May 29, 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.


How to select healthy fruit trees and berry bushes for your fruit garden

By Stella Otto
Author of The Backyard Berry Book

More and more people are deciding to add edible elements to their garden this year — fruits are a popular and delicious choice. A good place to start is with fast growing berries — strawberries, grapes and raspberries are quick and easy. With an eye to the future, add a peach or a couple of dwarf apple tree as well. With frost scares past (hopefully), now is high time to actually pick out and plant your berry bushes or fruit trees. How can you make sure you are getting strong, healthy plants when you are standing there reviewing your local garden center's selection?

Here are some important things to check:

  • Tree trunks should be straight; preferably with no branches below knee height. You should remove any low branches at planting time.
  • Look for trunk diameters between 1/2" to 3/4" inches on apple, apricot, cherry, pear, and plum trees. Peaches tend to have diameters from 3/4" to 1 1/2".
  • The graft union — where the rootstock and variety scion are joined — of dwarf trees should be well developed and healed. It will look like a bulb shaped thickening in the trunk a few inches above the soil level.
  • Fruit bushes and trees at garden centers are often potted rather than bare root. Look for a good supply of plump, actively growing roots. Remove the plant from the pot for a peek if possible.
  • Check that potted plants are not root bound. Roots wrapping repeatedly around themselves in the pot or growing out of the bottom can be an indication that these are actually poor growing plants held over from a prior season. They will not grow as well as healthy, vigorous one-year-old stock.
  • Bigger is not always better. A larger plant often means there is a large branch area to support with a limited root system, leaving insufficient energy for adjusting to transplanting. Research has shown that smaller trees and bushes overtake larger transplants within a few years. This has been attributed to less transplant shock.
  • Dormant trees and bushes, in most cases, survive transplant shock best. Be sure to plant them as soon as possible to allow roots time to get established and growing before they need to support an ever expanding supply of leaves.

While you want to purchase the healthiest fruit trees, berry bushes and vines, avoiding diseased plants is equally important.

A few things to look out for are:

  • Branches with dark, sunken areas.
  • Old dead leaves remaining at the tips of branches
  • Oozing discolored bark.
  • Borer damage will appear as holes or tunneling around the bud union. This can be a prevalent problem on stone fruit and some apple rootstocks.

These could all indicate disease. You do not want to bring this home and get your home orchard off to bad start or introduce disease spores to your healthy garden.

Regardless of where you purchase your plants, buy from a reputable source. High quality, good service and selection, and a respected reputation usually go hand-in-hand with a business' longevity and success. Specialty nurseries are most likely to offer disease-free plants that are true to name. Word of mouth may help you find favored sources among experienced gardeners.

There's nothing like fresh picked berries on you summer bowl of cereal, a juicy peach warm from the sun, or a crunchy apple in late summer or early fall. And remember, this is a great way to get the whole family to eat more fruits. If they help in watering, thinning, and other tasks to come, they won't be able to resist eating the "fruit" of their labor.

Stella Otto is the author of award-winning garden books, The Backyard Berry Book: A hands-on guide to growing berries, brambles, and vine fruit in the home garden and The Backyard Orchardist: A complete guide to growing fruit trees in the home garden. Learn more at www.stellaotto.com.


Vegetables that Thrive in the Heat

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

Many gardeners kinda throw in the towel when the weather starts to warm up in Texas. “Oh ye of little faith…” You should know by now that it always gets hot in Texas in the summertime and you should be planning your vegetable gardens accordingly. There are lots of veggies that do well in the summer here, but you have to know which ones and when to plant them. To that end, Dr. Jerry Parsons, former vegetable specialist with Texas A&M University and the Cooperative Extension Service, developed a list of the varieties of vegetables that will do well here as well as the planting dates for them. These varieties were all tested by trial and error in an area south of San Antonio and, if they can take the heat there, they can take it anywhere. The list is updated every 2 years, so the current one is dated 2012.

If you’d like to see a copy of that list, visit www.plantanswers.com and type “vegetable varieties” in the search engine box. Or, if you’d like a copy of the list in your email box, write to me at gardener@gvtc.com and I’ll send you the list. I also added a column for plant spacing that I think is important — especially for those of you who are interested in growing as much as possible in as little a space as possible.

The list was originally put together for the San Antonio area, but there are instructions on how to convert the dates to your area of the state. The varieties stay the same. Only the planting dates change to reflect your climate where you live.


Intercepted in luggage, invasive Khapra beetle among 100 worst pests

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agriculture specialists stationed at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport recently intercepted Khapra beetles in personal effects from passengers arriving from Sudan and India.

