May 23, 2012

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New 2012 National Gardening Survey shows increased lawn and garden participation and sales, but national chains now dominate market share

National Gardening Association

There is good news for the Lawn and Garden business in results of the just-released 2012 National Gardening Survey report from the National Gardening Association. Nationwide, household participation in do-it-yourself lawn and garden activities showed an increase of 3 million more households (3%) in 2011 compared with the year before, translating into an extra $688 million (2%) in retail sales of Lawn and Garden across the nation. In total U.S. households spent $29.1 billion on their lawns and gardens last year. Average annual spending on lawn and garden activities per household was flat at around $351 per year.

But a new survey question asking householders how much they spent at each type of retailer that sells lawn and garden products provided a revelation for retail operators and suppliers alike. The 2012 National Gardening Survey confirms that US households now spend more at Home Improvement Centers (30% of the total gardening retail market) and at Mass Merchants (21%) than they do at local Garden Centers and Nurseries (17%) or local Hardware Stores (14%). Many industry insiders have speculated about this shift in market “Channel” share for years and the 2012 National Gardening Survey has confirmed their suspicions. With a collective 51% share, large national chains now drive the L&G market. This market share data has not been collected before in this or any similar.

However, the national chains have their own challenge. The 18-34 year old group of householders cite their local Hardware Store as their preferred lawn and garden supplier (23% of sales) ahead of Home Centers (17% of sales) and Mass Merchants (19% of sales).

"At National Gardening Association, we're delighted to see more people doing lawn and garden activities for themselves and especially pleased to see an increase in lawn and garden sales last year after being down the previous two years," said Mike Metallo, NGA President.

For more information about the 2012 National Gardening Survey or to purchase a copy, visit

Borlaug Institute receives Program Partner of the Year

By Paul Schattenberg
Texas AgriLife Extension Service

The Norman Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture, part of the Texas A&M University System, has been presented the Program Partner of the Year Award by the Junior Master Gardener program for its work in Central America.

The award was presented during the recent 2012 Texas Master Gardener conference in San Antonio, which was attended by more than 700 Master Gardeners from throughout the state. Borlaug Institute staff members who were present to receive the award included Johanna Roman, Yanet Rodriguez, Dana Lewis and Dale Rogers. Also present was Norma Santos, a Bexar County Master Gardener who previously served as a facilitator for Junior Master Gardener training activities in Guatemala.

“We give this award annually at the Master Gardener conference and this was the 12th year it has been presented,” said Karin Wallace, Texas AgriLife Extension Service assistant with the Junior Master Gardener Program in College Station. “What made the Borlaug Institute nomination stand out for this year’s award were the number of kids and adults it reached, as well as its international scope.”

Lisa Whittlesey, AgriLife Extension program specialist and national Junior Master Gardener program coordinator in College Station, said the Borlaug Institute has been a strategic partner in helping bring the Junior Master Gardener into its international projects.

“The Borlaug Institute’s international expertise, staff and project partners have been instrumental in exporting the program to Central America and making it sustainable,” Whittlesey said.

“They have also been instrumental in looking for opportunities for exporting the Junior Master Gardener program to other countries through their ongoing and upcoming international project work.”

According to Johanna Roman, the institute’s coordinator for Latin American programs, the Borlaug Institute has been teaching Junior Master Gardener Program curricula and activities in Central America since 2007 and continues to expand the program through its current project activities.

“We love to ignite in kids a passion to learn to grow their own food and understand the importance of eating healthy fruits and vegetables through the JMG program,” Roman said. “We have been pleased with the success of the program. The number of children and teachers who have participated in our JMG programs in rural communities of Central America have exceeded our expectations.”

Roman said the first Junior Master Gardener training was delivered at an orphanage in Honduras with funding from the Borlaug Institute and a group of former Texas A&M students. Additionally, hundreds of Junior Master Gardener programs have been delivered in Guatemala with funding from the Borlaug Institute, the Texas A&M University horticulture department and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“Borlaug Institute project personnel in Central America have promoted JMG programs to help youth in impoverished communities,” she said. “As a result, numerous Mayan youth have learned about the horticultural sciences, nutrition and leadership through our use of JMG curricula and activity guides that were translated into Spanish for this purpose.”

