August 25, 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.


Let your chickens come home to roost

By Buddy Gough
The Nature Conservancy

Property owners looking to feather their nests might want to consider bringing America’s chickens home to roost. Chickens, it seems, are rather ‘green’ and provide a number of sustainable living advantages.

For the egg lover, raising your own hens takes the locally grown food ethos to its logical conclusion. After all, what’s more local than your own backyard? Backyard eggs don’t contribute to the carbon-producing emissions associated with the long-distance transport of bland-tasting eggs sold in supermarkets. And homegrown eggs are cheaper, more humane and often tastier than those from factory birds.

After centuries of domestication, chickens are naturally inclined to be perfectly content within the confines of a fenced yard, and are rarely tempted to flee their roosts.

Since they’re relatively omnivorous, a few grazing chickens can help rid a yard of insects and weedy plants, including many considered pests. While they may require a small supplemental supply of grain, they’ll also eat vegetable scraps and leftovers from the kitchen.

Chickens — with their frantic hunting and pecking — can be a source of entertainment for children, and, when shared, the small chores associated with the birds can be a platform for teaching youngsters about responsibility.

Additionally, chickens don’t require much care beyond a small, secure “coop” to roost at night sheltered from the weather and safe from nocturnal predators like skunks and raccoons that roam many suburban neighborhoods.

Chickens can often be found for sale at local farm supply stores, as well as by mail order from many sources on the Internet. The choices are numerous, such as the “bantam” breeds. Typically called “banties,” these pint-sized chickens have colorful plumage and produce small but especially rich eggs for breakfast or baking.

Another choice might be one of the so-called “heritage” breeds of chickens first introduced to the country by European explorers and once common on the farms of our grandparents.

One cautionary consideration is whether to get a rooster to go with the hens, since the males are prone to crow loudly and often. And before buying hens or roosters to raise, check with your local agriculture extension to be sure there are no restrictions where you live.

For more information about The Nature Conservancy's work in Texas, including other green living tips, visit nature.org/texas.


Invasive species watch: Tree of Heaven

By Buddy Gough
The Nature Conservancy

“A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” is a commendable novel, except for the fact the tree in question is a Tree of Heaven, a particularly pervasive and destructive invasive species found in Texas.

While the book about city life in the early 20th Century has been inspiring readers since its publication in 1943, the eponymous tree, Ailanthus altissima, has been marching across the eastern half of the country and down into Texas.

Originally imported from Asia as an ornamental for use in urban and suburban environments, the fast-growing tree with compound leaves of many lance-shaped leaflets bears a passing resemblance to the native sumac, but grows much larger. Individuals have been known to reach 60 feet in height, with trunks measuring two feet in diameter.

The highly adaptable species also spreads aggressively through its root systems and by the copious production of seeds. And wherever it spreads, it threatens native ecosystems.

For landowners and property managers — including The Nature Conservancy — the Tree of Heaven has become more than a passing nuisance.

At the Conservancy’s Barton Creek Habitat Preserve near downtown Austin, for example, the Tree of Heaven was a threat to the pristine and native habitat of endangered black-capped vireo and other species of conservation concern.

When extensive habitat restoration efforts were initiated on the property, the Tree of Heaven was one of the primary invasive species targeted for eradication by any means possible, according to preserve manager Brandon Crawford.

A personal battle with a single Tree of Heaven on my own rural property provided a lesson on how hard the species is to kill by traditional means of cutting and burning.

When first identified, the tree stood to a height of about 25 feet with a trunk of about six inches in diameter. I girdled it with a chainsaw and allowed it to die standing before cutting and burning it atop the stump.

Thereafter, it took more two years of cutting and burning the new trees emerging from original root system before the kill was complete.

A better, quicker way learned later was the so-called “hack-and-squirt” method used by professional land managers for selective eradication of undesirable trees.

It involves using a machete to make several downward slashes into the bark of the tree and then applying no more than a teaspoon of a tree-killing chemical to the wounds to allow it to be drawn down to the roots. Because of the precise application, there is no contamination of the ground or to the surrounding vegetation.

