March 6, 2013

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The garden reader:
Three new books worth a second look

By William Scheick
Book Reviewer

Pam Penick. Lawn Gone! Low-Maintenance, Sustainable, Attractive Alternatives for Your Yard. Ten Speed Press, 2013. 184 pp. $19.99.

Leslie Bennett and Stefani Bittner. The Beautiful Edible Garden: Design a Stylish Outdoor Space Using Vegetables, Fruits, and Herbs. Ten Speed Press, 2013. 212 pp. $19.99.

Mel Bartholomew. All New Square Foot Gardening: The Revolutionary Way to Grow More in Less Space. Cool Springs Press, 2013. 272 pp. $24.99.

In my Oak Hill neighborhood the ongoing rain-drought and hard-to-live-with Austin watering restrictions have led some homeowners to replace their front lawns with mulch or stonescapes. Many of these attempts, unfortunately, are not easy on the eyes.

Traditional lawns are hardly a winning option in most of Texas. But it’s hard to get rid of them and apparently, at least with budgeting in mind, it’s even harder to replace them with something aesthetically appealing.

Pam Penick’s idea-rich Lawn Gone! should help. Skipping the history of and the current debate over lawns, the author assumes her readers have already decided against conventional turf and are ready to contend with homeowners associations, city codes and skeptical neighbors.

Panick offers good advice on how to remove turf grass, followed by a welcome chapter on designing and installing hardscapes. She describes variations in pathway patterns, patio elements, fire pits, play spaces, paving media, dry streams and water features.

One top-notch tip derives from Japanese gardening: “you can create a sense of mystery and exploration by obscuring a wide view with a strategically placed ornamental tree or clump of grasses, and wind a little path beyond them.”

Leslie Bennett and Stefani Bittner provide other options in The Beautiful Edible Garden. In this handsome book they “redefine the plant palette to utilize edible and ornamental plants” through attractive designs suitable for “front yards and backyards” as well as for “decks, porches, and side yards.”

In their wise and handy guide the authors highlight a balanced-look, eye-appealing arrangement, intercropping, year-round beauty and fashioning a unified style. They provide insightful advice on how to position permanent elements, focal points and anchor plants.

Although some of the mentioned plants won’t work in Texas, the authors’ general concepts of crop designs — at once productive and attractive — do meet our Lone Star needs.

Growing more in less space is Mel Bartholomew’s entire subject in All New Square Foot Gardening, a second edition of the 2007 revision of the 1981 bestseller.

The added material in this handbook includes “ten major improvements from the original method [that] make Square Foot Gardening more productive, the work much easier, and the cost of gardening lower.” There is, for example, an enhanced section on vertical gardening, an increasingly popular space-saving trend.

Gardeners practicing Bartholomew’s grid-based method already know how space-adaptable, productive, weed-free and timesaving such plantings can be. Beautifully designed with step-by-step illustrations and easy-to-follow instructions, this must-have new edition of All New Square Foot Gardening offers a useful enrichment of that successful model.


Restricted use pesticides require an extra level of care

Weed Science Society of America

The owner of a horticultural company was fined recently for using a restricted use pesticide (RUP) in ways that were inconsistent with the product label. The product’s use was restricted due to human health concerns, but workers had applied the product without proper training or the required personal protective equipment (PPE). In another recent case, a company was fined because it failed to keep the records required for RUPs.

“RUPs are pesticides that have been determined by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to have a greater chance of causing harm to public health, farm workers, domestic animals, wildlife, certain crops, water, or other sensitive organisms or sites,” says Gina Alessandri, President of the Association of American Pesticide Control Officials and Director, Pesticide and Plant Pest Management Division, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. “As a result, there are more stringent requirements regarding applicator training, oversight and record-keeping, as well as product-specific requirements, such as more extensive PPE.”

The concept of restricted use pesticides originated in California more than 60 years ago, when there were concerns about protecting sensitive crops from phenoxy herbicide drift. In 1972, amendments to the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) established RUPs at the national level.

What triggers an RUP classification? A variety of human health concerns may result in a product being restricted. Examples include acute toxicity if exposed to a product through the mouth, skin or lungs, or the ability of the active ingredient to cause genetic changes (mutagenicity) or tumors (oncogenicity) in laboratory tests.