Roman said the institute also organized student trips and trained Texas A&M and College Station-area high school students who then traveled to Guatemala to present Junior Master Gardener activities. She added that Dale Rodgers, a former Texas A&M student, has been leading dozens of Junior Master Gardener training sessions in Guatemala through train-the-trainer programs for rural school teachers and adult volunteers from international humanitarian organizations, including the Peace Corps.

Project records show the Borlaug Institute has now trained more than 300 adults and 20 Texas A&M students through its train-the-trainer workshops. Additionally, more than 3,000 children in Central America currently have participated in Junior Master Gardener programs and activities offered through the institute’s projects.

“Junior Master Gardener program activities allowed the young people participating to expand their horticultural and general scientific knowledge, plus acquire leadership and teamwork skills and develop a greater respect for the environment,” said Yanet Rodriguez, who served as an in-country training coordinator for the USDA-funded Food for Progress project led by the Borlaug Institute in Guatemala.

“One of the greatest benefits of the JMG program was that it helped the parents as well as the kids since the parents were more open to learning new things from their children,” Rodriguez said. “The kids learned about horticulture and science and then shared what they had learned with their parents.”

Rodriguez said Junior Master Gardener activities not only taught the children how to grow their own food, it also taught them how to improve their health by eating more fruits and vegetables, and having a balanced diet.

“Of course, they shared this important nutrition information with their parents too,” she said.

Rodriguez said receiving the Program Partner of the Year Award from the Junior Master Gardener organization was “fantastic” and she was glad the Borlaug Institute had been recognized for the effort and extent of its youth horticulture education outreach in Central America.

“The success and reputation of these Junior Master Gardener efforts has spread, and we’ve recently been asked to look into the possibility of bringing the program to El Salvador,” she said.

Roman said so far more than 30 Junior Master Gardener clubs have been formed in rural communities of Central America.

“These clubs help engage at-risk kids in productive activities, help kids learn useful life skills and inspire them to give back by establishing community and school gardens,” Roman said. “We feel our efforts in Central America using the Junior Master Gardener program have found fertile ground for helping grow good kids in that part of the world. It is our desire to continue promoting the Junior Master Gardener program in Latin America for many years to come, and we appreciate this special recognition by the Junior Master Gardener organization.”

For more information on the Borlaug Institute, go to

10 Tips for planting and maintaining wildflowers

By Russ Nicholson
Senior Agronomist, Pennington Seed, Inc.

Planting wildflowers can be an easy way to enhance a landscape, particularly meadows and border gardens, with a range of colors and textures. Given proper care and maintenance, wildflowers also can be relatively low maintenance. Here are 10 tips to tackle planting like a pro this season:

  • Know Your Wildflowers: Annual wildflowers live one year and grow quickly, while perennial wildflowers return each year from the same colony of roots and some may eventually build a community of flowers.
  • Plan Ahead When Planting: Annuals bloom quickly. Once planted, they will likely fade before other wildflower species. Perennials can be planted during any time of the year, best in early spring or fall, but most need a winter before blooming. When planting a mix of annuals and perennials, you should plant in the spring or fall for the annuals to bloom the first year and perennials the second year.
  • Select the Right Varieties: For optimal performance and beauty, it’s best to select varieties based on your specific climate and landscaping needs. To take the guesswork out of mix selection, Pennington introduced a new line of wildflower seed varieties designed around the unique needs of growing environments and needs, with mixes such as Hummingbird & Butterfly Garden, Southern Garden and Northeast Garden.
  • Find a Suitable Planting Bed: It’s important to choose a planting area where water does not stand after rain. This ensures seed health during the critical phases of germination and establishment.
  • Test the Soil: A soil test is used to evaluate soil condition and nutrient levels, namely pH, nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. A soil’s pH determines how well plants are able to access the nutrients they need. Homeowners can purchase a home soil test kit or have their soil tested by their local extension service. Because soil pH tends to change over time, you should test regularly, about every other year.
  • Correct pH Issues in Soil Before Planting: Depending on the results of your pH test, apply a soil amendment, such as lime or gypsum, to correct any issues in the soil. This will create a better environment for roots to grow and may improve nutrient uptake. If desired, you can also add compost to the soil to improve the overall health, or tilth, of the soil.
  • Conserve Water: You should strive for a landscape that is more water efficient, utilizes less water over time and is healthier. Along with being more resilient, plants receiving proper nutrition have healthier, larger root systems that make best use of available water. This allows your wildflowers to remain bright and colorful during periods of drought.
  • Monitor for Weeds: Frequently monitor flower beds, especially in the early stages, and keep brush away from beds to prevent weed or grass encroachment. If weeds become an issue, it’s best to spot treat with a weed control product as needed.
  • Combat Plant-Damaging Insects: The best defenses from problem insects are healthy, actively growing, well-maintained plants. Healthy plants have an enhanced ability to thrive under stress, including damage caused by insects, with no adverse, long-term effects.
  • Remember to Stop and Smell the…: In following these steps, everyone from enthusiasts to master gardeners can take more time to enjoy their beautiful wildflower gardens and landscapes each year.

Russ Nicholson is the senior agronomist for Pennington Seed, Inc., ( and a Certified Professional Agronomist (CPAg) with more than 35 years of experience.

Tool maintenance tips

Scotts Miracle-Gro

Summer starts in a little more than a month and that means it’s time to get your backyard ready for bbqs and pool parties. To ensure your garden and grass are at their best, make sure you have the right tools for working in and around the garden and lawn. Follow these easy steps from Mark Slavens, a noted Horticulture Specialist in the Southwest, to ensure your backyard looks good all summer long.

Do a tool inventory. A quick inventory of garden and lawn tools will make things easier this summer. Most tool sheds contain a shovel, hoe, trowel and hose. Lawn care can be made even easier with just a few additional items such as a spreader, a mower and a rake. There are many variations on these basic tools and numerous other options on the market like trimmers, edgers, aerators and tillers but the key is to have a few essentials on-hand and ready for use.

Clean your tools. Most garden and lawn tools have metal parts containing iron and, therefore, attract rust. Oxygen present in air and water combine with iron to create reddish looking patches on metal, known as rust. Left unchecked, rust can eventually destroy a tool — but it is easily prevented. Simply keep tools clean and dry.

After each use, tools like shovels and hoes need a quick cleaning with a stiff wire brush and rag to remove moisture and debris. Oiling or waxing the blades on garden and lawn tools is a great way to prevent future rust while keeping tools in tip-top shape. If a tool is already rusted, simply apply a small amount of mineral oil and scrub with steel wool, or consider a commercial rust remover if necessary.

Give your tools a tune-up. Lawnmowers need care each season. A properly cared for and maintained mower will last for several years. To ensure the best possible performance, treat your mower to a tune-up, oil change, and blade sharpening each spring. Spreaders also need annual maintenance to ensure peak performance. After each use, empty the leftover contents back into the bag. Finally, place the spreader on the grass and hose it down. Any metal parts may also benefit from a spray of oil to prevent rust.

Store your tools properly. Proper tool storage is very important. Remember to keep tools clean and dry — never leave tools outside, exposed to the elements. If possible, hang shovels, spades, hoes, rakes and hand tools from hooks on the wall, making tools easier to find when needed.

Texas Forest Service launches second phase of drought assessment

Texas Forest Service

Forestry crews will spend the next two months trekking across the Lone Star State counting dead trees to get a better picture of the mortality rate from the 2011 drought.

Texas Forest Service personnel will survey 700 plots of land, each specifically targeted by agency analysts who studied satellite images of tree canopy across the state.

