September 22, 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.

Fall poison ivy survival tips

Topical BioMedics, Inc.

The first day of autumn is around the corner — a time of leaf peeping, apple picking, pumpkin carving, and brisk walks. For most Americans, it also means fall yard pickup — and along with it, an increased exposure to poison ivy. According to a report published in Weed Science, research indicates that poison ivy has grown much more aggressive since the 1950s, with leaf size and oil content measurably increased. This is bad news if you are one of the more than 350,000 people who are stricken by poison ivy annually.

Poison ivy tops the list of plants to avoid because it contains urushiol, an oily resin that binds to the skin on contact and may result in a hypersensitivity reaction characterized by itching, burning skin eruptions. This rash-causing poison ivy sap is a clear liquid found in the plant’s leaves and the roots, which many people develop an allergy to over time.

Urushiol oil remains active for several years, so handling dead leaves or vines can cause a reaction. In addition, oil transferred from the plant to other objects — such as gardening tools, clothing, or even pets — can cause the rash when it comes in contact with human skin. If poison ivy is eaten, the mucus lining of the mouth and digestive tract can be damaged. And if poison ivy is burned and the smoke inhaled, a rash may appear in the lining of the lungs, causing extreme pain and respiratory difficulty that may become life-threatening.

About the plant

Captain John Smith was the first to describe the plant, coining the name “Poison Ivy” in 1609. Poison ivy grows throughout much of North America. It’s typically found in wooded areas as well as exposed rocky areas and open fields, and can be recognized by its group of three leaflets on small stems coming off larger main stems. For decades parents have taught their children the sing-song phrase “leaves of three, let it be” as a way of learning to spot this pretty but toxic plant. Poison ivy also has inconspicuous greenish flowers with five petals, and berry-like fruits that are hard and whitish.

There are two types of poison ivy, the climbing variety, toxicondendron radicans, and the non-climbing, toxicodendron rydbergil (from the Latin toxicum, “poison,” and the Greek dendron, “tree”). Because the varieties interbreed, they look similar and sometimes grow in the same places. They also create the same allergic rash, which may last anywhere from one to three weeks.

Although some people are immune to poison ivy, most people develop a rash after coming in contact with the plant. After the oil has touched the skin it takes about 12 to 36 hours for redness and swelling to appear, followed by blisters and itching. Contrary to popular belief, scratching or oozing blister fluid cannot spread the outbreak or transfer it to other people. New lesions that appear a few days after a breakout of primary lesions means that there was less oil deposited on that area of the skin, or that the skin was less sensitive to it.

Winning the battle against poison ivy

Poison ivy’s urushiol oil is extremely potent, and only one nanogram (billionth of a gram) is needed to cause a rash. Even if you’ve never broken out you cannot assume you are immune as the more often you are exposed to urushiol, the more likely it is that you will break out with an allergic rash. In fact, upwards of 90% of the population develops an allergy to it.

You and your family can have a more enjoyable fall by following these tips for avoiding outbreaks of poison ivy, along with these helpful treatments for soothing and healing rashes if you do succumb.


Avoiding contact with the plant is, of course, the best prevention. Go on an expedition, wearing long pants, a shirt with long sleeves, boots, and gloves to minimize exposure. Tour your yard, the playground, the route your children walk to school, a campsite you’re visiting, and any other outdoor areas you frequent. When you spot poison ivy, show it to your kids and instruct them to stay away from it. If you have a large amount growing in your yard, consult with a professional landscaper for removal. (Do not “weed whack” as it sprays the poison ivy — and hence the oil — right at you.)

Prior to any outdoor activity, apply odorless, greaseless Topricin Pain Relief and Healing cream or similar product to exposed areas of your body, including face, neck, hands, and arms. This will form a protective barrier making it more difficult for the urushiol oil to bond with your skin. Topricin contains natural medicines that also antidote and neutralize the adverse affect of urushiol oil.

