August 14, 2013

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Shredding fall leaves with a mower and spreading a layer over the soil in the garden will conserve moisture and insulate the roots of perennial plants. (Photo courtesy Melinda Myers, LLC)
Six steps to a beautiful landscape next season

By Melinda Myers
Gardening expert, TV/radio host & columnist

Don’t let a busy schedule stop you from creating a beautiful landscape. Incorporate a few of these changes in your fall landscape care. You’ll create beautiful results with a limited investment of time and effort.

1. Cut the grass, recycle fall leaves, and improve the soil with a pass of the lawn mower. Shred leaves and leave them on the lawn as you mow this fall. As long as you can see the grass through the leaf pieces, the lawn will be fine. As the leaves break down they add organic matter to the soil, improving drainage in clay soil and water holding ability in sandy soils.

Or, as an alternative, use excess leaves as a soil mulch. Shred the leaves with your mower and spread a layer over the soil to conserve moisture and insulate the roots of perennials. Fall mulching gives you a jump on next spring’s landscape chores.

2. Improve your lawn’s health by fertilizing this fall with a low nitrogen slow release fertilizer. You’ll reduce the risk of disease problems and with slower weed growth in fall, your lawn, not the weeds, will benefit from the nutrients. Fall fertilization also helps lawns recover from the stresses of summer by encouraging deep roots and denser growth that can better compete with weeds and tolerate disease and insects.

Northern gardeners can follow the holiday schedule and fertilize Labor Day and Halloween. Southern gardeners should make their last fall fertilization at least 30 days before the lawn goes dormant or the average first killing frost to avoid winter kill.

3. Do a bit of planting. Cool season annuals brighten up the fall garden and, for those in warmer regions, the winter garden. Consider adding cold hardy pansies. They provide color in the fall garden, survive most winters, and are back blooming in the spring just as the snow melts.

Fall is also a good time to plant perennials, trees and shrubs. The soil is warm and the air cooler, so the plants are less stressed and establish more quickly. Select plants suited to the growing conditions and be sure to give them plenty of room to reach their mature size.

4. Plant daffodils, tulips, hyacinths and other bulbs in fall for extra color next spring. Set the bulbs at a depth of two to three times their height deep. Then cover them with soil and sprinkle on a low nitrogen slow release fertilizer. This type of fertilizer promotes rooting without stimulating fall growth subject to winter kill.

Base your bulb planting time on the weather not the calendar. Start planting after the night-time temperatures hover between 40 and 50 degrees. Be patient, waiting until the soil cools reduces the risk of early sprouting that often occurs during a warm fall.

Those gardening in the far south and along the gulf coast can purchase pre-cooled bulbs to compensate for the warm winters. Or the chilling can be done at home by storing the bulbs in a 35 to 45 degree location for at least 14 weeks before planting.

5. Leave healthy perennials stand for winter. This increases hardiness and adds beauty to the winter landscape with their seed heads, dried foliage and the birds they attract. Plus, it will delay cleanup until spring when gardeners are anxious to get outdoors and start gardening.

However, be sure to remove any diseased or insect-infested plants to reduce the source of pest problems in next year’s garden.

6. Start composting or add shredded leaves and other plant debris to an existing compost pile. Combine fall leaves with other plant waste, a bit of soil or compost, and sprinkle with fertilizer to create compost. Recycling yard waste saves time bagging, hauling and disposing of green debris. You also reduce or eliminate the need to buy soil amendments to improve your existing garden soil.

Incorporate one or all six of these practices to increase the health and beauty of your landscape now and for years to come.

Gardening expert, TV/radio host, author & columnist Melinda Myers has more than 30 years of horticulture experience and has written more than 20 gardening books, including Can’t Miss Small Space Gardening. She hosts the nationally syndicated Melinda’s Garden Moment segments and is a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine. Myers’ web site, www.melindamyers.com, offers gardening videos and tips.


 

Statewide photo campaign promoting drought awareness launched August 5

Texas Water Development Board

More than 95 percent of Texas is in drought. But because we're a big state, we don't always get to see what is happening far away — or sometimes even right down the road — from our community.

