November 3, 2010

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


The garden reader:
Gardening with Greg

By William Scheick
University of Texas at Austin

Greg Grant. In Greg’s Garden: A Pineywoods Perspective on Gardening, Nature and Family. TG Press, 2010. $5.95 (Kindle e-book edition only).

http://www.amazon.com/Gregs-Garden-Pineywoods-Perspective-ebook/dp/B0044DF428/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1286909560&sr=1-1

For a decade, longtime readers of Texas Gardener have enjoyed a close-up acquaintance with Greg Grant’s family memories and related gardening adventures set in East Texas. In Arcadia, Grant renovated ancestral homes, improved the grounds of his family’s long-held property and cultivated a wide range of Southern heirloom plants.

To the good fortune of new readers — not to mention older ones who somehow allowed back issues of TG to slip out of sight — the first 54 of Grant’s columns have been revised, updated and collected in a Kindle e-book.

Grant holds an impressive set of credentials, including degrees in floriculture and horticulture from Texas A&M University and extensive personal experience as a horticulturist with the Texas Agricultural Extension Service, Stephen F. Austin State University, Mercer Arboretum and San Antonio Botanical Gardens.

But, as the saying goes, the proof is in the pudding — or, in Grant’s case, in the ground. And that proof is abundantly clear in his successful introduction of dozens of plants to the Texas nursery trade.

Even so, Grant’s credentials and market savvy make him sound a bit more respectable than he likes to see himself. The fact is, he readily admits, he has a notorious side.

For instance, he’s a Texas plant rustler, and proud of it. He confesses to a “natural obsession to own every pretty flower that passe[s] in front of [his] eyes” — “I was born a’rustling!”

Grant, in fact, is the A&M alumnus who rustled the “sport” prototype that facilitated the Aggie effort to replace our good old-fashioned beautiful bluebonnets with maroon ones. If you ever wondered whom to blame for that attempt to Aggietise our state flower, now you know.

Not that he’ll apologize. On the other hand, he doesn’t want to be accused of anything too untoward, either.

Instead, he prefers for you to see him as dabbling in benign mischief. “Now before you get the wrong idea about plant rustling, let me explain a few things to you,” he backpedals. Rustling is “about saving wonderful old forgotten plants from extinction [and] keeping memories alive. Every garden plant has a wonderful personal history.”

Maybe this clarification doesn’t explain the maroon bluebonnet business, but overall it sounds quietly reasonable, right? Well, watch out anyway because if you’re not making sense, Grant can suddenly fling some benign mischief at your head.

For him, for instance, that’s what’s needed for people who are just too fussy about trees: “Get a grip folks! All trees have leaves, pollen, fruit, seeds, sap, etc. that fall at some point. They don’t make 80 foot tall plastic plants yet (just give them time).

“These are the same people that curse pecans for making nuts, oaks for making acorns, and crapemyrtles for making those nasty blooms all summer that fall on the patio. … There are no perfect trees.” Period.

Grant tolerantly accepts not only plants’ various imperfections, but also his family’s and his own, too. “Any gardener that does not admit to making mistakes is probably no gardener at all, or is a professional Texas liar!”

For the inside story about the difference between these two characters, visit In Greg’s Garden.


Troublesome invasive is one plant Texas would do well to forget

By Buddy Gough
The Nature Conservancy of Texas

Many youngsters growing up in the warm, moist climate of Houston and surrounding towns came to regard elephant ears as just a natural part of neighborhood landscapes and not the noxious invaders they really were.

Easily recognized for its large green leaves descriptive of its namesake, the plant was common in landscaping alongside roses, azaleas and other harmless ornamentals.

With leaves growing up 24 inches long and 20 inches wide atop tall, sturdy stems, elephant ears could serve as nifty umbrellas for child’s play, but were otherwise not particularly notable.

But elephants ears (Colocasia esculenta) are in fact listed as a noxious plant by the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) and are a key concern for landowners, including The Nature Conservancy, throughout the riverbanks and wetlands of Texas.

The elephant ear plant is a native of India and Southeast Asia and was introduced into the United States in 1910. As a member of the taro family, it was originally imported as substitute crop for potatoes, but soon caught on as an ornamental.

