February 13, 2013
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Leaf mulch. (Photo courtesy of Melinda Myers, LLC)
Five easy steps to a low maintenance eco-friendly landscape
It’s possible to create a beautiful landscape and be kind to the environment even with a busy schedule and while staying within budget. All it takes is a bit of planning and a few low maintenance strategies.
Use these five strategies to create a low maintenance eco-friendly landscape this season.
Save money on the water bill, time spent watering and this precious resource, water. Start by growing drought tolerant plants suited to your growing environment. Once established they will only need watering during extended dry spells. Mulch with shredded leaves, evergreen needles, woodchips, or other organic matter to conserve moisture, reduce weeds, and improve the soil as they decompose.
Fertilize with a low nitrogen fertilizer that promotes slow steady growth instead of excessive greenery that requires more water. Plus, it won’t burn even during drought.
Put rainwater to work all season long by using rain barrels to capture rainwater off your roof or directly from the sky.
Recycle Yard Waste in the Landscape
Minimize the amount of yard waste produced, reuse what can be in other areas of the landscape and recycle the rest as compost. These are just a few strategies that will save time bagging, hauling, and disposing of yard debris. And better yet, implementing this strategy will save money and time spent buying and transporting soil amendments, since it will be created right in the backyard.
Start by leaving grass clippings on the lawn. The short clippings break down quickly, adding organic matter, nutrients and moisture to the soil. Grow trees suited to the growing conditions and available space. That means less pruning and fewer trimmings that will need to be managed.
Make Compost at Home
Recycle yard waste into compost. Put plant waste into a heap and let it rot. Yes, it really is that simple. The more effort put into the process, the quicker the results.
Do not add insect-infested or diseased plant material or perennial weeds like quack grass, annual weeds gone to seed, or invasive plants. Most compost piles are not hot enough to kill these pests. And do not add meat, dairy, or bones that can attract rodents.
Manage Pests in Harmony with Nature
A healthy plant is the best defense against insects and disease. Select the most pest-resistant plants suited to the growing conditions and provide proper care.
Check plants regularly throughout the growing season. It is easier to control a few insects than the hundreds that can develop in a week or two. And when problems arise, look for the most eco-friendly control. Start by removing small infestations by hand. Consider traps, barriers, and natural products if further control is needed. And as always be sure to read and follow label directions carefully.
Energy Wise Landscape Design
Use landscape plantings to keep homes warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Homes will have a more comfortable temperature throughout the seasons and energy costs will be reduced.
Plant trees on the east and west side of a house to shade windows in the summer and let the sun shine in and warm it up through the south-facing windows in winter.
Shade air conditioners, so they run more efficiently and be sure to collect and use any water they produce for container gardens.
Incorporate these changes into gardening routines and habits over time. Soon these and many more strategies that help save time and money while being kind to the environment will seem to occur automatically.
Nationally known gardening expert, TV/radio host, author & columnist Melinda Myers has more than 30 years of horticulture experience and has written more 20 gardening books, including Can’t Miss Small Space Gardening. She hosts the nationally syndicated Melinda’s Garden Moment segments which air on nearly 100 TV and radio stations throughout the U.S. and Canada. Melinda has a master’s degree in horticulture, is a certified arborist and was a horticulture instructor with tenure. Learn more at www.melindamyers.com.
Young mothers and
seniors seek home-grown veggies
As consumers increasingly seek to control the food they put on the table, the nation’s leading home gardening company plans to introduce vegetable varieties specially intended for parents who want to avoid processed baby foods in favor of home grown fresh from the garden.
“We started researching these varieties several years ago when our staff started receiving inquiries from mothers-to-be asking if we had certain vegetables that were better suited for use as baby food,” says George Ball, chairman of W. Atlee Burpee & Co., in Bucks County, PA.
“At that time,” Mr. Ball says, “we were recommending existing varieties in our catalog and on our website.” But all that has changed, he adds, pointing out that Burpee is currently involved in developing special varieties better suited for use as baby food.
