May 11, 2011

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Mulch and soaker hoses in the yupneck's 2010 fall garden (Photo by Jay White)

Help your yard and garden survive the drought

By Jay White
Freelance Writer

Right now it is so dry at my house that when I went fishing the other day I had to throw everything I caught back because all the fish were infested with ticks! Now that ‘s dry! Seriously though, it is dry at my house. In fact, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor ( it is exceptionally dry at 26% of the houses in Texas. Exceptional is the highest drought rating assigned by the US Drought Monitor. If you look closely at the map above you will note 100% of Texas is currently experiencing some level of drought stress. The last time it was this dry was the drought of 1917-1918. While this is extremely bad news for farmers and ranchers, it is pretty bad news for us gardeners and yardners as well. If I were a betting man, I would be willing to bet that forced water reductions are on the way for many of us in Texas this summer. Since it is so dry, I thought this would be a good time to review some watering best practices.

How Much

Most vegetables and flowers (and your yard, too) need an inch of water per week. How do you know if you are putting out an inch of water? The best way is to measure. If using a sprinkler, put out several cans in various places under the sprinkler’s pattern. Let it run for 15 minutes and measure the water in the cans. Average those numbers. If those cans averaged 1/4-inch of water in 15 minutes then you will need to run that sprinkler for one hour. When measuring flow for soaker hoses or drip lines it is better to use tuna cans. Also, if using soaker hoses do not use more than 100 foot runs. The average garden faucet can push water through 600 feet of hose. However, at distances of greater than 100 feet, pressure drops drastically.

In addition to high heat and no water, many of us are experiencing prolonged periods of high winds. Wind will sap soil moisture just as fast as temperature. Because of this, one inch of water may not be enough this year. You are going to need to experiment with your watering to make sure that one inch is enough in this dry and windy year.

When to Water

Most experts suggest watering in the early morning. Especially if using sprinklers. Winds are lower in the morning, humidity is high and temperatures are low. This is the ideal time to maximize water usage and minimize loss to evaporation. Also, many plants are prone to disease if their foliage stays wet. Watering in the morning will let the foliage dry up rapidly as the day warms up.


In addition to reducing evaporation and keeping the soil cool, mulch suppresses the weeds that compete for your plant’s water. One thing to remember, mulch not only helps keep water in, it can keep it out, too. A deep layer of mulch can trap a lot water if it is applied from above. So, if using sprinklers to water your mulched beds make sure to compensate the water that is being caught.

Soaker Hoses and Drip Irrigation

Soaker hoses are cheap, easy to use and they put the water where it is needed. If you use soaker hoses, you can water any time of day because you are not going to be wetting the plant’s foliage. Place your soaker hoses under a good layer of mulch and you will double the benefit. Drip irrigation has the same benefits as soaker hoses. Just make sure and use a pressure reducer when using drip systems.

Trees and shrubs

Watering trees is considerably different than watering vegetables or flowers. While most garden plants need one inch of water per week, most trees need gallons of water. A mid-sized fig tree needs at least five gallons of water per week. Don’t water mature trees at the trunk. Use a sprinkler or drip hoses to saturate the area under the tree’s drip line. Water to runoff and quit. If the ground around a tree stays too wet for too long you can kill young roots. This deep watering should get the tree through about 10 days.

Newly planted trees and shrubs should be watered differently than mature ones. While trying to get these plants established it is alright to water right at the trunk. Water new trees to run off every five days. Here is a trick I learned from my wife’s very frugal and very Czech grandmother who believed in wasting nothing (especially water). Take an empty 5-gallon bucket and drill a 1/4-inch hole in the side right above the bottom of the bucket. After planting the tree, put this bucket beside the tree so that the hole is pointing toward the base of the tree. Now, simply fill the bucket once a week during the hottest part of the year. As the bucket drains it will give exactly 5 gallons of water to the new tree.

Jay White is a fulltime computer specialist for the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, and he is completing an M.S. in Horticulture at Texas A&M. In his spare time he gardens and maintains “The Masters of Horticulture” blog at

Mowing tips

Scotts Miracle Grow

A thick green lawn is a great living carpet for summer play with the kids, picnics in the sun and backyard barbecues. Some simple mowing tips can maximize the enjoyment by keeping grass stronger, with fewer weeds, and more tolerant to heat and drought.

Mower maintenance

Lawnmowers need care each season. A properly maintained mower will last for many years. Treat your power mower to a tune-up each year. Many businesses will even pick-up and drop-off your mower for you, making it really convenient. Be sure the tune-up includes an oil change, new spark plug, blade sharpening and deck cleaning to maximize mower performance all season long.