While Crawford assured that the Conservancy’s preserve managers were loathe to use chemicals, hack-and-squirt was one method used on Barton Creek to send the Tree of Heaven to a vegetative hell.

For more information about The Nature Conservancy's work in Texas, including other invasive species we help control, visit nature.org/texas.


Hard Times Lawn & Garden Survey says more people saving with do-it-yourself lawn & garden care

National Gardening Association

National Gardening Association recently conducted a new survey and found that about 1 out of 5 households nationwide spent more time caring for their lawns and gardens last year and 16% less money in total than in previous years. The survey goes on to indicate that, while most of the 83 million households that participated in do-it-yourself lawn and garden activities last year spent about the same amount of time on their lawns and gardens, 22% spent more time food gardening, 19% spent more time flower gardening, 19% spent more time container gardening, 14% spent more time on lawn care, and 13% spent more time on yard and landscape maintenance. Only about 1 out of 10 households spent less time on lawn and garden activities last year.

These recently published results found in the Hard Times Lawn & Garden Survey and 2010 National Gardening Survey show how more Americans are tightening their belts while benefiting from their own lawn and garden maintenance, said Mike Metallo, President of NGA.

"It makes perfect sense that people are spending more time on do-it-yourself lawn and garden activities during this great recession because it's a simple and direct way homeowners can maintain and improve the appearance of their property and save money by doing more for themselves." Metallo goes on to say that it’s clear that food gardening is a significant priority for many people because exercise, health and nutrition, along with food safety, are on the forefront of their minds, along with the dollars they spend on produce in stores.”

According to NGA's 2010 National Gardening Survey, household participation in all types of do-it-yourself lawn and garden activities increased by 2 million households last year, to 83 million households from 81 million households the previous year. The average annual amount spent per household on all lawn and garden activities decreased by $81 from $444 to $363. And the total amount spent on all lawn and garden activities decreased by 16% to $30.121 billion last year from $36.060 billion the previous year.

"While the amount consumers spent on their lawns and gardens was down a little, it did not approach the level of the decline seen in their discretionary spending, which is good news," said Bruce Butterfield, NGA Research Director.

Food gardening was the only category of lawn and garden activity that saw a significant increase in household participation and spending last year. Participation in food gardening increased by 5 million households or 14%, to 41 million households last year from 36 million households the previous year. The total spent on food gardening increased by $520 million or 21%, to $2.989 billion last year from $2.469 the previous year. Food gardening includes vegetable gardening, fruit trees, growing berries, and herb gardening.

A majority of households said they plan to spend the same amount of money or more on do-it- yourself lawn care, food gardening, flower gardening, and container gardening this year. Fifty-four percent of households that hire lawn and landscape services said they plan to spend the same amount or less to hire services this year.

For more information about the Hard Times Lawn & Garden Survey and the 2010 National Gardening Survey or to purchase a copy, visit www.gardenresearch.com.


Gardening tips

Now is a great time to divide and transplant irises. Dig and separate the rhizomes with a fork or spade, clip the leaves back and transplant as soon as possible. Be sure to keep them well watered until established.

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...

Climbing roses bloom on growth from the previous year. If you need to prune them, be sure to do so right after the bloom period is complete. That way they will have time to produce the growth for next year’s blooms. If you wait until winter to prune them, like you would do with many other types of roses, your climbers will not bloom the following spring.


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.

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.

The Woodlands: “Butterfly Babies and How to Grow Them,” features Nancy Greig, Director of the Cockrell Butterfly, on Thursday, September 9, at 7:30 p.m. in the L.G.I. Lecture Hall at McCullough Jr. High School, 3800 S. Panther Creek Dr., The Woodlands. From egg to adult, butterflies interact with plants in all life stages. Gardeners can choose the specific butterflies they wish to attract or increase the number of species by growing the right host plants for caterpillars. Dr. Greig reveals the appeal of gardening for butterfly babies at this free program of The Woodlands Township. For more information visit, Walk in the Woods Nature Lecture Series or call the Environmental Services Department at 281-210-3900.

