October 26, 2011

Welcome to Texas Gardener’s Seeds, the weekly newsletter for Texas gardeners. Please do not reply to this e-mail because the sending address is not monitored. See the bottom of this newsletter for information on how to subscribe, unsubscribe, or contact the editor.


Unlikely stowaways: Weed seeds travel to faraway places on cars, trucks and ATVs

Weed Science Society of America

When you take your four-wheel drive out for a spin this fall, you might be bringing home more than memories. Researchers at Montana State University have found that vehicles are routinely transporting invasive weed seeds.

Seeds can stow away on tires, bumpers, wheel wells or the underside of a vehicle and sometimes travel great distances before falling off in a new locale. As weed seeds sprout and grow, they can crowd out native plants, disrupt native ecosystems and wildlife habitats and reduce crop yields when they spread to nearby fields.

“Take a look at the many types of weeds growing along most any roadside and you’ll get a big clue about the role vehicles play,” says Lisa Rew, Ph.D., a member of the Weed Science Society of America and an assistant professor at Montana State University. “With an estimated 4 million miles of roads crisscrossing the U.S. and an estimated 256 million registered vehicles, even a few weed seeds per car can make a significant impact on the spread of weeds.”

Montana State researchers measured the number of seeds picked up by a variety of vehicles and the distance traveled before the seeds fell off. Among their key findings:

Seed volume is seasonal. The study showed thousands more seeds per mile were transported by vehicles during the fall than in the spring.

Moisture matters. Wet conditions make it easier for seeds to be picked up by a vehicle – and easier for them to drop off miles down the road. Tests conducted at military installations showed Humvees picked up 14 times more seeds when conditions were wet, while tanks picked up 26 times more.

Distance is no barrier. The distances seeds can travel may be surprising. When researchers examined vehicles over several distance intervals, they found even at the 160-mile mark many seeds stayed attached. “If seeds are lodged in mud that dries on the vehicle, they can travel almost indefinitely, or at least until it rains again and the road surface is wet,” Rew says. Scientists consider that bad news. When vehicles transport seeds long distances, it increases the likelihood weeds will be spread into areas where they don’t yet occur.

Off-road travel increases the risk. Outdoor sports enthusiasts trucking to remote trailheads or riding ATVs off the beaten path are at special risk for spreading weeds. Researchers found vehicles picked up almost 20 times more seeds off-trail than on-trail.

Recommended Prevention Techniques

To prevent the spread of weeds, researchers recommend that you wash your vehicle frequently, especially after driving off-road or off-trail or along roads bordered by high densities of weeds. Both the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Forest Service routinely use that technique to reduce the risk of transporting invasive species.

Montana State researchers evaluated the ideal duration and number of washes needed to remove weed seeds. Vehicles washed once for six minutes or two to three times for three minutes each were judged to be the most seed-free. Five portable commercial wash units were tested, and each performed similarly, regardless of the water pressure or the amount of water used. Four of the units had undercarriage washers as well as pressure hoses, which made removal of dirt from the underside much easier.

As an added measure of protection, land managers in areas where high-risk invasive species are growing are advised to close the area to traffic when the ground is wet. Doing so will dramatically reduce the risk of transporting weed seeds to new sites and also reduce future weed management costs.

“Understanding how vehicles spread weeds and the steps we can take to intervene can help us reduce weed seed dispersal and reduce the likelihood of devastating new invasions that can be costly to eradicate,” Rew said.


Bees, and similar nectar feeders, get sweeter juice with dipping tongues

By Jennifer Chu
MIT News Office

A field of flowers may seem innocuous — but for the birds and bees that depend on it for sustenance, that floral landscape can be a battlefield mined with predators and competitors. The more efficient a pollinator is in feeding, the less chance it has of becoming food itself.

