December 4, 2013
  
Composting made easy
 

By Ron Krupp

Author of The Woodchuck's Guide to Gardening

 

Whether you make it at home or purchase compost from a reliable source, it is the key to a fertile soil, and good soil is the key to healthy fruits and vegetables. Compost or what I call Black Gold improves soil structure and aeration, increases its water holding capacity and adds beneficial microorganisms. These microbes break down organic matter and convert nutrients into a more available form for plants. Finally, compost infuses the soil with natural antibiotics.

 

You can use old compost as an inoculator just as you would do with sourdough bread or yogurt. No need to buy those expensive compost starters. Go over to the compost pile you started last fall or spring. The compost that was piled so high has now shrunken down. The organic material on the top hasn't broken down too much, but the stuff halfway down and on the bottom is ready to place on your garden. Spread it generously on your fall garden and dig it in lightly. Save some of the older compost that sits at the bottom of the pile. Mix it with peat, vermiculite and or perlite for potting and germinating mixes in the early spring.

 

Did you know the average American throws away almost four pounds of garbage every day? A third is kitchen waste that could be used in a compost heap. In other words, most people could have bins of compost cooking in their backyards. And when you can add in leaves, old mulch, animal manure, strips of newspapers, fresh green lawn clippings, weeds, your neighbor's vegetable wastes, wood ashes from the wood stove and more, there is a lot of potential for compost to heal the earth.

 

A compost pile can be started any season of the year. The basics are easy: collect the organic matter, pile it up, and let it rot. All you need to do is to keep the microorganisms in the pile well supplied with the proper proportions of food, air, and water and follow some simple rules described below:

 

Compost Makes Good Sense

 

According to many gardeners, composting is easy when you use your sense of sight, smell, touch, and taste.

 

Use your eyes. Well-ripened compost is a black-brown crumbly material, colored somewhere between chocolate and spice cake.

 

Use your nose to smell when the sweet compost has completed its cycle. Use your hand to feel the wetness or dryness inside the pile. It should feel like a wet sponge that doesn't quite drip. If the heap is too hot, you can tell because your hand will burn. In this case, open up the pile and add some hay. It's good to turn the pile at least once. If you can't turn it, that's okay but turning it too much is a waste of time and effort and it upsets the natural process of decomposition.

 

Finally there is the sense of taste. Once I had a friend who liked the taste of well-ripened compost. Hm! He said it was sweet to the palate and he used taste to tell him when it was time to spread it on the garden. Each to his own.

 

Ron Krupp is the author of The Woodchuck's Guide to Gardening, Lifting the Yoke: Local Solutions to America's Farm and Food Crisis, and the forthcoming The Woodchuck Returns to Gardening. Learn more about Ron at
 
The garden reader:
About bees and a garden Japanese
 

By William Scheick

Book Reviewer

 

Jack Mingo. Bees Make the Best Pets. Conari Press, 2013. 159 pp. $14.95.

 

T. June Li (editor). One Hundred Years in the Huntington's Japanese Garden: Harmony with Nature. Huntington Library, 2013. 208 pp. $45.00.

 

Gardeners appreciate the importance of bees. They don't have to become beekeepers  to care about them.

 

Gardeners and non-gardeners alike will be enticed by Jack Mingo's seemingly magical ability to draw readers into his fascinating bee-world. The first taste of Mingo's Bees Make the Best Pets is like a sampling of honey - the reader will want more.

 

And it all goes down smoothly and sweetly, even as Mingo's (often hilarious) personal experiences as a beekeeper include pertinent and updated scientific information.

 

Among other stories, there's his account (with a lesson) about transporting bees in a VW bug. Then there's the subject - "It's not a joke!" - of zombie bees.

 

Readers will also find out how to tell the age of a honeybee and also how non-regal is the possibly short life of a queen bee. Unforgettable, as well, is the chapter on "bad honey," which apparently defines most commonly available brands "illegally 'ultra-filtered' to remove every speck of pollen."

 

Heating honey "to a high temperature and forcing it through ultra-fine mesh" removes "incriminating regional pollen traces," Mingo explains. This process enables marketers to illegally disguise honey from places that "have consistently produced honey containing heavy metals, pollutants, antibiotics and other chemicals not approved for human consumption."

 

A pint-sized book brimming with charm and know-how, Bees Make the Best Pets would make a perfect stocking stuffer. Although One Hundred Years in the Huntington's Japanese Garden is too big to slip into a stocking, it is also worth checking out during this gift-giving season.

 

It has always struck me as odd that bees don't play a part in Japanese garden traditions, though there is such a thing as a traditional Japanese beehive. You can learn how to build one of these on YouTube.

 

There's quite a story - more than one version, in fact - behind the creation of a Japanese garden out of a ranch in San Marino, California, in 1912. At first, Henry Edwards Huntington's horticultural undertakings at that ranch were financially motivated.

