February 22, 2012

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Drought takes toll on urban forest, millions of shade trees dead

Texas Forest Service

An estimated 5.6 million trees that once shaded homes, streets and parks in communities across Texas now are dead as a result of last year’s unrelenting drought.

The finding comes from a study conducted by Texas Forest Service urban foresters, who spent the last month surveying tree mortality in cities and towns across the state.

“This estimate is preliminary because trees are continuing to die from the drought,” said Pete Smith, Texas Forest Service staff forester and lead researcher. “This means we may be significantly undercounting the number of trees that ultimately will succumb to the drought. That number may not be known until the end of 2012, if ever.”

Much like the drought, tree mortality isn’t always uniform and can vary from one yard to another.

The study conducted by Texas Forest Service — a member of The Texas A&M University System — focuses on tree mortality in the urban forest. The trees that line your street, shade your home and give you a quiet place to relax at your local park are all considered to be part of the urban forest.

Foresters studied satellite imagery taken before and during the drought, counting both live and dead trees in randomly selected plots on both public and private land.

All cities and towns in Texas were included in the study with the exception of the Trans Pecos region, where tree mortality was determined to be a result of a February 2011 cold snap; not the drought.

Findings:

  • An estimated 5.6 million trees in urban areas were killed as a result of the drought. This figure may represent as much as 10 percent of the total number of trees that make up the urban forest.
  • Because these dead trees are in populated areas, many are a safety issue and will need to be removed. The estimated cost to remove these trees is $560 million.
  • Urban trees do more than just beautify your community. They also provide economic and environmental benefits like cutting your heating and cooling bill, cleaning the air you breathe and water you drink and boosting your property values. The estimated loss of economic and environmental benefits provided by these trees is roughly $280 million per year.


Photo courtesy Melinda Myers, LLC.

Five easy steps to a fabulous garden

By Melinda Myers
Gardening expert, TV/radio host, author & columnist

Invest a bit of time and effort into creating the best garden yet. Here are five easy steps to get your garden off to a great start and keep it looking good for years to come.

Start with a plan. It’s just like making a grocery list before you go shopping. No gardener, like a hungry shopper, can resist that bargain or special treat and for the gardener that is usually a cool new or unusual plant variety. Purchasing plants with a planting space and purpose in mind can save money and reduce long-term maintenance needs.

Select the right plant for the place and purpose. Make sure the plants can tolerate the temperature extremes, soil conditions, moisture, and sunlight in your landscape. And give those young plants room to grow and reach their full size without excess pruning on your part.

Dig in and prepare the soil before you start planting. Healthy soil is the foundation of a beautiful and productive garden. Work 2 to 4 inches of organic matter into the top 12 inches of your garden soil. It improves drainage in heavy clay soil and water holding ability of sandy and rocky soils. Add a low nitrogen slow release fertilizer, at the same time. As the microorganisms break down, the fertilizer releases the nutrients over a long period of time. Better for your plants and less work for you.

Provide proper care. A healthy plant is better looking, more resistant to insect and diseases, and requires less corrective care. Water thoroughly and only when needed. Reduce your workload, save money on your water bill, and be kind to the environment by collecting and using rainwater. And mulch the soil around plants with shredded leaves, evergreen needles, or woodchips to help conserve water, reduce weeds and improve the soil as it decomposes.

Manage pests in harmony with the environment. Despite your best efforts, insects, weeds and disease can invade the landscape. A healthy plant is better able to tolerate normal insect and disease infestations and is your best defense against these problems. Monitor and manage problems as needed and as soon as they are discovered using the most environmentally friendly methods.

And most importantly relax and have fun with your gardening efforts.

Gardening expert, TV host and author Melinda Myers has 30 years of horticulture experience and has written more than 20 gardening books, including Can’t Miss Small Space Gardening. She hosts the nationally syndicated Melinda’s Garden Moment segments which air on TV and radio stations throughout the U.S. Learn more at www.melindamyers.com.


Golf course weeds are developing resistance to the herbicide glyphosate

Weed Science Society of America

If your golf game isn’t up to par, you may be able to blame it on those tufts of weeds on the course. Annual bluegrass is a problematic winter weed on many U.S. golf courses. After years of management with the herbicide glyphosate, resistant biotypes of this weed have developed, which will make keeping a clean fairway more challenging.

