February 8, 2012

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Texas Forest Service looking for landowners with ash trees

Texas Forest Service

Texas Forest Service soon will be surveying ash trees across the state for signs of the emerald ash borer, an invasive insect that kills its host.

An exotic wood-boring beetle from Asia, the dark, metallic green insect bores into ash trees and feeds on the area between the wood and the bark, effectively killing the tree.

The half-inch-long pest was first found in Michigan in 2002, and since has spread to at least 15 different states and Canada. The survey is designed to help tree experts determine if the beetle also has spread to Texas.

“It’s killing millions of ash trees in the Lake states,” said Ron Billings, Texas Forest Service Forest Health Manager. “Right now, the emerald ash borer hasn’t been detected in Texas. The closest known location is Missouri. But these insects can be easily spread.”

Beginning in March, foresters — working together with partnering agencies and trained volunteers — will begin hanging large, purple traps from select ash trees in Central and East Texas. They’ll be checked in June and August and then removed.

Resembling a three-paneled box kite, the purple traps will be hung in or near ash trees in state and federal parks, campgrounds and on private lands with landowner permission. Any suspicious-looking beetles that resemble emerald ash borers will be collected for review by experts.

More than 700 survey traps will be set out in 71 Texas counties this year as part of a cooperative effort between the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Texas Forest Service, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Stephen F. Austin State University College of Forestry and Agriculture and several volunteer citizen scientist groups.

If you’re a landowner with ash trees — the only known host — on your property, live in one of the counties being monitored and would like to participate, surveyors could use your help. Notify your closest Texas Forest Service office or contact a Regional Forest Health Specialist in your area: Joe Pase at 936-639-8170 or jpase@tfs.tamu.edu (East Texas) James Houser at (512) 339-4589 or jhouser@tfs.tamu.edu (Central and South Texas) If the location is suitable, surveyors will set up and monitor the trap for you and then remove it at the end of the survey.

If present in Texas, adult beetles would be searching for new hosts between April and August. After selecting a tree, the adults reproduce and their young larvae spend the winter feeding just beneath the bark before emerging in the spring as adults. The process repeats as the new adults fly off to find their own host.

“Early detection and eradication are key steps in preventing the emerald ash borer from becoming established in Texas,” Billings said, explaining that infestations often start when people move infested nursery trees, logs or firewood into uninfested areas.

For more information on the emerald ash borer and the trapping program, visit www.emeraldashborer.info.


AgriLife Extension horticulturist: Now is a good time in South Central Texas to prepare for spring fruition, competition

By Paul Schattenberg
Texas AgriLife Extension Service

Now is the time to think about planting fruit trees, ornamental annuals and other plants in South Central Texas for home landscaping and to show in spring competition, said a Texas AgriLife Extension Service expert in San Antonio.

“While there’s still an outside chance of a hard freeze, indications are good that the rest of winter will be mild enough to allow plant establishment and survival to the spring,” said David Rodriguez, AgriLife Extension agent for horticulture, Bexar County. “And if you have a greenhouse or other climate-controlled growing area, the weather is even less of a factor.”

He said the South Central Texas climate permits the planting of trees, shrubs and ornamental plants just about all year long.

“When planting a tree, shrub or ornamental plant, you can back fill the hole with the dirt you dug out, and this allows for more uniform water penetration to the root area,” he said. “Make sure the plantings have fresh, plump roots and briefly soak the root system in water. Then when you dig the hole, make the sides rough, not smooth. After the initial watering, you can water the roots sparingly as dormant plants need less water.”

Rodriguez said an early start on planting will be particularly helpful to people interested in participating in spring competitions, including the Alamo Area Horticulture Show and Contest which will take place May 26 during Festival of Flowers activities in San Antonio.

