April 10, 2013

Welcome to Texas Gardener’s Seeds, the weekly newsletter for Texas gardeners. Please do not reply to this e-mail because the sending address is not monitored. See the bottom of this newsletter for information on how to subscribe, unsubscribe, or contact the editor.

Proactive measures can prevent wildfires and help protect your home

Texas A&M Forest Service

Wildfire Awareness Week kicked off Monday, and Texas A&M Forest Service is reminding residents of simple precautions they can take to prevent dangerous blazes.

About 90 percent of wildfires in Texas are attributed to preventable causes such as debris burning, outdoor campfires and welding. A little common sense — such as making sure your debris burn site is away from structures and overhanging branches — can prevent a wildfire from igniting. Other tips include:

  • Never burn leaves on a windy day.
  • Monitor local burn bans by contacting your county judge’s office.
  • When barbecuing, never leave a grill unattended.
  • Clear away grass, leaves and other debris within a 10-foot perimeter of any burn pile, campfire or barbecue grill.
  • Keep water nearby when doing anything outdoors that creates a spark.
  • If you see a fire, call 911.

Residents also can take precautions to increase their home’s chances of survival if a wildfire ignites, said Bruce Woods, Mitigation and Prevention department head for Texas A&M Forest Service.

“What you plant, where you place your plants and how you maintain the landscaping can help protect your home, and simple improvements can significantly decrease a home’s ignitability,” Woods said.

Some tips include:

  • Create a break in vegetation with a rock path or other non-flammable material to slow the spread of wildfire.
  • Keep your lawn mowed and leaves raked.
  • Remove leaves and needles from your roof and gutters.
  • Clear vegetation to create at least 30 feet of “defensible space” around your home to allow firefighters to safely protect it.

Visit texasfirewise.org for information on fire-resistant construction materials, Firewise landscaping and vegetation management.

  Landscape association offers tips for National Lawn Care Month


The majority of Americans say that their yard is important to them. A recent U.S. Poll conducted by Harris Interactive for PLANET, found that 81 percent of those with a yard/landscape say the upkeep of their yard/landscape is important to the look of their home. Why is it so important? Showing pride was the No. 1 response (42 percent of those surveyed) followed by the desire to create a relaxing outdoor space (16 percent).

“Spring is a great time to channel the excitement about getting outside in the yard into working to lay the foundation for a healthy lawn that the family can enjoy all season,” said Norman Goldenberg, Landscape Industry Certified, president of PLANET.

PLANET, the national trade association for landscape professionals, offers homeowners tips for getting a great start on caring for yards this spring.

Test your soil. Test your soil once every few years to make sure it has the proper pH balance and mix of nutrients. You can usually get your soil tested at your state’s local agricultural extension office, or ask your lawn care or landscape professional. You can also buy soil test kits at garden centers.

Fertilize, but test first. The decision about whether or not to fertilize should be based on the nutrition requirements of your plant as well as soil conditions. First, determine your soil nutrient needs through testing, and if your soil does need nutrients, make sure you choose a fertilizer that matches those needs. Also make sure you fertilize at the right time of the year for your variety of grass. Contrary to popular belief, not all grasses should be fertilized in the spring. A few cool-season grass varieties do better when fertilized in the fall. June is also a good time to fertilize many cool-season grasses. Before fertilizing your lawn or plants, always check with the local agricultural extension office. Some state and local governments place limits on when, what kind, and what amount of fertilizer you can apply. Professional, licensed lawn care companies must follow state, local, and federal regulations.

Give your lawn mower a check up. Make sure the blades are sharp and the oil has been changed. Also, drain last season’s fuel and use fresh gas. Read the operator’s manual for your mower. Make sure you understand all of its safety features prior to use.

Don’t cut your grass too short, particularly for cool-season grass. Taller grass results in a deeper root system and a lawn that is less likely to encourage invasive weeds. It also protects your lawn from scorching.

For more help from the pros including design tips, tips on creating sustainable landscapes, indoor plant tips and seasonal advice, log on to www.loveyourlandscape.com.

