July 7, 2010

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


The garden reader:
Garden zones and wildlife

By William Scheick
University of Texas at Austin

Dale Groom and Dan Gill. Texas Gardener’s Resource. Cool Springs Press, 2009. 383 pp. $19.95.

Stephen DeStefano. Coyote at the Kitchen Door: Living with Wildlife in Suburbia. Harvard University Press, 2010. 197 pp. $24.95.

Readers familiar with “The Plant Groom” — the title of a syndicated news column, a television series and a call-in radio program — will recognize the name of the native Texan horticulturalist Dale Groom. Since the 1990s he has also authored, under various titles, a garden guide for Texas. Texas Gardener’s Resource is the latest updated version of that handbook.

It’s a hefty volume with ample, easy-to-follow advice divided into separate chapters on annuals, perennials, bulbs, lawns, groundcovers, wildflowers, edible plants, roses, shrubs, vines and trees. Each chapter profiles specific plants ideal for Texas and also provides a month-to-month schedule for caring for these plants.

Because Texas is a large state with regions defined by significantly different climatic and other environmental conditions, any handbook designed for the entire state should be consulted thoughtfully. It is understandable that not every recommendation in Texas Gardener’s Resource will work well in every part of Texas.

As good as this book is, it could be more helpful and accurate about today’s hardiness zones. The included 20-year-old USDA plant hardiness zone map is considerably outdated and, at the very least, ought to be paired with the much more recent Arbor Day Foundation plant hardiness zone map.

It would also have been useful if a page on heat zones (the highest temperature at which a plant is likely to perform well) followed the page on cold-hardiness zones (the lowest temperature at which a plant is likely to survive). Many gardeners are aware of cold-hardiness issues, but many have never heard about heat limitations.

Information about a plant’s heat zone is rarely available in catalog descriptions or on market tags at local nurseries. This is unfortunate because “pushing” a plant’s heat zone is simply a bad bet.

Consider lilacs, which are justifiably not mentioned in Texas Gardener’s Resource. Lilacs pass the cold-hardiness test for (say) San Antonio, but they fail the heat zone test there.

Gardeners commonly gamble with cold-hardiness zoning. Because Texas is hotter now than in recent decades, it is possible to win when “pushing,” for example, a zone 9 plant as an in-ground choice for zone 8. It might be safer to select, for instance, a zone 7 plant as an in-ground possibility for zone 8, but only when the plant falls within that region’s heat zone.

While Texas Gardener’s Resource has no chapter on wildlife gardening, it does indicate when a profiled plant attracts bees, butterflies or hummingbirds. Maybe such a chapter isn’t necessary. My gardens simply always become wildlife magnets, whether or not I like it.

The survival of wildlife in urban settings that have overtaken former natural habitats is biologist Stephen DeStefano’s subject in Coyote at the Kitchen Door. While some species (such as the mountain lion) have been disastrously displaced by urbanization, others have adapted — often to the anguish of homeowners and pet-lovers.

Wildlife making a go of it in towns and cities meet many challenges, including traffic, windows and numerous toxins. Challenging as they can be to wildlife, urban and suburban environments are nonetheless alternative ecosystems where even roads can foster adaptive behavior in animals.

If you think that local patches of preserved wildscape compensate for the impact of urbanization, Professor DeStefano advises some rethinking. The life-patterns of animals (or for native plants, incidentally) cannot be sustained so simply.

I confess that, for me at least, this little book resisted ever becoming either fish or fowl, as it were. It always remained a peculiar, never quite jelling mixture of personal memoir, ecological report and close-up coyote portrait by an author who seemed downright timid about taking a position on any of the many issues at stake.

My personal preferences aside, though, Coyote at the Kitchen Door would make a fine recommendation for high school or advanced elementary students seeking highly accessible summaries of the latest findings about the impact of urbanization on wildlife.