Environmental concerns may also result in an RUP classification, such as toxicity to bees, fish, birds or certain crops, ground or surface water concerns, or a history of accidental exposure. Products may also be restricted based on how complex they are to use (requiring specialized training, equipment and/or clothing).

Here are a few important points to remember about restricted use pesticides:

The label. When a pesticide is classified as restricted use, the words "Restricted Use Pesticide" will appear at the top of the front panel. The reason for the RUP classification will usually be shown as well.

The formulation. The RUP classification is for a specific formulation(s). For example, a highly concentrated emulsifiable concentrate (EC) formulation of an active ingredient may be restricted, while the granular formulation or low concentration EC may not be restricted.

The intended use. The formulation may be restricted for agricultural, residential or indoor uses, all uses, use on certain crops, etc.

The sale. Distributors, dealers and retailers must be licensed to sell RUPs. They must carefully document these sales and must sell only to buyers who are certified (specially trained) to apply RUPs for the intended use.

The application. The RUP may only be applied by a certified applicator or someone under a certified applicator’s direct supervision, and only for those purposes covered by the applicator's certification.

The RUP list. Some states use the EPA’s RUP list as their RUP list, while other states require that certain additional products be restricted, usually due to local conditions that result in environmental concerns. A product on the EPA’s RUP list must also be restricted for use in every state that registers it. Some restricted use products may be federally registered but not registered at all in certain states.

“Classification of a pesticide as restricted use to protect human health or the environment is a critical component of the pesticide registration process,” says Alessandri. “It allows certain products to be available by establishing stricter conditions of use.”

If you have questions about a restricted use pesticide product, call the pesticide manufacturer, your Cooperative Extension Service or your State Pesticide Regulatory Agency.


Goliad Anacua and Old Baldy designated as Famous Trees of Texas

Texas A&M Forest Service

Two trees rich in Lone Star State history were recently added to the Famous Trees of Texas registry.

A large evergreen Anacua identified during the restoration of the Espiritu Santo church at the Goliad Historic Site near San Antonio and a towering bald cypress in McKinney Falls State Park known as “Old Baldy” join the elite group. Images of the trees can be viewed in an online photo album.

Texas A&M Forest Service oversees the Famous Trees of Texas registry, which recognizes trees that have witnessed exciting periods and events in Texas history. The original 81 Famous Trees of Texas were memorialized in a book published by TFS in the 1970s and 1980s. Only 57 of those are still alive. The book, Famous Trees of Texas, is now presented in an online format (http://famoustreesoftexas.tamu.edu) with updates to reflect the status of the trees.

As Famous Trees of Texas occasionally succumb to the ravages of time, nature and neglect, Texas A&M Forest Service seeks to augment this distinguished group through nominations of additional Famous Trees, such as the Goliad Anacua and Old Baldy. The general public can make nominations through the website that will be reviewed by a steering committee. The criteria include:

  • Tree is located at or near the site of a significant state, county or community event and must have been alive at the time of the event.
  • Tree is directly connected to the War for Texas Independence, the Republic of Texas or another of the Historical Topics on the Famous Trees of Texas website.
  • Tree is recognized by a Texas Historical Commission marker or is identified in historical records, newspaper accounts or photos.
  • Tree is in reasonably good health and is likely to remain for the foreseeable future.

The agency is seeking nominations to bring the total number of Famous Trees to 100 by 2015, the 100th anniversary of Texas A&M Forest Service. For additional information, visit http://tfsweb.tamu.edu.


 

Gardening tips

Warm season grasses are starting to emerge from winter’s grip. Wait until they are actively growing to apply fertilizer. Pull or mow winter weeds now to keep them from setting seed.

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 2013 Planning Guide & Calendar. Please send your tips of 50 words or less to the editor at: Gardening Tips.



Cedar waxwing feasts on the berries of a Deciduous Yaupon Holly. (Photo by Chris S. Corby)

Did you know...

In addition to being a great landscape plant. Deciduous Yaupon Holly is a preferred food source of cedar waxwings. The waxwings arrive in late winter to feast on the bright red berries. Within a few days, the berries will all be eaten.