A worker at Gene’s Greens, an organic produce company at Azle, north of Fort Worth, trains tomatoes. Urban businesses like Proximity Farms that grow high-quality produce can usually sell it all locally — if they know how to market, said Laura Miller, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service agent for Tarrant County. (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo by Laura Miller)

AgriLife Extension agent: Demand for locally grown produce is high

By Robert Burns
Texas AgriLife Extension Service

The demand is much greater than the supply for locally produced agricultural products in the Fort Worth/Dallas area, according to Laura Miller, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service agent for Tarrant County.

To help people take advantage of this opportunity, Miller has scheduled two workshops for small-acreage farmers, “Starting Your Urban Farm,” set April 12, and the “Market Ready Training Program,” April 24.

Both programs will be held in the Lone Star room of the Tarrant County Plaza Building at 200 Taylor St., Fort Worth.

Registration for either program is $35, includes lunch, and can be done online by going to https://agriliferegister.tamu.edu/ and selecting Fort Worth as the location from the drop-down menu.

Miller noted that participants may register at the door the day of either training, but encouraged them to preregister online to help with meal planning.

Starting Your Urban Farm is more appropriate for someone who is just considering starting a new endeavor, while the Market Ready training is for those already growing products, Miller said.

“That high demand part makes it all sound real easy, but it’s not,” she said. “It’s not easy to grow things, and it’s not easy to connect with the market.”

In urban areas, land for farming is limited, which means higher production costs, she explained. These higher costs usually necessitate selling to specialty markets.

“That’s what the Market Ready training is about: how to connect with specialty grocery store and restaurants that can pay a premium for local products,” she said.

Registration for the morning session of Starting Your Urban Farm will be at 8:30 a.m. Dr. Joe Masabni, AgriLife Extension vegetable specialist, College Station, will head the classroom instruction via an interactive webinar. Masabni will give a two-hour detailed review of what to expect starting a new urban farm. After Masabni, Miller will give an overview of Tarrant County agriculture.

Following a catered lunch, the workshop will travel to Gnismer Farms in Arlington, a 6-acre operation growing strawberries, asparagus, carrots and other spring vegetables. The tour will conclude at 3:30 p.m.

The April 24 Market Ready training will start at 8:30 a.m. and end at 3 p.m., with a break for a catered lunch.

Miller said the workshop will cover the “risks small farmers and ranchers must manage as they seek to develop relationships with restaurants, groceries, and wholesale and foodservice buyers.”

Dr. Marco Palma and Francisco Abello, both AgriLife Extension agricultural economists from College Station, will conduct the training, Miller said.

All aspects of successful marketing will be discussed, including communications, packaging, labeling, pricing, delivery, quality assurance, temperature control, storage, invoicing, insurance, satisfaction guarantee and more.

For more information, contact Miller at 817-884-1945, lmmiller@ag.tamu.edu.


Gardening tips

Okra planting time is either here or getting close, depending on where you garden. For quick, easy germination, place okra seed between several paper towels on a dish or pan and soak with water for a couple of days until you see it start to sprout. Plant as normal in the garden and watch it take off.

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...

Texans use 70 percent of municipal water on their landscapes, contributing to a tremendous water scarcity during times of drought. The plants that thrived here before our state was settled by European immigrants offer great hope in solving this ongoing problem. Plant and grow adapted native plants and be a part of the solution! (Source for statistic: Native American Seed Spring 2013 catalog.)

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.


Humble: Mercer Volunteer Gudrun Opperman presents "Container Plantings"  —  a slideshow and show-and-tell filled with tips and ideas for garden containers  —  from noon until 2 p.m., Wednesday, April 11, at the Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Garden, 22306 Aldine Westfield Road, Humble. For additional information, call 281-443-8731 or visit www.hcp4.net/mercer.

San Antonio: Lori (McLain) Wuensch from Kitchen Pride Mushroom Farm will visit the Herb Society to talk about the farm and their mushrooms, Thursday, April 11, 6:30-8:30 p.m., at the San Antonio Garden Center, 3310 N. New Braunfels. Learn from people who know the most about herb gardening, cooking, sniffing, crafting and infusing...anything and everything is herbal for this meeting! For more information, visit www.sanantonioherbs.org. Free and open to the public.

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 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.

