September 25, 2013

Welcome to Texas Gardener’s Seeds, the weekly newsletter for Texas gardeners. Please do not reply to this e-mail because the sending address is not monitored. See the bottom of this newsletter for information on how to subscribe, unsubscribe, or contact the editor.


Change and growth

By Michael Bracken
Editor

Seeds has remained essentially the same since we produced the first issue on April 26, 2006, but the time has come for change and growth.

Beginning next issue, Seeds will have a new design and will be distributed by a new email service. We will continue providing the same mix of gardening news, planting tips, and extensive calendar of events, and we look forward to seeing what the future brings. We hope you do, too.



Bermuda grass stem maggot infestation begins when the adult fly lays its eggs on a stem near a node, according to Dr. Allen Knutson, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service entomologist, Dallas. (Photo by Dr. Dennis Hancock, University of Georgia forage Extension specialist)


Bermuda grass stem larvae are yellow and less than an eighth inch long. (Photo by Dr. Dennis Hancock, University of Georgia forage Extension specialist)


Damage done by the infestation begins when the adult fly lays its eggs stem nodes. The damage looks similar to what one might see from a light frost, according to Dr. Vanessa Corriher-Olson, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service forage specialist, Overton. (Photo by Dr. Dennis Hancock, University of Georgia forage Extension specialist)

Bermuda grass stem maggot found in East Texas

By Robert Burns
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

The presence of a new Bermuda grass pest has been confirmed in Van Zandt County, and producers are advised to be on the lookout, said Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service experts.

Unlike other insects that attack plants from the outside, the Bermuda grass stem maggot damages them from inside, according to Dr. Vanessa Corriher-Olson, AgriLife Extension forage specialist, Overton.

“Basically, they consume material inside the stem, unlike armyworms or grasshoppers, where the damage is external,” she said.

Corriher-Olson did her graduate work in Georgia, where the pest has had a presence since 2010, and she is familiar with the damage it does. The Van Zandt field is the first confirmed instance of the pest in Texas.

She said the pest is native to southern Asia, common from Japan to Pakistan. Somehow it made its way to the U.S., where it was found in three Georgia counties.

“It’s relatively new to the U.S., and very little is known about its life cycle yet,” Corriher-Olson said.

“It is not yet known how damaging this insect will be in Texas,” said Dr. Allen Knutson, the AgriLife Extension entomologist at Dallas who confirmed the identity of larva found in a Van Zandt County field of irrigated Bermuda grass this summer.

What is known is infestation begins when the adult fly lays its eggs on a Bermuda grass stem near a node, Knutson said. The larvae, which grow to be about an eighth-inch long, look like a pale yellow maggot. They burrow into the Bermuda grass shoot to feed. This feeding causes the top two to three leaves to wither and die. Cutting open the stem just below these dead leaves will reveal the maggot and the brownish feeding site on the stem.

The adult flies may go unnoticed; they are small with dark eyes, Knutson said.

The early stages of an infestation may go unnoticed too, Corriher-Olson added.

“People are not going to realize they have the pest until they see the damage,” she said. “It looks similar to what you might see from a light frost. Stem tops are whitish or lighter in color than unaffected plants. Only the top parts of the shoots are damaged. The lower leaves on the shoot remain green. The leaves above the feeding site wither and die.”

To further complicate identification, the larva may have already developed into flies and left the plant before their damage is apparent, Corriher-Olson said. And there may be several generations each summer. The fly’s life cycle is usually about three weeks, but it can be as short as 12 days.

Dr. Larry Redmon, AgriLife Extension state forage specialist, College Station, noted unconfirmed reports of the Bermuda grass stem maggot have been coming to his office since last year.

“We had a call from a producer in Waller County during 2012, which was the first one I know of,” he said. “Additionally, we have had a report of what appears to be stem maggot damage in Comanche County this year.”

The amount of yield reduction seems to depend upon growing conditions, Corriher-Olson noted.

“Typically, damage is more likely to be found in a hay meadow, not in a grazed field, because the flies won’t have time to complete their life cycle,” she said.

