September 15, 2010

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The lighter side of gardening
Married community gardener ISO friends with vegetables

By John Hershey
Freelance Writer

This will come as a surprise to my friends and former teachers who are familiar with my general attitude toward hard work and delayed gratification, but I'm planting some apple trees in my yard this spring. This is a big step for me. I've never even planted perennials before. I just didn't feel ready for the kind of long-term commitment that asparagus and rhubarb demand, to say nothing of trees that probably won't make any apples until my kids are in high school. The thought of digging in and working hard now for a potential benefit that won't even start for 4 or 5 years — I didn't think I had it in me. Sounds like college, and I remembered how that worked out.

But having recently moved to a place where I hope to put down some roots, I've decided to put down some roots. And to show you how much I've changed since college, I've been studying diligently about organic fruit growing. From all this reading I have retained one key tip: If you have only one variety of apple tree, it won't produce much fruit. You need cross-pollination among a diverse community of trees for maximum benefit in the orchard.

The same secret to success applies in a community garden. Not so much to the plants, although a wide variety of vegetables makes for a healthy garden ecosystem. But when the different kinds of squashes pollinate each other, a volunteer vine will sprout from your compost pile the next season and produce a zucchumpkin or some other splotchy, inedible hybrid that's as odd but not nearly as much fun as a labradoodle. So the concept applies more to the people. As we've all seen in countless ways, the greatest strength of a community garden is the diversity of the gardeners, each of whom brings a unique set of skills, experiences, backgrounds, personalities, recipes and jokes, producing a garden that is much more fruitful and fun than it would be if we all had more in common.

But digging holes for fruit trees gives you plenty of time and incentive to stop and think, and I've started to wonder how far the analogy goes. I'm playing matchmaker out there, after all, setting up trees I think are compatible with each other. Love is literally in the air in the orchard and the garden, in every grain of pollen floating on the breeze or catching a ride on a honeybee's leg in hopes of hooking up with just the right female flower. We always talk about the friendships that form in a community garden. But in such a sensual place, do more intimate bonds naturally form among the gardeners too?

I don't know the answer personally, because I'm lucky enough not to be on the dating scene anymore. But I wouldn't be surprised to learn that love connections are being made in the garden. To find out, I conducted some research on various online dating sites. (If my wife checks my Internet browsing history, I'm going to have some splainin to do.) As I suspected, community gardens are widely recommended as popular date destinations.

For example, a website that gives dating advice for divorced dads (which looks especially bad on my "Favorites" list) encourages older guys reentering the market to eschew the bar scene and head for the neighborhood community garden. And even a site with dating tips for teens lists community gardens as a fun place for young people to hang out, albeit well down the list below bowling, miniature golf, and factory tours.

Another website, yourtango.com, claims community gardening will make you more attractive to other singles (after a shower, presumably). Apparently your image as an environmentally conscious, community-minded altruist appeals to potential partners. "Plus," the site generalizes, "urban farmer dudes are super hot."

Present company excepted, of course. But just as some dimly lit bars are known as meat markets, sunny community gardens are total vegetable markets! What with all the pollen-drenched honeybees diving into flowers and the vines intertwining with each other and the glistening fruits, the charged atmosphere of a garden makes it the perfect place to put humans in the mood for love. You can't help thinking about the birds and the bees when they're flying all around your head.

By recommending it as a good place for a nervous couple to relax and overcome the stress of a first date, these websites recognize the amazing power of a community garden to break down the social and physical barriers that often prevent us from getting to know other people in our community. We each have our own space in the garden, but there are no fences between the plots, only pathways leading from one to another. This makes it easier to form relationships, and not just romantic ones. None of our superficial differences matter, because we immediately have important things to talk about, like why it's so hard to germinate carrot seeds, what to do with all the zucchini, and so on.

So even if you don't find romance in the community garden this season, you are sure to hang out with a group of really fun, interesting and diverse people, and you will improve each other and the garden through cross-pollination. The more experienced growers will happily impart their knowledge of gardening (and life), and the new crop of gardeners will enrich the soil with fresh energy and excitement. And when you leave for the day, they will all probably share some fresh, healthy food with you. Now that's what I call friends with benefits.

