May 2, 2012

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


Plant new trees and safeguard old trees

The Nature Conservancy

On April 27, millions of Americans observed Arbor Day by planting new trees. While planting trees is important to the well-being of our forests, it is just as critical to learn how to protect both new and older trees from damage by invasive insects and diseases. The death of large, mature trees due to these pests can be devastating to neighborhoods, parks, and natural areas.

When Julius Sterling Morton declared the first Arbor Day in 1872 in Nebraska, he was ahead of his time in understanding the value of trees. According to the U.S. Forest Service, a 20-year-old tree providing shade on private property can return to the homeowner an average of $102 in annual energy savings, while only costing $15 to plant and maintain. A public tree that same age, such as the ones you find on your street, returns $96 in annual energy savings, storm water runoff reduction, cleaner air, higher property values, and other benefits for every $36 spent on planting, mulching, pruning, and other care. Over its lifetime, a large tree in the U.S. Northeast, for example, will provide almost $6,000 in these benefits.

In addition to the monetary value trees provide, a poll conducted by The Nature Conservancy found that 95 percent of the public consider trees to be an important part of the character and quality of life where they live, and that 93 percent are concerned about the insects and diseases that kill trees.

“Unfortunately, tens of thousands of trees are destroyed by invasive tree-killing insects and diseases every year,” said Leigh Greenwood, Don’t Move Firewood campaign manager, The Nature Conservancy. “If everyone makes a commitment to take simple steps, like not moving firewood when they travel or camp, we can work together as a nation to save both newly planted and already existing trees from being lost from our roadsides, backyards, and natural areas.”

The dangers of exotic forest pests in North America first became evident in the late 1800s with the arrival of white pine blister rust on infested pine seedlings as well as the accidental introduction of the hardwood-loving gypsy moth. Chestnut blight soon followed, and this blight spread rapidly across the continent, killing millions of mature chestnut trees. Over the last hundred years, other introduced species of invasive insects and diseases have killed tens of millions of trees in cities, towns, and forests across the country. These tree-killing pests include Dutch elm disease, Asian longhorned beetle, emerald ash borer, thousand cankers disease, hemlock woolly adelgid, sudden oak death, Sirex woodwasp, and many others.

“Prevention by everyday citizens is the key to averting widespread devastation of urban and backyard trees as well as wild forests,” said Greenwood. “Many of these insects and diseases can only be stopped by destroying the trees that are infested — a necessary but undesirable method that is most clearly tragic when entire neighborhoods lose their precious tree cover.”

Tree protection tips

  • Buy your trees and plants from a reputable source, and purchase certified, pest-free nursery stock whenever possible.
  • Tree-killing pests can be found in a variety of wood products. Most problematic are firewood, brush, yard waste, tree debris, and re-used wood packaging material. Avoid the long-range movement of these materials to help slow the spread of pests. Buy, use, and dispose of these wood products locally.
  • If you have been camping or hiking in a forested area, clean your equipment, boots, animals, and gear before returning home so not to spread unwanted forest pests or invasive plant seeds.
  • Obtain firewood near the location where you will burn it — that means the wood was cut in a nearby forest, in the same county, or preferably within 10 miles from where you'll have your fire. Take care to respect all state and local regulations on the movement of firewood and other unprocessed wood — some areas are subject to serious fines for violations. For more information, visit http://www.dontmovefirewood.org/the-problem/state-state-information/index.html.
  • Be on the lookout for invasive pests, and if you notice an insect or tree disease you don’t recognize, take a photo or obtain a specimen of it, and compare it to Web site photos of the suspected pest. A good resource to help in identification is: http://www.dontmovefirewood.org/gallery-of-pests.
  • If you believe you have found a new outbreak of an invasive insect or disease, contact your state department of agriculture: http://www.rma.usda.gov/other/stateag.html.

The garden reader:
Two possible gifts for Mother’s Day

By William Scheick
Book Reviewer

Catherine Horwood. Women and Their Gardens: A History from the Elizabethan Era to Today. Ball Publishing (Chicago Review Press), 2010 (U.S. edition 2012). 436 pp. $26.95.