A report in the current issue of the journal Weed Science focuses on a biotype of bluegrass found at the Humboldt Country Club in Humboldt, Tennessee. This course had been treated with glyphosate once each winter for nearly 20 years to kill bluegrass weeds while the course’s bermudagrass turf was dormant.

Turfgrass managers have selected glyphosate as an economic and effective choice for weed management. Other herbicides have not been used as often for weed control, and so many grasses are repeatedly treated with glyphosate. As a result, these weeds have become resistant to this herbicide.

Researchers collected samples of glyphosate-resistant bluegrass from the Tennessee golf course. They then tested this grass and samples known to still be susceptible to the herbicide. In laboratory experiments, the susceptible samples showed a higher chemical concentration than did the resistant species.

In the greenhouse, the samples were treated with six different concentrations of glyphosate. While the susceptible sample was 95 percent controlled at half the concentration that had been used on the golf course, the resistant sample was only 76 percent controlled at the highest concentration tested—eight times more than that used on the golf course.

Bluegrass is a self-pollinating species. Therefore, pollen dispersal or seed movement that would spread the resistant traits developed in this biotype is unlikely. But strategies for alternative weed control are needed to prevent new resistant biotypes from developing.


Gardening tips

Some groundcovers like Asian Jasmine were damaged by the drought. To aid recovery, cut the dead growth back with shears or a weed eater. Then apply compost tea or a water soluble fertilizer in March and again in May, since Asian Jasmine does most of its growing in April and May.

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...

Texas Mountain Laurel or Mescal Bean Sophora secundiflora is a legume, as are all sophora, and will fix nitrogen in the soil making it a great small tree for poor, thin soils with good drainage. It is noted for its lovely purple, grape-like blooms and sweet fragrance. It will freeze back in Northern parts of the state. Be careful with the seeds as they are highly poisonous.


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. 

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.

San Antonio: Gardening Volunteers of South Texas, in partnership with San Antonio Water System, is offering a “Watersaver Landscape Design School” on Saturday, February 25, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. The featured speaker is landscape designer Brian Hough, whose watersaving yards have been featured on Watersaver Landscape and Garden Conservancy tours. The workshop will also feature time for one-on-one idea consultations with experienced gardeners and presentations on drip irrigation, SAWS landscape and irrigation rebates. There will also be a talk on “12 Months of Xeriscape Color” with Dr. Jerry Parsons. Deadline to register is Monday, February 20. Cost is $25 per person, or $40 per household, and includes three different, full-color plant and landscape care guides, drip irrigation instructional CD, and other educational materials. The location is Parkhills Baptist Church, 17747 San Pedro, just south of North Loop 1604. Registration forms are available at www.GardeningVolunteers.org, or contact GVST at 210-251-8101.

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."

Austin: “All You Need to Know about Growing Tomatoes” will be presented February 26 at 2 p.m. Learn all about soil prep, raised beds, and varietal choices from experts Chris Winslow, Dwight Littleton, and Kevin Callaway. Free. It’s About Thyme Garden Center. 11726 Manchaca, Austin. For more information, call 512 280-1192 or visit www.itsaboutthyme.com.

Houston: The 3rd Semi-Annual Seed Swap Houston will be held from 1:30 p.m. until 4 p.m., Sunday, February 26 at the Marcus Garvey Liberation Garden, 5317 Martin Luther King Blvd. Free. For more information, visit www.houstonurbangardener.org.

San Antonio: Learn how to include berries and fruit trees in your home landscape at the February “Essentials of Gardening” class sponsored by Gardening Volunteers of South Texas. After the “Backyard Bounty” talk by Dr. Larry Stein, Master Rosarian Ed Bradley will discuss the impact of last year’s drought and heat on our roses. The class will be held noon-3 p.m. Monday, February 27, at San Antonio Garden Center, 3310 N. New Braunfels. Free and open to the public. $5 donation appreciated. Advance registration is not required. For more information, contact GVST at 210-251-8101, or visit GardeningVolunteers.org.

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.

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.

La Marque: “Minimize Tomato Stress Factors to Maximize Yields” will be presented by Sam Scarcella, Galveston County Master Gardener, from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m., Saturday, March 3, at the Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (FM 519), La Marque. Learn about various tomato funguses, diseases and environmental problems that could occur in your tomato garden, and what you can do to combat or resolve these problems. For course reservations call 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or email GALV3@wt.net.