In the near future, he says, “we will be offering high yielding varieties of relatively bland tasting but uniquely soft-fruited vegetables such as peas, squash, carrots and broccoli.” With no trade-off in nutritional value, he adds.
The Burpee chairman, who formerly served as president of The American Horticultural Society in Washington, D.C., and is a third-generation seedsman, sees a growing trend toward “age-specific” home gardening.
“Young people are interested in growing the best for their families but at the other end of the spectrum we see increasing numbers of senior citizens allocating space in their vegetable gardens for varieties high in vitamins and anti-oxidants so important in maintaining good health as we grow older, Mr. Ball says.
Burpee has developed several varieties of kale and other vegetables that are high in Lutein and Zeaxanthin, after receiving queries from home gardeners asking for recommendations on what to grow for people with age-related macular degeneration.
Another example that will be introduced for the 2013 home gardening season is Burpee’s giant roma-style cooking tomato named, ‘SuperSauce,’ which is perfect for use in tomato sauces high in Lycopene. In addition, the company is expanding its highly successful “Boost Collection,” comprised of vegetables that have been naturally bred to contain mega-amounts of vitamins and anti-oxidants.
Weeds have already started to sprout in those flower beds. Remove them while they are still small and easy to pull. Then cover the area with mulch to prevent more weed seeds from emerging.
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 world’s population is expected to increase by 2.6 billion in 2050 with most of the increase coming from undeveloped areas, according to the United Nations. This jump from 6.5 billion to 9.1 billion represents a huge challenge to farmers, horticulturists and scientists to produce the tremendous amount of food that will be needed to feed this hungry crowd, all from a shrinking supply of arable land.
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.
Nacogdoches: Dr. Mengmeng Gu, Assistant Professor and Extension Ornamental Horticulturist at Texas A&M University, will present “Urban Landscape Philosophy and Strategies in China” at the Theresa and Les Reeves Lecture Series hosted by SFA Gardens. The lecture will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, February 14, in Room 110 of the Agriculture Building located on Wilson Drive on the SFA campus. Mengmeng Gu earned her bachelors degree in Landscape Horticulture and master’s degree in Ornamental Horticulture from Beijing Forestry University. She received her Ph.D. in Plant Science/Horticulture from the University of Arkansas. From 2006-2011, Dr. Gu served as Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist at Mississippi State University and in January of 2012, Dr. Gu became Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist at Texas A&M University. She is also a member of the Graduate Faculty of Texas A&M University. Dr. Gu’s specializations are ornamental horticulture, landscaping, plant stress physiology, and sustainable agriculture. The Theresa and Les Reeves 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 email@example.com.
San Antonio: Rick the Beekeeper shares frugal alternatives to mainstream beekeeping with the Herb Society, Thursday, February 14, 6:30-8:30 p.m., 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.
Angleton: Citrus and Fruit Tree Sale by Brazoria County Master Gardeners at the Brazoria County AgriLife Extension Office, 21017 CR 171, Angleton, from 8 a.m. to noon, February 16. Includes more than 2,000 plants, including blackberries, blueberries, apples, avocados, figs, peaches, pears, plums, persimmons, pomegrantes, citrus of all kinds that will grow in Brazoria Co. and vegetables for the early gardener. For more information, visit http://txmg.org/brazoria.
Austin: The Austin Rose Society is presenting a rose workshop from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. February 16, at the Zilker Garden Center, 2220 Barton Springs, Austin. Lunch is included with the $25 membership. Register online at www.AustinRoseSociety.org.