The Alamo Area Horticulture Show and Contest is presented by AgriLife Extension and the Bexar County Master Gardener association with sponsorship support provided by the Texas Nursery and Landscape Association. For the past two years, the contest has been part of Festival of Flowers activities held at the Alzafar Shrine facility, 901 N. Loop 410 West, between Blanco Road and Stone Oak Parkway.

“This will be the third year of the competition and we are seeing a steady increase in the number and variety of entries,” said Rodriguez, one of the show coordinators. “There is a limit of three entries per division per exhibitor and all entries must have been grown by the exhibitor for at least three months prior to the competition.”

Rodriguez said the show and contest is open to amateur home gardeners from Bexar and surrounding counties. Winning entries will be presented in nine different categories, including foliage and blooming potted or container plants; cactus and succulents; cut foliage, flowers and blooms; special displays, such as hanging baskets, dish gardens and container gardens; and vegetables and fruits.

“The show is open to amateur gardeners of all ages, and contestants 17 years old and younger are judged separately from adult contestants,” he said.

Rodriguez said the competition’s 2011 adult Best of Show winner was Jo Ann Bradley’s “Cajun Moon” rose spray, while the junior Best of Show winner was Cody Reiser’s “Succulent Garden” cactus arrangement.

“The vegetables and fruits division of the show is usually a ‘growers’ choice’ and may include tomatoes, peppers, greens, onions and other in-season crops,” he said. “Growers should show three to five samples of the same variety — unblemished and uniform in size, color and overall growth. They also should have stems attached to help confirm they are home-grown.”

He said each exhibitor must complete an official entry form either prior to the show or at the time of entering an exhibit. Guidelines and an entry form may be found at the Festival of Flowers website at http://safestivalofflowers.com or the AgriLife Extension office website for Bexar County, http://bexar-tx.tamu.edu.

For more information, contact Rodriguez at 210-467-6575 or dhrodriguez@ag.tamu.edu, Mary Ann Johnson, majmgbc39@mac.com, or Sandy Justice, sandy@sandyjustice.com.


Learn to talk to your landscape plants as you deal with drought

By Robert Burns
Texas AgriLife Extension Service

Dealing with drought, dead trees, water-use restrictions, wildfire concerns: Yes, there will be some “downer” topics at the East Texas Spring Landscape and Garden Conference, set Feb. 11 in Tyler, said a Texas AgriLife Extension Service gardening expert.

But there will be a lot of fun topics too, said Keith Hansen, AgriLife Extension horticulture agent for Smith County and program planner.

“We’re having a variety of subjects that will help homeowners and gardeners cope with drought conditions and water restrictions, plus some fun and interesting topics,” Hansen said.

Held at the Tyler Rose Garden Center, 420 Rose Park Dr., registration for the program will be $35, payable at the door by cash or check only and will include a hot lunch. Registration will start at 7:30 a.m., with the program concluding at about 3:30 p.m.

The first presentation of the morning will be “Learn to Think Like a Plant, Then You can Talk to Them,” by Dr. David Reed, professor and associate dean at the Texas A&M University department of horticultural sciences, College Station.

“Reed talks about plants being ‘schizophrenic hermits,’” Hansen said. “They ‘live alone’ and ‘talk to themselves.’ But gardeners can learn the ‘language’ plants use to grow and function, and how that knowledge helps us grow and take care of them.”

Another fun topic will be “Tillandsias: Easy-to-Grow Air Plants,” given by Carmen Wagner, bromeliad expert, Canton.

“Carmen will tell us about her favorite tillandsias,” Hansen said. “These are unique and easy-to-grow plants that can be used in a wide variety of ways as decorations because they don’t need soil to grow. She will discuss several types, and how they can be used around the home.”

Also in the morning will be “Composting – Good for Your Soil,” by Malcolm Beck, author of the “Secret Life of Compost.”

“Malcolm Beck has been called the ‘Father of Compost’ in Texas,” Hansen said. “He has been making and selling compost for decades in the San Antonio area and is highly regarded by gardeners and horticulturists.”

