April 9, 2014
  

AgriLife's Dallas Center releases new water-efficient turfgrass

 

By Paul Schattenberg

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

 

Dwindling water resources caused by drought, extreme temperatures and other environmental factors have made the development of more water-efficient turfgrasses increasingly important for southern landscapes, according to experts at Texas A&M AgriLife Research.

 

According to national water-use statistics, about one-third of all the water consumed by cities in the southern U.S. is used to irrigate lawns and gardens.

 

Recently Dr. Ambika Chandra, associate professor of turfgrass breeding and genetics at the center, released a new drought-tolerant St. Augustine grass variety that also resists the major disease and insect pests that commonly attack lawns in the southern U.S.

 

"This new variety is the first hybrid of St. Augustine grass produced by our advanced breeding techniques to be released for the commercial turfgrass industry," Chandra said.

 

At the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Dallas, home of the AgriLife turfgrass breeding program, scientists are continually developing and testing new turfgrass lines that require less water and have increased drought, disease, insect, shade and cold tolerance - characteristics preferred by homeowners and landscape professionals alike.

 

Over the years, the program has generated thousands of new St. Augustine grass lines, as well as other turfgrass lines, Chandra said. These lines are evaluated at different locations over a period of years to identify the few that have superior characteristics.

 

She said the new variety, currently identified by its experimental name, DALSA 0605, has shade tolerance and deep roots comparable to Floratram, a successful St. Augustine grass collaboratively developed by Texas A&M University and the University of Florida.

 

"So far, DALSA 0605 has shown excellent response to drought stress in the field. Much of this is due to its long roots that allow it to penetrate deeper into the soil to obtain moisture where other varieties cannot," Chandra said. "It also does well during soil dry-down after exposure to extended periods without water, as well as in the recovery phase once water is reintroduced."

 

Development of DALSA 0605 was partially funded by the Turfgrass Producers of Texas, with field testing of the new turfgrass initiated in 2004 at the Dallas center. She said DALSA 0605 has also shown wide-range adaptation through additional field testing in Oklahoma, Georgia, North Carolina and Florida, as part of a collaborative project funded by U.S. Department of Agriculture.

 

"DALSA 0605 will most likely be commercially available in 2015," she said.

 

Those interested in learning more about licensing of this new turfgrass variety may contact Janie Hurley, senior licensing manager for Texas A&M University System, at JHurley@tamus.edu for more information.

 

"This statewide event is designed to highlight new drought-tolerant turfgrass varieties from the Texas A&M AgriLife breeding program, innovations in irrigation technology and new landscape best management practices," Chandra said. "The event will help industry professionals and others understand how to select and maintain turfgrasses in order to cope with harsh environmental conditions and water restrictions."

 

Chandra said DALSA 0605 and many other turfgrass varieties will be on display during the upcoming Turfgrass, Landscape and Irrigation Expo May 16-17 at the center, located at 17360 Coit Road, Dallas.

 

She said DALSA 0605 would be of interest to both professionals, for whom the May 16 portion of the expo is designed, and homeowners, who are the target audience for the May 17 portion.

"Field day attendees will be able to see and learn about all five different species of turfgrasses - Bermuda grass, zoysia grass, St. Augustine grass, Seashore paspalum and hybrid bluegrass - being evaluated at the center, along with commercially available varieties," Chandra said.

 

She said the expo will include field tours on topics including selection and management; irrigation scheduling, management and subsurface drip; pest and disease management; and nutrient management and the environment. There also will be educational demonstrations, and hands-on demonstrations of new technologies to reduce water use in urban areas.

 

"The overall purpose of the expo is to transfer new research findings to professionals and citizens in an atmosphere of learning and information exchange," Chandra said. "We want to better educate urban Texans, turfgrass producers, growers, landscapers and irrigators on new best management practices to be more water efficient while maintaining healthy and green lawns."

 

For more information in the expo, visit http://dallas.tamu.edu/courses.