A sharp blade is essential to easy mowing and a great lawn. Dull blades rip and tear the grass unevenly. Whether you sharpen the blade yourself or take it into a local store, a sharp blade will ensure an even, more efficient cut and healthier grass.

Getting the most from your mowing

It's simple for lawn mowing to be effective. You can also boost the effectiveness of mowing by leaving grass clippings on your lawn to break down and recycle nutrients in the grass cuttings right back into the soil.

In the fall, use your lawnmower to mulch leaves into dime-sized pieces, then top with winter lawn food made especially to help leaves recycle back into the soil providing food for earthworms and soil microbes.

One of the best things you can do for grass is mow at the best height for your grass type. The most common grass types such as bluegrass, ryegrass and tall fescue in the north and mid-south regions all prefer a high mower setting at about 3 inches. The same is true for St Augustinegrass in the south. The exceptions in the south are bermudagrass, which prefers a low mower setting at 1.5 inches and zoysiagrass that prefers a middle setting, about a 2 inch height of cut.

Mowing at the best height for your lawn not only looks inviting it encourages stronger grass growth and discourages weeds.

Don't Get All Wet

Most lawns don't need much supplemental watering because timely rainfall generally provides adequate moisture. And lawns are amazingly resilient; they can go dormant (brown) in hot dry conditions for up to 2 months. Dormant lawns will bounce right back after a good rain, especially if fed well in the spring and early summer.

The key to successful mowing is to remember these simple tips: sharpen mower blades, mow your grass at the right height setting, keep grass clippings on the lawn, and water only when needed.

For more great tips that will help you increase your lawn care knowledge and lead to a more beautiful yard, go to

Nacogdoches student wins Texas Arbor Day Poster Contest

Texas Forest Service

Fredonia Elementary School student Katherine Simpers has been named the winner of the Texas Arbor Day Poster Contest.

Texas Forest Service coordinates the annual poster contest, which is open to fourth- and fifth-graders across the state. The theme of this year’s contest was Trees are Terrific … in all Shapes and Sizes!

Gretchen Riley, Texas Forest Service forester and contest organizer, said the theme is designed to help students and teachers learn about the importance of tree diversity in a community forest.

“The poster contest is a great way to introduce students to trees and their value,” Riley said. “Katherine’s poster does a wonderful job of showing that trees really are terrific in all shapes and sizes and in all types of landscapes.”

Katherine’s award-winning poster features a forest full of trees, each fulfilling a different function in the urban and wild landscape.

Roughly 4,700 students from more 100 schools participated. Each participating school held its own contest, submitting just the campus winner to the state competition. Sixteen finalists were selected through an online judging process.

A panel of judges who gathered in College Station was tasked with narrowing the field, ultimately selecting a state winner and three regional winners.

The results were announced April 29 at the State Arbor Day celebration in Pearland. A surprise party also was held at Katherine’s elementary school in Nacogdoches.

As state winner, Katherine received a framed copy of her poster as well as a $500 savings bond and annual Texas State Parks pass. Her teacher, Jana Ivy, received a $250 gift card and an iPad.

Regional Winners

East Texas Regional Winner (State Winner)
Katherine Simpers, Fredonia Elementary, Nacogdoches

West & South Texas Regional Winner
Christine Peavler, Stuart Place Elementary, Harlingen

Trinity-Blacklands Regional Winner
Maya Joseph, Cottonwood Creek Elementary, Coppell

Central Texas Regional Winner
Hannah Oh, Raye-Allen Elementary, Temple

Officials gather in Pearland to celebrate the state’s 122nd Arbor Day

Texas Forest Service

With a firm grasp on their shovels, Texas Forest Service Director Tom Boggus and seven fellow tree aficionados ceremoniously piled mulch around the base of a newly-planted tree April 29, formalizing the celebration of Arbor Day.

Dozens of local and state officials gathered at Southdown Park in Pearland for the 122nd State Arbor Day celebration. In addition to the tree planting, several awards and recognitions were presented and state and local proclamations were read during the ceremony.

“This is a beautiful park,” Boggus said, gesturing to his surroundings as he kicked off the festivities. “You can tell Pearland cares about trees.”

First observed in Texas in 1889, Arbor Day celebrates the planting and nurturing of trees, as well as all the ways that trees enrich our lives. The annual state celebration is held in a different city each year.

Representatives from various organizations — Texas Forest Service, City of Pearland, International Society of Arboriculture, Texas Forestry Association, Texas Society of American Foresters, Keep Texas Beautiful, Texas Urban Forestry Council and the Houston Area Urban Forestry Council — attended the 11 a.m. ceremony, as did several school children.