Afternoon topics will focus on dealing with drought, Hansen said.

“Firewise Landscaping – Give Your Home a Break,” will be jointly presented by Anne Brown and Dee Bishop, both Smith County Master Gardeners and Firewise Landscape Specialists.

In “Making Every Drop Count,” Hansen will discuss various water conservation techniques in light of projected water-use restrictions predicted for Tyler and other area communities this summer. He noted that despite recent rains, there are still projections for a drought or at least dryer than normal weather this summer.

Daniel Duncum, with the Texas Forest Service, will answer the question “Are My Trees Dead?”

This is an important question to ask before hiring a service to remove dead-looking trees, Hansen said.

The program will wind up with a question and answer panel.

For more information, contact Hansen at 903-590-2980, khansen@ag.tamu.edu, or visit the event’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/ETGardenConference.


The compost heap
Starting seeds in a greenhouse

“Are there any articles about starting seeds in a greenhouse?” writes K. Woodby. “I have planted one heck of a lot of tomato seeds and pepper seeds and they aren't germinating. I've used both dirt with chicken poop, jiffy pellets and Burpee pellets. In the 4-5 weeks I’ve been working on this, only some marigolds have germinated. I have them covered with the jiffy covers. And I've kept the pellets/soil moist.

“The automatic vent windows open during the day and close at night. I also open the doors/windows when it is particularly warm.

“Surely there is something?”

We have written numerous articles on starting transplants from seed. Look under "seeds" and "tomatoes" on our online index at www.texasgardener.com. — Chris S. Corby, publisher


Gardening tips

Right now (late winter) is one of the best times to dig and divide those chrysanthemums. Just be sure to do so before they start to send up new shoots. If you are too late, then it would be better to wait until they finish blooming this coming fall.

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 2012 Planning Guide & Calendar. Please send your tips of 50 words or less to the editor at: Gardening Tips.


Did you know...

The PVPA (Plant Variety Protection Act) has provided incentives for the improvement of self-pollinated species by private plant breeders. This law is effective because it encourages the private sector to invest research funds on crops they could not otherwise afford to breed. Many of the exciting new ornamental and vegetable crops that we grow in our gardens today would not exist without this law.


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. 

Galveston Island: Moody Gardens is hosting a night full of bat themed activities while raising money for Bat Conservation International, on Saturday, February 11. The event will be from 7 p.m. until 10 p.m. in the Moody Gardens Visitors Center. This unique cocktail party will feature specialty bat drinks and hors d’oeuvres prepared with ingredients that are made possible because of bats’ ecological importance. In addition, guests will be able to attend a special presentation from guest speaker James Eggers, director of education of Bat Conservation International. Attendees can also take a night tour of the Rainforest Pyramid highlighting bat conservation and bring home a “Bat’s Are Doin’ It” goody bag. Tickets are $50 per person or $90 for a couple. The fundraiser will also include a variety of raffle prizes. Each raffle ticket is $5 or three for $10. “The ‘Bat’s Are Doin’ It’ event will give Moody Gardens the opportunity to highlight the importance of protecting these animals and will give guests the chance to have an entertaining evening while contributing to a significant organization,” said Assistant Curator/ Registrar Paula Kolvig. Throughout 2012 Moody Gardens will bring attention to an often overlooked, but important animal: the bat. The United Nations has declared 2012 as International Year of the Bat and Bat Conservation International (BCI) as an International Year of the Bat founding partner. The International Year of the Bat campaign aims to raise global awareness about bats, bat conservation and the unique roles bats play in our environment. This event is open to visitors who are 21 years of age and older. Proceeds from the event will be donated to Bat Conservation International on behalf of Moody Gardens. For more information about Year of the Bat: visit batcon.org/yotb, www.moodygardens.org or call Moody Gardens (800) 582-4673.

