December 26, 2012

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Dixondale Farms, largest grower of onion plants in the world, celebrates 100th anniversary in 2013

Dixondale Farms, a family farm founded in 1913 that has grown to become the largest grower of onion plants in the world, celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2013.

Today, Dixondale Farms covers 2,200 acres of land in rural south Texas, 13 miles outside of the small town of Carrizo Springs. Although not large by 21st century farming standards ($6 million in annual revenue), Dixondale Farms is clearly no longer a small family farm.

In 2013, Dixondale Farms will grow and ship 850 million onion plants. Millions of these plants will be shipped directly to home gardeners for transplanting in backyards throughout America. Millions more of the onion plants will be shipped to large-scale onion farmers, who will grow the transplants into full-sized onion bulbs.

Just how BIG is a harvest of 850 million onion plants? If every one of those onion plants were to grow into a modest 4-inch diameter onion bulb, and all of those 850 million onion bulbs were lined up side by side, they would wrap around the Earth twice — with 63 million onions to spare.

So how did a small family farm in sunny Texas become the largest grower of onion plants in the largest agricultural country on the planet? Let’s just say the journey took an entire century.

A Place to Grow

The farm destined to become an onion-growing empire began modestly in 1913. John Mabson McClendon and his 14-year-old son, Earl McClendon, ventured from Wichita County, Texas, to Dimmit County, Texas, to investigate the quality of the farmland. They liked what they found, and they bought land in an area that was known locally as Dixondale. The McClendon’s decided to keep the name, so they called their new family business Dixondale Farms.

The family business was passed along to Earl McClendon when his father passed away. Earl married a local girl named Lula Bell, and Dixondale Farms grew and prospered. Earl hired other farmers to grow crops for Dixondale Farms, and the family-owned company also added ranching operations to its portfolio.

Lula (Bell) McClendon led the company into mail order sales, and Dixondale Farms became an early seller of onion transplants for home gardeners. Because of the mail order gardening business, Dixondale Farms experienced an enormous boost in its customer base in the early 1940s as a result of the push for “Victory Gardens,” the private and community gardens designed to supplement the nation’s food supply during World War II.

When it was time to pass the farm along to its third generation of leadership, Earl McClendon invited his son-in-law, Wallace Martin, to join Dixondale Farms. Wallace Martin was not a farmer by trade — he had served in the U.S. Army and received a civil engineering degree after World War II. Wallace brought business-oriented skills to the farm, and it thrived under his leadership.

The decade of the 1950s brought tremendous change. The railroad stopped running through Carrizo Springs, which ended Dixondale Farms’ early mail order operations. Under Wallace’s direction, Dixondale Farms expanded, and cabbages were phased out and cantaloupes became the summer crop. In 1965, Dixondale Farms stopped growing full-sized onion bulbs in favor of the more lucrative onion plants designed for transplanting.

A New Generation Takes the Reigns

By the late 1970s, Wallace Martin was ready to start grooming the next generation of Dixondale Farms leadership. After his daughter, Jeanie, married a West Point graduate named Bruce Frasier, Wallace offered to bring Bruce into the family business. Bruce had grown up in the San Antonio area, and shortly after being released from active duty in the U.S. Army he and Jeanie moved to Carrizo Springs.

Bruce Frasier was not offered the presidential suite at the company. Instead, he was sent out to the fields to learn the business from the ground up — literally. Wallace told him, “The biggest decision you’ll make over the next two years is how you want your eggs cooked in the morning.” Wallace’s training style could best be summed up as “watch, learn and keep your mouth shut.”

Even though Bruce had no background in farming, he did have a keen eye and an astute business sense. He quickly saw that the farming business was undergoing enormous changes. In the previous decade, the introduction of hybrid onion varieties had increased yield from about 250 bags per acre to 1,000 bags per acre. As a result, onion prices were depressed. Bruce realized that marketing onion plants directly to consumers — much like Jeanie (Martin) Frasier’s grandmother had done a generation before — offered the opportunity for higher profits.

“If we could offer our onion transplants directly to home gardeners, we had the opportunity to sell our plants at retail prices, not wholesale prices,” said Bruce. “That could make the farming operations more profitable and give us the means for further expansion.”

In 1990, Dixondale Farms moved to a 2,200-acre farm outside of Carrizo Springs, the current site of the farm. That same year, Bruce and Jeanie launched Dixondale Farms’ modern mail order operation with a one-page “catalog” that listed the onion plant varieties available for sale. From this meager beginning, Dixondale Farms began its direct-to-the-consumer marketing program that now accounts for a huge portion of the company’s business.