Nora J. Bellows. Noni Flowers: 40 Exquisite Knitted Flowers. Potter Craft, 2012. 176 pp. $24.99.

Weary of listening to her mother and aunt fuss over their plants, as a child Catherine Horwood thought she hated gardening. That didn’t last, though.

A time would come when Horwood would “walk with [her] mother around either of our gardens inspecting new treasures … almost as important to us as an update on her grandchildren.”

Horwood’s experience of female garden-bonding made her wonder: “Why … are women so rarely celebrated in the history of gardening?” Hence her book, dedicated to fill in this gap by featuring women who “have left a rich and rewarding legacy, from the collectors of once-rare plants … to the pioneers of design.”

Women and Their Gardens is a commendable, entertaining work of historical recovery. It introduces us to a surprising assembly of English women, including Queen Charlotte (the wife of George III), for whom Strelitzia reginae (bird of paradise) is named.

We also meet, among many others, Lady Anne Monson, whose reputation cultivated as much social interest as did her devotion to plant collecting. Apparently, there’s a limit to how much scandal can be buried in a garden.

Horwood’s book offers plenty of appealing antique illustrations, as well. Royal flower artist Clara Maria Pope, for instance, is memorialized in a “charmingly unabashed study” painted by Francis Wheatley, who would make her his third wife.

If flower painting was one instrument that has enabled women to celebrate their botanic skills, Nora Bellows’ “instruments are knitting needles” and her “medium is silk, merino, mohair, lace- and worsted-weight yarn.” Her goal in the lavishly produced Noni Flowers is to re-create examples of “botanical beauty” that once inspired her grandmother.

“I’ve sought to interpret a truth about each flower by using the architecture of actual flowers to suggest how the knitted versions” convey “a higher level of detail and realism than a single sheet pattern could possibly allow.” The basics of felting as well as the difficulty levels, essential materials and special techniques for each project are duly detailed in step-by-step directions.

Bellows’ resulting garden of knitted flowers is stunning. While each floral project offers stand-alone beauty, the author suggests further uses, including May-violet gloves, forget-me-not pillows, sunflower wraps and cherry-blossom purses.

I also thought that many of these knitted flowers would stand out brilliantly in shadowbox arrangements. For shadowboxes, my favorite choices would be angel’s tears daffodil, clematis, Japanese anemone and especially meadowfoam.

Alas, I do not knit. I’m wondering, though, whether I could somehow importune my knitting daughter — once showcased on HGTV for her winsome “sockdogs.”

In the meantime, I recommend both Noni Flowers and Women and Their Gardens as possible gifts for Mother’s Day. Perhaps Noni Flowers could be gifted with a subtle hint about your die-for project in the book.


New tax code changes give beekeepers a break

By Paul Schattenberg
Texas AgriLife Extension Service

The Texas AgriLife Extension Service in Bexar County will host a Beekeeping Basics program from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. on May 18 in Suite 208 of its offices at Conroy Square, 3355 Cherry Ridge Drive, San Antonio.

The program is presented by AgriLife Extension, the Bexar County Master Gardeners and beekeepers Mike and Travis Cole, members of the Alamo Area Beekeepers Association.

“This is for anyone interested in learning about beekeeping and how to begin a beehive as a hobby or for environmental stewardship or enhancing plant pollination,” said Molly Keck, AgriLife Extension entomologist in Bexar County and program coordinator.

Keck said the program is targeted at first-time or novice beekeepers and will address topics such as basic bee biology, beekeeping laws and regulations, and bee viruses and diseases.

“Bees are extremely important for agriculture and horticulture due to their role in pollination,” said David Rodriguez, AgriLife Extension agent for horticulture in Bexar County, one of the program presenters. “Bee populations throughout the U.S. have been steadily declining, and this will continue to have a negative impact on both agricultural and green industries.”

Rodriguez said he hopes the program will build interest in beekeeping and inspire people to start their own hive or colony to help rebuild the Texas bee population.

The state’s tax code was recently amended to include “the use of land to raise or keep bees for pollination or for the production of human food or other tangible products having a commercial value,” provided that the land used is not less than five or more than 20 acres, said Bryan Davis, AgriLife Extension agent for agriculture and natural resources in Bexar County.

