May 8, 2013

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Large paper nests in South Central Texas trees most likely home to honey wasps

By Paul Schattenberg
Texas AgriLife Extension Service

If there’s a large, gray ball-shaped nest in your tree, the insects inside likely aren’t bees but Mexican honey wasps, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service entomologist in San Antonio.

“I’ve been getting a lot more calls than normal from people throughout Bexar County saying they’re finding large round nests in trees on their property,” said Molly Keck, AgriLife Extension integrated pest management specialist for Bexar County. “They’re worried they have bees nesting in their trees, but these are probably honey wasps. These wasps are smaller than bees — about the same size as a housefly — and are non-aggressive.”

These wasps can easily be distinguished from bees, Keck said.

“They’re not hairy like bees,” she said, “and in addition to being much smaller, honey wasps are nearly all black and don’t have any of the typical bee markings.”

Keck said the Mexican honey wasp, Brachygastra mellifica, is a social species that builds paper nests in the canopies of trees and shrubs.

“By contrast, honey bees in the wild tend to colonize more in the cavities of large trees or openings in walls or overhangs as opposed to building nests in trees,” Keck noted.

While there are 16 different species of Mexican honey wasps, only one species has been reported in Texas, she said.

“However, in addition to the south and south-central portion of Texas, they’re found throughout Mexico and Central America,” she said.

Honey wasp colonies can become quite large, with some containing several thousand wasps, Keck said.

“It can cause concern when people see a large basketball- or football-shaped nest attached to the branches of a tree or shrub,” she said. “But these wasps typically live peacefully with their human neighbors. However, if you climb into the tree or throw rocks at the nest or squirt it with water or do something else disruptive, the wasps will become irritated and that will increase your chance of being stung.”

Keck said walking past a tree harboring a wasp nest, mowing the lawn, closing a car door or going about regular outdoor activities will largely go unnoticed by the wasps.

“Mexican honey wasps are considered beneficial insects, much like honey bees,” she said. “They are nectar gatherers, pollinators, and have been known to predate on harmful insects such as the Asian citrus psyllid, which has been identified as a vector for citrus greening disease.”

Recently, a small team of researchers from London led by Dr. Ellouise Leadbeater, a research fellow from the Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London, came to the Lower Rio Grande Valley and South Central Texas to study honey wasps. Leadbeater and her team were headquartered at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Uvalde.

“We were interested in studying honey wasps as they are the only wasp to produce honey on a large scale and are a distant relative of the honey bee,” she said. “We had put out the word that we wanted to do this research, and got our best response from the Uvalde center.”

Leadbeater said she is investigating the genetic makeup of the honey wasp to see if the genes that make this species behave the way it does are the same or similar to genes that influence the behavior of the honey bee.

“Understanding similarities in the genetics of the two species could help provide insights into how changes to one species would likely affect the other,” she said. “For example, if someone is developing a pesticide they want to be sure doesn’t negatively affect honey-bee populations, knowing that the genetic makeup of honey wasps is similar would help them determine whether it would have a similar effect on those populations as well.”

So far, Leadbeater and her team have investigated about 10 honey wasp nests in South Central Texas, located with the help of sighting reports from the Uvalde center. The center received 40-50 calls from people who had nests matching the features of honey wasp nests on their property.

“Some of the nests were inaccessible or we didn’t have time to find them,” Leadbeater said. “The largest nest we found was off Interstate 37 between the Lower Rio Grande Valley and Corpus Christi. We estimated a population of about 20,000 for that one.”

While Leadbeater will soon return to London to examine the wasps and determine their genetic makeup, two members of her team will remain at the Uvalde center for another month to continue their research.

“This is an active time for both honey wasps and honey bees,” said Keck. “And because now is the beginning of what entomologists call ‘bee swarm season,’ South Central Texas residents can expect even more activity in the coming months.”

However, she added, the advice is essentially the same for avoiding both bee and honey wasp stings.

“If you leave them alone and don’t antagonize them, they’ll pretty much do the same for you.”


West disaster relief: How you can help

Many of our readers have ask us how they could help with the recovery efforts in West, Texas, following the horrific disaster that occurred in that small central Texas community recently. We suggest sending monetary donations to one of the following relief funds: West Disaster Relief Fund, West Rest Haven Relief Fund or West Volunteer Fire Fighters c/o The State National Bank in West, 100 North Main, West, TX 76691.