Crews will note the number of dead trees in a 75-foot radius on each plot. They also will collect information — when available — about the prevalence of bark beetles and hypoxylon canker, two potentially-deadly health concerns for drought-stressed trees.

“We didn’t just lose trees. We lost all the social, environmental and economic benefits they provide,” said Chris Brown, a program coordinator and forester with Texas Forest Service. “Knowing the mortality rate allows us to help communities plan for reforestation.”

Last December, Texas Forest Service announced that an estimated 100 to 500 million trees had been killed by the 2011 drought. The preliminary estimate was derived by agency foresters, who canvassed local forestry professionals, gathering information from them on the drought and its effect on trees in their respective communities.

The current work makes up phase two of the agency’s drought assessment.

Crews started their assessment in East Texas earlier this month. They’re expected to conduct field surveys into July as they work their way across the state. A final report could be available as early as August.

Landowners should be aware that they may be contacted by crews seeking permission to survey plots on private property. They will be contacted using the information listed in appraisal district records — likely by phone or mail.

A third phase of the assessment includes a more scientific, longer-term study that will be completed as the agency collects data through its Forest Inventory & Analysis program. Considered a census for trees, the federally-funded program allows the agency to keep a close watch on trees — and how they’re growing and changing — across the state.

Gardening tips

"My daughter had been wanting to start her own garden for years and I have so many times told her about my easy plan to start a garden anywhere, but it requires patience," writes Janice Simonet. "I advised her to purchase several bags of organic humus in the fall and just lay them out end to end, side by side, where she would like her garden to be with consideration to the light factor in her yard. Then by the time spring approaches I advised her to open the bags, dump them right where they are and turn the humus into the soil. Well, this past fall (2011) she did just that and Voila!, she has a beautiful, flourishing vegetable garden this year (2012). She still needs to plan it a little better for the size of plants and their needs, but I think she has the bug now. I explained to her as I experienced it in my own trials, the bags kill the grass and weeds, create a moist environment, the earthworms move up in the soil and do a mammoth job of cultivation for you. Easy, schmeasy, and green. I know this may not be a new tip, but it gets me excited to share such an easy project for a garden with folks who may be novices and need to get off to a good start the first time out."

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...

Container-grown Bougainvilleas seem to bloom better if kept pot-bound and allowed to dry out between waterings. So, resist the temptation to pot them up into larger containers and don’t keep them continuously moist, and you should be rewarded with lots of brilliant summer color.

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.

Throughout Texas: Registration is already underway and ends May 26 for Texas Nature Challenge 2012. Like a family nature hike with a little Amazing Race thrown in, Texas Nature Challenge is designed to get families reconnected with nature, and each other, by encouraging them to visit as many participating parks and nature sites as they can in their region. Families complete fun, hands-on activities, or challenges, at each site, and then scrapbook about their experiences together. Participating families will have a chance to win prizes awarded in various categories. Registration is now open for regional competitions in Alamo Region/San Antonio; Bayou Region/Houston; Central Texas/Austin; and North Texas/Dallas-Ft. Worth. Additional competitions will be held later this summer in Costal Bend Region and Rio Grande Valley. For more information about Texas Nature Challenge or to register for one of the regional competitions, visit

Fort Worth: Make a cement mushroom from Tarrant County Master Gardeners (TCMGA), Saturday, May 26, 9 – 11 a.m., at the TCMGA Community and Demonstration Garden at the Resource Connection, 1100 Circle Drive, Fort Worth, located off Campus Dr, north from I-20. Class fee is $20 and the class is limited to 20 people. To register or for more information, contact Billie Hammack at 817-884-1296 or

San Antonio: The 15th annual Festival of Flowers at the Alzafar Shrine, 901 N. Loop 1604 West between US Hwy 281 N. and Blanco Road, San Antonio, will take place from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, May 26. This is an Indoor Garden Mall with more than 60 retail and non-profit vendors; seminars on growing tomatoes, designing watersaver landscapes, healthy roses and drought survival for trees and shrubs. Afternoon Organic Roundtable, City-Wide Plant Exchange, Alamo Area Horticulture Show and Contest, Floral Design Challenge, Healthy Herb Cooking and Rain Barrel demonstrations. Admission $6 for adults, children under 10 free. Free parking. For additional information, visit or call (210) 930-1100.

