February 2, 2011

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 in Central Texas

By William Scheick
Book Reviewer

Cheryl Hazeltine. Cheryl Hazeltine’s Central Texas Gardener. Texas A&M University Press, 2010. 385 pp. $24.95.

Some things do improve with age. That’s the case with Cheryl Hazeltine’s Central Texas Gardener, a third version of a handy guidebook.

What most characterizes Central Texas “is the unrelenting nature of the heat.” This region endures about 111 days of temperatures over 90ºF, with humid nights rarely falling below 73ºF — daunting conditions for many plants.

With climate change underway, expect more sporadic extremes — more “freak cold snaps and heat spells.” Then factor in the region’s modest annual rainfall — in short, its very immodest prolonged droughts.

So Central Texas gardeners like me need all the help we can get, including a chapter titled “Alternatives to Lawns: Ground Covers and Accent Plants.”

This version of Central Texas Gardener presents an ample overall discussion of climate, soils and plant needs, but many readers will particularly value the large array of plant profiles comprising the bulk of the book. Each profile is given an entire page listing useful compact data headed by a large color photograph.

I hate to find any fault with a book as good as this one. But I do have a grumble.

Hazeltine has mistakenly written: “the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has updated its Hardiness Zone Map to reflect” that “major areas … have been shifted to one zone warmer; other areas, two zones.”

To the contrary, the USDA has been worse than slow in updating its 21-year-old hardiness zone map, though it claims to be working on one.

The USDA has not only been slow, it also has rejected the American Horticultural Society’s 2003 “hotter” version, which (according to reports) it successfully had removed from the AHS website. The USDA has also rejected the “even hotter” 2006 hardiness zone map constructed by the National Arbor Day Foundation [http://www.arborday.org/media/zones.cfm].

This caveat aside, Cheryl Hazeltine’s Central Texas Gardener is so good it deserves to be on the bookshelf of every — guess who? — Central Texas gardener.


 

Forest Service offers free guide to managing invasive plants

The USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS) is distributing free copies of a new guide, titled “A Management Guide for Invasive Plants in Southern Forests,” that gives homeowners, gardeners, land managers and others information on controlling and removing invasive plants in the South.

“The guide provides the latest information on how to create and carry out prevention programs, implement management practices, and rehabilitate and restore land,” said Jim Miller, Ph.D., an emeritus SRS research ecologist based in Auburn, Ala., and lead author of the book. “The guide serves as a staple for foresters, natural resource managers and others who want to remove invasive plants that have become a serious problem in the 13 southern states.”

Invasive plants often harm forests and other natural areas by pushing out native plants, which degrades habitat and adversely affects wildlife. Exotic plants often reduce forest productivity, native plant and animal diversity, and water quality and quantity.

Jim Miller authored “A Management Guide for Invasive Plants in Southern Forests” with Steven Manning, president of Invasive Plant Control, Inc., and Stephen Enloe, Ph.D., weed management specialist at Auburn University. Miller is considered one of the foremost authorities on invasive plants in the South.

Published by SRS, the book provides information on developing strategies for combating 56 of the most pervasive invasive species in the South such as kudzu, tallowtree, tree-of-heaven and Japanese honeysuckle. The 120-page guide informs readers on how invasive plants spread, preventative measures that help reduce their distribution, and how to develop management plans. The guide combines 392 colorful photos with details on herbicides, application methods, biological controls, tools and mechanical treatments, grazing techniques and more.

The guide is the companion book to “A Field Guide for the Identification of Invasive Plants in Southern Forests,” which SRS unveiled in August 2010. Both guides originated from the book “Nonnative Invasive Plants of Southern Forests: A Field Guide for Identification and Control,” published by the Station in 2003.

People can request free copies of “A Management Guide for Invasive Plants in Southern Forests” by sending their name and complete mailing address, along with book title, author and publication number GTR-SRS-131 to: pubrequest@fs.fed.us, or by calling 828-257-4830.

“A Management Guide for Invasive Plants in Southern Forests” is posted in PDF format on the SRS website at http://www.srs.fs.usda.gov/pubs/36915.