“The change in the tax code defining beekeeping as an agricultural-use enterprise in Texas open-space land appraisals has generated a lot of interest,” Davis said. “This should provide an additional incentive to people interested in beekeeping who have that amount of land and intend to keep bees for one or both of the purposes required.”

“We’ve got about five hives right now and have had as many as eight,” said Mike Cole, a program presenter and 15-plus-year member of the Alamo Area Beekeepers Association. Cole’s wife Patrice and son Travis are also avid beekeepers.

“It’s mainly a hobby, but we also collect and eat our own honey and share it with others,” he said. “All of us have a passion for beekeeping.”

Cole said he would bring bee frames and beekeeping equipment to the program and demonstrate how to extract honey.

“I’ll also be letting people know about local, state and national beekeeper associations as a source of information and guidance for anyone interested in getting started,” he said.

As an optional part of the program, a field trip on the morning of May 19 will be offered for participants interested in viewing some area beekeepers’ hives.

“A bee veil may be required for this portion of the program, and we also recommend those participating wear long pants and a lightweight long-sleeve shirt,” Keck said.

Keck added that program space is limited and open only to the first 30 paid registrants, and registration forms may be obtained from the AgriLife Extension office in the Conroy Square office complex on the city’s northwest side.

The program cost is $50, and includes snacks and lunch. Checks should be made payable to Bexar County Master Gardeners, with checks and completed registration forms mailed to: Texas AgriLife Extension Service, Attn: Molly Keck, 3355 Cherry Ridge Drive, Suite 212, San Antonio, Texas 78230.

For more information, contact Keck at 210-467-6575 or mekeck@ag.tamu.edu.


Tatume squash

Folks who read the article by Jay White in the May/June 2012 issue of Texas Gardener who want a source for this interesting and easy-to-grow squash from Mexico, can order a packet of seed from Sustainable Seed Co. at http://sustainableseedco.com/Tatume-Squash-Seed.html  for $1.99.


Attention tomato-loving Texas gardeners

Do you have a favorite, no-fail, wouldn’t-have-a-garden-without-it tomato variety? Texas Gardener wants to know and we will publish the top vote-getters in the January/February 2013 issue.

Please send us your name, along with your responses and favorite tomato photos, to info@texasgardener.com or mail to us at Tomato Survey, PO Box 9005, Waco, TX 76714. Please send photos as JPG or TIFF files if sending as e-mail attachments or color prints if sending by mail. Be sure to include your town or region in Texas. Deadline for inclusion in the survey is August 31, 2012.

What is your all-around favorite tomato and why?

Which variety is most productive?

Which variety has the best flavor?

What is your favorite heirloom?

What is your favorite cherry?

What is your favorite slicer?

Which variety has shown the best disease- and insect-resistance?

Submitted by:

Email address:

City:


The compost heap
Sweet potatoes

"I planted sweet potatoes in my garden a few years ago and had a very good harvest," writes Jerry Smith. "Since that year I have been totally unsuccessful because of sweet potato weevils. I have tried all the organic approaches including moving to a different area of my garden, mulching with cedar chips, and ordering some very expensive nematodes that were supposed to eliminate the potato weevils in the soil. None of these have worked. I normally try to grow organically but am open to use of poisons when necessary. What can I do to be able to grow sweet potatoes when I live in an area that has sweet potato weevils?"

Sweet potatoes have very few pests but the sweet potato weevil is one of them and it can be devastating. Be sure to purchase only weevil-free slips and practice good sanitation by picking up and discarding spent vines and infected roots. You may want to try growing sweet potatoes in large containers but be sure to use purchased potting mix, not your garden soil. — Chris Corby, publisher


Gardening tips

Keep a lookout for perennial weeds such as Bermuda grass and nutsedge. They will seek out your well cared for flower beds and even push through a thick layer of mulch. Remove them by hand or apply an approved herbicide with a brush or wiper applicator before they get out of control.

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 condition where tomatoes and peppers sometimes develop a black, sunken area at the end of the fruit is called blossom end rot and is a result of a lack of calcium. However, it is not usually a result of calcium-deficient soil but rather that calcium is not being transported to the fruit effectively. To avoid this condition, be sure to keep your plants well watered and apply an organic mulch.


