July 31, 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.


Nine tips for chemical-free home weed control

By Travis W. Gannon, Ph.D., and Fred H. Yelverton, Ph.D
Weed Science Society of America

If you’re taking a chemical-free approach to home weed control, you’ve most likely discovered it can be a real challenge. Without herbicides in your arsenal, it can be tough to keep the invaders out of your lawn and natural areas, flower beds and vegetable gardens, walks and driveways. To succeed, you need time, persistence and a multifaceted approach. Try these nine proven techniques that can help:

1. Select clean seeds and plant material. When you are planting ornamentals, vegetables and grasses, purchase certified seeds and weed-free plants from a reputable source. You don’t want to introduce more unwelcome guests into your home landscape.

2. Remove weeds before they go to seed. Some varieties of weeds can produce tens of thousands of seeds from a single plant, multiplying your weed control problems for years to come. So make certain you remove weeds around your home before they flower and produce seeds.

3. Keep the local climate in mind. Select species and cultivars appropriate for the planting conditions around your home. Consider the climate, amount of sun or shade and expected rainfall. If the plants you select are a good “fit,” they are more apt to thrive and to compete with weeds.

4. Create a barrier. For further weed suppression throughout the growing season, apply two to three inches of mulch or use landscape fabric or black plastic to deter weeds.

5. Focus on “culture.” Cultural practices — how you prepare the soil and tend to what you’ve planted — will help your plantings stay healthy and compete with weeds for light, moisture and nutrients. Read about what you’re growing and focus on the basics, from pH levels to timely irrigation and fertilizer.

6. Turn to tools. A hoe, tiller or even hand-weeding can work, especially if the space you’re tending is fairly small.

7. Keep it clean. Keep your garden hoe, spade, mower, tiller and other outdoor tools clean to keep from spreading weed seeds or plant parts that you encounter.

8. Establish a perimeter. Pay special attention to the area adjoining your flower bed, garden, natural area or lawn and establish a weed-free perimeter. Mow or mulch the area or pull or dig up weeds as they emerge. You’ll help to reduce the number of new weed seeds in the area you want to protect.

9. Pay special attention to perennial weeds. To manage perennial weed species effectively, you’ll likely need a multifaceted approach that uses many of the techniques above. But proceed with care. It can be tough to dig up perennials and the underground tubers and rhizomes they use to spread without leaving fragments behind. New weeds can grow from any pieces that break off and remain in the soil. Another strategy is to cut off the emerged green part of the weed with your hoe or mower — repeating the process quickly each time it regrows. Without leaves needed for photosynthesis, the underground plant parts will become weakened and may eventually die.

Unless you are tending a very small area and have lots of time to devote, you most likely won’t achieve the same level of weed control with chemical-free techniques that you would with an herbicide. But reset your expectations and have faith. Each year that you prevent weeds from going to seed or spreading underground, the easier your weed control task will be in years to come!

This column is provided as a courtesy by the Weed Science Society of America (WSSA). The authors Travis Gannon and Fred Yelverton teach and conduct research in weed management at North Carolina State University.


Organic gardening rules

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

Malcolm Beck is a San Antonio organic gardening guru who is known all over the country. Over the last 50+ years he has developed six basic rules for people to follow in organic gardening.

The first rule is: Always use the best adapted varieties for each environment. It makes so much sense to start with plants that have been proven to do well in our environment.

If you really want to see flowers and blooming things, you’re going to have to get off the Interstate, probably get out of the car, and wander back off the road to see the native plants.

The reasoning behind rule number one is so that you won’t be disappointed when you plant a native plant in your yard/garden. If you stick with the native or adapted plants, your chances of success go way up. Native plants can survive with minimal TLC and be just fine. They’ll just keep on blooming because that’s all they know how to do.

Malcolm’s second rule is: plant in the preferred season. A gardener with experience thinks that this rule is really too simple, but they’ve obviously forgotten what it was like to not know when to plant what.

