December 18, 2013
  
Compost piles and bins
 
By Ron Krupp

Author of The Woodchuck's Guide to Gardening

 

Compost piles can be free standing or they can be contained in a compost bin. If you have plenty of land, I suggest you place one pile next to the garden and one close to the house for kitchen wastes. At the community garden we have three open compost heaps piled with seeds, old plants, and other organic materials through the season. Animal manure is added when we can find it. The piles are turned once a season. It takes about a year for the bottom half to decompose.

 

Woodchuck gardeners can create enclosed compost bins from straw bales, cinder blocks, old snow fences and wood pallets. You can also use an old garbage can with holes placed in the sides and one large hole on the bottom for the final product, or you can purchase compost plastic bins on sale at a garden store. There are even plastic bags with holes used for compost bins. The possibilities are endless. The ideal scenario is to have three bins built next to each other, the first holding fresh stuff, the second for compost in process and the third for completed compost. And then you just keep rotating them. By the way, most compost are in open piles, not bins. Go figure.

 

Backyard compost bins generally don't have enough nitrogen. That's why they just sit there and take longer to break down. My neighbors supply me with nitrogen in the form of fresh lawn clippings and some even like to throw their vegetable scraps in my backyard compost bins. Turn your piles at least once. If you don't turn the compost heap it will just take longer to decompose but it's not mandatory. You do what you can. Most commercial operations turn the pile at least twice and some as many as five times.

 

How to Start

 

Begin the process by placing old mulch at the bottom of the pile to soak up all the juices. Add any remains of an old compost pile. Clean up your garden and put all the weeds, stalks, and sod on the pile. Throw in leaves and old mulch, wood ashes, kitchen garbage, manure and whatever else you have. If you have any well-ripened compost, use it as a starter-inoculant. Most of the time backyard compost needs to sit about a year to decompose properly once the pile is built. If you keep adding organic materials to the top of the pile, it only makes sense that the bottom half or more will break down into compost and the top part will need more time to break down. Creating black gold takes patience and experience like anything else in life.

 

One woodchuck trick is to place heaps of compost over your garden beds in the fall and then cover them with leaves. For some reason, earthworms seem to be attracted to leaves more than mulch hay and other organic materials. The worms literally pull the leaf down by the stem into its home, and have a meal. In the spring you will find worm castings, the richest compost in the world, spread throughout the beds. This results are warmer soil, easier tillage and earlier planting as compared to the garden beds which hadn't been covered with leaves or other types of mulch.

 

The Four Stages of Compost Breakdown: Fire, Air, Water, and Earth

 

A fresh manure pile goes through a succession of four phases of change. In the first phase, a kind of primal condition arises in which microorganisms proliferate in the breakdown of organic substances. The microorganisms create the heat by decomposing the organic material. The second phase, in which the quantities of microorganisms and fungi continue to increase, is characterized by an interchange in the air with oxygen respiration and the escape of carbon dioxide and ammonia gas. In the third phase, the transformation of the substances takes place in the fluid medium in which proliferation slows down to an inner structuring of the solid element. The fourth and final phase completes the structuring in the solid element.

 

The Roles of Bacteria, Actinomycetes and Fungi in the compost pile

 

The compost pile supports a food chain with three main characters: bacteria, actinomycete and fungi-along with guest appearances by worms, slugs, mites, snails, ants, beetles, flies, centipedes, and more. Bacteria do most of the primary breakdown of the waste and generate heat. Then the fungi and actinomycete get to work when the temperature begins to cool. They are joined by white worms, round worms (nematodes), slugs, earthworms, mites, millipedes, and flies.

