June 26, 2013

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Farmers and ranchers use conservation to help pollinators

USDA

When it comes to pollinators, American farmers and ranchers are creating high quality habitat to boost their populations and harness their value. With National Pollinator Week last week, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is promoting conservation opportunities that benefit pollinators, such as bees and butterflies.

Pollinators are essential to fruit, vegetable and seed crops, but many species are seeing their numbers fall.

Agricultural producers across the nation work with NRCS to create ideal habitat for pollinators and increase populations in simple and significant ways.

Producers planted about 101,000 acres of field borders, 88,000 feet of hedgerows, 3,250 acres of conservation cover and 1,000 acres of beneficial insect habitat during fiscal 2012. These conservation activities are just three of more than three dozen that NRCS offers through the Farm Bill to help producers create the perfect places for pollinators to forage and take shelter.

“We are working hard to get the word out,” NRCS Acting Chief Jason Weller said. “It makes good business sense to plant for pollinators, and NRCS wants to help producers take action that will not only benefit pollinators — but also their operations.”

More than three-fourths of the world’s flowering plants rely on pollinators to reproduce, equating to one of every three bites of food people eat. Many plants would be unable to reproduce without the help of pollinators.

“Bees and other pollinators provide a tremendous ecological service, and that’s why thousands of producers have worked to attract them to their land,” said Mace Vaughan, a scientist with NRCS and The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. “Creating habitat for pollinators attracts beneficial insects, produces wildlife habitat, reduces soil erosion and improves water quality. Pollinators help keep the whole ecosystem healthy.”

Scientists attribute pollinators’ decline to a number of factors, including forage and habitat loss, disease, parasites and environmental contaminants. Agencies and partners across the country are working on science-based solutions to support pollinators. Each June, NRCS and conservation partners salute pollinators during “National Pollinator Week.” Learn more: www.nrcs.usda.gov/pollinators.


Some ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ for summer gardening

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

Do: Mow your St. Augustine grass at 3-4 inches in height. This allows it to shade itself, helps choke out weeds and keeps the ground cooler.

Do: Keep your lawnmower blade sharp. That way, it cuts the grass and doesn’t tear it off.

Do: Let your bougainvilleas dry until the soil in the pot is dry down to about 2 inches. They bloom best when they’re stressed a little and pot-bound.

Do: Fertilize your hibiscus with soluble fertilizer (Miracle Grow, Peters 20-20-20, Super Bloom) once every 7-10 days.

Do: Pour old hummingbird feeder sugar water into a depression in a rock or pot saucer for the butterflies.

Do: Plant your fall tomatoes on or about July 25. They may need 2-3 weeks of shade while they’re young. An old sheer curtain works great. Be sure to look for the tomato varieties with “hot” names like Sun Flare, Heatwave or Sunmaster.

Do: Continue to fertilize your heavy-feeding veggies through June. When the tops start to turn brown, it’s over. Dig them up and put them into the compost pile. Add compost to all your garden beds and wait for fall planting.

Do: Keep up your fungicide and pesticide program for the roses. They need it as long as they’re still blooming or until the first frost. They’ll need some light pruning about mid-September.

Do: Replace St. Augustine with Zoysia or Bermuda grass. If you have full sun, go with the Bermuda. Zoysia will stand about the same amount of shade that St. Augustine will tolerate. Both Zoysia and Bermuda use about one-fourth the water that St. Augustine uses.

Don’t: Keep watering the St. Augustine grass when it gets really hot and dry. It’ll be OK if you just water it about 1/2-inch per week. Be sure to check your watering so that you know for sure how much water is going on each part of the lawn. Check it with tuna or cat-food cans. Only run the system long enough to get 1/2-inch in most of the cans, see how long it took and then readjust the system to those times.

Don’t: Forget the mulch. Mulch on each garden helps keep the bug population down, keeps the soil cooler, helps stop weeds from germinating, and holds the moisture that is getting kind of scarce now.

Don’t: Use too much fertilizer or pesticides. More is not better. Just be sure to follow the directions on the container.

Don’t: Forget to water new trees. If you plant any new trees this summer, each of them needs about 4-5 gallons of water per week — no more, no less — for the first several weeks. Too much will drown them, too little will starve them.

Don’t: Forget to use drip irrigation where possible. Drip irrigation uses far less water and puts the water where it does the most good — at the roots. You can place the 1/4-inch hoses on top of your mulch so that you won’t cut them with a shovel later. Hook the system up to a faucet and put a timer between the faucet and the hose hookup.


For a unique summer experience, enjoy the Cornell Weed Garden

Cornell University

If you’re looking for an unusual tourist spot this summer, consider Cornell University’s garden of “weedin’” in Ithica, NY.

