July 4, 2012

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


Clarification regarding use of gasoline containing ethanol

We have had several letters regarding our suggestion not to use regular gasoline containing ethanol in equipment like lawn mowers and string trimmers that are powered by small engines since the ethanol can cause damage to the engines and fuel systems. It is possible for any grade of gasoline to contain ethanol but pumps that dispense gasoline that contains ethanol must be posted with a sticker stating that it contains ethanol and how much by percentage.

Even worse, is the new E15 fuel that contains 15 percent ethanol.

The door has been opened for E15, fuel containing 15 percent ethanol, to make its way to the marketplace as early as this summer. Lawn equipment operators and their servicing dealers must remain diligent and work together in order to avoid potential equipment problems as a result.

According to the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), small engine-powered equipment is not designed to run on anything greater than E10. Improperly filling your lawn equipment with E15 could result in irreversible engine damage, in addition to exposing operators to a variety of safety risks.

The EPA has approved the first round of applications for registering ethanol use in making E15. As of April 9, there were 22 companies on the approval list. “This is the last federal hurdle before a fuel can be brought to market,” says Kris Kiser, president and CEO of the OPEI.

It’s up to you to avoid it.

Although E15 is not approved for off-road use, consumers could still mistakenly put it in their lawn equipment. A label at the pump is designed to warn consumers, but will likely prove to be largely ineffective, according to Kiser. Secondly, E15 will be less expensive than E10, encouraging today’s more price-conscious consumer to go for the E15.

“For the first time in history, the paradigm has changed,” Kiser says. “It has always been that whatever was safe to put in your car was safe to put in your equipment. Suddenly, in one fell swoop, that is no longer the case.”



“Spires of Intention” by Ellen Hoverkamp from Natural Companions.

The garden reader:
The art of gardening books

By William Scheick
Book Reviewer

Christian Ziegler. Deceptive Beauties: The World of Wild Orchids. University of Chicago Press, 2011. 184 pp. $45.00.

Ken Druse. Natural Companions: The Garden Lover’s Guide to Plant Combinations. Stewart, Tabori & Chang 2012. 256 pp. $40.00.

Many of us think of orchids as delicate plants. Orchid experts know better.

Orchids are a hardy and highly adaptive group, Christian Ziegler indicates in Deceptive Beauties. “The orchid family is exceptional, probably uniquely so, in its ecological diversity and its ability to tolerate environmental stresses of various kinds, especially the lack of nutrients and water.”

One factor in their success is bilateral symmetry. This floral design is apparently more conducive to diversification than the more prevalent radial symmetry typical of, say, sunflowers.

Another reason for orchid success can be found in its varying patterns of reproduction. Orchid pollination systems are diverse and complex, and they often work by elaborate strategies designed to deceive a variety of pollinators — hence the title of Ziegler’s book.

At present, about 25,000 orchid species in 745 genera have been identified, with 200 more species added every year. “It’s not unusual to find 50 or more different orchid species in a single tropical tree crown,” Ziegler notes.

Deceptive Beauties is much more than another good book about the loveliness and artfulness of orchids. With gorgeously rich, large-format photographs (by the author), Deceptive Beauties also celebrates the luminous art of exquisite gardening books.

So does Ken Druse’s Natural Companions, which showcases Ellen Hoverkamp’s extraordinary flatbed-scanner photographs in large format. With the artist’s permission, one of these photographs (“Spires of Intention”) appears alongside this review, albeit its small size fails to do justice to the stunning impact of her work.

Since Hoverkamp’s uniquely beautiful images (evoking 18th-century botanical paintings) surpass my ability to describe them, it is fortunate that they can be viewed online (http://www.myneighborsgarden.com/Selections-From-Natural-Companions-By-Ken-Druse-Botanical-Photographs).

A word of warning, though: there is a good chance that you will find it difficult to stop gazing at them. Everyone who has handled my copy of Natural Companions had trouble putting it down.

In a sense, Natural Companions is two books in one: a dazzling collection of frame-worthy botanical art and an excellent resource for thinking about plant combinations. “We asked gardeners to send us lists of their favorite combinations, and in many cases, we went to sample their gardens,” Druse writes.

His resulting book offers sections on companioning plants based on the seasons, color, botanic families, various themes, the spirit of place and how form follows function. Each section highlights arrangements for cut flowers as well as in-ground plantings suitable for shade, part-shade, full sun, moist conditions and dry settings.