Several speakers talked about the importance of trees and the benefits they provide to everyone.

“No matter where we live, we all have one commonality — and that is trees,” Texas Forestry Association Program Director Susan Stutts said, as she detailed just a few of the hundreds of benefits that trees provide. “You don’t have to stand in the middle of the woods to be surrounded by the forest.”

Speakers also noted that the act of planting a tree was selfless because often the benefits often aren’t realized by the planter, but by future generations.

“In today’s world where selfish acts are unfortunately commonplace, the planting of trees is truly the opposite,” said Jim Carse, a forester with Texas Forest Service and past president with the Texas Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture.


Community Volunteer Award
Marjorie Wilcoxson, Keep Pearland Beautiful, Pearland Parks Board Member

Tree City USA
Pearland again was named a Tree City USA

State Tree Planting Awards

Professional Category
1st Place: Bio Landscape and Maintenance, Jon Richards
2nd Place: Asplundh Tree Expert Company, Jeff Vining
3rd Place: Lewis Tree Service, Juan Mosqueda

Amateur Category
1st Place: University of Florida-Houston Alumni, Mark Williams and Jeff LaCroix
2nd Place: Sam Houston State-Houston Alumni, Dr. Susan Lenamon
3rd Place: Louisiana State University-Houston Alumni, Joe Wesley

Youth Category
1st Place: MacArthur High School
2nd Place: Memorial High School Outreach (MOB)

Texas Arbor Day Poster Contest
State Winner: Katherine Simpers, Fredonia Elementary, Nacogdoches
Local Winner: Katie Gyomlai, Jamison Middle School, Pearland

Tree Line USA Utilities
Oncor Electric Delivery
Garland Power and Light
CenterPoint Energy

Gardening tips

Anise Hyssop Agastache foeniculum is a perennial sun loving herb that is sure to attract lots of bees to your garden. The tall, purple blue flowers that bloom in mid-summer make an attractive cut flower for the table.

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...

Everyone knows that bees make honey from the nectar that they draw from flowers but did you know the process is a little more complicated than that? They extract that sugary liquid from the flowers and store it in one of two stomachs. Then they take it back to the hive and regurgitate it onto other bees. Those bees store the regurgitated material in honeycomb inside the hive where the moisture evaporates. The bees also fan it with their wings to dry it even more. When the honey is ready, they seal it with a thin layer of wax. Yum, right?

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.

Austin: The Travis County Master Gardeners Association, in cooperation with the Texas AgriLife Extension Service of Travis County, will host the Inside Austin Gardens Tour 2011 on Saturday, May 14, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. This year, the tour focuses on water-wise gardening. Gardening through a Central Texas summer can be trying. At the same time, escalating water rates and mandatory restrictions have made a water-sapping plant palette or a grass lawn a luxury or an impossibility for many. Increasingly, Central Texas gardeners are turning to water-wise techniques, native and adapted plant selections, and various principles of Xeriscaping. The Inside Austin Gardens Tour 2011 will include gardens that feature rain-water collection systems, drip irrigation, xeric and native plant selections, rain gardens, shade gardens, and water-conserving practices. Each garden will feature educational sessions throughout the day. Tickets can be purchased at each garden on the event date at $10 for the entire tour ticket or $5 for a single garden entry. Please, no dogs. Consult for information.

Highland Lakes: Join Master Gardener Robert Yantis to learn to identify the butterflies that you actually see in your yard in the Hill Country and the plants that will attract and nourish them. This free Green Thumb program from the Highland Lakes Master Gardeners is at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, May 14, at the Marble Falls Library, 101 Main St. For more information go to

Rockwall: The 8th Annual Tour of Gardens hosted by the Rockwall County Master Gardener Association is scheduled for May 14 from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Four gracious homeowners open their private gardens on this day for viewing, plus the Rockwall County Discovery Garden, created and maintained by the Rockwall County Master Gardeners will be on display. Tour addresses and a map will be on the tickets. This is an “at your leisure” tour. Tour the gardens in any order you choose, just make sure leave enough time to visit all the gardens before they close at 2 p.m. Ticket price is $8 in advance and $10 on the day of the tour. Call 972-204-7660 for more information and visit for updates!

San Antonio: The San Antonio Daylily Society 2011 Show and Daylily Sale will be held at Antique Rose Emporium, 7561 East Evans Road, San Antonio, Saturday, May 14. The sale begins at 10 a.m. and lasts until sold out. The show begins at 1 p.m. and runs until until 4:30 p.m. Daylily Society members will be on hand to answer gardening questions and share their experiences with these delightful blooms. May is the peak of the daylily season and with more than 60,000 named flowers, expect to be dazzled by the variety on display. JoNelle Zager, local daylily expert, will speak at 2:30. For more information, call 210-651-4565.