Bryan: Texas A&M AgriLife Extension’s Brazos County Master Gardeners are hosting a water conservation seminar featuring rainwater harvesting. The program will be held on Saturday, February 16, 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Brazos Center, 3232 Briarcrest Drive, Bryan. Billy Kniffen, water resource specialist with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, will lead this informative seminar. Learn how to capture, store and use rainwater in your home and landscape. Kniffen will address topics relating to this effective water conservation tool, including: Water stewardship; Stormwater management; Reducing water demand; Passive collections (rain gardens, etc.); and Simple and complex water harvesting systems. After serving as a county Extension agent for 25 years, Kniffen is currently vice-president and education coordinator for the American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association (ARCSA). He is co-author of their manual — Rainwater Harvesting: System Planning — used in the ARCSA Accredited Professional course. He and his wife live in Menard, in a home solely dependent on rainwater. As part of the program, Kniffen will also have a fully-operational system demonstration. This seminar also offers informational exhibits for lawns, vegetable gardening, water delivery systems and the City of College Station Water Resource division. Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer gardening questions. Pre-Register to attend: $45 per person — includes handouts, snacks & sandwich lunch buffet. Registration preferred by February 11, 2013. Information and registration form are available at www.brazosmg.com. Mail registration to: Brazos County Master Gardeners, 2619 Highway 21 West, Bryan, TX 77803. For additional information call the Brazos County office of AgriLife Extension at 979-823-0129 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ft. Worth: Take your pruners and learn the proper way to prune roses from Nan Garvin, a Tarrant County Master Gardener Association (TCMGA) EarthKind specialist. The hands-on class will be 10 a.m.- noon, Saturday, February 16, at the TCMGA Demonstration Garden at the Resource Connection, 2300 Circle Drive, Ft. Worth. The Resource Connection is located off Campus Dr., north from I-20. Cost is $5 and class is limited to 25. To register and more information, contact Billie Hammack at email@example.com or call 817-884-1296.
Ft. Worth: Get a good start on your vegetable gardening at a class presented by Tarrant County Master Gardener Association vegetable specialists, Saturday, February, 16, 2 -4 p.m. at Fort Worth’s Resource Connection, Building 2300, Magnolia Room, 2300 Circle Drive. The Resource Connection is to 25. To register and more information, contact Billie Hammack at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 817-884-1296.
Hempstead: Peckerwood Garden Conservation Foundation will be open for garden tours and plant sales February 16, 17, March 16, 17, April 6, 7 and May 11, 12. Garden Tours are $10 per person, and are scheduled for 1 and 3 p.m. each day. Students over 12 are admitted free with student ID. Due to the nature of the garden, no children under 12 will be permitted unless carried by an adult. Please check the website for cancellation notices due to inclement weather. Garden-grown plants, many of which are not commonly available from local nurseries, will be on sale during open weekends. The Plant Sale runs from noon to 5 p.m. Located just south of the Waller County Fairgrounds in Hempstead on the west side of Hwy 359, and just north of FM 334, the garden is easy to access from Hwy 290 or I-10. Further information about Peckerwood Garden may be found at www.peckerwoodgarden.org or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/peckerwoodgarden.
La Marque: Master Gardener Elayne Kouzounis will present “Hummingbirds…The Fluttering Jewels in our Garden,” Saturday, February 16, 9 a.m.-11:30 a.m. at Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (FM 519), La Marque. Elayne is an avid hummingbird enthusiast who has attended the Rockport Hummingbird Festival many times. She will present and discuss everything hummingbird. For course reservations, call 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or email GALV3@wt.net.
La Marque: Master Gardeners Stewart McAdoo and Robert Marshall will present “Honey Bees Around the Garden,” Saturday, February 16, 1 p.m.-3:00 p.m. at Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (FM 519), La Marque. A presentation and discussion on the history, types, social life and hive structure of honey bees. Included will be an overview of residential honey bee keeping. For course reservations, call 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or email GALV3@wt.net.
Pasadena: Heidi Sheesley, Treesearch Farms, will present a preview of the plants available at the Harris County Master Gardeners Fruit, Citrus, Grapes & Berries Sale, 8 a.m., Saturday, February 16, at Campbell Hall, Pasadena Fairgrounds, 7600 Red Bluff Road, Pasadena. The plant sale follows at 9 a.m. and continues until 1 p.m.
The Woodlands: “Creating a Sense of Place,” a Gardening 101 seminar on Saturday, February 16 from 9 a.m. to noon, features Gary Clark, nature columnist; Kathy Adams Clark, professional photographer; and Brenda Beust Smith, Houston’s original Lazy Gardener. Learn how to work with the nature to add life to your landscape and avoid gardening pitfalls. With beautiful photography, Gary and Kathy reveal the natural beauty of East Texas with “Attracting Birds and Butterflies to Your Backyard.” Brenda presents “10 Commandments of Lazy Gardening,” offering tried and true tips for creating an easy care landscape. Reservations are required for the free program and book signing that will be held at The Woodlands Township Board Chambers, 2801 Technology Forest Blvd. For information, call 281-210-3800. Register on-line at Gardening 101.