 

But something else happened in the course of Huntington's romantic pursuit of "the richest woman in the world," as newspapers referred to widow Arabella Huntington. Arabella loved plants, and (according to oral tradition) the garden was added to make the ranch attractive to her, while another version holds that the garden was actually Huntington's wedding gift to her.

 

Whatever the truth, the spectacular results are not in dispute. After the garden was opened to the public in 1927, it became so popular that it provided "the dynamic heart of what would become a series of Asian gardens."

 

Splendidly illustrated, One Hundred Years in the Huntington's Japanese Garden also offers a wealth of information, especially James Folsom's chapter on the symbolic role of evergreens, deciduous plants, bonsai and koi fish in a Japanese garden. Alas, no bees.

The compost heap
Black Gold revisited

"Ron Krupp is right about compost being called 'black gold,' ('Black Gold,' Seeds, November 27, 2014)" writes Tom Harris. "He's also right in stating that lots of micro-organisms are added to the soil with manures, but he errs in the statement that compost/manure contains lots of nutrients. It doesn't. That's why so-called chemical fertilizers were invented; i.e., to supplement the manures used up into the 1930s. 

 

"There isn't enough manure available, so we figured out how to create 'man-made fertilizer/' By the way, there is no such thing as man-made nitrogen. There is only one source of nitrogen; therefore, it's all the same, just different packaging...organic or non-organic.   

 

"He needs to look up the nutrient value of manures. He'll see why most compost manufacturers can't afford to add nutrients to compost. It's too expensive."

Gardening tips

 

Perennial plants, such as Lantanas, can look pretty rough around the edges after a hard freeze. Cut them back to a few inches above the ground and mulch the soil around them. The bed will look more attractive and winter weeds will be less likely to sprout. You could also plant some winter annuals, such as pansies, around the Lantanas to add color to the bed.  


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. 

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.

DECEMBER

 

La Marque: Interested in learning more about the Galveston County Master Gardener Program? Interested in becoming a Master Gardener? Interested in the various programs offered by the Galveston County Master Gardeners? Then the following program is for you. Galveston County Master Gardener Coordinator and County Agent Dr. William Johnson, along with a panel of Galveston County Master Gardeners, will give a forum-style presentation discussing the many facets of this volunteer program, 1:30-3:00 p.m., Thursday, December 5, 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.

 

La Marque: Do you want to learn how to grow great tomatoes? Galveston County Master Gardener Ira Gervais will present "Growing Tomatoes from Seed," first in a series of programs on learning all about how to grow great tomatoes in Galveston County, 9-11 a.m., Saturday, December 7, at Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (FM 519), La Marque. This first part will cover learning how to grow tomatoes from seed and where to obtain seeds and supplies needed to start and grow your seedlings. Discussion topics include how to pick the best varieties for Galveston County, seed starting and growing techniques and preparing your starter plants for garden planting. For course reservations, call 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or email GALV3@wt.net.

 

Washington: "Blaze and Graze - A Christmas Celebration of the Prairies," an all-day event, will be held at the Washington-on-the-Brazos Historic Site, December 7, with dinner served 5 p.m.-7 p.m. Adults $40; Children $10. For additional information, contact info@texasprairie.org.

 

Houston: Heidi Sheesley, Treeseach Farms, will present "Fruit and Citrus Trees in Houston? Absolutely!" at the Houston Urban Gardeners meeting, 6:30 p.m., Monday, December 9, at Houston's Multi-Service Center, 1475 W. Gray, Houston. For additional information, visit www.HoustonUrbanGardeners.org.  


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.

Angleton: Brazoria County Master Gardeners Present: Fruit Selection for Brazoria County, Saturday, December 14. This annual seminar on berries, citrus, pomes, and stone fruits includes topics on how-to's, selecting, planting, and harvesting Brazoria County friendly fruit plants. MG Gil Lavanec will present his annual program to help folks select the fruiting plants that grow and produce in our gumbo soil. He will concentrate on citrus and stone fruits and will discuss other taste treats such as blackberries, blueberries, figs and pears (pomes). This program will emphasize the fruits that will be offered at the Fruit and Citrus Tree Sale on February 15. Free to public. Held at Brazoria County Environmental Education Station (BEES), Hospital Drive at CR 171, Angleton. For more information, call: 979-864-1558 x 110 or email Brazoria.agrilife.org/.


JANUARY

 

Schertz & Seguin: The Guadalupe Master Gardeners Organization will present "Preparing Your Spring Vegetable Garden" at 2 locations on Saturday January 18, from 9 a.m. to noon. The sessions are conducted by Gardening Specialists, from Guadalupe Master Gardeners. One session will be in Schertz at the Guadalupe County Annex Courtroom, 1101 Elbel Road, with Deedy Wright as the presenter. The same topic will be at the Mary B. Erskine School Cafeteria, 216 East College Street in Seguin. The presenter will be Clara Mae Marcotte. Both sessions will start at 9 a.m. and last until noon. Topics covered at both sessions will be: Vegetable Selection, Garden Soil Preparation, Seed Starting, Cold Weather Protection Methods, and Vegetable Garden Maintenance. Handouts will be proved as part of the fee. The cost of the seminar will be $ 20 at the door. You may buy your tickets at the AgriLife Office, 216 East College Street, Seguin, during normal business hours for $15.00. For more information, please call Bob at 210-289-9997.

