September 18, 2013

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Fencing, when installed properly, can be an effective tool in protecting gardens against animal damage. (Photo courtesy Melinda Myers, LLC)
Protect your winter landscape from hungry wildlife

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

There’s no doubt that managing critters in the landscape can be a challenge especially as food supplies start to dwindle. If you are battling with rabbits, deer, armadillos or other wildlife, don't let down your guard as the growing season begins to wind down.

Be proactive. Start before they get into the habit of dining on your landscape. It is easier to keep them away than break the dining habit.

Fence them out. Fencing is the best defense against most wildlife. A four-feet-tall fence around a small garden will keep out rabbits. Secure the bottom tight to the ground or bury it several inches to prevent rabbits and armadillos from crawling underneath. Or fold the bottom of the fence outward, making sure it’s tight to the ground. Animals tend not to crawl under when the bottom skirt faces away from the garden.

A five foot fence around small garden areas can help safeguard your plantings against hungry deer. Some gardeners report success surrounding their garden with fishing line mounted on posts at one and three foot heights.

Break out the repellents. Homemade and commercial repellents can be used. Apply before the animals start feeding and reapply as directed. Consider using a natural product like Messina’s Animal Stopper. It is made of herbs, safe to use and smells good.

Scare ’em away. Blow up owls, clanging pans, rubber snakes, slivers of deodorant soap, handfuls of human hair and noise makers are scare tactics that have been used by gardeners for years. Consider your environment when selecting a tactic. Urban animals are accustomed to the sound and smell of people. Alternate scare tactics for more effective control. The animals won't be afraid of a snake that hasn't moved in weeks.

Combine tactics. Use a mix of fencing, scare tactics and repellents. Keep monitoring for damage. If there are enough animals and they are hungry, they will eat just about anything.

Don’t forget about nature. Welcome hawks and fox into your landscape. Using less pesticides and tolerating some critters, their food source, will encourage them to visit your yard. These natural pest controllers help keep the garden-munching critters under control.

And most importantly, don't give up. A bit of persistence, variety and adaptability is the key to success. Investing some time now will not only deter existing critters from dining in your landscape, but will also reduce the risk of animals moving in next season.

Nationally known gardening expert, TV/radio host, author & columnist Melinda Myers has more than 30 years of horticulture experience and has written more 20 gardening books, including Can’t Miss Small Space Gardening. She hosts the nationally syndicated Melinda’s Garden Moment segments which air on nearly 100 TV and radio stations throughout the U.S. and Canada. Melinda has a master’s degree in horticulture, is a certified arborist and was a horticulture instructor with tenure. Learn more at www.melindamyers.com.


Majority of consumers unaware of risk and illegality of using higher ethanol fuel blends in outdoor power equipment

Outdoor Power Equipment Institute

A new online survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), the international trade association representing 100 small engine, utility vehicle and outdoor power equipment manufacturers and suppliers, finds that U.S. consumers are ill-prepared for the introduction of higher ethanol fuel blends.

EPA has approved the introduction of some mid-level ethanol blends (E15, E30, E85) for use in a small, subset of automobiles in an effort to comply with the federal renewable fuel mandate; the problem is that these higher ethanol fuel blends may be dispensed alongside current fuels, but they are illegal and risky to use in hundreds of millions of small engine products and applications.

This includes small engine products, such as mowers, garden tractors, chain saws, boats, snow throwers, trimmers, UTVs, power washers, blowers, chippers, grinders, generators, jaws of life, concrete saws and other compact construction equipment, as well as small engine applications such as water pumps and irrigation systems.

The study conducted on behalf of OPEI from July 31-August 2, 2013, surveyed 2,040 U.S. adults ages 18 and older about their fuel buying behavior and fuel awareness at gas stations.

Key Findings of Survey

  • The vast majority of Americans (71%) are “not at all sure” if it is illegal or legal to put high level ethanol gas (i.e., anything higher than 10 percent ethanol) into engines such as those in boats, mowers, chain saws, snow mobiles, generators and other engine products.
  • Nearly two-thirds (64%) of Americans say they assume that any gas sold at the gas station is safe for all of their cars, as well as boats, mowers, chain saws, snow mobiles, generators and other engine products.
  • For Americans who drive up to the fuel pump, price is overwhelmingly the number one thing they notice (91%). Whether the pump accepts credit cards (64%) and the octane rating (55%) come in second and third place.

    Only a quarter (25%) of these Americans notices the ethanol content.