 

Later on, the waste encounters protozoa, flat worms, springtails, mold mites and beetle mites. Chomping, chewing, munching, these critters finish off the physical breakdown of the waste. Finally, compost is almost ready except for the centipedes, ground and rove beetles, and the ants that continue to eat and aerate the pile. What's fascinating is how different insects permeate the different stages of breakdown. In the first stage they show little relationship to light with slight coloration, and their eyes are reduced or absent. As the pile goes through the four changes, the number of insects increases and they develop eyes and more coloration. When the heap changes in the fourth stage to humus-rich soil, worms begin to appear with few insects left. Eventually, the worms leave the pile in search of other food sources.  

 

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
 

AgriLife Extension hires new East Texas IPM specialist

 

By Robert Burns 
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

A new Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service integrated pest management specialist believes his research background, as well as his experience in community development, will allow him to serve his clientele better.

 

Erfan Vafaie's first day at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Overton was Dec. 2.

 

Vafaie's previous position was as a research technician at the Vineland Research and Innovation Center, Ontario, Canada, where he studied biological control of whiteflies and improving monitoring techniques for spotted-wing fruit flies.

 

"I worked directly with growers and collaborated with other researchers and government scientists to propose collaboration tools on a national scale," Vafaie said. "Prior to Vineland, I worked in the LED (light emitting diode) industry as the specialist in greenhouse grow LEDs, and was an operations associate intern for a startup urban farming company in Toronto. Before that, I was an IPM consultant for Integrated Crop Research and Management in British Columbia."

 

He received his bachelor's degree in science with honors from the University of Western Ontario and his master's in pest management from Simon Fraser University, British Columbia, studying biological control of aphids.

 

Vafaie said he has a strong background in volunteer community development, which he believes will aid him as an AgriLife Extension specialist.

 

"Part of what I learned in community development was the ability to first adapt and learn about that community," he said. "And once I've integrated into that community, learning how I can contribute to better it. The same thing applies to this field. I feel like a lot of my community development activities will contribute to my ability to communicate to growers, communicate to the industry, see what are their needs, and then being able to address those needs."

 

Vafaie said his first order of business is to personally visit with East Texas ornamental plant growers. He knows that whiteflies are one problem for the region, as they are in Canada, but he isn't planning any greenhouse trials until he's been brought up to speed by the growers.

 

"I don't want to make the assumption that whiteflies are a big problem here," he said. "For the industry back in Canada, they were a problem because of pesticide resistance, and growers were looking for some means of biological control."

 

In Canada, there were some good candidates for biological control, including parasitic wasps, which sometimes could work in conjunction with limited pesticide usage, but he doesn't know yet if the same species would work here, Vafaie said.

 

This mix of control approaches -- biological, pesticide and other management strategies -- are the core of the integrated pest management concept, Vafaie said. Pesticides are not abandoned, but instead used judicially as needed, integrated into a more comprehensive strategy.

 

Such an integrated pest management strategy can also be a selling point for the industry, as consumers increasingly favor more biological controls, he said.

 

"Erfan has an excellent skill set that I expect he will utilize to enhance his program," said Dr. Charles Allen, AgriLife Extension program leader and statewide integrated pest management coordinator, San Angelo. "His strengths in electronic information processing and delivery will be a valuable asset."

 

"I expect he will develop a program that will provide growers with information they will use to improve the profitability of their businesses. In the process, I believe he will become a trusted, go-to source of information for the industry, and that he will develop strong collaborations and a good reputation and working relationship among his colleagues at Texas A&M and across the country."

 

AgriLife horticulturists estimate the East Texas bedding plant industry has had a $500 million annual economic impact on the region for at least a decade. Though not entirely recession proof, the industry hasn't experienced the downturn in consumer spending that other businesses did in the last few years.
Gardening tips

 

"If plants had chins," Bill Scheick wonders, "would they benefit from light chucks of encouragement? Yes, even without chins, according to a study published in a recent plant biology journal article (http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2229/13/133). All it takes, apparently, is a gentle, repeated, upward sweeping of the leaves to produce enhanced immune responses in a plant. Such cost-free petting would seem to be worth a try with any plant that is basically all right but not particularly flourishing."