The perennial plant remains popular today and various varieties are still sold in many nurseries.

The problem with elephants ears comes when it escape from yards and invades natural environment. With its preference for wet, moist areas, it gravitates to wetlands and the banks of lakes and streams to form dense and ever-spreading colonies.

The colonies can become thick enough to completely eliminate native streamside plants, altering the natural habitat and reducing biodiversity. Many displaced native plants, for example, are nurseries for larval and fingerling fish, as well as vital to organisms at the bottom of the aquatic food chain.

According to TDA recommendations, large colonies of the plants can be controlled or eradicated through use of herbicides, such as one percent solutions of 2, 4-D, triclopyr or glyphosphate. However, extra care is strongly advised for using the chemicals around water. It is recommended that local extension or Texas Parks and Wildlife biologists be consulted before attempting control efforts for elephant ear.

While small stands of elephant ears can be removed manually, plant pullers should be careful to remove individual plants entirely since any remaining fragments will readily germinate to create new growth.

For that reason, mechanically cutting or shredding the plants is to be avoided to keep from making the problem worse.

The best solution, of course, is to eliminate elephant ears as a candidate for landscaping.

To learn more about The Nature Conservancy's work in Texas, including other invasive species they help control, visit nature.org/texas.


Different ingredients, cooking methods can combat holiday calories

By Paul Schattenberg
Texas AgriLife Extension Service

While the holidays are typically filled with fun and family, they also are filled with food — and lots of it. Texas AgriLife Extension Service and Texas AgriLife Research experts of the Texas A&M University System have offered some suggestions on altering traditional recipes and making food choices to help cut holiday calories.

"The sugar, fat or salt content of almost any holiday recipe can be reduced without a noticeable difference in taste," said Dr. Mary Bielamowicz, AgriLife Extension nutrition specialist in College Station. "If a recipe calls for a cup of sugar, use two-thirds of a cup," she said. "If it calls for a half-cup of oil, shortening or other fat, use one-third cup. And if a recipe says to use one-half teaspoon of salt, use one-quarter teaspoon or omit the salt entirely." Bielamowicz said it’s easy to overuse salt during the holidays, and that new U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines recommend a lower daily sodium intake than previous recommendations.

"The 2010 guidelines indicate that the recommended sodium consumption for the average American should be 1,500 mg or less sodium per day, down from the 2005 recommendation of 2,300 mg or less per day," she said.

She noted that processed foods typically have a higher salt content, so the consumer should be vigilant about checking food labels for salt content and other nutrition data when selecting holiday food items.

For more healthful substitutions to holiday recipes, Bielamowicz suggested using plain low-fat yogurt or applesauce in lieu of butter or margarine; fat-free, skim or low-fat milk instead of whole milk, and egg whites or an egg substitute for whole eggs. Another more healthful substitution is to use whole-grain or bran flours in recipes calling for all-purpose flour, she said.

"In most instances, you can replace one-quarter to one-half the amount of all-purpose flour you see in holiday recipes with whole wheat flour."

Bielamowicz said modifying more complicated recipes may not always produce the desired texture or flavor and recommended trying out the new recipe before serving it to friends and family.

"But most changes in flavor or texture are typically not significant and are well worth the trade-off of a much healthier dish with less fat and fewer calories," she said.

"Holiday meals don’t have to be high in fat or calories to be tasty," said Dr. Connie Sheppard, AgriLife Extension agent for family and consumer sciences in Bexar County. "But low-fat doesn’t always mean low-calorie, so you have to be aware of both."

Try reduced or non-fat cheese, milk, cream cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt or mayonnaise instead of their higher-fat counterparts, she said. And try substituting evaporated milk for cream.

Sheppard said the preferred cooking method for vegetables is either steaming or roasting, using a low-fat margarine or cooking spray.

"In recipes for mashed potatoes, try using de-fatted broth instead of butter to reduce both fat and calories." She said turkey breast provides the lowest fat and highest protein content of any traditional holiday meat, and the healthiest cooking method for turkey or other meats is baking.

"If you’re cooking a turkey, leave the skin on to contain the flavor, but then remove it afterward to reduce the fat content. Baste your turkey it in its own juice or use a de-fatted broth, and make the stuffing outside the turkey."

