May 12, 2010

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DNA barcoding exposes fake ferns in international plant trade

Duke University Office of News & Communications

DNA testing of garden ferns sold at plant nurseries in North Carolina, Texas and California has found that plants marketed as American natives may actually be exotic species from other parts of the globe.

The finding relied on a new technique called "DNA barcoding" that uses small snippets of DNA to distinguish between species, in much the same way that a supermarket scanner uses the black lines in a barcode to identify cans of soup or boxes of cereal.

A team of North Carolina researchers suspected a fern sold in commercial nurseries might not be what the labels said it was, so they took a specimen to the lab to analyze its DNA. When they pasted the DNA sequence of three of the plant's genes into an online database, they discovered that what had been labeled as Wright’s lip fern (Cheilanthes wrightii), an American native popular in rock gardens and xeriscapes, was in fact a bristle cloak fern (C. distans), a distant relative from Australia.

“It was a 100 percent match,” said co-author Eric Schuettpelz, a post-doctoral fellow at the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent) in Durham. The team’s findings appear online in the April 9 issue of Molecular Ecology Resources. “Probably 50 percent of the plants I’ve collected from botanical gardens and greenhouses were incorrectly identified,” said Schuettpelz.

“Nomenclature mix-ups in the nursery industry are frequent in all plants, ferns included,” said co-author Tony Avent of Plant Delights Nursery in Raleigh, a retail nursery that sells plants from all over the world. Most nurseries are run by growers and retailers, not taxonomists, Avent said. Ferns are difficult to monitor because they’re tricky to tell apart.

"Ferns don’t have flowers or fruits to help with identification, like many other plants,” said lead author Kathleen Pryer, associate professor of biology at Duke University. Fern species are particularly hard to contain in the close quarters of a greenhouse, where their spores can drift into neighboring pots. “After a while, who’s to know whether a plant is what the label says it is?” said Pryer.

Most mix-ups happen when plants are passed from one grower to the next without good labeling, Avent said. “But some mix-ups occur when nurseries intentionally change the tags to sell a plant, especially when they have requests for a similar species or cultivar."

“Most nurseries don’t have the time or interest to find the proper nomenclature,” said Avent. “They are more interested in making money, and in this economy, staying in business.”

Since DNA barcoding was first proposed in 2003, the technique has caught on more quickly in animals than plants. A standardized botanical barcode remains elusive partly because of the greater complexity of plant genetics, but also due to ongoing debate over which combination of genes will work reliably for the more than 400,000 species of land plants.

But for those in the business of buying and selling exotic plants, DNA barcoding could help identify harmful or invasive species or prevent the sale of species which are rare or endangered. “This might eventually be able to help prevent people from taking things out of countries illegally,” said Pryer.

One of the advantages of the technique is that it can identify species from small amounts of tissue or processed material — a bit of leaf, a plank of wood, or an herbal mix — that are otherwise impossible to match to the plants they came from, said co-author Michael Windham, curator of vascular plants at the Duke Herbarium.

Some scientists foresee a future in which biologists, customs officials and port inspectors can feed a piece of leaf or root into a handheld DNA scanner, which will then sequence a handful of genetic markers and spit out the species name.

“Just like the tricorder device they used in Star Trek,” said Windham. “Spock used it to analyze the mineral content of rocks, or the oxygen content of the atmosphere. Who needs to lug around a copy of ‘Flora of North America’ when they’ve got a species tricorder?”


New gardening guide offers tips for climate-friendly gardens and yards

Union of Concerned Scientists

Home gardeners can avoiding contributing to climate change by using certain techniques and tools that are more climate-friendly than others, according to a new gardening guide released in April by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). The science-based guide explains the connection between land use and global warming, and offers recommendations for conscientious gardeners to maximize the amount of heat-trapping carbon dioxide their green spaces store and minimize the other global warming gases gardens can emit.

“Many Americans understand that powering our cars and computers overloads our atmosphere with heat-trapping gases like carbon dioxide,” said Karen Perry Stillerman, a senior analyst with the UCS Food and Environment Program. “With the right practices, farmers and gardeners can lock up some of that carbon in the soil.”

When too much carbon dioxide and other global warming gases, such as methane and nitrous oxide, are released into the air, they act like a blanket, trapping heat in the atmosphere and altering weather patterns around the world, Stillerman explained. Unchecked climate change will have serious consequences for public health and the environment.

Although agriculture can store carbon and reduce other emissions on a much larger scale, gardeners can help. The Climate-Friendly Gardener: A Guide to Combating Global Warming from the Ground Up (www.ucsusa.org/gardenguide) offers five recommendations for gardeners.

