March 20, 2013

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Three mistakes most gardeners make

By Tom Harris, Ph.D.
The Hill Country Gardener

First-time as well as experienced gardeners routinely break several of the basic rules of gardening. Here are the three that are most common.

1. Over-watering

The first mistake many gardeners make is over-watering. There are hundreds or thousands of gardeners out there who just don’t get it. More people kill plants from over-watering than under-watering.

When you come home from a hard day at work and see those poor little plants with the droopy leaves, it sure is tempting to go out and water them. In reality, that’s the worst time to be watering any plants. The reason is that the leaves tend to stay wet overnight, thus inviting fungus problems. Remember that fungus loves warmth, darkness and moisture…all of which are available if you water in the evening.

Just standing around with a watering wand in your hand and moving every once in a while won’t get the job done. The water needs to be applied slowly so that it soaks in deeply.

The time to look for droopy leaves is in the morning. If the leaves are droopy in the afternoon, it’s just because they’ve been transpiring moisture all during the day in the hot sun and, when much of the moisture available in the leaves is gone, the leaves droop. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the plant needs water. If, however, the leaves are still droopy in the morning, it means that there isn’t enough moisture available in the ground to re-supply what was lost yesterday. Then you need to water — early in the morning…the earlier, the better. If you water by hand, do it before you go to work, not after.

2. Over-fertilizing

The second mistake many of us make is over-fertilizing. Over-fertilizing for a plant is like over-eating for a human. It just is not good…period.

Like most other things in gardening, more is not better. In fact, over-fertilizing will kill plants very effectively. Proper fertilizing is much like a proper diet for us; that is, the plants will survive and do what they’re supposed to do when this is done right.

Too much fertilizer can cause several negative things in plants. It can make them tall and leggy and subject to breakage or falling over. It can make them more susceptible to disease because they’re unhealthy. It can make them look yellow or sickly. It can make the plant require more water than normal, more pruning than normal, or more mowing than normal. It can burn the roots and make the plants stunted or even kill young plants.

Fertilizing is something that has to be looked at carefully for each type or variety of plant growing in our yards. Grass is one type, flowers are another, veggies are still another.

3. Misuse of Pesticides

The third mistake many of us make when working in the garden or yard is the misuse of pesticides.

Few people beyond the age of 4-5 years really like bugs that much, I think. (Personally I know a couple of entomologists that literally love bugs — all kinds, all sizes, all stages of maturity, etc., etc.)

Most of us don’t realize that we really need the bugs out there in order for us to survive. Without bugs, there wouldn’t be any pollination of plants and without pollination, there wouldn’t be much from the plant world that we could eat.

The wise gardener realizes that a bug-free landscape is impossible. The wise gardener also realizes that only about 2 percent of the bugs out there are what we would call “bad” bugs. If we kill off all the bugs in the yard, we’re pretty quickly going to be overrun with bad bugs because there are no good bugs to help us out.

The key to controlling bugs is primarily to identify which bugs are causing you a problem and take care of that problem, but only that problem.

Bug identification isn’t all that hard if you just use the resources available to you. There are lots of good bug books on the market and you could purchase one of them. Sometimes asking your friends who are gardeners will help — but some of them don’t know any more about bugs than you do.

Organic vs. man-made — might as well get this over with here and now. You can die from an overdose of organic pesticides just like you can die from an overdose of man-made pesticide. All pesticides are designed to kill living things. You are a living thing.

The best way to avoid the use of pesticides altogether is to maintain the health of the plants you grow. Healthy plants develop a natural ability to repel bugs. It’s the unhealthy plants that the bugs go for — survival of the fittest kind of thing.

Gulzar Akhtar of Pakistan is doing a study for his doctoral degree for six months under the mentorship of Dr. David Byrne, Texas A&M AgriLife Research rose breeder. (Texas A&M AgriLife Research photo by Kathleen Phillips)
A rose lures a nose: from Pakistan to Texas, doctoral student wants to master the flower

By Kathleen Phillips
Texas AgriLife Extension Service

Fragrance. That and the potential to boost his country’s economy are what brought a student halfway around the world to learn about horticulture at Texas A&M University.

Roses, it turns out, are as popular in Pakistan as in the U.S., albeit for slightly different reasons. And those reasons are what has Pakistani Gulzar Akhtar searching for answers for the next six months under the mentorship of Dr. David Byrne, Texas A&M AgriLife Research rose breeder.