  • Seven-in-ten (71%) Americans say they use the least expensive grade of gasoline whenever possible.

“Obviously, the ethanol survey responses are troubling to the outdoor power equipment industry since our products are designed and warranted to run only on 10 percent or less ethanol blended fuel. The data shows us that consumers are unprepared for the rollout of higher ethanol blended fuels at today’s gas stations and the potential for misfueling is high,” said Kris Kiser, president and CEO of OPEI.

According to Kiser, “Many consumers are determined to buy the least expensive gasoline, while they still assume that the same fuel can go in their car as well as their mower, chain saw or generator. This points to a huge awareness gap and dire need for education.”

To protect current owners and future purchasers of small engines, UTVs and outdoor power equipment, OPEI will be launching an ethanol education and consumer protection campaign at the 2013 GIE+EXPO, the annual green industry and equipment exposition, to educate consumers about the variety of fuels available at the pump, and how to identify the right fuel for their outdoor power equipment.


Denton students invited to enter Master Gardener-sponsored Science Fair

Denton County Master Gardner Association

All middle and high school students in Denton County — individuals and groups of three or less — are invited to participate in the Science Fair sponsored by the Denton County Master Gardener Association and held on Saturday, Sept. 28, at the Joseph A. Carroll Building, 401 W. Hickory St., Denton. Set-up begins at 9 a.m. and judging starts at 11 a.m.

“Water-Wise” is the theme of the Fair, and students should demonstrate a unique way for the average family household to conserve water, decrease water usage or use water more wisely in the home, landscape or both.

Students presenting an idea for a usage system or behavior change are asked to prepare a poster clearly outlining the steps a family would take and the results they could expect to see.

Students suggesting a water-wise device should construct a portable version that can be brought to the Science Fair and demonstrated before the judges. If the device cannot be transported to the judging location, the student should create a poster that explains the device and its use, including photos.

If the average family would have to buy, build or purchase materials to implement the idea, the student should use common household items and limit the cost of special purchase items to no more than $50. Source materials must be cited appropriately and the basis for any predictions should be explained.

All projects must be submitted in person by the student. Finalists will present their projects at the Master Gardener Fall Garden Festival on Saturday, Oct. 5 on the grounds of the Denton Bible Church. Prizes will be awarded to the top three places. For more information, call 972-809-0247 or visit www.dcmga.com.


The compost heap
Bt and the next generation of butterflies

"Please let readers know that bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) kills not only worms but also the next generation of butterflies," writes Sharon Kerr in response to "Did you know..." (Seeds, Sept. 11, 2013). "People think because it is organic and not a contact killer that they can use it on their butterfly gardens. True, it won't hurt birds or mature butterflies, but it will kill other leaf-feeding larvae and caterpillars, critters we like and want in our yards!"


Gardening tips

Shrubs that bloom in the spring should not be pruned now since they already have their bloom buds for next year. Instead, wait until after they have bloomed to perform needed pruning.

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...

Tomato seed that is properly stored in the refrigerator can remain viable for as long as four years.


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.

SEPTEMBER

Nacogdoches: SFA Gardens will host the monthly Theresa and Les Reeves Lecture Series at 7 p.m. Thursday, September 19 in Room 110 of the Agriculture Building at 1924 Wilson Drive, Nacogdoches. Wayne Pianta, New Products Specialist with Ball Horticultural Company, will present “Plant Breeding, Garden Performance, and New Product Development: What Makes the Cut and Why? A Survey of Recent Introductions.” Pianta works for one of the largest breeders of ornamental plant products in the world, PanAmerican Seed Company. PanAmerican is a part of Ball Horticultural Company which has plant breeding and development organizations around the world and is a leader in the global ornamental plant industry. As a Product Technical Specialist, Pianta works with many universities, trial gardens, and botanical gardens to test and evaluate new products for their suitability and adaptation to regional environments around the United States. He is a member of the Colorado State University Trial Gardens Committee and the Gardens and Grounds Committee for the Dallas Arboretum. In his current position he works with a network of the largest wholesale producers and retailers of ornamental plants to introduce these products to consumers so they can enjoy success with the best new plants on the market. A native Texan, currently living in Fort Worth, Pianta has Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Horticultural Science from Texas A&M University. For the last 30 years, beginning as Rosarian in charge of the Tyler Rose Garden, Pianta has made his living working with people and companies all over the country in all segments of the ornamental horticulture industry to promote and teach about the plants and practices that make producers and gardeners successful. The Theresa and Les Reeves Garden Lecture Series is usually held the third Thursday of each month at the Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture’s SFA Mast Arboretum. A 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 email ggrantgardens@yahoo.com.

