June 13, 2012

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Low-maintenance flowers, foliage mean less work, more play

Tesselaar Plants
Cornell University

The desire for low-maintenance landscapes just keeps growing, according the latest gardening and landscaping surveys. At the same time, Americans’ love for outdoor amenities like fire pits, grills, dining areas and seating shows no signs of waning.

So combining the two should mean less work and more play, right? Here, experts suggest fuss-free flowers and foliage for outdoor living.

“Whether you’re relaxing during a private moment in your personal sanctuary or are hosting a dinner party, you don’t want to come out to a tired, ailing landscape,” says Anthony Tesselaar, cofounder and president of Tesselaar Plants. “The idea is to go for something that’s easy-care, with season-long interest, so you never have to worry about what’s outside your door.”

“We all lead such busy lives,” agrees California landscaper and North Coast Gardening blogger Genevieve Schmidt. “You don’t want an outdoor living space where you’re looking at more chores or another to-do list.”

Not-so-needy blooms

If you’re looking for less watering, spraying and pruning, flowers aren’t out. Schmidt regularly uses drought-tolerant, blooming perennials like catmint, hardy cranesbill geraniums, ornamental sages, Russian sage, lavender, lion’s tail, euphorbia, sunrose, artemisia and phlomis.

Landscape roses are another favorite of Schmidt’s. Often called “desert roses” in the southwest, these shiny-leaved, colorful bloom factories can be a great choice for low-maintenance, season-long color in beds or containers.

When planted en masse, carpet roses (which spread more horizontally than vertically and become covered with a blanket of blooms) are also a great way to quickly fill in a large bed while turning it into a more low-maintenance, sustainable landscape.

The Flower Carpet range of roses, notes Tesselaar, won high marks in the Dallas Arboretum’s famous plant trials in extreme heat. The series has also won the most awards for disease-resistance; most notably, Germany's coveted All Deutschland Rose (ADR) designation, the world's top honor for disease-resistant roses. “And if you want roses in containers, which succumb to drought even quicker, Flower Carpet's Next Generation line offers even better heat and humidity tolerance.”

Another Tesselaar plant that did well in the Dallas Arboretum trials was the Storm series of agapanthus (lily of the Nile). Say Tesselaar: “It offers up to three flushes of blooms a season with full clusters of strappy foliage in between for season-long interest.” Jimmy Turner, Senior Director of Gardens for the Dallas Arboretum, says it’s good for mass planting because of its sturdy, multiple flower stalks, uniform height and multiple flushes of blooms, each lasting six to seven weeks. But, Tesselaar notes: “It’s really a head-turner when it's by itself in a pot."

Schmidt also recommends native and adapted plants (those that naturally grow or thrive in your area without using a lot of resources, respectively): “Native plants are especially nice for outdoor leisure areas, because you’re inviting in the local cycles of wildlife and a balanced local ecosystem, which means wonderful extras like singing birds, the sight of butterflies and nature’s own methods of pest and disease management.”

There’s a native plant society for almost every state, she notes, and you can go to your state’s page to learn more about native plants in your area.

Fuss-free foliage

Low-maintenance foliage can also soften and add character to outdoor living spaces.

“Going without flowers doesn’t mean going without color,” says Tesselaar. The colorfully foliaged Tropicanna cannas, which can handle wet feet, can be potted and set right into your favorite water features. And the dark-red, strap-like foliage of Festival Burgundy cordyline is so extremely drought tolerant and pest resistant, you’ll wonder if it’s real. Its basal-branching, low-growing structure allows for fuller, more compact clumps and a gentle fountain effect – perfect for containers or color blocking around your favorite outdoor living spots.

Festival, which is only hardy in Zones 7 or warmer, also overwinters beautifully as a houseplant, says Tesselaar:  “So you can simply bring the patio pot in or out depending on the season, or replant it in the landscape year after year.”

