June 16, 2010

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Small gardens pay big dividends

By Buddy Gough
The Nature Conservancy of Texas

The neighbor’s small backyard at first glance appeared to be an impressive example of elaborate landscaping with flagstone and gravel paths winding through raised beds of lush greenery.

A closer inspection, however, revealed the beds of various shapes and sizes to be growing food-producing plants of different types.

One attention grabber was a small tree growing against a brick wall with its primary limbs flush to the wall and pruned in the shape of candelabra. Amazingly, pears of some kind were hanging from the long, skinny limbs.

In a bed no more than six-foot square were melons of a kind normally associated with much larger garden spots. There weren’t many, but they were beauties.

“I’ve gotten into Japanese gardening,” the neighbor stated proudly in reference of a style of gardening developed in a crowded country where people are accustomed to dealing with small spaces.

“It’s all organically grown, too,” the neighbor added, showing off a compost bin created with the grass clippings and leaves, kitchen leftovers and prunings from plants mixed in with pulverized cow chips obtained from the local garden store.

As a prime example of his earth-friendly food production, he pointed out a small circular bed where several loaded tomato plants surrounded a wire-mesh container filled with compost.

“All I do is water the compost and the nutrients drain right down to my tomato plants,” he explained. Clearly, the gent was way ahead of the current trend of small, home-grown gardens, which are popping up everywhere from the White House lawn to big-city patios.

An offshoot of the trend is so-called “square-foot gardening” where a surprising amount of produce can be grown in any small space receiving a few hours of sunlight each day.

The ideal situation is an enclosed section of yard containing raised beds of several squares filled with organic soil atop a cloth barrier to keep weeds and grass from growing through. However, a large flower pot or planter will do if only a porch or patio is available.

In conjunction with the trend, horticulturists have responded by developing and supplying nurseries with strains of vegetable plants especially suited for small spaces, such as “patio tomatoes” designed to be grown in flower pots.

Some nurseries are now offering complete “herb gardens” that can be grown in a space no larger than a window box.

To learn more about The Nature Conservancy’s work in Texas or to read other gardening tips, visit nature.org/texas.

No summer slow-down for Central Texas insects Central Texans seeing red, false and killer critters

By Paul Schattenberg
Texas AgriLife Extension Service

Insects with strange names like red katydids, false chinch bugs and cicada killers are among the pesky critters popping up in surprising numbers throughout South and Central Texas this summer, according to Texas AgriLife Extension Service experts.

From late spring to the present, AgriLife Extension entomologists and integrated pest management specialists have been receiving reports of red Central Texas leaf-katydids in Medina, Comal, Bexar and Real counties, said Noel Troxclair, AgriLife Extension entomologist at the AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Uvalde.

While masses of red katydids can damage trees, especially the canopies of oaks, as well as cause consternation and aural irritation to many Central Texas residents, they do not tend to inflict much long-term damage on the areas they choose for their summer home, he said.

Central Texas leaf-katydids look similar to grasshoppers and are from 1.3-1.7 inches in length with forewings that are broad near the tips and slightly convex, forming a cup around the abdomen. They are sometimes called "longhorn grasshoppers" because of their long, sturdy antennae. Katydids produce a sound by rubbing their forewings together, and during population outbreaks, masses of them generate a loud, raspy, pulsating whine that continues night and day.

"The Central Texas leaf-katydid is an arboreal or tree-dwelling species found mostly in oaks," Troxclair said. "Large populations of them can decimate oak tree canopies and swarm over property, though they’re mostly considered a nuisance or annoyance."

Troxclair said he witnessed the previous explosion of Central Texas leaf-katydids in 2007 and remembered a large bottomland area near Pearsall where the rapacious insects had completely defoliated hundreds of live oaks. During that year, outbreaks were reported in Bandera, Bexar, Comal, Frio, Hays, Kendall, and Medina counties.

One of this year’s most serious reports came from the Kane family of Hondo.

"A few weeks ago, red katydids started swarming all over my house and property," said Janelle Kane. "At first there were hundreds on the side of my house, then they finally moved into the trees and now they’ve spread all over a 50- to 60-acre area around us."

Kane said the katydids have gotten into her shed, crawled under her patio and “found their way into almost every nook and cranny” of her home’s exterior.

"When their noise finally stops for a brief time, we can actually hear them eating the leaves on our oak trees," she said. "They’ve jumped on both me and my kids, and now my kids are scared to go near them. Besides that, with so many of them dying around us, they smell just awful."

Troxclair said katydids are sturdy insects and insecticides for their control would depend on their location — home landscape, pasture, forested area, etc. — and the recommendations and directions noted on the pesticide’s label. Insecticides containing acetamiprid, carabryl, indoxacarb, malathion, phosmet and spinosad would be labeled in most situations and provide some level of control.