The 2010 East Texas Field Day, held June 24 at Overton, included nearly 400 entries of bedding plants, said Dr. Brent Pemberton, the Texas AgriLife Research horticulturist who has conducted field trials every year since 1994. (Texas AgriLife Extension Service photo by Robert Burns)

Despite thunderstorms, nearly 140 attend East Texas horticultural field day

By Robert Burns
Texas AgriLife Extension Service

Despite thunderstorms and soggy fields, more than 140 international seed company representatives, professional growers and Master Gardeners attended the 2010 East Texas Horticultural Field Day held June 24 at Overton.

Though 140 was far short of the usual attendance, which usually ranges from 200 to 250, Dr. Brent Pemberton, the Texas AgriLife Research horticulturist who manages the field day, said he was pleased with the attendance. It's not unusual for gardeners, whether it's their avocation or vocation, to be loyal attendees of the event, rain or shine, he said.

"Consider it a great opportunity to look for rain tolerance," Pemberton joked after moving the field day indoors to the center's 250-seat auditorium to escape the rain.

The joke was a reference to the field day which commonly tests varieties for drought tolerance, among other things. Included in the trials of nearly 400 varieties were everything from petunias to verbena to ornamental sweet potatoes. Texas conditions present special challenges for some ornamental plants, which are often developed in other states.

Some plants do well — even thrive — under Texas heat and sometimes droughty summers, Pemberton said. Others do not, and it's important for both amateur garden enthusiasts and those who develop and market new varieties to find out which is the case before they make substantial investments.

This was his third year to visit the field day, said Tim Runte, with Calloway’s Nursery, which operates retail stores in the Dallas, Fort Worth and Houston.

"We try to work with our growers to select product that works well in Texas," Runte said.

The Overton field day is one of several that Runte attends yearly to search for superior product. He attends trials in Ohio, at the Dallas Arboretum and pack trials in California.

"We just have stores in Dallas, Fort Worth and Houston, so we're mostly concerned with how plants do in Texas," he said.

Runte's strategy is to make note of promising varieties he finds at trials in other areas, but performance at the Overton and Dallas trials is critical, he said. If the varieties perform well in Texas, then they will ultimately end up in the Calloway's Nursery retail outlets.

Duane Deibert, of Syngenta Horticultural Services, Lisle, Ill., said he's been to the field day numerous times.

"It's an opportunity to see how varieties my company breeds and develops perform in an open field environment — a Texas environment," Deibert said.

Deibert, who works out of a Lindale office, said he hadn't had a chance to tour the entire field, but one of his first picks was a germanium called Grandiose.

"It's from one of my competitor companies, but it looks like a great product," he said.

Jerry Soukup, owner of Southwest Perennials, said he's a regular attendee of the Overton field day. Southwest Perennials sells herb and perennial liners (plugs) for traditional, native, Xeriscape, and green roof landscapers.

Soukup was happy, he said, because despite the recession, he and other horticultural companies had a profitable spring.

"From what I heard this spring most people did pretty good compared to what we were expecting. People were looking for drought-tolerant stuff. People were looking for (bright) color."

JoAnn Carter, who came from Nacogdoches, has been a Master Gardener since 1995.

"The plants. It's all about the plants. The field day is the best way to find out what's new and what's coming on for the nursery trade. We can use it in our Master Gardener's demo-garden. I can go back to educate the landscapers at home about what's going to be available for them."

Texas is an important market for Benary, an international seed company with corporate headquarters in Münden, Germany, said Danny Brooks, product support specialist.

"A lot of growers use our begonia products. Pentas, which do well in the Texas heat, are a big item here," said Brooks, who traveled to Overton from his southern Missouri office.

The ornamental plant industry in the northeast Texas region represents a wholesale value of more than $500 million, with about $100 million of that related to bedding plant production, Pemberton said.


Gardening tips

"The big mammoth sunflowers make wonderful stalks for pole beans to climb," writes Lou Milner, "and they help filter some of the blazing Texas sun from the tender plants. The blooms also serve as hosts for insects that would otherwise be nibbling away at the food crop, not to mention how beautiful and cheery they are in the garden."

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...

Many wasps are beneficial because they feed on other insects. Female beneficial wasps typically lay their eggs on or in the host and the developing larvae feed on the host insects without killing them. When the wasp completes its development, the adult emerges and the host insect is killed.


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.