Sheppard said stuffing cooked inside the turkey absorbs more oil, and getting the bird’s internal temperature high enough to cook it can lead to overcooking the meat.

"For vegetable dishes like candied sweet potatoes topped with marshmallows, try substituting mashed or baked sweet potatoes with a little brown sugar and butter substitute," she said. "For a green bean casserole, try reduced-fat mushroom or chicken soup or de-fatted broth. Use low-fat or skim milk, and skip the fried onion topping."

Sheppard suggested substituting canola or vegetable oil in the same recommended amount for butter when baking holiday sweets, such as cookies, cakes and pastries.

"It’s also important to think in terms of portion control when eating your holiday meal," said Sonia Elizando, AgriLife Extension assistant for the agency’s Better Living for Texans program. "You don’t want to fill up on high-calorie appetizers before the meal, and you’ll want to make it a point to eat smaller amounts of the higher-calorie foods available for the meal.

"Many splurge a little during the holidays and that’s understandable, but it’s important to remember there’s a difference between what you need to eat and what you want to eat." Healthier substitutions can also be made for more typically Southwestern holiday fare, according to other AgriLife experts.

"For those who enjoy barbecue beef for the holidays, research has shown that brisket has a healthier fatty-acid composition than other cuts of beef," said Dr. Stephen Smith, AgriLife Research meat scientist in Texas A&M’s department of animal science.

Research has demonstrated that beef brisket contains 'depots' or tiny reservoirs of healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, he said. "But while brisket has a better fatty-acid composition, it still has about the same calorie content as other cuts of beef," he said.

Other alternatives for regional preferences in a main meat course might include smoked or barbecued turkey or chicken, said Nelda Lebya Speller, AgriLife Extension agent, Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program.

"These are lower-fat, high-protein alternatives," she said, "and you may want to also skip or go easy on the barbecue sauce since many of them have a high sugar content." Tamales, another favorite holiday food throughout the Southwest, can be made with lower-fat substitutions and still retain their flavor, said Speller. "Combine the meat filling with some vegetables such as carrots, peas or celery, and use more filling than masa," she said. "Also, try canola oil instead of shortening or lard, and try non-fat refried beans as your bean-tamale filling."

AgriLife experts said there are Extension offices in almost every county in Texas, and many have personnel on staff to provide community education and outreach on nutrition, including healthier eating for people with diabetes and other health issues. Many offer free or low-cost nutrition education and food preparation demonstrations for small groups at community centers, churches, schools or other public venues.

Information on other healthful food substitutions can be found in the AgriLife Extension publication "Altering Recipes for Good Health," which can be downloaded at no cost from http://fcs.tamu.edu/food_and_nutrition/pdf/alteringrecipes.pdf.

Additional nutrition information can be found at the Texas A&M Family and Consumer Science website, http://fcs.tamu.edu/.


The Compost Heap
Rosemary's baby

“I have a question about growing rosemary," writes Josh Lowery. "Can I grow an 'ordinary' variety of rosemary outside in East Texas (Gilmer area)? Everything I read on rosemary says to protect it from frost, but I see many rosemary bushes in this area."

Most years, you shouldn’t have any problem growing rosemary in Gilmer. As an added precaution, be sure to plant it on the south side of your house or other out building. It would take more than a freeze to damage it so you may want to cover it if temps drop below 20 degrees F. We have rosemary growing in our south-facing flowerbed that has been there for more than 10 years. We are just south and west of you, near Waco. — Chris S. Corby, Publisher


Gardening tips

Now is the time to start seed from your favorite oak tree. Gather a few acorns and make sure the seed is viable before planting. If it has holes in it, rattles or floats when placed in bucket of water, discard it. The acorns that pass this test can be planted in gallon size or larger containers. Hill the buckets into some mulch to protect from cold weather and keep well watered through the winter.

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...

Most flowering vegetables need 6 to 8 hours of sun to produce a good crop. The less sun the plants receive, the leggier they grow and the poorer they produce. Be sure to consider this unbendable rule when locating a new garden.


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.