The Cornell Weed Garden is a scientific utopia that features 85 of the Northeast’s most tenacious, loathsome and frustrating plants known to farmers and home gardeners, but sometimes surprisingly tasty to naturalists.

“Students appreciate hands-on learning, and the Cornell Weed Garden is experiential,” says Antonio DiTommaso, associate professor of weed ecology and management in crop and soil sciences at Cornell. “Students in my weed science course are expected to know about 90 weeds including from seeds for the more common species. Rather than just learn in a classroom or from a textbook, they can appreciate and see firsthand the diversity, the shapes, sizes, characteristics — so that one day they can use this knowledge to better manage these troublesome plants.”

The weed garden sits on a large plot behind Cornell’s Muenscher Laboratory greenhouses. The garden was developed and built by DiTommaso and Kathy Howard, a crop and soil sciences teaching support specialist. This living laboratory not only serves Cornell’s undergraduate students from several majors, but also pest management scientists, agricultural industry professionals, natural areas managers and even high school biology students. Cornell’s veterinary students employ the garden in their poisonous plants class.

Why learn about weeds? Even with best management practices, farmers and home gardeners spend more than $12.5 billion annually on pesticides. The United States used 1.1 billion pounds of pesticides in 2007 — about one-fifth of the world’s estimated 5.2 billion pounds, according to the EPA. The U.S. agriculture sector consumed about 80 percent of all U.S. pesticides, with herbicides accounting for more than 70 percent of this total.

Donald Viands, associate dean and director of academic programs in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, provided a small grant to DiTommaso for the garden startup in 2008. Today, the garden thrives.

It resembles many typical, well-tended home gardens: it’s rife with wild parsnip, poison hemlock, yellow nutsedge, common ragweed and field horsetail. Before the plants were added, formal trenches were dug and lined with 15-gallon plastic pots to prevent the weeds from spreading. Drip irrigation reaches every weed, allowing them to thrive. The garden is divided into plant families with professional labels also denoting scientific names, common names and growth habits.

You don’t have to hate weeds, says DiTommaso. Sometimes, weeds can help restore depleted soils, and some are safe as salad greens, such as common purslane, common lambsquarters and common chickweed.

Many, of course, are not edible, such as poison hemlock, the leafy spurge, which exudes a white sap when branches or leaves are cut, and the highly invasive field horsetail, poisonous for young horses, which is so tenacious that even the widely used herbicide Round-Up cannot control it.

Other plants, such as johnsongrass, which resembles a tall grass, and the showy but weedy annual morning glory (Ipomoea spp.) are a concern, says DiTommaso, because they may proliferate in the Northeast with climate change.

DiTommaso invites the Cornell community, general public and others to visit the garden and learn to identify and appreciate weeds. As he often says: “Weeds are diverse. You can love them, you can hate them … but sometimes you can eat them.”


Gardening tips

If you plan to start seeds in the blazing summer heat, presoak the planting bed with water, plant the seed and cover with a very thin layer of mulch (grass clippings work great) to help keep the planting bed moist but still allow the seeds to emerge from the soil. Be sure to mist the soil occasionally to keep the bed moist until the seedlings emerge.

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...

The puss caterpillar looks just like a tiny Persian cat but don’t be fooled by those looks. This critter, often called an asp, is one of the most toxic caterpillars in the country. If you rub against its long, silky golden-brown hairs you will find those hairs imbedded under your skin where they cause severe burning pain, rash and blisters. Folks who have been stung by these critters say the pain feels like a broken arm or being hit with a hammer.


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

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 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.

Dallas: Cody Hoya with Terrain Horticulture Design "Vertical Gardening" at the Dallas County Master Gardeners monthly meeting, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., June 27, at 950 E. Lawther Dr., Dallas (Winfrey Point). Sign in for 1 hour education credit. For more information, visit http://www.dallascountymastergardeners.org/ or contact The Helpdesk, M-F, 8 to 4:30 214-904-3053.

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

Houston: The Harris County Master Gardeners at Precinct 2 will be hosting Open Garden Days twice monthly during the summer months on the 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 your gardening questions and will present educational programs from 9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. for children & adults. Selected herbs and other plants are available for sale in the Greenhouse. Monday, July 1, the children’s program will be "Cylinder Gardening/Propagation" and the adult’s program will be "Home Irrigation." Monday, July 15, both children and adults will learn about “Herbs.” Free and open to the public, children welcome! For additional information, visit http://hcmga.tamu.edu.

Austin: Marjory Wildcraft, author, speaker, and counselor on self-sufficient living, will share her recent discoveries regarding sustainable agriculture in Cuba on Monday, July 8, at The Austin Organic Gardeners Club meeting 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. Bring a little cash for the raffle and/or to purchase one of Marjory's DVDs! For more information, visit www.austinorganicgardeners.org.