 

Conroe: The Montgomery County Master Gardeners are having their annual Fruit and Nut Tree Sale, featuring bare-root fruit trees from apples to pomegranates, pecans and more, on Saturday, January 25, at 9020 Airport Road, Conroe. Program is at 8 a.m.; sale is from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. For more information, call 936-539-7824 or visit www.mcmga.com.  

 

MARCH

 

Jacksonville: The Cherokee County Master Gardener Association will hold their annual Spring Conference March 8. The conference will be held at the First Christian Church Fellowship Hall, 1920 Beaumont Street, Jacksonville. Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. and the first speaker will be at 9 a.m. There will be a $10.00 fee which includes drinks, refreshments and a chance to win one of four door prizes. The program will feature three well known respected speakers. Greg Grant is Lecturer in the School of Horticulture at Stephen F. Austin State University. He was formerly the Cherokee County Horticulturist with the Texas Cooperative Extension in Rusk. He is also co-author, with William C. Welch, of the book Southern Heirloom Garden, and he is a columnist for Texas Gardener magazine. He has traveled extensively to botanical and public gardens throughout the United States and Europe and is a popular public speaker in the southern United States. Dave Whitinger is the creator of several large and popular websites, most notably Dave's Garden and All Things Plants. He moved to Cherokee County in late 2007 and lives just outside Jacksonville with his wife and 6 children. They have a homestead with extensive gardens, cows, chickens, and various other domestic animals. In addition to being a member of the Cherokee County Master Gardeners, Dave is also a software programmer whose passion is to bring gardeners together and provide them with custom made software tools that both serve gardeners as well as take online gardening to the next level. Keith Hansen has been the Texas AgriLife Horticulturist for Smith County since 1992. Prior to that, he was the extension agent for Nueches County. Keith has a weekly column, "Keeping it Green," in the Tyler Morning Telegraph and has written numerous articles for other publications. For more information, contact Ginny Scurlock at 903-530-8610 or at ginnyscurlock@yahoo.com.

Monthly meetings

 

If you would like your organization's events included in "Monthly Meetings" or would like to make a change to a listed meeting, please contact us at Monthly Meetings. To ensure inclusion in this column, please provide complete details. 

 

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 new Orange County Expo Center on Hwy 1442 in Orangefield. Enter the building in the front entrance, first door on the right, Texas AgriLife offices. 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 Novemberand 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 6:30 p.m. the third Thursday of each month, at the Justice Center, 211 Court Street, Seguin. After a brief social hour, the meeting and guest speaker begins at 7 p.m. The meeting is free and open to the public. For additional information, call 830-303-3889 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.

Texas Gardener digital edition available

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To order using your credit card, call toll-free 1-800-727-9020 or online at
www.TexasGardener.com.
Buy two books, receive cap free!

The Vegetable Book

By Dr. Sam Cotner

 

Finally, back by popular demand and in its fourth printing, the most informative and comprehensive "how-to" book on vegetable gardening in Texas (also, suitable for most other areas of the South) written by the late, great Dr. Sam Cotner, former head of horticulture at Texas A&M University and lifelong gardener. This interesting read has over 370 pages of detailed information on every crop, from Asparagus to Watermelon including problem/solving sections for each vegetable. If you want to maximize your enjoyment and success growing vegetables in Texas, this book is a "must have," whether you are a beginner or a seasoned gardener. Price $34.02

The Texas Tomato Lover's Handbook

By William D. Adams

 

The best thing for tomato enthusiasts since the tomato itself! Adams draws on more than thirty years of experience to provide a complete, step-by-step guide to success in the tomato patch. Learn everything from soil preparation, planting, feeding, caging and watering. Liberally sprinkled with the author's easy humor and illustrated with his own excellent photographs, this must-have book has everything you'll need to assure a bumper crop! 189 pages. Lots of color photographs! Price: $31.94

Order both books, receive a FREE Texas Gardener cap!

($15.82 if ordered separately)

 

Remit payment to:

TG Books * PO Box 9005 * Waco, TX 76714

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Texas Gardener's Seeds is published weekly. Suntex Communications, Inc. 2013. All rights reserved. You may forward this publication to your friends and colleagues if it is sent in its entirety. No individual part of this newsletter may be reproduced in any manner without prior written permission from the publisher.

 

Missed an issue? Back issues of Texas Gardener's Seeds April 2006-September 2013 are available at www.texasgardener.com/newsletters. Back issues beginning October 2013 are available here

 

Publisher: Chris S. Corby ● Editor: Michael Bracken 

 

Texas Gardener's Seeds, P.O. Box 9005, Waco, Texas 76714

www.TexasGardener.com