San Antonio: Bexar County Master Gardeners will meet Thursday, September 19, 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m. at the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Conference Room, 3355 Cherry Ridge Dr., Suite 208, San Antonio. This meeting is open to the public and is free. Learn the benefits of drip irrigation and put your hands on some of the key components. Learn how you can save money, time, and water while you beat the heat!" For more information, contact Lisa Nixon at 210-364-7844 or email lisa.nixon@bexarcountymastergardeners.org.

San Antonio: Seeds contributor Tom Harris, Ph.D., will lead "Gardening 101" September 19, at the Community Learning Center, 8750 Tesoro Drive, San Antonio. For registration information, contact Carrie Smith at www.communityed.neisd.net.

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. For more information, visit www.dallasarboretum.org.

Dallas: Landscape designer and author Bonnie Reese will lead two free seminars on Saturday, September 21: “Water-Wise Landscape Design 101” and “Fantastic Plants for North Texas.” Ms. Reese has more than 20 years experience designing, installing and maintaining landscapes in North Texas and is the owner of her own landscape design and consulting company, Beautiful Landscapes. Attendees at each session will receive a copy of Bonnie’s book, Common-Sense Landscaping (hard copy or electronic version - limit one per household). Attendees can enter a drawing to win a bag of Green Sense organic fertilizer from Rohde’s Nursery & Nature Store (BeOrganic.com). There will be 3 drawings per session. “Water-Wise Landscape Design 101”: 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Whether you have a new landscape or plan to update an existing area, it is critical to begin with a good design. This program teaches the principles of landscape design with an emphasis on how to create a beautiful landscape that will save resources, natural and financial! “Fantastic Plants for North Texas”: 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Using colorful photographs, Bonnie demonstrates the natural beauty of native and adapted plants that thrive in the North Texas region. Learn when, where and how to plant each of the recommended plants, their size and height at maturity, seasonal color, texture and more. This program provides information on trees, shrubs, vines, perennials, groundcovers and turf grasses. Space is limited, so register online at SaveDallasWater.com or by calling (214) 670-3155. Both seminars will be presented at Performance Hall (Building E) at Mountain View College, 4849 W. Illinois Avenue, Dallas. Seminars sponsored by Dallas Water Utilities Conservation, City of Dallas Stormwater Management, and Mountain View College.

Ft. Worth: “Perennials” will be discussed on Saturday, September 21, 10 a.m. - noon at the Fort Worth Resource Connection, Building 2300, Magnolia Room, 2300 Circle Drive. The Resource Connection is located off Campus Dr, north from I-20. Look for the Resource Connection signs on Campus Drive . Class fee is $5 and the class is limited to 40. Pre-registration is required. To register and for more information/directions, contact Billie Hammack at blhammack@ag.tamu.edu or call 817-884-1296.

Glen Rose: Register now for the Native Plant Society's Native Landscape Certification Program 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. September 21, at the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center, Glen Rose. The Native Landscape Certification program is a four level certification program that teaches the value of including and preserving native plants in landscapes. Level 1 class sponsored by the Prairie Rose Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas: Learn the value of including and preserving native plants in landscapes; Discover the differences between sustainable and conventional development; Understand your Texas vegetation region and soil; Learn 50 native Texas plants recommended for your landscape; Receive your Level I Native Landscape Certificate. Level I Certification requirements: 1. Participate in the 7 hour Level I course program. 2. Pass the Level I native plant identification exam. Participants completing the Level I requirements will receive a certificate and be registered with the Native Plant Society of Texas. Registration fee is $35. For more information or to do paper registration: send a request to mwalterslagle@yahoo.com or call 214-701-1253.

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.

La Marque “Grafting Workshop Using the T-Budding Method,” Saturday, September 21, 9-11 a.m. Galveston County Master Gardener Herman Auer, Propagation Specialist, will present a program and hands-on workshop on T-Bud grafting. Attendees will leave the class ready to begin their own grafting projects with confidence. The grafting method presented is used on many types of fruit and citrus trees usually about the size of a pencil. Class is limited to 24 participants and you must pre-register in order to attend. Other persons may attend for observation only. 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.