Central Texas trees at risk for deadly oak wilt disease

Texas A&M Forest Service

The mighty Central Texas oak trees that help shade homes and beautify neighborhoods are falling prey to an incurable and deadly disease.

Oak wilt is a fungal disease that has caused tree deaths in 74 Texas counties.

Trees infected with oak wilt can spread the disease to surrounding oaks via their interconnected root systems. When that happens, the only way to stop further spread is by digging trenches to break the root connections.

The deadly disease also can be spread by insects, which strike primarily from February through June. Sap-feeding beetles are attracted to the sweet-smelling spore mats produced by infected red oaks. The disease is spread when those insects fly off to feed on a healthy red oak or a live oak with a fresh wound.

Texas A&M Forest Service Forester Eric Beckers said oak wilt is primarily seen in the central part of the state but confirmed cases of the disease have been reported in the Texas Panhandle and eastern areas.

“We’re talking about trees that have been in the landscape for a century or more. We don’t replace those trees overnight,” Beckers said, adding that the death of such majestic trees can lead to drops in property values. “Preventing oak wilt is the key.”

A wound is created any time bark is removed and wood is exposed, Beckers said. That can happen with the simplest of tasks — clearing brush, pruning limbs or even pushing a lawn mower over a bare tree root.

That bare wood produces sap, which attracts the sap-feeding beetles, Beckers said, stressing the importance of avoiding wounds in the spring, painting tree wounds year-round and destroying diseased red oaks.

“You don’t want to have to manage oak wilt. That means you have it. You want to prevent it from happening,” Beckers said. “Oak wilt is a bear. It’s very difficult to stop.”

Visit www.texasoakwilt.org for more information or to contact a forester specializing in oak wilt.


Gardening tips

"When transplanting seedlings, use two spoons to push down and lift the seedling out without disturbing other seedlings," suggests Scott Gregorcyk. "This also compresses soil around the transplant, reducing shock. Select size of spoon per size of plants. Plant them making a hole with the two spoons and sliding plant out."

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...

Some insects over-winter in the vegetable garden, usually in garden debris left from a previous crop. The adult moths emerge in the spring after spending the winter as pupae. Once they emerge, they lay eggs on leaves, buds, stems and fruits of susceptible plants. There may be several generations per year depending on the climate. That is why it is so important to remove spent plants at the end of the production cycle and rotate crops to different sections of the garden each year.


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.

MAY

Dallas: "Gardening for Small Spaces" will be presented from 9 a.m. until noon, May 11 at The Texas Discovery Gardens at Fair Park, 3601 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Dallas. See how easy it is to grow a vegetable garden or add some seasonal color to your balcony or patio, Learn sustainable gardening in a small space, including how to make a compost bin with worms. Take home a finished container and vermicompost bin. $60; $48 for TDG members. Register in advance at http://texasdiscoverygardens.org or 214-428-7476, ext 341.

Denton County: “Living Green with Style” is the theme of the Denton County Master Gardener Association’s 2013 Spring Garden Tour, which will be from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 11. Seven gardens, both public and private, are on this year’s fund-raising tour, including two in Southlake, two in Flower Mound and one each in Highland Village, Lewisville and Carrollton. Garden Tour tickets are $10 in advance and may be purchased online at www.dcmga.com. On the day of the tour, tickets are $12 for admission to all gardens or $5 for a single garden. Children under 14 do not require a ticket. Local nurseries will provide door prizes for the event. The Spring Garden Tour will be held rain or shine. Cameras are welcome. Proceeds from the tour fund public educational projects and programs throughout Denton County.

Fort Worth: It’s a bug lecture and show and tell from Tarrant County Master Gardeners, Saturday, May 11, 10 a.m - noon, at the Fort Worth Resource Connection, Building 2300, Mesquite Room, 2300 Circle Drive, Fort Worth. 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 30. Pre-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: The Galveston County Home Fruit Grower’s Tour will be held from 9 a.m. until noon, Saturday, May 11. Three Galveston County fruit orchards are on this year’s tour. Vegetable gardens at each site will also be open. Tour sites contain a wide variety of fruit trees ranging from a large peach orchard in Dickerson, the Galveston County Master Gardeners Demonstration Orchard in La Marque and a sizeable Master Gardeners home orchard in Santa Fe. No pre-registration needed. Visit sites in any desired order. There is no rescheduling of this event due to inclement weather. Wear appropriate shoes and necessary attire. Tour sites: Wilson and Renee Hillman’s Fruits ’N Such orchard, 6309 Ave U, Dickinson (located off Bowerman Road and FM 517). 832-443-6733; Galveston County Master Gardener Demonstration Orchard and Garden, 4102 B Main Street, Carbide Park, La Marque; and Galveston County Master Gardener Bill Verm’s home and backyard, 5202 Highland Road, Santa Fe. Additional information and maps will be posted on the following web sites: http://galveston.agrilife.org/ and http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/index.htm.