Urushiol oil is extremely stable and will stay potent for years — which means you can get a rash from clothing or tools that got oil on them many seasons ago. After exposure to poison ivy, put on gloves and wipe everything you had with you and on you with rubbing alcohol and water, including shoes, tools and clothing. Then wash clothes at least twice before wearing (if possible using bleach), hose off garden tools well, and apply leather moisturizer on footwear to prevent them from drying out (again, put on gloves).

Pets seem to be immune from poison ivy, but many people do get a rash from the residual urushiol oil on their fur. Therefore it’s a good idea to bathe your dog or cat. Wear thick rubber gloves (not latex). After washing the pet, wash yourself using cold water to keep pores closed. Consult with your veterinarian if you have any questions.


Urushiol binds to skin proteins and begins to penetrate within 15 minutes of contact. If treated before that time, a reaction may be prevented. First, wash the exposed site with cold water (hot water will open your pores, allowing the oil in). Follow this by bathing it in milk, which gets between oil and skin. Dry off well and then apply one of several products designed to neutralize the effect of any remaining urushiol oil left on your skin. 

For severe outbreaks, or if you have any concerns whatsoever, see your doctor right away.

Regents professor receives industry recognition

Dr. David Creech, Stephen F. Austin State University Regents Professor and Professor Emeritus of Agriculture, received the Honorary Lifetime Membership Award at the annual Texas Nursery and Landscape Association (TNLA) awards banquet, August, 19, held this year in San Antonio. The award is presented in recognition and appreciation of Dr. Creech's many years of service and contributions to the Texas Nursery and Landscape Association and fellow industry professionals, by the Board of Directors of the Texas Nursery and Landscape Association, Inc. Eddy Edmondson, President of TNLA, in his awards introduction spoke about Dr. Creech’s extensive international travels and his work with SFA Gardens. He also noted the infectious nature of Dr. Creech’s passion for the industry, and the impact that’s had on his students, many of whom have gone on to be leading horticulturists in Texas.

The Compost Heap
Leaping squirrels

"I have a question about the empty jugs around the bottom of the pecan trees ('Gardening Tips,' Seeds, September 15, 2010)," Mary Ross writes. "How do you stop the squirrels jumping from nearby trees or telephone wires onto your pecan trees? I have two pecan trees that feed the pesky squirrels every year and then have volunteer pecan trees growing in my yard later from the squirrels hiding them in the grass."

That is a good question. You would have to put jugs around all the tress within 20 feet of your pecan trees. You may want to consider pruning the limbs back on your pecans so the squirrels can’t jump from the power lines to the pecans. You would need to prune them back so that they would be at least 20 feet from the telephone lines. Other than that, there is not much you can do about the telephone lines that run close to your trees.  If you live in the country you could shoot the squirrels. Grilled squirrel goes very well with pecan pie. — Chris S. Corby, publisher

Gardening tips

It time to plant those cool season crops like broccoli, cabbage and collards. Be sure to use some kind of cutworm collar. Otherwise, cutworms will likely destroy your young transplants soon after being set out in the garden. Old butter and sour cream containers with their bottoms cut out work great. If you don’t have any of these, place a small stick (about the diameter of a pencil) in the ground right next to the stem of your young plants.

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...

Hybrid seed will not produce true to type so don’t waste your time saving and storing seed from your favorite hybrid varieties. Instead, purchase new seed. Of course, you can save seed from open pollinated varieties that have not been allowed to cross pollinate with other varieties.

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.

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

The Woodlands: A free, how-to gardening event, Woodlands Landscaping Solutions features water-wise gardening methods with booths, demonstrations, garden tours and a plant sale on Saturday, September 25 from 9 a.m. to noon at 8303 Millennium Forest Dr., The Woodlands. Whether a habitat garden or more formal setting, beautiful landscapes begin from the ground up. Meet the garden gurus and discover your green thumb!  Displays spotlight habitat gardening, rainwater harvesting, how-to care for garden tools, organic methods, vegetable gardening and more. Featured booths present backyard habitats with Marya Fowler from National Wildlife Federation and Chris Wiesinger, “the Bulb Hunter” spotlighting heirloom bulbs. Stop by the Garden Shop, purchase bagged compost and visit the plant sale for hard-to-find natives, herbs and heirloom bulbs. The event is a free program of The Woodlands Township. For more information visit, Woodlands Landscaping Solutions or call the Environmental Services Department at 281-210-3900.