Denton: The Denton County Master Gardener Association will hold its annual plant sale at 6333 Hobson Lane, Denton, from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 13. Shoppers can choose from a wide selection of hard-to-find grasses and ground covers, tough-as-nails perennials, herbs and pass-along plants from the yards of Master Gardeners. The sale will include a wide selection Earth-Kind Roses, which are among the most thoroughly tested and environmentally responsible plants for use in Texas landscapes. Earth-Kind Roses do well in most any soil type and do not suffer the same disease and insect problems found in other rose plants. The Master Gardeners’ Garden Shoppe will be open, offering pots, garden art and tools. Veteran Master Gardeners will be on hand to offer landscaping advice, recommendations on plant care and tips on using herbs in cooking.  All money raised from the sale helps fund local DCMGA educational activities including Children’s Arbor Day, The Children’s Garden, Denton’s annual Vegetable, Flower, Herb & Fruit Show, the Speaker’s Bureau and the Bayless-Selby Victorian Garden. In the past, the plant sale was part of the organizations’ annual Spring Garden Tour held the Saturday before Mother’s Day. But the two events are now held on different days so garden lovers can both shop and tour at leisure. For additional information, call 940-349-2883.

Fort Worth: The Tarrant County Master Gardeners Association's (TCMGA) annual plant sale is scheduled for Saturday, April 13, from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. at the TCMGA Community and Demonstration Garden at Fort Worth's Resource Connection. The garden is located off Campus Drive, north of I-20 at 1801 Circle Drive. The sale will include hundreds of perennials, annuals, roses, herbs, succulents, vines, native plants, grasses and hanging baskets. Demonstrations on rain barrels, composting, backyard chickens and container gardens will be featured. Bring your plant and gardening questions to the "Ask A Master Gardener" table. Proceeds benefit the TCMGA activities supporting community outreach and education. Cash and checks only please.

La Marque: Palm tree enthusiast and Galveston Master Gardener O. J. Miller will present “The Culture and Care of Palms” from 9 a.m. until 11:30 a.m., Saturday, April 13, at Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (FM 519), La Marque. This program will include an introduction to palms, an overview of the exotics and commonly found palms at local nurseries, palm planting methods, palm fertilization, freeze preparation and proper care. For reservations or additional information, call 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or email GALV3@wt.net.

San Antonio: The San Antonio Garden Center’s annual Flower Show, “Celebration of Spring,” will be held Saturday, April 13, from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. and Sunday, April 14, from noon until 4 p.m. The show will feature creative floral arrangements and unique table settings in the design section. Noteworthy container plants and cut specimens will be on display in the horticulture division. The Flower Show provides an avenue to inform and educate our members and the public about gardening, floral design, horticulture and landscaping. Admission is free and open to the public. The Garden Center is located at 3310 N. New Braunfels at the corner of New Braunfels and Funston. Call 210-824-9981 for additional information or visit sanantoniogardencenter.org.

Stephenville: Native & Heirloom Plant Fair. Saturday, April 13. 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Vendors will be offering native and adapted plants, herbs, vegetables, arts & crafts, and more on the grounds of the beautiful Stephenville Historical House Museum. There will be an informational presentation and book signing by Judy Barrett: “What Can I Do With My Herbs?”. Stephenville Historical House Museum, 525 East Washington Street, Stephenville.  http://www.stephenvillemuseum.org/. For more information, call 254-968-9761 or email pfau@tarleton.edu.

Houston: Precinct 2 Harris County Master Gardeners open their demonstration garden to the public from 9:30 a.m. until 10:30 a.m., Monday, April 15, at the Genoa Friendship Garden, 1202 Genoa Red Bluff, Houston.

Austin: The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Travis County will present an Earth-Kind Landscape training from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. April 16 at its offices at 1600 Smith Road in Austin. The program will offer five Texas of Agriculture Department pesticide applicator continuing education units. It also offers five units for those with Texas Nursery and Landscape Association certification. The program focuses on AgriLife Extension’s Earth-Kind principles, which use research-proven techniques to provide maximum garden and landscape enjoyment while preserving and protecting the environment. Agenda topics and presenters will be: Protecting Water Resources from Pesticide Contamination, Dr. Fouad Jaber, AgriLife Extension specialist, biological and agricultural engineering, Dallas; The Label is the Law, Richards; Landscape Integrated Pest Management: Nipping Problems in the Bud, Dr. Mengmeng Gu, AgriLife Extension specialist in horticultural sciences, College Station; Plant Disease Updates: Rose Rosette, Impatiens Downy Mildew and Boxwood Blight, Dr. Kevin Ong, Texas A&M AgriLife Research, director of the Texas Plant Disease Diagnostic Lab in College Station. Registration is $65 through April 9 and $75 after. The cost includes a boxed lunch and all educational materials. Attendees should register online at https://agriliferegister.tamu.edu using “Earth-Kind” as the keyword.