Rose 'Cecile Brunner.'  (Photo courtesy Texas AgriLife Extension Service)
'Cecile Brunner,' "The Sweetheart Rose"

By Dr. William C. Welch
Texas AgriLife Extension Service

‘Cecile Brunner’ is one of the most beloved and recognizable roses ever created. It was introduced in France by Joseph Pernet-Ducher in 1881. The original plant is a compact shrub 3-4’ tall but the climbing form which was introduced in 1891 is even more vigorous and found more frequently on old cemeteries and homesites. The exquisitely formed soft, silvery formed pink buds make perfect boutonnieres and have a pleasantly sweet fragrance. They resemble perfectly formed miniature hybrid tea flowers. ‘Cecile Brunner’ is affectionately known as “The Sweetheart Rose” and is a great gift for Valentine’s Day.

The climbing form is vigorous and naturally forms an umbrella shape ten or more feet tall and wide. It blooms profusely in the spring and fall but just sporadically in the summer months. The bush form blooms more consistently and is a good container specimen as well as hedge plant.

Like most of the other popular old roses ‘Cecile Brunner’ can be grown on its own roots and is easily propagated from cuttings (for further information, readers may refer to my article on this subject in The Southern Garden section of the aggie-horticulture website on rooting roses). It is also widely available in containers at this time of year.

Roses thrive in sunny areas with well-drained soils. Established bush forms should be pruned in mid-February but it is best to wait till after the spring bloom to shape and prune the climbing selection. Roses grow well in sandy or clay soils but do especially well when it is amended with organic material such as composted pine bark or your own compost. Although able to survive with little additional fertilizer roses produce better when materials such as cotton seed or alfalfa meal, slow release commercial fertilizer or rotted manures are applied. Roses are relatively water efficient plants but bloom and perform better with occasional deep watering during extended dry spells.

For more information on 'Cecile Brunner' and other well-researched Earth-Kind Roses, visit Earth-Kind Roses.

'Cecile Brunner', "The Sweetheart Rose" is reprinted with permission from Horticulture Update.


The Compost Heap
Fridge or freezer?

"I don't have a tip, but need one," writes Patti Smith. "Is it best to store leftover seeds in the refrigerator or the freezer? I have heard both suggestions."

The best way to store seeds is to place them in an air-tight glass jar or plastic storage container. Place a packet of desiccate in the container. You can make your own by placing a couple of tablespoons of powdered milk in a paper towel secured with a rubber band on the end. This will absorb any moisture than gets trapped in the container. Then place the container in the refrigerator for storage. Depending on the plant, seed stored like this can remain viable for several years. — Chris S. Corby, publisher

“Oh my goodness,” writes Mickey Carpenter, responding to our note in the introduction to last month’s fiction selections that gardening news is slow at the beginning of the year, “it seems like it is going so fast….not slow!

“With the shortened daylight hours it leaves very little time to work in the garden in the evenings after work. There is so much to be done to make sure the beds are ready for the tender transplants that will soon call them home.

“What about articles on starting your own transplants, green houses, hot houses, protection for young seedlings, and even articles on what things need to be planted very soon to get a jump on summer’s hot weather, like berries, trees, and landscaping.

“In addition — we need to be ordering seeds, transplants, sweet potato starts and onions to get them here on time and before the vendors run out.

“Now’s a good time to be putting in your watering systems for irrigation when you can work around your perennial plants and shrubs without breaking off tender new shoots or disrupting new transplants.

“Just my two cents. I wish I could keep up this time of year!”


Gardening tips

When you are setting young tomatoes transplants into the ground this spring, lay them shallow with the stem and root system parallel to the ground instead of planting them deep on a vertical line. By placing them in the warmer, shallower soil they will develop roots and grow faster.

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...

The United States Department of Defense has given the University of Colorado 8 million dollars to develop a plant that can sense the presence of explosive material. Preliminary results show that a prototype actually turns white in the presence of explosive material.


Upcoming garden events.

If you would like your organization’s events included in "Upcoming Garden Events" or would like to make a change to a listed event, please contact us at Garden Events. To ensure inclusion in this column, please provide complete details at least three weeks prior to the event.

