September 14, 2011

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Now is good time to rethink landscaping for next spring

By Paul Schattenberg
Texas AgriLife Extension Service

While the drought may seem as if it will go on forever, lower temperatures and rain will eventually return, and South Central Texas residents can apply lessons learned to the recovery and re-establishment of their landscape, said Texas AgriLife Extension Service horticulturists.

“As conditions improve for replacing or planting bushes, turf grass, ornamental plants and other landscaping, there is a real opportunity for people to rethink things and possibly choose materials that are more drought-tolerant and require less maintenance,” said David Rodriguez, AgriLife Extension agent for horticulture, Bexar County. “It’s also a good time to be thinking about how, what and how much you’re going to plant in case you’re considering a vegetable, herb and flower garden.”

Rodriguez said landscaping decisions should follow the four P’s of success:

planning, preparation, purchase and planting.

“Planning means picking the right location and knowing the dimensions and scale of what you’d like to do,” he said. “Preparing means getting the soil ready by composting and mulching, as well as assessing the soil type and depth, and amount of sun available for the material you’ll plant. Be sure to purchase the right material for the location by using the informational resources available to you. Plant only healthy, good-quality plants and make sure the holes dug for them are the right depth and diameter.”

Rodriguez said AgriLife Extension has many free horticultural informational resources available through the Texas AgriLife Extension Bookstore, and in the Lawn and Garden section of the Aggie Horticulture website, He added that individuals can also call the Master Gardener hotline, a service available in most AgriLife Extension offices in metropolitan areas, for additional information and advice.

“There are also many excellent landscaping professionals who you can work with and who can advise you about the right materials to use for your landscape,” he said.

When cooler and wetter weather arrives this fall, this also will be an excellent time to “revitalize or rejuvenate your lawn, trees, shrubs and flowers so they may store up energy and be ready for next spring,” Rodriguez said.

“In particular, people should be considering increasing the use of drip irrigation, which is a more efficient and effective means of delivering water to the landscape,” he said. “Take this opportunity to fertilize and apply compost and mulch, and think about replacing dead or dying shrubs and ornamentals with attractive native or adaptive species that do well in heat and with less moisture.

“Just as any other time of year, lawns need to be watered through the fall and winter if there’s no rain,” said Daphne Richards, AgriLife Extension agent for horticulture in Travis County. “Don’t wait until the grass comes out of dormancy to water.”

She added that mid-September to early October is also a good time to aerate the lawn and fertilize.

“Around this time of year is the most beneficial time to fertilize and prepare your soil for the spring,” Richards said. “And now would also be a good time to aerate your lawn in anticipation of the fall and winter rain to prepare it for receiving and absorbing moisture so it can have a jump-start in the spring.”

Rodriguez and Richards both recommended the use of native or adaptive materials to replace less drought-tolerant plants, and Rodriguez added that “wildscaping,” such as making a butterfly garden using plant materials known to attract them, might also be of interest.

They said shrubs and bushes such as yaupon holly, vitex, beautyberry, Texas mountain laurel, Turk’s cap, crapemyrtle, Earth-Kind roses and ornamentals such as esperanza (yellow bells), plumbago, fire bush, bougainvillea, Pride of Barbados and Moy Grande hibiscus, are among the attractive, drought- and heat-tolerant materials suitable for the region.

“Looking for materials with the Texas Superstar designation will make it easier to find plants that meet both aesthetic and hardiness criteria,” Rodriguez said.

Fall is also a time for planting vegetable, herb or flower gardens, they said.

“Now is a good time to be thinking about what and where you want to plant,” Rodriguez said. “And if you’re planting a vegetable garden, broccoli, lettuce, cabbage, spinach, beets, cauliflower and radishes are among the winter veggies you should be considering.”

Richards recommended adding compost to garden soil and mixing them together, along with making sure the soil is watered prior to planting, as this will help with water retention throughout the fall and winter.

As far as trees are concerned, those that have fared best during drought are mid-maturity trees with well-established but not widespread root systems like those in older trees,” Rodriguez said. “If a tree has a large cavity, has been severely damaged or has lived out a normal life span, it may be difficult to justify the expense and labor necessary to save it.”