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.

MARCH

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.

Conroe: The Montgomery County Master Gardeners will hold their annual Spring Plant Sale on Saturday, March 9, at 9020 Airport Road, Conroe. Program is at 8 a.m.; sale is from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Call 936-539-7824 or visit www.mcmga.com for more information and a plant list. Bring your wagon!

Forney: The Kaufman County Master Gardener Association will host “Earth-Kind Environmental Landscape Management: The Low-Maintenance, Water-wise Way to a Beautiful Yard” Saturday, March 9. Learn Earth-Kind principles from Dr. Steve George, the creator and National Coordinator of the Earth-Kind Environmental Landscape Management System. Dr. George has served as Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Landscape Horticulture Specialist since 1988 and is based at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Dallas. The workshop will be held at the First Baptist Church at 1003 College Ave (FM 741), Forney, and it will be in two parts. From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Dr. George will explain the system and provide examples of its use. Beginning at 2 p.m., Dr. George and other landscapers will provide 30-minute landscape consultations. The cost for the workshop is $60 per couple, and each couple may have a consultation on either their front or back yards based on a photograph and a scale drawing (plat or survey) of the area. Lunch will be provided. Space is limited, so be sure to pre-register by March 1. For more information, contact Sharon Burden at 972-932-9069 or email her at sbburden@ag.tamu.edu. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to learn this locally-developed and tested system that conserves water and energy, reduces water requirements and decreases the amount of yard material going into landfills.

Ft. Worth: Paint your rain barrel at this make-and-take class sponsored by the Tarrant County Master Gardener Association (TCMGA), Saturday, March 9, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., the TCMGA demonstration garden at the Fort Worth Resource Connection. The Resource Connection is off Campus Dr., north from I-20 in Ft. Worth. The class will be at the garden pavilion. Class Fee for instruction only is $5; class fee with materials is $20 (bring your own barrel); class fee with materials and barrel is $60. Class limit is 10. To register and for more information/directions, contact Billie Hammack at blhammack@ag.tamu.edu or call 817-884-1296. 

Glen Rose: The Prairie Rose Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas will hold its Charter Meeting at 10 a.m., Saturday, March 9, at the Somervell County Citizen Center, 209 SW Barnard, Glen Rose. At this meeting the chapter will elect officers, determine meeting schedule and location, and collect initial dues and member applications. The Native Plant Society of Texas is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote the conservation and use of native plants and plant habitats of Texas. For additional information, contact Karen Richardson at 254-897-7364 or rgstudio@valornet.com; Donna Hagar at 254-396-0844 or dmthagar@gmail.com; or Doug Richards at 682-498-3026 or dougrichards@gmail.com.

Pasadena: Precinct 2 Harris County Master Gardeners will host their Spring Perennial, Tomato, Pepper & Herb Sale from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Saturday, March 9, at Campbell Hall - Pasadena Fairgrounds, 7600 Red Bluff Road, Pasadena. At 8 a.m. Heidi Sheesley, Treesearch Farms, will present a plant preview.

Rosenberg: Fort Bend Master Gardeners will host their Annual Spring Plant Sale on Saturday, March 9, at the Fort Bend County Fairgrounds - Barn H, 4310 Highway 36S, Rosenberg. The sale will open at 9 a.m. and will run until 1 p.m. or until sold out. There will be a Pre-Sale Program on Saturday, March 2, 10:30 a.m. to noon at the Bud O'Shieles Community Center, 1330 Band Road, Rosenberg. It will include an overview of plants at the sale. For additional information, call 281-341-7068 or visit www.fbmg.com.

San Antonio: On Saturday, March 9, 10:30 a.m. until noon, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Horticulturist David Rodriguez will present an Earth-Kind Educational Seminar on "Growing a Spring Vegetable Garden" at Fanick's Garden Center, 1025 Holmgreen Drive, San Antonio. Attendance is free, but donations to the Children's Vegetable Garden Program will be accepted. Master Gardeners who attend will receive 1.5 CEU credits. Contact Angel Torres at 210-467-6575 for more information.