Sugar Land: A Plethora of Perfect Plants! The Sugar Land Garden Club hosts its 15th Annual Garden Art and Plant Sale on Saturday, September 21, at the Sugar Lakes Clubhouse, 930 Sugar Lakes Drive, from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Exciting and must-have plants that are native or well-adapted to our climate and soils will be available. Profits from the sale support the club’s charitable projects which include providing horticultural scholarships and community beautification. For more information, visit www.sugarlandgardenclub.org or call GAPS Chairman Terri Hurley at 281-491-9609.

Bandera: Seeds contributor Tom Harris, Ph.D., will lead "Fall Gardening" September 24, 6:30-8:30 p.m., at the Northside Learning Center, Bandera. For registration information, contact Susan Underwood at www.nisd.net/ace.

La Marque: “The Fabulous Fragrant Frangipani (Plumeria),” Tuesday, September 24, 6:30-8 p.m. Presented by Galveston County Master Gardener Loretta Osteen, the program will include information on the history of the Plumeria and tips for growing and caring for them in Galveston County. Also included will be information about different flower shapes, fragrance and colors of the different varieties of Plumeria successfully grown in our area of South Texas. Incorporated in the presentation will be methods of propagation, proper winter storage and care. There will also be a demonstration on how to make the popular Plumeria Lei. 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.

Midland: Permian Basin Master Gardeners will present Irrigation Efficiency Made Easy at 6:30 p.m., September 24, at Midland Extension Office, 2445 E. Hwy 80. Midland. Free. For more information, call 432-498-4071.

Bryan: Naomi Sachs, ASLA, EDAC will present “Gardens for Health and Well-Being” at 7 p.m., September 24, at Brazos Center, 3232 Briarcrest Drive, Bryan. Event Details: "As gardeners, we know how important nature is. Sachs, a landscape architect and a PhD student at TAMU’s Center for Health Systems and Design, will share her knowledge about healing gardens and other landscapes for health. This program is free to the public. For additional information, call 979-823-0129 or visit brazosmg@brazosmg.com.

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 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.

Fredericksburg: At the 13th annual Renewable Energy Roundup & Green Living Fair (The Roundup) David Foster, State Director of Clean Water Fund, will discuss water issues and offer some solutions. Fair goers will find several other speakers and a panel of representatives from universities, land management organizations and business leaders addressing the topic Saving Water Inside and Outside Your Home and in Your Community. Several businesses will be offering water conservation measures and rainwater harvesting alternatives in their exhibits. The Roundup takes place at Market Square, 126 West Main St., Fredericksburg, September 27-29. The 13th Renewable Energy Roundup & Green Living Fair offers a great reason to plan a fall road trip to the Texas Hill Country. Organizers of The Roundup are acutely aware of concerns about continuing drought, stress on finite resources, and challenges to the environment. In response The Roundup offers fairgoers the opportunity to see the latest eco-friendly home ideas in action. And they can taste, test, explore and secure a wide range of healthier and self-sufficient lifestyle products and services. For more information, visit http://theroundup.org.

Ft. Worth: Learn about gourds and make a gourd birdhouse at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden/Tarrant County Master Gardener classes for families, Saturday, September 28, 10 a.m. at the FWBG Backyard  Vegetable  Garden pavilion. Cost is $5 per family (up to four family members). Class limit: 20. Children must be five years or older and must be accompanied by a parent or grandparent. Pre-registration is required. To register and for more information/directions, contact Billie Hammack at blhammack@ag.tamu.edu or call 817-884-1296.

Fredericksburg: Diane Dailey, International Space Station Flight Controller for NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, will speak Saturday, September 28, at 13th Annual Renewable Energy Roundup & Green Living Fair (The Roundup), 126 West Main St. Market Square in Fredericksburg. At The Roundup homeowner interest in self-reliant systems that provide for necessities such as clean water and power continues to increase. People are searching for scalable and secure sources of clean water and power. Renewable energy systems have been a reliable source of energy for remote locations for many years and certainly nothing is more remote than the International Space Station (ISS). For the past seven years working for the Missions Operations Directorate at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Dailey, a graduate of Texas A&M University, has been responsible for the operation of the Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) on board the International Space Station. These systems provide; quality air, humidity and temperature management; water recovery and management; and waste recycling management through a closed loop Regenerative Life Support System. Understanding these systems will be instructive for people who are interested in off grid living. For more information, visit http://theroundup.org.

Humble: Garden Faire will be held Saturday and Sunday, September 28 and 29, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. at Mercer Arboretum & Botanic, located one mile north of FM 1960 at 22306 Aldine Westfield Road, Humble. Enjoy Mercer’s free outdoor festival for gardeners of all ages. Stroll along the wooded trails and purchase new plants or crafts while learning about community-based horticulture and environmental activities. Kids can take part in nature-inspired crafts in Kid’s Korner or enjoy rides around the picnic loop with Stan the Train Man. For more information, call 281-443-8731 or visit www.hcp4.net/mercer.