Natural Companions and Deceptive Beauties — each book is a treasure to the mind and eye. Both amply demonstrate why hardcopy books are far from obsolete and, in fact, better than ever as a result of our current digital expertise.


Use caution during Fourth of July holiday

Texas Forest Service

With Independence Day celebrations drawing near, Texas Forest Service officials are reminding residents to exercise caution outdoors and remember that just one spark can cause a devastating wildfire.

About 90 percent of wildfires in Texas are human-caused, which means they can be prevented. As residents enjoy building a campfire, shooting off celebratory fireworks in approved areas or cooking on the grill, they’re asked to take a few safety precautions to ensure their homes and families are protected.

Texas Forest Service Wildland Urban Interface and Prevention Coordinator Justice Jones said that while drought conditions have improved for much of the state, wildfire potential still exists — especially in areas where consecutive days of hot temperatures have dried out the vegetation.

“We don’t want to discourage anyone from enjoying the holiday; we just want to remind people that Texas is still prone to wildfire danger,” Jones said. “We’re still seeing almost daily local activity in some parts of the state.”

There are several things you can do to help prevent wildfires:

  • Check for and obey burn bans and fireworks restrictions.
  • If outdoor burning is allowed, create a firebreak (down to bare dirt) around an outdoor fire before igniting the materials to be burned.
  • Keep water nearby just in case a fire starts. It doesn’t take much of a spark or burning ember to ignite dry, fine-textured fuels like grass and weeds.
  • Read and follow label instructions on how to properly discharge fireworks.
  • Only use fireworks with close adult supervision.
  • Use fireworks only in areas clear of dead, dry grass and weeds.
  • Avoid using fireworks, particularly aerial varieties, around buildings. Winds can carry hot fireworks onto roofs where leaves or other flammable debris may have accumulated.

Burn bans and fireworks restrictions are determined by county government. Texas Forest Service does not take a position on the use of fireworks nor does the agency determine, set or lift any restrictions on fireworks.


Texas Forest Service honored for outstanding contributions to wildland firefighting

Texas Forest Service

Texas Forest Service recently received the Pulaski Award, a national honor for outstanding service in wildland firefighting.

The award, commending the agency for its response during the 2011 wildfire season, is presented annually by the National Interagency Fire Center. It was announced at the Southern Group of State Foresters annual conference in Louisville, Ky.

The coveted 30-inch bronze statue is named after U.S. Forest Service Ranger Ed Pulaski, who led a crew to safety during the Great Fire of 1910. First presented in 1998, this is the first time the Pulaski Award has come to Texas. It will stay with Texas Forest Service for one year then will be shipped to the next recipient.

Texas Forest Service Associate Director Mark Stanford said the recognition is an honor for the emergency responders who bravely served Texas during last year’s unprecedented wildfire season. More than 30,000 wildfires burned almost 4 million acres, destroying 2,946 homes across the state.

The wildfires were suppressed with assistance from more than 16,000 emergency responders from all 50 states, along with 239 dozers, 954 engines and 246 aircraft.

“We accept this award on behalf of all the local, state and interagency firefighters who participated in the 2011 wildfire season,” Stanford said. “They’re the ones who really earned this award.”

Gary Bowers, chairman of the National Interagency Fire Center Governing Board, wrote in a letter to Texas Forest Service that the agency demonstrated “exceptional work in interagency cooperation and coordination, safety of their firefighters and the public, the development of partnerships and group performance in fire management and suppression.”

“It is our hope that collaboration efforts such as this will increasingly inspire and inform new cooperative efforts across the country,” Bowers wrote. “Congratulations on this award and the excellent work that it recognizes.”


Gardening tips

Watch for aphids on crapemyrtles and other susceptible plants. To reduce their numbers, spray them with a mixture of insecticidal soap and water according to label directions. Even a hard blast from the garden hose will help dislodge some of these pests. For more about aphids, see “Honeydew” on page 38 of the July/August 2012 issue of Texas Gardener.

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...

Brown rot is a fungal disease that affects plums, peaches and nectarines. The fungus can attack blooms early in the season but it usually isn’t noticed until summer when it spreads to the ripening fruit. The results appear as felt-like masses on the fruit. The entire crop of fruit can be ruined in just a few days. To reduce the incidence of brown rot, remove affected fruit when you see them. If you notice any dried up fruit or “mummies” on your trees, be sure to remove those as well. If left on the tree, they will carry the fungus over to re-infect next year’s crop as well.