In August and September, the Texas Water Development Board, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and the Texas Department of Agriculture invite Texans to share their photographs of drought through Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/groups/texasdrought/) and Instagram (account name texasdrought; hashtag #txdrought). We'll showcase their work on the "What does your Texas drought look like?" Flickr page and the texasdrought Instagram account. Each agency will also feature photos on its respective social media accounts and websites.

What kinds of photos are we looking for? It could be a dry creek bed, withered crops, wildfires, and burn bans. But it could also be native plants that are flourishing despite the drought, creative water conservation measures, or other innovative water solutions to our drought-prone climate. If your community has new water treatment plants or storage tanks that are helping you survive the drought, you could even send us pictures of those.

We want to create a photographic record of what Texas drought looks like, and we hope you and your stakeholders will participate in this effort.

For more information, email Lauren Mulverhill or call 512-463-2322.


Backyard photo contest

Birds & Blooms

Break out your camera and get ready to snap away! Birds & Blooms magazine invites readers to submit pictures of their beautiful backyard birds, butterflies and flowers for a chance to win $1,000 for its annual Backyard Photo Contest. The contest gives participants a chance to share their garden wonderlands with other B&B readers all while competing for the grand prize.

If you’re not a world class photographer, no problem! Birds & Blooms’ team of top photographers has tips for making your entry picture perfect:

Creative Compositions

A basic photo technique that can immediately improve your picture is to consider the point of view. In most cases, it’s preferable to try to get at eye-level with the subject. This results in better eye contact and a greater sense of intimacy.

Place important elements off center to keep the image from becoming static. Look for leading lines, or shoot on an angle to add a sense of movement.>

Try to avoid a messy background unless it adds to your image. Otherwise, it can be very distracting.

Technical Tips Made Easy

Learn how to use shutter speed to your advantage. It takes a shutter speed of 1/60th of a second to stop a living creature that is standing still. It takes 1/250th of a second to stop something that’s walking or a flower moving in the breeze. The faster the speed, the more movement is stopped.

Tripods can be cumbersome in flower beds, so use a monopod instead. Monopods are mobile and allow you to get closer to subjects. Plus, they keep you from damaging surrounding flowers and foliage.

The best light is in the first two hours of the morning and the last two of the evening. But if you’re forced to shoot in the harsh light of the day or on a heavy overcast day, simply use a fill flash. Set your flash at a setting of -1 to -2 stops. This will help remove shadows on your subject.

Be Prepared

Keep on the lookout for birds doing something interesting for your photos: feeding young, eating berries, or bathing, for instance.

Create vignettes of garden art and flowers in your backyard where birds will land to complete the picture. When situating them, keep in mind where the light will fall at different times of day.

Like many of us, some birds have a favorite “easy chair” or a particular spot they frequent. Learn where it is and start planning your shots accordingly.

Keep it Fun

Take a picture of your garden every Saturday to document how your flowers change through the season. Then you can share a digital scrapbook with friends and family. Seeing how plants grew – or didn’t – each year will also help you plan your garden for next year.

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Who hasn’t looked at a picture and thought, what was I thinking? It’s impossible to know exactly how every detail will turn out in the final picture.

Don’t give up on your shot. For instance, if you’re trying to capture a butterfly or dragonfly at a particular plant and it flies away, just stand still and wait. Chances are it will be back, and you’ll be ready to get your shot.

The Birds & Blooms Backyard Photo Contest contains three separate categories: birds, flowers and butterflies. Entries are due on or before September 1. For a full list of entry instructions, visit http://www.birdsandblooms.com/Contests/2014-Backyard-photo-contest-rules.


Gardening tips

Depending on where you live, you may be under water restrictions. To make water resources stretch further, use natural mulches in flower beds and around trees, water after dark and use drip irrigation.

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...

Everybody knows that plants need regular watering during dry spells like we often have this time of year. Did you know, though, that too much water will create soggy soil conditions which prevent oxygen from reaching the plants roots resulting in a wilted, dead plant.


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.