La Marque: “Perennials for the Gulf Coast — Plant Sale Preview” Saturday, September 28, 9-11 a.m. Heidi Sheesley of Treesearch Farms will give a presentation highlighting the plants that will be available at the October 12 Galveston County Master Gardener Ornamental & Perennial Sale. Seminar will be held at the Wayne Johnson Community Center in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (FM 519), La Marque. For course reservations, call 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or email GALV3@wt.net.

The Woodlands: Meet the experts and discover trends in water-wise gardening at Woodlands Landscaping Solutions, on Saturday, September 28 from 9 a.m. to noon at 8203 Millennium Forest Dr., The Woodlands. Booths and demonstrations spotlight water-saving methods, rainwater harvesting, lawn care, vegetable and habitat gardening, easy care techniques and more! Native plants, herbs, heirloom bulbs, compost bins, garden gifts and organic products will be for sale. Free event. For more information, call 210-210-3800 or visit www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/gardenevents.

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

La Marque: Galveston County Master Gardener Sandra DeVall will present “Texas Tuff Landscape Plants – Blooming and Beautiful,” 6:30-8:30 p.m., Tuesday, October 1. This presentation is aimed at all who are looking for a variety of low-care plants that thrive in Galveston County. The plant choices Sandra has put together will save participants money by directing them away from plants that will not bring gardening success. This program can also serve as a good starting point for the Landscaping Series later this month or can stand alone. Sandra is a fourth-generation Texas gardener and presents a personal perspective on hundreds of tree, shrubs, annuals and perennials she has planted. Seminar will be held 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.

Kerrville: Seeds contributor Tom Harris, Ph.D., will lead "Gardening in a Drought," 6:30-8:30 p.m., October 2, at the Dietert Center, Kerrville. For registration information, contact Waverly Jones at www.clubed.net.

San Antonio: Seeds contributor Tom Harris, Ph.D., will lead "Gardening in a Drought," October 3, at the Community Learning Center, 9750 Tesoro Drive, San Antonio. For registration information, contact Carrie Smith at www.communityed.neisd.net.

Burnet: On October 5, the Highland Lakes Native Plant Society of Texas chapter will present their 4th annual Native Plant Festival and Garden Tour, featuring Cathy Downs from Comfort, Texas, Chairman of the "Bring Back the Monarchs to Texas" (BBMT) Program. Cathy is also a certified Monarch Larval Monitoring Project educator and teaches Monarch biology, habitat, and migration at various locations throughout Texas. Since certifying as a Texas Master Naturalist with the Hill Country chapter in 2005, she has been teaching children and adults about native Texas butterflies and their host plants with an emphasis on Monarch biology and migration. Cathy raises Monarch caterpillars for education and also propagates native milkweed. She hosts live Butterfly Pavilions at Nature Centers and State Parks throughout the Hill Country area. The free festival will be held from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Inks Dam National Fish Hatchery near Burnet. Cathy Downs will give her presentation at 10:30 a.m. Other activities include a native plant sale, native tree adoptions, information booths about butterflies, plants, and other nature-related topics, a bird blind, nature walks and hikes, a watershed demonstration, activities for the kids, and much more. The tours of three lovely native plant gardens in the region will be from noon - 4 p.m. and will cost $5 for adults. In addition to the Native Plant Society, members of the Highland Lakes Master Naturalists, Master Gardeners, Birding & Wildflower Society, and Friends of the Inks Dam National Fish Hatchery are sponsoring and will be volunteering at the festival and tour. For more information, visit http://www.yantislakesidegardens.com/npsot.

Denton: Join the Denton County Master Gardener Association at its annual Fall Garden Festival from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, October 5. at the Denton Bible Church campus, 2300 E. University Dr., Denton (corner of Nottingham and Mingo). Learn more about water-wise landscape practices while touring booths filled with local crafts and gardening information. Adults can enjoy presentations on water conservation, landscaping and home and garden decorating and listen to live music by local choral groups. Children's activities include a bounce house, a petting zoo and face painting. Food and drinks are available at the 4H concession stand. Don’t miss the opportunity to win door prizes or bid on silent auction items. More information is available at: http://dcmga.com/events/.

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.

