June 27, 2012

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With careful attention to the weather, it is possible to comply with Stage II drought restrictions and still have a nice lawn, said Jacob Johnson, conservation program specialist with Austin Water Utility. This southwest Austin homeowner has been watering only once a week. Evaportransporation data now available online should make complying with restrictions and maintain a landscape much easier, he said. (Photo courtesy of Austin Water Utility)

Austin irrigation calculation website back online

By Robert Burns
Texas AgriLife Extension Service

Austin-area homeowners and renters could save hundreds of dollars on their monthly water bills and still maintain a healthy landscape by taking advantage of a “PET” project at the Morris Williams golf course in north central Austin, according to Texas AgriLife Extension Service experts.

PET stands for potential evapotransporation, and relates to how much moisture turf and other landscape plants need depending upon daily temperatures, sunlight, humidity, wind and other factors, said Dr. Guy Fipps, AgriLife Extension irrigation engineer, College Station.

Fipps and his AgriLife Extension associates recently aided the Austin Water Utility in getting a scientific-grade weather station back online at the golf course after a three-year hiatus.

“It’s back online just in time for the summer irrigation season,” Fipps said.

The weather station’s data is uploaded to AgriLife Extension’s TexasET Network website at http://texaset.tamu.edu/. Software routines on the website do most of the hard number crunching to make the data usable without requiring math skills, according to Fipps.

By going to the website, those who irrigate home landscapes can find specific recommendations — not just for the water requirement under given conditions, but the site will also calculate the run time of a sprinkler system.

“In fact, users can create a profile on the website and have their irrigation recommendations automatically emailed to them,” Fipps said.

The homeowner will need to know a few basic facts, such as weekly rainfall, if any, and the inches of water per hour his or her sprinkler system applies, he said.

The website also has calculation routines designed for managers of professional turf landscapes such as golf courses and growers of commercial crops, he said.

Jacob Johnson, conservation program specialist with Austin Water Utility, said that with the city’s tiered billing system, being able to put on just the needed amount of water needed can result in big savings for customers. The tiers are for every 1,000 gallons above the base usage.

“At the end of the month, if you are in these upper price tiers (above 25,000 gallons), every thousand gallons you take off your water bill is $12.19 less on your monthly water bill,” he said.

In terms of irrigation, 1,000 gallons isn’t a lot of water, considering a homeowner’s nightly irrigation cycle can consume three or four thousand gallons, Johnson said.

“It happens often, but it isn’t ubiquitous among all our customers,” he said.

But if they can curtail irrigation duration time and possibly eliminate a watering or two a month, it’s easy to save $50 to $100 a month, Johnson said.

“Just by such scheduling alone, we work with customers who can save $200 to $300 a month,” he said. “It can add up over the course of a year.”

This is especially true if seasonal scheduling is done, he said. If people who look at PET-based turf coefficients over wintertime in Central Texas, they find the need for irrigation is outweighed usually by rainfall, Johnson said.

A PET-based watering system also works well with water use restrictions, Johnson noted.

The Austin area has been in Stage II water restrictions since Sept. 6, which allows watering with an irrigation system or a hose only one day a week. A violation is a class C misdemeanor, making the homeowner subject to a $475 fine for a single violation, according to the Austin Water department website at http://www.waterwiseaustin.org.



"Fireworks" is a new globe amaranth (Gomphrena globosa) variety that showed off its heat and drought tolerance in trials at the Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center in 2011. All older gomphrena varieties and some new ones were named Texas Superstars for 2012. (Texas AgriLife Research photo by Robert Burns)
New Texas Superstar kept blooming through 2011's blistering days

By Robert Burns
Texas AgriLife Extension Service

The summer of 2011, with its record-setting high temperatures, proved just how heat tolerant globe amaranth, a new Texas Superstar, actually is, said a Texas AgriLife Research horticulturist.

Globe amaranth (Gomphrena globosa), also known as bachelor buttons, are a garden mainstay that has received renewed attention from industrious plant breeders, said Dr. Brent Pemberton, AgriLife Research horticulturist and chair of the Texas Superstar executive board. As a result of that attention, there is a “broader color pallet,” various heights and other qualities.

“The new varieties were developed at a really important time because we recently experienced a lot of record heat and drought, and this plant is tolerant to that,” he said. “Now we not only have more colors but varieties of gomphrena that are of different heights.

Texas Superstar plants undergo extensive tests at Overton, Lubbock, San Antonio and College Station by AgriLife Research and Texas AgriLife Extension Service horticulturists, Pemberton said.

To be designated a Superstar, the plant must not just be beautiful but also perform well for consumers and growers throughout Texas. Superstars must also be easy to propagate, which should ensure the plants are not only widely available throughout Texas but also are reasonably priced.