La Marque: "Gardening by the Square Foot," presented by Master Gardener John Jons, will be held from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m., February 11, at the Wayne Johnson Community Center in Carbide Park, La Marque. Jons will cover the basic concepts of successful Square Foot Gardening including garden bed design and building, soil preparation, plant selection, care and maintenance. A practice session will be included to get you started with your first Square Foot Garden bed. This method of gardening is great for the homeowner with a small back yard, for those that just want to grow enough for their own needs, to start a community garden, or to create a small garden to help educate children on the basics and joy of gardening. Class size limited to 32 participants. "Kitchen Gardening," presented by Master Gardener Mary Demeny, will be offered from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. Demeny will cover various techniques for vegetable gardening in your own backyard. She will include gardening near the back door, recycling, mulching and composting for her garden. Mary will also discuss home canning and use of an interplant technique for growing vegetables among the flower beds and in pots. For additional information call 281-534-3413. Ext. 12 or email GALV3@wt.net.

New Braunfels: The Comal Master Gardeners will sponsor a Backyard Vegetable Gardening Seminar at the New Braunfels Convention Center on Saturday, February 11, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. featuring Patty Leander, contributing writer to Texas Gardener magazine, and Daphne Richards, Travis County AgriLife Extension Agent. Included in the $47 registration fee are demonstrations with hands-on activities, door prizes, detailed handbooks and lunch. Attendance is limited. Register at http://txmg.org/comal/future-events/seminar. For additional information, call 830-620-3440.

Rosenberg: The Fort Bend County Master Gardeners will hold their Annual Fruit and Citrus Tree Sale on Saturday, February 11, at the Fort Bend County Fairgrounds - Barn H, 4310 Highway 36S, Rosenberg, 77471. The sale will open at 9 a.m. and will run until 1 p.m. or until sold out. A training session for the public on Fruit Trees will be given on Saturday, February 4, from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Bud O'Shieles Community Center, 1330 Band Road, Rosenberg,. It will include how to heel in your trees, pruning and how to plant as well as an overview of plants at the sale. This year tomatoes and peppers for spring planting will be offered at the sale. Call 281-341-7068 or visit www.fbmg.com for more information.

San Antonio: Growing Roses: The Ultimate Garden Plant. Saturday and Sunday, February 11 & 12, 1 p.m., at Antique Rose Emporium, 7561 E. Evans Road, San Antonio. Learn how easy it is to grow roses. Learn tips and techniques for rose gardening success. Free. For additional information, call 210-651-4565 or visit www.weAREroses.com.

Tyler: The East Texas Spring Landscape and Garden Conference is scheduled for Saturday, February 11, at the Tyler Rose Garden Center, 420 Rose Park Drive off of Front Street in Tyler. This is an annual event presented by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service giving gardeners a chance to enhance their knowledge in a wide rage of horticultural topics. The presentations begin at 8:30 a.m. and continue until 3:30 p.m. There is no pre-registration; attendees must register at the conference site. Doors open early at 7:30 a.m. giving the public time to sign up and browse the gardening-related businesses and organizations exhibiting services and products. The fee for the conference is $35 and includes morning coffee with doughnuts and a chicken box lunch. This year’s conference brings a variety of subjects that will help homeowners and gardeners cope with drought conditions and water restrictions, plus some fun and interesting topics. Speakers include Dr. David Reed, Professor of Horticulture at Texas A&M in College Station; Malcom Beck, the Father of Compost in Texas; Carmen Wagner, a bromeliad specialist from Canton; Anne Brown and Dee Bishop, both Smith County Master Gardeners are Firewise Landscape Specialists trained by the Texas Forest Service and AgriLife Extension; Keith Hansen, Smith County Horticulturist with AgriLife Extension Service; and Daniel Duncum with the Texas Forest. After the conference and during breaks, attendees can take advantage of a panel of speakers and Master Gardeners who will be on hand to answer questions on landscaping issues. The Spring Conference agenda is available at EastTexasGardening.tamu.edu and http://facebook.com/ETGardenConference.