Dallas: Sprinkler System Basics. This program teaches the very basic understanding of how your home sprinkler system operates, programming the controller, and making minor repairs. A properly functioning sprinkler system saves you time, plants, money, and water! Cost: FREE Tuesday, July 9, 10 a.m. – noon. Class is located at Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center, Building C, 17360 Coit Road, Dallas. For addition information, call 972-952-9671. Register for class at http://dallas.tamu.edu/courses/.

Dallas: Sprinkler System Basics. This program teaches the very basic understanding of how your home sprinkler system operates, programming the controller, and making minor repairs. A properly functioning sprinkler system saves you time, plants, money, and water! Cost: FREE Tuesday, July 9, 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. Class is located at Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center, Building C, 17360 Coit Road, Dallas. For addition information, call 972-952-9671. Register for class at http://dallas.tamu.edu/courses/.

Fort Worth: Learn about “Container, Chair and Fairy Gardens” at a lecture and show and tell, Tuesday, July 9, 10 a.m. – noon in the Magnolia Room of the 2300 Building, 2300 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 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.

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.

New Braunfels: Glenn Avriett, former County Agent for Comal Agri Life A&M Extension Office, will present “Rainwater Harvesting,” covering all aspects of rain collection and making a barrel, at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, July 10, at the GVTC Auditorium, 36101 FM 3159, New Braunfels. The public is welcome at this free event.

Fort Worth: “Fall Vegetable Gardening” will be discussed on Saturday, July 13, 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. Pre-registration is required. To To register and for more information/directions, contact Billie Hammack at blhammack@ag.tamu.edu or call 817-884-1296.

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.

La Marque: Galveston County Master Gardener Anna Wygrys will present “A Homeowner’s Guide to Weed Control,” 9:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m., Saturday, July 13, at Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (FM 519), La Marque. Do you have a bumper crop of something growing in your yard that you did not plant? Is your lawn more weeds than grass? What can you do about the problem weeds that are taking over your yard and garden? Wygrys will include common species identification, integrated weed management plus chemical options, and practical solutions for controlling weeds in the home landscape. This program is free to the public. For course reservations, call 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or email GALV3@wt.net.

Dallas: Controlling Your Irrigation Controller. This program teaches how you how to program or reprogram your irrigation controller, the best and most efficient way to irrigate your landscape, the soak and cycle method as well as general landscape water efficiency practices to conserve water. Cost: FREE Tuesday, July 16, 10 a.m. - noon. Class is located at Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center, Building C, 17360 Coit Road, Dallas. For addition information, call 972-952-9671. Register for class at http://dallas.tamu.edu/courses/.

Dallas: Controlling Your Irrigation Controller. This program teaches how you how to program or reprogram your irrigation controller, the best and most efficient way to irrigate your landscape, the soak and cycle method as well as general landscape water efficiency practices to conserve water. Cost: FREE Tuesday, July 16, 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. Class is located at Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center, Building C, 17360 Coit Road, Dallas. For addition information, call 972-952-9671. Register for class at http://dallas.tamu.edu/courses/.

Seabrook: John Ferguson, Founder and Owner of Nature's Way Resources, will discuss how the environment can affect our health at 10 a.m., Wednesday, July 17, at The Meeting Room at Clear Lake Park (on the lakeside), 5001 NASA Parkway, Seabrook. Ferguson holds an MS degree in Physics and Geology and is a licensed Soil Scientist in Texas. Free and open to the public. For additional information, visit http://hcmga.tamu.edu.

Bryan: “Fall Vegetable Gardening – You Can Dig It!” will be held from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., Saturday, July 20, at Brazos Center, 3232 Briarcrest Dr., Bryan. Speakers Margrit Moores & Kate Kelly, both master gardeners, will focus on the fall vegetable garden. Sessions include “Beginnings: Sun, Soil, Water, and Mulch”; “Taking Root: Plant Varieties, Planting Schedule, and Planting Combinations”; and “Gathering the Harvest: Increasing Yield and Extending the Season”; and there will be demonstrations of must-have garden equipment. Pre-Register to attend: $35 per person includes handouts & refreshments. Registration preferred by July 17. Registration form is available on the Brazos County Master Gardeners website at brazosmg.com. For additional information, visit brazosmg.com or call 979-823-0129.

Fort Worth: Make your own Glass Totems at a class on Saturday, July 20, 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 . 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.

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.

Schertz: The Guadalupe County Master Gardeners is taking applications for their Class 25. The dates of the class are each Wednesday from August 7 to November 20. The class will be held at the Schertz United Methodist Church, 3460 Roy Richards Drive (FM 3009), Schertz from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The deadline for registration is July 20 and the cost is $190.00 per person. For an application, visit www.guadalupecountymastergardeners.org and click the link on the main page to download the application form. For additional information, contact the Class Coordinator Bob Teweles at rteweles@att.net or 210-289-9979.

