August 15, 2012

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Hesperantha. (Photo by Odette Curtis)

Going, going, gone: auction offers up rare opportunity to name a species

Fauna & Flora International

Choosing a name for a newly discovered species is an honor usually reserved for the discovering scientists. But when researchers from the Overberg Lowlands Conservation Trust came across a new flowering plant — a member of the iris family — in South Africa, they decided to open the opportunity up to the public.

An auction, being run by Fauna & Flora International and the Overberg Lowlands Conservation Trust (via online auction site Giving Lots), will bestow the naming rights to the highest bidder, with all proceeds going to support the conservation of lowland renosterveld — the Critically Endangered ecosystem where the plant was discovered.

This is an ideal opportunity for gardeners, amateur botanists and others with a keen interest in plant conservation to leave a lasting scientific legacy or name a beautiful flower after a loved one. The highest bidder will not only get the right to name the species, but will also receive a painting and bronze casting of the flower.

The auction is open now, and will close at Fauna & Flora International’s Annual General Meeting at the Royal Geographical Society (London) on October 31, 2012.

Visit www.irisauction.com to place a bid.

Surprising discoveries in South Africa’s Cape Floral Kingdom

In November 2011, scientists from the Overberg Lowlands Conservation Trust visited two farms on South Africa’s Western Cape that are home to some of the last remaining patches of lowland renosterveld — a unique ecosystem with the highest diversity of bulbous plants in the world along with hundreds of species found nowhere else on Earth.

“The two farms we visited form part of the largest remnant of lowland renosterveld in the Overberg, and probably the world,” said Odette Curtis, who led the research team. “We were looking to learn more about the state of the renosterveld there, and to get an idea of how these sites might fit into conservation plans in the Overberg region.”

What the team didn’t expect was to discover several plants that, until now, were unknown to science.

“It was truly astounding,” said Odette. “Having worked in this field for about eight years, I knew that the renosterveld had many hidden secrets; but to find four new species on just two sites — well, I was quite taken aback.”

One of the discoveries was a beautiful and fragile member of the iris family, from the African genus Hesperantha, and it is this species that will be named by a member of the public.

According to Peter Goldblatt, Senior Curator at the Missouri Botanical Garden, who is writing the first scientific description: “This plant is a real surprise — flowering late in the year when the surrounding vegetation is dry and brown, its bright pink flowers make a really striking contrast. It actually blooms at the beginning of the dry season in an area that has relatively low rainfall anyway. At flowering, the leaves are more or less dry and only the flowers and buds show that the plants are alive.”

To date, it has only been found on one site in the Overberg district (on the southern tip of South Africa) — an area where less than 6% of the original renosterveld coverage remains today.

Too fertile for its own good

The fragmented and degraded renosterveld that we see today is very different from the ecosystem that existed 300 years ago, which would have supported large numbers of herbivores (including black rhino, after which renosterveld is named) whose browsing habits are thought to have helped maintain the diversity and structure of this system.

Sadly, because of the fertile nature of lowland renosterveld, it has been subjected to centuries of mismanagement for agriculture and livestock grazing, as well as severe levels of transformation, and as a result is now Critically Endangered.

“Despite the vital role that plants play in ecosystems, fundraising for floral species has always been a ‘difficult sell,’ with charismatic mammal species attracting far more attention (and cash) from donors,” said Mark Rose, Chief Executive at Fauna & Flora International.

“This auction presents a great opportunity to raise the profile of the plight of the renosterveld and raise much-needed money to support this under-funded, rather neglected, field of conservation.”

Landowners as custodians

Today, only those areas that are well managed retain the characteristics of true renosterveld, and most of these are found on private land. Consequently, the future of renosterveld lies in the hands of individual landowners.

The Overberg Lowlands Conservation Trust works with these private landowners (along with government agencies and other NGOs such as Fauna & Flora International) to protect what remains of the renosterveld by improving scientific knowledge on best practices for its management, by raising awareness amongst landowners about their role as custodians, and by creating incentives to conserve these ecosystems.

The funds raised by the auction will support this valuable work and help to ensure that this rare habitat (and its plants and wildlife) will survive into the future.

For more information on the terms and conditions of the auction, and to place a bid, visit www.irisauction.com.


WSU Extension publishes and releases 'Soil Testing Guide for Vegetable Farmers,' available online

Washington State University Extension

Washington State University Extension Publications has just released "Soil Testing: A Guide for Farms with Diverse Vegetable Crops.”

The new fact sheet presents a comprehensive, yet affordable, procedure for implementing an annual soil-testing program for farms with diverse vegetable crops. The reader will learn when to sample, where to sample, how to take a sample, and how to use sample results to improve farm management.

