August 18, 2010

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Dariusz Malinowski, Texas AgriLife Research plant physiologist in Vernon, compares two large flowers on which he is trying to cross to get a rare white eye on the dark red hibiscus. (Texas AgriLife Research photo by Kay Ledbetter)


Through a series of crosses, Dariusz Malinowski, Texas AgriLife Research plant physiologist in Vernon, has been able to breed maroon leaves into the plant. (Texas AgriLife Research photo by Kay Ledbetter)


The hibiscus breeding program at the Texas AgriLife Research center in Vernon is working to get colorful crosses such as this one. (Texas AgriLife Research photo by Dariusz Malinowski)


Multi-colored hibiscus is one goal of the Texas AgriLife Research breeding program in Vernon. (Texas AgriLife Research photo by Dariusz Malinowski)


Plum-colored hibiscus have resulted from the cross-breeding program of Dariusz Malinowski, a Texas AgriLife Research plant physiologist at Vernon. Texas AgriLife Research photo by Dariusz Malinowski)

White eyes, foot-wide flowers, maroon plants

By Kay Ledbetter
Texas AgriLife Extension Service

With a little cross-breeding and some determination, Dariusz Malinowski, Texas AgriLife Research plant physiologist and forage agronomist in Vernon, is trying to add more colors to the world of hibiscuses.

Malinowski is working on breeding winter-hardy hibiscus in what started as a hobby about four years ago, but in the last year has been added to the strategic plan of the Vernon research program.

Commercialization of the flowers by Malinowski; co-worker William Pinchak, AgriLife Research-Vernon; and Steve Brown, Texas Foundation Seed Service program director, is a part of the research on non-traditional or under-utilized crops that have value because of drought tolerance.

The hardy hibiscus is a great candidate because it is a carefree plant. It doesn’t have to be watered once it gets established, is low maintenance and has little disease or insect pressure, he said.

Malinowski said one objective of the breeding program is to create lines or cultivars with a range of colors. Presently, commercial cultivars come basically in three colors — white, red and pink.

"We have created so far many more colors, like lavender or mauve, different shades of fuscia and pinks," he said. "One flower we have, we want to have an almost burgundy color. Another is lavender with a big flower, big petals. And we have a plum color that is rare in hibiscus."

The goal is to have at least 11- to 12-inch diameter flowers, Malinowski said.

"We can manipulate the color and still maintain the large flowers with nice texture," he said. "We also can combine the trait of a large flower with dual colors and nice texture. That is an important value for the next step of the breeding program, to create dual colored flowers."

Malinowski said one of the species used in the breeding program is a Texas native called Texas Star Hibiscus. The value of this particular species is it provides a very different shape of flower and very different position of pollen on the stigma than found in traditional cultivars.

With the pollen allocated on top of the stigma, it gives the flower a very tropical look, he said.

"We have successfully incorporated this trait to several of the breeding lines," Malinowski said. "They are similar to the Texas Star Hibiscus, but with much larger petals, much bigger flowers, and different colors."

Another objective of the breeding program is to create cultivars with dark leaves, he said. Already he has been able to produce one plant with maroon leaves, almost brown in color.

"Such plants do not exist on the market today," Malinowski said, adding that is what his breeding program is all about — trying to provide consumers with something different that survives the winters in this region.

The way the maroon-leaved plant was created, he said, was to use some of their hybrids with darker, reddish stems, and make multiple crosses among them.

"Within two generations by crossing them, we were able to create a plant with not only dark stems, but maroon leaves," Malinowski said.

Larger flowers and different colors are a big part of the program, but now Malinowski is also trying to change the traits of the eye of the hibiscus.

"Our new objective is to create red flowering hibiscus with a white eye," he said. "Usually hibiscus flowers have a dark red or maroon or brown center eye, but rarely do they have a white eye. Last year we found a plant with large soft-pink flowers and a white eye. We are trying to transfer the trait of the white eye with the red flowering types."

Malinowski made this cross just recently. He said now the plant is expected to double up with fruit or seeds. It will take about six to eight weeks from pollination to collect mature seeds. Later, those seeds will be planted again with the hope "one or more of them will have the trait of red flowers with white eyes."

Breeding a line or new cultivar of winter-hardy hibiscus takes several years, Malinowski said. The cultivars he develops should be commercially available in two to three years in major garden centers.

In 2009, Malinowski produced about 600 crosses of hardy hibiscus and planted about 2,500 hybrids for evaluation during 2010.

To date, about 50 percent of the hybrids have bloomed and there are several of them with exceptional commercial value, he said. These lines will be vegetatively propagated and evaluated.

One goal left for the breeding program is to create a blue flowering hibiscus, Malinowski said.

The hibiscus can basically be grown from South Central Texas to Canada, as long as the required winter period is long enough for them to go dormant after the first frost, Malinowski said. The plants re-sprout from the root the following spring.



Forest Service updates free guide to Invasive Plants In Southern Forests

USDA Forest Service

USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS) Director Jim Reaves recently announced that gardeners, foresters, landowners and others concerned about nonnative invasive plants in the South can now request free copies of A Field Guide for the Identification of Invasive Plants in Southern Forests. The long-awaited book is an update of the very popular Nonnative Invasive Plants of Southern Forests: A Field Guide for Identification and Control, published by the Station in 2003.