Marble Falls: Thinking about having purple martins this spring? Join Master Gardener Robert Yantis November 4 for a "Living with Purple Martins." Purple martins are the only birds that depend on humans for their housing. Learn about taking care of and enjoying our beautiful springtime visitors at a program presented by the Highland Lakes Birding and Wildflower Society in Marble Falls at the Marble Falls Public Library at 9:30 a.m. See upcoming gardening events at http://yantislakesidegardens.giving.officelive.com/events.aspx.

Kingsland: Learn the techniques for taking beautiful pictures of plants and wildlife in your garden in a program presented free by the Kingsland Garden Club. Master Naturalist and expert photographer Marvin Bloomquist will give you tips on "Photography in Your Garden" Friday, November 5, at the Kingsland Library. The meeting begins at 1 pm., and the program starts at 1:45 pm. For more information, call 325-388-8849.

Burnet: Learn helpful tricks to having a successful Hill Country garden with "Tips on Hill Country Gardening" with Master Gardener, Master Naturalist and author Bill Luedecke. This is a free Green Thumb Program presented by the Master Gardeners at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, November 6, at the Burnet Library. Shop before and after at the Master Gardeners Farmers Market on the Square across from the library in downtown Burnet.

Fredericksburg: The annual Grape Camp, sponsored by the Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association, will be held November 7 and 8 at the Lady Bird Johnson Pioneer Pavilion, 432 Lady Bird Johnson Dr., Fredericksburg. Educational programming for the camp is designed and conducted by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service in cooperation with universities and TWGGA. Presentations at the camp will be made by members of the AgriLife Extension Viticulture Team, as well as by members of TWGGA and the University of Houston-Downtown. The camp’s "Beginners Session" will be from 8 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. Nov. 7 . The program, designed for those new to wine-grape production, will be followed by a networking reception and barbecue dinner fundraiser. Attendee registration and welcome for the beginner session will be from 8-9 a.m. Presentation topics for the day will include vineyard site selection, preparation and design; grape varieties and rootstocks; vine-training systems and training young vines; legislative issues affecting the Texas wine industry; the new U.S. Department of Agriculture "Rocks to Wine" grant to the University of Houston; weed control for non-bearing and bearing vineyards; disease and insect management; and using sustainable contracts to eliminate harvest misunderstandings. The "Advanced Session” designed for those with commercial vineyard experience, will be from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Nov. 8. The day's program starts with an attendee registration and welcome from 8-9 a.m., then presentations begin at 9. Advanced program topics will include the benefits of Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association membership; legislative issues and regulation compliance issues affecting wine-grape growers; crop estimation; fruit thinning for crop uniformity and enhanced quality; balancing yield and quality in the vineyard; balancing yield and quality in the winery; maturity monitoring and harvest timing; the influence of vine vigor on grape quality; an update on 2,4-D regulatory status and potential actions for remediation of 2,4-D damage. Registration costs vary, depending on sessions, association membership, meal menu choices and a la carte options. For registration options and information, go to TWGGA Events Registration at http://www.twggastore.org/Grape-Camp_c9.htm. For more information on membership or event registration, contact Monica Kaczmarski at Monica@twgga.org or 817-424-0570.

Bryan: Get tips from Elmer Krehbiel, Master Gardener and author of the Eagle's Homegrown news column, in the Brazos County Master Gardener's Demonstration Idea Garden, Brazos Country AgriLife Extension, 2619 Highway 21 West, Bryan, at noon Tuesday, November 9. Whether a novice or long-time gardener, join this informal tour and talk in the garden to see what's growing, ask questions, and visit with vegetable gardeners. For more information, visit brazosmg.com.

Pearland: The Harris County Master Gardener Association will present a program about soils and composting from 6:30 p.m. until 9 p.m. Tuesday, November 9, 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 http://hcmgap2.tamu.edu.

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.

Seabrook: Dr. Anthony Camerino, County Extension Agent, Texas AgriLife Extension, Harris County, will answer the question, "What Is Organic Gardening" at 10 a.m., November 17, 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 http://hcmgap2.tamu.edu.