It’s always been known that globe amaranths were very heat tolerant, but that knowledge was largely anecdotal from gardeners observing the plant’s behavior in gardens, Pemberton said. “Now there’s science-based proof based on performance tests during the 2011 heat wave.”

Pemberton started testing bedding plants and ornamentals in 1994 under East Texas conditions with about 100 entries. By 2011, the number of entries had grown to more than 400, and there were 17 globe amaranth varieties among them, he said.

“They were watered, but there are a lot of things that just didn’t make it through despite getting some supplemental water,” Pemberton said. “There are a lot of things that just didn’t make it through the heat but these plants did very well.”

The new varieties are now available ranging in height from 6 inches to 4 feet, and rich purples and pinks have been added to the flower colors that were historically limited to light purple or white.

“Hybridization and selection in the closely related Rio Grande globe amaranth (Gomphrena haageana), a Texas native, has added strawberry red to orange flowers to the mix,” Pemberton wrote in the Superstar board’s official description.

“The button, cylindrical cones, or sparkler-shaped flowers offer season-long color from late spring to frost. Individual flower clusters also have a long duration of effectiveness as it is the straw textured colored bracts that constitute the showy portions of the flowers, lasting long after the tiny reproductive portions of the flowers have senesced,” Pemberton said.

Pemberton also noted that small “seed-feeding birds find the tiny amaranth seeds irresistible and are attracted to the plants in small flocks.”


Gardening tips

Now is the time to evaluate those spring vegetable crops like squash and green beans. If they are going downhill fast, it is best to remove them from the garden and plant heat-tolerant crops like okra or southern peas. If you decide not to replant, be sure to cover the ground with a thick layer of mulch to keep weeds from taking over.

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 iconic, evergreen magnolia tree is not only the emblem of the Southern Garden History Society but the state flower of both Louisiana and Mississippi. According to Heirloom Gardening in the South by William C. Welch and Greg Grant, this stateliest of the evergreen trees is native from Texas to North Carolina and can reach an immense size (up to one hundred feet!) on deep soils in the wild.


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. 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, 1800 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.

Cleburne: Fun with Pollinators Junior Master Gardener/Naturalist Summer Workshops will be held from 9 a.m. until 10 a.m., Saturday, July 7 at The Chisholm Trail Outdoor Museum, 2500 S. Hwy 67, Cleburne. Bees are not just for buzzing. Explore the world of bees. Make & Take real Beeswax Candles. Geared for kids 7 to 11, those under 7 must attend with adult. $5.00 registration fee. Seating is limited. Please call Pat Kriener to register 817-793-4625 or wildwoodc@yahoo.com.

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.

Austin: Are the bugs enjoying your garden more than you do? On July 9, learn how to combat those critters safely and organically from Trisha Shirey. Shirey has managed pest problems at Lake Austin Spa Resort with safe and effective natural pest control for almost 30 years. She is an organic gardener, chef, author, speaker, garden designer, and a guest host of the popular "Gardening Naturally" radio how on KLBJ-AM. The Austin Organic Gardeners Club meets at Austin Area Garden Center, 2220 Barton Springs Rd., in Zilker Botanical Gardens. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for the opportunity to meet and mingle with local gardeners; club business begins at 7 p.m., followed by our guest speaker's presentation. For more information, visit www.austinorganicgardeners.org.

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.

San Antonio: The San Antonio Herb Society invites members and guests to hear Worm Wrangler Cassandra Truax, head of Wormilicious, talk about worm composting, Thursday, July 12 at 6:30 p.m., San Antonio Garden Center, 3310 N. New Braunfels. For more information, visit www.sanantonioherbs.org. Free and open to the public.

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.

Seguin: Applications are now being accepted for Guadalupe Master Gardener classes starting August 15 and continuing through December 5. Generally, classes will be held on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in Seguin. Interested individuals are invited to attend a free informational meeting to discuss the application procedure and requirements at 6 p.m. on Thursday, July 19, at the Master Gardeners-AgriLife Extension Office, 230 East Live Oak Street, Seguin. Following will be a free, one-hour presentation on Keeping Your Trees Alive by Mr. Jim Johnson, of the Texas Forest Service. For more information, call Jose Contreras at 830-401-0800 or email him at elmerojose@gmail.com.

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.

Angleton: The Brazoria County Master Gardeners meet at 11 a.m. on the second Friday of each month at the Brazoria County Extension Office, 21017 County Road 171, Angleton. There is a general business meeting followed by a brief educational program each month. For further information call 979-864-1558, ext.110.

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 community room behind the Greater Texas Federal Credit Union,1300 N. Bell, Cedar Park, unless there is special event planned. Following a program and short business meeting, we share a pot-luck luncheon. To confirm the meeting place and time, please call president Cathy Clark-Ramsey at 512-963-4698 or email info@leandergc.org

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

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)

Call 1-800-727-9020 or visit us online at www.texasgardener.com to order your copy today!

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