Nacogdoches: A successful garden begins with good soil. SFA agriculture professor Dr. Leon Young will present Soils in Your Garden on February 3 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in room 110 of the Agriculture Building on Wilson Drive, Nacogdoches. Young, aka Dr. Red Dirt, will discuss the basics of soil pH, use of lime, fertilization and soil testing. Young encourages participants to bring their soil questions for a question/answer and problem-solving session at the close of the presentation. Cost is $5.00 per person. To register, contact the SFA Gardens Education Office at 936-468-1832; email erodewald@sfasu.edu; or send payment with name, address, daytime phone number, and seminar title to: SFA Gardens Seminars, PO Box 13000-SFA, Nacogdoches, TX 75962.

McAllen: The Sustainable Agronomic Education Association will hold their 10th annual conference February 4-5 at the Renaissance-Casa de Palmas Hotel, 101 N. Main St., McAllen. Organized around the theme "Healthy Food Production — Keepin' it Local," the conference will feature presentations about integrated animal and crop production, free-range poultry, pasture improvement, composting and compost tea, marketing locally produced food to local markets, marketing to restaurants, wine grapes and Texas wineries, and water issues in the Rio Grande Valley. Registration for both days (includes dinner Friday and lunch Saturday): $95. Saturday-only registration (includes lunch): $45. Van tour Friday $50. For additional information, contact Barbara Storz at b-storz@tamu,edu or 956-383-1026.

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 www.tcmastergardeners.org.

San Antonio: Six horticultural educational opportunities for the general public, all but one of them free, will be available in and around San Antonio throughout February. The dates, locations and details of the programs are as follows: February 5 from 11a.m-1 p.m., Earth-Kind Landscape Series: Preparing For the Spring Vegetable Garden, Educational Room of the San Antonio Botanical Garden, 555 Funston. Download the flier at: http://www.sabot.org/ama/orig/Earthkind_Series_Spring_Veg_Garden.pdf. Cost is $20. To register, contact Sasha Kodet at 210-207-3270 or sasha.kodet@sanantonio.gov. Participants must register by noon Feb. 4. February 12 from 2-4 p.m., Fruit Tree Seminar: Selecting, planting and maintaining fruit trees for the urban landscape. Hosted by Schulz Nursery, 100 W. Huebinger St., Marion. No cost to attend. For more information, call Angel Torres at 210-467-6575. February 16 from 6-8 p.m., Earth-Kind Landscape Series: Spring Vegetable Seminar — selecting, planting and maintaining vegetables for a backyard garden. Suite 208 of the AgriLife Extension office, Bexar County, 3355 Cherry Ridge, San Antonio. No cost to attend. For more information, call Angel Torres at 210-467-6575. February 19 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Earth-Kind Educational Program: Pruning and Q&A Gardening Seminar — how and when to prune plants. Participants encouraged to bring garden samples for practice pruning. Schulz Nursery, 3700 Broadway, San Antonio. No cost to attend. For more information, call 210-804-0600. February 20 from 2-4 p.m., Spring Vegetable Seminar — selecting, planting and maintaining vegetables for a backyard garden. Cooper’s Garden Place, 87 Coopers Lane, Floresville. No cost for attending. For more information, call 210-467-6575. February 26, from 11 a.m-1p.m., Spring Vegetable Seminar — selecting, planting and maintaining vegetables in a backyard garden. Fanick’s Garden Center, 1025 Holmgreen Road, San Antonio. No cost to attend. For more information, call 210-648-1303.

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.” 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. One class remains.  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: Dr. Carol Brouwer, Harris County extension agent, will present "Vegetable Gardening" from 6:30 p.m. until 9 p.m, Tuesday, February 8 at The Meeting Room at Clear Lake Park (on the lake side), 5001 NASA Parkway, Seabrook. This lecture is free and open to the public For more information, visit http://harris-tx.tamu.edu/hort.

Wimberley: Residents in the area around Hays and Comal counties interested in learning how to protect themselves from wildfire are invited to a town hall meeting at 6:30 p.m. on February 10 at the Wimberley Community Center, 14068 Ranch Road 12. Representatives from Texas Forest Service and the National Fire Protection Association will be on hand to answer questions and talk about what you can do to protect your home and family from wildfire. For example, you can reduce potential wildfire losses by adopting Firewise landscaping practices 100 to 200 feet around your home. That includes moving firewood and clearing dead and dense vegetation. Wildland Urban Interface Specialist Jan Fulkerson stressed that wildfires are a community-wide problem, which means reducing risks to homes and property is everyone’s responsibility. For more information, visit www.texasfirewise.org.