Upcoming garden events.

If you would like your organization’s events included in "Upcoming Garden Events" or would like to make a change to a listed event, please contact us at Garden Events. To ensure inclusion in this column, please provide complete details at least three weeks prior to the event.   

Ft. Davis: Jeff Davis County residents interested in learning how to protect themselves from wildfire are invited to a Wildfire Preparedness Seminar t at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 3, at the McDonald Observatory Fire Station, 3640 Dark Sky Drive, Fort Davis. Representatives from the Texas Forest Service will be on hand to talk about the wildfire outlook for 2012 and what residents can do to protect their home, property and family from the devastation of wildfire. Residents will be introduced to the Ready, Set, Go! personal wildfire action plan. The plan provides checklists for families to work through so there is a clear understanding of what to do when a fire breaks out. McDonald Observatory is a recognized Firewise Community USA and has taken many proactive steps to reduce the risk of loss during a wildfire, including structure hardening and creating fire breaks throughout the property. This proactive approach will be showcased and discussed during the meeting along with the efforts of other area Firewise Communities. Last year’s Rockhouse Fire — one of the largest in Texas history — threatened the observatory, burning more than 314,000 acres and destroying 41 homes in Jeff Davis and Presidio counties. Additionally, the Tejano Canyon Fire burned more than 12,000 acres near the observatory last summer. “With the scars of the Rockhouse and Tejano Canyon fires still visible from the observatory, we hope to empower residents with the appropriate tools and knowledge to take a proactive approach to upcoming wildfire seasons,” said Patrick Allen, a Wildland Urban Interface Specialist with Texas Forest Service. For more information, visit www.texasfirestorm.org and www.texasfirewise.org.

San Antonio: A Super Spring Plant Sale will be held May 3 and 4 at the Norris Convention Center entrance of the Wonderland of Americas in San Antonio. The plant sale will be introducing the New Orange Frost (a Changsha and Satsuma cross), a large selection of the Texas Superstar selections and much more. The sale is open to the public and is being held during the State Master Gardeners Conference. Also available will be several vendors featuring gardening items.

Leander: The Central Texas Roots & Fruits Faire will be held from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Saturday, May 5, at Hill Country Natives Nursery in Leander. For more information, visit www.HillCountryNatives.net.

Seguin: Let’s Talk Native is an all day seminar that will be held on Saturday, May 5, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Guadalupe County Justice Center, 307 W.. Court, Seguin. The program will include Bill Neimann from Native American Seeds discussing how to reduce your lawn’s size and use native grasses to grow a sustainable lawn — and save money; Judit Green from Texas Parks and Wildlife discussing native plants that love the shade; and Deedy Wright from Native Plant Society of Texas discussing why going native is so important today and which natives perform like champs in the sun and use little water. Registration (includes catered lunch): Individuals $38; Couples $65. Seating limited. Purchase advance tickets at AgriLife Extension, 210 E. Live Oak, Seguin, for extra door prize entry. Shop vendors selling native plants and gardening products!! For more information, call 210-363-8380 or visit https://npsot.org/GuadalupeCounty/ or www.guadalupecountymastergardeners.org.

Seabrook: Harris County Entomology Specialists Will Isbell, Dale Reid and Lisa Rawl will lecture on "Insects in Your Garden” at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 8, at The Meeting Room at Clear Lake Park (on the lakeside), 5001 NASA Parkway, Seabrook. This lecture is free and open to the public.

Denton: Denton County Master Gardener Association 2012 Spring Garden Tour will take place Saturday, May 12, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. rain or shine. Visit four beautiful personal Master Gardeners’ gardens and three bonus gardens. Tickets are $8 in advance or $10 at any garden on tour day. Children under 14 are free (no strollers please). For more information, visit www.dcmga.com.

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.

Seabrook: Bob Patterson, Southwest Fertilizers, will lecture on "Fertilizers" at 10 a.m., Wednesday, May 16, 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: “Preparing Your Landscape for Summer” will be presented from 10 a.m. until noon, Thursday, May 17, at the Travis County AgriLife Extension Office. 1600 B Smith Rd., Austin. There are numerous things to do to ensure healthier, bushier, plants with increased blooms. Learn when to fertilize which plants, which plants to pinch back and other tips from a pro. 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.