1. Minimize Carbon-Emitting Tools and Products. Gasoline-powered lawn mowers and leaf blowers are obvious sources of heat-trapping carbon dioxide. A typical mower emits 20 pounds of carbon dioxide per gallon. Synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, which require a lot of energy to produce, also contribute to global warming. The new guide provides several tips for avoiding garden chemicals and fossil-fuel-powered equipment.

2. Use cover crops. Bare off-season gardens are vulnerable to erosion, weed infestation and carbon loss. Seeding grasses, cereal grains or legumes in the fall builds up the soil, reduces the need for energy-intensive chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and maximizes carbon storage. The guide recommends that gardeners plant peas, beans, clovers, rye and winter wheat as cover crops and explains the specific advantages that legume and non-legume cover crop choices have for gardens.

3. Plant Trees and Shrubs Strategically. Planting and maintaining one or more trees or large shrubs is an excellent way to remove more heat-trapping carbon dioxide from the atmosphere over a long period of time. A recent study estimated that the trees in U.S. urban areas store nearly 23 million tons of carbon in their tissues every year. That’s more than all of the homes, cars, and industries in Los Angeles County emit annually, or about as much as all of the homes in Illinois or Pennsylvania emit every year. Well-placed trees also shade buildings from the summer sun or buffer them from cold winter winds, reducing the need for — and cost of — air conditioning and heating. UCS’s guide discusses the most suitable types of trees for a climate-friendly yard.

4. Expand Recycling to the Garden. Yard trimmings and food waste account for nearly 25 percent of U.S. landfill waste, and the methane gas released as the waste breaks down represents 3 to 4 percent of all human-generated heat-trapping gases. Studies indicate that well-managed composted waste has a smaller climate impact than landfills. The UCS guide describes how to create a climate-friendly compost pile.

5. Think Long and Hard about Your Lawn. Residential lawns, parks, golf courses and athletic fields are estimated to cover more than 40 million acres — about as much as all the farmland in Illinois and Indiana combined. A growing body of research suggests that lawns can capture and store significant amounts of carbon dioxide, but some newer studies warn of the potential for well-watered and fertilized lawns to generate heat-trapping nitrous oxide. The science is unsettled, but there are practical things gardeners can do to maximize lawn growth and health with a minimum of fertilizer and water. The new UCS guide summarizes the science and offers tips for homeowners to make their lawns truly “green.”

“Gardening practices alone won’t solve global warming, but they can move us in the right direction, just like installing super efficient light bulbs and using reusable bags,” said Stillerman. “Seventy percent of Americans garden, and they can have a positive impact. Our guide shows them how.”


 

Gardening tips

Be on the lookout for bad guys like squash bugs, cucumber beetles and tomato hornworms in the vegetable garden. If you remove and destroy them when spotted, often times you can avoid spraying with toxic sprays, thus saving the beneficial insects in your garden. Your shadow in the garden is the best garden tool around.

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...

When it comes to Pennyroyal, there are two different types: English Mentha pulegium and American Hedeoma pulegioides. The English pennyroyal is a member of the mint family while the American version is not. Both varieties have been used by organic gardeners as insect repellents.


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.

Houston: Christine Povinelli will discuss edible plants that grow like weeds at the May meeting of the Houston Urban Gardeners, 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 12, at the Houston Garden Center, 1500 Hermann Dr. in Hermann Park, Houston. Meetings are free. For additional information, call (713) 284-1989.

Georgetown: Don Beaumont, geologist, will present "The Phantom Science: How Geology Created the Amazing Natural Resources of Central Texas" from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. at the Thursday, May 13, meeting of the Williamson County Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas (NPSOT). The meeting will be held on the second floor of the  Georgetown Public Library,  402 W. 8th St., Georgetown, and a free plant swap at the library entrance will be held at 5:30 p.m. For additional information, call Susan Waitz at (512) 948-5241 or visit http://www.npsot.org/WilliamsonCounty/default.htm.

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.

Dallas: Enjoy a self-guided tour of seven private gardens in Dallas and Heath as part of The Garden Conservancy's Open Days Program, Saturday, May 15, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. (at most locations). Begin the tour at the Patterson + Thoma Garden, 3201 Wendover Road, Dallas, where the discounted day pass and directions to each additional location will be provided. Admission is $5 per garden or $30 for all seven gardens; children 12 and under free. Discounted day passes are available in advance and on the day of the tour at Calloways Nursery locations in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. For more information, visit www.opendaysprogram.org or call The Garden Conservancy toll-free weekdays, 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., EST, (888) 842-2442.

Rockwall: Tickets are on sale now for the 2010 Tour of Gardens sponsored by the Rockwall County Master Gardener Association. The tour is May 15 from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Tickets are $8 in advance and $10 on the day of the tour. For more information visit http://grovesite.com/page.asp?o=mg&s=rc&p=313468 or call (972) 204-7660.