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

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 to reserve a spot. For additional information, visit

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

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 and click on “upcoming events.”

Kemah: The Kemah-Bay Area Garden Club will meet at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, October 6. at the Jimmie Walker Community Center, 800 Harris Avenue, Kemah. Mr. Barry Schlueter, Master Hybridizer, will present “Hibiscus and Roses – Preparing for Winter.” Light refreshments will be served and the public is invited. For additional information, call Anniece Larkins, President, at 281-842-9008.

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:

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:

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 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 or follow the event at

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

Schertz: The 4th Central Texas Gardeners Conference: Urban Farming: The Ultimate Backyard Experience will be held from 8:00 a.m. until 4:15 p.m. Saturday, October 9, at the Schertz Civic Center, 1400 Schertz Parkway, Schertz. Urban farming and edible landscapes are growing in popularity. Learning about Urban Farming, from the microbes in the soil to the fruit, flowers and vegetables perfect for your home-grown edible landscapes. Speakers include Dr. Larry Stein, Dr. Diane Boellstorff, Dr. David Reed and Dr. Joe Novak. In addition to the educational talks, vendors will offer books, plants, fruit trees, and goodies. Visit the educational displays on honey bees, backyard poultry, beneficial nematodes, compost tea and more. Registration is $45 and includes lunch. View the registration information and the agenda details at

Huntsville: Saturday, October 9 the Walker County Master Gardeners will host their Annual Fall Plant Sale. Located at 102 Tam Road (3 miles north of the Pilot Truck Stop on Hwy 75), Huntsville. Sale hours from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. Featuring: bulbs, perennials, natives, grasses, shrubs, herbs, house plants, roses. blueberries, blackberries, fruit trees and much more. Don't forget to bring your wagon. Call 936-435-2426 for additional information.

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:

Pearland: The Harris County Master Gardener Association will present a program about tree care from 6:30 p.m. until 9 p.m. Tuesday, October 12. at Bass Pro Shops, Highway 288 at the San Houston Tollway, Pearland. This lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, visit

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 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.

Houston: HUG (Houston Urban Gardeners) will meet Wednesday, October 13, at 6:30 p.m. at the Houston Garden Center, 1500 Hermann Dr. in Hermann Park, Houston (713-284-1989). Carol Brouwer, Ph.D., with AgriLife will discuss What To Plant and Do Now. Be prepared to meet and network with like-minded people. Free and open to the public. Visit for more information.

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

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 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, 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 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.

Seabrook: Dr. William Johnson, County Extension Agent for Galveston County, will present "Year-round Care of the Landscape" at 10 a.m., October 20. at The Meeting Room at Clear Lake Park (on the lakeside), 5001 NASA Road 1, Seabrook. Johnson will discuss when and how to accomplish major tasks and what not to do in the landscape. This lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, visit

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

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 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

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

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 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

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

New Braunfels: Registration has begun for the Comal Master Gardener Training Class which will be held from January 19 to May 11, 2011.  Applications for the class are currently on the Comal Master Gardener website at or contact the Texas AgriLife Extension Service office at 830-620-3440 for more information. Class size is limited and applications are accepted in the order they are received. The class will meet each Wednesday afternoon from 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Texas AgriLife Extension Service Comal County Office, 325 Resource Dr., New Braunfels (behind the Comal County Recycling Center).


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 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 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

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

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 or contact contact

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 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 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

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 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

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

Publisher: Chris S. Corby ● Editor: Michael Bracken

Texas Gardener’s Seeds, P.O. Box 9005, Waco, Texas 76714 ●