Because of the warm, early growing season in south Texas, the onion fields at Dixondale Farms are in full production in early January. When the onion plants are harvested for finishing by scores of large commercial onion farms and thousands of backyard gardeners, the fields are soon filled with cantaloupes — Dixondale Farms’ summer crop.

The cantaloupes are marketed under the Carrizo Cantaloupes brand name, and they can be found in most grocery stores throughout Texas during the summer months.

On a sunny day in south Texas, Bruce Frasier walks down a row of healthy onion plants, chatting to every worker he passes. “I didn’t start out to be a farmer,” says Frasier, “but now I can’t imagine any other life.”

For more information about Dixondale, visit www.dixondalefarms.com.


Fire safety tips for the holidays

Texas A&M Forest Service

Conditions could line up for an active winter wildfire season in some parts of the state, and Texas A&M Forest Service officials are urging residents to take precautions.

The agency has identified an “area of concern” where large wildfires could occur this winter if conditions are right. The area includes everything north of a line from Fort Stockton along I-10 to San Antonio, north to Austin, northeast to Tyler and east along I-20 to the state line. That region didn’t get enough rainfall this year to eliminate drought but did get enough to increase grass growth.

Low humidity, dry conditions and high winds can cause fire to spread rapidly, said Justice Jones, Wildland Urban Interface coordinator for Texas A&M Forest Service. Although there are particular areas of concern, fires can occur anywhere in the state, and residents should remain cautious.

“Any time the state experiences dry periods with strong, gusty winds, the threat of wildfire will increase and extra caution is encouraged to avoid devastating wildfires,” Jones said.

Several precautions are suggested for the holiday season:

  • Check for and obey burn bans and fireworks restrictions.
  • When and where outdoor burning is allowed, keep the fire small, never leave it unattended, and remove flammable leaves and other materials from the area surrounding the fire. Avoid lighting piles on windy days.
  • Keep water nearby in case a fire starts. A spark or burning ember can ignite dry, fine-textured fuels like grass and weeds.
  • Read and follow label instructions on how to properly discharge fireworks.
  • Use fireworks with close adult supervision and only in areas clear of dry vegetation.
  • Avoid using fireworks, particularly aerial varieties, around buildings. Wind can carry hot fireworks onto roofs where leaves or other flammable debris may have accumulated.
  • Remove your natural Christmas tree soon after the holidays and consider community tree recycling projects. Christmas trees can be ground up for mulch or provide shelter for birds and other wildlife.
  • Dispose of wrapping paper, boxes and other holiday waste by recycling, when practical. Burn paper and cardboard in a burn barrel or other fire-proof receptacle topped by a metal screen or grill, as winds can carry embers over long distances.

Gardening tips

Bare spots in the garden should be covered with mulch to prevent weed growth and keep valuable garden soil from washing or blowing away.

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...

Scorpions are easy to miss because they are active at night. They do glow under ultraviolet light, so checking for them at night with an appropriate light would be a good way to find and remove them if they are a problem in and around your house.


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.

JANUARY

La Marque: Jerry Hurlbert will present “Growing Avocados,” Saturday, January 5, from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m., at the Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (FM 519), La Marque. Learn the best varieties for the Gulf Coast, how to start plants from seeds, as well as tips on tree planting and cultivation methods for growing avocados. Discover the best methods to protect plants from cold and sun, especially for young trees. For course reservations, call 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or email GALV3@wt.net.

La Marque: Master Gardener Gene Speller will present “Peppers, the Sweetest to Hottest,” Saturday, January 5, from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. at the Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (FM 519), La Marque. Find out about growing peppers from seed and other valuable growing tips, including information on insect and disease control. Understand what the heat value classification (Scoville units) indicates. For course reservations, call 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or email GALV3@wt.net.

San Antonio: The San Antonio Herb Society will host a presentation about the herb of the year for 2013 — Elder, Thursday, January 10, 6:30-8:30 p.m., San Antonio Garden Center, 3310 N. New Braunfels, San Antonio. Learn from people who know the most about herb gardening, cooking, sniffing, crafting and infusing...anything and everything is herbal for this meeting! Free and open to the public. For more information, visi twww.sanantonioherbs.org.

La Marque: Master Gardener Sam Scarcella will present “Growing Great Tomatoes,” Saturday, January 12, from 9 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. at the Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (FM 519), La Marque.  Learn about the various varieties that do well in this area, how to make your selections, and how and when to transplant. Find out about soil requirements and needed nutrients and the temperature ranges for best tomato fruit set. For course reservations, call 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or email GALV3@wt.net.

La Marque: Master Gardener John Jons will present “Gardening by the Square Foot,” Saturday, January 12, from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. at the Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (FM 519), La Marque. Topics to include basic designs, soil preparation, plant selection and establishment, insect pest and disease control, and general care. Class size is limited to 32 participants. For course reservations, call 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or email GALV3@wt.net.