Richards added that people often forget to water trees and shrubs during the fall and winter months.

“Even if you’ve given up on watering your lawn during fall and winter, remember to water your trees and to prune off any dead growth to help them survive,” she said.

Dr. David Chalmers, AgriLife Extension state turf grass specialist in College Station, suggests early fall is also a good time to try and assess whether or not lawns may survive the winter and recover in the spring.

“Lawns have what we call growing points or crowns near the surface. While non-irrigated lawns may have browned off, regrowth is possible from those growing points,” he said. “Those who have chosen not to irrigate through the drought and allow their lawns to go into the winter dry and brown, seriously reduce the chance of their lawn rebounding in the spring.”

Chalmers said the typical South Central Texas turf grasses — St. Augustine, zoysia, Bermuda grass and buffalo grass — are resilient and his own studies show they are capable of surviving 60-day drought conditions.

“Lawn sites are quite variable, and over longer drought periods and without adequate soil quality, irrigation and fertilization, some grass will not endure,” he said. “But consistent mid-September through October irrigation accompanied by a fertilizer application can encourage new growth in dormant turf grass. This will take a few weeks to notice and you’ll need to differentiate between grass and weed growth. If there’s no sign of recovery, you’ll have to decide if you want to try and re-sod before winter or wait until the spring to re-establish your lawn.”

Chalmers said the AgriLife Extension publications “Keep Your Lawn Alive During Drought,” publication B-6126; “Turf Grass Selection for Texas,” publication L-5519; and “Lawn Fertilization for Warm-Season Grasses,” publication number E-437, provide more information and advice on grass selection and care.

These and other materials on turf grass, trees, vegetables, herbs, flowering plants and other ornamentals can be found at the AgriLife Bookstore website.

AgriLife Extension also has a new website called Water Education in Texas, located at, which includes information on optimizing lawn and garden water use.

New video details best watering methods for drought-stricken trees

By Holly Huffman
Communications Specialist
Texas Forest Service

With a forecast of triple-digit temperatures and no rain in sight, the trees in your yard likely need a little TLC, and water is the best way to show the love.

Texas Forest Service has released a video and companion information packet designed to help residents know how much and how often they should water their trees.

Facing one of the worst droughts in state history, trees across Texas already are showing signs of stress. Some are dropping leaves and branches while others have leaves that are wilting and turning yellow and brown. Some have even died.

State tree experts say it’s too soon to tell how many trees we may lose. Many have gone dormant in an act of self-preservation so it could be next spring before we know if they will make a comeback.

Until then, the most important thing for you to do is water — properly and efficiently.

“Trees are on the job 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They boost our property values. They shade your house, which cuts your electricity bill. The even clean the air you breathe and the water you drink,” said John Giedraitis, urban forestry manager for Texas Forest Service.

“They give us so much. It’s time for us to give them a little something back, especially now that they really need it.”

View Water your Trees! How to care for drought-stricken trees:

Download Tree Watering Tips: Caring for trees during extreme drought:

'Earlibirdblue.' (Photo courtesy SFA Gardens)
SFA gardens and the USDA release Earlibirdblue, a southern highbush blueberry

SFA Gardens and the USDA are pleased to announce the release of ‘Earlibirdblue,’ a new southern highbush blueberry recommended for use in homeowner plantings. This variety, tested as MS 108, resulted from a cross made at Beltsville, Maryland, and selected by Arlan Draper in 1979 at Poplarville, Mississippi. As part of the USDA Southern Region Blueberry Germplasm Evaluation program, SFA received plants in the late 1980s and these plants have been evaluated in test plots at Mill Creek Blueberry farm for more than 20 years.

Plants of ‘Earlibirdblue’ are moderately vigorous with a relatively short stature (4-5 ft.), have a spreading growth habit, attractive dense green foliage and are consistently productive. The relatively low plant height produces a shrub that is easy to prune and is easily integrated into home landscapes. In the gulf coast region of the U.S. ‘Earlibirdblue’ ripens early with a fruit ripening period of early to mid May, which is four to eight weeks earlier than most rabbiteye blueberry varieties grown in the region. Although early ripening, ‘Earlibirdblue’ flowers develop and bloom sufficiently late to avoid most frost damage and associated yield reductions.