“CBP agriculture specialists remain vigilant in safeguarding our agriculture industry by preventing the introduction of invasive, harmful pests and plant diseases into the country,” said Houston CBP Director of Field Operations Judson W. Murdock II. “The introduction of harmful pests, such as this beetle, into the U.S. can have devastating effects on our agriculture production because it will demolish stored grains such as rice, wheat and oats.”

Khapra beetle is a serious pest of stored grain products in Africa, the Middle East, the Near East and pockets of Europe and eastern Asia. The U.S. Department of Agriculture considers the Khapra beetle one of the 100 worst invasive species worldwide. If the beetle is left undisturbed in stored grain it can cause significant grain loss, and in case of seeds, it may lead to significant reduction in seed viability. Once identified, the Khapra beetle may be killed through fumigation. The USDA will determine if fumigation is feasible. In many cases such as in these cases where Khapra beetle was found in passenger’s personal effects, the infested product is simply destroyed by incineration or steam sterilization.

The Khapra beetles were found in three separate passenger inspections arriving from countries known to host the beetle. Upon inspection of the passengers’ luggage, CBP agriculture specialists discovered the pests in containers of seeds and dried beans. The prohibited items were immediately safeguarded for further examination.

CBP agriculture specialists submitted sample specimens of the pests to a local U.S. Department of Agriculture entomologist for identification and learned May 8, that the pests were in fact Trogoderma granarium Everts, which is the scientific name for the Khapra beetle.


Gardening tips

Stink bugs and leaf-footed bugs can wreck havoc on a crop of green tomatoes. Sprays must be repeated for moderate control. Some gardeners use a small, hand-held vacuum cleaner to catch and destroy them. Either way, morning is the best time to attack since they are less likely to fly away.

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...

Fall crops of sweet and hot peppers are usually more bountiful those spring crops. That said, it is not too late to set out those pepper plants you found on sale at your local nursery. Any summer harvest will likely be meager but watch them take off come September when milder autumn weather arrives.


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.

JUNE

Dallas: City of Dallas Water Utilities, City of Dallas Stormwater Management, City of Dallas Park & Recreation, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, Dallas County Master Gardeners and the Town of Addison are teaming up with surrounding cities to demonstrate the beauty of Water-Wise and EarthKind gardening with the 19th annual Water-Wise Landscape Tour, Saturday, June 1 from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Dallas County Master Gardeners will be conducting free 30-minute talks on Water-Wise gardening every hour on the hour at each of the tour headquarters. Dallas County Master Gardener volunteers will also be assisting homeowners and helping answer questions about he plants and landscapes on the tour. The first 100 visitors at each of the three tour headquarters will receive a free hose nozzle. Maps for the self-driving tour are available at SaveDallasWater.com and at all tour headquarters. Tour Headquarters: Central: Bath House Cultural Center - 512 E. Lawther Dr., Dallas; North: Les Lacs Linear Park - 3901 Beltway Dr., Addison; South: Lake Cliff Park - E. Colorado Blvd. at N. Zang Blvd., Dallas. For more information, visit SaveDallasWater.com or call the Water Conservation Hotline at 214-670-3155 Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Ft. Worth: Make and take cement mushrooms Saturday, June 1, 10 a.m. – noon at the Tarrant County Master Gardener Association Community Demonstration Garden pavilion, 1801 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.

La Marque: Tomato & Pepper Evaluation & Tasting Event, Saturday, June 1, 9 a.m.- noon, at the Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (FM 519), La Marque. Homegrown heirloom and hybrid tomatoes and sweet and hot peppers grown by Master Gardeners Terry Cuclis and Gene Speller will be available at this event for tasting, comparing, and evaluating. This is a great opportunity to share information and knowledge about this year's season and harvest. Open to the general public. No registration necessary. For additional information, call 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or email GALV3@wt.net.

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.

Houston: The Harris County Master Gardeners at Precinct 2 will host Open Garden Days twice monthly during June, July and August on 1st & 3rd Mondays from 8:30 a.m. - 11 a.m. at Genoa Friendship Garden, 1202 Genoa Red Bluff, Houston. Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer gardening questions and will present educational programs from 9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. for children & adults. Monday, June 3: Children - "Plant Identification Game"; Adults - "Why is Plant Identification Necessary?" Monday, June 17: Children - "Butterflies"; Adults - "Irrigation for Your Home Gardens." For additional information, visit http://hcmga.tamu.edu or call 281-855-5600.