"We’ve also gotten reports of false chinch bugs in Guadalupe and Medina counties," said Troxclair. "These are a sucking bug related to the chinch bug, but are of a different genus. They tend to do the most damage to row crops, as well as rangeland and brushland with a lot of winter annuals, which is where they prefer to breed."

He said the insect prefers wild mustards, breeding on numerous species in the mustard family including Virginia pepperweed and shepherd’s purse, but also feeds on other winter annuals.

Troxclair said adults are a gray-brown with translucent wings and approximately the size of an uncooked grain of rice, but that the late instar immatures are responsible for the majority of the crop damage done in Texas.

"As the winter annuals dry down in the summer forcing these large new populations of false chinch bugs to migrate, they can move into small row crop stands and destroy them, basically sucking them dry," he said.

Troxclair said reports of false chinch bugs usually come from rural and semi-rural areas, but that sometimes they can migrate onto residential property where they can damage landscape plants and lawns.

"Malathion is an effective pesticide for row-crop farmers to use against the insect, he said, and pyrethroids also typically do a good job of controlling them," he said. "But again it is important to read the pesticide labels carefully for proper application rates and information."

"We’ve been getting a number of calls about cicada killers, especially about the holes the cicada killers make in the ground," said Wizzie Brown, integrated pest management specialist at the AgriLife Extension office in Travis County.

Many people panic when they see large wasps flying low over their yard at this time of year and spot holes in the yard or flower beds surrounded by small piles of dirt, she said.

"But these wasps are cicada killers and aren’t anything to panic over," Brown said. "The males can be aggressive and buzz near people, but males are unable to sting. And while the females are capable of stinging, they are rarely aggressive towards humans or animals."

Cicada killers are about 1.5 inches long with a reddish-brown head and thorax and a black abdomen with yellow markings, and their wings have a rusty tinge. Females dig burrows in the ground and use them as nesting areas.

Females sting and paralyze cicadas, then take them back to their burrow to lay eggs on them. When the eggs hatch, the larvae feed upon the cicada carcass.

Cicada killers usually do not warrant any control methods, Brown said.

"They are actually beneficial insects that help to reduce populations of cicadas," she said. "But if you feel that you must do something to manage them, you can sprinkle insecticidal dust around the opening of the burrow."

Troxclair and Brown also noted an increase in reports in Central Texas of caterpillars they have identified as salt marsh caterpillars. They agreed while the caterpillars are not yet a significant issue, the moths they will produce in weeks to come could create problems for home gardens and area cotton producers as cotton is a preferred host.

The compost heap
Pear tree, humus

"I have a pear tree that has been very healthy for the last 5 years," writes Shannon Christo. " It was planted some time in 2005. For the last week or so, the leaves have turned a sallow yellow/orange/brown color. The leaves are also droopy. In the past few days, the leaves are getting much more brown. I don't know what to do! I used Bayer tree and shrub feed and protector on Monday. There are no bugs are fungus on the leaves. The only critter I see are small ants on the trunk."

Without seeing a photo of the leaves it is hard to make a definitive diagnosis. However, pears in Texas sometimes suffer from fungal leaf spot disease, particularly in a wet year like this one, that can defoliate a tree by mid summer. This may cause them to set a new batch of leaves and bloom again in the fall. To alleviate this problem you would need to apply an approved fungicide several times in the spring. — Chris S. Corby, publisher

"'Did You Know...' (Seeds, June 9, 1010) says humus is awesome," writes Kay H. Wilson. "What is it, why is it so good, will it really kill fungi and where do you get it?"

Humus is a complex mixture of dark-colored, amorphous, colloidal substances. When organic matter decomposes, some of it becomes humus. Most compost will contain 3 to 8 percent humus. By way of comparison, peat moss has no humus content at all. Organic gardeners feel that by adding humus to the garden they are feeding the soil, not the plants growing there, and that microorganisms in the actively decomposing humus can prevent the development of plant-destroying fungi. You can increase the amount of humus in your garden by adding compost to it on a regular basis. You can also buy humate at any garden center or nursery that specializes in organic products. Humate contains a more concentrated form of humus, usually around 70 percent. — Chris S. Corby, publisher


Gardening tips

"Bambusa textilis (Weaver's Bamboo) makes wonderful stakes to grow pole beans and other climbers on," suggests Bill Barr. "The bamboo is thin (less than 1"), relatively easy to cut, clean, and use for staking. One clump of bamboo will provide enough stakes for quite a few gardens. I use a soil auger to make the holes for the base of the stake to go into the ground."

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...

If you suspect that you have spider mites on your tomatoes, beans or okra, a common problem this time of year, remove a leaf and thump it over a piece of white paper. If you notice tiny red dots on the paper then you have spider mites and should blast them with a hard spray of soapy water or an approved miticide, depending on your philosophy and preference. Be sure to spray the underside of the leaves because that is where most of the spider mites will be located.

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.