Almost every time I teach this class, people will ask about some plant that they’ve planted out of season and wonder why it didn’t do very well. Usually it’s some plant they brought from “home” and tried to make it grow here. When this happens, I refer them back to rule #1 above.

In the Master Gardener training program in San Antonio, they told us that you can’t be a real Master Gardener until you’ve killed at least 1,000 plants, and 25 of them have to be azaleas (which don’t grow well here).

The third rule in Malcolm’s list is: balance the mineral content of the soil. What this is talking about is to be sure that you have all the minerals like nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, iron, sulfur, molybdenum, phosphorus, etc. in the soil where you’ll be planting. If you don’t know, do a soil test.

The fourth rule is: build and maintain the soil organic content. This is accomplished by the addition of lots of compost to the soil where you’ll be planting. The organic matter — especially in compost — has lots of microscopic-sized life forms in it (called microbes) that work on the soil minerals to help release the minerals in the soil and turns them into a form that the plants can take up through the root system and use them to grow.

Malcolm’s fifth rule is: do nothing to harm the beneficial soil life. What he’s talking about here is to not use pesticides and fungicides that harm the microbes in the soil. Once you kill off the microbes, it’s really hard to replace them. One of the basics of handling garden pests is that healthy plants have a natural ability to resist bugs and disease. What this means to the novice gardener is: keep your plants healthy and you won’t have bug and disease problems. You keep them healthy by constantly providing fertilizer, water, and good soil to grown in. Bugs and diseases usually go after the weak or sick plants. It’s that old “survival of the fittest” thing, which works in the plant world, too.

The sixth rule is: consider troublesome insects and diseases as symptoms of one of the above rules having been violated. This one should be self-explanatory by now; that is, if you screwed up one of the previous five rules, you’re going to have problems — lots of problems.


Gardening tips

Now is a good time to re-sod areas in your lawn that are thinning. To save money, cut the squares into smaller pieces and space them 6 to 12 inches apart. Water them well and they should cover the bare spots before cooler weather comes in the fall.

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...

Potassium chloride salt that occurs in southwestern dessert locations may occur naturally and is often used in commercial fertilizers but is not the best source of potassium (K) for garden fertilizers because it leaves chlorine residue in the soil. Natural mineral and organic sources of potassium such as green sand and granite dust do not contain this chlorine residue and are better choices.


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.

AUGUST

Dallas: Enjoy $1.00 admission every day in August from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Dallas Arboretum, 8525 Garland Road, Dallas. Stroll through Summer at the Arboretum featuring the Alice in Wonderland Flower Village and thousands of vibrant colored florals. Children can learn something new before the school year begins at The Adventures of Great Explorers exhibit with replicas of destinations traveled by Admiral Byrd, Hernan Cortes, Ponce de Leon, Lewis & Clark, Marco Polo and Captain James Cook. The exhibit will be on display through December 31. Stop by the Hoffman Family Gift Store to purchase a treat for children, friends and family, or for yourself. The shop is filled with merchandise on each explorer above and Alice in Wonderland. More information is available at www.dallasarboretum.org or by calling 214-515-6500.