Ft. Worth: Learn about cactus and succulents and tour the cactus gardens at the Tarrant County Master Gardener Association (TCMGA) Community Demonstration Garden. The class is Tuesday, April 16, 10 a.m.-noon, at the Fort Worth Resource Connection, Building 2300, Magnolia Room, 2300 Circle Drive. The Resource Connection is located off Campus Dr, north from I-20. Look for the Resource Connection signs on Campus Drive. Class fee is $5 and the class is limited to 40. Advance registration is required. To register and for more information/directions, contact Billie Hammack at blhammack@ag.tamu.edu or call 817-884-1296.

La Marque: Nell Shimek will present “The Glorious and Perpetual Daylily” from 6:30 p.m. until 8 p.m., Tuesday, April 16, at Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (FM 519), La Marque. Shimek is a daylily enthusiast who has grown and hybridized daylilies for more than 30 years and is currently growing more than 800 varieties in Alvin. For course reservations or additional information, call 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or email GALV3@wt.net.

San Antonio: Amending gardens with finished compost is a great way to add nutrients in an available form to depleted soil, increase porosity, increase water holding capacity, and improve drainage. Join us at the Alamo Heights Community Garden, Alamo Heights Community Garden, 403 Ogden, San Antonio for the Green Spaces Alliance Composting Work(ing)shop on Tuesday, April 16, from 6-8 p.m. Workshop participants will gain valuable insight into the world of composting from local experts who will discuss a variety of composting tips that are easy to employ. By the end of this workshop you will know: the contributions of the noble and under-appreciated worm; how to encourage community composting projects; how to build easy, stackable compost bins; how to make your own compost tea; new composting vocabulary to impress your friends. Bring a chair, a friend, and your curiosity to the beautiful and productive Alamo Heights Community Garden. Registration fee: $5. For more information and to register visit www.greensatx.org, call 210.222.8430, or email info@greensatx.org.

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.

Seabrook: Gaye Hammond, a director of the Houston Rose Society, will present "Heat and Drought Tolerant Roses" at 10 a.m., Wednesday, April 17, at The Meeting Room at Clear Lake Park (on the lakeside), 5001 NASA Parkway, Seabrook.

San Antonio: Bexar County Master Gardeners will meet Thursday, April 18, 1-3 p.m., at 3355 Cherry Ridge Drive, Suite 208, San Antonio. Andrea Sanger, Co-owner of Hill Country Gardens Nursery in New Braunfels, will talk about native and adapted plants which have a better chance of surviving the drought; and raffle items will be plants from Hill Country Gardens Nursery. This meeting is open to the public, with no charge for admission. For more information, contact Lisa Nixon at 210-364-7844 or lisa.nixon@bexarcountymastergardeners.org.

Seguin: Guadalupe County Master Gardeners will meet Thursday, April 18, starting at 7 pm, in the AgriLife Building, 210 E. Live Oak, Seguin. Ms. Liz Palfini, a staff member of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, will be the featured speaker. Meetings are free and open to the public. For more information, visit www.guadalupecountymastergardeners.org or call 830-303-3889.

Austin: Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department present the 7th annual East Austin Garden Fair: Get Up, Get Green! Saturday, April 20, 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at Zaragoza Park, 2608 Gonzalez St., Austin Free and open to the public, this fun, hands-on fair educates community members in creative, low-cost ways to grow food and ornamentals, improve their family diet, and green their homes! Get expert advice from Master Gardeners on all aspects of gardening and composting, as well as backyard chicken and beekeeping. The fair will feature an assortment of DIY and demonstration activities, including garden planning, kids’ crafts, food pickling 101, produce tastings, SNAP enrollment (and how to double benefits at farmers markets), theatrical skits, cooking demonstrations, and free plants offered to participants. Free mini-classes will also be held inside the Zaragoza community center throughout the day. Materials available in English and Spanish. For information, call (512) 854-9600.