Management strategies depend upon how near the hay crop is to harvest when the damage is identified, Corriher-Olson said.

“If damage is found within one week of harvest, the recommendation from Georgia is to harvest as soon as possible,” she said. “The longer they wait, the more likely the damage will spread, and there will be further reduction in yields.”

If the pest and its damage are confirmed one to three weeks after the previous harvest, the recommendation is to cut the damaged areas, bale the damaged grass, and remove it from the fields, Corriher-Olson said.

“The only threat posed by leaving the hay in the field is that it’ll compete with any attempts of the plant to regrow, therefore decreasing the yield of the next cutting. Leaving the hay in the field does not increase infestation,” she said. “It’s unlikely that the damaged areas will contribute significantly to yields during the next harvest.”

The pest can also be controlled with foliar applications of several inexpensive insecticides, Knutson said. Current recommendations are to treat after a cutting if damage levels are high.

However, economic thresholds for treatment in Texas have not yet been established, he said.

All three AgriLife Extension specialists recommend producers who suspect they have an infestation contact the AgriLife Extension agent in their county to confirm they have the pest before treating or using other control measures.


Five things to know about aquaponics

The Aquaponic Source

Aquaponics is a fairly new and quickly growing form of sustainable gardening. The more people learn about the ins and outs of it, the more likely they are to want to get involved.

“Most people that we introduce to the concept of aquaponics are intrigued, and many want to get started with their own garden,” explains Sylvia Bernstein, president of The Aquaponics Source, and author of the book Aquaponics Gardening: A Step-By-Step Guide to Raising Vegetables and Fish Together (New Society Publishers, October 2011). “This is a form of gardening that is going to continue to grow in popularity because it simply makes sense.”

According to Bernstein, here are five key things to know about aquaponics:

It’s green. Aquaponics is a green form of gardening. In other words, it is environmentally friendly. While many people are familiar with hydroponics, this form of gardening differs in that it introduces fish into the equation. Aquaponics is a form of gardening that mixes the growing of fish with the growing of vegetables. The waste from the fish organically fertilizes the plants, while the plants and beneficial bacteria naturally bio-filter the water to keep it clean for the fish.

It’s flexible. This type of garden can be set up just about anywhere. Many people have active aquaponic gardens at schools, in homes, and even on balconies. The nature of this type of garden makes it suitable to be set up in a wide variety of places.

It’s different. Aquaponics is different from other forms of gardening. It doesn’t involve any soil, but it isn’t hydroponic in nature, either. It is a newer type of gardening that provides a sustainable alternative.

It’s easy. One of the great things about aquaponics is that, once people learn the basics of how it works, it is a simple process. This goes for the set-up of the aquaponic system, as well as the maintenance. The process is so simple that parents and children can enjoy doing it together.

It’s learnable. People often fear what they don’t already know. Aquaponics is easy to comprehend, and there are a variety of ways to gain more information about it, so there is something in it for every learning style. There are aquaponics books, classes, and even conferences.

“We are always thrilled to help people get their system set up, and we love all the feedback we get from people about how much they are enjoying it,” added Bernstein. “The best way to get into aquaponics is to just go for it. Learn all you can and then put it into action.”

(For an introduction to aquaponics, read Adrienne Cohen's article "Aquaponics," first published in the March 2012 issue of Texas Gardener.)


The compost heap
Ethanol fuel blends

"I read with interest the article on gasoline blends ('Majority of consumers unaware of risk and illegality of using higher ethanol fuel blends in outdoor power equipment,' Seeds, September 18, 2013)," writes John Poindexter. "What is illegal about the use of these higher blends? Isn't it bad enough that most people are unknowingly destroying their equipment when doing so? The article said it was illegal, but did not explain how or why or what the punishment would be."

The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute provided additional information in response to your query, John:

How did we get here?

In an effort to meet federal renewable fuel standards put in motion by the 2007 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program created under the Energy Policy Act (EPAct), higher ethanol blends are being brought on the market.