“The book’s lead author, Jim Miller, is one of the foremost authorities on invasive plants in the South, so we’re delighted to offer this enhanced field guide at no cost to anyone interested in learning about and identifying invasive plants in the region,” said Reaves. “The Forest Service has distributed nearly 160,000 copies of Jim’s first book on invasive plants, and with the spread of exotic species across region, we expect there will be even more demand for this expanded version.”

SRS Research Ecologist Jim Miller co-authored Invasive Plants in Southern Forests with SRS Research Technician Erwin Chambliss and Research Fellow and Extension Specialist at Auburn University Nancy Loewenstein.

Invasive Plants in Southern Forests gives users a more comprehensive identification guide to nonnative trees, shrubs, vines, grasses, ferns and forbs invading the region’s forests and other natural areas. The updated field guide added:

  • 23 more plant species with updated information on the original 33 species;
  • 241 new photos and images;
  • Enhanced photo clarity and color; and
  • A new “Resembles” section so users can identify plant “look-alikes.”

The book’s appendix contains the most complete list of nonnative invasive plants in the 13 Southern states, providing common and scientific names for 310 other invading species including, for the first time, aquatic plant invaders. Also, the authors updated the "Sources of Identification Information" section to include the latest books, manuals and articles on invasive plants. The ever-expanding website section lists Internet resources that provide useful information on identification and efficient management.

At the same time, Invasive Plants in Southern Forests retains features that attracted users to Miller’s first book, such as detailed descriptions of select plants, their stems, leaves, flowers, fruits and seeds, ecology, history and use, and distribution.

Invasive Plants in Southern Forests differs from Miller’s first book in that the update focuses solely on the “identification” of exotic plants and does not include “control” methods. Jim Miller and co-authors Steven Manning, president of Invasive Plant Control, Inc., and Stephen Enloe, weed management extension specialist at Auburn University, cover methods for controlling invasive plants in a new, companion book titled A Management Guide for Nonnative Invasive Plants of Southern Forests, available October, 2010.

People can request copies of Invasive Plants in Southern Forests by sending their name and complete mailing address, along with book title, author, and publication number GTR-SRS-119 to: pubrequest@fs.fed.us.

Invasive Plants in Southern Forests is posted in PDF format on the SRS website at http://www.srs.fs.usda.gov/pubs/35292. In addition, the book is available in html format at http://wiki.bugwood.org/Archive:IPSF


The compost heap
Did You Know...

"How about using native grasses that don't require watering or fungicide ('Gray Leaf Spot plagues St. Augustine lawns,' Seeds, August 11, 2010)?" suggests Dallas Baxter.

That is always our first suggestion. But there are so many folks with a stubborn attachment to St. Augustine turf that we do offer solutions to their problems occasionally. — Chris S. Corby, Publisher


Gardening tips

"When the mornings are hot outside," writes Retha Walker, "the best way to keep cool is to wrap a frozen ice pack, like the ones you use to transport cold items from the store (mine is filled with water) in a towel and drape around your neck and even on top of your head or under your hat. Don't forget to stay hydrated."

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 Texas Gardener hat. Please send your tips of 50 words or less to the editor at: Gardening Tips.


Did You Know...

Strawberries are so named for the straw that is used to cover and protect them from cold weather in the northern part of the United States. In most of Texas, they don’t need much winter protection but will benefit from some afternoon shade during periods of very hot weather that occur in July and August.


Upcoming garden events.

If you would like your organization’s events included in "Upcoming Garden Events" or would like to make a change to a listed event, please contact us at Garden Events. To ensure inclusion in this column, please provide complete details at least three weeks prior to the event.

Denton: The Elm Fork Chapter of the Texas Master Naturalists will hold a Membership Roundup from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m., August 19, at the Ben E. Keith community room, 2801 North I-35, Denton. For additional information, call 940-349-2883.

Nacogdoches: The SFA Gardens will host its monthly Les Reeves Garden Lecture Series at 7 p.m. Thursday, August 19 in room 110 of the Agriculture Building located on Wilson Drive on the Stephen F. Austin State University campus. Dr. Jerry Parsons, retired Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Horticulturist will present one of his classic entertaining and often irreverent programs titled Seed Collection of Texas Heirloom Varieties and Unique Plants. Parsons received degrees in horticulture from the University of Tennessee, Mississippi State University, and Kansas State University, and worked for 33 years as the area vegetable specialist for the Texas Agricultural Extension Service in the winter garden area around San Antonio where he was widely known from his weekly television appearances as “the Weekend Gardener.” He also wrote popular weekly garden columns and hosted several popular radio programs. He introduced more new plants to the Texas nursery industry than any Texas A&M horticulturist in history and received every major Extension award available. 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.