Cat Spring: The Texas AgriLife Extension Service and Austin County Grape Growers Committee will co-sponsor the 19th annual Gulf Coast Grape Growers Field Day on February 11 in Cat Spring, about 75 miles west of Houston. The field day will be held at the Cat Spring Agriculture Society Hall, 13035 Hall Rd. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. with presentations and activities scheduled from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Viticulture topics addressed at the field day will include grape pest and disease management, grape maturity for wine quality, management practices for new vineyards, grower discussion panels and the latest in Texas AgriLife vineyard demonstrations. Speakers will include experts from AgriLife Extension, industry, and the Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association. A minimum of three continuing education units will be available to licensed pesticide applicators. Registration cost, which includes lunch, beverages and a wine social, is $20. All registration for this year’s field day will be at the door and must be paid in cash or by check. For more information, contact Fritz Westover at 281-855-5608 or fawestover@ag.tamu.edu.

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 www.tcmastergardeners.org.

Austin: Learn which roses do well in Central Texas, how to make roses thrive and avoid costly mistakes at the Rose Workshop, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, February 12, at Zilker Botanical Garden, 2220 Barton Springs Rd, Austin. $25 registration fee includes lunch and a one-year membership in the Austin Rose Society, instruction booklet on growing roses, propagating roses from cuttings, soils for roses, handling rose insects and pruning roses. Register at www.austinrosesociety.org or pay at the door from 8:30 a.m. until 9:30 a.m. For additional information, call 512-836-4679.

Marion: Learn about selecting, planting and maintaining fruit trees for the Urban Landscape. Horticulturist David Rodriguez of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service will guide you to your best orchard ever from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, February 12, at Schulz Nursery: 100 West Huebinger Street, Marion. Cost is free. For more information, call 210-467-6575.

Nacogdoches: 2011 Family Fun Days planned through Nacogdoches Naturally, an outdoor education component of the Stephen F. Austin State University’s SFA Gardens, will include exciting outdoor weekend programs beginning in January and extending through May. Upcoming events include: February 12, Gardening 101 for the Whole Family by Dawn Stover, 9 a.m.-Noon, Meet in Room 110 in the SFA Agriculture Building, Wilson Drive, $10 per family; April 16, SFA Garden Gala Day Plant Sale and Earth Day Celebration, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., SFA Pineywoods Native Plant Center, 2900 Raguet Street; April 30, Farm and Forest Day, 9 a.m.-Noon, SFA Beef Center, Highway 259; May 14, Lake Sam Rayburn/Caney Creek Recreation Area, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Lake Sam Rayburn Nature Center, $10 per family. Events are free unless otherwise noted. For more information or to register, call Kerry Lemon 936-468-5586 or email sfagardens@sfasu.edu.

Rosenberg: Fort Bend Master Gardeners will hold their annual Fruit and Citrus Tree Sale and Seminar on Saturday, February 12, at the Fort Bend County Fairgrounds - Building D, 4310 Highway 36S, Rosenberg. An overview of plants at the sale will be given at 8:00 a.m. The sale will open at 9 a.m. and run until 1 p.m. or until sold out. Persons attending the sale are welcome to bring their own wagons. Visit www.fbmg.com for more information on varieties that will be on sale.

Victoria: Victoria County Master Gardener Association Lunch & Learn With the Masters program will hold two programs in February: February 14 master gardener Jerome Janak will discuss "Rose Planting, Pruning and Care" and February 28 Alton Meyer will discuss "Planting and Growing Fruit Trees." The programs run from noon until 1 p.m., at the Pattie Dodson Health Center, 2805 N. Navarro St., Victoria, and are free to the public. Bring a sack lunch and drink. For more information call 361-575-4581.

Bryan: The Brazos County office of Texas AgriLife Extension and the Brazos County Master Gardeners will host "The 2011 Earth-Kind Gardening 101 Series" each month through October. These monthly meetings, ideal for beginning gardeners, will teach everything from how to amend soil and grow healthier plants to tips for selecting the best spot for a vegetation garden. The remaining classes will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., February 15, March 29, April 19, May 17, June 21, July 19, August 16, September 20 and October 18. Attend one session or attend them all. $10 per class session. Pre-registration is preferred, one week in advance of a session, but walk-ins are welcome. For more information or a registration form, visit brazosmg.com or call 979-823-0129.