"Healthy soils are living, dynamic systems that provide many functions essential to human health and habitation,” writes WSU Extension educator and soil scientist Doug Collins in the new publication. "Soil sampling and analysis can be used not only to sustain plant and animal productivity but also to maintain or enhance air and water quality. Using data from soil sampling and analyses to tailor farm management decisions can also improve both farm profitability and environmental stewardship.”

Soil testing results can indicate nutrient deficiencies or excesses, nutrient-holding capacity, organic matter content, and soil alkalinity or acidity. Soil analysis can guide farmers and gardeners in making soil amendment and soil management decisions. Making soil sampling an annual event enables farmers to track management practices and make informed decisions about future soil amendment practices.

"Soil Testing” clearly and simply guides readers through the entire process of testing. The fact sheet describes developing a soil-sampling plan, when and how to take soil samples, and how to track and use the data collected.

Collins is leading a team developing soil-fertility tests for use by organic farmers. He emphasized the importance of assessing particular sites for soil-fertility. "What we've found is that you really have to know what is going on with a particular piece of ground. You can't offer generalized advice about fertility management. That's why we're developing these tests,” Collins said.

"Soil Testing” is available as a free PDF download from WSU Extension Publications.


Gardening tips

Even though it is hot outside, now is the time to plant many fall vegetable crops like squash. Squash can either be direct seeded or started inside and moved to the garden once the plants have developed their first set of true leaves. It is best to cover the young plants with row cover until they start to bloom to avoid insect damage and the spread of viruses.

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 Mediterranean fruit fly completes its entire life cycle in just twenty to thirty days. The female deposits her eggs just under the skin of a fruit, often citrus, apple, peach or pear. The eggs hatch and the larvae immediately begin eating the fruit, rendering it useless. These devastating insects likely made their way to the United States by hitching a ride on imported produce.


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.

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.

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, August 16, in the Agriculture Building, Room 110, at 1924 Wilson Drive. SFA Gardens’ horticulturist and writer Greg Grant will present “Gardening for Love — An Arcadian Dogtrot.” Grant will share the story of his lifelong quest to restore his grandparent’s old farmhouse and how he landscaped it with pass-a-long plants from friends and ancestors along with his own ornamental introductions. The house and garden were both featured in the July issues of Southern Living and Neil Sperry’s Gardens magazines. Grant was born in Tyler, raised in Longview, and has called Shelby County home for more than a decade. His parents and two older brothers all graduated from SFA while he obtained degrees in floriculture and horticulture from Texas A&M University. Greg previously worked for the Texas Agricultural Extension Service, Louisiana State University, Lone Star Growers, the San Antonio Botanic Garden, and Mercer Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. He writes regularly for Texas Gardener and Neil Sperry’s Gardens magazines and recently published Texas Fruit and Vegetable Gardening and Heirloom Gardening in the South, which received a 2012 Silver Merit Award from the Garden Writers Association. He also writes a monthly blog at arborgate.com. 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.

Seguin: Guadalupe County Master Gardeners will meet Thursday, August 16, at 7 p.m. in the AgriLife Extension Bldg., 210 E. Live Oak, Seguin. Molly Keck, Integrated Pest Management Specialist with the Texas AgriLife Extension of Bexar County, will talk about "10 Bugs Every Gardener Should Know." Keck has an M.S. in Entomology. Meetings are free and open to the public. For more information, visit www.guadalupecountymastergardeners.org or call 830-303-3889.

Houston: Tour the working and demonstration gardens maintained by the Harris County Master Gardeners at Precinct 2 from 8:30 a.m. until 11 a.m., Monday, August 20. Children will learn to make a 'Garden Craft' and adults will be instructed on 'Fertilizers' from 9:30 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. Master Gardeners will also answer your gardening questions. Free and open to the public. Genoa Friendship Garden, 1202 Genoa Red Bluff, Houston.

San Antonio: Author Ralph Yznaga will discuss and sign his new book Living Witness: Historic Trees of Texas at the monthly “Essentials of Gardening” class presented by Gardening Volunteers of South Texas on Monday, August 20. The second session will feature Cheryl Gorhum on “Butterfly Gardens.” Gorhum is a Master Gardener and GVST volunteer. Free and open to the public. Noon-3 p.m. San Antonio Garden Center, 3310 N. New Braunfels. For additional information, call 210-251-8101 or visit www.GardeningVolunteers.org.