College Station: "Butterfly Gardening for Beginners" will be presented from 1 p.m. until 2 p.m., Thursday, July 8, at College Station Larry J. Ringer Library, 1818 Harvey Mitchell Parkway South. Learn the EarthKind approach for attracting butterflies to your garden. Get information about identifying butterflies, their food sources, host plants, and other ways to encourage a butterfly-friendly habitat in your yard. For additional information, contact brazogmg@ag.tamu.edu.

Georgetown: The Williamson County Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas will meet at 7 p.m., Thursday, July 8, at the Georgetown Public Library, 2nd floor, 402 W 8th St., Georgetown. Brainstorming session and election of officers. Refreshments. Visitors welcome. For additional information, contact Susan Waitz at 512- 948- 5241 or visit http://www..npsot.org/WilliamsonCounty/default.htm.

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.

Marion: Trees are a major investment in any landscape, in money, water and time, so selecting the right trees is critical. On Tuesday, July 13, the Guadalupe County (Schertz/Seguin) Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas will learn from Nancy Masterson, Certified Arborist, about selecting, planting and caring for native trees. Nancy is a retired public relations executive who has been a Certified Arborist since 1993. She was previously employed by American Forests, a national non-profit organization that promotes tree planting and care. The Society meets on the second Tuesday at their new location, The Library, 500 Bulldog, Marion. There is a plant exchange and “getting to know you” at 6:30 p.m. followed by the program at 7 p.m. Visitors are welcome. For more information or an application to join NPSOT visit www.npsot.org/GuadalupeCounty/.

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.

Conroe: The Montgomery County Master Gardeners will host a Rainwater Harvesting Seminar from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., July 17, at the Thomas R. LeRoy Education Center, 9020 FM 1484, Conroe. Registration is $35 by July 9; $55 at the door. Lunch, snacks, and a copy of Richard Heinichen's Rainwater Collection for the Mechanically Challenged is included. For additional information, contact Cody at 936-539-7824.

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.

Pearland: The Harris County Master Gardener Association will present a program on Landscape Maintenance, from 6:30 p.m. until 9 p.m., Tuesday, August 10, at Bass Pro Shops, Highway 288 at the Sam Houston Tollway, Pearland. For more information, visit http://hcmgap2.tamu.edu.

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.

Georgetown: The Williamson County Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas will meet at 7 p.m., Thursday, August 12, at the Georgetown Public Library, 2nd floor, 402 W 8th St., Georgetown. Dan Hardy will present "Butterflies as Botanists." Visitors welcome. For additional information, contact Susan Waitz at 512-948-5241 or visit http://www.npsot.org/WilliamsonCounty/default.htm.

Henderson: The 2010 Bluebird Symposium will be held Saturday, August 14, from 9 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. at New Civic Center at Lake Forest Park, 1006 HWY 64, Henderson. Doors will open at 8:30 a.m. for registration and Silent Auction. Early Bird registration ends July 1 (ten extra door prize tickets.). To register, visit http://www.texasbluebirdsociety.org/documents/symposium2010.pdf. For additional information, contact Andrea Brown at 903 836 2197.

Seabrook: Dr. Carol Brouwer, County Extension Agent for Horticulture, will present a program on Landscape Design Tips beginning at 10 a.m., Tuesday, August 18, at The Meeting Room at Clear Lake Park (on the lakeside),. 5001 NASA Road 1, Seabrook. The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, visit http://hcmgap2.tamu.edu.

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.

Georgetown: The Williamson County Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas will meet at 7 p.m., Thursday, September 9, at the Georgetown Public Library, 2nd floor, 402 W 8th St., Georgetown. Dr. Pat Richardson will present "Rainbow Soil: Managing for the Ultimate in Soil Quality." Visitors welcome. For additional information, contact Susan Waitz at 512-948-5241 or visit http://www.npsot.org/WilliamsonCounty/default.htm.

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.