Overton: A newly enacted federal food safety law that will impact growers will be only one of the topics addressed at the East Texas Commercial Fruit and Vegetable Conference set February 15 in Overton. The legislative aspect is only one new thing at this year’s annual event. This year, the conference will be held in a new location, the Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Overton – not the Harvey Convention Center (in Tyler) as in past years. Another new feature is a “diagnosis clinic” where Dr. Karl Steddom, AgriLife Extension plant pathologist, and Dr. Scott Ludwig, AgriLife Extension integrated pest management specialist, will walk producers through a process to accurately diagnose crop problems. But the “hot topic” with growers is likely to be how the new federal regulations will affect them. Dr. Joe Masabni, AgriLife Extension statewide vegetable specialist, said the law, which was passed through Congress with largely bipartisan support and signed into law by President Obama on January 4, is the first major overhaul of food safety laws since the Great Depression. The new law will rely more on farmers and food processors to come up with ways to prevent contamination and test for it. The old law relied upon government inspectors. Registration is at the door only, is $25 per person, and will include lunch and break refreshments. Participants will earn three continuing education units towards renewal of their pesticide applicator’s license — 1.5 units in integrated pest management and 1.5 units in laws and regulations. Presenters will include AgriLife Extension specialists, local growers and a representative of Brookshires Grocery Company. Topics will include: “Vegetable Disease Management,” “Management of Fire Ants and Leaf Cutting Ants,” “Food Safety and Government Oversight of Famers Markets, etc.,” “Herbicides for Crop Weed Control,” “Diagnosing Crop Problems,” “Blackberry Production” and “A Growers Panel on Marketing Your Produce.” For more information contact Keith Hansen at 903-590-2980 or khansen@ag.tamu.edu.

San Antonio: Learn about selecting, planting and maintaining vegetables in your backyard garden. Horticulturist David Rodriguez of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service will guide you to a successful garden this spring from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, February 16. Your host will be the Texas AgriLife Extension Service, 3355 Cherry Ridge, Suite #208, San Antonio. Cost is free. For more information, call 210-467-6575.

Seabrook: Heidi Sheesley, owner of Treesearch Farms, will present a preview of the fruit and citrus trees that will be offered at the upcoming Master Gardener Plant Sale. Sheesley's presentation will be at 10 a.m.,  February 16 at The Meeting Room at Clear Lake Park (on the lake side), 5001 NASA Parkway, Seabrook. This lecture is free and open to the public For more information, visit http://harris-tx.tamu.edu/hort.

Austin: There’s an old saying in the pest control industry: “There are two types of homes in Texas — those with termites and those that will have them within seven years.” Which category do you fit into? “Termite Training for Homeowners” will arm homeowners with information so they feel comfortable discussing management options for termites with pest professionals. Do you know how termites look for food? Can you tell the difference between ants and termites? Learn how to identify the types of termites found in Central Texas and their management options, from 9:30 a.m. until 10:30 a.m., February 17 at Travis County AgriLife Extension Office, 1600-B Smith Rd., Austin. For more information, call 512-854-9600.

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 http://yantislakesidegardens.giving.officelive.com/greenthumb.aspx.

San Antonio: Spring garden preparation and annual pruning are coming up on the calendar. Here’s a Saturday seminar that is just what you need to prepare for a garden of delights in your yard.  Extension Horticulturist David Rodriguez, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and the Bexar County Master Gardeners, will lead Earth-Kind Educational Program: Pruning and Q&A Gardening Seminar from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., February 19, at Schulz Nursery, 3700 Broadway, San Antonio. Don't hesitate to bring plenty of questions and garden samples. Cost is free. For more information, call 210-804-0600.

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 www.tcmastergardeners.org.

Floresville: Learn about selecting, planting and maintaining vegetables in your backyard garden. Horticulturist David Rodriguez of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service will guide you to a successful garden this spring from 2 p.m until 4 p.m., Saturday, February 20. Bethe guests of Cooper's Garden Place, 87 Coopers Lane, Floresville. Cost is free. For more information, call 210-467-6575.