“Roses are used in ceremonies and at various functions. Mostly, roses in Pakistan have been grown for their oil, which is used in many products, and those appeal to me,” Akhtar said.

“The oil, which is extracted from petals, is precious and valuable around the world,” he said. “It is used in many products from creams to eye drops. And the dried petals are used in home décor.”

Therein is the difference: Pakistani roses stem mostly from the Rosa centifolia which are high in fragrant, extractable oil content; U.S. roses have varying amounts of fragrance but not used commercially for oil.

But in Pakistan roses only blossom a couple of months during the year, whereas some rose varieties in the U.S. can bloom continuously as long as it is warm enough.

Developing rose varieties with both traits — producing fragrant oil and year-round blossoms — could be beneficial to both countries, Akhtar and Byrne agree.

“The trend in the development of landscape roses is to develop cultivars that are well adapted with good disease resistance, but also with fragrance,” Byrne said. “These objectives are also important in the rose oil industry in Pakistan. Gulzar’s work should help us better understand the relationships among these fragrant roses from Pakistan which will help in the development of highly fragrant landscape roses.”

Rose oil has been used for hundreds years, according to the Pakistan Journal of Agricultural Science, which valued the crop at about 5,000 Euros per kilogram. That’s about $6,750 for five cups of rose oil.

Akhtar said a Pakistani farmer with 5,000 Rosa centifolia plants per acre should yield 5,000 kilograms of flowers, from which 1 kilogram of rose oil is extracted.

He plans to study the morphology and genetics of U.S. roses and to work on plant tissue culture aimed at producing desirable traits for rose varieties. With improvements, he hopes, Pakistani farmers might increase production of the valuable crop.

Even in Pakistan, where rose oil is in demand, production of the crop takes a backseat to traditional agriculture, Akhtar said, because with only about 40 percent of the country’s land suitable for farming, growers have opted to raise food crops.

“I hope that while I am here, I can research and gain experience in breeding roses for things such as resistance to black spot, which is also a problem in Pakistan, and heat tolerance,” Akhtar said. “If we can breed a rose that flowers in very hot weather, maybe we can develop the rose industry further in Pakistan.”


The compost heap
Clear vs. black plastic

"I really look forward to and enjoy reading Texas Gardener's Seeds," writes Brian D. Townsend. "In reading the newsletter dated 3-13-2013, down the column to the section 'Did You Know…,' I agree that solarization is the easiest, chemical free way to treat an area for new plantings. But I would want to suggest using clear plastic instead of black because the heat from the sun penetrates deeper, cooking/killing maybe some yet untapped old weed seeds. Would also recommend watering the plot well just before laying the plastic down."


Gardening tips

With the exception of live oak, it is still okay to do light pruning to shape woody plants. If you must prune an oak tree now, be sure to cover all wounds with pruning paint to avoid entry of oak wilt disease.

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.

Did you know...

Yaupon holly is reported to have the highest content of caffeine of any plant in North America. It was utilized by Native Americans to make tea and ceremonial drinks.

Upcoming garden events

If you would like your organization’s events included in "Upcoming Garden Events" or would like to make a change to a listed event, please contact us at Garden Events. To ensure inclusion in this column, please provide complete details at least three weeks prior to the event.


Austin: 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 To learn about onsite activities beyond wildflower viewing, visit 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.

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 or Vince Vita at

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,

Nacogdoches: The SFA Gardens at Stephen F. Austin State University will host the monthly Theresa and Les Reeves Lecture Series at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 21, in the Agriculture Building, Room 110, at 1924 Wilson Drive. LSU Horticulturist Ed Bush will present “Grow Your Garden and Enjoy a Cup of Tea.” Bush is an associate professor in Ornamental Horticulture in the Louisiana State University School of Plant, Environmental, and Soil Sciences in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. His areas of specialization and research include ornamental horticulture, commercial nursery crops, water quality, irrigation management, and stress physiology. Dr. Bush received his B.S. from Southeastern Louisiana University and his M.S. and Ph.D. from Louisiana State University. The Theresa and Les Reeves Garden Lecture Series is normally held the third Thursday of each month at the Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture’s SFA Mast Arboretum. A rare-plant raffle will be held after the program. The lecture is free and open to the public, but donations to the Theresa and Les Reeves lecture series endowed fund are always appreciated. For more information, call (936) 468-1832 or e-mail

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 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

