December 29, 2010

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Root-knot nematodes are tiny parasitic worms that infect plant roots. They form galls or knots on the plant roots that block the flow of nutrients and photosynthesis products. (Texas AgriLife Extension Service photo by Robert Burns)
It’s the great root-knot nematode control, Charlie Brown

By Robert Burns
Texas AgriLife Extension Service

Root-knot nematodes are common visitors to East Texas fields of pumpkins and many other vegetables, but their presence is anything but a holiday treat for growers, according to a Texas AgriLife Extension Service expert.

“Root-knot nematodes are the biggest problem that many of our East Texas vegetable growers have to face,” said Dr. Karl Steddom, AgriLife Extension plant pathologist.

Steddom recently completed trials comparing various fumigants and biological controls for root knot nematodes on pumpkins.

“The pleasant surprise is that one of the biological controls was one of the most effective,” Steddom said.

And he said the results should be applicable to all the crops affected by the pest. The list is considerable. Root-knot nematodes can knock back yields and quality on pumpkins, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, beets, cucumbers, carrots, peaches, watermelons and okra. Even ornamental plants such as roses that have been started from rootstock can be hammered by the pest.

“Some watermelon varieties are marginally affected, but they can flat-out kill some crops like okra,” Steddom said.

Root-knot nematodes are tiny parasitic worms that infect plant roots. They form galls or knots on the plant roots that block the flow of nutrients and photosynthesis products. The pest is found worldwide but thrives in the sandy soils common to East Texas, he said.

“One of the biggest problems with these is that their eggs can lay dormant in the soil for years,” he said. “They’re very difficult to get rid of, and once a grower gets nematodes in a field it can be a big issue for their production for years to come.”

The infestation may start out in a small area of a field and at first may not be at high enough levels to cause significant losses in crop yield or quality, Steddom said. But if the field is left untreated, it’s almost a sure bet that the nematode population will grow and spread throughout, he said.

Steddom began the study because there wasn’t a lot of field data on two of the label products. He could have tested the products on a number of different crops, but he chose pumpkins because they’re less labor intensive to harvest, he said.

He tested nine different combinations of products on a site at the Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Overton.

He conducted the tests in a field with a field that had a sandy loam soil and a high population density of root-knot nematodes.

One of the treatments tested was Vapam and Vydate, a chemical combination considered an industry standard. Another fumigant was Paladin, a relatively new product for which there wasn’t a lot of test data, he said. The other two products were biological controls, one already on the market, another still in the experimental, testing stage.

Three of the treatments were of Actinovate, a biological fungicide that uses the bacteria, streptomyces lydicus to control nematodes. The three treatments were at 6, 12 and 18 ounces per acre.

Steddom also tested NI-9, an experimental biological control product not yet on the market, at various rates. And he tested a mixture of Actinovate and NI-9.

For the test crop, he used pumpkins in raised beds, 40-inches wide and 6-inches high, under plastic mulching, a system that is comparable to what’s commonly used in commercial vegetable production.

All the treatments were applied through drip-irrigation tubing. He harvested the pumpkins on Nov. 5 and compared yields as well as the extent of root galling.

Although Steddom did not find pumpkin yield differences among the various treatments, there were differences in the amount of visible galling on roots. Microscopic counts of root-knot nematode eggs per ounce of root were collected at another laboratory.

Surprising, in terms of eggs per ounce of root, the best control was achieved by Actinovate at the lowest rate of 6 ounces per acre, he said.

The root-gall index, which is largely a visible-eye rating, was also lowest with the 6-ounce rate of Actinovate. The 18-ounce rate of NI-9 achieved similar results.

“While yield was not impacted during this study, the reduction in reproduction rates has significant implications for future crops in this field,” Steddom wrote in his official report. “Neither phytotoxicity nor differences in plant vigor were observed at any time during this study.”

The other pleasant surprise is that Actinovate is by far more user-friendly than the standard fumigants. Though the fumigants rapidly degrade and pose no risk to the end user, Steddom said, they are dangerous to those who apply them. A private pesticide license is required to purchase and use the fumigants, but the biological control is available to homeowners without a license.

The study was funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s IR-4 Project, which is also referred to as the Minor Crop Pest Management Program.

The full results of the root-knot nematode study will be available on the IR-4 website ( sometime in early 2011, he said.

“Growers or homeowners wanting more information about root-knot nematodes and their control should contact their local county Extension agent,” Steddom said.

A county-by-county directory of AgriLife Extension agents can be found at

New citrus research facility dedicated in South Texas

By Rod Santa Ana
Texas AgriLife Extension Service

A new, $9 million building equipped with the latest in scientific technology was dedicated Dec. 15 at the Texas A&M-Kingsville University Citrus Center at Weslaco.