Conroe: Cypress Creek Daylily Club Flower Show and Plant sale May 15. Flower Show, 1 p.m. until 4 p.m.; Plant Sale, 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. at Montgomery County Master Gardeners Bldg., 9020 FM 1484, Conroe. Please join us during peak daylily bloom to enjoy the beauty of daylilies. Free. For more information, call 281-351-8827.

Livingston: Rain Gardens are a great way to combine a beautiful landscape feature with improving water quality. Don't know what a Rain Garden is? Come learn what they are, why you should build one, and how to build one at 6:30 p.m. May 17 at the Texas AgriLife Extension Office meeting room in Livingston. If you have questions, or need directions, call 936-327-6828.

Rockport: Ginger Easton Smith, Aransas County Extension Agent, will lead "Planting and Maintenance of Palms," from noon until 1 p.m., Tuesday, May 17, at the Aransas County Library, 701 E. Mimosa, Rockport. For additional information, phone 361-790-0103.

Seabrook: Barry Schlueter, Master Hybridizer, will speak on "Hibiscus Culture and Breeding" at 10 a.m. Wednesday, May 18, at the Meeting Room at Clear Lake Park (on the lakeside), 5001 NASA Parkway, Seabrook. Learn how exotic hibiscus are bred and their cultural requirements in the greater Houston area. This lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, visit

Nacogdoches: The SFA Gardens at Stephen F. Austin State University will host its monthly Theresa and Les Reeves Lecture Series at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 19, in Room 110 of the Agriculture Building located at 1924 Wilson Drive. Horticulturist Mark Weathington will present “Thoughts on Bringing Color, Form, Texture, and Excitement into the Southern Landscape. Weathington is the assistant director and curator of collections at the JC Raulston Arboretum. He earned undergraduate degrees in horticulture and sociology and a M.S. in horticulture from Virginia Tech. He has served as director of horticulture for the Norfolk Botanical Garden and horticulturist at both the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center and the Atlanta Botanic Garden. Mark writes and speaks on a variety of topics in horticulture. He has recently revised and updated the Propagation Guide for Woody Plants at the JC Raulston Arboretum. He has been published in Horticulture, Carolina Gardener, American Nurseryman, and Virginia Gardener magazines as well as the Mid-Atlantic Gardeners' Book of Lists. In addition, he writes two weekly columns for the Virginian-Pilot newspaper and features for several regional newspapers. The Theresa and Les Reeves Garden Lecture Series is generally held the third Thursday of each month at the SFA Mast Arboretum. Refreshments are served by the SFA Gardens volunteers before the lecture with a rare plant raffle being held afterward. The lecture is free and open to the public. The SFA Gardens Volunteers welcome anyone to attend their meeting at 6:15 p.m. in room 118 of the Ag Building prior to the Theresa and Les Reeves lecture. At the meeting, volunteers exchange gardening ideas and tips and discuss volunteer opportunities at SFA Gardens including hands on gardening, propagation, irrigation, children's educational activities, plant sale participation, and azalea trail activities. For more information, contact Greg Grant at 936-468-1863 or

Woodway: McLennan County Master Gardeners present "An Evening in the Gardens," Thursday, May 19, 5:30 to 7 p.m., Carleen Bright Arboretum, 9001 Bosque Blvd., Woodway. Free and open to the public. Learn about beautiful, easy care plants for the Waco area and tour two Arboretum gardens, featuring Texas Superstars and other native and adapted plants. For more information, call 254-741-0000.

Austin: “How to Read a Plant: will be presented from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m., Saturday, May 21, at Reagan Community Garden (at Reagan High School), 7104 Berkman Dr., Austin. Discover the needs of your vegetables by observing the physical condition of the plant. Need water, has a disease, infested with pests? Many practical tips will be shared by master gardeners to improve plant health and vegetable production. Park at Nelson Field stadium and enter Reagan HS grounds from St. Johns Ave. fence opening and proceed to garden near Berkman and St. Johns Ave. side of campus. 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

Sunset Valley: “Propagate Your Own Plants” will be presented from 10 a.m. until noon, May 21, at Sunset Valley City Hall, 3205 Jones Rd., Sunset Valley. Learning how to propagate from existing plants is a great way to fill your garden or pass along favorites to your friends. Join Master Gardeners Tommie Clayton and Susan Jung, who will teach you how to make cuttings and divisions and successful strategies for starting plants from seed. Get tips on how to transplant and care for your new plants to get them off to a good start when placed in the garden. 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

Victoria: Victoria County Master Gardener Association will hold a "Lunch and Learn With the Masters" programs May 23. Eunice Lee will discuss "Growing and Enjoying Herbs." The program will be held at the Pattie Dodson Health Center, 2805 N. Navarro St., in Victoria, from noon-1 p.m., and is free to the public. Attendees may bring a sack lunch and beverage.