Schmidt loves the bright-red color of Japanese blood grass, along with other low-maintenance ornamental grasses like maiden grass (miscanthus — although it’s considered invasive in some areas of the country), blue oatgrass, leatherleaf sedge, fountain grass and noninvasive dwarf or clumping bamboo. Favorites in other parts of the country include ‘Elijah Blue’ fescue, pampas grass (also invasive in some areas), Northern sea oats, blue panic grass, muhly grass (also extremely salt tolerant and prevents sand dune erosion) and little bluestem (hardy to Zone 3).

Then there are Schmidt’s other foliage faves: phormiums (New Zealand flax), nassella (needlegrass) and Mexican feathergrass. Succulents, she adds, have exploded in popularity — in containers, hanging baskets and even as wall art.

Of course, the plants themselves aren’t the only part of a low-maintenance landscape, say Schmidt and Tesselaar. There are also tips and tricks like mulching, grouping together plants with similar needs, efficient irrigation, reducing your lawn and maintaining healthy soil. But low-maintenance plants are a key ingredient.

“Some work in the garden is great if you enjoy it, but we all have tasks we’d rather not do,” says Schmidt. “I know I’d rather be doing artful pruning, potting up containers and deadheading instead of weeding or mowing. The idea is to reduce or eliminate what feels like work so you’re free to focus on what really matters to you.”


AgriLife Extension to present citrus growing, greening program in San Antonio

By Paul Schattenberg
Texas AgriLife Extension Service

The Texas AgriLife Extension Service for Bexar County will present a two-part program on growing techniques for citrus and the citrus greening disease during the evenings of June 19 and 20.

Both program sessions of “What Is Citrus Greening and Basic Growing Techniques of Citrus in South Texas” will take place from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. in Suite 208 of the AgriLife Extension office for Bexar County, located at 3355 Cherry Ridge Drive in San Antonio.

The June 19 session will focus on simple citrus selection and growing techniques, along with identifying and controlling the Asian citrus psyllid, and will provide a short introduction on citrus greening.

The June 20 session will focus specifically on the citrus greening disease, which has recently been confirmed in South Texas.

“A lot of home gardeners are interested in growing citrus in their landscapes, but there are a number of questions and concerns about growing and caring for citrus trees,” said David Rodriguez, AgriLife Extension agent for horticulture in Bexar County. “For example, not all citrus grows well in South Central Texas. Citrus species are typically tropical or subtropical, so those in areas prone to freezing would do well to choose a more cold-tolerant citrus species.”

In Texas, both home gardeners and the citrus industry have had concerns over confirmed instances of citrus greening in the Lower Rio Grande Valley.

“Citrus greening, also known as Huanglongbing, is a bacterial disease primarily spread by two species of psyllid insects, one of which is the Asian citrus pysllid,” said Molly Keck, entomologist and AgriLife Extension integrated pest management specialist for Bexar County. “While the bacteria itself is not harmful to humans, citrus greening has damaged citrus trees in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and South America. It also poses a serious risk to the U.S. citrus industry, including for Florida and South Texas citrus producers.”

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, trees infected with the disease often produce misshapen and bitter fruit, and citrus greening affects both the quantity and quality of the fruit produced. There is no cure for citrus greening, and once a tree is infected, the only effective means of control is its complete removal.

Speaking on citrus greening will be Frank Gibbons III, who has a doctorate in horticulture from Iowa State University. He is a Bexar County Master Gardener, member of the American Horticultural Therapy Association, registered horticultural therapist, and an author and speaker.

“I’ve done some surveying of citrus in Bexar County and have been participating with David Rodriguez toward specializing in citrus horticulture,” Gibbons said. “During the June 20 presentation, I’ll be discussing what to look for in your own citrus trees, what the Asian psyllid looks like and giving some of the symptoms trees with citrus greening may manifest.”

Attendees are encouraged to bring samples from any citrus trees they may have for help in identifying any plant-maintenance or disease-related problems.

“The sample should be fresh and representative of the problem as it appears and affects the tree,” Rodriguez said. “A small stem with few leaves attached placed in a sealed plastic bag should be fine.”