La Marque: Galveston County Master Gardener Jan Brick will present “Perennials for Galveston County & the Upper Texas Coast,” a program on perennials that thrive in Galveston County and the Upper Texas Coast, 9-11 a.m., Saturday, October 5. Also included in the program will be discussions on the best fertilizers, light, soil, moisture requirements as well as pests and disease to look out for and any special needs with commentary on interesting facts about each plant presented. Seminar will be held 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.

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.

Seguin: The Guadalupe Master Gardeners will meet on Thursday, October 8, at the AgriLife Building, 210 E. Live Oak, Seguin. The meeting will start at 7 p.m. with Liz Palfini, Texas Parks and Wildlife, speaking on “Weeding through Heirlooms, Historic and Just Plain Good Old Days Gardening Propaganda.” The meeting is free and open to the public. The regular business meeting will take place at the end of the program. For further information visit, www.guadalupemastergardeners.org.

Conroe: Montgomery County Master Gardeners will present "Landscaping with Texas Natives" 7 p.m. until 9 p.m., Wednesday, October 9, at the Thomas LeRoy Education Center, 9020 Airport Road, Conroe. "Landscape Design with Texas Natives" will be presented by Wm. Alan King, Registered Landscape Architect. "Why Choose Natives?" and "Native Alternatives" will be presented by Diana Foss, Texas Parks and Wildlife. Registration is $20 per person, due by October 1. Late Registration will be $25. Door prizes! Registration form and more information available at http://www.mcmga.com/, www.facebook/montgomerymastergardenerassociation or by calling 936-539-7824.

Odessa: Permian Basin Master Gardeners will present Growing Beautiful Roses in West Texas on October 10 at Ector County Extension Office, 1010 E. 8th, Odessa. For more information, call 432-498-4071.

Bryan/College Station: Brazos County Master Gardeners present an Autumn Garden Tour from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m., Saturday, October 12. The gardens include: Versatile Suburban Garden with Edibles and Ornamentals, 3913 Lienz Lane, College Station; Resourceful Native Plant and Wildlife Haven w/Harvested Rainwater, 11785 Durrand, College Station; Charming, Old-Fashioned Cottage Garden, 201 Hensel Avenue, Bryan; Ambitious Vegetable, Fruit and Native Garden, 3198 Golden Trail, College Station. Gardens may be visited in any order but are NOT stroller or handicap accessible. $10 per adult-Good for all four gardens and are available at Brazos County Master Gardeners‘ exhibit at Brazos County Fair and Expo 9/5-8 (cash or checks); Brazos County Office of Texas AgriLife Extension Service (checks only); on the day of the tour at any garden home (cash or checks). For additional information, call 979.823-0129 or visit brazosmg.com.

La Marque: The annual Galveston County Master Gardener Ornamental and Perennial Plant Sale, held 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Saturday, October 12, offers a variety of plants suitable for Galveston County including heat-tolerant perennials, shade-loving plants and tropical’s, gingers, plants for butterfly or hummingbird gardens, and hard-to-find varieties... especially hardy ones for the area! The sale will be held in the parking lot next to the Wayne Johnson Community Center in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (FM 519). La Marque. For additional information, call 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or email GALV3@wt.net.

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.

Midland: Permian Basin Master Gardeners will present Growing Beautiful Roses in West Texas on October 15 at Midland Extension Office, 2445 E. Hwy 80, Midland. For more information, call 432-498-4071.

Seguin: The Guadalupe Master Gardeners will meet on Thursday, October 19, at the AgriLife Building, 210 E. Live Oak, Seguin. The meeting will start at 7 p.m. with Liz Palfini, Texas Parks and Wildlife, presenting “Weeding Through Heirlooms, Historic and Just Plain Good Old Days Gardening Propaganda.” The meeting is free and open to the public. The regular business meeting will be held at the end of the program. For further information visit www.guadalupecountymastergardeners.org.

La Marque: Galveston County Master Gardener and Landscape Designer Karen Lehr will present “Landscape Design — Analyzing your Landscape,” 6:30-8 p.m. Tuesday, October 22. This is first in a series of three programs that will give you the tools to analyze your own site and assess your landscape needs. It is suggested all three programs in the series be registered for and attended as the information advances through each program and will not be repeated. Dates of Landscape Design II and III are planned for October 29 and November 5. Seminar will be held 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.

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.

Midland: The Permian Basin Master Gardeners meet at noon, the first Wednesday of each month at the Permian Basin Readiness Center at the Midland International Airport. For more information, call 432-498-4071.

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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