Houston: Tour the working and demonstration gardens maintained by the Harris County Master Gardeners at Precinct 2, Genoa Friendship Garden, 1202 Genoa Red Bluff, Houston, from 8:30 a.m. until 11 a.m., Monday, February 18. Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer your gardening questions. A program on Tomatoes & Peppers will be offered from 9:30 - 10:30 am. Free and open to the public, children welcome.
San Antonio: "Rose is a Rose is a Rose is a Rose" will be presented on Tuesday, February 19, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at 3355 Cherry Ridge Dr., Ste 208, San Antonio. Pruning, deadheading, watering, fertilizing and grooming are important steps to help you maintain beautiful roses in your garden. Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Horticulturist David Rodriguez and Master Gardener/Rosarian Ed Bradley will talk about the particulars of rose care. This event is open to the public, and the registration fee of $10 may be paid at the door. To register, call Angel Torres at 210-467-6575 or visit www.bexar-tx.tamu.edu/.
Seabrook: Dennis Jones of Texas Parks and Wildlife will speak about the Historical "count" of Texas Prairies and Native grasses at 10 a.m., Wednesday, February 20, at The Meeting Room at Clear Lake Park (on the lakeside), 5001 NASA Parkway, Seabrook. Free and open to the public.
Johnson County: Johnson County Master Gardeners encourage anyone wishing to become a Master Gardener to enroll in a tri-county training program offered by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. The Master Gardener Program is designed to increase a community’s exposure to horticultural information and to improve quality of life through horticultural projects. Weekly classes begin March 26 and run through May 28. Training includes more than 50 hours of instruction, a Master Gardener Manual and a field trip to the Fort Worth Botanic Garden. Class sites will rotate between Cleburne, Glen Rose and Granbury. Applicants have until February 22 to enroll. Registration cost is $140. To apply call the Johnson County Extension Office at 817-556-6370 or contact Johnson County Extension Agent Zach T. Davis by email: email@example.com.
Ft. Worth: Learn the basics of drip irrigation from Tarrant County Master Gardener Association drip irrigation specialists, Saturday, February 23, 10 am – noon at Fort Worth’s Resource Connection, Building 2300, Magnolia Room, 2300 Circle Drive. The Resource Connection is located off Campus Dr., north from I-20. This hands-on class and lecture is $5 and limited to 40. To register and for more information, contact Billie Hammack at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 817-884-1296.
Rosenberg: The Fort Bend Master Gardeners will hold their Vegetable-Herb Sale on Saturday, February 23, in front of the greenhouse behind the Agriculture Center, 1402 Band Road, Rosenberg. There will be a presentation about the vegetables and herbs to be sold on the morning of the sale from 8-8:45 a.m. in the Bud O'Shieles Community Center, 1330 Band Road, Rosenberg. The sale will open at 9 a.m. and will run until noon or until sold out. Visit www.fbmg.com for a list of vegetables and herbs that will be available at the sale.
Wichita Falls: Wichita County Master Gardeners will present "Three Steves and a Jack!" Saturday, February 23, at the 2013 Arts Alive! Home and Garden Show at the Wichita Falls Multi Purpose Events Center, 1000 5th Street, Wichita Falls. Speakers this year are Jack Murphy, Director of Parks and Recreations for the City of Wichita Falls; Steve Houser, Dallas County Master Gardener; Steve Huddleston, Senior Horticulturist at the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens; and Steve Chaney, Tarrant Co. Horticulture Agent, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension. Visit www.txmg.org/wichita for times and details.
