, Saturday, April 17, at the San Marcos Nature Center, 430 Riverside Dr., San Marcos. Bring your dull shovels and hoes. Get ready to plant your purchases. Sponsored by Hays County Master Gardeners and San Marcos Nature Center.

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/.

Tomball: “Attracting Butterflies to the Garden,” presented by Eddie Holik, Director of Horticulture; Houston Museum of Natural Science, will be held at 10 a.m., Saturday, April 17, at The Arbor Gate, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball. Find out how to attract butterflies and hummingbirds in your garden. For additional information, visit www.arborgate.com or call (281) 351-8851.

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.

Seabrook: Diana Foss from Texas Parks & Wildlife will present "Backyard Pollinators" beginning at 10 a.m., April 21, at The Meeting Room at Clear Lake Park (on the lakeside), 5001 NASA Road 1, Seabrook. For more information, visit http://hcmgap2.tamu.edu.

Dallas: Two rain-barrel workshops aimed at water conservation will be offered to the public in North Texas on Earth Day, April 22. The classes run from 9:30-11:30 a.m. and 6:30-8:30 p.m. in the Pavilion Building at the Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Urban Solutions Center, 17360 Coit Road, Dallas. The cost for each class is $40, which pays for rain-barrel construction materials. The workshops will be taught by Dr. Dotty Woodson, Texas AgriLife Extension Service program specialist for water resources. Participants will learn to construct a 55-gallon rain barrel designed to capture water for gardens and household plants, Woodson said. They also will learn about installing efficient irrigation systems. To register, visit http://urbansolutionscenter.tamu.edu/ and scroll through “Upcoming Courses.” For more information, contact Tamaron Hunt at (972) 952-9671 or t-hunt@tamu.edu.

Tomball: “The Glorious Gallery of Perennials, and then some! “ will be presented by Heidi Sheesley, Treesearch Farms, at 10 a.m., Thursday, April 22, at The Arbor Gate, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball. Come for the unveiling of Heidi’s glorious gallery of plants. For additional information, visit www.arborgate.com or call (281) 351-8851.

San Benito: The Earth-Kind Landscaping and Gardening Seminar, the first of its kind in South Texas, will be held from 8:00 a.m. until 3 p.m., April 24 at the San Benito Annex Building, 1390 W. Expressway 83, San Benito. The seminar is presented by the Cameron County Master Gardeners and AgriLife Extension. The fee is $65 and includes refreshments, lunch and an Earth-Kind notebook filled with research-based topics and tips to establish and maintain healthy landscapes and gardens. Topics include an Earth-Kind overview, Earth-Kind roses, improving existing soils, Earth-Kind turf management, selecting plants for South Texas, disease and insect management, and a question and answer session. Pre-registration must be completed by April 12, and seating is limited, Montemayor said. To register, call Montemayor at (956) 455-2096, Rosalinda Sullivan at (956) 498-7840 or the Cameron County AgriLife Extension office in San Benito at (956) 361-8236.

Tomball: “What Can I Do With My Herbs?“ will be presented by Judy Barrett, editor and published author, at 10 a.m., Saturday, April 24, at The Arbor Gate, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball. Judy will offer creative and useful things to do with common herbs. For additional information, visit www.arborgate.com or call (281) 351-8851.

Tyler: The Tyler Men’s Garden Club will host Spring Fling, their spring plant sale, in the parking lot on the north side of the Broadway Square Mall, Tyler, on Saturday, April 24, 2010, from 9:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. The plants available for sale are locally grown. The feature plant of Spring Fling has always been the oak leaf hydrangea. These are gorgeous plants with large pendulous white blooms. Their foliage turns beautiful red burnish colors in fall. There will also be ‘pass along’ plants such as butterfly ginger, red spider lily, confederate rose, and Turk’s cap. Plant shoppers will also find a range of other plants, such as Japanese maples, cannas, day lilies, irises, orchids, root beer plants, maple hibiscus, bromeliads, and some vegetable seedlings.