Copperas Cove: Saturday, April 20, the Copperas Cove Farmer's Market opens. Hours are from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturdays and from 3 to 6 p.m. on Mondays. The farmer's Market is held in front of the Copperas Cove VFW located at 1506 Veteran's Avenue, Copperas Cove. Growers will have plants to sell along with produce and farm eggs.

Dallas: The Collin County Master Gardener Association will hold  its 10th Annual Plant Sale on Saturday, April 20, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Select from old favorites, new varieties, and hard to find plants, including drought tolerant perennials, annuals, trees, shrubs, and Earth-Kind roses. These beautiful plants are Texas-tough, water-conserving, insect and disease resistant, and are highly recommended by Texas A&M and Collin County Master Gardeners for our area. Purchase these proven performers by cash or check or credit card (Visa or MC only). Bringing your own cart or wagon is encouraged. Collin County Master Gardener volunteers with decades of collective experience will be on hand to offer timely tips and design ideas to help everyone plan, and plant with confidence and success. Enjoy free demonstrations on designing and planting containers, backyard composting, and more! Children ages 5 and up can participate in environmentally friendly activities throughout the day. The Plant Sale will be held indoors in the pavilion at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research & Extension Center in Dallas, 17360 Coit Road, between Campbell Road and George Bush Tollway. To find out more about the plant sale, view an updated plant list, visit www.ccmgatx.org, or call the Collin County Master Gardeners by contacting the Collin County Texas A&M AgriLife Extension office at 1-972-548-4219 or 1-972-548-4232.

Dallas: Enjoy a selection of native and adapted plants that attract butterflies and other wildlife at the Butterfly Plant Sale from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., April 20 and 21 at The Texas Discovery Gardens at Fair Park, 3601 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Dallas. Members get to shop early, from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m., April 19. Members also receive a 10 percent discount. Learn more about the sale and see the guided Plant Sales Safaris at http://texasdiscoverygardens.org.

La Marque: Galveston County Master gardener Ken Steblein will present “The ABCs of Home Composting” from 9 a.m. until 11:30 a.m., Saturday, April 20, at Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (FM 519), La Marque. This program will provide practical information for converting yard, Garden and kitchen waste into compost. Compost is that magical soil amendment that is a soil conditioner, fertilizer and key ingredient in organic gardening. For course reservations or additional information, call 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or email GALV3@wt.net.

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

Bryan: “Inspired Adventures in Rose Breeding — the History and Future of Rose Breeding at Texas A&M” will be presented by Dr. David Byrne, Professor & Basye Endowed Chair in Rose Genetics Tuesday, April 23, at 7 p.m. at the Brazos Center, 3232 Briarcrest Dr., Room 102, Bryan. Dr. Byrne’s talk will cover the history and current research of the rose breeding program at Texas A&M University starting with Dr. Robert Basye's contribution and including the recent donation of the Ralph Moore varieties with the steps in breeding a rose. For additional information, visit brazosmg.com, call 979-823-0129 or email brazosmg@brazosmg.com.

San Antonio: The next Backyard Gardening Series presentation, "Growing a Lawn and Saving Water," will be Tuesday, April 23, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Horticulturist David Rodriguez will provide lawn care tips, water conservation practices, and green living ways to conserve and reduce environmental impact. This event is open to the public and will be held at 3355 Cherry Ridge Drive, Suite 208, San Antonio. Registration fee of $10 may be paid at the door. For more information and to RSVP, contact Angel Torres at 210-467-6575 or matorres@ag.tamu.edu.

Killeen: The Killeen Farmer's Market will open with a "grand opening" on Thursday, April 25 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. The regular market operating hours are Tuesday and Friday from 3:30 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. and on Saturdays from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m. beginning April 26. The market is located at 2nd and Green Avenue in the Green Avenue Pavilion. Growers will have plants for sale along with produce and farm eggs.

Conroe: Montgomery County Master Gardeners will present an Aquaponics System Design & Operation Workshop on Saturday, April 27, at the Thomas LeRoy Education Center. Aquaponics is the growing of plants in a symbiotic relationship with fish. Learn everything needed to set up and maintain your own system; by attending you will also have the opportunity to win a system. Registration is $50, due by April 19. Lunch provided. 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., 9020 Airport Road, Conroe. For the registration form and more information, visit www.mcmga.com or call 936-539-7824.