SFA horticulturist, Dr. Dave Creech said, “There are a couple of reasons this unique variety is being released as a homeowner variety — and not a commercial variety. ‘Earlibirdblue’ really needs to hang a little longer on the bush than other varieties to fully sweeten up. Berries are tart if picked too early — and commercial growers are quick to harvest berries quickly they moment they’re “blue,” ‘Earlibirdblue’ needs to hang on the bush a few extra days to truly sweeten. Plus, when picked there’s a slight tear problem at the base of the pedicel — and that could be a serious commercial issue but it’s not that important for the homeowner. The bottom line is that we now have a short stature, very early ripening blueberry variety that has produced well consistently for the past twenty years in our region.

The exact chilling requirement of ‘Earlibirdblue’ is estimated to be approximately 500 to 550 hours less than 45oF. Although ‘Earlibirdblue’ may be somewhat self-fertile, productivity of southern highbush blueberries is enhanced when bushes are interplanted among other southern highbush cultivars having a similar bloom period. When planted in rows, plants of ‘Earlibirdblue’ should be spaced 5-6 feet apart in well-drained soils of modest acidity, and plants benefit by a generous application of pine bark mulch, particularly in the early years of establishment. ‘Earlibirdblue’ is expected to be a valuable addition to blueberry cultivars grown for utilization as part of an edible landscape. A limited supply of ‘Earlibirdblue’ plants is available to nurserymen and will be prorated to nurseries if demand exceeds supply.

Hummingbirds. (Photo by Chris Munson)

The Compost Heap
Birds of a feather

"When I looked outside this morning," writes Chris Munson, "I couldn't believe these little guys were actually not fighting over the feeder! My wife and I suspect it's because it was a little on the cool side this morning and the birds are starting to migrate. Anyhow, had to get the shots. (For those that might be interested, the camera is a Canon XTi Rebel with a Tamron 28-200mm zoom. Used a Vello FreeWave wireless remote shutter release to trigger.)"

Gardening tips

With the exception of climbing varieties, roses can be pruned back in September to encourage fall blooms. Climbing roses should only be pruned right after the bloom in the spring.

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...

Much of West Texas including the Lubbock area gets its water from fossil water deposits which are not rechargeable. Similar to oil and natural gas deposits, once it is gone, it will not be replenished. Thankfully, the majority of Texas gets water from rechargeable aquifers like the Trinity and Edwards aquifers as well as from surface water stored in public lakes. Still, water conservation is critical in this time of epic drought and all Texans have a responsibility to conserve and protect this precious natural resource.

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.

Cross Roads: The National Junior Master Gardener specialist training will be held in Cross Roads, September 15-17. This dynamic and intensive 2-1/2 day training conference is designed for those coordinating or supporting JMG programs at the local, county, and regional level. Upon completion, attendees will receive certification as a JMG Specialist by the National Junior Master Gardener Program office and a host of invaluable resources to grow JMG and youth gardening programs in the local, regional or state level. For more information and to register, visit or call 940-349-2892.

Kingsland: Learn about the care and feeding of "House Plants" with Master Gardener Violet Carson at a free program at noon Thursday, September 15, at the Kingsland Library. This is presented by the Green Thumb Programs of the Highland Lakes Master Gardeners in conjunction with Texas AgriLife Extension. To learn about the Green Thumb programs and/or to be reminded about attending, please visit