The cost of the program is $12 for both sessions and payment is required in advance. Checks should be made out to Bexar County Master Gardeners and sent to Texas AgriLife Extension Service, Attn: Angel Torres, 3355 Cherry Ridge Drive, Suite 212, San Antonio, Texas 78230.

Attendees should RSVP to Torres by June 15 at 210-467-6575 or matorres@ag.tamu.edu.


The compost heap
Killing trees

"Does anyone have a suggestion for something to do to self-planted trees along fence lines, etc.?" asks Brian Graham. "I can dig them out of flower beds, etc. but sometimes along fence lines the best you can do is cut them back. That works for awhile, but they come back. Is there some safe treatment that can be put on them — leaves or stump — that will kill them off? Round-up works on grass, etc. but I have never found it good on trees and shrubs. A friend whose family came out of the hills of West Virginia says their home remedy was to spread a small circle of lye on the ground around the base of the plant. Any help would be appreciated."

You don’t say what kind of trees are on your fence row.  Cedar can simply be cut down and they shouldn’t re-sprout. Mesquite and hackberry and many others, on the other hand, will re-sprout from the stump. There are several herbicides that are available for use on trees along a fence row but should not be used in the home landscape or garden. Remedy and Sendero are two that you could consider. Be sure to follow all label directions before using. — Chris S. Corby, publisher


Gardening tips

Dry, hot weather brings on spider mite infestations in vegetable crops such as tomatoes, as well as ornamentals such as butterfly bush. The best way to control these tiny red pests is to dislodge them with a strong blast of water to the underside of the leaf surface. Be sure to thoroughly blast all of the foliage on each plant for best 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 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin recently received a $74,000 renewal grant that will allow hundreds more Texans to take free workshops on identifying foreign insects and other invaders that may harm the state’s iconic landscapes before they become established.

Using a previous grant, Jessica Strickland, the center’s invasive species program coordinator, has trained 140 participants in workshops statewide with funding from the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). A workshop Saturday, June 16, at the center has more than 60 registrants already and still has openings. Houston and Rosenberg workshops will occur soon to end the initial grant. In addition, 353 volunteers have received online training this year on detecting invasive pests.


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.

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 www.sanantonioherbs.org.

Ft. Worth: Learn canning and jelly making from Tarrant County Master Gardeners from 10 a.m. until noon, Saturday, June 16, in the Lonestar Room, 5th Floor, Tarrant County Plaza Vuilding, Fort Worth. Class few is $5 and the class is limited to 30 people. To register or for more information, contact Billie Hammack at 817-884-1296 or blhammack@ag.tamu.edu.

San Antonio: William Varney of Urban Herbal in Fredericksburg will talk about creating his labyrinth as well as "Growing Herbs in Small Spaces" at the Essentials of Gardening class on Monday, June 18 at San Antonio Garden Center, 3310 N. New Braunfels, noon-3 p.m. In the second session of the monthly class, learn "Drought Survival for Trees and Shrubs" from David Vaughan, certified arborist with Etter Tree Care. Free and open to the public. No advance reservations required. Presented by Gardening Volunteers of South Texas. For more information. call 210-251-8101 or visit www.GardeningVolunteers.org.

Bryan: Brazos County Master Gardeners will present "Irrigation and Rainwater Harvesting" on June 19 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Brazos Center, Room 102, 3232 Briarcrest Drive, Bryan. For more information, visit brazosmg.com or call 979-823-0129.

Marble Falls: Dr. Deb Tolman will present “Keyhole Gardening” at the Helping Center Garden, 1315 Broadway St., Marble Falls (corner of Broadway and N Street one block south of HEB on 1431) on Wednesday, June 20. Registration starts at 8 a.m. Demonstration of construction of Keyhole Garden starts at 8:30 a.m. Program then moves across the street to Cross View Baptist Church for a presentation about her 30 years of experience with sustainable practices, Q & A, and a light lunch. Cost is $10.00 in advance by check to HLMG or $15.00 at the Garden. Mail check to: Highland Lakes Master Gardeners, 1701 E. Polk St. Suite 12, Burnet, TX 78611. Her DVD on Keyhole Gardening will be available as well as info on Master Gardeners, Helping Center, Farmers Market, and Friends of the Garden. So bring your chair and reserve a spot to learn how “Waste Can Equal Food!” Call Karen at 512-789-3955 for more information.