Southlake: The Perennial Garden Society will present the 2013 Southlake Garden Tour on April 28 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The tour not only showcases six beautiful gardens in Southlake but will also provide education to the community by highlighting subjects of interest to gardeners and homeowners alike. Exhibits will be staffed with experts on water conservation, pond management, square foot vegetable gardening, tree selection and care in addition to mosquito control and prevention — a very timely topic given the events of this past summer. Tarrant County Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer questions in each garden. Advanced tickets are only $8 and will be available at area Calloway's, Marshall Grain in Grapevine, and the North Richland Hills Farmers Market starting April 10. Tickets sold the day of the tour are $10 at any of the gardens. Visit www.southlakegardentour.org for garden locations or call 817 488-6689 for more information.

Ft. Worth: Learn to make a hypertufa pot and take one home at the Tarrant County Master Gardener Association (TCMGA) class, Tuesday, April 30, 10 a.m.-noon. The class will be at the TCMGA Community Demonstration Garden pavilion, 1800 Circle Drive, at the Fort Worth Resource Connection. The Resource Connection is located off Campus Dr, north from I-20. Look for the Resource Connection signs on Campus Drive. Cost of the class is $20 and limited to 20. Advance registration is required. To register and for more information/directions, contact Billie Hammack at blhammack@ag.tamu.edu or call 817-884-1296.

La Marque: Master Gardener Tim Jahnke will present “Rainwater Harvesting” from 6:30 p.m. until 8 p.m., Tuesday, April 30, at Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (FM 519), La Marque. Jahnke will discuss and show ways humans have collected the precious resource of rainwater for more than 500 years and will include information on current applications for today's gardener. For course reservations or additional information, call 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or email GALV3@wt.net.


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. 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 www.opendaysprogram.org 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 www.opendaysprogram.org.



Houston: The Harris County Master Gardeners meet at noon the first Tuesday of each month at the Texas AgriLife Extension, 3033 Bear Creek Drive (near the intersection of Highway 6 and Patterson Road), Houston. For additional information visit http://hcmga.tamu.edu or call 281-855-5600.

Wichita Falls: The Wichita County Master Gardener Association meets at 5:30 p.m. at the AgriLife Extension Office, 600 Scott Street, Wichita Falls, on the first Tuesday of each month. For more information, visit www.txmg.org/wichita or call 940-716-8610.

Kilgore: Northeast Texas Organic Gardeners meets at 1 p.m. on the first Wednesday of each month. For more information, call Carole Ramke at 903-986-9475.

New Braunfels: The Comal Master Gardeners meet at 6 p.m. the first Wednesday of each month (except December) at the GVTC Auditorium, 36101 FM 3159, New Braunfels. An educational program preceeds the business meeting. The public is invited to attend. For additional information, call 830-620-3440 or visit http://txmg.org/comal/.

Allen: The Allen Garden Club meets at 7 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month, February through December, at the Allen Heritage Center, 100 E. Main St., Allen. For more information, visit www.allengardenclub.org.

Brownwood: The Brown County Master Gardeners Association meets the first Thursday of each month from noon to 1 p.m. at the AgriLife Extension Office, 605 Fisk Ave., Brownwood. For further information, call Mary Green Engle at 325-784-8453.

Gonzalas: Gonzales Master Gardeners hold their monthly meeting at noon on the first Thursday of each month at 623 Fair Street, Gonzales. Bring a bag lunch, drinks provided. Contact AgriLife Extension Office at 830-672-8531 or visit http://gonzalesmastergardeners.org for more information.


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

Evant: The Evant Garden Club meets on the second Tuesday of each month at 10 a.m., usually at the bank in downtown Evant. To confirm the date, time and place of each month's meeting, call 254-471-5585.

Marion: The Guadalupe County (Schertz/Seguin) Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas meets on the second Tuesday of each month except July, August and December at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Marion. Directions to St. John’s Lutheran Church: From FM 78 turn south onto FM 465 and the church is just past the Marion School on the right. From IH 10 go north on FM 465 towards Marion. The Church will be on the left, just before you get to town. 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.


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.

Corpus Christi: The Nueces Master Gardeners meet at noon the third Tuesday of each month, except December, at Garden Senior Center, 5325 Greely Dr., Corpus Christi. An educational program precedes the business meeting. For further information call 361 767-5217.