The two-story building replaced converted military barracks dating back to World War II that were hauled to the site from a nearby military base in Harlingen, according to Dr. John da Graca, the center director.

“Those old buildings were getting very expensive to maintain, so we are especially pleased to be in our new facilities that will help us carry on the 60- year tradition here of excellence in research,” he said.

Among the center’s achievements over that time are the development of deep red grapefruit varieties, including the Star Ruby and Rio Red varieties developed by Dr. Richard Hensz, a former director of the center who traveled from his home in Kerrville to attend the ceremony.

“The Rio Red is the main variety grown in Texas,” da Graca said. “The Rio Red and the Star Ruby are widely grown in other countries including South Africa, Australia, Turkey, Cyprus, Israel and Argentina.”

The development of new varieties continues, with several “in the pipeline,” da Graca said.

“This new building will help us meet the current and future challenges of maintaining a healthy, profitable citrus industry that generates badly needed jobs and income. It will also help us continue helping local students earn their graduate degrees, 50 of whom have done so already,” he said.

Several state officials praised the center’s scientific research history as the foundation for the Texas citrus industry’s past and future.

“Planning for the fine facilities we are dedicating today began 10 years ago,” said Dr. Allen Rasmussen, dean of the Dick and Mary Lewis Kleberg College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Human Sciences at Texas A&M-Kingville.

“Funds were provided by state tuition revenue bonds, but the term is misleading,” he said. “It was not paid for with any tuition anybody has paid; it was paid for by the citizens of Texas.”

“The eight professors at this center are world-class scientists who do significant research here, known both nationally and internationally,” said Dr. Steven Tallant, president of Texas A&M University-Kingsville.

He cited various areas of ongoing research at the center including identifying and developing strategies for several serious diseases and pests, solving post-harvest problems, the development of new pesticide registrations, molecular biology, investigations of genetic disease and cold tolerance, and researching the role citrus compounds can play in preventing human diseases.

“This new building is symbolic of where we’re going scientifically for the people of Texas,” he said.

“This facility is a gem in our educational system of Texas,” said state Sen. Eddie Lucio, D-Brownsville.

“Battling diseases, improving orchard production, developing new citrus varieties and all the first-class research that goes on here helps the Texas citrus industry compete with China, Florida, California and all the other citrus-producing regions of the world,” he said.

Lucio also cited the center’s successful efforts in creating and managing the state mandatory virus-free budwood certification program for nurseries throughout Texas, both commercial and homeowner.

In thanking the center’s faculty and staff for providing the scientific research that supports the area’s annual $200 million industry, Lucio presented a State Senate proclamation to Dr. Michael D. McKinney, chancellor of the Texas A&M University System, and Tallant.

Texas Agriculture commissioner Todd Staples praised the center for teamwork and collaboration in helping the Texas Department of Agriculture develop state regulations.

Other speakers or state officials on hand for the ceremony included state Rep. Armando “Mando” Martinez, D-Weslaco; state Rep. Ryan Guillen, D-Rio Grande City; Paul Heller, chairman of the Citrus Center’s advisory committee; and Josue Reyes, senior project manager of Skanska, the building construction contractors.

The new building is a two-story, 25,000-square-feet facility with state-of-the-art laboratories.

“The first floor features administrative offices, meeting rooms, classroom and diagnostic laboratories,” said da Graca. “The second floor consists of a core laboratory, specialized laboratories, offices for faculty and technicians, and graduate student cubicles.”

Construction began in the summer of 2009 and was completed this year. Staff and faculty moved from their old facilities to the new one in August.

Following the dedication ceremony, a luncheon was held in the new auditorium, sponsored by Texas Citrus Mutual and TexaSweet Marketing.

Becky Bonham, chairperson of Texas Citrus Mutual presented the Citrus Center with a poster depicting the family tree of Texas grapefruit.

Solomon Torres, representing U.S. Rep. Ruben Hinojosa, presented a ceremonial U.S. flag, and Barbara and Jimmie Steidinger presented a check to Tallant for a scholarship endowment for Citrus Center graduate students.

Gardening tips

Try growing sprouts to brighten up those cold January days. Easy ones to try are alfalfa, broccoli, chick peas and soy beans. All you need is a large mason jar and some seed which you can get at most natural food stores. Be sure not to use field seed since it may be treated with fungicide.

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 2011 Planning Guide & Calendar. Please send your tips of 50 words or less to the editor at: Gardening Tips.

Did you know...