Now mathematicians at MIT have found that efficient feeding depends on how sugary a flower’s nectar is, and whether an animal dips or sucks the nectar out. The researchers found that animals such as bees, which probe with their tongues, are “viscous dippers,” and are most efficient when feeding on more sugary, or viscous, nectar. Suction feeders, such as birds and butterflies that draw nectar up through tubes, do their best when sucking up thinner, less sugary nectar.

The difference, says John Bush, a professor of applied mathematics, may point to a co-evolutionary process between flowers and their pollinators.

“Do the flowers want a certain type of bug or bird to pollinate them? And are they offering up the nectar of their preferred pollinator?” Bush asks. “It’s an interesting question whether there’s a correlation between the morphology of the plant and the morphology of the insect.”

The researchers published their results in a recent issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

While Bush is not a biologist, he says curiosities in nature, including nectar feeding, pose fascinating challenges for mathematicians. As he sees it, nectar feeding is a classic example of optimization in nature: The sweeter the nectar, the more energy it delivers, but the more energy it takes to transport. The optimal sugar concentration shifts according to how the fluid is taken up.

As a large-scale analogy, Bush says it’s more efficient to suck up sugar water than molasses through a straw. Conversely, it’s more effective to dip a spoon in and out of honey versus juice. There’s an ideal viscosity for a given uptake mechanism, an optimization puzzle that Bush says is tailored for mathematics.

The birds and the bees

To get at this puzzle, Bush and his colleagues analyzed data from previous papers on nectar-feeding species, which include bats, birds, bees and butterflies. Most papers described two kinds of nectar-drinking mechanisms: active suction, whereby butterflies and moths suck nectar up through long, narrow tubes, or probosci; and passive suction, in which hummingbirds and sunbirds draw nectar up in their tongues via capillary action.

The team compiled the papers’ data and found that both groups of suction feeders were most efficient at taking up the same concentration — 33 percent — of sugar in nectar.

The researchers did the same for viscous dippers: species such as ants, bees and bats, which extract nectar by dipping their tongues in and out of flowers. For these dippers, they found the ideal sugar concentration was 52 percent, demonstrating a preference among these species for nectar that’s much more viscous, and sweeter, than their sucking counterparts.

Going a step further, Wonjung Kim, a graduate student of mechanical engineering and lead author of the paper, took an experimental approach, studying live bees in the lab. Kim collected several bees from around MIT and kept them in a box lined with paper towels soaked in a sugar solution. Kim filmed the bees with a high-speed camera, confirming that the insects did indeed dip their tongues in the syrupy surface.

Going with the flow

Bush and Kim plan to examine the ways in which other species drink, in order to model more small-scale fluid dynamics. One target, Bush says, is a certain desert lizard that “drinks” through its skin. The lizard simply has to step in a puddle of water, and an intricate system of cracks in its skin soaks up moisture — a useful trait in extremely dry environments.

“People are now interested in moving around small volumes of fluid for microfluidic applications,” Bush says. “It’s clear that nature has been solving these problems for millions of years. Animals have learned how to efficiently navigate, transport and manipulate water. So there’s clearly much to learn from them in terms of mechanisms.”


Meadows Foundation gives $850,000 for Bastrop wildfire recovery

Texas Forest Service

The Dallas-based Meadows Foundation is making $850,000 available to help with the recovery effort in the aftermath of the devastating Bastrop County wildfire that burned much of Bastrop State Park.

“This gift, which will be divided among six governmental and non-profit agencies, is a wonderful example of private philanthropy taking the lead in helping Texas recover from this catastrophe,” said TPWD Executive Director Carter Smith. “Considering the fiscal constraints facing state government, and the large and unexpected expenses associated with the wildfire, this grant from the Meadows Foundation is particularly welcome and tremendously appreciated.”

The gift will be shared among the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the Texas Forest Service, the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, the SPCA of Texas and the Austin Humane Society.

The wind-whipped wildfire broke out the afternoon of Sept. 4. Before finally being contained, it covered some 34,000 acres, claimed two lives and destroyed more than 1,600 residences. In addition, the fire blackened 95 percent of Bastrop State Park, destroying the roofs of two scenic overlooks built in the mid-1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps. It also consumed equipment and structures at the nearby regional state park headquarters, but all the other historic structures on the park were saved by parks staff and firefighters.