Bryan: Dr. Joe Masabni will present Gardening 101 from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m., August 21 at the Brazos Center, 3232 Briarcrest Drive, Bryan. The milder days of fall create an ideal gardening environment for both the vegetable garden and the gardener. This presentation will provide tips for preparing and planting a fall vegetable garden, with information on recommended vegetable varieties, suggestions for harvest and preparation, and organic techniques for soil building and pest control. For more information, visit http://brazosmg.org.

San Antonio: Texas AgriLife Extension Service will be conducting its fall Master Gardener class #56 for adults interested in gardening/horticulture and related topics. They then return their knowledge and time by providing educational outreach support for youth and adults. Deadline to register is August 15; the cost is $220 with classes running every Wednesday from noon-4 p.m., August 22 - November 14 at the Texas AgriLife Extension Service classroom, 3355 Cherry Ridge Dr. Suite 208, San Antonio. For more information, contact Angel Torres at 210-467-6575 or matorres@ag.tamu.edu.

McKinney: Collin County Master Gardeners 9th annual "Spring Blooming Bulb Sale" fall fundraiser. Fall is just around the corner, the best planting time of the year. We'll Skip over winter and start dreaming about spring while planting bulbs purchased from the 2012 CCMGA Bulb Sale. Look for outstanding new varieties and add to your old favorites. Sale begins August 23 and ends October 1. For more information and to download a flyer and order form visit, www.ccmgatx.org.

Fort Worth: The Organic Garden Club of Fort Worth will hold its Natural Urban Living Home and Garden "Self Sustainability for Your Lifestyle" lecture series on August 25 at the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens, 3220 Botanic Garden Blvd., from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Speakers include Trish Perry, district 4 director TOGFA; "Garlic Mike" Kirby; Dave Pennington, Synergy fish; Jay Mertz, founder of Rabbit Hill Farms; and "Tropical John" Thomas, organic radio co-host. FREE admission. Door prizes after each lecture. Grand prize to be raffled off at 4;45 p.m. $2.00 tickets. For additional information, visit www.ogcfw.webs.com or contact Esther Chambliss at 817-263-9322.

La Marque: Since fall is the ideal time to plant onions and garlic, Sam Scarcella, Galveston County Master Gardener since 1986, will be presenting a program on what you need to know to grow your own onions and garlic, 9-11 a.m., August 25, at the Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (FM 519), La Marque For course reservations, call 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or email GALV3@wt.net.

La Marque: “I would like to grow roses, but they have so many problems” is a common statement by local gardeners. From 1 until 3:30 p.m., August 25, Anna Wygryss program introduces you to roses that do not need pampering, at the Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (FM 519), La Marque. What’s old is new again. EarthKind Gardening has re-introduced gardeners to “Old Garden Roses, Our Ageless Beauties.” For course reservations, call 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or email GALV3@wt.net.

San Antonio: Texas AgriLife Extension Service provides an opportunity for children 8-13 in age to learn about gardening by growing their own vegetables through the mentoring of Bexar County Master Gardener volunteers. Each child is allotted a 3.5’ x 28’ plot at the beautiful San Antonio Botanical Garden. Children will have fun growing different types of seeds, herbs, vegetables, and ornamental annual flowers. Weekly educational gardening presentations will stimulate these young minds. The children will also participate in fun, hands-on Junior Master Gardener activities. The fall session will be conducted every Saturday, starting August 25 and concluding on December 8. For more information, contact Angel Torres at (210) 467-6575 or matorres@ag.tamu.edu. Download the application at: http://bexar-tx.tamu.edu/files/2011/12/Application-Childrens-Vegetable-Garden.pdf.

San Antonio: From 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m., August 28, learn to plant and select vegetables and fruit trees at the appropriate time of the season, how to compost, and how to combine plants for better yield, insect control, and more at the Texas AgriLife Extension Service, 3355 Cherry Ridge, Suite 208, San Antonio. Speakers will include County Extension Agent David Rodriguez and Master Gardener specialists. Registration fee is $10, paid at the door. RSVP to Angel Torres at 210-467-6575 no later than August 27.

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.

San Antonio: Mike Pecen, landscaper, will share his belief to “design the future without destroying the past” as the featured speaker at 9:30 a.m. September 5, at 3310 N New Braunfels and Funston. The Garden Center is dedicated to educating the community about plants, floral design and gardening. The meetings are open to everyone. Pecen will speak about the “Lessons We Can Learn from Historic Texas Landscapes.” He designs landscapes to “deliver satisfying places to nourish the human spirit as well as the earth.” He works as an associate of Dixie Watkins III & Associates, a local landscape architecture and land planning firm that specializes in preserving cultural and natural resources. He co-designed the roof garden of the Austonian, which won an “Austin Business Journal “Going Green” award in 2011. For more information call 210-824-9981.