Nacogdoches: The SFA Gardens at Stephen F. Austin State University will host the monthly Theresa and Les Reeves Lecture Series at 7 p.m. Thursday, September 15, in the Agriculture Building, Room 110, at 1924 Wilson Dr. Third generation East Texas nurseryman Aubrey King will present “Great Plants for Tough Times.” King is a graduate of Stephen F. Austin State University and took over the legendary Tenaha retail establishment, King’s Nursery, from his father, who took it over from his father. The nursery opened in 1915 and has been serving customers from East Texas and Louisiana ever since. King lives with his wife Cheryl in Tenaha. Cheryl and King’s mother, Margaret Freeman, manage a florist at the nursery as well. King is also a founding member of the popular gospel quartet, The Calvary Boys. The Theresa and Les Reeves Garden Lecture Series is generally held the third Thursday of each month at the Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture’s 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. Donations to the Theresa and Les Reeves lecture series fund are always appreciated. For more information, contact Greg Grant at 936-468-1863 or

Rockport: The 23rd Annual HummerBird Celebration will be held in Rockport on September 15-18. Event includes programs on hummingbirds, other birds, butterflies, dragonflies, landscaping and gardening to attract wildlife. Birding Bus and Boat Tours, visits to Hummer Home gardens, Kayak trips, Photography classes, Nature exhibits, and kids activities. For move information, visit or phone the Rockport-Fulton Chamber of Commerce at 361-729-6445.

Nacogdoches: The Nacogdoches Naturally Family Outdoor Adventure program will take a field trip to the SFA Experimental Forest on Saturday, September 17. The expedition will meet at 9 a.m. at the SFA Pineywoods Native Plant Center, 2900 Raguet, Nacogdoches, and caravan to the site. The group will return to the Native Plant Center around noon. This event will be an opportunity for families to enjoy the natural beauty of East Texas forest environments. The group will take a leisurely hike along the trails looking at the unique plants and animals of this area. Time will be allowed for relaxing and snacking in the shaded picnic area as well. The Stephen F. Austin Experimental Forest is located 8 miles southwest of Nacogdoches. Tucked away in the heart of the Pineywoods, the Forest is bordered on its southern and eastern boundaries by the Angelina River and the Alazan Wildlife Management Area. The Forest’s interpretive trail system features two separate loops that take visitors into some of the most dynamic scenic areas of the Experimental Forest. The 0.8 mile-long Jack Creek Loop is barrier-free and constructed for universal accessibility. Following the spring-fed perennial stream, visitors will view a mature mixed forest of 100-year-old pines and hardwoods. The 2.0 mile Management Loop winds through five different units that provide visitors a chance to experience a variety of forest management practices at various stages of implementation. This living outdoor classroom provides an experiential learning adventure geared toward fostering respect for forest systems. Cost for the day is $5 per family. Water and snacks will be provided. Limited SFA van transportation is available on a first-come basis. For more information and to register for the day, call Kerry Lemon at 936-468-5586 or email

San Antonio: The Amazing Butterfly Exhibit at the San Antonio Botanical Garden, 555 Funston at N. New Braunfels, San Antonio, opens the weekend of September 17-18 and continues through January 8, 2012. Explore the interactive maze to learn about the incredible life cycle of butterflies and the surprising challenges they face every day. The exhibit is free with admission. Admission is $8 adults; $6 students, seniors, military; $5 children age 3-13. For additional information, call 210-829-5100 or visit

Midland: An "Earth-Kind Home Landscape School" will be held at 6:30 p.m. September 19, 20, 28 and 29, at the CAF Air Power Museum, 9600 Wright Dr., Midland. Among the many benefits of attending this course: Develop a landscape plan and create a visual relationship between your house and your landscape. learn the benefits of good soil preparation, proper design principals and selection of adaptive plants for West Texas. Learn how Earth-Kind practices can assist in conserving water and energy and reduce fertilizer and pesticide use. Space is limited and advance registration is recommended. $75 per household if paid prior to September 15; $90 per household if paid later. For more information or to register, contact the Ector County Extension Office at 432-498-4071 or the Midland County Extension Office at 432-686-4700.

San Antonio: Gardening Volunteers of South Texas presents its monthly Essentials of Gardening class featuring Todd Miller of Miller's Tropicals on "Growing Orchids in Texas," followed by "Texas Wildscapes That Save Water & Time" with Judit Green, urban biologist for Texas Parks and Wildlife, noon-3 p.m., Monday, September 19 at San Antonio Garden Center, 3310 N. New Braunfels. Free and open to the public.  No advance reservations are required. For more information, visit or call 210-251-8101.