Pasadena: Visit the Precinct 2 Spring plant sale, Saturday, March 3, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., featuring fruit trees, berries, pepper and tomato plants with an 8 a.m. presentation by Heidi Sheesley, Owner of Treesearch Farms, on the plants that are available at the sale. Children are welcome but must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Free and open to the public at Campbell Hall at the Pasadena Fairgrounds, 7600 Red Bluff Rd, Pasadena.

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.

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.

Houston: The Spring Branch African Violet Club will hold their 33rd Annual Show and Plant Sale on March 3 & 4, at the Houston Garden Center, 1500 Hermann Park Drive, Houston. The theme is “Violets & Mother Goose.” Violets of all types, such as standards, miniatures, semi-miniatures, and trailers will be available. Other Gesneriads, such as Episcias and Streps, and supplies, such as potting soil, pots, and fertilizers, will also be featured. Club members will be available to answer questions on potting, pests and propagation. On Saturday, the sale is open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. and the show from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. On Sunday, both the show and the sale are open from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Admission is free and the public is invited to attend.

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.

Austin: “How to Have a Lovely Garden… and Eat It Too” will be presented March 4 at 2 p.m. with former Austin American Statesman garden writer Renee Studebaker. Learn how to grow vegetables and herbs to add seasonal color and texture to the home landscape — and put nourishing food on the table. Free. It’s About Thyme Garden Center. 11726 Manchaca, Austin. For more information, call 512 280-1192 or visit www.itsaboutthyme.com.

San Antonio: The San Antonio Garden Center will host their monthly meeting March 7, starting with a social at 9:30 a.m. Dr. Kip Kiphart will talk about “Monarch Butterfly Migration & Attracting Butterflies to your Garden.” Dr. Kiphart is a Texas Master Naturalist and volunteer for the Monarch Larvae Monitoring project at Cibolo Nature Center. Guests and new members are welcome to all SAGC meetings on the 1st Wednesday of each month at the Garden Center located at 3310 N. New Braunfels and Funston by the Botanical Garden. Please join us if you are interested in Butterflies or want to be involved with a group that loves flowers and plants. Don’t forget the 24th annual SAGC Plant Sale on Friday & Saturday, March 30th & 31st for quality plants and unique plants from the gardens of members. For more information, visit www.sanantoniogardencenter.org.

Galveston: The 24th Annual Galveston Home and Garden Show will be presented March 10 & 11 at the San Luis Hotel, 5600 Seawall Blvd, Galveston. The Galveston County Master Gardeners will be on hand at the Galveston Home and Garden Show to assist with any of your questions pertaining to fruit, vegetables and plants. For course more information, call 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or email GALV3@wt.net.

Mineola: The Wood County Master Gardeners 2012 Spring Conference — Today's Garden-Tomorrow's Food will be held from 8:30 a.m. until noon, Saturday, March 10, at the Mineola Civic Center, 1150 Newsom, Mineola. Speakers will discuss Vegetable Gardening and Food Preservation, and there will be door prizes, raffle tickets, and refreshments. Free. For more information, call 903-473-8703, email ejswen@verizon.net, or visit www.mastergardenersofwoodcounty.org.

Rosenberg: The Fort Bend Master Gardeners will hold their Annual Spring Plant Sale on Saturday, March 10, at the Fort Bend County Fairgrounds - Barn H, 4310 Highway 36 South, Rosenberg. An overview of plants at the sale will be given at 8 a.m. The program is open to the public, no reservation required. The sale will open at 9 a.m. and will run until 1 p.m. or until sold out. For more information, call 281-341-7068 or visit www.fbmg.com.

San Antonio: "A Guide for Herbal Success," Saturday, March 10, 10 a.m., at Antique Rose Emporium, 7561 E. Evans Road, San Antonio. Cindy Meredith provides all the best information for raising herbs. Free. For additional information, call 210-651-4565 or visit www.weAREroses.com.

Austin: “Birds, Butterflies and Bees: How to Attract the Three Bs to your Garden” will be presented March 11, 2 p.m., presented by master gardener Amanda Moon. Free. It’s About Thyme Garden Center. 11726 Manchaca, Austin For more information, call 512 280-1192 or visit www.itsaboutthyme.com.