Austin: Looking for an 'apprentice' or volunteer opportunity where you can get dirty and feel good about it? David Huebel will host a panel representing Austin based non-profit organizations bringing local food production into our homes and neighborhoods on Monday, March 11. Panelists include Paige Hill from Urban Patchwork Neighborhood Farm, Randy Jewart from Austin Green Art, Suanne McLellan from Green Corn Project, and Steven Hebbard from Genesis Gardens. Each panelist will briefly describe their organization and then there will be a discussion. The Austin Organic Gardeners Club meets at Austin Area Garden Center, 2220 Barton Springs Rd., in Zilker Botanical Gardens. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for the opportunity to meet and mingle with local gardeners; club business begins at 7 p.m., followed by the presentation. Don't forget to bring a few dollars for the raffle! For more information, visit www.austinorganicgardeners.org.

Austin: Extended hours and special events for spring occur during Wildflower Days, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center’s season of blooms. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is located at The University of Texas at Austin, 4801 La Crosse Ave, Austin. From Monday, March 11, through Friday, May 31, the center grounds are open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with general hours extended on Thursdays until 8 p.m. for the spring season. Wildflower Days celebrates the 2013 spring season with events for all ages, including: New Nature Art Exhibits, Through Memorial Day, May 27— kinetic sculptor Jim La Paso brings giant, wind-driven metal sculptures of wildflowers and other subjects to the center’s grounds, alongside indoor nature exhibits by Shou Ping, master of 3-D watercolors, and Denise Counley’s plein air watercolors in The Store; Go Native U, Through early June — a Nature in Art series is among new spring educational offerings, with individual classes and sustainable gardening series also available; Spring Plant Sale & Gardening Festival, Saturday and Sunday, April 13 and 14 — gardening tips from experts and plenty of trees, bushes, wildflowers and other drought-tolerant native plants for purchase; Wild Night Out, Thursday, May 2 — enjoy music, wine and appetizers. Meet artists who donated works for this year’s Silent Art Auction and bid on their works in advance; Wildflower Gala & Silent Art Auction, Friday, May 3 — the most fun — and most sustainable — garden party ever; National Wildflower Week Photo Exhibit, Monday, May 6, through Sunday, May 12—Texas Highways and the Wildflower Center present a portfolio of amazing wildflower photographs; Gardens on Tour, Saturday, May 11—a tour of five private native gardens featuring native plant plus the beautiful landscapes at the Wildflower Center on Mother’s Day weekend. For more information, call 512-232-0100 or visit http://www.wildflower.org. To learn about onsite activities beyond wildflower viewing, visit http://www.wildflower.org/activities. A new Admission Kiosk near the front entry cistern offers on-site details. Admission fees at new Kiosk: $9 adults, $7 seniors and students, $3 children, and free for members, children under 5.

Victoria: Victoria County Master Gardener Association will hold a "Lunch and Learn With the Masters" program Monday, March 11, with master gardener Kathy Chilak discussing "Rainwater Harvesting." The event will be noon until 1 p.m. at the Pattie Dodson Health Center, 2805 N. Navarro St., Victoria. The public may attend free, and participants may bring a sack lunch and drink.

Ft. Worth: Learn about seed propagation from the Tarrant County Master Gardeners Association (TCMGA) propagation team at a hands-on class Tuesday, March 12, 10 a.m.-noon. The class is at the greenhouse at the TCMGA demonstration garden at the Fort Worth Resource Connection. The Resource Connection is located off Campus Dr., north from I-20 in Ft. Worth. Fee is $5 and class limit is 20. To register and for more information/directions, contact Billie Hammack at blhammack@ag.tamu.edu or call 817-884-1296.

Seabrook: Precinct 2 Harris County Master Gardeners will present “Planning and Planting the Spring Vegetable Garden,” at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 12, at The Meeting Room at Clear Lake Park (on the lakeside), 5001 NASA Parkway, Seabrook.

Herb Society: Learn about Elder, the 2013 herb of the year, March 14, 6:30 p.m. at the San Antonio Garden Center, 3310 N. New Braunfels, San Antonio. This meeting was postponed from January. Learn from people who know the most about herb gardening, cooking, sniffing, crafting and infusing...anything and everything is herbal. For more information, visit www.sanantonioherbs.org Free and open to the public.