Rockport: Todd Cutting, Master Gardener, will present "Starting Winter Vegetables" from noon until 1 p.m., Tuesday, September 20, at the Aransas County Library, 701 E. Mimosa, Rockport. For additional information, call (361)-790-0103.

Seabrook: Joe Williams, Horticulture Manager for the Houston Zoo, will discuss "How to Maintain the Zoological Gardens" at10 a.m., Wednesday, September 21, 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

Gainesville: Fall Garden Fest Saturday, September 24, 9 a.m.- noon. at North Central Texas College Little Theatre presented by Cooke County Master Gardeners. Speakers will be Dallas County Master Gardeners Janet Smith, "Sex in the Garden," and Billy Clark, "Square Foot Gardening." Door Prizes. Tickets are $10.00 advance, $15.00 at the door. Call 940-668-5412 for more information.

Houston: The Great Plants for Houston fall plant sale will take place Saturday, September 24, at the Texas Cooperative Extension, 3033 Bear Creek Dr., Houston. The sale day will begin with a Plant Overview by Dr. Jean Fefer from 8 a.m. until 9 a.m. The sale opens at 9 a.m. and closes at 1 p.m. The gardens will be decorated with scarecrows which will be offered for sale by silent auction throughout the morning of the sale. There will be booths in the auditorium of the Extension Office building staffed by Master Gardeners ready to discuss garden questions. There will be a garden book sale offering the latest in information about gardening in the lobby. For additional information, call 281-855-5600.

Nacogdoches: SFA Gardens will host a garden seminar, “Home Landscaping in Texas: Right Plant, Right Place” on Saturday, September 24 from 9 a.m. – noon in Room 118 of the SFA Agriculture Building at 1924 Wilson Drive. Greg Grant, horticulturist, author, and SFA Gardens Research Associate for Garden Outreach will cover the basic principles of landscape design, some of his favorite plants, and the thought processes he went through in designing his new heirloom cottage garden. Grant has former experience with the Texas Agricultural Extension Service, Lone Star Growers, the San Antonio Botanic Garden, Mercer Arboretum, and The Antique Rose Emporium. He is co-author of Heirloom Gardening in the South and Home Landscaping Texas and author of In Greg’s Garden: A Pineywoods Perspective on Gardening, Nature, and Family. He writes regularly for Texas Gardener and has a monthly gardening blog at Cost is $10 for Friends of SFA Gardens members and $15 for non-members. To register, contact the Elyce Rodewald at 936-468-1832 or

The Woodlands: Woodlands Landscaping Solutions will be held. 9 a.m. – noon Saturday, September 24. The free event includes a host of demonstrations and experts like Texas Rose Rustlers, drip irrigation basics, tree care, the Plant Doctor, rainwater harvesting, butterfly gardens, composting, vegetable gardening, caring for garden tools, the Bulb Hunter, Herb Cottage, Texas Bluebird Society, plus native plant sales, a garden gift shop and much more. The event is sponsored by The Woodlands Township and Montgomery County Master Gardeners. Woodlands Landscaping Solutions occurs at the Parks, Recreation and Environmental Services Complex, 8203 Millennium Forest Drive, The Woodlands. Call 281-210-3900 for more information.

Victoria: The Victoria County Master Gardener Association fall symposium will be September 24 at the VEG pavilion, Victoria County 4-H Activity Center and the Victoria Regional Airport Officers Club across from airport control tower in Victoria. The event will begin at 8 a.m. with registration and conclude at 3 p.m. Emphasis will be on growing trees and container gardening. Famed garden expert Jerry Parsons of San Antonio, luncheon speaker, will discuss gardening in the Coastal Bend. Heidi Shessley of TreeSearch Farms in Houston will open the program at 9 a.m. For program and registration information telephone Victoria County AgriLife Extension Office at 361-575-4581.

