September 28, 2011

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Practical tree care makes good neighbors

International Society of Arboriculture

If a tree is situated between two property lines, whose responsibility is it? Can you be held responsible if “an act of God” causes a tree to fall on a neighbor’s property? What right does your neighbor have to prune a tree that has branches or roots crossing property lines? How can you best protect your arboreal assets?

Trees add value to our property. Their beauty is something to admire as the seasons change. However, it is important to exercise sensible efforts in preserving the vigor of our trees. It creates a safe environment for our families and our neighbors.

Whose Tree Is It Anyway?

A book published by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), Arboriculture and the Law, states that, generally, courts find that a tree positioned on a property line between two residences is common property, and thus, the responsibility of both property owners. This typically means the tree cannot be pruned, destroyed, or altered without both parties agreeing to the changes. Sometimes this requires the two parties to have a written agreement on the terms of care for the tree.

If a tree is securely on your property, in the eyes of the law you are responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of that tree. You could be found negligent for not attending to the pruning of trees that might block visibility of streets, driveways, and sidewalks. The common rule of thumb is that a homeowner should consider themselves responsible for tending to any trees that could cause harm to a neighbor’s home or person.

A Dangerous Tree Needs a Proactive Approach

Homeowners cannot simply plead ignorance to the condition of the trees on their property to escape liability in the case of tree failure. To understand a homeowner’s liability in this situation, one must first understand what an “act of God” is. “An act of God” might best be described by Arboriculture and the Law as an issue that occurred as a result of “totally natural causes, which could not be prevented against by the actions of any particular individual.” If the home owner could have prevented the damage through regular checks and maintenance of the trees on his property, it could be concluded that the property owner on which the tree was situated could be held liable.

When a Tree Comes Between Neighbors

At times, a tree grows beyond the yard it was originally planted in, and limbs and root systems spread to an adjoining property. These can cause damage to sidewalks, driveways, garages, rooftops, and sewage and drainage pipes. Do neighbors have the right to take matters into their own hands and remove such nuisances? According to the law, they do.

In most cases, courts have decided in favor of a neighbor being able to remove portions of trees that may not be planted on their property but have limbs or roots that reach across property lines. Courts have determined that a landowner owns all the space above and below his property, and if something invades either of those areas, it is his right to remove it.

Protect Your Trees

If your trees or landscape are damaged, ISA recommends that you:

  • Contact your homeowner's insurance company.
  • Have the insurance company send a professional tree and landscaping appraiser out to your property immediately after the damage has occurred.
  • Have the appraiser determine your financial loss, including the cost of removal and repair.
  • Contact a local ISA Certified Arborist if repair or replacement is needed.

Just as you would with any other valuable asset, document your investment in landscaping to help establish its worth. ISA suggests taking pictures of trees and plants while they are healthy to make insurance processing simpler with "before and after" examples.

Consulting an Arborist

While there are generalities in the law concerning trees, statutes vary from state to state. There are some regulations that are more relevant to urban settings than to rural ones. It is important to be sure what your state dictates as proper practice. ISA Certified Arborists are tested extensively on proper tree care and can be a useful source when deciding what course should be taken with problematic trees.

For more information on the legal issues trees present homeowners or on proper tree maintenance, contact an ISA Certified Arborist or visit

Texas AgriLife Research scientists making better melons

By Paul Schattenberg
Texas AgriLife Extention Service

With the extended statewide dry spell, researchers at the Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Uvalde and elsewhere have been focusing their attention on improving varieties of more drought-tolerant crops, particularly melons, said the center’s administrator.

“We’re looking into improved varieties of melons, such as cantaloupe and honeydew, and are growing and assessing some Spanish and Italian specialty melons that are relatively new to this area,” said Dr. Daniel Leskovar, Texas AgriLife Research vegetable physiologist and interim center director.

Leskovar said the goal of the research is to identify and produce melons with consumer-preferred characteristics, such as size, shape, color, texture, firmness and sugar content, as well as identify or develop other traits to improve them.

“In our melon breeding program, we’ve been evaluating the more well-known Texas-grown cantaloupe varieties for several years, but we’ve only been evaluating the possibility of commercially producing Spanish, Italian and other specialty melons for the past few years,” he said.