Nacogdoches: The SFA Gardens at Stephen F. Austin State University will host the monthly Theresa and Les Reeves Lecture Series at 7 p.m. Thursday, August 15, in the Agriculture Building, Room 110, at 1924 Wilson Drive. Paul Cox, former director of the San Antonio Botanical Gardens, will present “Lessons in Nature: Reflections on the Meaning of Life from a Plantsman’s Point of View.” Paul W. Cox is a consulting botanist and lecturer, drawing from three decades of southwestern botany. His experience began in the 1970s with research at the Heard Natural History Museum. By invitation, he served as Horticulturist for the City of San Antonio, then supervisor of the Botanical Gardens where he led the construction and development of this renowned garden. Over the next 30 years, he served as interim Director and Assistant Director, continuing his leadership and development of the Garden's resources and programs. Today, Paul continues to serve the botanical community through his writing, lectures, and consultation for legal, municipal, commercial and residential clients. The Theresa and Les Reeves Garden Lecture Series is normally held the third Thursday of each month at the Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture’s SFA Mast Arboretum. A rare plant raffle will be held after the program. The lecture is free and open to the public, but donations to the Theresa and Les Reeves lecture series endowed fund are always appreciated. For more information, call 936-468-1832 or e-mail ggrantgardens@yahoo.com.

San Antonio: Bexar County Master Gardeners will meet Thursday, August 15, 1-3 p.m. at the TX A&M AgriLife Extension Service Conference Room, 3355 Cherry Ridge Drive, Suite 208, San Antonio. Mark Fanick of Fanick's Nursery will speak on Fall Crops and the History of Fanick's Nursery. This meeting is open to the public and is free. For more information, contact Lisa Nixon at 210-364-7844 or email lisa.nixon@bexarcountymastergardeners.org.

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.

San Antonio: David Rodriguez, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Horticulturist, will lead the Earth-Kind Educational Seminar: Growing a Fall Vegetable Garden on Saturday, August 17, 10:30 a.m. to noon at The Garden Center, 10682 Bandera Road, San Antonio. Take a notebook and lots of questions! For more information, contact Angel Torres at 210-467-6575.

Houston: The Harris County Master Gardeners at Precinct 2 will be hosting Open Garden Days at Genoa Friendship Garden, 1202 Genoa Red Bluff, Houston, twice monthly during the summer months on the 1st & 3rd Mondays. Hours are from 8:30 a.m.-11 a.m. 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, August 19: Children - "Garden Craft"; Adults - "Container Gardens." Free and open to the public, children welcome!

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, 443 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.

Houston: Monday, August 26, 6:30 p.m. Houston Urban Gardeners, Urban Farmers/Houston Urban Farm Belt Coalition. Free. Houston’s Multi-Service Center, 1475 W. Gray, Houston. Visit www.HoustonUrbanGardeners.org for more information.

San Antonio: Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Horticulturist David Rodriguez will talk about the first two "P's" of successful Fall gardening — Planning and Preparation of Your Vegetable Garden on Tuesday, August 27, 6:30-8:30 p.m., at 3355 Cherry Ridge Drive, Suite 208, San Antonio. (2 CEUs given.) Open to the public; registration fee of $10 may be paid at the door. For more information and to RSVP, contact Angel Torres at 210-467-6575.

San Antonio: David Rodriguez, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Horticulturist, will lead the Earth-Kind Educational Seminar: Landscaping Chores for the Upcoming Fall Planting Season at Schulz Nursery, 3700 Broadway, San Antonio, on Saturday, August 31, from 10:30 a.m. to noon. Take plenty of questions and a notebook! For more information, contact Angel Torres at 210-467-6575.

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.

San Antonio: David Rodriguez, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Horticulturist, will lead the Earth-Kind Educational Seminar: Growing a Fall and Winter Vegetable Garden at Fanick’s Garden Center,1025 Holmgreen Rd., San Antonio, Saturday, September 7, 10:30 a.m. to noon. Take gardening curiosities and questions. For more information, contact Angel Torres at 210-467-6575.

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.

Lufkin: “Heirloom Plants and Gardens for Texas” will be presented Monday, September 16, 6:30 pm., by Dr. Bill Welch, retired Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Horticulturist and author of “Heirloom Plants and Gardens for the South,” “Antique Roses for the South,” and “Perennial Garden Color.” Books will be available for sale and signing. Hosted by Angelina County Master Gardeners at Angelina County Extension Office, 2201 S. Medford Drive, Lufkin. Registration is $10 at the door. Door prizes and refreshments. Call 936-634-6414 for more information.

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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