“Married community gardener ISO friends with vegetables” originally appeared in The Underground News and is reprinted with the author’s permission. To read more garden-variety humor and commentary, visit John's website: www.rakishwit.com.


Pharmaceuticals and herbicides: Close cousins that can offer new paths for drugs

Weed Science

Many pharmaceuticals have a lot in common with herbicides. In fact, for years most pharmaceutical companies had accompanying agrochemical divisions. When particular biological functions are targeted by a chemical compound, it could apply both to humans and to plants, as in the case of a fungicide. A compound developed as a pharmaceutical has at times found a better use as an herbicide or pesticide, and vice versa.

The article “Herbicide and Pharmaceutical Relationships” appears in the May-June 2010 issue of the journal Weed Science. The parallels between herbicides and pharmaceuticals and their applications against malaria, cancer, and other diseases are explored.

Due to regulatory considerations, public perception, and simple economics — the pharmaceutical market has more to offer — a chemical compound is applied to one use, either human or nonhuman. Only one product, the fungicide fluconazole, is known to be an active ingredient in a commercial pesticide as well as in a pharmaceutical. Scientifically speaking, however, there are many similarities in the chemical composition, targeted sites, and discovery methods of herbicides and pharmaceuticals.

Some herbicides, such as antimalarials, antivirals, antibiotics, and fungicides, are active against transmittable diseases. They kill disease organisms — however, the pests live within or on us in this case. Nontransmittable diseases, such as cancer or diabetes, have been treated with pharmaceuticals that target an enzyme. Herbicides often attack the same enzymes, although they have different functions in plants.

While no one is suggesting that an herbicide should be used to treat a human ailment, the pharmaceutical potential for products developed as herbicides may go unrealized without recognition of the many parallels between them.


The Compost Heap
Avoid certain fruits? Not these readers

"As a career registered dietitian," writes Jeanne Larson, "I disagree with the avoiding certain fruits in the newsletter ('Eating the wrong fruits can be worse than eating none at all,' Seeds, September 8, 2010)  I would certainly like to see scientific references for that theory."

"Your article on 'Eating the wrong fruits' contains a major error!" writes Wanda Fountain. "Vitamin K (as in kiwi) contains elements necessary for blood coagulation. It is used for its clotting properties and not as a blood thinner."

"The current Seeds offered lots of good news (I had not heard about Park Seed or the gift for the Wildflower Center Arboretum)," writes Patty Leander, "but I have to say after reading the article about fruit I have no plans to avoid apples — or any other fruit! Iva Young's advice came across a bit dubious — it seems a shame and unnecessary to eliminate any fruit (or vegetable) — moderation and variety are keys to a healthy diet. Her recommendation to concentrate on berries, kiwi and oranges would exclude much of our local, seasonal and home-grown fruit from Texas — maybe she's never had a Fredericksburg peach, or a Pecos melon, or a Ruby Red grapefruit!"


Gardening tips

Tie plastic milk jugs together like a bracelet and wrap them around your pecan trees to keep squirrels from harvesting your pecan crop before you do. The milk jugs act like a baffle which the squirrels are unable to penetrate if a sufficient quantity of jugs are used.

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...

Iron deficiency often shows up in St. Augustine lawns after using a high-nitrogen, synthetic fertilizer. The leaves will appear yellow with dark green veins and, upon closer inspection, appear striped. You can treat the turf with an iron supplement that contains chelated iron but the best solution is to use a slow release, organic fertilizer.


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.