La Marque: Galveston County Master Gardener Loretta Osteen will present “The Fabulous Fragrant Frangipani (Plumeria),” Tuesday, June 4, 6:30 - 8 p.m. at the Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (FM 519), La Marque The program will cover the history, culture, usage of the Plumeria flowers, propagation by seeds, cuttings and grafting. For course reservations, call 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or email GALV3@wt.net.

Midland-Odessa: Permian Basin Master Gardeners 2-day Composting Workshop with lectures June 4 at the Commemorative Air Force, 9600 Wright Drive, at Midland Odessa International Airport and hands-on and vermicomposting on June 6 at Odessa Time Machine, 816 W. 42nd. Both begin at 6:30 p.m. Call 432-498-4071 for information.

New Braunfels: Harold Voges and Rosalie Meier will present tips on how to prepare and maintain your vegetable garden at the 6:30 p.m., June 5, meeting of the Comal Master Gardeners at GVTC Auditorium, 3610 FM3159, New Braunfels. The public is welcome. Come for Social hour at 6 p.m. and sample produce from the garden.

Woodway: Midsummer Nights, a free annual concert series, returns to the Carleen Bright Arboretum, 1 Pavilion Way, Woodway. Bring a lawn chair or blanket and get ready to relax to some great music! June 5: The Morticians; June 12: The Elephants; June 19: Rewind Party Band; June 26: Nolan Pick Band; July 3: Texas Country Gentlemen. All concerts are from 8 p.m. until 9 p.m. Bring a lawn chair or blanket and get ready to relax to some great music! Covered seating available for the Dessert Fundraiser, $10.00. For more information, call 254-399-9204.

McKinney: Join the Collin County Master Gardeners and tour the perennial research and demonstration gardens at Myers Parke and Event Center in McKinney Wednesday, June 5, 9 a.m.-11 a.m.; Saturday, June 8, 9 a.m.-11 a.m.; Wednesday, June 19, 9 a.m.-11 a.m.; and Saturday, June 22, 9 a.m.-11 a.m. Tours will provide gardeners a first-hand opportunity to see which plants grow well in the area and the knowledge needed to have successful gardening experiences at home. Tour guides will be on hand to answer questions. Visit www.ccmgatx.org or call 972-548-4232 for more information.

Ft. Worth: Learn about canning and making jelly in a lecture and show and tell, Saturday, June 8, 10 a.m.–noon. at the Tarrant County Master Gardener Association Community Demonstration Garden pavilion, 1801 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 $5 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.

San Antonio: Home gardeners are invited to enter the annual Spring Top Tomato and Salad Bowl Contest at Milberger’s Landscape Nursery, 3920 Bulverde Rd. on Saturday, June 8. Entries accepted starting at 10:30 a.m. Judging begins at noon. Prizes will be awarded for best large and small (cherry) tomatoes, biggest tomato and Best of Show. The “Best Salad Bowl” prize goes to the gardener who brings in the best collection of homegrown vegetables, excluding tomatoes. No entry fee. Find guidelines and more information at www.GardeningVolunteers.org, or call Gardening Volunteers of South Texas at 210-251-8101.

Humble: “Cultivating Your Outdoor Pallet: Watercolor Technique Workshops” will be presented Saturday, 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.

Austin: What makes heirloom plants so great? Find out on June 10 from Judy Barrett, who literally wrote the book on heirlooms! The Austin Organic Gardeners Club meets at Austin Area Garden Center, 2220 Barton Springs Rd., in Zilker Botanical Gardens. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for the opportunity to meet and mingle with local gardeners; club business begins at 7 p.m., followed by our guest speaker's presentation. Take cash for the raffle and/or to purchase one of Judy's books! For additional information, visit www.austinorganicgardeners.org.

Ft. Worth: A Master Gardener specialist will discuss “Herbs” during a class for families at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden Backyard Vegetable Garden pavilion (formerly children’s vegetable garden). Tuesday, June 11, 10 a.m. Cost: $10 per adult; $5 per child. Class limit: 20. Children must be at least five years old and accompanied by a parent or grandparent. 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: 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.