Dallas: Drip Irrigation DIY. 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. Cost: FREE Tuesday, July 23, 10 a.m. – noon. Class is located at Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center, Building C, 17360 Coit Road, Dallas. For addition information, call 972-952-9671. Register for class at http://dallas.tamu.edu/courses/.

Dallas: Drip Irrigation DIY. 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. Cost: FREE Tuesday, July 23, 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. Class is located at Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center, Building C, 17360 Coit Road, Dallas. For addition information, call 972-952-9671. Register for class at http://dallas.tamu.edu/courses/.

Fort Worth: Children, parents and grandparents are invited to learn about “Fall Vegetable Gardening” from Master Gardener vegetable specialists at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden Backyard Vegetable Garden (formerly children’s vegetable garden), Tuesday, July 23, 10 a.m. Cost: $10 per adult; $5 per child. Class limit: 20. Children must be five years or older and must be 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.

Fort Worth: Make a Butterfly Puddler at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden/Tarrant County Master Gardener classes for families, Saturday, July 27, 10 a.m. at the FWBG Backyard Vegetable Garden (formerly children’s vegetable garden) pavilion. Cost: $10 per adult; $5 per child. Materials: $15 per family. Class limit: 20. Children must be five years or older and must be 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: 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.

Dallas: Irrigation Quick Fixes. This program teaches the very basic repairs to home automatic irrigation system. A properly functioning sprinkler system saves you time, money, and water! Cost: FREE Tuesday, July 30, 10 a.m. – noon. Class is located at Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center, Building C, 17360 Coit Road, Dallas. For addition information, call 972-952-9671. Register for class at http://dallas.tamu.edu/courses/.

Dallas: Irrigation Quick Fixes. This program teaches the very basic repairs to home automatic irrigation system. A properly functioning sprinkler system saves you time, money, and water! Cost: FREE Tuesday, July 30, 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. Class is located at Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center, Building C, 17360 Coit Road, Dallas. For addition information, call 972-952-9671. Register for class at http://dallas.tamu.edu/courses/.

AUGUST

Dallas: Rainwater Harvesting-Rain Barrel. This program covers the basics and benefits of rainwater harvesting and the effects stormwater has on the environment. Participants will learn how to collect and utilize rainwater at home and have the opportunity to construct their very own 55 gallon rain barrel. Cost: $50 per Barrel Tuesday, August 6, 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. Class is located at Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center, Building C, 17360 Coit Road, Dallas. For addition information, call 972-952-9671. Register for class at http://dallas.tamu.edu/courses/.

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.

Seguin: The Guadalupe Master Gardeners will meet on Thursday, August 22, at the AgriLife Building on 210 E. Live Oak, Seguin. Dr. Rebecca Kelso will discuss "Preventing Skin Cancer" beginning at 7 p.m. The meeting is free and open to the public. The regular business meeting will be at the end of the program. For further information, visit www.guadalupemastergardeners.org.

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 Texas Gardener columnist 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.

Dallas: After many years of research and construction, the Dallas Arboretum, 8525 Garland Road, Dallas will open the Rory Meyer's Children's Adventure Garden on Saturday, September, 21. The 8-acre garden will feature over 150 interactive exhibits including areas to explain how energy comes from water, the sun and wind; a wetland where children will learn to do pond dippings and read animal tracks; a Texas Skywalk will feature a look at life in the tree tops and inside a tree itself; a Discovery Center that will include a 30ft globe that will show Pangaea, the solar system and major weather events. Autumn at the Arboretum will also open on Saturday, September 21.

OCTOBER

Jasper: Master Gardener plant sale at the Butterfly Festival & Fall Fest in downtown Jasper, October 5. Butterfly Festival includes free programs on how to attract pollinators to your garden, the monarch migration and more; free children's activities, scavenger hunt and several butterfly releases. In the butterfly garden learn about host plants for different species and organic control methods for unwanted pests. For more information contact the Texas A&M AgriLife office at 409-384-3721 or visit jasper.agrilife.org.

Nacogdoches: The SFA Gardens at Stephen F. Austin State University will host its annual Fabulous Fall Festival Plant Sale from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday, October 5, 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 Greg Grant and SFA 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 more than 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 two weeks before the sale for a list of available plants.

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 Dallas County Master Gardeners meet the fourth Thursday of each month at 11:30 a.m. For location and program information, visit http://www.dallascountymastergardeners.org/ or contact The Helpdesk, M-F, 8 to 4:30 214-904-3053.

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