Nacogdoches: The SFA Gardens will host its monthly Les Reeves Garden Lecture Series at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 17 in room 110 of the Agriculture Building located on Wilson Drive on the Stephen F. Austin State University campus. Paul Cox, former long-time assistant director of the San Antonio Botanic Garden and co-author of Texas Trees a Friendly Guide, will present an entertaining and thought provoking program titled, “Sure Experience is the Best Teacher, but Why Can’t it Happen to Someone Else?” Paul is a graduate of SFA. He and family live in Helotes, Texas. The Les Reeves Garden Lecture Series is generally held the third Thursday of each month at the SFA Mast Arboretum in Nacogdoches. Refreshments are served by the SFA Gardens volunteers before the lecture with a rare plant raffle being held afterward. The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Greg Grant at (936) 468-1863 or grantdamon@sfasu.edu.

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.

Denton: The Denton County Master Gardeners Association (DCMGA), the Texas AgriLIFE Extension and the City of Denton will host the 2010 Denton County Fruit, Vegetable, Herb and Flower Show on Saturday, June 19 at the Denton County Fire Fighters Memorial Park located on the corner of Carroll Boulevard and Mulberry Street in Denton. The competition, featuring fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers, is open to any Denton County resident interested in gardening. There is no entry fee to participate. Entries will be accepted from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. on the morning of the show, and awards will be announced at noon or immediately following judging. The show promotes the Denton County Farmers Market, which is open every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 7 a.m. to noon or sell-out, June through September. For more information on the show and entry rules, please contact Texas AgriLIFE Extension at (940) 349-2892 or visit the DCMGA website at www.dcmga.com.

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.

Pearland: The Harris County Master Gardener Association will present a program on Landscape Design, from 6:30 p.m. until 9 p.m., Tuesday, July 13, at Bass Pro Shops, Highway 288 at the Sam Houston Tollway, Pearland. For more information, visit http://hcmgap2.tamu.edu.

Seabrook: Michael Merritt, Regional Urban Forest Coordinator of the Texas Forest Service, will speak about the Harris County Champion Tree Registry beginning at 10 a.m., Tuesday, July 21, at The Meeting Room at Clear Lake Park (on the lakeside),. 5001 NASA Road 1, Seabrook. Merritt will discuss how all the old trees in Harris County are identified and recorded. The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, visit http://hcmgap2.tamu.edu.

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.org or call the Travis County Master Gardener's Help desk at (512) 854-9600.

Austin: for the fall and winter season. Join Master Gardener Vegetable Specialist and Texas Gardener Contributing Writer Patty Leander to learn the basics of vegetable gardening with an emphasis on varieties that flourish in the fall and winter months when she presents “Fall Vegetable Gardening,” from 10 a.m. until noon, Saturday, August 7, at Southwest Hills Community Church, 7416 W. Hwy 71, Austin.. Broccoli, lettuce, Swiss chard, radishes and spinach are among the fantastic crops that grow well in our cooler season. Vegetable gardens don't end in fall, so come learn how to keep yours going year round. 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.

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.

Austin: “How to Manage Garden Insects” will be presented Saturday, August 21, from 10 a.m. until noon at the LCRA Redbud Center, Room 108N, 3601 Lake Austin Blvd., Austin. Insects can be one of the biggest challenges for gardeners. But you can deal with pests effectively without spraying general insecticides all over your plants. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) can teach you how to protect your garden without harming the environment or your plants. Learn to distinguish beneficial insects in your backyard from harmful insects. Basic IPM strategies will be described that can help manage insect pests throughout the landscape, in vegetable gardens, even in the home. 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. www.tcmastergardeners.org or call the Travis County Master Gardener's help desk at (512) 854-9600.

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.

Rockport-Fulton: Rockport-Fulton’s 22nd HummerBird Celebration will be held September 16 through 19. Celebrate the ruby-throated hummingbird migration and other birds in the area with four days of speakers, bus birding field trips, boat birding trips, hummer home guided bus tours and programs. More than 90 vendors are located in the HummerBird Malls. Outdoor exhibits include butterfly tent, live birds of prey, and nature centers. For additional information or to register, visit www.rockporthummingbird.com or www.rockport-fulton.org or call the Rockport-Fulton Chamber of Commerce at (800) 242-0071.


Houston: The Harris County Master Gardeners meet at noon the first Tuesday of each month at the Texas AgriLife Extension, 3033 Bear Creek Drive (near the intersection of Highway 6 and Patterson Road), Houston. For additional information visit http://hcmga.tamu.edu or call (281) 855-5600.

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.

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.

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.

San Antonio: The Native Plant Society of Texas San Antonio Chapter meets the fourth Tuesday of the month, except August and December, at the Lions Field Adult & Senior Center, 2809 Broadway, San Antonio. Social and plant/seed exchange at 6:30 p.m., program at 7:00 p.m. For more information, visit www.npsot.org/sanantonio or call Bea at (210) 999-7292.

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