Houston: At 6:30 p.m., February 13, Carol Brouwer, Ph.D., will present "What to Plant and Do Now in Your Home Veggie Garden" at the Houston Urban Gardeners will meet at the Houston Garden Center, 1500 Hermann Dr. Free and open to the public. For additional information, visit http://www.houstonurbangardeners.org///.

Dallas: Love Bugs Valentines Presentation at Texas Discovery Gardens, 3601 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Dallas from 6 p.m.-8 p.m., February 14. Enjoy wine, cheese and a stimulating Valentine's Day talk on insect behavior and reproduction with John Watts, Entomologist. $25 ea. or $40 per couple. $20 TDG Member or $30 per Member Couple. Register in advance at www.texasdiscoverygardens.org or call (214) 428-7476 x343.

San Antonio: Growing Old Garden Roses: Plant Selection, Pruning, Pests, and Propagation, Wednesday, February 15, 1 to 4 p.m., at Antique Rose Emporium, 7561 E. Evans Road, San Antonio. This Comal Master Gardeners class is open to the public. Learn just how easy it is to grow roses at this comprehensive class. Pack a lunch, arrive early, and eat in the garden. Free. For additional information, call 210-651-4565 or visit www.weAREroses.com.

Austin: “Rose Care and Pruning” will be presented Thursday, February 16, from 10 a.m. until noon at the Travis County AgriLife Extension Office, 1600 B Smith Rd., Austin. Discover the varieties of roses available and care requirements. Learn how to plant a rose, fertilizer requirements, disease identification, general care, and pruning. Bring pruning shears for hands-on lesson. This seminar is free and open to the public. It is presented by the Travis County Master Gardeners, a volunteer arm of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service in Travis County. For more information, call 512-854-9600 or visit www.tcmastergardeners.org.

Seguin: Paul Cox, botanist and former supervisor at The Botanical Gardens (in San Antonio) will present a program about the poisonous nature of some of our landscape plants at the Guadalupe County Master Gardeners  meeting Thursday, February 16, at the Texas AgriLife Extension Bldg., 210 E. Live Oak, Seguin. The meeting is free and open to the public. For more information, visit www.guadalupecountymastergardeners.org or call 830-303-3889.

Diboll: New timber tax laws could allow landowners to recoup some of the losses they sustained from the relentless drought and devastating wildfire season that plagued Texas during the last year. The federal rules geared toward landowners who experienced a significant timber loss will be explained during a 2012 Timber Income and Property Tax Workshop in Diboll. Hosted by Texas Forest Service, the all-day tax workshop is designed to give landowners — as well as the professionals who prepare their taxes — a leg up when it comes to forest management planning. The workshop is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday, February 17 at the Lottie and Arthur Temple Civic Center, 601 Dennis St., Diboll. Registration is $70 and includes lunch and a workbook. The workshop also will focus on changes to state taxes for timber producers and contract lumberjacks, who now will need a registration number from the Texas Comptroller’s Office before they can be exempt from the sale and use tax. The sale and use tax is applied to goods and services paid for throughout timber production such as site preparation, planting, cultivating and harvesting. For more information or to register, visit http://texasforestservice.tamu.edu/timbertaxworkshop or contact Staff Assistant Monica Jadlowski at 979-458-6630 or mjadlowski@tfs.tamu.edu.

Austin: Master Gardener Joy Williamson will discuss “Raising Backyard Chickens,” Saturday, February 18, 10 a.m.-noon, at Zilker Botanical Garden, Garden Center, 2220 Barton Springs Rd., Austin. Williamson shares her expertise in the fascinating hobby of raising backyard chickens. She will be sharing her tips on the benefits of this garden activity, how to get started, FAQ on coop construction and how to protect your feathered friends. This seminar is free, but space is limited and reservations are required to ensure a seat is available. Sign-up online at http://travis-tx.tamu.edu/horticulture/. Please note, the Zilker Park entrance fee is $2 per adult and $1 per child or senior. This seminar is presented by the Travis County Master Gardeners, a volunteer arm of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service in Travis County. For information, call 512-854-9600 or visit www.tcmastergardeners.org.