Humble: Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens, 22306 Aldine Westfield Road, Humble, is teaming up with The Mercer Society to bring back the popular Texas Gulf Coast Gardener program. Classes, held onsite at Mercer for a 12-week period, begin the third week in September. Registration is open from August 1 through September 6, so call 281-443-8731 or visit the park to enroll. The curriculum was developed by Mercer staff with guidance from Dr. David Creech, professor of horticulture at Stephen F. Austin State University, and staff from Mast Arboretum in Nacogdoches. The program will give participants the knowledge and skills needed to start, develop and maintain their own gardens through a variety of gardening and horticulture topics specifically designed for the pleasures and challenges of the Texas Gulf Coast climate. The curriculum includes exciting lessons and lectures presented by Mercer staff and horticulture/botany experts from the greater-Houston area, plus hands-on learning activities for skills such as plant propagation, site development and garden care. Designed for beginner- and intermediate-level gardeners and horticulturalists, Tier 1 covers the basics of horticulture, botany, lawn care and soil types, as well as the uses and applications of gardening equipment, irrigation systems and pest/disease control. Once Tier 1 is completed, gardeners will have the tools they need to successfully get their own home garden up and running. Tier 2 will focus on the plants that can be successfully cultivated and utilized in home gardens and landscapes in the Texas Gulf Coast climate. Classes will cover everything from traditional garden staples and landscape essentials such as roses, bulbs, trees and shrubs to more exotic plant types like palms, cycads and tropicals. Tier 2 is a great course for those who may have established gardens of their own, but want to learn about new and exciting plants to add to their collection while improving their horticultural skills. Classes will be held on Tuesdays (Tier 1) and Thursdays (Tier 2) from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with a one-hour break for lunch. The cost of enrollment for TMS members is $200; enrollment for non-members is $225. Participants will receive a text book, T-shirt or tote bag, and a 1-year membership to TMS.

Fort Worth: “Bring Your Own Bowling Ball” on Saturday, August 3, and make something unique. The class sponsored by the Tarrant County Master Gardener Association is 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 $10 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.

Houston: Starting a Community/School Garden: Community Engagement & Planning #1. Class 1: Community Engagement & Planning will explore goals, discuss organizing volunteers and funding, and help you set priorities for your garden. Saturday, August 3. 9 - 11:15 a.m. $24 Urban Harvest members. $36 nonmembers. Green Planet Sanctuary, 13424-B Briar Forest Drive, Houston. For more information, call 713-880-554 or visit www.urbanharvest.org.

La Marque: Saturday August 3, 9-11:30 a.m., Galveston County Master Gardener Anna Wygrys will present “Bulbs, Corms & Rhizomes,” a program on the best bulbs, corms, rhizomes and tubers that thrive in the Galveston County southern gardens and the upper Gulf Coast of Texas, at Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (FM 519), La Marque. For course reservations, call 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or email GALV3@wt.net.

Houston: The Harris County Master Gardeners at Precinct 2 will be hosting Open Garden Daysat Genoa Friendship Garden, 1202 Genoa Red Bluff, Houston, twice monthly during the summer months on the 1st & 3rd Mondays. Hours are from 8:30 am-11 am. Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer your gardening questions and will present educational programs from 9:30 am-10:30 am for children & adults. Selected herbs and other plants are available for sale in the Greenhouse. Monday, August 5: Children - "Growing Pineapples from tops"; Adults - "Tool Sharpening." Monday, August 19: Children - "Garden Craft"; Adults - "Container Gardens." Free and open to the public, children welcome!

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/.

Fort Worth: Learn about “Container, Chair and Fairy Gardens” at a Tarrant County Master Gardener Association lecture and show and tell, Tuesday, August 6, 10 a.m.–noon in the Oak 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 30. Pre-registration is required. To register and for more information/directions, contact Billie Hammack at blhammack@ag.tamu.edu or call 817-884-1296.

Glen Rose: Manon Shockey, Instructor of floriculture, plant propagation, greenhouse and nursery management, greenhouse crop production, retail horticulture and horticultural design at Tarleton State University presents “Sustainable Horticulture Using Native and Adaptive Plants,” at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, August 6, at the Somervell County Citizens Center, 209 SW Barnard, Glen Rose. Shockey's premise is that in an ever-increasing urban environment, we must consider not only the best landscape aesthetically, but also its sustainability. She asks, "How can I plan a landscape that is easily sustainable with as little environmental impact as possible?" Often this includes using conservation practices and plant materials that are adapted an area's unique climatic conditions. For more information, email prairierose.npsot@gmail.com or call (254) 300-8661.