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.

Pasadena: The Harris County Master Gardener Fall Plant Sale, Saturday, September 11, will feature perennials, roses, herbs and Fall vegetables. The plant varieties for this sale are developed specifically for this region and most are not available at local nurseries or garden centers.-The seminars will include a plant sale preview and-presentations on herbs and roses.-Information booths will highlight irrigation, rain water harvesting and composting, along with 'ask a Master Gardener. Sale Hours: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Seminars begin at 8 a.m. Campbell Hall at Pasadena Fairgrounds, 7600 Red Bluff Road, Pasadena. For more information visit http://hcmgap2.tamu.edu.

San Antonio: The Texas AgriLife Extension and Bexar Youth Gardens Fall Teacher’s Training, for educators who teach or help children garden, will take place from 8:00 a.m. until 1 p.m., September 11 at Region 20 Education Service Center, 1314 Hines Street, San Antonio. All aspects of school gardening are covered. Teachers leave the training with a stock of plants to supply an 8’x10” raised bed garden. This event is at no charge, but advance registration is required to arrange for material and plants. To register, email Brady Yecker at BexarYouthGardens@ag.tamu.edu or call 210-467-6575.

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).

Pearland: The Harris County Master Gardener Association will present a program on Lawn Care, Tuesday, September 14, from 6:30 p.m. until 9 .p.m. at Bass Pro Shops, Highway 288 at the Sam Houston Tollway, Pearland. This event is free and open to the public. For more information visit http://hcmgap2.tamu.edu.

Seabrook: Nell Shimek, owner of Shimek Gardens, will present a lecture on Daylilies, at 10 a.m., September 15, at The Meeting Room at Clear Lake Park (on the lakeside), 5001 NASA Road 1, Seabrook. Shimek will discuss all aspects of growing daylilies, size, form, new seedlings and much more. This event is free and open to the public. For more information visit http://hcmgap2.tamu.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 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.

Kingsland: Learn about "Texas Tough Plants" with Master Gardener and Certified Landscape Design Consultant Sheryl Yantis, who has a beautiful program featuring and discussing the native and native adapted plants that grow well in the area at a free public program presented by the Kingsland Garden Club at the Kingsland Library, 125 W. Polk, Friday, October 1. The meeting will start at 1 p.m.; the program will start at 1:45. For more information, visit http://yantislakesidegardens.giving.officelive.com.

Denton: Denton County Master Gardener Association will present "Gardening for Pleasure and the Planet" from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. during the Fall Garden InfoFest, Saturday, Oct. 2, at the Denton Bible Church, 2300 East University Drive. Speakers will cover tree care, turf, Earthkind plants and drying fruits and veggies. Demonstrations will include rainwater harvesting, composting, rain gardens, drip irrigation, pollution prevention, vegetable gardening and tree care plus a silent auction, children's activities and more. Free admission. For additional information, contact patpape@yahoo.com.

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.”

Denton: The 2010 Symposium of the Native Plant Society of Texas will be held October 7-10 at Texas Woman’s University, Denton. Complete Symposium 2010 information, field trip and presentation summaries as well as online registration are now available on the NPSOT website: www.npsot.org/symposium2010.

Marble Falls: Join Master Gardeners Sheryl, Robert Yantis and other Master Gardeners for "Enrich Your Soil," a demonstration of worm composting at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, October 9, at the Marble Falls Library. Learn some of the ingredients and methods that will improve the soil when the seminar leaders share soil improvement tips and discuss composting techniques that will help plants thrive and create a more successful Hill Country garden. This is a free Green Thumb Program presented by the Master Gardeners. For more information, visit http://yantislakesidegardens.giving.officelive.com/events.aspx.

Schertz:  The Master Gardeners of Comal, Guadalupe and Travis County present “Urban Farming The Ultimate Backyard Experience,” the 4th Central Texas Gardeners Conference, Saturday, October 9, in Schertz. Visit www.tcmastergardeners.org for conference details, Texas AgriLife Extension Service speakers, program and registration form.