Growing heirloom vegetables is a way to connect with the past and use sustainable gardening practices. That’s right, heirloom vegetables are open pollinated so you can save seed from year to year without any problems. One thing to watch out for is that many heirloom tomato varieties were developed in northern climates. Consequently, they are often later maturing varieties that will not produce good crops in Texas.

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/College Station: Applications are being accepted for the Brazos County Master Gardener 2011 Training Class which will be held from January to May. Classes meet on Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Applications and more program information is available at or contact the Brazos County office of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service at 979-823-0129 for more information.

Kemah: The Kemah-Bay Area Garden Club will meet Wednesday, January 5, at 9:30 a.m. at the Jimmie Walker Community Center, 800 Harris Avenue, Kemah. Nell Shimek, co-owner of Shimek’s Gardens, an American Hemerocallis Society National Display site in Alvin, will present “Daylilies.” Light refreshments will be served and the public is invited. For additional information, call Anniece Larkins, President, at 281-842-9008.

Kingsland: Master Gardener Sheryl Yantis will present "Hill Country Roses." Learn about the easy care roses that are beautiful, require minimal maintenance and grow in our area. This program is presented free by the Kingsland Garden Club at the Kingsland Library on Friday, January 7. The meeting will begin at 1 p.m. and the program follows at 1:45 p.m. For more information, visit

Austin: “Grow the Best Garden Veggies Ever!” a free demonstration of how to grow the best vegetables you can, will take place from 10 a.m. until noon, January 8, at Sunshine Community Gardens, 4814 Sunshine Dr., Austin. It all starts below your feet, in the very soil your plants grow in; quality soil = quality vegetables. Master Gardeners will share techniques applicable to any soil type. Bring chairs if desired, but event will be rain or shine. Only street parking is available for this event. 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

Farmers Branch: Roses are rapidly becoming a mainstay of Farmers Branch landscaping and will be made easier for local gardeners by a series of five free classes, “Landscaping with Roses in 2011,” beginning January 11. New this year will be the opportunity to purchase roses for personal landscaping. Plus, all participants who attend all five classes, and the pruning clinic to follow the week after the final class, will be eligible for a 30 minute personal landscape consultation by Texas A&M’s Dr. Steve George or Farmers Branch Landscape Manager Pam Smith. All classes will be held at the Farmers Branch Community Recreation Center, 14050 Heartside Place, from 7 until 8:30 p.m. each scheduled evening. The series kicks off on January 11 with Pam Smith offering “Helpful Hints for Successfully Landscaping Your Yard.” Dr. Steve George follows on January 18 with “Earthkind Roses — Lessons from the Garden.” Dr. Greg Church closes out the month on January 25 with “Perennials for the EarthKind Garden.” On February 1, Tim Allsup and Jerry Haynes will speak on “The Art and the Care of Garden Tools — Creating the Patina & Perfecting the Edge.” Carole Mainwaring will offer “David Austin Roses — Ahhhh” on February 8. Following those classes, the series concludes with a Rose Pruning Clinic at 10 a.m. on February 12. Participants are asked to register for classes by calling the Farmers Branch Community Recreation Center at 972-247-4607. “Landscaping with Roses in 2011” classes are sponsored by the Farmers Branch Parks and Recreation Department, the Dallas Rose Society and the Dallas Area Historical Rose Society.

Seabrook: The Harris County Master Gardener Association will present a program on Fruit Trees for Harris County Tuesday, January 11, from 6:30 p.m. until 9 p.m., at The Meeting Room at Clear Lake Park (on the lake side), 5001 NASA Parkway, Seabrook. Herman Auer, Galveston County Master Gardener, will be the lecturer. These lectures are free and open to the public. For more information 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

Austin: “Central Texas Gardening 101” will be presented from 10 a.m. until noon, January 15, at Zilker Botanical Garden, 2220 Barton Springs Rd., Austin. If you’re a newcomer to Central Texas or need a refresher on the, learn tips and tricks to making your Austin garden a success! Included will be a seasonal growing calendar, how to work with challenging soils, maintenance schedules for pruning and planting, valuable information about giving new plants a headstart and much more. Join Daphne Richards, Horticulture Agent at the Texas AgriLife Extension Service for Travis County to get the facts and ask questions of your own. This seminar is free and open to the public. For more information, visit

Livingston: Tired of struggling to make that hard pack clay (or sugar sand) into fertile rich soil you can garden with? Tried Raised Beds. The Polk County Texas AgriLife Extension office will start 2011 with a discussion on how to create and maintain raised beds. In a raised bed you can mix together the perfect blend of soil to grow you garden, weed free! At least for a few weeks. The meeting will be held January 18 at the AgriLife meeting room behind the offices at 602 E Church St., Livingston. For more information or directions, call 936-327-6828.