Pasadena: The Harris County Master Gardener Spring Sale will feature tropical fruit trees for home orchards, tomatoes, peppers, citrus, berries and grapes, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., Saturday, February 26, at Campbell Hall at the Pasadena Fairgrounds, 7600 Bluff Road, Pasadena. There will also be a plant sale preview at 8 a.m. and educational workshops at 10 a.m. For more information, visit http://harris-tx.tamu.edu/hort.

Schertz: The Guadalupe County Master Gardeners & Texas AgriLife Extension Service will host a Spring Garden Workshop at 9 a.m., February 26, in the Guadalupe County Annex Court Room, at the Schertz Community Garden, 1101 Elbel Road, Schertz. Dr. Noel Troxclair will discuss “Bugs in the Garden,” followed by Dr. Mark Black on “What’s Killing Your Plants.” Dr. Larry Stein will finish the workshop with a hands-on demonstration of “Fruit Tree Pruning” in the Garden’s orchard.  Entry fee is a food donation for the local food bank. For more details or to reserve your place, visit www.guadalupecountymastergardeners.org or email jlbruno@gvec.net.

Wichita Falls: The Wichita County Master Gardeners will sponsor two days of gardening speakers at the 2011 Arts Alive Home and Garden Festival, February 26 & 27, at the Wichita Falls Multi Purpose Events Center, 1000 5th Street. Saturday's speakers will be Jeff Luedke, Natural Guard; Elena Lipkowski, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center; Steven Chamblee, Chandor Gardens; and Doug Hill, Red River Beekeepers. Sunday afternoon’s speakers will be MG Anne Dohrer and The MG Firewise Landscaping Specialists. For more information, visit overthegardengate.org or call 940-716-8610.

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.

Nacogdoches: The Stephen F. Austin State University Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden will host the annual Nacogdoches Azalea Trail Symposium Saturday, March 12, from 8:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. in Room 110 of the Agriculture Building on Wilson Drive on the SFA Campus in historic Nacogdoches. Noted SFA horticulturist, Dr. David Creech, will be the featured speaker. Dr. Creech will share his enthusiasm for native and other azaleas in his lecture, “Deciduous Azaleas, New Landscape Accents for Your Garden.” He will discuss the unique features of deciduous azaleas, including their bright colors and fragrance, and how to use and grow them to best effect in home landscapes. Unlike the more common evergreen azaleas, deciduous azaleas bloom before the foliage emerges and sport fragrant showy flowers in unusual color combinations including bright yellow and orange. Dr. David Creech, Regent’s Professor, has been at Stephen F. Austin State University since 1978 and is director of the SFA Mast Arboretum and Ruby Mize Azalea Garden, and co-directs the Pineywoods Native Plant Center. Dr. Creech received his B.S. and Ph.D. in Horticulture from Texas A&M University and his M.S. from Colorado State. His research effort has focused on blueberry germplasm and production studies, alternative crop/alternative technology, crop nutrition, and evaluation of new plant materials for the South. Lunch is provided, followed by tips on propagating, growing, and pruning azaleas, plus a guided tour of the SFA Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden by Barbara Stump and Dr. Creech. The program is sponsored by Stephen F. Austin State University’s SFA Gardens. Admission is $30 for SFA Gardens members; $40 for non-members. To register, call 936-564-7351 or e-mail info@visitnacogdoches.org. For more information e-mail sfagardens@sfasu.edu or visit www.nacogdochesazaleas.com.

Burnet: The 13th Annual Hill Country Lawn and Garden Show, will be held at the Burnet Community Center, 401 E Jackson, Burnet, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., Saturday, March 26. Free to public. For more information, contact sammyenmike@yahoo.com.

Houston: The Garden Conservancy's Open Days Program Garden Tour: March 26 visit five Houston private gardens, open to benefit the Garden Conservancy and Peckerwood Garden. No reservations required; rain or shine. Visit website for complete garden descriptions and driving directions. Admission is $5 per garden; children 12 and under are free. See www.opendaysprogram.org or call The Garden Conservancy toll-free weekdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST, 1-888-842-2442.

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.