Lufkin: Dr. Douglas Tallamy, author of Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants will present “A Case for Native Plants” at 7 p.m. Thursday, September 29, at the Museum of East Texas, 503 North 2nd St., Lufkin. Tallamy is Professor and Chair of the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology and director of the Center for Managed Ecosystems at the University of Delaware in Newark, Delaware, where he has authored 73 research articles and has taught Insect Taxonomy, Behavioral Ecology, and other courses for 30 years. Chief among his research goals is to better understand the many ways insects interact with plants and how such interactions determine the diversity of animal com-munities. His book Bringing Nature Home; How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in Our Gardens was published by Timber Press in 2007 and was awarded the 2008 silver medal by the Garden Writer’s Association. This lecture is free and open to the public. For more information. call 936-634-6414 ext 102 or visit

Denton: Denton County Master Gardener Association presents the 2011 Fall Garden Festival on Saturday, October 1. This free event is held on the Denton Bible Church campus at the corner of Nottingham and Mingo, Denton. This year’s theme is “Locavore,” focusing on those who eat foods grown locally whenever possible. This event includes educational demonstrations and exhibits, vendors, and presentations. Speakers include Executive Chef Charles Younts from the Classic Café in Roanoke, Sue Newhouse and Trish Percy from Feed Texas First, Gene Gumfory from Shiloh Field Community Garden, and Dr. Maggie Jover, from Texas AgriLife Extension. For a complete list of exhibitors, vendors and presentations, visit or call 940-349-2892.

Nacogdoches: The annual Fabulous Fall Festival plant sale at Stephen F. Austin State University’s Mast Arboretum will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, October 1, at the SFA Pineywoods Native Plant Center, 2900 Raguet St., Nacogdoches. The event features the annual fall plant sale fundraiser benefiting the SFA Mast Arboretum, Pineywoods Native Plant Center, Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden, Gayla Mize Garden, and educational programs hosted at the gardens. A wide variety of hard-to-find, “Texas tough” plants will be available, including new introductions, Texas natives, heirlooms, perennials, and exclusive SFA introductions. Most plants are extensively trialed in the gardens before being offered to the public. This plant sale fundraiser benefits the SFA Gardens and its educational programs, which reach over 15,000 students ages 1 to 100 on a yearly basis. The public is encouraged to arrive early and bring a wagon. For more information, call 936-468-4404, or visit and click on “upcoming events.”

Wichita Falls: The “Living Well With Less Water in Texoma 2011” conference will be held at the Multi-Purpose Events Center in Wichita Falls on October 1. The registration fee is $55 if received between September 2-16. No registrations will be accepted after September 16. The fee includes the noon meal, break refreshments and conference handout material. The speakers include: KFDX meteorologist Bryan Rupp, who has lived in nearly every corner of Texas. Spending so much time living, working and forecasting in Texas has given Bryan unique and well qualified experience to understand the microclimates of Texas and how each have separate features that can affect the weather for gardeners all over Texoma. Scott Calhoun explores back roads and backcountry in search of plants, gardens, architecture and food. He is the author of five gardening books. His first book, Yard Full of Sun, was awarded the 2006 American Horticultural Society Book Award; his second, Chasing Wildflowers, won the Garden Writers Association 2008 Silver Book Award. Calhoun writes a monthly garden column for Sunset magazine and freelances for numerous print publications including American Gardener, Fine Gardening, and Wildflower. Michael Parkey is a registered landscape architect who has designed gardens in north Texas since 1983. His special interests are resource efficient landscapes and the use of native plants in gardens and restored habitats. His projects accent residential gardens, commercial developments, and specialized landscapes for botanic gardens, parks, schools, zoos and nature study areas including the gardens at the Kell House in Wichita Falls.  Parkey is based in Dallas, where he has had his own firm since 1993. In addition to his practice, he teaches courses on landscape design and native plants for Southern Methodist University, and frequently lectures on the same topics. His designs have received awards from the City of Dallas and the American Society of Landscape Architects. Oklahoma Conservation Commission project coordinator Kevin Gustavson joined OCC's Water Quality division in 2005 as coordinator of the Grand Lake Nonpoint Source Project. Through that project he oversaw the coordination of at least four diverse programs in the Grand Lake watershed, including development of the Grand Lake Watershed-Based Plan. Dotty Woodson is an Extension Program Specialist in Water Resources with Texas AgriLife Extension. Woodson is an award-winning writer and video producer with extensive credits in print and electronic media. She is a contributing author for Gardening in Fort Worth, The Lone Star Gardener's Book of Lists and the CD and computer web site, Texas SmartScape. Dotty writes a garden and landscape column for the Fort Worth Star Telegram and a feature garden column for the Northwest Times Record and Meadowbrook News. Attendees will qualify for five Master Gardener continuing education hours, two private pesticide applicator general continuing education hours and three Master Naturalists hours. Other CEU hours may be announced prior to the conference. In addition, gardeners will be able to review new and useful items plus information at vendor booths while at the conference. Gardeners can access more information and the registration form at or by calling Virginia Krebs at 940-692-3089 or by contacting the Wichita County AgriLife Extension office.