San Antonio: Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will conduct its Spring Master Gardener Class for adults interested in gardening/ horticulture and related topics. Participants then return their knowledge and time commitment by providing educational outreach support for youth and adults. Deadline to register is February 25, and the cost is $220. Classes will run every Wednesday, noon-4 p.m., March 6-May 29, at the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service conference room, 3355 Cherry Ridge/Suite 208, San Antonio. For more information, contact Angel Torres at (210) 467-6575.
Seabrook: From 6:30 p.m. until 8 p.m., Wednesday, February 27, at The Meeting Room at Clear Lake Park (on the lakeside), 5001 NASA Parkway, Seabrook, Harris County Master Gardeners at Precinct 2 will host a Preview of Plants available at their March 9, Perennial and Tomato & Pepper Sale. Heidi Sheesley, Treesearch Farms, will lead the presentation.
Austin: The Sunshine Community Gardens Plant Sale will be held from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m., Saturday, March 2, at 4814 Sunshine Drive, Austin. Fill your spring garden with organic and heirloom vegetable starts and herbs. Choose from more than 120 colorful varieties of tomatoes, 64 varieties of peppers, a wide selection of herbs, ornamentals and more. Nourish those babies and the rest of your garden with bag-your-own compost. Local arts and crafts vendors and live music round out this annual rite of spring for the whole family. Check out the plant varieties that will be available and find additional information at http://www.sunshinecommunitygarden.org/.
Jasper: "Bees, Burgers & Butterflies," two workshops and a great lunch Saturday, March 2 at the Fire Hall, 205 Water St. Jasper. 9 a.m. to noon will be a beekeeping basics workshop, including what equipment is needed, start-up costs, where to buy bees and more. Burgers for lunch and then a butterfly garden workshop, 1 to 3 p.m.; tour the master gardener greenhouse, butterfly garden and Outdoor Learning Center. Program includes seed starting and transplanting seedlings. Learn what plants attract butterflies and why it's important to plant milkweed for monarchs. Jasper County is the butterfly capital of Texas. Either or both workshops and lunch, $20; RSVP to Texas A&M AgriLife Ext. Service in Jasper, 409-384-3721.
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.
La Marque: Galveston County Master Gardener Ken Steblein will present “50 Ways to Live a Greener Life” from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 5, at Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (FM 519), La Marque. What does it mean to live green? Join in on this interactive presentation and learn how to integrate environmentally positive changes into your lifestyle. For course reservations, call 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or email GALV3@wt.net.
The Woodlands: Discover habitat gardening at Where Have All the Hummingbirds Gone? on Thursday, March 7 at 7:30 p.m. with Mark Klym, coordinator of Texas Hummingbird Roundup for Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. In the past, recommendations for luring hummingbirds relied on planting red tubular flowers. “It’s about more than nectar,” Mark Klym says. He will reveal the latest research on the wide variety of hummingbirds that visit the region, and the habitat that attracts them at the next Walk in the Woods Nature Lecture. A free program of The Woodlands Township, the presentation will be held in the L.G.I. Lecture Hall at McCullough Junior High School, 3800 S. Panther Creek Dr., The Woodlands. For more information, visit Walk in the Woods Nature Lecture or call 281-210-3800.
Austin: “Understanding Soil and Soil Amendments” will be presented from 10 a.m. until noon, Thursday, March 14, at Travis County AgriLife Extension Office, 1600 B Smith Rd., Austin. Get to know your soil so you can improve its ability to retain moisture and improve plant growth. Your soil may be blocking vital elements your plants need to grow. Ascertain how and when to add missing elements to improve plant health and production. Learn the type of soil on your property and its corresponding strengths and weakness. (Bring a cup of your soil in a plastic bag and a glass jar with lid.) Discover changes you can make to improve the soil structure and water storage capacity. Organic matter, cover crops, soil microorganism and mulching will be discussed. This class is part of The Green Thumb series. Registration required at https://agriliferegister.tamu.edu or by phone 979-845-2604. Keyword Search: Green Thumb. One class is $15, with price discounts for signing up for 3 or more classes at the same time. The class is limited to 40 people. It is presented by the Travis County Master Gardeners, a volunteer arm of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service in Travis County.