He said in addition to melon look, feel and taste, he and other researchers have been assessing overall food quality, yield, and disease and drought resistance.

“We’ve been interested in the possibility of specialty melons such as Tuscan-type melons with orange flesh, Galia-type melons with green flesh and canary types with near-white flesh, from the perspective of how they might fare as a high-value, high-income crop for Texas producers,” he said. “We’ve also been examining the effects of factors such as deficit irrigation on their growth and productivity.”

Leskovar said in spite of this year’s drought, the center’s fields dedicated to melon production saw “exceptional growth and yield.”

From center production data, Leskovar estimates that early or “right” planted melons, those planted from mid-March to mid-April of this year, would have produced up to 85,000 kilos of total production of melons per hectare.

Later-planted melons were estimated to have potentially produced about 50,000 kilos per hectare.

“From these totals, we had up to 75 percent marketable melons,” Leskovar said. “We grew these melons using drip irrigation and are assessing the use of varying amounts of irrigation to determine the effects on melon growth.

Melon production is similar to that of peppers in that drip irrigation is the key, along with proper bed population and mulching of the beds.”

Researchers at the center are using scientific technology to take vegetative growth measurements to determine how the melons cope with varying levels of irrigation, as well as differing soil types and levels. The mini-rhizotron technique is used to image root development, a portable photosynthesis system measures gas exchange over the leaf area, and soil moisture sensors assess water dynamics around the plant root systems.

“These measurements are used to determine whether the roots are developing properly and achieving adequate soil penetration, as well as the effects of the variables we are using in our investigations on plant physiology,” Leskovar said.

Melon varieties were planted at three different locations including a study at the Uvalde center where plants were given 50 percent and 100 percent irrigation to determine effects on yield, quality and root management, said Sat Pal Sharma, graduate research assistant at the Uvalde center.

“We discovered that some melon varieties still provided excellent yields with only 50 percent irrigation when applied after the young transplants are fully established, and that one specialty melon produced as well or better than a traditionally planted variety, Sharma said. “Potentially this could mean that a producer could make a lot more from planting the higher-value specialty melon instead.”

“We’re investigating the use of synthetic cytokinins on cantaloupe and specialty melons to see if this will enable them to have an easier time when establishing,” he said, “And we’re also investigating plant growth regulators and the ethylene inhibitor 1-MCP to see if those can assist in fruit set development.”

Cytokinins are phytohormones that promote plant growth through stimulation of cell division in roots and shoots of plants, and also impact bud growth and leaf maturity.

Leskovar said this research would help producers be more successful when establishing melons in “more stressful” areas of the state, such as drier areas with less-than-optimal soil.

“Melons prefer a medium textured soil, but the South and South Central Texas area has more of a silty clay soil,” he said. “Melons developed or bred for better efficiency using less irrigation will have a lower risk of failure in areas that might once have been considered inhospitable for them.”

He said he has contacted growers in these areas about testing melon production on a more commercial basis and that he already has had some positive response to the idea.

Kevin Crosby, AgriLife Research specialist in vegetable breeding and genetics with the Texas A&M Vegetable and Fruit Improvement Center in College Station, part of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, has been working in conjunction with Weslaco center scientists to produce more disease-resistant melon varieties.

“What you might see in terms of disease related to melon varieties are viral diseases spread by whiteflies, and fungal pathogens which cause vine-decline diseases, and mildew,” Crosby said.

He said he and others at the Weslaco center and Vegetable and Fruit Improvement center are assessing and breeding melon varieties that are more resistant to disease, have a longer shelf live and better transportability and higher phytochemical content.

Among those phytochemicals the melons are being assessed for are vitamin C and beta-carotene, which is a carotenoid found in fruits and vegetables that provides much of the vitamin A recommended for the typical American diet.

Beta-carotene is also used in a number of medical applications, including the treatment of exercise-induced asthma symptoms, heart disease and age-related macular degeneration.