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.

New Braunfels: The 2010-2011 class of the Lindheimer Chapter of Texas Master Naturalists is soliciting applications for its 2010 fall class, which begins with an orientation on Monday, October 25. Classes start on November 2 for 12 consecutive months and meet the first Tuesday of each month from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. at the AgriLife Extension Service Office, 325 Resource Dr, New Braunfels (behind the Comal County Recycling Center). Visit http://txmn.org/lindheimer for the application or contact the AgriLife Extension Service office at 830 620-3440 for program information. Applications are due to AgriLife Extension Service by October 11.

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.

Austin: The Garden Conservancy's Open Days Program takes place Saturday, October 16, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Explore six private gardens open to the public in Austin, to benefit The Garden Conservancy. No reservations required; rain or shine. Special highlights include water running down limestone stairs, an organic habitat with intensive hardscaping, an Italian-inspired fish pond, clipped hedges and topiary forms, and panoramic views of downtown Austin, Lake Austin, and Shoal Creek. Visitors may begin at any of the following locations: James deGrey David & Gary Peese Garden, 8 Sugar Creek Drive; East Side Patch, 1172-1/2 San Bernard; Garden of Deborah Hornickel, 3206 Oakmont Boulevard; Jones Residence, 3211 Stratford Hills Lane; Pemberton Heights Courtyard Garden, 2401 Pemberton Place; or Utility Research Garden, 638 Tillery Street. Cost: $5 per garden, or a $25 day pass for all six gardens, available at each location; children under 12 free. For more information, visit www.opendaysprogram.org or call The Garden Conservancy toll-free weekdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST, 1-888-842-2442.

Farmers Branch and Chambersville: The third annual RoseDango is set to celebrate the ultimate landscape plant October 16 and 17 in the Rose Gardens of Farmers Branch and the Chambersville Heritage Rose Garden. These two undiscovered garden gems located in the Dallas Metroplex will host this two-day festival. While Rosie is the official hostess, the event will appeal to all gardeners and plant enthusiasts as many different educational opportunities and entertainment venues are offered. This year the event will include a bluegrass festival and wine tastings spotlighting local vineyards. For additional information, visit www.rosedango.com or call 972-919-2625.

Victoria: The Victoria County Master Gardener Association will hold its 2010 Victoria Garden Tour featuring five locations October 16 and 17. A night tour will be held on October 16. For ticket and location information, call the Victoria AgriLife Extension Office at 361-575-4581.

San Antonio: The Garden Conservancy's Open Days Program takes place Saturday, October 23, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Explore six private gardens open to the public in San Antonio, to benefit The Garden Conservancy and the Gardening Volunteers of South Texas. No reservations required; rain or shine. Visit website for complete garden description and driving directions. Special highlights include countless container plantings, a walled tropical garden, a pair of Balinese Rain Goddess statues, a “Walden-esque” pond, a cabana with a moon-viewing roof, as well as deer-resistant and Texas native plants. Visitors may begin at any of the following locations: Clowe Garden, 717 Ridgemont Avenue; Mrs. McNay’s Hermitage – 1930s Walled Moorish Garden, 206 Joliet Avenue; Inter-City Walden Pond Garden, 610 Bluff Post; Kargl Garden, 143 Wildrose Avenue; Oak Canyon Garden, 201 Lariat Road; or the Ramos Garden, 9 Kelian Court in Elm Creek. Cost: $5 per garden, or a $25 day pass for all six gardens, available at each location; children under 12 free. For more information, visit www.opendaysprogram.org or call The Garden Conservancy toll-free weekdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST, 1-888-842-2442.

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.

Georgetown: The Williamson County Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas will meet at 7 p.m., Thursday, November 11, at the Georgetown Public Library, 2nd floor, 402 W 8th St., Georgetown. 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 July and August at The Library, 500 Bulldog, Marion. There is a plant exchange and meet-and-greet begins 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/ or contact contact guadalupecounty@npsot.org.

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.

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