San Antonio: Marty Ruona will present “Principles of Xeriscaping and Succulents,” Thursday, June 13, 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: A composting and soil health seminar, presented by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and its Travis County Master Gardeners volunteer horticulture program, will be held from 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. June 15 in Room 1130 on the south campus of Austin Community College,1820 W. Stassney Lane, Austin. The seminar will include presentations and demonstrations related to composting and maintaining and enhancing the nutrient value of soil used for growing plants. Attendees must register at https://agriliferegister.tamu.edu or by phone at 979-845-2604. If registering through the website, enter the word “soil” in the keyword search field. The $35 fee includes all presentations, a box lunch, water and snacks. Seminar topics and presenters will be: “Composting — Life After Death,” Sheryl Williams, Travis County Master Gardener. Learn how to improve your soil no matter what kind or how much you have by composting kitchen and yard waste. Discover the needs of the microbes in your soil and how to feed and maintain them. “Some Like it Hot and Some Like it Cold,” Williams. Acquire knowledge about hot and cold composting and how your plants should determine the type of compost you needs to make. Learn about the equipment or supplies needed for success. “Ground to Ground,” Lindsay Razzaz, AgriLife Extension horticulture program assistant, Travis County. Learn about AgriLife Extension’s citywide initiative to divert nutrient-rich spent coffee grounds from landfills and put them back to work in yards, gardens and farms. Ground to Ground businesses provide free grounds to customers in bags, buckets or bins. “Worms’ Gift to Mankind — Vermiculture,” Clyde Adley, Travis and Williamson County Master Gardener. Some of the very best compost is created by worms, and this presentation provides instruction on all phases of vermiculture, including supplies, worm sources, moisture, heat, food and harvesting. “Who Would Like a Drink of Compost Tea?” Tommie Clayton, Travis County Master Gardener and compost specialist. Produce your own “liquid gold” by setting up a home brewing system using a five-gallon bucket equipped with an aquarium pump and air stones. Learn how oxygen and an energy source can grow beneficial microbes to produce a compost tea concentrate for a compost starter solution, foliar spray and soil drench. “Zero Waste by 2040!” Sylba Loren, City of Austin. Austin’s goal is to reach zero waste by 2040, which means reducing the amount of trash sent to landfills by 90 percent. Austin Resource Recovery has implemented multiple measures to achieve zero waste, including a home-composting program and rebate. Learn more about what Austin Resource Recovery is doing and how to qualify for a rebate on a composting system. This event is not sponsored by Austin Community College. Parking is free, but is not allowed in the reserved area. Check in with campus security and provide them with your vehicle’s license number.

San Antonio: “Watersaver Landscape Design School,” sponsored by Gardening Volunteers of South Texas in partnership with San Antonio Water System, will be held Saturday, June 15, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.at the San Antonio Garden Center, 3310 N. New Braunfels. Four presentations on xeriscape principles, design, plant selection, and full-landscape drip irrigation installation and conversion. $25 for individuals, $40 for households of two people. Fee includes three full-color plant and landscape guides, CD version of the book “Drip-Line Gardening,” and one-on-one design idea consultations. For more information and an application form, visit  www.GardeningVolunteers.org or call 210-251-8101. Enrollment deadline is Friday, June 7.

San Antonio: GreenSpaces Alliance presents its first SicloVerde, a 13-mile bike tour of six community gardens. Saturday, June 15. The tour begins at the River Road Community Garden, 780 E. Huisache (at Allison Dr.), San Antonio. Registration starts at 7 a.m. and the tour begins at 7:30 a.m. Three tour options will be offered: a 13-mile group tour, an 8-mile group tour, and a self-guided tour. Participants will gather at the first garden in the morning and travel in groups from garden to garden, visiting with gardeners and taking part in fun garden-themed activities before completing the loop. Registration is required and all participants must wear safety helmets. Cost: $25 per adult, $15 for children 12-17, and children riding with parents are free. To register or for additional information, visit www.greensatx.org, call 210-222-8430, or email info@greensatx.org.

San Antonio: Austin Landscape Designer Pam Penick will speak on “grass-less" yards at the monthly Essentials of Gardening class, Monday, June 17, at San Antonio Garden Center, 3310 N. New Braunfels, from noon until 3 p.m. Penick is the author of “Lawn Gone!—Low Maintenance, Sustainable, Attractive Alternatives for Your Lawn.” The class will include a book signing. The second session of the class will be “Full Landscape Drip Irrigation Conversion” with Ron Csehil, Bexar County Master Gardener and co-author of “Drip-Line Gardening.” Free and open to the public. Presented by Gardening Volunteers of South Texas. For more information, visit www.GardeningVolunteers.org or call 210-251-8101.

Ft. Worth: Make cement leaves with a Master Gardener during a class for families at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden Backyard Vegetable Garden pavilion (formerly children’s vegetable garden) Tuesday, June 18, 10 a.m. Cost: $10 per adult; $5 per child. Materials: $10 per family. Class limit: 20. Children must be at least five years old and accompanied by a parent or grandparent. Pre-registration is required. To register and for more information/directions, contact Billie Hammack at blhammack@ag.tamu.edu or call 817-884-1296.