Marion: On Tuesday, March 13, Judit Green of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will present “Texas Wildscapes, Gardening for Wildlife.” This Program will center on landscaping with native plants, which support wildlife such as bees, birds, and butterflies. The Guadalupe County Chapter meets the second Tuesday of the Month at the Marion Library Meeting Room, 500 Bulldog Lane, Marion. There will be a plant/seed exchange and welcome at 6:30 p.m. followed by the Program by Judit Green at 7 p.m. It is open to the public and visitors are welcome. For more information, directions to The Marion Library or membership applications visit www.npost.org.guadalupecounty.

Seabrook: Louis Mickler, Harris County Precinct 2 Master Gardener, will provide a lecture on "Efficient Irrigation for Your Home" at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 13, at The Meeting Room at Clear Lake Park (on the lakeside), 5001 NASA Parkway, Seabrook. This lecture is free and open to the public.

Round Top: Plant Sale and Gift Shops sponsored by the Pioneer Unit of the Herb Society of America will offer many seldom found herbs and other garden plants well adapted to South Central Texas on Friday, March 16, from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. and Saturday, March 17, from 7:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. Located on the grounds of The Round Top Festival Institute at Jaster Road, just north of Round Top off Hwy 237.

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.

Houston: Tour the working and demonstration gardens maintained by the Harris County Master Gardeners at Precinct 2 from 8:30 a.m. until 11 a.m., Monday, March 19, at Genoa Friendship Garden, 1202 Genoa Red Bluff, Houston. Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer gardening questions during this free event. Children are welcome, but must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Free and open to the public.

Lufkin: Texas Gardener Contributing Editor Greg Grant will speak on “Incorporating Native Plants into Your Landscape” on Monday, March 19 at 6:30 p.m. at the Angelina Extension Office, 2201 S. Medford Drive, Lufkin. Grant, a favorite speaker of gardeners all over Texas, will keep you entertained as you learn how to successfully include native plants in your landscape design. He has developed scores of plants for Texas, including Big Momma and Pam Puryear Turk’s Cap, Gold Star Esperanza and Henry Duelberg Salvia, all natives which thrived during last year’s extreme drought. Grant is a horticulturist, author, plant developer and SFA Gardens Research Associate for Garden Outreach. The co-author of Heirloom Gardening in the South: Yesterday’s Plants for Today’s Gardens (2011) and Home Landscaping-Texas (2004), he writes for both Texas Gardener and Neil Sperry’s Garden magazines. In Greg’s Garden: A Pineywoods Perspective on Gardening, Nature and Family, a collection of his columns from Texas Gardener magazine, was recently released in a Kindle edition. Greg has degrees in floriculture and horticulture from Texas A & M University and has experience with Texas Agriculture Extension Service, Lone Star Growers, San Antonio Botanical Gardens and Mercer Arboretum. Admission is $15 and includes the lecture, informational packets, door prizes and refreshments. For more information call 634-6414.

Seabrook: Margaret Lloyd-Binham, Master Gardener and Entomology Specialist, will provide a lecture on "Insects in My Garden/Butterflies" at 10 a.m. Wednesday, March 21, at The Meeting Room at Clear Lake Park (on the lakeside), 5001 NASA Parkway, Seabrook. This lecture is free and open to the public.

Austin: “Firewise Landscaping” will be presented from 10 a.m. until noon, March 24, at the Austin Fire Department Training Center, 4800 J. Shaw Lane, Austin. The wildfires of 2011 underscore the importance of landscaping for fire safety. This informative seminar will help you understand the Wildland Urban Interface, teach you how to improve your home’s survivability should a wildfire occur and describe the benefits of early evacuation. Fire professionals from the National Fire Protection Agency, Texas Forestry Service and Texas AgriLife Extension Service will lead you through a series of visual presentations and interactive discussions to arm you with the tools you need to help protect your home and your family from wildfire. Seating is limited and reservations are required. Signup at http://travis-tx.tamu.edu/horticulture/ and click on seminar registration. Empty, reserved seats will become open seating at 9:50 a.m. 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 information, call 512-854-9600 or visit www.tcmastergardeners.org.

Bryan: The Brazos County Master Gardener-Texas AgriLife Extension Spring Plant Sale Fundraiser will be held Saturday, March 24, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. with a Preview Program at 8 a.m. at Brazos County office of Texas AgriLife Extension, 2619 Hwy 21, West, Bryan. More information is available at brazosmg.com or brazosmg@brazosmg.com or 979-823-0129.