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 2014 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

 

Nacogdoches: The SFA Gardens at Stephen F. Austin State University will host the monthly Theresa and Les Reeves Lecture Series at 7 p.m. Thursday, December 19, in the Agriculture Building, Room 110, at 1924 Wilson Drive. Dr. David Creech, Regents Professor and Professor Emeritus in the Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture, will present Why Raising a Garden and Raising Kiddos is About the Same Thing: It's All About Breaking Rules. Creech has been at Stephen F. Austin State University since 1978 and is director and founder of the SFA Mast Arboretum, Ruby Mize Azalea Garden, and Gayla Mize Garden, and co-directs the Pineywoods Native Plant Center. Creech received his BS and Ph.D. in Horticulture from Texas A&M University and his MS from Colorado State. His research efforts have focused on blueberry germplasm and production studies, alternative crops and technology, crop nutrition, and evaluation of new plant materials for the South. Although traditionally held the third Thursdays, beginning in 2014 the Theresa and Les Reeves Lecture Series will be held the second Thursday of each month. A rare plant raffle will be held after the program. The lecture is free and open to the public, but donations to the Theresa and Les Reeves lecture series fund are always appreciated. For more information, call 936-468-1832 or e-mail grantdamon@sfasu.edu.

 

JANUARY

 

Austin: You may be surprised at the 'hidden' ways to grow food in your own yard! Amanda Moon, co-owner of Trinity Gardens in Austin, will expound on the virtues of edible landscaping on Monday, January 13. The Austin Organic Gardeners Club meets at Austin Area Garden Center, 2220 Barton Springs Rd., in Zilker Botanical Gardens. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for the opportunity to meet and mingle with local gardeners; club business begins at 7 p.m., followed by the guest speaker's presentation. Bring a little cash for the raffle! For more information, visit www.austinorganicgardeners.org.

 

Corinth: The Denton County Master Gardener Association will offer a comprehensive "Design for your Yard" landscaping class on four consecutive Monday evenings beginning January 13 and concluding Feb. 3. The series covers design considerations and preparation, hardscape and plant selection. All classes are held from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. at the Global Spheres Center, 7801 S. Stemmons Freeway (I-35E), Corinth. The series is open to the public for a fee of $15, which includes all materials required. Students can sign up online at www.dcmga.com and pay for the class using PayPal or mail a check to the Denton County Master Gardener Association office.

 

Seguin: The Guadalupe Master Gardeners will meet at 7 p.m., Thursday, January 16 at the Justice Center, 211 Court Street, Seguin. Mark Fanick, from Fanick Nursery, will discuss Fruit Trees. The meeting is free and open to the public. The regular business meeting will be at the end of the program. For additional information, visit www.guadalupecountymastergardeners.org or call 830-303-3889.  

 

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.

 

Humble: Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens and The Mercer Society (TMS), will offer the third and final segment of the Texas Gulf Coast Gardener (TGCG) program beginning Monday, January 27 for a six-week period onsite at Mercer, 22306 Aldine Westfield Road, Humble. Registration is open now through January 20, so call 281-443-8731 or visit the park to enroll. Tier 3 classes focus on landscape design, the use of hardscapes and water features in the landscape, and sustainable design practices. Participants will be introduced to an effective process for analyzing and designing a successful landscape, with emphasis on residential sites. A broad range of exciting lessons and lectures, presented by Mercer staff and experts from the greater-Houston area, will accompany practical design workshops with such topics as designing mixed borders; effective water use and conservation in the home landscape; and ways to incorporate fruit- and vegetable-producing plants into visually-appealing landscape designs. Classes will be held every Monday from January 27 through March 3 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with a one-hour lunch break. The cost of enrollment for TMS members is $100; enrollment for non-members is $115. Participants will receive a text book, class supplies, and a custom-designed TGCG gardening apron. The TGCG curriculum was developed by Mercer staff with guidance from Dr. David Creech, professor of horticulture at Stephen F. Austin State University, and staff from Mast Arboretum in Nacogdoches. The program gives participants the knowledge and skills needed to start, develop, and maintain their own gardens through a variety of gardening and horticulture topics specifically designed for the pleasures and challenges of the Texas Gulf Coast climate.