New Braunfels: The Comal Master Gardeners and New Braunfels Conservation Society will host "Celebrating with Herbs," an herb festival with free admission, displays of herbal decorations, gift ideas, food samples, and many vendors, from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m., May 11, at Conservation Plaza, 1300 Church Hill Dr., New Braunfels. For additional information, call 830-832-9699 or visit newbraunfelsconservation.org.

Houston: Bob Randall, Ph.D., will discuss “What to Plant & Do” at the May 13 meeting of HUG (Houston Urban Gardeners), beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Houston Garden Center (713-284-1989), 1500 Hermann Park Dr., Houston. To access parking go to the lot across from Miller Outdoor Theater. Randall has been teaching Southeast Texas organic fruit and vegetable gardening since 1986 and has taught Permaculture since 1992. He is the author of the best-selling “Year-Round Vegetables, Fruits and Flowers for Metro-Houston, 12th edition,” and, as the founding Executive Director of Urban Harvest for 14 years, was influential in the development of Houston area community gardens, school gardens, farmers markets, and organic landscaping. Gather, socialize, and munch on snacks from 6:30 to 6:45, when the program begins.

Dallas: “Drip Irrigation DIY” will be presented May 14, 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. at 17360 Coit Road, Dallas. This program teaches how to install a drip irrigation system from your faucet or how to convert an existing system to drip. Drip irrigation is the most efficient irrigation method and essential to sustainable landscapes. Drip irrigation for foundation watering will also be covered. For more information and to register, visit http://dallas.tamu.edu or email urbanwater@tamu.edu.

Dallas: “Container Gardening” will be presented May 16, 10 a.m. until noon. & 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. at 17360 Coit Road, Dallas. This program teaches how to prepare and install a container garden. You will learn how to prepare the container, prepare the soil, and install a well-planned mix of annuals, perennials, and other colorful foliage plants. For more information and to register, visit http://dallas.tamu.edu or email urbanwater@tamu.edu.

San Antonio: Bexar County Master Gardeners will meet on Thursday, May 16, 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 "The Truth About Lavender Growing" from Melanie Van Aken. Come learn about the many uses for lavender. This program is open to the public and is free. For more information, contact Lisa Nixon at 210-364-7844 or email lisa.nixon@bexarcountymastergardeners.org.

Seguin: The Guadlupe County Master Gardeners will meet Thursday, May 16, at 7 p.m. in the AgriLife Extension Building, 210 E. Live Oak, Seguin. Dr. Gus Gross will speak about "Treating Poisonous Snake Bites." Meetings are free and open to the public. For more information, visit www.guadalupecountymastergardeners.org or call 830-303-3889.

Fort Worth: Learn about plants that “Survive and Thrive” from the Tarrant County Master Gardener Association, Saturday, May 18, 10 a.m. – noon at the Fort Worth Resource Connection, Building 2300, Mesquite Room, 2300 Circle Drive, Fort Worth. 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. Pre-registration is required. To register and for more information/directions, contact Billie Hammack at blhammack@ag.tamu.edu or call 817-884-1296.

Fort Worth: Learn about “Backyard Chickens” at the Tarrant County Master Gardener classes for families at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden children’s vegetable garden pavilion, Saturday, May 18, 10 a.m. Cost: $10 per adult; $5 per child. Class limit: 20. Pre-registration is required. To register and for more information/directions, contact Billie Hammack at blhammack@ag.tamu.edu or call 817-884-1296.

Humble: “Cultivating Your Outdoor Pallet: Watercolor Technique Workshops” will be presented Saturdays, May 18 and June 8, 9 a.m. – noon at Mercer Arboretum & Botanic, 22306 Aldine Westfield Road,  Humble. Attend one or both classes to explore the techniques and wonder of watercolor through live demonstrations. A supply list will be provided following registration. Each class costs $40, and TMS members receive a $5 discount. Please call 281-443-8731 for details.