“We are deeply grateful to the park rangers, fire fighters, and forestry workers who risked their own safety to ensure the safety of others, to the citizens of Bastrop County who helped their neighbors get out of the fires’ path, the Red Cross, Salvation Army, and the countless workers and volunteers who helped provide shelter and food to those who lost so much,” said Meadows Foundation President and CEO Linda Perryman Evans. “They are the real heroes, and it is a privilege to support them in their efforts.”

The Meadows Foundation reacted quickly to the fire.

“Firefighters were still putting out hotspots on the park when I received a telephone call from the foundation saying they were interested in helping us, the Texas Forest Service and other first responders,” Smith said.

TPWD’s share of the money will be used to replace some department-owned fire-fighting equipment lost in the fire, to replace two pickup trucks and one all-terrain vehicle destroyed in the fire and for hazard mitigation and erosion-control efforts at the state park.

A large part of the money will go to Texas Forest Service as pass through funding to volunteer fire departments not only in Bastrop area, but across the state.

“In Texas, local fire departments are the first line of defense against wildfires. Many operate on little to no money with aging, battle-worn equipment. And they are made up primarily of volunteers; men and women who have other jobs,” said Tom Boggus, Director Texas Forest Service. “Every penny of the Meadows Foundation’s generous gift to Texas Forest Service will see its way to our citizen responders.”

As plans are being made for the disbursement of the money from The Meadows Foundation grant, work continues to get Bastrop State Park up and running again. The majority of the campgrounds and picnic areas on the park are expected to be re-opened to the public by Dec. 1 if all the tree and brush removal progresses as planned. The cabins and refectory, which were already scheduled to be re-roofed this fall, will remain closed through February 2012.

“Efforts related to the park’s recovery include removing hazardous trees, contracting for the harvest of salvageable timber and debris removal, erosion control and hiking trail cleanup,” said Todd McClanahan, superintendent of Bastrop State Park. “We hope to have contractors on board within the next few weeks, which will speed up recovery efforts.”


The compost heap
Weed killer question

"I sprayed some weed killer on my yard today How long do I wait to fertilize for the winter and what brand do you recommend?" writes Raul Del Torro.

We do not recommend fertilizing this late in the year, particularly with a high nitrogen fertilizer. The nitrogen would either be wasted or promote leaf grow, which would weaken the grass at the time when the lawn should be going dormant for the winter. It would be helpful to add some compost to your lawn, but wait until the grass is actively growing next spring before applying fertilizer. There are several different options when it comes to types of fertilizers. We like to use one of the excellent organic products that are formulated for turf because they promote slower and more sustainable plant growth. — Chris S. Corby, publisher


Gardening tips

Many of the new ornamental kale varieties are just not as tough as the older ones. If you try them this fall consider growing them in containers so you can move them easily when cold weather approaches. A hard freeze will leave them looking like toast.

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...

If you prune your climbing roses in the winter they will likely not bloom the following spring. Wait until after they bloom in the spring to do any pruning since they bloom on new growth.


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.

Ft. Worth: The State of Texas African Violent Convention, Show and Sale will be held October 28-29 at Crowne Plaza Fort Worth South, 100 Alta Mesa East Blvd., Fort Worth. This year's theme is "Lost in Ft, Worth: A Violet Traveler's Guide to Cowtown." Dr, Bill Price will speak about "African Violet Trailers and Other Gesneriads." For additional information, call 940-565-0363.

Midland: “Managing Your Landscape with Less Water” will be presented at 9 a.m., Saturday, October 29, at the Sibley Nature Center, 1307 E. Wadley Avenue, Midland. The half-day seminar will include sessions about “Water Supply — Preparing for the Future,” “Trees — Helping Them Survive The Drought,” “Selecting Native & Drought Tolerant Plants for Fall 2011,” “Irrigation Systems — Audits, Conversions, & Maintenance,” and “Landscape Management — Using Mulch To Conserve Water.” For additional information, contact wenmarlowe@sbcglobal.net.