La Marque: Tuesday, August 6, 6:30- 8:00 p.m., Jessica Weizer, an Extension Horticulture Agent for Nueces County and an entomologist, will present “Beneficial Insects” at Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (FM 519), La Marque. A garden can be an insect's paradise. Garden plants attract insect pests by the dozens, from aphids to fire ants. But before you reach for an insecticide, take another look at the insects in your planting beds. While the pests are devouring your squash and tomatoes, another wave of insects are coming to the rescue! Beneficial insects prey on the pests gardeners detest, keeping insect populations in check. This program will help you learn to recognize these top beneficial insects and what attracts them. Also learn what other insects or critters, both friend and foe, might be living alongside your flowers and vegetables. For course reservations, call 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or email GALV3@wt.net.

Comal: At 6 p.m., August 7, at the Comal Master Gardener meeting in GVTC Auditorium, 36101 FM 3159, Comal, Lisa Whittlesey, National Coordinator Junior Master Gardener program, will present an overview of the Junior Master Gardener program and describe recent research indicating the educational and nutritional benefits of gardening for children and youth. Gardening increases access to vegetables and decreases children’s reluctance to try new foods. As the National Coordinator of the Junior Master Gardener program, Whittlesey oversees the development and expansion of the JMG program through national presentations/programs, fostering of community sponsors/program partners, and by working with interested states to implement programs in their communities. In addition, she has done curriculum development for horticultural and environmental programs targeted for elementary age children and special needs population. The Junior Master Gardener program is under the umbrella of A&M University Extension network. The public is invited to attend.

Brenham: The scent of fresh lavender is in the air! The Chappell Hill Lavender Farm hosts the 9th annual Lavender and Wine Fest on Saturday, August 10, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. The festival kicks off the blooming season and guests will have the opportunity to cut their own fresh lavender and learn how to make lavender wands. The popular Tour de Lavender and Wine Country returns featuring charming destinations in scenic Washington County. Begin your Tour de Lavender and Wine at the Chappell Hill Lavender Farm with so much to see and do! Don’t miss the wide variety of craft booths, demonstrations of lavender weaving and flower pounding, sample lavender cuisine and enjoy live music with Jill Paulsen. Tour the farm’s gift shop with its wonderful selection of lavender-related items. Admission to the Lavender Farm is free. Windy Winery provides the wine stop where, from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m., you can participate in the grape stomp, vendors and live music performed by Mike Gallo. To participate in Windy Winery’s Harvest Grape Stomp, the fee is $25 for adults and $15 for children and includes a hayride to the vineyard, stomping grapes and a keepsake T-shirt. For a unique, relaxing getaway, the 2013 Lavender & Wine Fest is the perfect event destination. For more information, call 1-888-BRENHAM or visit www.ChappellHillLavender.com.

Galveston: Marilyn Simmons will present "Can it! Food Preservation" at 10 a.m., Saturday, August 10, at the Rosenberg Library, 2310 Sealy, Galveston. For more information, call 409-763-8854, ext. 115, or visit www.Rosenberg-Library.org.

Fort Worth: A Tarrant County Master Gardener will discuss “Companion Planting” on Saturday, August 10, 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 limited to 40. Pre-registration is required. To register and for more information/directions, contact Billie Hammack at blhammack@ag.tamu.edu or call 817-884-1296.

Fort Worth: Tarrant County Master Gardeners will demonstrate “Flower Pounding” during a class for families at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden Backyard Vegetable Garden pavilion, Saturday, August 10, 10 a.m. Cost is $10 per family up to four family members. Class limit is 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.

Austin: Master Gardener Forrest Arnold will share methods of compost production and use, and how to prepare for an awesome fall garden, on Monday, August 12. 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 the guest speaker's presentation. For more information, visit www.austinorganicgardeners.org.

Fort Worth: Tarrant County Master Gardeners Association (TCMGA) is offering a free hands-on and lecture on pruning blackberries, 8 a.m.-10 a.m., Tuesday, August 13, at the TCMGA demonstration garden, Fort Worth Resource Connection, 1801 Circle Drive. The Resource Connection is located off Campus Dr, north from I-20. Look for the Resource Connection signs on Campus Drive. Class is limited to 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.