Bryan: Saturday, February 18, the Brazos County Master Gardeners will host "Successful Gardening in Challenging Climates," on Earth-Kind methods for landscape recovery and survival. The all day seminar (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) will include topics on soil improvement, plant selection, water conservation and how plants respond to extreme weather. Speakers include Texas Gardener Contributing Editor Skip Richter, Heidi Sheesley, Dotty Woodson and Monte Nesbitt. The cost is $35 and includes snacks and a sandwich lunch buffet. It will be held at the Brazos Center, 3232 Briarcrest Dr., Room 102, Bryan, TX. For more information, visit brazosmg.com, call 979-823-0129 or email brazosmg@brazosmg.com.

La Marque: "Anyone Can Grown Roses," presented by Master Gardener and American Rose Society Consulting Rosarian, John Jons, will be held from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m., February 18, at the Wayne Johnson Community Center in Carbide Park, La Marque. Jons will cover the basics for successfully growing large healthy roses in Galveston County that will include rose bed design and building, rose variety selection, planting and ongoing care. For additional information call 281-534-3413. Ext. 12 or email GALV3@wt.net.

Marble Falls: Soil is the engine of the garden and should be treated as a resource. It is estimated that 80 percent of the problems related to landscape plantings originate with soil issues. Learn what to do to make soil work better. The program “It All Starts with Soil” will be presented free by Master Gardener Sheryl Yantis and the Highland Lakes Master Gardener Green Thumb Programs at the Marble Falls Library, 101 Main St. at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, February 18. For more information about this and gardening programs in the Highland Lakes area, visit http://www.yantislakesidegardens.com/events.

Mauriceville: Interested in becoming a Master Gardener? Attend the five Green Thumb Series offered by Texas AgriLife Extension Orange County. Become eligible to begin a Master Gardener internship upon completion of all five series. The first series will be held at the Mauriceville Community Center, 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. Classes are as scheduled: February 21 “Sprouts, Shoots and Roots”; February 28 “Planning and Preparing Your Garden Area”; March 6 “Structures for Planting Year Round”; March 20 “Thriller, Spillers and Fillers-Container Gardening”; March 27 “Spice Up Your Life with Herb Gardening.” The cost is $30 per person per series and covers all classes and materials. For additional information, call the Texas AgriLife Extension Service at 409-882-7010 or visit orange.agrilife.org.

Dallas: Biology of Butterflies at Texas Discovery Gardens, 3601 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Dallas, from 10 a.m.-noon, February 25. Go beyond the Butterfly Basics! An advanced look at the world of butterflies: their biology, behavior and adaptations to the environment with Entomologist John Watts. $15; $10 for TDG Members. Register in advance at www.texasdiscoverygardens.org or call (214) 428-7476 x343.

Wichita Falls: The Wichita County Master Gardeners is sponsoring speakers for the 15th Annual Arts Alive! Home and Garden Festival at the Multi Purpose Events Center, 1000 5th Street, Wichita Falls. Hours for the show are 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Saturday, February 25. Dr. William C. Welch from Texas A&M is the featured speaker, kicking things off at 9:30 a.m. with his presentation "Tough Perennials For Texas Gardens," after which he will be selling his latest book Heirloom Gardening in the South in the Master Gardener Booth. Local Meteorologist Bryan Rupp will present "Texoms's Climate: Past, Present, Future"; author and gardener Judy Barrett will present "Secrets of Garden Success with Herbs and Heirlooms"; and Julie Whitis will present "Square Foot Gardening."