La Marque: Master Gardener Herman Auer will present “Growing Peaches in Galveston County,” Tuesday, January 15, from 6:30 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at the Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (FM 519), La Marque. Learn the best variety selection (both white and yellow flesh), what to look for when buying your peach tree, and the best planting methods. Find out about chill hours, rootstock used, and the proper pruning methods to shape and thin peach trees. For course reservations, call 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or email GALV3@wt.net.

Seabrook: Kathy Adams Clark will discuss "How to attract birds and butterflies," at 10 a.m. Wednesday, January 16, at The Meeting Room at Clear Lake Park (on the lakeside), 5001 NASA Parkway, Seabrook.

Austin: “The Wonderful World of Seeds,” will be presented Thursday, January 17, from 10 a.m. until noon, at the Travis County AgriLife Extension Office, 1600 B Smith Rd., Austin. Let Master Gardener propagation specialists teach how to start, grow and save flower, herb and vegetable seeds. Learn from presentation, examples and hands-on participation in the class room and in the demonstration garden, along with handouts and additional resource lists. Seminar fee is $20 and you must register at https://agriliferegister.tamu.edu with keyword: Seeds. For more information, phone 979-845-2604 or visit www.tcmastergardeners.org.

Houston: Urban Harvest will host the 13th Annual Urban Harvest Fruit Tree Sale from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. (or until sold out) on Saturday, January 19, at the HCC Southwest Campus, 5601 West Loop South Freeway, Houston. For additional information, call 713-880-5540 or visit www.UrbanHarvest.org.

Houston: Tour the working and demonstration gardens maintained by the Harris County Master Gardeners at Precinct 2 on Monday, January 21, 8:30 a.m.-11 a.m., at Genoa Friendship Garden, 1202 Genoa Red Bluff, Houston. Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer your gardening questions. A program on Tool Care / Sharpening and Pruning Techniques (Bring your clippers) will be offered from 9:30 a.m. - 10:30 am.

La Marque: Gardener Herman Auer will present “Growing Citrus in the Home Landscape,” Tuesday, January 22, from 6:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. at the Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (FM 519), La Marque. Learn the best rootstocks and the varieties for the Galveston area as well as the hardiness of different varieties. Find out how to plant citrus trees and even how to grow citrus from seed. Review the growing and drainage requirements for most citrus. For course reservations, call 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or email GALV3@wt.net.

La Marque: Master Gardener Luke Stripling will present “Spring Vegetable Gardening,” Saturday, January 26, from 9 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. at the Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (FM 519), La Marque. Stripling has more than 65 years of hands-on experience in growing vegetables. Learn how to plan and start a vegetable garden. Find out about the best soils, location and plant varieties for Galveston County. Gain knowledge of pollination, mulching, composting, and the effects of full sun and shade on vegetable gardening. For course reservations, call 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or email GALV3@wt.net.

La Marque: Master Gardener John Jons will present “Anyone Can Grow Roses,” Saturday, January 26, from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. at the Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (FM 519), La Marque. Topics covered include the basics of growing hybrid tea roses, variety selection, bed preparation, planting and culture, insect and disease control. For course reservations, call 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or email GALV3@wt.net.

La Marque: Dr. David Cohen will present “Growing Blueberries,” Tuesday, January 29, from 6:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. at the Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (FM 519), La Marque. Learn the facts about blueberries and site selection and preparation. Find out about variety recommendations for this area and the planting, spacing, fertilizing and pruning requirements. Gather information on harvesting and understand the problems and the costs of growing blueberries. For course reservations, call 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or email GALV3@wt.net.

FEBRUARY

La Marque: The Galveston County Master Gardeners will host the Annual Fruit & Citrus Tree Seminar & Sale, Saturday, February 2, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the Wayne Johnson Community Center in Carbide Park, 4102 Main St., La Marque. The sale includes a wide variety of fruit and citrus trees adapted to Gulf Coast growing area. Prior to the sale at 8:00 a.m., Heidi Sheesley of TreeSearch Farms will discuss many of the varieties available in the sale. Check website for updates: http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/index.htm.

Schertz: Heather Venhaus will present “The Lazy Gardener’s Landscape: Working with Nature,” Saturday, February 2, at the Schertz Civic Center, 1400 Schertz Pkwy, Schertz. Offered from 8:30 a.m. until 3:15 p.m. by the Guadalupe County Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas, the 5-hour interactive workshop will help homeowners design personal landscape projects that thrive naturally on little water and are easy to maintain, plus are both pleasing to the eye and healthy for the environment. The cost for the full-day workshop, including lunch, is $36 per person. Workshop leader Venhaus specializes in residential landscapes and has spent the last decade working with scientists and educators on sustainable design, land restoration and environmental education. For a $2 general admission fee, the public can enjoy a gardening information fair that features vendors and community organizations offering information and products that complement the ideas discussed in the workshop. For more information or tickets, email Monta Zengerle at zengerlem@sbcglobal.net or call 830-285-4083.