Austin: The Travis County Master Gardeners Association will present "Growing Vegetables from Seeds," Wednesday, April 28, from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m., at Zilker Botanical Garden, 2220 Barton Springs Rd., Austin. Why pay for vegetable transplants when you can easily grow them yourself? Learn about supplies, timing, varieties, seeding how-to and tips on transplanting to the vegetable garden. 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.

Atlanta: The Caddo Wildflower Chapter will hold its Native Plant Sale Saturday, May 1, from 9 a.m. until noon at the Norne Enterprise Building parking lot, located at the intersection of Hwy 43 and Hwy 77, Atlanta.

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.

Denton: The Denton County Master Gardener 2010 Spring Garden Tour and Plant Sale will be held from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., Saturday, May 8. Tickets $8 in advance; $10 at the gate; $5 single garden. Children under 14 free. For additional information, including locations of the gardens, visit www.dcmga.com or call (940) 349-2883.

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.

Highland Lakes: Join a discussion of “Texas Tough Plants” which are suitable to Central Texas and view examples of Native and Native adapted plants that grow well in Hill Country gardens. This free Green Thumb program is presented by the Highland Lakes Master Gardeners and the Lakeshore Library Speaker Series on Tuesday, May 11 at 2:30 p.m. at the Lakeshore Library located at 7346 Hwy 261, 3.6 miles past the intersection with FM 1431 in Buchanan Dam. Highland Lakes Master Gardener Sheryl Yantis has a beautiful program showing and discussing the plants that are recommended to grow vigorously in the area. Get a preview of some recommended plants at http://yantislakesidegardens.giving.officelive.com/sherylsgarden.aspx.This is a free program but attendees must reserve their seats. Call the library at (325) 379-1174.

Rocksprings: The Texas AgriLife Extension Service office in Edwards County will conduct a free General Horticulture Workshop from 5-7:25 p.m. May 11 in the Edwards County Annex, 400 West Main, Rocksprings. Two Texas Department of Agriculture continuing education units will be offered in the general and integrated pest management categories for participants completing the workshop. Dr. Noel Troxclair, AgriLife Extension entomologist at Uvalde, will speak on the life cycles of common insect pests found in and around the home and the control methods available for them. Dr. Mark Black, AgriLife Extension plant pathologist at Uvalde, will discuss common lawn and garden plant diseases and their treatment procedures. For more information, call Silvers at (830) 683-4310 or (830) 234-7021.

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.

Brenham: The Barrington Living History Farm's gardens will be open Saturday and Sunday, May 29-30 from 10 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Learn about the foods pioneers grew to feed their families in the Brazos Valley in the 1850s. See the heirloom varieties Republic of Texas President Anson Jones may well have been growing on his farm. Barrington Living History Farm is located at Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site off Highway 105 on FM 1155 between Navasota and Brenham. Admission: adults $5; students, $3; children 6 and under free. For additional information, call (936) 878-2214, ext. 246, and ask for Kellie, or visit www.birthplaceoftexas.com.

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.

Cameron: Nature Festival, June 11-12. Explore historical Wilson-Ledbetter Park in Cameron. Friday evening activities – discovery walks, outdoor nature movie, keynote speakers, dedication of bird sanctuary. Saturday – hands-on fun and educational family activities, tour exhibits, sample foods. Discover El Camino Real de los Tejas National Heritage Trail. For additional information, visit www.cameron-tx.com, call (254) 697-4979, visit www.rockdalechamber.com, or call (512) 446-2030.

Weatherford: The 26th annual Parker County Peach Festival will be held from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., Saturday, July 10, in downtown Weatherford. More than 200 arts/crafts, produce and food vendors will line the historic streets. Admission is $5 for adults; children 12 and under are free. For additional information, visit www.peachfestivaltx.com or contact info@weatherford-chamber.com or (888) 594-3801.


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, Schertz. 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 Gardeners meet the third Monday of each month at McGregor house on the corner of West Henderson and Colonial Dr. in Cleburne. A program starts at 6 p.m., followed by a meet-and-greet with refreshments and a short business meeting. For information 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 precedes 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.)

Become a Texas Gardener fan on Facebook

Become a fan of Texas Gardener magazine on Facebook. See what we're up to at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Texas-Gardener-Magazine/301356291835?ref=nf.

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