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.

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: Organic vs. Inorganic?" 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.

Ft. Worth: The Tarrant County Master Gardener Association offers a demonstration class on Container Gardens, Chair Garden and Fairy Garden, Tuesday, July 10, 10 a.m.- noon, at Fort Worth’s Resource Connection,  Building 2300, Room 2351 on Circle Drive. The Resource Connection is located off Campus Dr, north from I-20. Class fee is $5 and limited to 20 people. To register or for more information, contact Billie Hammack at 817-884-1296 or blhammack@ag.tamu.edu.

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.

Ft. Worth: A make and take class on Glass Totems will be offered by the Tarrant County Master Gardener Association, Saturday, July 14, 10 a.m. – noon, at Fort Worth’s Resource Connection, Building 2300, room 2351 on Circle Drive. The Resource Connection is located off Campus Dr, north from I-20. Class fee is $20 and 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 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.

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, July 19, in the Agriculture Building, Room 110, at 1924 Wilson Drive. Long time Houston area horticulturist Linda Gay will present “Thoughts on Having Survived a Life in the Public Garden World.” Before retiring, Linda Gay served as Director of the 325 acre Mercer Arboretum in Humble for 11 years. Prior to that, she was Assistant Director for three years, Chief Horticulturist for four years, and Horticulturist for seven years. Linda has long been a proponent of gingers, bamboo, and other heat-tolerant tropical plants adapted to the coastal South. She can now be found working at the Arbor Gate Nursery in Tomball, Texas. 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 endowed fund are always appreciated. For more information, call (936) 468-1832 or e-mail grantdamon@sfasu.edu.

San Antonio: The Bexar County Master Gardeners General Meeting, will be held July 19 at the Texas AgriLife Extension Conference Room, 3355 Cherry Ridge Dr., San Antonio. The evening begins with a social from 6 p.m. until 6:30 p.m., followed by brief meeting with Ken Murth speaking about Home Greenhouses. Ken has worked for Greenhouses Etc., manufacturing, erecting both commercial and residential greenhouse. He has worked closely with clients selecting, purchasing or updating their greenhouses. For additional information, contact Sandy Justice at sandy.justice@bexarcountymastergardeners.org.

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.

Burnet: Master Gardener and Earth-Kind Specialist Sheryl Yantis will present a free Green Thumb Program on "Tips for a Successful Fall Garden" at the Burnet Herman Brown Free Library on the Town Square at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, July 21. Be sure to visit the Burnet Farmer's Market on the Square before and after the program. This is a free Green Thumb Program presented by the Highland Lakes Master Gardeners in conjunction with Texas AgriLife Extension. For more information on the Green Thumb Programs go to www.yantislakesidegardens.com/greenthumb or call (325) 388-8849.

Ft. Worth: “Fall Vegetable Gardening” will be presented by Tarrant County Master Gardener Association, Saturday, July 21, 10 a.m.- noon, at Fort Worth’s Resource Connection, Building 2300 gym, on Circle Drive. The Resource Connection is located off Campus Dr, north from I-20. Class fee is $5. To register or for more information, contact Billie Hammack at 817-884-1296 or blhammack@ag.tamu.edu.

Ft. Worth: Information on native and adapted ornamental grasses will be provided by the Tarrant County Master Gardener Association, Tuesday, July 24, 10 a.m. - noon, at Fort Worth’s Resource Connection, Building 2300, room 2351, on Circle Drive. The Resource Connection is located off Campus Dr, north from I-20. Class fee is $5. To register or for more information, contact Billie Hammack at 817-884-1296 or blhammack@ag.tamu.edu.

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: “Rainwater Harvesting in a Thirsty World” will be presented from 10 a.m. until noon, Saturday, August 11, at Zilker Botanical Garden, Garden Center, 2220 Barton Springs Rd., Austin. Turn water scarcity into water abundance! New filtration and treatment technologies make rainwater harvesting relatively easy. Rainwater harvesting systems can be installed in existing buildings or incorporated into new construction. Master Gardener Ed Parken will discuss how to conceptualize, design, and implement sustainable water-harvesting systems for your home and landscape. Parking and seating are limited so please register online to reserve your seat at http://travis-tx.tamu.edu/horticulture and click on “Public Seminar Registration.” This seminar is free; Zilker park entrance fee is $2 per adult, $1 per child or senior. The 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.

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