Seabrook: Suzy Fischer will present "Edible Landscape" at 10 a.m., Wednesday, June 19, The Meeting Room at Clear Lake Park (on the lakeside), 5001 NASA Parkway, Seabrook. Fischer is a founding and current board member of Urban Harvest. Her mission is to promote healthy communities and sound nutrition by educating the public. This presentation is free and open to the public. For additional information, visit http://hcmga.tamu.edu or call 281-855-5600.

Ft. Worth: Learn how to prune blackberries, Tuesday, June 25, 8 – 10 a.m. at the Tarrant County Master Gardener Association Community Demonstration Garden, 1801 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. There is no cost 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.

La Marque: Master Gardener Jim Gilliam will present “Turning Dirt Into Soil,” Saturday, June 29, 9 a.m.-11 a.m., at the Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (FM 519), La Marque. This program covers soil structure and characteristics, pH, nutrients, sources and strategies for soil amendment, testing and cultural practices, with an emphasis on how to improve your existing soil. For course reservations, call 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or email GALV3@wt.net.

JULY

Humble: Greg Harmison, horticulture coordinator at Jesse Jones Park, provides planting ideas for the hot summer season when he discusses blooming Shrubs summer to fall, Wed., July 10, noon – 2 p.m. at Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens, 22306 Aldine Westfield Road, Humble. For additional information, call 281-443-8731 or visit www.hcp4.net/mercer.

Humble: Texas Rose Rustlers Meet Saturday, July 13, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens, 22306 Aldine Westfield Road, Humble. This Rookie Rustler meeting is open to the public in order to help enthusiasts learn the etiquette of rustling old garden roses, how to propagate from cuttings and then grow their favorite flower. Visit www.texasroserustlers.com for more details or call 281-443-8731.

Kaufman: The Fall Vegetable Seminar will be presented Saturday, July 20, at the 1st Baptist Fellowship Hall, Northeast corner of Washington and Chestnut, in Kaufman. Registration begins at 8 a.m. and presentations begin at 9 a.m. and continue until noon. Kaufman County Master Gardeners will present "Fall Planting: What to Plant & Where to Find It"; Susan Clark and Arlene Hamilton, Ellis County Master Gardeners, will present "Mediterranean Herbs"; Renee Word, Kaufman County Master Gardener, will present "Canning Your Harvest"; and John Lawler, Owner-Operator of Worm Wranglers, will present "Vermicomposting & Soil Preparation." Admission is $5 per person. For additional information and to pre-register, call 972-932-9069 or email sbburden@ag.tamu.edu.

Humble: Summer Color Conference and Plant Sale will be held Saturday, July 27, 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. at Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens, 22306 Aldine Westfield Road, Humble. Splash into summer with this one-day immersion into perfect solutions for gardening in the heat. Mercer’s Director Darrin Duling will conduct a tour of the heat-loving plants in the gardens. Conference participants can take advantage of a plant sale that morning, which opens later in the day to the public. Reservations and a fee are required, so call 281-443-8731 for additional details.

AUGUST

Humble: As a county extension agent for many years, Tom Leroy has experienced every question about handling lawn care and what to do about those hard to manage spots needing easy ground cover. Join him as he makes the green monster manageable when he discusses lawns and alternations, Wednesday, August 14, noon – 2 p.m. at Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens, 22306 Aldine Westfield Road, Humble. 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.

Nacogdoches/Arcadia: Naked Ladies and Oxbloods: SFA Gardens Arcadian Fall Bulb Bus Tour, September 14. Visit Greg Grant’s Emanis House dogtrot in Shelby County’s rural community of Arcadia. Depending on the weather, see red oxblood lilies (Rhodophiala), several different colors of spider lilies (Lycoris), or assorted rain lilies (Cooperia, Zephyranthes, and Habranthus). Unfortunately their display depends on the first fall rains so a grand naturalized bulb display isn’t guaranteed. Visit Grant’s old family home with an open breezeway running through it, along with his small cottage garden, chickens, and bluebird houses. Dress comfortably for potentially hot weather. The bus tour will be from 9 a.m. until noon. All participants will meet at the SFA Ag building, Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacognoches, at 9 a.m. $25 for Friends of SFA Gardens members, $30 for non-members. For more information and reservations contact Elyce Rodwald at 936-468-1832 or erodewald@sfasu.edu. Other SFA Gardens events and information can be found at sfagardens.sfasu.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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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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Publisher: Chris S. Corby ● Editor: Michael Bracken

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