Humble: Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens, 22306 Aldine Westfield Road, Humble, will hold March Mart Volunteer Training, Wednesday, March 13, 10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. and Saturday, March 16, 9 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. Attend one of these sessions and join in the fun by volunteering at this lively annual plant sale. New and experienced volunteers learn about the March Mart process and what to expect at the event. This class is required for ticket writers, cashiers, gate monitors, and wagon masters. Call 281-443-8731 for reservations.

Humble: Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens, 22306 Aldine Westfield Road, Humble, will present March Mart Preview, Wednesday, March 13, noon - 2 p.m. and Saturday, March 16, 10:30 a.m. – noon. This annual PowerPoint program will whet your gardening appetite for the biggest and best fund-raising plant sale in the gulf coast area. Plant guides will be available at the Saturday talk to plan your garden purchases. Call 281-443-8731 for reservations.

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.

Ft. Worth: A lecture and demonstration of composting and compost tea is offered by the Tarrant County Master Gardeners Association (TCMGA) Saturday, March 16, 10 a.m.-noon, at the TCMGA demonstration garden at the Fort Worth Resource Connection. The Resource Connection is located off Campus Dr., north from I-20 in Ft. Worth. The class will be at the garden pavilion. Class fee is $5 or $70 with a shepherd’s bin composter. To register and for more information/directions, contact Billie Hammack at blhammack@ag.tamu.edu or call 817-884-1296.

Ft. Worth: Learn prevention techniques for West Nile Virus from Tarrant County Master Gardener Jaime Hart on Saturday, March 16, 1-3 p.m. at Fort Worth’s Resource Connection, Building 2300, Mesquite Room, 2300 Circle Drive, Ft. Worth. The Resource Connection is located off Campus Dr., north of I-20. Fee is $5. Class limit is 40. To register and for more information/directions, contact Billie Hammack at blhammack@ag.tamu.edu or call 817-884-1296.

Hempstead: Peckerwood Garden Conservation Foundation will be open for garden tours and plant sales 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.

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 mreadal@yahoo.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.

San Antonio: On Saturday, March 16, 10:30-noon, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Horticulturist David Rodriguez will present a free Earth-Kind Educational Seminar "Lawn Basics 101" at Schulz Nursery, 3700 Broadway, San Antonio. Master Gardeners who attend will receive 1.5 CEU credits. For more information, contact Angel Torres at 210-467-6575.

Marion: On Saturday, Sunday, March 17, at 2 p.m., Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Horticulturist David Rodriguez will present a free Earth-Kind Educational Seminar "Lawn Basics 101" at Schulz Nursery, 100 Huebinger, Marion. Master Gardeners who attend will receive 1.5 CEU credits. For more information, contact Angel Torres at 210-467-6575.

Lufkin: Dr. David Creech, Director of SFA Mast Arboretum and Ruby Mize Azalea Garden, will present “Best Native Plants for East Texas” on Monday, March 18, 6:30 p.m. at Angelina County AgriLife Extension Office, 2201 S. Medford Drive, Lufkin. Admission is $10. Door prizes and refreshments provided. Hosted by Angelina Master Gardeners and Angelina Extension. Call 936-634-6414 for information.

Houston: Tour the working and demonstration gardens maintained by the Harris County Master Gardeners at Precinct 2, from 8:30-11:00 a.m., Monday, March 18, at Genoa Friendship Garden, 1202 Genoa Red Bluff, Houston. Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer your gardening questions, and a program on Propagation will be offered from 9:30-10:30 a.m. This event is free and open to the public; children welcome!

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.

San Antonio: Bexar County Master Gardeners will meet on Wednesday, March 20, at 3355 Cherry Ridge Drive, Suite 208, San Antonio. The social begins at 6 p.m., followed at 6:30 p.m. with the presentation "Fire & Water: Ideas to Incorporate into Your Landscape this Spring," which is open to the public and is free. BCMG's own specialists will provide valuable information on fire-wise safety landscaping and water-wise landscaping. For more information, contact Lisa Nixon at lisa.nixon@bexarcountymastergardeners.org or Vince Vita at vince.vita@bexarcountymastergardeners.org.