“Typically, the only melons on the market in early May have been the ones from the Rio Grande Valley,” Crosby said. “But there’s a Dutch melon being grown in Central America and shipped to the U.S. that will challenge that early availability. So it’s important that Texas growers are aware of what’s going on so they can also compete in the global marketplace. We’re trying to help Texas producers grow melons that have not only the visual and taste characteristics consumers want, but also have higher yields and are durable enough to ship longer distances.”

Crosby said other traits they are trying to identify or develop in melons are a high fruit set and the ability for multiple plantings so producers can make the best use of their labor force as melons are typically harvested by hand.

“We’re hoping the results of the work we’re doing at the Uvalde and Weslaco centers and elsewhere will enable us to expand and implement melon production of both traditional and the newer specialty melon varieties through South and South Central Texas, as well as West Texas,” Leskovar said.

“These efforts should allow us to help the producer eliminate some of the risks that come with other traditional crops being grown in those areas.”

Add a little sweet to the meat for maximum flavor

North Dallas Honey

This secret agent — honey — might already be lurking in your kitchen. Just a teaspoon added to a main dish will bring out flavors galore. Whether you brush raw, unfiltered honey on a chicken breast right before it comes off the grill or use a cup of honey in a dipping sauce, this secret ingredient will boost dinner to maximum success.

Honey can be substituted for sugar in many recipes with a few adjustments. Keep in mind the old saying: good things come in small packages, and honey packs a powerful flavor punch. A few tips for cooking with honey:

  • When using honey in recipes in place of sugar, use less honey because it is almost twice as sweet as sugar.
  • Replace one cup of sugar with half a cup of honey. Because honey is hygroscopic (meaning it attracts water), reduce the amount of liquid in the recipe by 1/4 cup for each cup of honey added.
  • Allow longer time for beating and more vigorous beating, compared to sugar recipes, when using honey.
  • When baking with honey, add 1/2 teaspoon baking soda for each cup of honey used. This will neutralize honey's acidity and help the food rise.
  • When baking with honey, reduce the oven temperature by 25 degrees Fahrenheit. Honey batter becomes crisp and browns faster than sugar batter.
  • When using honey in jams, jellies or candy, increase the cooking temperature just a bit to allow the extra liquid to evaporate.
  • The floral variety of the honey should be considered when cooking with honey since honey has the power to balance, enhance or impart some of its flavor to other foods.

Even with busy schedules, mealtime can be ready when you are with a little planning. Try this simply sweet slow cooker recipe and enjoy the compliments:

Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

3/4 cup honey

3/4 cup light soy sauce

3 tablespoons ketchup

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 tablespoon fresh ginger root, minced

1 (20 ounce) can pineapple tidbits, drained with juice reserved

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/4 cup water

  1. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat, and cook chicken breasts just until evenly browned on all sides. Place chicken breasts in a slow cooker.
  2. In a bowl, mix honey, soy sauce, ketchup, garlic, ginger and reserved pineapple juice. Pour into the slow cooker.
  3. Cover, and cook 4 hours on High. Stir in pineapple tidbits just before serving.
  4. Mix the cornstarch and water in a small bowl. Remove chicken breasts from slow cooker. Blend the cornstarch mixture into remaining sauce in the slow cooker to thicken. Serve sauce over the chicken.

Gardening tips

Be sure to place a collar around those newly planted broccoli, cabbage and collard transplants to keep the cutworms from destroying them before they have a chance to produce. Old butter containers or small cans with the bottoms cut out work great. If you don’t have any of those on hand take a small stick and place it in the ground parallel to the plant's main stem. The cutworms will be unable to wrap themselves around and destroy your tender transplants. Cutworms are nocturnal so you probably won’t see them during the day unless you dig around in the mulch and garden soil for them.

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...

Coriander, or Cilantro as it is referred to in Texas, is well known as an ingredient in Mexican and Tex-Mex cooking. This flavorful herb does best when grown in cool weather so the best time to plant some is right now! It is at its very best when picked and used when young so sow a few seeds every couple of weeks to have a good supply over the winter months. If you live in the northern half of Texas, be prepared to cover it if temperatures are expected to drop much below 25 degrees F. Our favorite way to enjoy it is with a pot of slow-cooked pinto beans and venison sausage. Be sure to wait until the beans and sausage are about done before adding the Cilantro.