The reason is that underlying RFS assumptions made in 2007 haven’t held true: flex fuel vehicles that use E85 have not expanded rapidly enough; flex fuel automobile owners are choosing not to use high ethanol content fuel; gasoline demand has not continued to increase, but is in fact falling; and advanced and cellulosic fuels are not commercially available as had been predicted.

While there are efforts underway in the Courts and in Congress by all engine makers and engine product manufacturers to stop the introduction of mid-level ethanol fuels, the OPE industry needs to prepare for one alarming fact:  By law, all outdoor power equipment is neither designed nor warranted to run on any fuel containing more than 10 percent ethanol. For outdoor power equipment and other, off-road engine equipment, ethanol has proven problematic in levels above 10 percent and thus is not legal to use.

When a small number of retail gas stations in select U.S. states began offering E15 for sale in 2012, as well as the expansion of blender pumps which dispense mid-ethanol blends, the outdoor power equipment industry grew concerned and knew it had to act fast.

OPEI and the industry are not anti-ethanol; however, the industry recognizes that higher ethanol fuel can damage outdoor power equipment. We want to protect our customers and future customers from inadvertently damaging their equipment by using the wrong fuel.

The EPA has stated that E15 and higher ethanol blends are not legal for use in off-road engine products, and only legal for a subset of automobiles. Yet, the only warning against “mis-fueling” is a small 3x3 inch pump label.

Given most consumers are unaware of even the current 10 percent ethanol level in their fuel, the odds of using the wrong fuel is heightened.

It’s incumbent upon manufacturers and dealers to help educate OPE owners and purchasers about the fuel choices out in the marketplace and reinforce that they should only use fuel for which their equipment was designed, built and warranted.

One more thing, we did find out that this does fall under a misfueling violation so there is a penalty fine associated with mis-fueling with E15.


Gardening tips

When removing shrubs, trees and woody ornamentals from containers, make several vertical slices with a sharp knife to cut any circling roots. If left intact those circling roots will slow growth and possibly kill the plant a few years down the road.

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...

Strawberries that are plant now will grow and develop a strong root system during the fall months and emerge from winter much strong and more productive than those planted in late winter or spring.


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

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.

Austin: Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, 4801 La Crosse Ave., Austin, will hold a Wildflower Center Fall Plant Sale Saturday and Sunday, October 5 and 6. Enjoy the Wildflower Center’s Fall Plant Sale & Gardening Festival during prime planting time. With good fall rains expected, choose from the best selection of hardy Central Texas plants, shrubs and trees, including hard-to-find options. More than 300 native species will be available. Enjoy guided hikes at 11 a.m., 1 and 2 p.m., expert advice, story time, book signings and more. Admission: $9 adults, $7 seniors and students, $4 UT affiliates with identification, $3 children, free for Center members and children under 5. For more information, call 512-232-0100 or get more details including a plants list at: http://www.wildflower.org/plantsale.

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.

Humble: Sherry Cruse will present “Decorating for the Holidays” noon-2 p.m., Wednesday, October 9, at Mercer Arboretum & Botanic, located one mile north of FM 1960 at 22306 Aldine Westfield Road, Humble. Learn how to scare and thrill this Halloween and get great ideas for holiday get-togethers. For more information, call 281-443-8731 or visit www.hcp4.net/mercer.

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.

NOVEMBER

Humble: Brenda Beust will present “The 10 Commandments of Lazy Gardening” noon-2 p.m., Wednesday, November 13, at Mercer Arboretum & Botanic, located one mile north of FM 1960 at 22306 Aldine Westfield Road, Humble. Learn how to enjoy the garden with less effort. For more information, call 281-443-8731 or visit www.hcp4.net/mercer.

DECEMBER

Humble: Casey Scribner and Brooke Judice of Trees for Houston will present “Trees in Urban Areas” noon-2 p.m., Wednesday, December 11, at Mercer Arboretum & Botanic, located one mile north of FM 1960 at 22306 Aldine Westfield Road, Humble. Scribner and Judice will offer information about the importance of trees in an urban environment, recommended trees for our area, plus tips for how to plant and take care of them. For more information, call 281-443-8731 or visit www.hcp4.net/mercer.

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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