MARCH

Longview: The Gregg County Master Gardeners will host their annual Spring Garden and Landscape Seminar, Saturday, March 2, at the First United Methodist church, Faith Center, Whaley Street entrance, Longview, from 8 a.m. until noon. Greg Grant, horticulturist, conservationist and writer will be the speaker. Greg’s topic for the first session will be “Home Landscaping: Right Plant, Right Place.” For the second session, Greg’s topic will be “Heirloom Gardening in the South: Yesterday’s Plants for Today’s Garden.” Greg is a lecturer at Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches, a graduate from Texas A&M University, and a columnist for Texas Gardener magazine. Advance tickets are $10, available from the Gregg Co. AgriLife Extension Service or at the door for $12. For more information, call 1-903-236-8429 or visit www.gregg-tx.tamu.edu.

APRIL

Nacogdoches: The SFA Gardens at Stephen F. Austin State University will host its annual Garden Gala Day Spring Plant Sale from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday, April 20, at the SFA Pineywoods Native Plant Center, 2900 Raguet St. in historic Nacogdoches. A wide variety of hard-to-find, “Texas tough” plants will be available, including Texas natives, heirlooms, tropicals, perennials, shrubs, trees, and exclusive SFA and Greg Grant introductions. Most of the plants are extensively trialed in the gardens before being offered to the public and most are produced by the SFA Gardens staff and volunteers. This popular event benefits the SFA Mast Arboretum, Pineywoods Native Plant Center, Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden, Gayla Mize Garden, and educational programs hosted at the gardens. The educational programs at SFA Gardens reach over 15,000 students ages 1 to 100 on a yearly basis. The public is encouraged to arrive early and bring a wagon. For more information, call 936-468-4404, or visit www.sfagardens.sfasu.edu and click on “garden events” for a list of available plants.

MONTHLY MEETINGS

FIRST WEEK

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 www.txmg.org/wichita 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.

SECOND WEEK

Austin: Austin Organic Gardeners Club meets at 6:30 p.m. on the second Monday of each month (except December) at the Austin Area Garden Center, 2220 Barton Springs Road, Zilker Botanical Gardens in Austin. For more information, visit www.austinorganicgardeners.org.

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.

New Braunfels: The Comal Master Gardeners meet at 6 p.m. the second Wednesday of January at the GVTC Auditorium, 36101 FM 3159, New Braunfels. For additional information and meeting dates of subsequent months, call 830-620-3440.

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.

THIRD WEEK

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.

Brownwood: Brownwood Garden Club meets the third Thursday of each month, 11:30 a.m.– 1 p.m.  The club meetings are at Southside Baptist Church, 1219 Indian Creek Road, with refreshments and a speaker presentation. Visitors are welcome. For more information, email boeblingen@centex.net or call 817-454-8175).

Houston: The Native Plant Society of Texas — Houston (NPSOT-H) meets at 7:30 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 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 June and 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.

FOURTH WEEK

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 Gene Bobo at gene.bobo@agnet.tamu.edu.

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.orgrg.

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!

American Express, 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.

American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa accepted.



Paperback edition.


Kindle edition.

NOW AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK!
In Greg's Garden: A Pineywoods Perspective on Gardening, Nature and Family

By Greg Grant
Foreword by Chris S. Corby

An intimate and personal exploration of the life of one of Texas’ most beloved gardeners, In Greg’s Garden: A Pineywoods Perspective on Gardening, Nature and Family gathers in a single volume the first 10 years of Greg Grant’s columns from Texas Gardener magazine, and is amply illustrated with Grant’s own full-color photography.

Revised and updated from their original publication, these 60 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.

$33.54 (includes shipping and sales tax)

Remit payment to: TG Books • PO Box 9005 • Waco, TX 76714
www.TexasGardener.com
or call Toll-Free 1-800-727-9020

American Express, Visa, MasterCard and Discover accepted

The previous text-only edition of In Greg’s Garden: A Pineywoods Perspective on Gardening, Nature and Family, containing the first nine years of Greg Grant’s column, is still available for Kindle from Amazon.com.


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),
volume 30 (November/December 2010 through September/October 2011) and
volume 31 (November/December 2011 through September/October 2012)*.

$16.99 per CD includes tax and shipping

Order by calling 1-800-727-9020.

(American Express, 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.

(American Express, 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