Conroe: The Montgomery County Master Gardener Association is pleased to present Greg Grant, Horticulturist, Plant Propagator and Humorist on Tuesday, October 4. The program will start at 7 p.m. and will be held at the Thomas LeRoy Education Center, 9020 Airport Road, Conroe, which is across the street from the Lone Star Convention Center. Greg is a contributor to Texas Gardener Magazine, among others, and his topic for the evening will be Home Landscaping — Texas: Right Plant, Right Place. His talk will include basic landscaping design principles as well as some of his favorite plants. This is a rare opportunity to see one of Texas’ best gardening speakers in a local setting. The fee will be $20.00 per person and seating will be limited. Please call 936-539-7824 Monday through Friday for more information, or visit There will also be information available about the Montgomery County Master Gardeners’ Fall Plant Sale at this event, which will be held Saturday, October 15, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.

San Antonio: Judy Barrett, founding editor and publisher of Homegrown: Good Sense Organic Living for Texas and author of “What Can I Do With My Herbs” and “What Makes Heirloom Plants So Great” will speak at The San Antonio Garden Center, 3310 N. New Braunfels & Funston by the Botanical Gardens, at 10 a.m., Wednesday, October 5. This event is free, though membership is encouraged. For additional information, contact or call 210-8240435.

Rockport: Dr. Marsha Hendrix, Master Gardener and Director of the Fulton Mansion State Historic Site, and Beth Wilson, Master Gardener. will present "Recreating the Fulton Mansion Garden" from noon until 1 p.m., Tuesday, October 18, at the Aransas County Library, 701 E. Mimosa, Rockport. For additional information, call (361)-790-0103.

Rockport: Keith Pawelek, Manger of Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute, will present "Native Plants and Invasive Plants" from 10:15 a.m. until 12:15 p.m., Saturday, October 22, at the Aransas County Library, 701 E. Mimosa, Rockport. For additional information, call (361)-790-0103.

Rockport: Darlene Goorish, Master Gardener, will present "Winter Care of Tropicals" from noon until 1 p.m., Tuesday, November 15, at the Aransas County Library, 701 E. Mimosa, Rockport. For additional information, call (361)-790-0103.


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: 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.

Wichita Falls: The Wichita County Master Gardener Association meets at 5:30 p.m. at the AgriLife Extension Office, 600 Scott Street, Wichita Falls, on the first Tuesday of each month. For more information, visit or call 940-716-8610.

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.

Gonzalas: Gonzales Master Gardeners Association holds their monthly meeting on the first Thursday of each month. A short program is presented. The meeting is held from noon until 1 p.m. at 1405 Conway St. (Odd Fellows Lodge). Bring a bag lunch, drinks provided. Contact AgriLife Extension Office at 830-672-8531 or e-mail for more information.

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

Longview: The Gregg County Master Gardeners Association meets the second Wednesday of each month from noon to 1 p.m. at the AgriLife Extension Office, 405 E. Marshall Ave., Longview. The public is invited to attend. There is an educational program preceding the business meeting. For further information call Cindy Gill at 903-236-8429 or visit

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 817-263-9322 or visit

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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