Nacogdoches: The SFA Gardens will host its monthly Les Reeves Garden Lecture Series at 7 p.m. Thursday, September 16 in room 110 of the Agriculture Building located on Wilson Drive on the Stephen F. Austin State University campus. Augustus Jenkins Farmer III will present It’s Crinum Time Again exploring the South’s long-time love affair with bold, enduring crinum lilies. Jenks is Director of Botanical Gardens at Moore Farms in South Carolina where he is curator and designer for one the most horticulturally sophisticated private gardens in the state, a 25 acre garden with a staff of 9 horticulturists. At Moore Farms, he manages the staff, botanical collections and plants databases, forestry resources, and long-term planning. His additional responsibilities include being the curator and designer of the owner’s Victorian era garden and cycad collection in Charleston. Farmer also owns and operates Lushlife Nursery, a connoisseurs’ nursery specializing in crinum lilies, a sub-tropical genus in the amaryllis family. Lushlife Nursery provides proven varieties, correctly named, healthy field grown crinums to horticulturists and botanical gardens throughout the U.S. Farmer lectures to diverse groups throughout the country and writes regularly for the Carolina Gardener. His articles have also appeared Fine Gardening, Organic Gardening, Horticulture, and American Nurseryman. He was previously the managing horticulturist at Riverbanks Botanical Garden in Columbia, South Carolina and curator of Arcadia, a 1930’s camellia garden. Farmer has a master’s degree in Public Garden Management and Forestry from the University of Washington and a bachelor’s degree in horticulture from Clemson University. He and his business partner live in a 1930s house in Columbia and a 1750s house in Beech Island, South Carolina. Farmer is a seventh generation South Carolinian and grew up on a Beech Island family farm. The Les Reeves Garden Lecture Series is generally held the third Thursday of each month at the SFA Mast Arboretum in Nacogdoches, Texas. 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 the Texas Master Naturalists will meet Thursday, September 16, at the Comal AgriLife Building, 325 Resource Drive, New Braunfels, behind the recycle center. The meeting starts at 7:00 p.m. and the public is invited. Dr. David Wilson, an Entomologist, will talk about "The Eradication of the Screw Worm in South Texas."

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: David Rodriguez, Extension Horticulturist, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will present “How to succeed with your winter vegetable gardening,” Sunday, September 19, from 1 p.m. until -3 p.m. at The Garden Center, 10682 Bandera Road, San Antonio. Now is the time plant your garden for a great crop of winter vegetables. What to plant and when to plant instructions will give you a home garden bumper. No RSVP required. For additional information, call 210-647-7900.

Bryan: The Brazos County Master Gardener Association will hold their 2010 Fall plant sale Saturday, September 25, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., at the Brazos County Extension Office, 2619 Highway 21 West, Bryan. A wide selection of unusual and unique plants, adapted to Brazos County will be offered. Heirloom plants, pass-a-long plants and more from the gardens of Master Gardeners will also be available for purchase. A preview talk, highlighting the choicest plants and their growing requirements, will be presented from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. Standing room only for this special event is limited and on a first-come, first-served basis. For additional information, call 979-823-0129.

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.

Austin: Keep hearing about the benefits of drip irrigation but don't know where to start? Dr. Dotty Woodson, specialist in landscape water conservation for Texas AgriLife Extension, will guide you from planning to installation to repairs in a 3-hour drip irrigation intensive. Drip Irrigation 101, 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, October 2, at LCRA Redbud Center, Rm. 108, 3601 Lake Austin Blvd., Austin. This seminar is free and open to the public, but reservations are required. Email your name and phone number to rsvpTCMGA@yahoo.com to reserve a spot. For additional information, visit www.tcmastergardeners.org.

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.

Houston: The Garden Club of Houston's 68th Annual Bulb and Plant Mart will be held October 7 - 9, at Westminster United Methodist Church, 5801 San Felipe at Bering, just west of the Galleria. The Mart will be open from 9:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday. On Thursday and Friday before the Mart opens, a featured expert will speak from 8:30 a.m.- 9:30 a.m., providing a unique opportunity to learn more about the many offerings at the Mart. Heidi Sheesley of Treesearch Farms. who has dedicated her business life to providing organically grown plants and trees in the Houston area, will be our speaker on Thursday. On Friday, Randy Lemmon of KTRH Radio's GardenLine, one of Houston's experts on lawns and gardens, will be offering help to people with or without a "Green Thumb." The Bulb and Plant Mart offers the widest selection of top-quality bulbs and plants for sale and an expanded collection of hard-to-find and unusual plants, perennials, trees, shrubs and vines. Visitors to the Mart will receive at no charge a new and improved horticultural guide for Houston, prepared by the Club. Enjoy sales tax free days on Thursday and Saturday and admission is free. For pictures of bulbs and plants that will be offered this year and for additional information, visit: www.gchouston.org.