Denton: The Denton County Master Gardener Association meets from 9:30 a.m. until 11 a.m. on Wednesday, August 14, at 401 W. Hickory St., Denton. Members will enjoy refreshments and then hear a presentation on urban forestry. More information is available at: http://dcmga.com/.

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.

Fort Worth: Learn about “Native Plants,” from a Tarrant County Master Gardener on Saturday, August 17, 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 limited to 40. Pre-registration is required. To register and for more information/directions, contact Billie Hammack at blhammack@ag.tamu.edu or call 817-884-1296.

Houston: Starting a Community/School Garden: Garden Design, Fruits & Vegetables #2. Class 2: Garden Design, Fruits & Vegetables will review and modify the garden design, set a schedule for ordering materials and set a build date. Saturday, August 17. 9-11:15 a.m. $24 Urban Harvest members. $36 nonmembers. Green Planet Sanctuary, 13424-B Briar Forest Drive, Houston. For more information, call 713-880-554 or visit www.urbanharvest.org.

La Marque: Tuesday, August 20, 6:30- 8:00 p.m., Galveston County Master Gardener John Jons will present “Gardening by the square foot” at Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (FM 519), La Marque. This program is an introduction to the gardening methodology of gardening by the square foot. Discover this unique way of planning the bed, selecting plants, building the bed, maintaining the bed and renewing the bed. This is an ideal program for anyone who would like to learn a simple, productive method of gardening that will enable them to teach children or adults with limitations how to learn and enjoy gardening. For course reservations, call 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or email GALV3@wt.net.

Seabrook: At 10 a.m., Wednesday, August 21, Mary Karish will discuss "How to Grow and Care for Citrus for the Home Garden” at The Meeting Room at Clear Lake Park (on the lakeside), 5001 NASA Parkway, Seabrook. Karish is a Harris County Master Gardener, a Citrus Specialist and Master Composter. She is a freelance writer and the owner of The Three Sisters - Your Backyard Gardener. Free and open to the public.

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.

Highland: Irrigation For the Home Gardener (hands-on). A garden that conserves precious water resources is a rewarding investment. An irrigation system is a practical choice for most garden locations. Saturday, August 24. 9 a.m. - noon. $24 Urban Harvest members. $36 non-members. Private residence in Highland. Location to be provided to enrolled students. For more information, call 713-880-5540 or visit www.urbanharvest.org.

La Marque: Saturday, August 24, 9-11:30 a.m., Long time Galveston County Master Gardener Luke Stripling will present “Successful Fall Vegetable Gardening,” a program on growing fall and winter season vegetables in Galveston County, at Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (FM 519), La Marque. Topics will include soil preparation, drainage, the use of raised beds, the best seed planting dates, the best varieties, planting depth, fertilizer methods, water requirements, pest control and harvesting. For course reservations, call 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or email GALV3@wt.net.

San Antonio: Art for Water: Creative Conservation will be held 9 a.m.-noon, Saturday, August 24, at The Alamo Heights Community Garden, 403 Ogden Dr., San Antonio. ""Art for Water" is an educational and family fun event in support of water conservation and local art. The event is centered around artistically-decorated rainwater collection barrels and tanks. During the event, the barrels and tanks will be auctioned off to the highest bidder. Cost: $5 donation per family group. GSA is currently seeking artists, volunteers, and sponsors to prepare for this event: Contact Angela at angela@greensatx.org if you're interested. For registration and more information, visit www.greensatx.org, call 210-222-8430, or email info@greensatx.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.

Houston: Rainwater Harvesting and Cisterns. A discussion of very low-cost methods of absorbing water on your property, as well as more expensive methods such as rainwater cisterns. Saturday, September 7. 9 - 11:15 a.m. $24 Urban Harvest members. $36 non-members. Westbury Community Garden, 12601 Fonmeadow. For more information, call 713-880-5540 or visit www.urbanharvest.org.