Rockwall County: The 10th Annual Tour of Gardens, the premier educational event of the Rockwall County Master Gardener Association, is scheduled for May 18 from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. In celebration of the 10th Anniversary, this year’s Tour of Gardens will include visits to favorite gardens from past tours. Tickets went on sale April 1. Cost is $8 in advance and $10 on the day of the tour. Details and ticket locations will be posted on rockmga.org as they become available, or call 972-204-7660 for more information!

Dallas: "Edible Wild Plants" will be presented from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m., May 18 at The Texas Discovery Gardens at Fair Park, 3601 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Dallas. Many of our local plants, especially common weeds, are extremely nutritious! Director of Horticulture Roger Sanderson explains which are tasty and which are not. Sample some of the native fare at the end of the workshop. $20; $15 for TDG members. Register in advance at http://texasdiscoverygardens.org or 214-428-7476, ext 341.

San Antonio: "How to Build a Raised Bed Garden" and "Saving Water/Money Through Drip Irrigation" will be presented from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m., Tuesday, May 21, at 3355 Cherry Ridge Drive, Suite 208, San Antonio. Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Horticulturist David Rodriguez will be joined by Master Gardeners Ron Csehil and Dr. Tom Harris to show you all the advantages of raised beds, such as improved soil and drainage, increased yield, better pest control, less weeding, and easier access to your beds. This presentation is open to the public. Registration fee of $10 may be paid at the door. For more information and to RSVP, contact Angel Torres at 210-467-6575.

Fort Worth: Make and take cement leaves taught by Tarrant County Master Gardeners, Saturday, May 25, 10 a.m. – noon 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 is $25 and class limit is 20. Pre-registration is required. To register and for more information/directions, contact Billie Hammack at blhammack@ag.tamu.edu or call 817-884-1296.

Bryan: Wade Roitsch, Manager of Yucca Do Nursery, will present "Agaves and Woody Lilies with Landscape Power," showcasing the species of Agaves, Yuccas and other succulents that are suitable additions for the landscapes of the humid regions of Texas, at 7 p.m., Tuesday, May 28, at Brazos Center, 3232 Briarcrest Dr., Bryan. Wade Roitsch was raised on a ranch near Manor, just east of Austin. A Texas A&M graduate, he began working in the horticulture industry in 1990 and joined the Yucca Do Nursery, Inc., as a plant propagator in 1997. Roitsch presently is the manager of Yucca Do at their new location in Giddings. The nursery is noted as the source for heat and drought-tolerant plants. They offer curious plants cultivars from the southwest, Mexico, South America, Africa, Asia and beyond. The public is invited at no charge to this program. For additional information, visit brazosmg.com, call 979-823-0129, or email brazosmg@brazosmg.com.

Dallas: “Composting” will be presented May 28, 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. & October 10, 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. at 17360 Coit Road, Dallas. This program teaches the composting process, the different types and methods of composting, as well as how to compost and its importance. Adding compost to your garden, landscape, and/or container garden improves your soils nutrition, moisture retention, and aeration. For more information and to register, visit http://dallas.tamu.edu or email urbanwater@tamu.edu.

JUNE

Tyler: The Smith County Master Gardener's present their annual garden tour June 1. The tour will be held from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., rain or shine. This is a unique opportunity to view five private gardens and landscapes. This year’s gardens showcase a variety of landscaping styles and methods — ranging from a woodland setting to an intimate garden planned for the wheelchair gardener. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 day of tour, and available by mail order (deadline May 20) MG Garden Tour, 13270 Oak Hill Lane, Flint, TX 75762. Ticket locations: Brookshires at 100 Rice Rd. Potpourri House, Blue Moon Gardens, Rubicon, and the Smith County Extension office at 1516 W Front St. Ste 116, Tyler. For more information call 903-590-2980.

Humble: Lunch Bunch meets Wed., June 12, noon – 2 p.m. at Mercer Arboretum & Botanic, 22306 Aldine Westfield Road, Humble. Spring Creek and Harris County Precinct 4 Greenway Projects: With just a few miles of connecting trails, the Spring Creek Greenway and adjoining Cypress Creek Greenway have the potential to connect more than 300 miles of existing hard surface and equestrian trails, as well as many Precinct 4 parks and natural spaces from Humble to Tomball. Join Mike Howlett, greenway project manager, for an overview of the largest forested urban corridor in the United States, and discover the multitude of flora, fauna, and recreational opportunities that abound here. For additional information, call 281-443-8731 or visit www.hcp4.net/mercer.