Houston: Considering all the rain and flooding that Harris County gets — with or without tropical storms — one wouldn't think that rainwater harvesting would be a hot topic. But rainwater harvesting is a good fit for wet areas as well as dry. "There's quite a bit of interest in rainwater harvesting in Harris County," said Justin Mechell, AgriLife Extension water resources specialist. "They have a lot of rainfall, so there's a lot to capture. And also they're irrigating quite a bit of land, so there's a big need and great potential for capturing that water; it provides a good opportunity." To respond to that growing interest, AgriLife Extension will offer a one-day training in collecting and using rainwater on November 18 at the AgriLife Extension office in Harris County, 3033 Bear Creek Drive, Houston. The training has been designed primarily for professional landscapers, but the public is welcome, Mechell said. Pre-registration for the course is $125; same-day registration will be $150. A 90-percent refund will be given to those who pre-register but have to cancel. Registration includes a manual with more than 200 pages written by AgriLife Extension engineers and rainwater harvesting experts. Lunch will be provided. Registration will start at 8:30 a.m., with the presentation beginning at 9 a.m. First up will be a "big-picture" overview of rainwater harvesting methods used throughout the state, including their sustainability and economics. "Sizing of Rainwater Harvesting System Components" will review the basic components of a rainwater harvesting system, including information on how to size a storage tank, cover designs and pipe systems. After lunch, "Methods to Improve Stored Water Quality" will cover selecting roofing materials, gutter screening, first-flush diversion design, basket screens, connection of multiple tanks and dealing with overflows. In "Treatment of Harvested Water," AgriLife engineers will explain what kind of treatment is needed for collected water depending on its use, potable or non-potable use. The session titled "Maintenance" will cover maintenance of filtering and disinfection devices, as well as tanks, gutters and rooftops. The training will end with an opportunity for participants to review, evaluate and ask questions. To register, go to the AgriLife Extension conference services website at https://agrilifevents.tamu.edu and search for "rainwater." Alternately, participants may call 979-845-2604 to register. For more information, Mechell can be reached at 979-845-1395 or JKMechell@ag.tamu.edu.

Jasper: Jasper County Farmers Market will hold a special holiday market November 20  with food, music, crafts and contests as the grand finale to the growing season. The market is open every Saturday 8 to 10 a.m. May-November on Hwy 96 N in Jasper one mile north of Hwy 190. The holiday market will have extended hours, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., and have a pumpkin bake-off, kids pumpkin decorating contest, door prizes and live music. Homemade crafts, baked goods and group fundraisers are welcome at this event. Master gardeners who run the market are now taking applications for $5 booth space. Call 409-384-3721 for more information.

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.

Houston: The Urban Harvest Fruit Tree Sale will be held 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. or until sold out, January 15, at Robertson Football Stadium on the University of Houston campus, Scott Street at Holman Street, Houston. This annual sale brings together far more types and varieties of fruit trees than can be found anywhere else in the greater Houston area. Fruit trees are easy to grow in metro Houston, with little care and big results. Learn more about growing fruit trees from Urban Harvest. For more information, visit www.urbanharvest.org.

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 http://www.txmg.org/comal/ 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).

McKinney: The Collin County Master Gardeners will present The Garden Show, March 26 and 27 at the Myers Park and Event Center near McKinney. The show is focused on providing research based horticulture information to area residents. For more information, contact thegardenshow@dfwair.net or visit www.ccmgatx.org/thegardenshow.

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.


In Greg's Garden:
A Pineywoods Perspective on Gardening, Nature and Family

An intimate and personal exploration of the life of one of Texas’s most beloved gardeners, In Greg’s Garden: A Pineywoods Perspective on Gardening, Nature and Family gathers in a single volume the first nine years of Greg Grant’s columns from Texas Gardener magazine.

Revised and updated from their original publication, these 54 essays reveal the heart and soul of a seventh generation native Texan who has devoted his entire life to gardening, nature and family. With degrees in floriculture and horticulture from Texas A&M University and extensive hands-on experience as a horticulturist with the Texas Agricultural Extension Service, Stephen F. Austin State University, Mercer Arboretum and San Antonio Botanical Gardens, Grant has successfully introduced dozens of plants to the Texas nursery industry, all while maintaining long-held family property and renovating the homes of his ancestors in Arcadia, Texas.

In Greg’s Garden: A Pineywoods Perspective on Gardening, Nature and Family is a must-read for every Texas gardener.

Available only for Kindle. Order directly from Amazon by clicking here.


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