Austin: “Plant Propagation” will be presented from 10 a.m. until noon, Friday, June 3, at Travis County AgriLife Extension Office, 1600-B Smith Rd., Austin. Plants have developed many methods to ensure survival. Learn propagation techniques which take advantage of some of these methods to create multiple plants from a single plant. Discover the importance of the propagation media, moisture, light, humidity, temperature, rooting hormones which ensure success. Examples of propagation by seeds, leaf and stem cuttings will be covered. This free seminar is presented by the Travis County Master Gardeners, a volunteer arm of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service in Travis County. For more information see or call the Master Gardener Public Gardening Help Desk at(512-854-9600.

Allen: The Allen Garden Club Garden Tour will be held Saturday, June 4, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Tickets are available at Puckett's Nursery, 811 E. Main, Allen. Enjoy touring six beautifully landscaped gardens in the Allen area and see water-wise plantings, outdoor living spaces, wildlife habitats, water features and more. For more information, visit

Austin: Learn how to build Rain Gardens June 18, from 10 a.m. until noon at Zilker Botanical Garden, 2220 Barton Springs Rd., Austin. Excess stormwater carries urban landscape contaminants into storm drains and soil erosion causes sediments to accumulate in our water resources. Dr. Dotty Woodson, Water Resources Specialist with Texas AgriLife Extension, will tell us how to protect streams, rivers and lakes by building a rain garden. These lovely gardens are attractive landscape features planted with perennial native plants designed to absorb stormwater which filters it through plant roots and soil microorganisms. Attend this presentation and you’ll be ready to make your own beautiful solution. 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

Rockport: Richard Snyder, Master Gardener, will lead "Basic Irrigation Maintenance and Design," from 11:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m., Tuesday, June 21, at the Aransas County Library, 701 E. Mimosa, Rockport. For additional information, phone 361-790-0103.

San Antonio: The Composter Training by Lou Kellogg and the Bexar County Master Gardeners is back is scheduled for June 22-24 in San Antonio. Topics include building a compost bin, hands-on lessons in how to compost, a visit to the state's largest compost operation, soils science, and presentations from leading compost experts. The classes will he held on the grounds of the San Antonio Botanical Gardens. This intensive multi-day training empowers Master Gardeners with knowledge and skills to support and multiply Texas AgriLife Extension Service efforts in Earth-Kind educational programs in their counties. Attendance is limited to Master Gardeners. The fee is $225 for the classes and meals. For more information and an application contact David Rodriguez, County Extension Agent - Horticulture at 210-467-6575 or

Austin: “Joys of Container Gardening” will be presented from 10 a.m. until noon, Friday, July 15, at AgriLife Extension Office, 1600-B Smith Rd, Austin. Blooming flowers and vegetables can thrive in a container! This gardening method is especially useful if space is limited. Containers may also serve as accent points on the patio or in the garden. Learn how to select a container and the right soil, discover ideal container plants, and witness arranging techniques you can replicate to create your own mini-garden. This seminar is free and open to the public. It is presented by the Travis County Master Gardeners, a volunteer arm of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service in Travis County. For more information, visit or call the Master Gardener Help Desk at 512- 854-9600.

Rockport: DJ Chilcoat, Master Gardener, and Jeanna C. Godfrey, DVM, Master Gardener, will present "Art in the Garden, from 11:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m., Tuesday, July 19, at the Aransas County Library, 701 E. Mimosa, Rockport. For additional information, call 361-790-0103.

Nacogdoches: Greg Grant leads "Everything you wanted to know about turf grass, but were afraid to ask" from 9 a.m. until noon, July 23, in Room 118, Ag Building, Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches. $10 members, $15 non-members. For more information or to make reservations, call 936-468-18312 or email

Nacogdoches: Greg Grant leads "Landscape Design" from 9 a.m. until noon, September 10, in Room 118, Ag Building, Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches. $15 members, $20 non-members. For more information or to make reservations, call 936-468-18312 or email


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: 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 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

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

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

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 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

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.

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

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.

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Texas Gardener’s Seeds is published weekly. © Suntex Communications, Inc. 2011. 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.

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