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.


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.

Texas Fruit and Vegetable Gardening

By Greg Grant

This new book incorporates Greg’s horticultural expertise along with his homespun writing style and, unlike other books on vegetable gardening, this one includes chapters on fruit, nuts and herbs along with a nice selection of family recipes.

This easy-to-follow, color-packed guide features:

  • Planting, care and harvesting information for more than 60 edibles
  • Popular vegetable selections from arugula to tomatoes
  • A variety of common and unusual fruits and herbs
  • Advice on garden planning, creating the perfect soil, watering and more!
  • It is a must have for every serious gardener in Texas and neighboring states.

$29.79 (includes tax and shipping)

Call 1-800-727-9020 or visit us online at www.texasgardener.com to order your copy today!

American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa accepted.

The Texas Tomato Lover's Handbook

The best thing for tomato enthusiasts since the tomato itself! William D. Adams draws on more than thirty years' experience to provide a complete, step-by-step guide to success in the tomato patch. Learn everything from soil preparation, planting, feeding, caging and watering. Liberally sprinkled with the author's easy humor and illustrated with his own excellent photographs, the must have book has everything you'll need to assure a bumper crop! 189 pages. Lots of color photographs!

Only $26.69 for Seeds readers! Free shipping!

To take advantage of this special offer, call toll-free 1-800-727-9020.

American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa accepted.

Paperback edition.

Kindle edition.

In Greg's Garden: A Pineywoods Perspective on Gardening, Nature and Family

By Greg Grant
Foreword by Chris S. Corby

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

Revised and updated from their original publication, these 60 essays reveal the heart and soul of a seventh-generation native Texan who has devoted his entire life to gardening, nature and family. With degrees in floriculture and horticulture from Texas A&M University and extensive hands-on experience as a horticulturist with the Texas Agricultural Extension Service, Stephen F. Austin State University, Mercer Arboretum and San Antonio Botanical Gardens, Grant has successfully introduced dozens of plants to the Texas nursery industry, all while maintaining long-held family property and renovating the homes of his ancestors in Arcadia, Texas.

In Greg’s Garden: A Pineywoods Perspective on Gardening, Nature and Family is a must-read for every Texas gardener.

$36.74 (includes shipping and sales tax)

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

American Express, Visa, MasterCard and Discover accepted

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

Wish you'd saved them?

Are you missing an important issue of Texas Gardener? Or, perhaps, just tired of thumbing through stacks of back issues looking for the tips and techniques you need to make your garden grow? These new CDs provide easy access to all six issues of

volume 20 (November/December 2000 through September/October 2001),
volume 21
(November/December 2001 through September/October 2002),
volume 22
(November/December 2002 through September/October 2003),
volume 23
(November/December 2003 through September/October 2004),
volume 24 (November/December 2004 through September/October 2005),
volume 25 (November/December 2005 through September/October 2006),
volume 26 (November/December 2006 through September/October 2007),
volume 27 (November/December 2007 through September/October 2008),
volume 28 (November/December 2008 through September/October 2009),
volume 29 (November/December 2009 through September/October 2010),
volume 30 (November/December 2010 through September/October 2011) and
volume 31 (November/December 2011 through September/October 2012)*.

$16.99 per CD includes tax and shipping

Order by calling 1-800-727-9020.

(American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa accepted.)

*Other volumes will be available soon.

Fiber row cover valuable year-round

Grow-Web encourages plant growth and development, and also provides protection from insects, birds, diseases and frosts. It is also air and water permeable and allows for ventilation. Grow-Web provides excellent protection to seedlings when applied directly to the seedbed.

$31.88 per 12.3’ x 32.8’ roll (includes shipping!)

Order by calling 1-800-727-9020 or order on-line.

(American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa accepted.)

Become a Texas Gardener fan on Facebook

Become a fan of Texas Gardener magazine on Facebook. See what we're up to at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Texas-Gardener-Magazine/301356291835?ref=nf.

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

Missed an issue? Back issues of Texas Gardener’s Seeds are available at www.texasgardener.com/newsletters.

Publisher: Chris S. Corby ● Editor: Michael Bracken

Texas Gardener’s Seeds, P.O. Box 9005, Waco, Texas 76714 ● www.TexasGardener.com