SEPTEMBER

Dallas: “Vegetable Garden-Fall” will be presented September 4, 10 a.m. until noon, at 17360 Coit Road, Dallas. This program teaches homeowners the proper time to germinate fall vegetable seeds and/or when to transplant fall vegetables into their vegetable garden. It also teaches proper soil preparation, insect and disease and weed control. For more information and to register, visit http://dallas.tamu.edu or email urbanwater@tamu.edu.

OCTOBER

Dallas: “Trees for North Texas” will be presented October 8, 6 p.m. until 7 p.m. at 17360 Coit Road, Dallas. This program teaches proper tree selection and planting for North Texas. Selecting the right tree and planting it properly helps improve the sustainability of your home or business landscape. Tree list provided. For more information and to register, visit http://dallas.tamu.edu or email urbanwater@tamu.edu.

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.

MONTHLY MEETINGS

FIRST WEEK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SECOND WEEK

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

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

Marion: The Guadalupe County (Schertz/Seguin) Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas meets on the second Tuesday of each month except July, 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.

THIRD WEEK

Arlington: The Arlington Men's Garden Club meets from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. on the third Monday of each month (except December) at the Bob Duncan Center, 2800 S. Center Street, Arlington. For more information, contact Lance Jepson at LJepson@aol.com.

Cleburne: The Johnson County Master Gardeners meet at 2 p.m. on the third Monday of each month at McGregor House, 1628 W. Henderson, Cleburne, which includes a program and a meet & greet. For more information, call Sharon Smith at 817-894-7700.

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.

FOURTH WEEK

Brackenridge Park: The Native Plant Society San Antonio Chapter meets every fourth Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. in the Lions Field Adult and Senior Center, 2809 Broadway at E. Mulberry, Brackenridge Park, except August and December. Social and seed/plant exchange at 6:30 p.m. Free and open to the public. For more information, contact Bea at 210-999-7292 or visit www.npsot.org/sanantonio.

Bryan: The Brazos County Master Gardeners, a program of Texas AgriLife Extension, meet the fourth Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. at the Brazos Center, 3232 Briarcrest Drive, Bryan. There is a public gardening program at each meeting and pertinent information may be found at brazosmg.com or 979-823-0129.

Edna: The Jackson County Master Gardeners present their "Come Grown With Us" seminars on the fourth Tuesday of each month, January through October, beginning at 7 p.m. at 411 N. Wells, Edna. The seminars are free, open to the public and offer 2 CEU hours to Master Gardeners or others requiring them. For additional information, contact the Jackson County Extension Office at 361-782-3312.

Linden: The Caddo Wildflower Chapter of Native Plants Society meets the fourth Tuesday of each month at the senior citizens building at 507 S Kaufman St. in Linden at 6:30. Visitors are welcome. For additional information, contact Karen Tromza at khtromza@yahoo.com.

Fort Worth: The Organic Garden Club of Forth Worth meets at 7 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of each month except July and December at the Deborah Beggs Moncrief Garden Center, 3220 Botanic Blvd., Ft. Worth. Refreshments are served. For more information, call 817-263-9322 or visit www.ogcfw.webs.com.

San Antonio: The Native Plant Society of Texas San Antonio Chapter meets the fourth Tuesday of each month, except August and December, at the Lions Field Adult & Senior Center, 2809 Broadway, San Antonio. Social and plant/seed exchange at 6:30 p.m., program at 7:00 p.m. For more information, visit www.npsot.org/sanantonio or call Bea at 210-999-7292.

Houston: The Houston Chapter of the Native Prairie Association of Texas (HNPAT) meets from 7 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. the fourth Wednesday of each month at Bayland Park Community Center, 6400 Bissonnet, Houston. For more information, contact hnpat@prairies.org.

Leander: The Leander Garden Club meets on the fourth Thursday of each month (except July and August) at 10:30 a.m. at the community room behind the Greater Texas Federal Credit Union,1300 N. Bell, Cedar Park, unless there is special event planned. Following a program and short business meeting, we share a pot-luck luncheon. To confirm the meeting place and time, please call president Cathy Clark-Ramsey at 512-963-4698 or email info@leandergc.org.

Dallas: The Greater Dallas Organic Garden Club meets at 7:00 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of each month at the REI, 4515 LBJ Freeway, Dallas. For more information, call 214-824-2448 or visit www.gdogc.org.

Arlington: The Arlington Organic Garden Club meets from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. on the last Thursday of each month (except November and December) at the Bob Duncan Center, 2800 S. Center Street, Arlington. For more information, contact David at 817-483-7746.


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Paperback edition.


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NOW AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK!
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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.

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