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.

Nacogdoches: The SFA Gardens at Stephen F. Austin State University will host the monthly Theresa and Les Reeves Lecture Series at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 21, in the Agriculture Building, Room 110, at 1924 Wilson Drive. Mike Teal, RLA will present “Highways are for More Than Getting from Here to There.” Teal is an Assistant Professor of Practice in the Texas A&M Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning. Teal’s scholarly interests focus on transportation aesthetics and maintainability of landscape development, corridor management for visual and environmental quality, water quality, and highway environments. He also owns and operates a small Landscape Architecture/Design firm based in College Station. He has a BS in Horticulture from Stephen F. Austin State University and a Master of Landscape Architecture from Texas A&M University. He has practiced as a Licensed Landscape Architect, registered with the State of Texas, since 1999. The Theresa and Les Reeves Garden Lecture Series is normally held the third Thursday of each month at the Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture’s SFA Mast Arboretum. A rare plant raffle will be held after the program. The lecture is free and open to the public, but donations to the Theresa and Les Reeves lecture series fund are always appreciated. For more information, call 936-468-1832 or e-mail grantdamon@sfasu.edu.

College Station: On June 23 "Fire Wise and Water Smart" will be presented at the Texas Forest Service, 200 Technology Way, College Station. It will address how to evaluate your landscape and prepare in case of fire threats. It is from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and requires pre-registration at brazosmg.com or 979-823-0129.

San Antonio: "Sustaining a Garden Community Workshop," including community building, fundraising, increasing membership, marketing your garden, garden signage, and communication, will be held at 9 a.m., June 23, at Olmos Park Terrance Community Garden, San Antonio. To register, visit www.greensatx.org/upcoming-events/register-for-a-workshop. For more information, call 210-222-8430.

Bryan: "Fruits and Vegetables in Prevention of Cancer: Scientific Oddity or Clinical Reality?" by Dr. Bhimanagouda Patil will be presented on June 26 from 7-8 PM. It is free and open to the public at the Brazos Center Room 102, 3232 Briarcrest Drive, Bryan. For more information, visit brazosmg.com or call 979-823-0129.

Buchanan Dam: Join Master Gardener Sheryl Yantis on Tuesday, June 26, for a very enjoyable and informative program on "Gardening For Wildlife - Birds, Bees, Butterflies, etc." presented by the Highland Lakes Master Gardener Green Thumb programs. Learn interesting things about our desirable backyard visitors and how to attract them to your yard. The program is part of the Lakeshore Library Speaker Series and is at 2:30 p.m. You must call the library to reserve your seat for this free program at (325) 379-1174.

Ft. Worth: Learn about cactus gardens from Tarrant County Master Gardeners from 10 a.m. until noon, Thursday, June 28, in Building 2300, Room 2351, Circle Drive at the Resource Connection, 1100 Circle Drive, Fort Worth, located off Campus Drive, north from I-20. Class few is $5 and the class is limited to 30 people. To register or for more information, contact Billie Hammack at 817-884-1296 or blhammack@ag.tamu.edu.

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 http://travis-tx.tamu.edu/horticulture/ 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. www.tcmastergardeners.org. For information, call 512-854-9600.

Ft. Worth: Learn to make a Butterfly Puddle from Tarrant County Master Gardeners from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m., Saturday, June 30, at the TCMGA Community and Demonstration Garden at the Resource Connection, 1100 Circle Drive, Fort Worth, located off Campus Drive, north from I-20. Class few is $20 and the make-and-take class is limited to 20 people. To register or for more information, contact Billie Hammack at 817-884-1296 or blhammack@ag.tamu.edu.