San Antonio: Melissa White will lead the annual Floral Design School sponsored by the San Antonio Garden Center beginning September 6. A speaker on the local and national level, White has spoken on topics such as color trends and influences; specializing in marketing and floral arrangements. As the owner of Bonika, she has exercised her distinctive eye for the extraordinary to design bouquets, centerpieces and other beautiful arrangements for brides. At the Floral Design School you will learn to create your own beautiful centerpieces which you will take home. The School starts Thursday, Sept. 6, and continues each week until October 18 from noon until 3 p.m. at the San Antonio Garden Center, by the Botanical Gardens. Tuition for all six classes is $140 and includes instructions from White as well as flowers and greenery to complete a take-home project each week. This year’s chairman, Lillie De Los Santos, will be happy to answer your questions. Call 210- 824-9981 or 210-416-2826 for  a registration form or send your check for $140 payable to the San Antonio Garden Center, 3310 N. New Braunfels, San Antonio, TX 78209. For more information, visit www.sanantoniogardencenter.org or email sagc2004@sbcglobal.net. Enrollment is limited.

Victoria: The Victoria County Master Gardener Association will hold its annual fall plant sale Saturday, Sept. 8, from 8 a.m. until 2:30 p.m., or until all plants are sold, whichever comes first. The event is free to the public at the VEG Pavilion, 283 Bachelor Dr., Victoria, located across from the old flight tower at Victoria Regional Airport. Proceeds from the sale benefit the Victoria Educational Gardens located adjacent to the pavilion.

Houston: Kevin Topek will speak about landscaping, edible vegetables, fruits and herbs from 6:30 until 8 p.m., September 10, at the Houston Garden Center, 1500 Hermann Dr. in Hermann Park, Houston. For more information, visit http://www.houstonurbangardeners.org.

San Antonio: Learn about raw foods with the only trained Raw Food Chef in San Antonio on Thursday, at 6:30 p.m., September 13, at San Antonio Garden Center, 3310 N. New Braunfels. Learn from people who know the most about herb gardening, cooking, sniffing, crafting and infusing...anything and everything is herbal for this meeting! For more information, visit www.sanantonioherbs.org. Free and open to the public.

La Marque: “Gardening by the Square Foot” will be presented from 9 a.m. until- 11 a.m., September 15, at Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (FM 519), La Marque. This program is an introduction to the gardening methodology of gardening by the square foot. Discover this unique way of planning the bed, selecting plants, building the bed, maintaining the bed and renewing the bed. This is an ideal program for anyone who would like to learn a simple, productive method of gardening that will enable them to teach children or adults with limitations how to learn and enjoy gardening. Class is limited to 32 participants so please sign up ahead of time. For course reservations, call 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or email GALV3@wt.net.

La Marque: “Kitchen Gardening” will be presented from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m., September 15, at Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (FM 519), La Marque. Presented by Galveston County Master Gardener Mary Demeny, Demeny will cover various techniques of vegetable gardening in your own backyard. She will include gardening near the back door, where she recycles, mulches and compost her garden. Demeny will also cover how she makes use of an interplant technique of growing vegetables among the flower beds and in pots she has. For more information, call 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or email GALV3@wt.net.

San Antonio: Green Spaces Alliance of South Texas will host a "Natural Garden Stewardship Workshop" at 9 a.m., September 15, at Beacon Hill Community Garden, San Antonio. For additional information, call 210-222-8430.

Midland/Odessa: Texas AgriLife Extension Service and PBMGs will host an Earthkind Home Landscape School, September 17, 18, 26 & 27. For more information, call 432-498-4071 or 432-686-4700.

Austin: “Divide and Transplant Perennials” will be presented from 10 a.m. until noon, Thursday, September 20, at the Travis County AgriLife Extension Office, 1600 B Smith Rd., Austin. Perennials tend to increase in density and size over the years which diminish the vigor of the plants. Solve this problem by learning to properly divide and transplant these plants. Learn which plants need to be periodically divided and how to correctly perform the task. Discover what is needed to appropriately transplant the plants into new beds. Gain an understanding of how to prepare the plants to pass on to friends. This seminar is free and open to the public and is presented by the Travis County Master Gardeners, a volunteer arm of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service in Travis County. For information, call 512-854-9600 or visit www.tcmastergardeners.org.