Tenaha: Texas Gardener Contributing Editor Greg Grant will be signing copies of Texas Fruit and Vegetable Gardening and Heirloom Gardening in the South at King’s Nursery (Hwy 84 East) in Tenaha, Saturday, May 26 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Grant is a horticulturist, conservationist, writer, and seventh generation Texan from Arcadia. He is author of Texas Fruit and Vegetable Gardening (2012, Cool Springs Press) and In Greg’s Garden: A Pineywoods Perspective on Gardening, Nature, and Family (2010, TG Press), and co-author of Heirloom Gardening in the South-Yesterday’s Plants for Today’s Gardens (2011, Texas A&M Press), Texas Home Landscaping (2004, Creative Homeowner) and The Southern Heirloom Garden (1995). He also writes the popular “In Greg’s Garden” column for Texas Gardener magazine, and serves as a part time research associate for garden outreach at Stephen F. Austin State University’s SFA Gardens in Nacogdoches. For more information, contact King’s Nursery at 936-248-3811.

Cleburne: "Hummingbirds, Jewels of the Sky" the first class in the Summer Workshop Series for Junior Master Gardeners, will be presented from 9 a.m. until 10 a.m., June 2, at The Chisholm Trail Outdoor Museum, 2500 S. Hwy. 67, Cleburne. Esplote the world of hummingbirds and have fun making a hummingbird feeder that looks like a flower. Seating is limited so register soon. Registration: $5 per child. For more information about this class or about other classes in the Summer Workshop Series, contact Pat Kriener at 817-793-4625 or

Ft. Worth: "Growing Herbs for Medicinal & Cooking" will be presented from 10 a.m. until noon, June 2, in Lonestar Room A & B at the Tarrant County Plaza Building, 200 Taylor St., Ft. Worth. Registration is $15. Advance reservations are preferred, but not required. For more information or to enroll, call 817-884-1945.

San Antonio: Martha Joyce of the Comal AgriLife Extension Service, will present "Canning and Preserving the Harvest" at 10 a.m., Saturday, June 2, at the Antique Rose Emporium, 7561 E. Evans Road, San Antonio. She will demonstrate how to keep the fresh taste of your garden bounty with this free, can-do program. For more information, call 210-651-4565 or visit

Austin: The Austin Pond Society hosts the 18th Annual Austin Pond Tour, featuring 21 sites with more than 36 ponds. This year there are 12 ponds that have never been on the tour, along with some regular favorites. There is also a night tour this year, showing off the dramatic lighting at three wonderful ponds. The tour is June 9 and 10. Tickets are $15 per person in advance, $20 the day of the tour. Visit for more details. Tickets are available on the website and at the following vendors: Hill Country Water Gardens, McIntire’s Garden Center, Shoal Creek Nursery, The Great Outdoors, Emerald Gardens, Natural Gardener, and Zilker Gardens.

La Marque: Galveston County Master Gardeners Terry Cuclis and Gene Speller will present Tomato & Pepper Evaluation & Tasting Event from 9 a.m. until 11:30 a.m., June 9, at the Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (FM 519), La Marque. Various varieties of homegrown and heirloom tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers, grown and provided by Master Gardeners, will be made available for tasting, comparing, and evaluating. This is a great event to come together to share information and knowledge about this year's season and harvest. The general public is also encouraged to bring in their own tomatoes and peppers for taste comparisons. This program is free to the public. For course reservations call 281-534-3413. Ext. 12 or email

Seabrook: Harris County Agent and Texas Gardener Contributing Editor Skip Richter will discuss "Heat Tolerant Summer Color," at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, June 12, at The Meeting Room at Clear Lake Park (on the lakeside), 5001 NASA Parkway, Seabrook. This lecture is free and open to the public.