New Braunfels: The Lindheimer Chapter of Texas Master Naturalists will hold its monthly meeting at the Comal County AgriLife building at 7 p.m. Thursday, August 19. The AgriLife building is located at 325 Resource Drive, New Braunfels, behind the recycle center. The August speaker is Dr. Jeff Quinn, a veterinarian from Canyon Lake. Dr. Quinn will talk about rabies, heart worms, and other conditions affecting animals in Comal County. The public is invited.

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.

Seabrook: In preparation for the the Harris County Master Gardener Precinct 2 annual fall plant sale, Heidi Sheesley of Treesearch Farms will give a presentation from 7 p.m. until 8:30 p.m., August 24, at The Meeting Room at Clear Lake Park (on the lakeside), 5001 NASA Road 1, Seabrook, on plants that will be available for purchase at the sale in September. Sheesley's presentation will include pictures, growth habits and other details of each plant. For more information, visit http://hcmgap2.tamu.edu.

Kemah: The Kemah-Bay Area Garden Club will meet Wednesday, September 1, at 9:30 a.m. at the Jimmie Walker Community Center, 800 Harris Avenue, Kemah. “Introducing the Native Box Turtle and Preserving Turtles/Tortoises for Future Generations” will be presented by Alma Solis, Director and Founder of Totuga Haven. Light refreshments will be served and the public is invited. For additional information, call Anniece Larkins, President, at 281-842-9008.

San Antonio: San Antonio Garden Center Clubs will meet Wednesday, September 1, at 10 a.m. at 3310 N. New Braunfels @ Funston. Wayne Marine, Life Member of the Alamo Orchid Society, will present “Orchids 101.” Meetings are free and open to the public. For more information, visit www.sanantoniogardencenter.org or call 210-824-9981.

Houston: As a national movement to create resilient local food systems that are truly sustainable continues, ushering in a new call for victory gardens, backyard chickens, edible schoolyards, farmers markets, and small family farms, Urban Harvest presents the panel discussion “Why Sustainability?” on Tuesday, September 7, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. For the event, a six-member panel will tackle two topics: Why is sustainability becoming increasingly important? And, how we can respond locally to the widespread global changes? The event takes place at the University of Houston, Central Campus: Multipurpose Room of the Oberholtzer Residence Hall, room 108. For directions, visit the link at www.urbanharvest.org. This event is free and open to the public. Registration is not required.

Kingsland: Join Master Gardener Violet Carson for an interesting and informative presentation on Fall Vegetable Gardening at a free Green Thumb program from the Highland Lakes Master Gardeners and the Kingsland Library Lunch & Learn series at noon Wednesday, September 8 at the Kingsland Library. The Master Gardeners will provide drinks and dessert. Check out the Green Thumb program at http://yantislakesidegardens.giving.officelive.com/greenthumb.aspx.

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.

Kingsland: Master Gardeners Mary Ellen and Michael Goff will present "The Fascinating World of Honey Bees" in an informative free program from the Kingsland Garden Club on Friday, September 10. Learn how to help protect and use the invaluable bee in gardens. The program will start at 1:45 p.m. but attendees are invited to join the club meeting at 1 p.m. in the Kingsland Library.

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.

Victoria: The Victoria County Master Gardener Association will hold its annual fall plant sale from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. September 11 at its new pavilion, 283 Bachelor Dr., Victoria (near the Victoria airport).

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 Botanical Garden, 555 Funston at N. New Braunfels, San Antonio. Moonlight and beautiful landscape light in the Botanical Garden's beautiful 33 acres. Admission is $20 for adults. For additional information, call 210-829-5100 or visit www.sabot.org.

Nacogdoches: The annual Fabulous Fall Festival plant sale at Stephen F. Austin State University’s Mast Arboretum will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, October 2, in the lower arboretum parking lot at 1924 Wilson Drive in historic Nacogdoches. The event features the annual fall plant sale fundraiser benefiting the SFA Mast Arboretum, Pineywoods Native Plant Center, Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden, and educational programs hosted at the gardens. According to Dawn Stover, Mast Arboretum research associate and sale coordinator, a wide variety of hard-to-find, “Texas tough” plants will be available, including proven perennials and Texas natives. This year’s sale will feature the rare Mexican sugar maple (Acer skutchii), an SFA Gardens exclusive. Some of the better performing and hard-to-find azaleas will also be available, along with a large selection of drought tolerant plants. The public is encouraged to arrive early and bring a wagon. For more information and a list of plants for sale call 936-468-4404, or visit http://arboretum.sfasu.edu and click on “upcoming events.”

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.

Georgetown: The Williamson County Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas will meet at 7 p.m. Thursday, November 1, at the Georgetown Public Library, 2nd floor Visitors welcome. For additional information. contact Susan Waitz at512-948-5241 or visit http://www.npsot.org/WilliamsonCounty/default.htm.

Georgetown: The Williamson County Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas will meet at 7 p.m., Thursday, December 9, at the Georgetown Public Library, 2nd floor. There will be a silent auction and potluck dinner. 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.

Arlington: The Arlington Men's Garden Club meets from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. on the third Monday 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.

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/.

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 7:00 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.


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),
volume 28 (November/December 2008 through September/October 2009) and
volume 29 (November/December 2009 through September/October 2010)*.

$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