La Marque: “The Fabulous Fragrant Frangipani (Plumeria)” will be presented from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m., September 22, at Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (FM 519), La Marque. Presented by Galveston County Master Gardener Loretta Osteen, the program will include information on the history of the Plumeria and tips for growing and caring for them in Galveston County. Also included will be information about different flower shapes, fragrance and colors of the different varieties of Plumeria successfully grown in South Texas. Incorporated in the presentation will be methods of propagation, proper winter storage and care. There will also be a demonstration on how to make the popular Plumeria Lei. For more information, call 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or email GALV3@wt.net.

La Marque: “Fall T-Budding of Citrus & Deciduous Fruit Trees” will be presented from 1 until 3 p.m., September 22, at Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (FM 519), La Marque. Galveston County Master Gardener Herman Auer, Propagation Specialist, will present a program and hands-on workshop on T-Bud grafting. Attendees will leave the class ready to begin their own grafting projects with confidence. The grafting method presented is used on many types of fruit and citrus trees usually about the size of a pencil. Class is limited to 24 persons participating. You must pre-register in order to attend. Other persons may attend for observation only. For course reservations, call 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or email GALV3@wt.net.

San Antonio: The San Antonio Herb Society presents its first Scholarship Garden Tour, benefitting St. Philip’s Culinary Arts Program, on Saturday, September 22 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The self-guided tour features nine differently-themed gardens, for only $10 per ticket. Themes include: Texas Eclectic, Cacti and Containers, Xeriscape, Re-Purposed, Budget, Square-Foot, Wildscape and Butterflies, Urban Chick(en) and Urban Chic. Each garden is proudly sponsored by a locally-owned garden center or nursery, and each offers unique take-home tips for your own gardens and yards. Tickets are available from any San Antonio Herb Society member or online at www.sanantonioherbs.org. Attendees will also be eligible for garden-related prizes to be drawn at the San Antonio Herb Market on October 20.

Sugar Land: Sugar Land Garden Club is hosting its 14th annual Sugar Land Garden Art & Plant Sale on Saturday, September 22, from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Sugar Lakes Clubhouse, 930 Sugar Lakes Drive. Admission is free. For more information, visit sugarlandgardenclub.org or call 281-491-9609.

Austin: “Compost Tea 101” will be presented from 10:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m., Saturday, September 29, at Hampton Branch Library at Oakhill, 5125 Convict Hill Rd., Austin. Compost Tea is a great fertilizer for your garden. This seminar will cover what you need to know for setting up a simple "do-it-yourself" compost tea brewer, what goes in it, how to avoid problems, and recipes for using compost tea in your garden! 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 become open seating at 9:50 a.m. 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.

La Marque: “Ornamental & Perennial Plant Preview” will be presented from 8 a.m. until 11 a.m., September 29 at Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (FM 519), La Marque. Heidi Sheesley of TreeSearch Farms will give a presentation and discussion on a number of ornamental and perennial plants that will be available to the public on October 6 at the annual Galveston County Master Gardeners Ornamental & Perennial Sale. For more information, call 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or email GALV3@wt.net.

Jasper: Jasper Master Gardeners team up with Lakes Area Hospice and the Chamber of Commerce for the first Butterfly Festival, held in conjunction with Fall Fest, Saturday, October 6, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fall Fest features music, crafts and food on the courthouse lawn, but Butterfly Festival expands the fair one block south to showcase the new Master Gardener greenhouse and butterfly garden at the Arboretum. Master Gardeners will host children’s activities in the potting sheds, and hold educational programs for adults in the courthouse, plus Master Gardeners will hold their semi-annual plant sale on the northeast corner of the festival.

Odessa: Permian Basin Master Gardeners will present a Water Wise Landscape Seminar from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., Saturday, October 6, at the Odessa Regional Medical Center, 520 East Sixth Street, Odessa. $50 admission includes catered lunch. For more information, visit http://westtexasgardening.org/.

San Antonio: Green Spaces Alliance of South Texas will host a "Gardening for Wildlife Workshop" at 9 a.m., October 20, at Beacon Hill Community Garden, San Antonio. For additional information, call 210-222-8430.

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.

San Antonio: Green Spaces Alliance of South Texas will host a "Garden Design & Maintenance Workshop" at 9 a.m., November 17, at River Road Community Garden, San Antonio. For additional information, call 210-222-8430.

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.

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 a.m. in the training room of the College Station Waste Water Facility building at the end of North Forest Parkway, 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 Deborah Beggs Moncrief Garden Center, 3220 Botanic Blvd., Ft. Worth. 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

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In Greg's Garden:
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Wish you'd saved them?

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volume 24 (November/December 2004 through September/October 2005),
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volume 27 (November/December 2007 through September/October 2008),
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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