Kemah: Jennifer Rubens, Young Living will present "Essential Oils" at 9:30 a.m., November 2, at the monthly meeting of the Kemah-Bay Area Garden Club, held at the Jimmie Walker Community Center, 800 Harris Ave and Highway 146, Kemah. What do rose, pine, peppermint, oregano, sage, thyme, lemongrass, juniper, geranium, dill, lavender, and chamomile have in common? They all contain powerful oils with medical properties. Come find out about how various shrubs, flowers, trees, roots, bushes and seeds work, how to safely use these essential oils, how to be sure an oil is therapeutic grade, and medical and fragrant uses of some of these single oils. It may transform the way you see your garden. Light refreshments will be served and the public is invited. Refreshments will be served and the public is invited. For additional information, call Anniece Larkins, president, at 281-842-9008.

San Antonio: Bexar County Master Gardeners class 54 and AgriLife Extension will present “Old-Fashioned Roses and Perennials” fro 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. Wednesday, November 9, at Christ Lutheran Church of Alamo Heights, 6720 Broadway, San Antonio. Dr. William “Bill” Welch, author of several gardening books, professor, and outstanding speaker, will share his vast horticultural knowledge. Dr. Welch’s latest book, Heirloom Gardening in the South, co-authored with Texas Gardener columnist Greg Grant, will be available for purchase and signing by Dr. Welch. A portion of the proceeds helps fund the William (Bill) C. Welch Landscape horticulture scholarship fund which annually awards two $2,000 scholarships, one to an undergraduate and one to a graduate student. To learn more about Dr. Welch, visit http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/southerngarden/billbio.html. For more information, contact MG Sandy Justice at sandy.justice@bexarcountymastergardeners.org. Donation to help defray expenses would be appreciated but not required.

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.

Comal County: Applications are now being accepted for the Comal Master Gardeners classes starting January 18 and running through May 2, 2012. Class size is limited to 30. For more information, visit http://txmg.org/comal/, call AgriLife at 830-620-3440, or email vicepresident@mastergardener.comal.tx.us.

Houston: The Great Plants for Houston Fruit Tree Sale will take place at the Texas AgriLife Cooperative Extension, 3033 Bear Creek Dr., Houston. The sale opens at 9 a.m. and closes at 1 p.m., Saturday, January, 28, 2012. The fruit tree varieties offered at the sale will be adaptable to grow and produce in the Houston area climate. See a selection of avocado, apple, fig, persimmon, pomegranate, plum, pecan, peach and even surprises such as blackberry bushes. Arrive early; those blackberry bushes always sell out fast. An “Ask a Master Gardner” booth in the Extension auditorium will be staffed by experts ready to discuss garden, fruit tree planting and pruning questions. There will be a garden book sale In the Extension Lobby offering the latest in information about gardening. For more information, call 281-855-5600.

MONTHLY MEETINGS

Houston: The Harris County Master Gardeners meet at noon the first Tuesday of each month at the Texas AgriLife Extension, 3033 Bear Creek Drive (near the intersection of Highway 6 and Patterson Road), Houston. For additional information visit http://hcmga.tamu.edu or call 281-855-5600.

Rockport: Monthly meetings of the Aransas/San Patricio Master Gardeners are held at 10 a.m. on the first Tuesday of each month at Texas AgriLife Extension Service - Aransas County Office, 611 E. Mimosa, Rockport. For additional information, e-mail aransas-tx@tamu.edu or call 361-790-0103.

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 http://www.overthegardengate.org 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 www.allengardenclub.org.

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

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 gonzales@ag.tamu.edu 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 www.main.org/aog.