Nacogdoches: SFA Gardens will host its sixth Lone Star Regional Native Plant Conference May 18-19, on the campus of Stephen F. Austin State University in historic Nacogdoches. SFA is home to the Mast Arboretum, the Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden, the Gayla Mize Garden, and the Pineywoods Native Plant Center, all part of the Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture. In addition to great local field trips and a native plant sale, the conference will feature workshops and lectures on many timely topics including drought-tolerant ornamental plants, firewise landscaping, birding by ear, invasive species, wildscaping, native perennials, and landscape design. Join home gardeners and Master Gardeners alike to learn more about uniquely adapted native plants and various Texas ecosystems. For more information visit sfagardens.sfasu.edu or call 936-468-4404.

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.

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 guadalupecounty@npsot.org.

Jacksboro: The Jacksboro Garden Club meets at 9:30 a.m. the second Wednesday of each month (except June, July and August) at the Concerned Citizens Center, 400 East Pine Street, Jacksboro. For more information, call Melinda at 940-567-6218.

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.

Rockport: Monthly meetings of the Aransas/San Patricio Master Gardeners are held at 10 a.m. on the third Tuesday of each month at Texas AgriLife Extension Service - Aransas County Office, 892 Airport Rd., Rockport. For additional information, e-mail aransas-tx@tamu.edu or call 361-790-0103.

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.

New Braunfels: The Comal Master Gardeners meet at 6 p.m. the fourth Monday of each month at the GVTC Auditorium, 36101 FM 3159, New Braunfels. For additional information, call 830-620-3440.

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 each 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.

Houston: The Houston Chapter of the Native Prairie Association of Texas (HNPAT) meets from 7 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. the fourth Wednesday of each month at Bayland Park Community Center, 6400 Bissonnet, Houston.For more information, contact hnpat@prairies.org.

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.


Texas Fruit and Vegetable Gardening — hot off the press!

By Greg Grant

This new book incorporates Greg’s horticultural expertise along with his homespun writing style and, unlike other books on vegetable gardening, this one includes chapters on fruit, nuts and herbs along with a nice selection of family recipes.

This easy-to-follow, color-packed guide features:

  • Planting, care and harvesting information for more than 60 edibles
  • Popular vegetable selections from arugula to tomatoes
  • A variety of common and unusual fruits and herbs
  • Advice on garden planning, creating the perfect soil, watering and more! 
  • It is a must have for every serious gardener in Texas and neighboring states.

$29.79 (includes tax and shipping)

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Visa, MasterCard and Discover accepted.


Your year-round guide to Texas gardening success

Have the best garden ever with your very own copy of Texas Gardener’s 2012 Planning Guide and Calendar. Packed with tips and information on all aspects of gardening with date-specific recommendations for your area of Texas, Texas Gardener’s 2012 Planning Guide and Calendar includes plenty of space to record planting dates, harvest dates, conditions, rainfall and other important information.

  • Numerous garden tips
  • Covers vegetables, ornamentals, herbs, fruit and landscapes
  • Date-specific recommendations for your region
  • Organic, earth-friendly recommendations
  • Room to record your own garden activities

Order your copy today! While you’re at it, order a copy for your favorite aunt, your neighbor and everyone in your gardening club!

Only $12.80 (includes shipping, handling and tax) per copy.

To order using your credit card, call toll-free 1-800-727-9020 or visit us online at www.texasgardener.com.

(Discover, MasterCard and Visa accepted.)


The Texas Tomato Lover's Handbook

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

Only $26.69 for Seeds readers! Free shipping!

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

Visa, MasterCard and Discover accepted.


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

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

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

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

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


Wish you'd saved them?

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

$16.99 per CD includes tax and shipping

Order by calling 1-800-727-9020.

(Discover, MasterCard and Visa accepted.)

*Other volumes will be available soon.


Fiber row cover valuable year-round

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

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

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

(Discover, MasterCard and Visa accepted.)


Become a Texas Gardener fan on Facebook

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


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