Ft. Worth: "Rainwater Harvesting" will be offered from 10 a.m. until noon March 3 in the fifth floor conference room at the Tarrant County Plaza Building, 200 Taylor St., Ft. Worth. $15 enrollment. There is an optional extra fee of $50 for materials to make a rain barrel during class. Advance reservations are preferred, but not required. Contact the AgriLife office at 817-884-1945 for more information or to enroll.

San Antonio: Learn to grow "Veggies in Your Backyard," Saturday, March 3, 10 a.m., at Antique Rose Emporium, 7561 E. Evans Road, San Antonio. From soil prep to harvest, Keith Amelung will share his expertise and recipes on growing the best veggies ever. Get out the bushel basket! Free. For additional information, call 210-651-4565 or visit www.weAREroses.com.

Houston: Carol Brouwer, Ph.D., will discuss “What To Plant and Do Now in Your Veggie Garden,” Houston Urban Gardeners, Houston Garden Center, at 6:30 p.m., Monday, February 13. Free. Brouwer will provide plenty of ideas on unusual, colorful and productive varieties of winter crops such as cauliflower, broccoli, broccoflower, turnip greens, sugar snap peas and much more. For additional information, call 713-528-1104.

Highland Lakes/Marble Falls: Join Master Gardener and Master Naturalist Linda O’Nan and have fun learning about the succulents that grow successfully in the area in “Succulents Are Fun to Grow.” This free program will be presented by the Kingsland Garden Club at 1:45 p.m. on Friday, March 2, at the Marble Falls Library. Visitors are welcome to attend the Club meeting at 1 p.m. For information on upcoming gardening programs, visit www.yantislakesidegardens.com/events.

Austin: The Sunshine Community Gardens annual plant sale will be held March 3, from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m., at 4814 Sunshine Drive, Austin. The Sunshine Community Gardens annual plant sale is an outstanding source for organic starter plants, offering many varieties of tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, herbs and other items. Arrive early for the best selection of hard-to-find and popular varieties. Free admission. Visit http://www.sunshinecommunitygarden.org/ for a complete list of items.

Longview: The Gregg County Master Gardeners will hold their 2012 Spring Garden and Landscape Seminar, Saturday, March 3, at the First United Methodist Church, Faith Center, Whaley St. entrance, 7:45 a.m.-noon. The theme of the seminar is “Gardening in Drought Conditions.” Registration is 7:45-8:30. Program begins at 8:45. Dotty Woodson, Water Resource Program Specialist, Dallas, will present programs on “Landscape Water Conservation” and “Rainwater Harvesting.” Belinda McCoy McLaughlin, Native Plant Society member, Daingerfield, will speak on “No Drought About It: Native Plants are Texas-Tough.” Master Gardeners will be available during the breaks to answer gardening question at the “Ask a Master Gardener” table. Complimentary refreshments, door prizes, garden-related vendors and a raffle will be part of the morning’s activities. Advance tickets, $10 and $12 at the door. For tickets or more information, contact Gregg County AgriLife Extension Office at 903-236-8429 or visit gregg-tx.tamu.edu.

Dallas: Modern Victory Gardens: Spring and Summer Vegetable Gardening, at Texas Discovery Gardens, 3601 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Dallas, from 9 a.m.-noon, March 17. Join a growing trend and learn how to create a bountiful organic community or backyard vegetable garden with Director of Horticulture Randy Johnson. $25; $20 for TDG Members. Register in advance at www.texasdiscoverygardens.org or call 214-428-7476 x343.

Orange: The Orange County Master Gardeners Annual Plant Sale will take place at Cormier Park on FM 1442, in Orangefield. The gates will open at 8 a.m. and close at noon on Saturday, March 17. There will be a large variety of plants,  including perennials, bedding, tropical, vegetable, herbs, some trees, houseplants and Texas Super Star plants. An Ask the Master Gardener? booth will be set up. A raffle will be held to raise money for the Junior Master Gardener Groups. For more information, visit http://txmg.org/orange.