Marion: The Guadalupe County (Schertz/Seguin) Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas meets on the second Tuesday of each month except July and August at The Library, 500 Bulldog, Marion. There is a plant exchange and meet-and-greet begins at 6:30 p.m. followed by the program at 7 p.m. Visitors are welcome. For more information or an application to join NPSOT visit www.npsot.org/GuadalupeCounty/ or contact contact guadalupecounty@npsot.org.

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 www.gregg-tx.tamu.edu.

Rockport: The Rockport Herb & Rose Study Group, founded in March 2003, meets the second Wednesday of each month at 10 a.m. at 619 N. Live Oak Street, Room 14, Rockport, to discuss all aspects of using and growing herbs, including historical uses and tips for successful propagation and cultivation. Sometimes they take field trips and have cooking demonstrations in different locations. For more information, contact Linda 361-729-6037, Ruth 361-729-8923 or Cindy 979-562-2153 or visit www.rockportherbs.org and http://rockportherbies.blogspot.com.

Beaumont: The Jefferson County Master Gardeners meet at 7 p.m. the second Thursday of each month at the AgriLife Extension Office, 1225 Pearl Street, Suite 200, Beaumont. For more information, call 409-835-8461.

Brownwood: Brown County Master Gardeners Association meets the second Thursday of each month, from Noon to 1 p.m., at the Brown County AgriLife Extension Office, 605 Fisk, Brownwood. For additional information, call Freda Day 325-643-1077, or Mary Engle 325-784-8453.

Georgetown: The Williamson County Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas meets from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. the second Thursday of each month at the Georgetown Public Library, 402 W. 8th Street. Georgetown. For additional information, contract Billye Adams at 512-863-9636 or visit http://www.npsot.org/WilliamsonCounty/default.htm.

Orange: The Orange County Master Gardeners meet at the Salvation Army in Orange on the second Thursday of each month. A covered-dish dinner at 6:30 p.m. is followed by a speaker and business meeting at 7 p.m.

San Antonio: The San Antonio Herb Society meets at 7 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month at the San Antonio Garden Center, 3310 N. New Braunfels (corner of Funston & N. New Braunfels). For more information on programs, visit www.sanantonioherbs.org.

College Station: The A&M Garden Club meets on the second Friday of each month during the school year at 9:30 am at the Peace Lutheran Church, 2201 Rio Grande, College Station. Expert speakers, plant sharing, and federated club projects help members learn about gardening in the Brazos Valley, floral design, conservation, and more. For more information, visit http://www.amgardenclub.com/.

Dallas: The Rainbow Garden Club of North Texas meets the second Sunday of each month at 2 p.m. Everyone is welcome. Meetings are held at member’s homes and garden centers around the area. For more information, visit www.RainbowGardenClub.com.

Arlington: The Arlington Men's Garden Club meets from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. on the third Monday of each month (except December) at the Bob Duncan Center, 2800 S. Center Street, Arlington. For more information, contact Lance Jepson at LJepson@aol.com.

Cleburne: The Johnson County Master Gardeners meet at 2 p.m. on the third Monday of each month at McGregor House, 1628 W. Henderson, Cleburne, which includes a program and a meet & greet. For more information, call Diane Asberry at 817-558-3932.

Sugar Land: The Sugar Land Garden Club meets on the third Tuesday of each month, September through November and January through April at 10 a.m. at the Sugar Land Community Center, 226 Matlage Way, Sugar Land. The club hosts a different speaker each month. For more information, visit www.sugarlandgardenclub.org.

Denton: The Denton Organic Society, a group devoted to sharing information and educating the public regarding organic principles, meets the third Wednesday of each month (except July, August and December) at the Denton Senior Center, 509 N. Bell Avenue. Meetings are free and open to the public. Meetings begin at 7 p.m. and are preceded by a social at 6:30. For more information, call 940-382-8551.

Glen Rose: The Somervell County Master Gardeners meet at 10 a.m., the third Wednesday of each month at the Somervell County AgriLife Extension office, 1405 Texas Drive, Glen Rose. Visitors are welcome. For more information, call 254-897-2809 or visit www.somervellmastergardeners.org.