Seabrook: Dan Cook will discuss "Ponds," at 10 a.m., Wednesday, June 20, at The Meeting Room at Clear Lake Park (on the lakeside), 5001 NASA Parkway, Seabrook. This lecture is free and open to the public.

San Antonio: Botanist, lecturer, and writer Paul Cox will discuss how to identify edible weeds in the garden at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, June 14 at the San Antonio Garden Center, 3310 N. New Braunfels, San Antonio. this lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, visit

Austin: A Garden Photography seminar will be held from 10 a.m.-noon, Saturday, June 30, at Zilker Botanical Garden, Garden Center, 2220 Barton Springs Rd., Austin. A retired expert in the field of biotechnology, Texas Gardener contributing photographer Bruce Leander concentrates now on his love of fine art nature photography — macro and landscape. His work with the Wildflower Center has produced a series of stunning plant studies which highlights the fine work being done there. He will share with us the tools and methods he recommends to get started in this fascinating aspect of horticulture. This free class doesn’t require a reservation but if you want to ensure a seat, sign up online at Please note that any empty reserved seats are open seating at 9:50 am. 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.

Ft. Worth: "Sustainability" will be presented from 10 a.m. until noon, July 7, in Lonestar Room A & B at the Tarrant County Plaza Building, 200 Taylor St., Ft. Worth. Registration is $15. Advance reservations are preferred, but not required. For more information or to enroll, call 817-884-1945.

Ft. Worth: "Fall Vegetable Garden: The Best Season in Texas" will be presented from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m., August 4, in Lonestar Room A & B at the Tarrant County Plaza Building, 200 Taylor St., Ft. Worth. Registration is $15. Advance reservations are preferred, but not required. For more information or to enroll, call 817-884-1945.

Ft. Worth: "Native & Adapted Plants" will be presented from 10 a.m. until noon, September 1, in Lonestar Room A & B at the Tarrant County Plaza Building, 200 Taylor St., Ft. Worth. Registration is $15. Advance reservations are preferred, but not required. For more information or to enroll, call 817-884-1945.

Ft. Worth: "Landscape Design" will be presented from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m., November 3, in Lonestar Room A & B at the Tarrant County Plaza Building, 200 Taylor St., Ft. Worth. Registration is $15. Advance reservations are preferred, but not required. For more information or to enroll, call 817-884-1945.

Ft. Worth: "Individual Consultations" will be available from 10 a.m. until noon, December 1, in Lonestar Room A & B at the Tarrant County Plaza Building, 200 Taylor St., Ft. Worth. Registration is $15. Advance reservations are preferred, but not required. For more information or to enroll, call 817-884-1945.


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

Wichita Falls: The Wichita County Master Gardener Association meets at 5:30 p.m. at the AgriLife Extension Office, 600 Scott Street, Wichita Falls, on the first Tuesday of each month. For more information, visit or call 940-716-8610.

Kilgore: Northeast Texas Organic Gardeners meets at 1 p.m. on the first Wednesday of each month. For more information, call Carole Ramke at 903-986-9475.

Allen: The Allen Garden Club meets at 7 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month, February through December, at the Allen Heritage Center, 100 E. Main St., Allen. For more information, visit

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

Gonzalas: Gonzales Master Gardeners Association holds their monthly meeting on the first Thursday of each month. A short program is presented. The meeting is held from noon until 1 p.m. at 1405 Conway St. (Odd Fellows Lodge). Bring a bag lunch, drinks provided. Contact AgriLife Extension Office at 830-672-8531 or e-mail for more information.

Austin: Austin Organic Gardeners meet at 7 p.m. on the second Monday of each month at the Zilker Botanical Gardens in Austin. For more information, visit

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 or contact

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

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

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

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

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

Orange: The Orange County Master Gardeners 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 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 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

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 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

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

Dallas: The 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

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

By Greg Grant

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In Greg's Garden:
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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.

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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

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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),
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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

Publisher: Chris S. Corby ● Editor: Michael Bracken

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