Houston: Ohara Ikebana Grand Master Ingrid Luders will lead a workshop at the Houston Garden on Friday March 16, and Luders will create flower arrangements in a demonstration at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, at 2 p.m., Sunday, March 18, in the American General Room in the (new) Beck Building. This promises to be an inspiring event that will give you ideas for improving your own flower arrangements. The Ohara School of Ikebana uses traditional and modern arrangements. They originated the use of low, flat containers (moribana) to greatly diversity styles of flower arrangements. Cost: $40 for the workshop and optional $15 for a bento lunch. Preregistration is required at least 24 hours in advance so that the correct amount of floral material will be available. To preregister or obtain more information, please call Molly Rose at 713-854-2803 or Sushila Mathew at 713-932-8510. The demonstration is free and open to all with Museum admission. There will be a reception following the demonstration.

Rockdale: The Third Annual Milam County Nature Festival will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 14, at Rockdale Fair Park in Rockdale. This is a family-oriented event for all ages of nature lovers. This year’s mascot is the Bat, and so there will be special emphasis on these wonderful and beneficial creatures. There will be presentations by experts on Bats and Bat Houses, Wildflower Legends and Folklore, and Conservation, as well as numerous hands-on nature activities for the kids, such as making animal tracks, digging for artifacts, and some fun bat projects. Educational booths for everyone will include: reptiles, insects, fish, hunting, bats, birds, bees, butterflies, archaeology, native plants, wildflowers, and much more. The nature photo contest (submission deadline March 31) will have winners announced with all photos on display. For additional information, visit http://txmn.org/elcamino/naturefest/ and http://txmn.org/elcamino/naturefest/photo-contest/, email ElCaminoRealMasterNaturalist@gmail.com, or contact Texas AgriLife Extension Service at 254-697-7045.

Nacogdoches: The SFA Gardens at Stephen F. Austin State University will host its annual Garden Gala Day from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday, April 21, at the SFA Pineywoods Native Plant Center, 2900 Raguet St. A wide variety of hard-to-find, “Texas tough” plants will be available, including Texas natives, heirlooms, tropicals, perennials, unusual species, and exclusive SFA introductions. Plants are extensively trialed in the gardens before being offered to the public. This popular event features the annual spring plant sale benefiting the SFA Mast Arboretum, Pineywoods Native Plant Center, Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden, Gayla Mize Garden, and educational programs hosted at the gardens. The educational programs at SFA Gardens reach more than 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 www.sfagardens.sfasu.edudu and click on “Arboretum” then “Garden Events.”

Ft. Worth: "Lawns & How to Irrigate Responsibly" will be offered from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. May 12 in the fifth floor conference room at the Tarrant County Plaza Building, 200 Taylor St., Ft. Worth. $15 enrollment. Advance reservations are preferred, but not required. Contact the AgriLife office at 817-884-1945 for more information or to enroll.

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.

Evant: The Evant Garden Club meets on the second Tuesday of each month at 10 a.m., usually at the bank in downtown Evant. To confirm the date, time and place of each month's meeting, call 254-471-5585.

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 Association holds their monthly meeting on the second Thursday of each month. A short program is presented. The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. at the Salvation Army Bldg. cor. MLK & Strickland in Orange. Pot luck supper at 6 p.m. Visit http://txmg.org/orange for more information.

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 Sharon Smith at 817-894-7700.

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 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.

Bryan: The Brazos County Master Gardeners, a program of Texas AgriLife Extension, meet the fourth Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. at the Brazos Center, 3232 Briarcrest Drive, Bryan. There is a public gardening program at each meeting and pertinent information may be found at brazosmg.com or 979-823-0129.

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 Greater Dallas Organic Garden Club meets at 7:00 p.m. on the fourth Thurday of each month at the REI, 4515 LBJ Freeway, Dallas. For more information, call 214-824-2448 or visit www.gdogc.org.

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


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Texas Gardener’s Seeds is published weekly. © Suntex Communications, Inc. 2012. 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