Huntsville: The Texas Thyme Unit of the Herb Society of America will host the second annual Herb Day at the historic Wynne Home on Saturday, March 16, 9 a.m. until -2 p.m. The event will be held on the grounds of the Wynne Home, 1438 Eleventh St., Huntsville. Master Gardener Bonney Kennedy will give a talk about growing citrus. Master Gardener Jean Marsh will demonstrate herbal pestos. A talk on growing camellias is also planned. The event will include an herb plant sale, camellia sale, herbal crafts and products, kitchen and garden vendors, art, music and food. For more information, contact Maryann Readal at email@example.com.
La Marque: Galveston County Master Gardener Herman Auer, propagation specialist, will present “Grafting Your Own Fruit Trees” from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m., Saturday, March 16, at Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (FM 519), La Marque. The two grafting methods presented will be T-bud grafting, and the more commonly used wedge grafting. NOTE: Class is limited to 32 persons participating. You must pre-register in order to attend. For course reservations, call 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or email GALV3@wt.net.
La Marque: Master Gardener Linda Brown will present “Vermiculture-Worm Castings for Your Garden, 6:30 p.m. until 8 p.m., Tuesday, March 19, at Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (FM 519), La Marque. Details on how to build your own worm box, where to get your worms, how to care for your worms, and how-to’s of harvesting the castings and using them in your garden will be topics covered in the program. For course reservations, call 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or email GALV3@wt.net.
Angleton: Spring Plant Sale by Brazoria County Master Gardeners at the Brazoria County Fair Grounds, 901 S. Downing Rd, Angleton, March 23. Featured speaker at 8:00 a.m. is Heidi from Treesearch, Inc. Sales includes plants from Treesearch plus those cultivated by BCMGA. New venue and new ideas on gardening in the Brazoria County area. Sale is from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. and includes all kinds of plants for the landscape and vegetable gardening. For more information, visit http://txmg.org/brazoria.
La Marque: Galveston County Master Gardener Susan Roth will present “Drip Irrigation-Easy and Efficient” from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 26, at Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office in Carbide Park,4102 Main Street (FM 519), La Marque. Learn how to design, install and maintain a drip irrigation system. Drip irrigation is not only highly efficient but is also inexpensive and an easy project for do-it-yourself individuals. For course reservations, call 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or email GALV3@wt.net.
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.
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.
New Braunfels: The Comal Master Gardeners meet at 6 p.m. the first Wednesday of each month (except December) at the GVTC Auditorium, 36101 FM 3159, New Braunfels. An educational program preceeds the business meeting. The public is invited to attend. For additional information, call 830-620-3440 or visit http://txmg.org/comal/.
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 hold their monthly meeting at noon on the first Thursday of each month at 623 Fair Street, Gonzales. Bring a bag lunch, drinks provided. Contact AgriLife Extension Office at 830-672-8531 or visit http://gonzalesmastergardeners.org for more information.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Quitman: The Quitman Garden Club meets at 2 p.m. the second Tuesday of each month at the Quitman Library on E Goode Street, Quitman. It is a diverse group that welcomes all visitors.For more information, e-mail email@example.com.
Humble: The Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Garden, 22306 Aldine Westfield Road, Humble, hosts a Lunch Bunch the second Wednesday of each month from noon until 2 p.m. Take a sack lunch or order a box lunch from Starbucks when you call 281-443-8731 to reserve your spot. Master Gardeners and Masters Naturalists may earn CEU credits by attending.
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.
Woodway: The McLennan County Master Gardeners meet on the second Wednesday each month at noon at the Carleen Bright Arboretum, 9001 Bosque Blvd., Woodway.; Educational programs follow the business session. For more information, call 254-757-5180.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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.
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.
Linden: The Caddo Wildflower Chapter of Native Plants Society meets the fourth Tuesday of each month at the senior citizens building at 507 S Kaufman St. in Linden at 6:30. Visitors are welcome. For additional information, contact Karen Tromza at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dallas: The Greater Dallas Organic Garden Club meets at 7:00 p.m. on the fourth Thursday 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
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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.
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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.
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volume 20 (November/December 2000 through September/October 2001),
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