Stephenville: A Prospective Wine-Grape Grower Workshop will be held January 25 at the Texas AgriLife Research & Extension Center in Stephenville, 1229 U.S. Highway 281 North. Registration will begin at 8:30 am, and program presentation will take place from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. The workshop is a one-day educational program designed to provide an overview of the unique requirements and economic risks associated with establishment and operation of a commercial vineyard in Texas. Fran Pontasch, AgriLife Extension viticulture advisor for North Texas, and Dusty Timmons, AgriLife Extension viticulture advisor for West Texas, will provide program instruction. Weather permitting, a discussion during the workshop would take place in the AgriLife Extension vineyard at the Center. The program was created to address the most common concerns potential grape producers may have prior to committing valuable resources toward a commercial vineyard enterprise. Program topics include: necessary viticulture expertise, vineyard site selection, risk factors, vineyard labor requirements and vineyard economics. The fee for each workshop is $125 per person or $200 per couple, and includes educational materials and lunch. Registration for the workshop can be completed through AgriLife Conference Services at their website, The workshop serves as a prerequisite for application to the Texas Viticulture Certificate Program offered by Texas Tech University and AgriLife Extension. For more information on the certification program, visit and see Educational Opportunities. For more information, contact Fran Pontasch 254-968-4144 or

Burnet: Join Master Gardener and Landscape Design Consultant Sheryl Yantis for "Texas Tough Plants" at a public Green Thumb program presented by the Highland Lakes Master Gardeners at the Herman Brown Free Library on the Courthouse Square in Burnet on Saturday, February 19. The program will start at 10:30 a.m. Learn about the beautiful plants recommended for the Hill Country. For additional information, visit

Highland Lakes: The Highland Lakes Master Gardeners, a volunteer arm of Texas AgriLife Extension, will start Master Gardener Training Classes March 1 in Marble Falls. Visit to learn about the classes, cost, application and the Master Gardener program. Enrollment is limited so get your application in by January 15.

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

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).

Seabrook: Dr. Carol Brouwer, Harris County Extension Agent, will present "Pruning Trees and Shrubs" at 10 a.m., January 19, at The Meeting Room at Clear Lake Park (on the lakeside), 5001 NASA Parkway, Seabrook. Brouwer will discuss correct pruning techniques. This lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, visit:

Beaumont: Nesting Season Kick-Off 2011, presented by the Texas Bluebird Society and sponsored by the Golden Triangle Audubon Society, will be held from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Saturday, January 29, at Beaumont Botanical Gardens in Tyrell Park, 6088 Babe Zaharias Drive. Beaumont. Join with other TBS members to explore solutions to the most predominant challenges faced in providing the best habitat and promoting solid conservation practices for our native cavity nesters. Guest Speakers include Texas Gardener columnist Greg Grant, speaking about “The Hole Truth: East Texas Woodpeckers,” and Cliff Shackelford, speaking about “Nuthatches in Texas: Nuttin' but the Truth.” Registration for this event is required. $12 Advanced Registration (includes hot lunch) deadline is January 15, 2011; at-the-door registration is $6 (no lunch). To register or for additional information visit

Bryan: "Earth-Kind Gardening Seminar" will be held from 8:30 a.m. until 3 p.m., January 29, at The Brazos Center, 3232 Briarcrest Dr., Bryan. Learn all you need to know from experts for successful gardening in Central Texas. learn about easy-to-grow Earth-Kind roses and Garden Design from Gaye Hammond, Houston Rose Society, and Andrea Fox, MLA and Master Gardener. Learn how to grow fresh, flavorful vegetables and herbs from Dr. Joe Masabni, Extension Specialist, and Ann Wheeler, Log House Herbs. $50 per person. For more information and a registration from, visit or call 979-823-0129.

Austin: “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” will be presented from 10 a.m. until noon, Saturday, February 5, at Zilker Botanical Garden, 2220 Barton Springs Rd., Austin. Roses add color and wonderful scent to the garden year-round! Attend this free seminar to learn how to select, plant, prune and care for these wonderful plants. Earth-Kind and Antique roses, which are known for their high performance, disease resistance and insect tolerance, will be featured topics of discussion. Travis County Master Gardeners Carolyn Williams and Holly Plotner will arm attendees with the tools they need to explore this fascinating area of horticulture! For more information, visit