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.

Victoria: Victoria County Master Gardener Association will celebrate its 10th anniversary for Victoria Educational Gardens September 14 in Victoria. There will be a "Festival in the Gardens" symposium with food and nursery vendors, children's activities and speakers from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. There also will be a plant sale free to the public from 8 a.m. until whenever all plants are sold. The event will be at the VEG facilities across from Victoria Regional Airport control tower on Bachelor Drive.

Houston: Organic Container Gardening. Don't have enough space to grow your favorite herbs and vegetables? Container Gardening may be your answer. Sunday, September 15. 2:30 - 4:30 p.m. $36 non-members. Wabash Feed, 5701 Washington Ave, Houston. For more information, call 713-880-5540 or visit www.urbanharvest.org.

Houston: Planting the Fall Vegetable Garden (hands-on). What better way to gain expert knowledge than to see how it is done firsthand through our fall gardening course. Tuesday, September 17. 6:00 - 8:30 pm. $24 Urban Harvest members. $36 non-members. Westbury Community Garden, 12601 Fonmeadow, 77035. For more information, call 713-880-5540 or visit www.urbanharvest.org.

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.

Houston: Constructing the Home Fruit & Vegetable Garden (hands-on). This class is outdoors and is for anyone who wants to build a vegetable or fruit garden at their home. Saturday, September 21. 9 - 11:30 a.m. $24 Urban Harvest members. $36 non-members. Westbury Community Garden, 12601 Fonmeadow. For more information, call 713-880-5540 or visit www.urbanharvest.org.

Houston: Organic Pest Control. Come observe how one dynamic garden actively uses common plants to attract beneficial insects that will help your garden prosper. Thursday, September 26. 6:30 - 9:00 p.m. $24 Urban Harvest members. $36 non-members. University of Houston Main Campus, 4361 Wheeler St. Bldg & Room TBA. For more information, call 713-880-554 or www.urbanharvest.org.

Houston: Sustainable Living Through Permaculture 1: SLTP 1. The design principles of Permaculture (PC) are explained, observed and illustrated in a series of breakout sessions at a home and garden remodeled to reflect PC sustainability principles. Sunday, September 29. 2 - 6 p.m. $50. NE Loop Residence. Location to be provided to enrolled students. For more information, call 713-880-5540 or visit www.urbanharvest.org.

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.

McKinney: The Collin County Master Gardeners Association will hold their 10th Annual Exclusive Bulb Sale with  a new twist this year. Tried and true heirloom and naturalizing bulbs will be available by pre-order only from August 1-31, with the event to be concluded with a Bulb and Perennial Mart on Saturday, October 5, at Myers Park and Event Center in McKinney. CCMGA will be selling a selection of perennials, and more spring, summer, and fall blooming bulbs at the Bulb and Perennial Mart. The perennials offered at the sale have been proven to be winners in the research and demonstration gardens at Myers Park. These Texas tough plants will add a splash of color to the garden throughout the year. The bulbs are researched and proven to be suitable for our climate and soil extremes. These lovely bloomers are perennial, do not require pre-chilling, are drought tolerant, and are excellent choices for water-wise gardens. Many of these hard to find bulbs are not available for purchase at local nurseries. Information about the Bulb and Perennial Mart, and a color brochure with descriptions of bulbs available for the pre-sale and an order form are available for downloading at the CCMGA Website: ccmgatx.org. Mailed orders must be accompanied by a check or money order payable to CCMGA and must be received by August 31, 2013. Visa and Mastercard accepted for online orders only. Please call the Collin County Master Gardeners Association at 1-972-548-4219 or 1-972-548-4232 for questions, additional information, and presentation schedule.

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.

Denton: The Denton County Master Gardener Association meets from 9:30 a.m. until 11 a.m. the second Wednesday of each month at 401 W. Hickory St., Denton. Meetings are open to the public. More information is available at: http://dcmga.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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