McKinney: Collin County Master Gardeners will present their 2nd Annual Garden Show on March 24 & 25, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Saturday and from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. Sunday. The show is co-sponsored by Myers Park and Event Center in McKinney. It is a garden and horticulture related show only. It is an indoor event featuring many local vendors. Jimmy Turner from the Dallas Arboretum will speak on Saturday and Neil Sperry will speak on Sunday. There will be 31 educational presentations to help the public learn about gardening in Texas during a wonderful weekend of tours, presentation and garden shopping. For more information, visit www.ccmgatx.org/thegardenshow or call 972-547-4632.

San Antonio: San Antonio Garden Center 24th Annual Spring Plant Sale will be held from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. March 30 & 31, 3310 N. New Braunfels @ Funston by the Botanical Gardens. The Plant Sale is a major fundraising project of the San Antonio Garden Center, providing customers with a variety of popular shrubs, landscape plants, bedding plants, succulents, cacti and herbs as well as a number of unique plants. A popular part of the sale is the Donation Station where members donate plants, bulbs, seeds, etc. from their gardens. For additional information, call 210-824-9981.

Burnet: The 14th Annual Hill Country Lawn & Garden Show sponsored by the Highland Lakes Master Gardeners Association, in conjunction with the Burnet Co. AgriLife Extension Service will be held on Saturday, March 31, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Burnet Community Center, 401 E. Jackson St., Burnet. Vendors feature plants for every garden, including native plants, exotic plants, herbs, vegetables, succulents and houseplants. The latest in lawn/garden equipment and yard decorations are also available for purchase. There will be informative speakers, demonstrations, and a special children’s area. Raffle tickets will be sold for a garden-themed quilt and many other prizes. Admission is free. For additional information, contact Val Klaudt, Chairperson, at 512-588-0696 or val.klaudt@gmail.com.

Granbury: Lake Granbury Master Gardeners will sponsor a Plant Sale on Saturday, March 31, from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. at 400 Deputy Larry Miller Dr., Granbury, in the parking lot of Justice Center and Annex 1.

Huntsville: The Texas Thyme Unit of the Herb Society of America will host its first Herb Day at the Wynne Home on Saturday, March 31, from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. The event will be held on the grounds of the historic Wynne Home, 1438 Eleventh St., Huntsville. The event will feature noted garden speaker, writer, and editor Judy Barrett, who will give a talk on Roses – Herbs with a little something extra! She will also sign her books, including What Can I do With My Herbs and Myths and Truths about Growing Roses. Master Gardeners Bonney Kennedy and Glenda Marsh will also speak on using herbs to attract butterflies and hummingbirds to the garden. The event will also include an herb, camellia and rose plant sale, herbal crafts and products, bake sale, art and music, kitchen and garden vendors, demonstrations and herbal workshop and tours of the Ella Ruth Herb Garden. For more information, contact Maryann Readal at mreadal@yahoo.com.

Waxahachie: The Ellis County Master Gardeners will host their 12th Annual Lawn & Garden Expo on Saturday, March 31, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the Waxahachie Civic Center, 2000 Civic Center Lane, Waxahachie. There will be activities and door prizes throughout the day. Visit all of the 100 plus exhibitor booths focusing on lawn- and garden-related products and services. Children will love the workshops where they can make garden projects. Ellis County Master Gardeners will present workshops on herbs, perennials and vegetable gardening. There will be a huge master gardener plant sale area, as well as an information booth where specialists answer horticultural questions. Guests speakers include Steven Chamblee, Chief Horticulturist for Chandor Gardens; Steve Woodward of The Wild Bird Center in Fort Worth; and Steve Houser, President of Arborilogical Services, Inc. Tickets at the door are $5.00; children under 12 are free. Free tickets are available from our sponsors after March 1. For a list of our sponsors, as well as further information on the Expo, visit www.ecmga.com or call 972-825-5175.

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/.

Houston: The Spring Branch African Violet Club meets the second Saturday of each month, January through November, at 10:30am at the Copperfield Baptist Church, 8350 Highway 6 North, Houston. Call Karla at 281-748-8417 prior to attending to confirm meeting date and time.

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