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

Austin: The Green Corn Project Spring Dig-ins will take place over three weekends in March and April to install and refurbish vegetable gardens for the underserved communities in Austin. Participating in a dig-in is a great way to share gardening knowledge or learn to garden while helping to bring nourishing food to others. The three weekends are: March 23/24, April 6/7, and April 13/14. For more information and to register, visit

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

Conroe: Texas Wildlife and Woodland Expo & Spring Fling will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday., March 23, at the Lone Star College-Montgomery Campus, 3200 College Park Dr. in Conroe. It’s free and open to the public. Co-sponsored by Texas A&M Forest Service and Lone Star College-Montgomery, Expo & Spring Fling places an emphasis on education with a heavy dose of family fun. For adults: experts on hand to teach clinics and answer questions about trees, plants, water, wildlife, forests, fish, ponds and green building. For kids: the Family Adventure Zone, where they can climb a rock wall, paddle around in a kayak, practice their aim with a bow and arrow and even have their picture made with Smokey Bear. The Montgomery County Arbor Day Ceremony will be held at the start of Expo & Spring Fling, serving to kick off the event. Free tree seedlings will be handed out throughout the day, while supplies last. For more information or a detailed schedule of events, go to

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.

Houston/Ft. Worth: A total of 10 Texas gardeners will share their private gardens with the public in 2013 through the Garden Conservancy’s Open Days program, America’s only national private garden-visiting program. Open Days in Texas take place on the following dates. Saturday, March 23: Visit six private gardens open to the public in Houston, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Special highlights include a loggia with hand-painted tiles and terra cotta floor, a unique English country garden, classic southern landscape elements and plant choices, a stately Live Oak dominating an Arts & Crafts style property, and a xeriscaped garden. Sunday, October 13: Visit four private gardens open in Fort Worth, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Features include a country estate with formal spaces and an organic orchard, an urban garden using earth-friendly methods and native plants, sculptural pieces and unusual container plantings, and a cottage garden focused around a fountain and large planting beds. Each of these Open Days Program dates is self-guided and no reservations are required. A $5 admission fee collected at each garden supports the national preservation work of the Garden Conservancy. The Open Days program features hundreds of magnificent spaces not normally open to the public. From April through October, garden hosts across the country welcome the opportunity to learn and exchange gardening ideas, and give the public access to explore and enjoy their private gardens. For a complete list of the more than 300 private gardens participating in eighteen states, visit the Garden Conservancy and its Open Days program online at or call toll-free weekdays, 1-888-842-2442. The 2013 Open Days Directory ($21.95 including shipping and handling) is the only comprehensive source for details on the 2013 season. The Directory provides descriptions, visiting dates and hours, and driving directions to each private garden. The Directory also includes one free admission ticket to any private garden participating in the program, a $5 value. To purchase a Directory or to join the Garden Conservancy as a member and receive a free copy, call 1-888-842-2442 or visit

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 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 or call 817-884-1296.

Dallas: In celebration of national “Fix a Leak Week”, the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Dallas, in partnership with the US EPA Region 6, and the City of Dallas Water Utilities is hosting a public grand opening of the first WaterSense labeled home in the Dallas/Ft Worth region. On March 23, from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. the newly renovated home will be open for visitors. The home will serve as a working model that demonstrates to visitors just how easy water conservation can be. Both indoors and out, the WaterSense labeled home provides hands-on learning opportunities in areas such as hot water on demand systems, WaterSense labeled fixtures, water-efficient landscaping and irrigation systems, rainwater harvesting and rain garden design. The home also includes upgrades utilizing renewable and energy efficient products for the flooring, counter tops, lighting and appliances. According to the US EPA, WaterSense labeled homes saves a family of four 50,000 gallons a year by using 20% less water than a typical home. Texas AgriLife’s WaterSense labeled home is located on the AgriLife campus at 17360 Coit Road, Dallas, at the intersection of Coit and McCallum Blvd. The event will also include food vendors, live radio and television broadcasts and education/information booths. All are welcome to attend. For more information please visit us or email

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

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. 


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, call 979-823-0129, or email:

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

Austin: “Care of Ornamental Trees” will be presented Saturday, April 13, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., at Austin Community College, South Campus, room 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 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.

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

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 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 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 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

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

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 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

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 or contact

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

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

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 and

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

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 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

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

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


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

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 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

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

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

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

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 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

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

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


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

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 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

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

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 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

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

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

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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In Greg's Garden: A Pineywoods Perspective on Gardening, Nature and Family
By Greg Grant
Foreword by Chris S. Corby

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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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