 

FEBRUARY

 

Nacogdoches: SFA Gardens will host a special lecture at 7 p.m., Tuesday, February 4, Dr. Peter H. Raven, president emeritus of the St. Louis Botanical garden and renowned conservationist will be speaking on "Conservation in a Rapidly Changing World." Raven's lecture will be the inaugural lecture in the new Ina Brundrett Conservation Education Building. Raven is one of the world's leading botanists and advocates of conservation and biodiversity. For four decades, he headed the Missouri Botanical Garden, an institution he nurtured into a world-class center for botanical research and education, and horticultural display. He retired as president in 2010 and assumed the role of president emeritus and consultant through 2014. Described by Time magazine as a "Hero for the Planet," Raven champions research around the world to preserve endangered plants, and he is a leading advocate for conservation and a sustainable environment. In recognition of his work in science and conservation, Raven is the recipient of numerous prizes and awards, including the prestigious International Prize for Biology from the government of Japan and the U.S. National Medal of Science, the country's highest award for scientific accomplishment. He has held Guggenheim and John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation fellowships. Raven was a member of President Bill Clinton's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology. He also served for 12 years as home secretary of the National Academy of Sciences and is a member of the academies of science in Argentina, Brazil, China, Denmark, India, Italy, Mexico, Russia, Sweden, the U.K., and several other countries. The author of numerous books and reports, both popular and scientific, Raven co-wrote Biology of Plants, an internationally best-selling textbook, now in its sixth edition. He also co-authored Environment, a leading textbook on the environment. The Ina Brundrett Conservation Education Building is located at the Stephen F. Austin State University Pineywoods Native Plant Center, 2900 Raguet St., Nacogdoches. The event will be free and open to the public but to ensure seating and for more information call 936-468-1832 or e-mail erodewald@sfasu.edu. 

 

Schertz: Do you enjoy the colors and antics of butterflies, hummingbirds, and song birds in your garden? Want to find out how you can entice them to visit your yard? Then attend the Natives to Fly For: Attracting Butterflies, Hummingbirds, and Song Birds to Your Yard workshop. This daylong event will feature four experts to show you how you can have lots of little visitors in your landscape: Craig Hensley, award-winning community educator with Texas Parks & Wildlife, will explain "Butterfly Basics: Who They Are and What They Need"; Mark Klym, coauthor of Hummingbirds of Texas, will speak on "Want Hummingbirds? Think Lasagna"; Ann Mallard, Audubon Society member and nature photographer specializing in bird life, will present "Songs in the Garden--Creating a Native Habitat for Birds"; Kelly Simon, author of Texas Wildscapes: Gardening for Wildlife, will pull all this information together as she shows participants how to create a "Central Texas Habitat." The workshop takes place Saturday, February 22, at the Schertz Civic Center, 1400 Schertz Pkwy, Schertz. The hours are 9-3 and the $40 registration fee includes lunch and snacks. Registration begins at 8:30. Door prizes will be given throughout the day. In addition to the workshop, participants can shop the booths of two local nurseries offering many of the plants discussed by the speakers, purchase books on workshop topics, and select bird-related items from Wild Birds Unlimited. Authors Mark Klym and Kelly Bender will sign their books during lunch. But wait, there's more! A beautiful bluebonnet quilt and two 55-gallon, hand-painted rain barrels will be raffled during the workshop. Raffle tickets may be purchased at the event. Natives to Fly For is sponsored by the Guadalupe County Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas. For more information and to purchase tickets, call 830-303-0333. The number of tickets is limited, so call early. For more information, visit http://npsot.org/wp/guadalupe/.     

 

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.

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

 

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Publisher: Chris S. Corby ● Editor: Michael Bracken 

 

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