Granbury: The Lake Granbury Master Gardeners meet at 1 p.m. on the third Wednesday of each month at the Hood County Annex 1, 1410 West Pearl Street, Granbury. The public is invited to attend. There is an educational program each month preceding the business meeting. For information on topics call 817-579-3280 or visit http://www.hoodcountymastergardeners.org/.

Seabrook: The Harris County Precinct 2 Master Gardeners hold an educational program at 10 a.m. on the third Wednesday of each month at The Meeting Room at Clear Lake Park (on the Lakeside), 5001 NASA Road 1, Seabrook. The programs are free and open to the public. For more information, visit http://hcmgap2.tamu.edu.

Houston: The Native Plant Society of Texas — Houston (NPSOT-H) meets at 7 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month except for October (4th Thursday) and December (2nd Thursday). Location varies. For locations, for more information on programs, and for information about native plants for Houston, visit http://www.npsot.org/Houston.

Rosenberg: The Fort Bend Master Gardeners meet at 7:00 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month except December at the Bud O’Shieles Community Center located at 1330 Band Road, Rosenberg. For more information, call 281-341-7068 or visit www.fbmg.com.

Seguin: The Guadalupe County Master Gardeners meets at 7 p.m. the third Thursday of each month, except December, at the Texas AgriLife Extension Bldg. at 210 E. Live Oak, Seguin. An educational program precedes the business meeting. The public is invited to attend. For topic or other information, call 830-379-1972 or visit www.guadalupecountymastergardeners.org.

Atlanta: The Caddo Wildflower Chapter of Native Plants Society meets the fourth Tuesday of each month at the Horne Enterprise building in Atlanta at 7 p.m. Visitors are welcome. For additional information, contact Kay Lowery at frostkay268@aol.com.

Brackenridge Park: The Native Plant Society San Antonio Chapter meets every fourth Tuesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. in the Lions Field Adult and Senior Center, 2809 Broadway at E. Mulberry, Brackenridge Park, except August and December. Social and seed/plant exchange at 6:30 p.m. Free and open to the public. For more information, contact Bea at 210-999-7292 or visit www.npsot.org/sanantonio.

Edna: The Jackson County Master Gardeners present their "Come Grown With Us" seminars on the fourth Tuesday of each month, January through October, beginning at 7 p.m. at 411 N. Wells, Edna. The seminars are free, open to the public and offer 2 CEU hours to Master Gardeners or others requiring them. For additional information, contact the Jackson County Extension Office at 361-782-3312.

Fort Worth: The Organic Garden Club of Forth Worth meets at 7 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of each month except July and December at the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens main building. Refreshments are served. For more information, call 817-263-9322 or visit www.ogcfw.webs.com.

San Antonio: The Native Plant Society of Texas San Antonio Chapter meets the fourth Tuesday of the month, except August and December, at the Lions Field Adult & Senior Center, 2809 Broadway, San Antonio. Social and plant/seed exchange at 6:30 p.m., program at 7:00 p.m. For more information, visit www.npsot.org/sanantonio or call Bea at 210-999-7292.

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

Dallas: The Dallas Organic Garden Club meets at 2:30 p.m. on the fourth Sunday of each month at the North Haven Gardens, 7700 Northaven Rd., Dallas. For more information, call 214-824-2448 or visit www.dogc.org.

Arlington: The Arlington Organic Garden Club meets from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. on the last Thursday of each month (except November and December) at the Bob Duncan Center, 2800 S. Center Street, Arlington. For more information, contact David at 817) 483-7746.


Sale! A book so good, even the insects like it

That’s right. We have a small quantity of The Vegetable Book that have been nibbled on by silverfish. The result is very minor cosmetic damage. We can’t sell them as new books at full price so we are forced to drastically reduce the price to $21.21 (includes tax and shipping). That is a steep discount off the regular price! This should appeal to all the tightwads out there as well as those who would like to have a second, not-so-perfect copy of Dr. Cotner’s timeless classic to carry with them to the garden as a working copy. Hurry while supplies last!