Austin: “Planning and Planting the Spring Vegetable Garden” will be presented from 10 a.m. until noon, Saturday, February 12, at Sunshine Community Garden, 4814 Sunshine Dr., Austin. This hands-on seminar provides information on plant and seed selection, tips for increased germination, spacing and other techniques to ensure gardening success. Street parking available only. This seminar is free and open to the public. For more information, visit

Sunset Valley: “Taking Care of the Lawn,” two seminars on lawn care, will be presented from 10 a.m. until noon, Saturday, February 19, at Sunset Valley City Hall, 3205 Jones Rd., Sunset Valley. “It's Dead! How to Establish a New Lawn” will be presented from 10 a.m., until 11 a.m.; “How to Promote Lawn Health” from 11 a.m. until noon. Learn what to do to start a new lawn or replace a lawn, including grass varieties, soil preparation, and watering. Discover easy mowing, irrigating, and fertilizing tips for lawn maintenance. Park in the Tony Burger Center across the street from Sunset Valley City Hall. This seminar is free and open to the public. For more information, visit

Longview: The 2011 Spring Garden and Landscape Seminar, sponsored by the Gregg County Master Gardeners, will be March 5, from 8 a.m. until noon, at the First Methodist Church Faith Center, 400 N. Fredonia, Longview. Tom LeRoy Extension Agent, Conroe, will speak on "Vegetable Gardening" and "Everything You Want to Know about Tomatoes." Leslie Halleck, Horticulturist, Botanist and Gardener, Dallas, will speak on "Growing Herbs." There will be door prizes, raffle, vendors, and refreshments. Advance tickets are $10 or $12 at the door. Call 903-236-8429 for more information.

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 or visit

Cameron: The 2nd Annual Milam County Nature Festival will be held from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., April 9 at Wilson-Ledbetter Park in Cameron. This is an educational and fun family event for all age groups with presentations, exhibits and hands on activities in a variety of nature areas including birds, bats, insects, butterflies, snakes, horned lizards, fish, wild animals, wildflowers, native grasses, and much more. For more information, visit:

Rockport-Fulton: The Seventh Rockport Herb Festival will be held from 8:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. Saturday, April 9, at the Paws & Taws Fulton Convention Center, 402 N. Fulton Beach Road, Rockport-Fulton. Featured speakers include Susan Wittig Albert, New York Times bestselling author of the China Bayles series, books that "contribute to our knowledge, information, use, or enjoyment of herbs"; the Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter series; and a series of Victorian-Edwardian mysteries written with her husband Bill Albert under the pseudonym Robin Paige. Also speaking will be Judy Barrett, founder of Homegrown Texas Magazine and author of What Can I Do With My Herbs? and What Makes Heirloom Plants So Great? Chef Kevin Argetsinger will present a cooking demonstration, and there will be other on-going cooking demonstrations throughout the day. In addition, Jeff Transeau of Charta Olives will speak on growing Olive Trees in Texas and the Texas Olive Industry. Texas olive oil and olive trees will be for sale. For additional information, visit

San Antonio: Viva Botanica! — A Garden Fiesta for the whole family will be celebrated at the San Antonio Botanical Garden on the first Saturday of the Fiesta week in San Antonio, April 9, 2011. Decorate your stroller or red wagon and wear your finest Fiesta attire to enjoy the spring beauty of the San Antonio Botanical Garden. Start the fun with a children’s parade and the coronation of lucky young visitors to the Garden’s first ever Fiesta Flower Court. Viva Botanica crafts, music, inflatable “bouncies” and games combine the natural environment of the Garden’s 33 acres with Fiesta fun. Stamp your Fiesta Passport on your “walk across Texas” experience along the Texas Native Trail, where families can explore the East Texas lake, the Hill Country’s limestone spring and historic cabins, and the Bird Watch at the farthest reach of the South Texas region. Interactive stations along the way will engage guests of all ages in the wonders of the natural world. For home gardeners, the Botanical Society will host its popular Spring Plant Sale of San Antonio friendly plants, all lovingly grown in the volunteer greenhouse at the Garden. Viva Botanica activities will be offered 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. The Garden is open 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Anne Marie’s Carriage House Bistro is open for weekend brunch 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. The San Antonio Botanical Garden is located at 555 Funston at North New Braunfels Avenue with free parking. Admission is $8 adults; $6 students, seniors, military; $5 children age 3-13. The Botanical Garden is operated under the auspices of the City of San Antonio Department of Parks & Recreation and is open year-round except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. For more information, visit


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 at 10 a.m. at 619 N. Live Oak Street, Room 14, Rockport, to discuss all aspects of using and growing herbs, including historical uses and tips for successful propagation and cultivation. 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 and

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.

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 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.)

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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 ●