Houston: The Harris County Master Gardeners at Precinct 2 will host an Open Garden Day from 8:30 a.m. until 11 a.m., Monday, July 2, at the Genoa Friendship Garden, 1202 Genoa Red Bluff, Houston. Tour the working and demonstration gardens. Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer questions and offer gardening lessons to children. This event is free and open to the public.

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.

Seabrook: Master Gardener Jean Fefer will lecture on "Community Gardening" at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, July 10, 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: "A Lot in Common," a movie in the garden, will be shown at dusk., July 12, at the Alamo Heights Community Garden, San Antonio. To register, visit www.greensatx.org/upcoming-events/register-for-a-workshop. For more information, call 210-222-8430.

Austin: “Identifying Good and Bad Bugs” will be presented from 10 a.m. until noon, Saturday, July 14, at the Austin Garden Center at Zilker Botanical Garden, 2220 Barton Springs Rd., Austin. Wizzie Brown, integrated pest management specialist for AgriLife Extension in Texas, will lecture about how to manage pests in your yard through IPM. IPM is an environmentally responsible and minimal use of chemicals that may also kill beneficial insects, harm pets or possibly enter the water table. She will teach how to identify good bugs vs. bag bugs and the thoughtful, careful use of pesticides for control in our gardens and landscapes. This free class doesn’t require a reservation but if you want to ensure a seat, sign up online at http://travis-tx.tamu.edu/horticulture/. Any empty reserved seats are open seating at 9:50 a.m. Please note, the Zilker Park entrance fee is $2 per adult and $1 per child or senior. This seminar is presented by the Travis County Master Gardeners, a volunteer arm of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service in Travis County, www.tcmastergardeners.org. For information, call 512-854-9600.

Houston: The Harris County Master Gardeners at Precinct 2 will host an Open Garden Day from 8:30 a.m. until 11 a.m., Monday, July 16, at the Genoa Friendship Garden, 1202 Genoa Red Bluff, Houston. Tour the working and demonstration gardens. Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer questions and offer gardening lessons to children. This event is free and open to the public.

Seabrook: Master Gardener Jean Fefer will lecture on "Plants of the Bible" at 10 a.m., Wednesday, July 18, 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: “How to Plan and Install Home Drip Irrigation” will be presented from 10 a.m. until noon, Thursday, July 19, at the Travis County AgriLife Extension Office, 1600 B Smith Rd., Austin. Conserve water and reduce water stress to potted plants, landscaping or vegetable garden by using a drip irrigation system. Learn about the two most common drip systems available and how to utilize one or the other or combination of the systems. Discover how to test the water pressure to determine the length of the run. Gain knowledge by watching how the pieces are assembled. Take away the knowledge necessary to create your own system. 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, www.tcmastergardeners.org. For information, call 512-854-9600.

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.

Nacogdoches: An "Estate Planning and Taxation Workshop," designed for forest landowners, consulting foresters, accountants, attorneys, and others who work with forest landowners in matters pertaining to estate planning and timber taxes, will be presented by Dr. Robert Tufts, an attorney and associate professor in the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences at Auburn University, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., Friday, August 10 in Room 117, Arthur Temple College of Forestry & Agriculture at Stephen F. Austin State University, East College at Raguet Street, Nacogdoches. Registration, which includes lunch and workbook: $35. For additional information, call the Texas Forestry Association at 936-632-8733.

Austin: “Planting the Fall Vegetable Garden” will be presented from 10 a.m. until noon, Thursday, August 16, at the Travis County AgriLife Extension Office, 1600 B Smith Rd., Austin. In spite of the warm temperatures, it is time to prepare for the fall vegetable garden. Discover which warm-season vegetables can be replanted now and which vegetables thrive in our mild winter temperatures. Learn the basics of soil preparation, how to plant seeds and transplants. Learn the varieties recommended for this area and the ideal times for planting. Novice and experienced gardeners will learn valuable information. 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, www.tcmastergardeners.org. For information, call 512-854-9600.

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.

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

By Greg Grant

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In Greg's Garden:
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volume 24 (November/December 2004 through September/October 2005),
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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 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