Seabrook: Evan Siemann, a professor at Rice University, will present “Invasive Trees in Our Area,” at 10 a.m., Wednesday, March 20, at The Meeting Room at Clear Lake Park (on the lakeside), 5001 NASA Parkway, Seabrook.

Ft. Worth: How to conserve water in the urban environment is the focus of the Texas Water Star Conference, Thursday, March 21, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. at Fort Worth’s Resource Connection, Building 2300, 2300 Circle Drive. The conference is sponsored by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service-Tarrant County. Talks include state and local water issues and soil preparation, plant selection, landscape design and landscape management for water conservation. Cost is $55 if received by March 15 and $70 after. The conference qualifies for CEU credits. Complete conference and registration information is available at the Tarrant County Master Gardener Association website, www.tarrantmg.org.

Seguin: Guadalupe County Master Gardeners will meet at 7 p.m., Thursday, March 21, in the AgriLife Extension Bldg., 210 East Live Oak, Seguin. Michael Warriner, a member of Texas Parks and Wildlife, will talk about the Role of the Bumble Bee in Nature. Meetings are free and open to the public. For more information visit www.guadalupecountymastergardeners.org or call at 830-303-3889.

Humble: Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens, 22306 Aldine Westfield Road, Humble, will present March Mart, Friday, March 22, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. and Saturday, March 23, 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. Brought to you by volunteers at Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens and The Mercer Society; this is the place to find all your year-round garden plants. Special treats also entice the discerning plant collector! Whether you are new to gardening, new to the Houston area, or very experienced there is a new treasure awaiting the perfect spot in your heart and garden. Knowledgeable volunteers will inspire you with their amazing plant options. The Members Only Plant Sale is Thursday, March 21; call 281-443-8731 for details.

Round Top: The 18th annual Herbal Forum will be held Friday, March 22, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and Saturday, March 23, 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m. on the grounds of Festival Hill Festival Institute at Jaster Road just north of Round Top off Hwy. 237. The plant sale will offer many seldom-found herbs and other garden plants well adapted to South Central Texas. For additional information, visit www.herbsocietypioneer.org.

San Antonio: The San Antonio Garden Center's 25th Annual Spring Plant Sale will be held from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., March 22 and 23, at 3310 N. New Braunfels, San Antonio. Admission is free. For additional information, call 210-824-9981.

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.

Burnet: The 15th Annual Hill Country Lawn & Garden Show, sponsored by the Highland Lakes Master Gardeners Association in conjunction with the Burnet Co. AgriLife Extension Service, will be held on Saturday, March 23, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Burnet Community Center, 401 E. Jackson St., Burnet. Vendors feature plants for every garden, including native plants, exotic plants, herbs, vegetables, succulents and houseplants. The latest in lawn/garden equipment and yard decorations are also available for purchase. There will be two speakers: at 10 a.m. Richard Ashton, author of several books and a frequent contributor to Texas Gardener magazine, will present "Growing Fruit in the South," and at 2 p.m. George Cates will speak about "Creating Diverse, Drought Tolerant Native Outdoor Living Spaces." The Master Gardeners will have demonstrations, and there will be a special children’s area. Raffle tickets will be sold for a garden-themed quilt and many other prizes. Admission is free. For additional information, contact Val Klaudt, Chairperson, at 512-588-0696 or visit http://www.yantislakesidegardens.com/mghome/show.

Gonzales: The Gonzales Master Gardener 3rd Annual Plant Sale will be held Saturday, March 23, at Texas Heroes Square from 8:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. Hundreds of plants will be available for purchase propagated and grown by the master gardeners as well as other local growers. Master Gardeners will be present to answer questions, offer suggestions, and give advice on the various plants being sold. Other activities include a silent auction and food and drink will be available for purchase. Proceeds from the silent auction and the sale of plants will be used to continue improvements at the Eggleston House Children’s Garden, 623 Fair Street, and other ongoing community projects and educational programs. For more information, contact Cindy Turner at 830-263-1363.