$21.21 includes tax and shipping! (while supplies last)

Order by calling 1-800-727-9020 or order on-line.

(Discover, MasterCard and Visa accepted.)


The Texas Tomato Lover's Handbook

The best thing for tomato enthusiasts since the tomato itself! William D. Adams draws on more than thirty years' experience to provide a complete, step-by-step guide to success in the tomato patch. Learn everything from soil preparation, planting, feeding, caging and watering. Liberally sprinkled with the author's easy humor and illustrated with his own excellent photographs, the must have book has everything you'll need to assure a bumper crop! 189 pages. Lots of color photographs!

Only $26.69 for Seeds readers! Free shipping!

To take advantage of this special offer, call toll-free 1-800-727-9020.

Visa, MasterCard and Discover accepted.


In Greg's Garden:
A Pineywoods Perspective on Gardening, Nature and Family

An intimate and personal exploration of the life of one of Texas’s most beloved gardeners, In Greg’s Garden: A Pineywoods Perspective on Gardening, Nature and Family gathers in a single volume the first nine years of Greg Grant’s columns from Texas Gardener magazine.

Revised and updated from their original publication, these 54 essays reveal the heart and soul of a seventh generation native Texan who has devoted his entire life to gardening, nature and family. With degrees in floriculture and horticulture from Texas A&M University and extensive hands-on experience as a horticulturist with the Texas Agricultural Extension Service, Stephen F. Austin State University, Mercer Arboretum and San Antonio Botanical Gardens, Grant has successfully introduced dozens of plants to the Texas nursery industry, all while maintaining long-held family property and renovating the homes of his ancestors in Arcadia, Texas.

In Greg’s Garden: A Pineywoods Perspective on Gardening, Nature and Family is a must-read for every Texas gardener.

Available only for Kindle. Order directly from Amazon by clicking here.


Wish you'd saved them?

Are you missing an important issue of Texas Gardener? Or, perhaps, just tired of thumbing through stacks of back issues looking for the tips and techniques you need to make your garden grow? These new CDs provide easy access to all six issues of
volume 20 (November/December 2000 through September/October 2001),
volume 21
(November/December 2001 through September/October 2002),
volume 22
(November/December 2002 through September/October 2003),
volume 23
(November/December 2003 through September/October 2004),
volume 24 (November/December 2004 through September/October 2005),
volume 25 (November/December 2005 through September/October 2006),
volume 26 (November/December 2006 through September/October 2007),
volume 27 (November/December 2007 through September/October 2008),
volume 28 (November/December 2008 through September/October 2009),
volume 29 (November/December 2009 through September/October 2010), and
volume 30 (November/December 2010 through September/October 2011)*.

$16.99 per CD includes tax and shipping

Order by calling 1-800-727-9020.

(Discover, MasterCard and Visa accepted.)

*Other volumes will be available soon.


Fiber row cover valuable year-round

Grow-Web encourages plant growth and development, and also provides protection from insects, birds, diseases and frosts. It is also air and water permeable and allows for ventilation. Grow-Web provides excellent protection to seedlings when applied directly to the seedbed.

$31.88 per 12.3’ x 32.8’ roll (includes shipping!)

Order by calling 1-800-727-9020 or order on-line.

(Discover, MasterCard and Visa accepted.)


Become a Texas Gardener fan on Facebook

Become a fan of Texas Gardener magazine on Facebook. See what we're up to at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Texas-Gardener-Magazine/301356291835?ref=nf.


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.

Missed an issue? Back issues of Texas Gardener’s Seeds are available at www.texasgardener.com/newsletters.

Publisher: Chris S. Corby ● Editor: Michael Bracken

Texas Gardener’s Seeds, P.O. Box 9005, Waco, Texas 76714 ● www.TexasGardener.com