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.

Pearland: Daylilies will be in peak bloom when Payne's in the Grass Daylily Farm — 2137 Melanie Lane, Pearland — hosts an open garden Sunday, May 16, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Admission is free and daylily plants will be for sale. For additional information, call (281) 485-3821 or lp-payne@comcast.net or visit www.paynesinthegrassdaylilyfarm.com.

Livingston: The Texas AgriLife Extension office in Livingston will sponsor a series of horticultural talks beginning at 6:30 p.m., May 18, at the AgriLife office, 602 E. Church St., Suite 127, Livingston. The first talk will be "Tomato Tips, or how to make the most of of all those plants!" For additional information or directions, call (936) 327-6828.

Seabrook: Catherine Hubbard, Director of the Albuquerque Biopark's Botanic Garden will discuss "Rose Gardening in the Arid Landscape" at 10 a.m., May 19 at The Meeting Room at Clear Lake Park (on the lakeside), 5001 NASA Road 1, Seabrook. Hubbard will discuss the construction of a one-acre rose garden in Biopark's Garden and the role roses can play in an arid landscape. For more information, visit http://hcmgap2.tamu.edu.

New Braunfels: Octavio Garza, New Braunfels Assistant City Engineer, will speak to the Lindheimer Chapter of the Texas Master Naturalists at 7 p.m., Thursday, May 20, at the AgriLife Building, 325 Resource, New Braunfels. The public is welcome. For additional information, contact Judy Brupbacher at thebrups@hotmail.com.

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.

Bryan: "Good Garden Therapy — Earth Kind Methods for Gardening" will be presented Saturday, May 22, 9 a.m. to noon at the Brazos Center, 3232 Briarcrest Drive, Bryan. Get answers to your spring-summer vegetable gardening questions and prepare now for a successful fall garden with Tom LeRoy, Montgomery County Horticulture Extension Agent and author of The Southern Kitchen Garden. In session 2 learn about “The Soil Food Web,” a new model of soil fertility and management, from John Ferguson, owner of Nature’s Way Resources in Conroe. This model explains how biological methods work to save time and money-producing better gardening results. Hosted by the Brazos County Office of Texas AgriLife Extension Master Gardeners. Seminar fee: $20. Pre-registration preferred. For registration, http://www.brazosmg.com. For additional information, contact Brazos County Master Gardeners at brazosmg@ag.tamu.edu or (979) 823-0129.

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.

San Antonio: 13th Annual Festival of Flowers, Saturday, May 29. One of the largest gardening events in South Texas. Featured attractions include Texas' largest plant and seed exchange (more than 1,000 plants and seed packets traded each year) and the new Alamo Area Horticulture Show and Contest. Morning seminars include Jeff Pavlat on landscaping with succulents and cactus; Texas Gardener Contributing Writer Patty Leander on organic fall vegetable gardening; landscape designer Randy Rodgers on energizing tired landscapes; and Mark Peterson on colorful Spanish courtyards. Afternoon Organic Roundtable moderated by Bob Webster with panelists Malcolm Beck, John Dromgoole, Judy Barrett, Bruce Deuley and Stuart Franke. Herb-cooking demonstrations, floral design competition and GO TEXAN Farmers Market. Shop for plants, landscape supplies and garden accessories at the Indoor Garden Mall — a mix of non-profit and retail gardening vendors. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission $6 for adults, no charge for children under 10. Free parking. Bring carts and wagons. Free plant checkroom available. For more information, visit www.SAFestivalofFlowers.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.

Houston: Urban Harvest Farmers Market will host the sixth annual Urban Harvest Tomato Fest, Saturday, June 5, and Saturday, June 12, at 3000 Richmond at Eastside (between Kirby and Buffalo Speedway), in the back parking lot. For additional information, visit www.urbanharvest.org.

Austin: “Basic Landscape Design Principles” will be presented Saturday, June 19, 10 a.m. until noon, at Zilker Botanical Garden, 2220 Barton Springs Road, Austin. “Basic Landscape Design Principles,” the first of a two-part series, will help get your creative juices flowing by exploring ways to use your space and by looking at various garden styles. Learn about basic design principles such as texture, color, and function that will help you to create a pleasing environment. This seminar is free and open to the public. For additional information, visit www.tcmastergardeners.org or call the Travis County Master Gardeners' help desk at (512) 854-9600.