Ft. Worth: Make and take a clay pot wreath at a class sponsored by the Tarrant County Master Gardener Association, Saturday, March 23, 10 a.m.-noon at Fort Worth’s Resource Connection, Building 2300, Mesquite Room, 2300 Circle Drive, Ft. Worth. The Resource Connection is located off Campus Dr., north of I-20. Fee is $30. Class limit is 20. To register and for more information/directions, contact Billie Hammack at blhammack@ag.tamu.edu or call 817-884-1296.

Ft. Worth: Learn about perennials at a lecture and tour, Saturday, March 23, 1 – 3 p.m., sponsored by Tarrant County Master Gardener Association. The class will be at Fort Worth’s Resource Connection, Building 2300, Magnolia Room, 2300 Circle Drive, Ft. Worth. The tour will be at the nearby TCMGA demonstration garden. The Resource Connection is located off Campus Dr, north of I-20. Fee is $5. Class limit is 40. To register and for more information/directions, contact Billie Hammack at blhammack@ag.tamu.edu or call 817-884-1296.

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.

San Antonio: Tuesday, March 26, 6:30-8:30 pm, visit with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Horticulturist David Rodriguez during the Backyard Gardening Series presentation "Having a Successful Spring Vegetable Garden." This presentation is open to the public and will be held at 3355 Cherry Ridge Drive, Suite 208, San Antonio. Registration fee of $10 can be paid at the door. For more information, contact Angel Torres at 210-467-6575.

Austin: “Care of Ornamental Trees” will be presented Saturday, March 30, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., at Austin Community College, South Campus, rm 1130, 1820 W Stassney Lane, Austin. Oak wilt, one of the most destructive tree diseases in the United States, is killing oak trees in central Texas at epidemic proportions. Dr. David Appel, professor in the Department of Plant Pathology at Texas A&M, will teach which trees are affected by oak wilt, how to identify the disease, how it is spread, and how it can be managed. We will discuss preventative measures that can help you avoid this devastating disease. Register at https://agriliferegister.tamu.edu keyword: Trees, or by phone at 979-845-2604. Class fee is $25 (water and snacks provided). Free parking available. Sign-in at the security desk with your vehicle license number. This class is presented by the Travis County Master Gardeners, a volunteer arm of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service in Travis County.

APRIL

Bryan: The Brazos County Master Gardener's Spring Fundraiser - Plant Sale & Preview will be held Saturday, April 6, at the Demonstration Idea Garden, at the Brazos County office of Texas AgriLife Extension, 2619 Hwy 21, West, Bryan. The sale is open from: 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. A Plant Preview and Educational Booth will open prior to the sale at 8 a.m. Plants offered at the sale focus on heat and drought tolerant perennials suitable for Brazos County weather and climate; herbs and recommended vegetable varieties for this area; pass-along plants from Master Gardeners private collections; and bulbs selected for Brazos County growing conditions. The Plant Preview includes an opportunity to walk through sale area to view plant offerings, and Master Gardeners will be available during the sale to answer your plant and gardening questions. Come early, Join the fun, and bring your wagon! For additional information, visit brazosmg.com, call 979-823-0129, or email: brazosmg@brazosmg.com.

Orange: The Orange County Master Gardener Association will host their annual spring plant sale, Saturday, April 6, from 8 a.m. until noon at their greenhouse located at Jewel Cormier Park (8235 FM 1442) in Orangefield. There will be a large selection of plants, including Texas Star & Native Texas plants, along with bedding, annuals, perennials, tropicals, house plants, vines, shrubs, trees, roses, succulents, herbs and some vegetables and many more. or directions and more information, visit http://txmg.org/orange.

Schulenburg: The Schulenburg Garden Club is holding its annual Flower Show celebrating 75 years of community service Tuesday, April 16, at the Schulenburg Civic Center, 1107 Hillje Ave., Schulenburg. Open to the public from noon until 4 p.m. Free Admission. Food, drink and plants for sale. For additional information, contact janetmurphy@cvctx.com.

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.

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.

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.

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 quitmangardenclub@gmail.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.

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

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 khtromza@yahoo.com.

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 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.


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Texas Gardener’s Seeds is published weekly. © Suntex Communications, Inc. 2013. 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.

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