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.

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 communities. 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

Austin: “Winter Gardening” will be presented Saturday, October 1, 10 a.m.-noon, at Festival Beach Community Garden, 35 Waller St. Austin. Learn about garden vegetables which only thrive in the cool temperature of the fall and winter. General gardening principles and guidelines for protecting plants from usually cool temps will be discussed. Event is outdoors. Please bring a chair. For more information, contact the Master Gardeners Help Line at 512-854-9600 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.

Kingsland: Learn propagation techniques from horticulture teacher, greenhouse manager and Kingsland Garden Club member James Henry Alley on Friday, October 7 at the Kingsland Library. He will show you interesting ways to obtain new plants and multiply the plants you already have and love. This free program is presented by the Kingsland Garden Club at 1:45 p.m. on Friday, October 7. You are welcome to come to the Club meeting at 1 p.m. For information on upcoming gardening programs, visit

Austin: “Bio-Intensive Gardening,” Saturday, October 8, 10 a.m.-noon, at Blackshear Neighborhood Garden, 2011 East 9th St., Austin. Learn techniques to optimize planting to maximize yield in a small garden space. Good garden practices also covered. Outside event. For more information, contact the Master Gardeners Help Line at 512-854-9600 or visit

Austin: The Garden Conservancy presents Noted garden editor and writer Stephen Orr on Tomorrow's Garden: Design and Inspiration for a New Age of Sustainable Gardening, Tuesday, October 11, at Arthouse at the Jones Center, 700 Congress Avenue, Austin. Through his years of documenting some of the world's best gardens, Stephen Orr has developed a sense of what a 21st-century garden should be: manageable, visually pleasing, and most of all, environmentally responsible. He will present a wide array of gardens throughout America that have been scaled back and simplified without compromising aesthetics. The innovative design solutions that link these gardens — including several from the Austin area — will inspire gardeners of all experience levels. Orr is the editorial director of gardening for Martha Stewart Omnimedia, and the author of Tomorrow's Garden: Design and Inspiration for a New Age of Sustainable Gardening (Rodale Press, 2011). He was the former garden editor at Domino and House & Garden magazines and has written for various publications including the New York Times and Wall Street Journal. Orr, a native Texan, lives in New York City and the Catskills. 6 p.m. Wine reception, book sale and signing; 6:30 p.m. Illustrated talk, Arthouse Community Room. Admission: $35 general admission; $30 members of the Garden Conservancy and Arthouse at the Jones Center. Seating is limited. Register online at or call 845-265-2029 (Cold Spring, NY).

Seabrook: Anthony Camerino will present a lecture on Composting, Tuesday, October 11, from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. 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

Houston: Learn about native plants at the 31st NPSOT Annual Fall Symposium, Oct. 13-Oct. 16, at the Omni Houston Hotel at Westside, 13210 Katy Freeway at Eldridge Parkway, Houston. Entertaining and educational exhibits, a native plant sale, flower arranging and photography competitions, a silent auction, expert speakers from across the state and field trips to native habitats in the Houston area will highlight the symposium, “Habitat CPR: Creating, Preserving and Restoring Native Habitats in a Changing World.” Symposium 2011 kicks off Thursday, Oct. 13, with on-the-way field trips for out-of-town attendees. All symposium registrants are invited to attend the welcome reception Thursday evening. On Friday and Saturday leaders in the conservation of native plants will present. They include Fred Smeins, Ph.D., range ecology professor, Texas A&M University, the leading expert on Texas coastal prairies and marshes; John Jacob, Ph.D., professor and extension specialist, director of the Texas Coastal Watershed Program and co-author of “Texas Coastal Wetlands Guidebook,” Bill Neiman, founder and president, Native American Seed; Jaime Gonzalez, community education manager, Katy Prairie Conservancy and Mark Kramer, stewardship coordinator, Armand Bayou Nature Center. Saturday evening, the symposium will conclude with a dinner and special screening of the new film, Wildflowers | Seeds of History, produced by PBS. For a complete schedule and registration information, please visit

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.

Seabrook: Anthony Camerino will present a lecture on Composting, Wednesday, October 19, at 10 a.m. 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

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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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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