Dripping Springs: The Rainwater Revival, an outdoor festival created to celebrate the timeless conservation practice of rainwater collection, will he held just outside of Austin in Dripping Springs on Saturday, October 9. Speakers include rainwater harvesting experts Alan Rossing, Billy Kniffen, Chris Maxwell-Gaines, Chuck Lemmond, Marianne Simmons, Richard Heinichen, Kasey Mock, and Bryan Davis. Also featured are live performances by The Derailers, Bob Livingston’s Cowboys & Indians, and kid-favorite Joe McDermott. Admission to the Rainwater Revival is free. The event will take place on the grounds of Roger Hanks Park in Dripping Springs. The Rainwater Revival promises something for every level of rainwater harvesting knowledge, from the rainwater curious to ardent rainwater enthusiasts. Rainwater Revival festivities will kick off at 10 a.m. on Saturday, October 9 and conclude at 5 p.m. The official schedule of speakers and musical performances will be posted before the event at www.RainwaterRevival.com. In addition to a roster of speakers providing an experienced cross-section of rainwater collection knowledge, and a stellar musical line-up, the Rainwater Revival will feature food booths, shopping, kids’ crafts, and a collection of 55-gallon recycled rain barrels transformed into works of art by local artists. The barrels will be displayed around Hays County during the weeks leading up to the Rainwater Revival and then auctioned off at the event. For the most up-to-date information on the Rainwater Revival, visit www.RainwaterRevival.com or follow the event at www.facebook.com/rainwaterrevival.

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.

Brownwood: Brownwood Area Community Garden celebrates its first Harvest Festival Saturday, October 16, in conjunction with World Food Day, from 10 to 4, at the beautiful Riverside Park in Brownwood. Events include a Vegetarian Chili Cookoff; Pumpkin Pie Bakeoff; Punkin' Paintin' for Kids; Oscar the Grouch Trashcan Veggie Roast; bounce house, jack o'lantern face painting, vendors, and music. For vendor applications, chili cookoff and pumpkin pie bakeoff entries, call 325-784-8453, email bac_garden@yahoo.com, or write PO Box 1062, Brownwood, TX 76804.

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.

Wimberley: The Hill Country Unit of the Herb Society of America is hosting an Herb Celebration Luncheon on Friday, October 22, from 10 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. at the Wimberley Presbyterian Church, 956 FM 2325, Wimberley. Rita Heikenfeld will speak on Herbs of the Bible and Their Uses. Lunch, silent auction, herbs and herbal crafts will be available. Tickets are $18. For reservations, contact Linda McDowell at 512 847-7987 or lindamcdwll@yahoo.com.

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.

Austin: “Caring for Your Trees” will be presented Saturday, October 30, 1 p.m. until 3 p.m., at the Yarborough Public Library, 2200 Hancock Dr., Austin. Join Austin’s City Arborist, Michael Embesi, to learn about the benefits of trees, the urban forest, and why trees are an essential part of our lives. Learn to select appropriate trees for Central Texas landscapes, those that are appropriate for native soils and tough climate. Understand how to select and care for the right tree, in the proper location, considering size, longevity, and biological needs. Finally, hear about opportunities within multiple community programs, including grant opportunities, which promote the urban forest. This seminar is free and open to the public. It is presented by the Travis County Master Gardeners, a volunteer arm of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service in Travis County. For more information, visit www.tcmastergardeners.org.

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.

Austin: “Growing Culinary Herbs in Texas” will be presented Saturday, November 13, from 10 a.m. until noon, at the American Botanical Council, 6200 Manor Rd., Austin. Herbs are a delight to the senses and an easy way to add beauty to your landscape! This class will cover the basics of growing both seasonal and perennial culinary herbs in central Texas, and will offer some suggestions for their use. Class size is limited, so sign up early by calling the Master Gardener Help Desk at 512-854-9600. This seminar is free and open to the public. It is presented by the Travis County Master Gardeners, a volunteer arm of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service in Travis County. For more information, visit 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, 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, January 13, at the Georgetown Public Library, 2nd floor. Ginger Hudson will present her new book Landscape Maintenance for Central Texas Gardens. 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.

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.somervellmastergardeners.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