Austin: Enjoy a free seminar concentrating on capturing rainwater and lowering water usage in your landscape from 10 a.m. until noon, Saturday, June 26, at Zilker Botanical Garden, 2220 Barton Springs Rd., Austin. This session will teach you all the basics on building a non-potable rainwater harvesting system. In addition, lower your water usage by learning about rain gardens which capture valuable rainwater in your landscape. Vendors representing tank and gutter companies will be available to answer specific questions. City of Austin representatives will be available to answer permit and rebate questions. This seminar is free and open to the public. It is presented by the Travis County Master Gardeners Association, a volunteer arm of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service in Travis County. For additional information, visit www.tcmastergardeners.org or call the Travis County Master Gardener's help desk at (512) 854-9600.

Austin: “Designing Your Landscape” will be presented Saturday, July 10, 10 a.m. until noon, at Zilker Botanical Garden, 2220 Barton Springs Road, Austin. “Designing Your Landscape,” the second of a two-part series, will explore the step-by-step process of creating a landscape plan., including a discussion of the creation of drawings from site analysis through concept to a final planting plan. Learn how to measure your yard and draw a base plan to scale. This seminar will introduce the tools you need to create the garden you have always wanted. This seminar is free and open to the public. For additional information, visit www.tcmastergardeners.org or call the Travis County Master Gardeners' help desk at (512) 854-9600.

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.

Austin: "Better Photography in the Garden," a class to help gardeners capture the beauty of nature, will be held from 10 a.m. until noon, Saturday, July 24, at Zilker Botanical Garden, 2220 Barton Springs Road, Austin. Learn tips on capturing plants and insects in the garden. Discussion will include how lighting, focal length and aperture interact in composing photographs and how to use a camera's programs (landscape, portrait, etc.) effectively. After the presentation, go into the Botanical Garden to practice. Participants must provide their own camera and have an understanding of how it works. All types of cameras are welcome. The seminar is free and open to the public. For more information, visit www.tcmastergardeners.com or call the Travis County Master Gardener's Help desk at (512) 854-9600.

Seguin: Guadalupe County Master Gardeners is now accepting applications for Evening Training Classes. School will be Wednesdays, August 11 through December 1; 6-9 p.m. at the Texas AgriLife Extension Building, 210 Live Oak, Seguin. Interested in learning about vegetable and flower gardening, trees and the environment? Enjoy sharing knowledge of plants and gardening with people in your community? Want to participate in positive community service programs with volunteers that have similar interests? Then the Master Gardener program could be for you. Learn from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension specialists, staff and local experts, including Malcolm Beck, Texas Gardener Contributing Writer Patty Leander, Flo Oxley, John Dromgoole and Drs. Larry Stein and Mark Black. Topics cover botany & plant growth, entomology, xeriscaping, propagation, herbs and vegetables, tree care and pruning principles, composting and organic horticulture, water conservation and much more. Sign up now before the classes are full. Registration is $170 with a 10% discount for early payment. For more information, please contact Robert Teweles at 210 289-9997, email rteweles@satx.rr.com or visit www.guadalupecountymastergardeners.org.

Fredericksburg: 5th Annual Wildscapes Workshop — Better Basics: Backyards, Birds & Butterflies. September 11, Registration & Plant Sale open at 8 a.m., Seminars 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Garden Tours 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. United Methodist Church, 1800 North Llano Street, Fredericksburg. Take a comprehensive look at using native plants to provide a sustainable environment that will attract the local wildlife to your landscape. Speakers will show how to expand your living space by creating outdoor retreats using native plants and hardscape. The cost of $35.00 includes morning snack and lunch, along with afternoon tours of gardens that exemplify the information taught during the seminars. Raffles, a big door prize and a silent auction will be ongoing throughout the day. Several local nurseries will be selling hard-to-find native plants and volunteers from the Fredericksburg Chapter will be selling even harder-to-find books about native plants. For more information visit www.npsot.org/Fredericksburg or contact Lynn Sample at (830) 889-1331.

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, 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.

Atlanta: The Caddo Wildflower Chapter of Native Plants Society meets the fourth Tuesday of each month at the Horne Enterprise building in Atlanta at 7 p.m.  Visitors are welcome. For additional information, contact Kay Lowery at frostkay268@aol.com.

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.


Sale! A book so good, even the insects like it

That’s right. We have a small quantity of The Vegetable Book that have been nibbled on by silverfish. The result is very minor cosmetic damage. We can’t sell them as new books at full price so we are forced to drastically reduce the price to $13.87 (includes tax and shipping). That is more than half off the regular price! This should appeal to all the tightwads out there as well as those who would like to have a second, not-so-perfect copy of Dr. Cotner’s timeless classic to carry with them to the garden as a working copy. Hurry while supplies last!

$13.87 includes tax and shipping! (while supplies last)

Order by calling 1-800-727-9020 or order on-line.

(Discover, MasterCard and Visa accepted.)


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 customizTexas Wildscapes program provides the tools you need to make ahome 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