Waxahachie: The Ellis County Master Gardeners will host their 11th Annual Lawn & Garden Expo on Saturday, March 26, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., at the Waxahachie Civic Center, 1950 N. I-35E, Waxahachie. There will be 100+ exhibitor booths focusing on lawn- and garden-related products and services. There will be educational opportunities with the emphasis on fun for the whole family. There are activities throughout the day, including children and adult workshops presented by Ellis County Master Gardener specialists. There will be a huge Master Gardener plant sale area, as well as an  information booth where specialists answer horticultural questions. Tickets are $5.00 at the door; children under 12 are free. Free tickets are available from our sponsors. For a list of our sponsors, as well as further information on the Expo, visit www.ecmga.com or call 972-825-5175.

Austin: There’s an old saying in the pest control industry: “There are two types of homes in Texas — those with termites and those that will have them within seven years.” Which category do you fit into? This class will arm homeowners with information so they feel comfortable discussing management options for termites with pest professionals. Do you know how termites look for food? Can you tell the difference between ants and termites? Learn how to identify the types of termites found in Central Texas and their management options at Termite Training for Homeowners, Wednesday, March 30, from 1 p.m. until 2 p.m. at Travis County AgriLife Extension Office, 1600-B Smith Rd., Austin. For additional information, call 512-854-9600.

Austin: Enjoy the pleasures of fresh homegrown vegetables. Imagine baskets of okra, tomatoes, squash and green beans from your own garden! Learn how to plant and maintain this garden from Master Gardener Vegetable Specialist and Texas Gardener Contributing Writer Patty Leander when she leads “Spring Vegetable Gardening,” from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m., March 30 at Old Quarry Branch Library, 7051 Village Center Dr., Austin. She will share popular varieties for Central Texas, recommended planting dates and tips for organic gardening and insect control. This free seminar, packed with information and color photographs, will benefit both new and experienced gardeners, so don’t miss this great kick-off to spring gardening! Arrive early to ensure a seat as this is one of our most popular seminars. 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 Master Gardener Public Gardening Help Desk at 512-854-9600.

Austin: Learn the answer to “What’s Bugging my Vegetables?” Saturday, April 9, from 10 a.m. until noon at Homewood Heights Community Garden, 2606 Sol Wilson Ave, Austin. Learn about the most common garden insects…good and bad. Knowledge is power and you’ll walk away knowing you can identify the eggs, nymphs, and adults. Discover Integrated Pest Management (IPM), an effective and environmentally sensitive approach to pest management that relies on a combination of common-sense practices. IPM programs use current, comprehensive information on the life cycles of pests and their interaction with the environment. This information, in combination with available pest control methods, is used to manage pest damage by the most economical means and with the least possible hazard to people, property, and the environment. Park in the neighborhood. Garden is on the north side of street west of Sol Wilson/Ridgeway intersection. 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 Master Gardener Public Gardening Help Desk at 512-854-9600.

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: http://txmn.org/elcamino/naturefest/.

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 www.rockportherb.org.

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 www.sabot.org.

Dallas: The Greater North Texas Orchid Society will host "Expose Yourself to Orchids," an orchid show and sale, Saturday, April 9, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Sunday, April 10, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Texas A&M Extension Center, Pavilion Building, 17360 Coit Rd., Dallas. Free Admission. For additional information, visit www.gntos.org.

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: Rockport: Monthly meetings of the Aransas/San Patricio Master Gardeners are held at 10 a.m. on the first Tuesday of each month at Texas AgriLife Extension Service - Aransas County Office, 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 1 p.m. on the first Wednesday of each month. 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.

Brownwood: The Brown County Master Gardeners Association meets the first Thursday of each month from noon to 1 p.m. at the AgriLife Extension Office, 605 Fisk Ave., Brownwood. For further information, call Mary Green Engle at 325-784-8453.

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 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 www.rockportherbs.org and http://rockportherbies.blogspot.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 at 2 p.m. on the third Monday of each month at McGregor House, 1628 W. Henderson, Cleburne which includes a program and a meet & greet. For more information, call Diane Asberry at 817-558-3932.

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.

Leander: The Leander Garden Club meets on the fourth Thursday of each month (except July and August) at 10:30 a.m. at the Leander Presbyterian Church, 101 N. West Drive, Leander, unless there is a field trip or an event at a member's home. Following a short business meeting, there is usually a program, followed by a shared pot-luck luncheon. To confirm the meeting place and time, please call Cathy Clark-Ramsey at 512-963-4698 or email texascatalina@yahoo.com.

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.


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