Shelby County: The SFA Gardens of Stephen F. Austin State University will host a tour of two historic Shelby County homes from 9 a.m. until noon Saturday, September 11. Dogtrot houses were built with breezeways or “dog runs” through the middle of them for air circulation. “Without electricity or air-conditioning, these homes were designed for air to flow through the middle and circulate through cross-ventilated doorways and windows in a Southern climate where the hot humid summers were much more unbearable than the brief winters,” said Elyce Rodewald, SFA Gardens education coordinator. “Of course dogs could circulate through them as well!” These homes, the original “green” houses and were once common throughout the South, have practically disappeared in modern society, Rodewald explained. One of the homes that will be toured in the Arcadia community belonged to the maternal grandparents and great-great-grandparents of SFA Gardens research associate Greg Grant, contributing editor to Texas Gardener and co-author of Home Landscaping-Texas and The Southern Heirloom Garden. The other home belonged to Grant’s paternal great-grandparents. The properties feature Grant’s pocket prairie, where he rescues and grows native wildflowers from imperiled local roadsides, as well as his tall grass prairie restoration project. The properties are home to more than 100 bluebird houses that Grant has constructed and erected. He also grows an annual crop of sugar cane on one property for syrup making. Grant will also display his collection of historic family quilts. Cost is $25 for SFA Gardens members and $30 for non-members. Transportation is provided from the SFA Mast Arboretum. Space is limited, and advanced registration is required. To register call 936-468-1832 or e-mail erodewald@sfasu.edu.

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.

Austin: “Growing a Great Lawn” will be presented Saturday, September 18, 10 a.m.-noon at Zilker Botanical Garden, 2220 Barton Springs Rd, Austin. Knowing how to grow a great lawn can help you save money, water and have a wonderful area to complement your house. Learn the best information on the care and feeding of your lawn. Topics will include choosing the right turf for your site, irrigation, fertilization, proper mowing technique, and disease diagnosis and treatment. This class is free and does not require reservations. For more details, visit http://www.tcmastergardeners.org or call The Travis County Master Gardeners help desk at 512-854-9600.

Edna: The Jackson County Master Gardeners Association will hold its fall plant sale from 8 a.m. until noon, Saturday, September 18, at the Services Building in Edna. Citrus and fruit tree orders may be placed at the sale for October delivery. A list of plants for sale will soon be available at www.jcmg.com.

San Antonio: "Gardens by Moonlight" offers the best live music, culinary treats and romance under the stars from 7 p.m. until 11 p.m., Saturday, September 25, at the San Antonio Botantical Garden, 555 Funston at N. New Braunfels, San Antonio. Moonlight and beautiful landscape lighting add to the glowing spell of the Garden for visitors as they stroll from stage to stage throughout the Botanical Garden's beautiful 33 acres. Admission is $20 for adults; $15 for Bontanical Society members. For additional information, call 210-829-5100 or visit www.sabot.org.

College Station "Gardening Study School IV" will be October 11-12 at the Texas A&M University Horticulture Building, College Station. Taught by Dr. Joe Novak, Texas A&M University Department of Horticulture, includes Outdoor Identification of Plants, Specialized Styles of Gardening, Growing Woody Ornamentals, Growing Fruit, Herbs, Home Irrigation, and The Garden and Health. Admittance is limited to 35 attendees. Registration is due October 1 to Texas Garden Club State Chairman: Jane W. Cohen, 3655 McCullough Road, College Station, TX 77845; 979-690-3500. A registration form may be downloaded from: http://www.texasgardenclubs.org/p/GSSRegistrationFormOct2010.pdf.

Georgetown: The Williamson County Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas will meet at 7 p.m., Thursday, October 14, at the Georgetown Public Library, 2nd floor, 402 W 8th St., Georgetown. George Damoff will present "Native Earthworms." Visitors welcome. For additional information, contact Susan Waitz at 512-948-5241 or visit http://www.npsot.org/WilliamsonCounty/default.htm.

MONTHLY MEETINGS

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.

Marion: The Guadalupe County (Schertz/Seguin) Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas meets on the second Tuesday of each month except August at The Library, 500 Bulldog, Marion. There is a plant exchange and “getting to know you” at 6:30 p.m. followed by the program at 7 p.m. Visitors are welcome. For more information or an application to join NPSOT visit www.npsot.org/GuadalupeCounty/.

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