Texas A&M AgriLife center makes 'WaterSense' for Dallas, other metro areas

 

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

 

More than 800 people from Dallas and surrounding cities attended the recent WaterSense event at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center, 17360 Coit Road in Dallas.

 

The event, which was held in conjunction with World Water Day and national "Fix a Leak Week," was presented in partnership with the City of Dallas Water Utilities and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 6. It highlighted various water education and conservation programs and activities through the center's Urban Water Program, as well as other water-saving programs and research being conducted at the center.

 

"The most popular part of this event was the open house tour for the public of our two on-site WaterSense display residences, a house and a multi-family dwelling, both of which are on the center's grounds," said Clint Wolfe, urban water program manager for the Dallas center.

 

As urban water program manager, Wolfe facilitates the activities of a team of water resources professionals at the center to assist with research and outreach programming in the areas of water quality and conservation, as well as watershed planning.

 

He said the event marked the public grand opening of the center's WaterSense multi-family structure and gave attendees the opportunity to tour both that structure and the nearby WaterSense Labeled Home. Both dwellings display a variety of indoor and outdoor water-saving technologies.

 

According to the EPA, WaterSense is an agency partner program that emphasizes "saving water and protecting the environment by choosing WaterSense labeled products for the home, yard and business, along with taking simple steps to save water each day." It estimates that WaterSense-labeled homes use 40 percent less water than the average home, saving about 50,000 gallons a year for a family of four.

 

"The home and apartments serve as working models to demonstrate to visitors just how easy water conservation can be," Wolfe said. "These WaterSense-oriented dwellings provide hands-on learning opportunities in areas such as hot water on-demand systems, water-efficient faucets and fixtures, water-efficient landscaping and irrigation systems, rainwater harvesting and rain garden design."

 

He said through this event and many other ongoing center programs, people can learn about readily available technology to help them lower their overall water use, as well as about some simple 'behavioral' changes they can make to save water and money.

 

Wolfe said in 2013 the Urban Water Program reached an estimated 50,000 people from the metroplex and surrounding areas through a variety of educational and informational events, including classes, professional trainings, youth events, do-it-yourself rain barrel workshops and WaterSense Labeled Home tours.

 

"We also have developed strong working relationships with major metropolitan area water providers, including Dallas Water Utilities, Tarrant Regional Water District and North Texas Municipal Water District," Wolfe said. "These are far-reaching efforts that are successful because we have like-minded community partners working to preserve and extend our water resources."

 

Preserving water resources and maximizing water-use efficiency is a major emphasis of the Dallas center's research and educational programs noted the center's resident director, Dr. Mike Gould.

 

"Management of our limited water resources is one of the highest-priority issues affecting urban residents," Gould said. "We have a number of sustainability-based programs related to water, food, energy and wellness that we hope will have a significant impact on a wide range of urban problems. We are looking into solutions not only for today but also the future, as metropolitan centers continue to grow and limited resources become even more strained."

 

Water is part of a larger interdependent system and is also required for food and energy production, he said, so proper management of limited water resources needs to be viewed as part of the larger urban equation.

 

"The center's integrated teams of researchers are looking at multiple ways to increase the sustainability of urban life," Gould said.

 

He noted that the center's water programs include lawn and landscape water conservation, resource-efficient landscapes, irrigation system design and management, rainwater harvesting, rain gardens, porous pavements, green roofs and wetlands, protecting urban water sources from erosion and sedimentation, promoting responsible chemical use in urban landscapes, and the use and management of alternate - reclaimed, recycled or poor quality - irrigation water sources for urban landscapes.

 

For more information on the WaterSense, visit http://www.epa.gov/watersense/.

 

For more information on the center's urban water conservation efforts and for water-saving tips, go to the Hot Topics tab, then the Water and Urban Water Program tabs of the Dallas center's website,  http://dallas.tamu.edu/.


How does your town measure up against America's prettiest?

 

America in Bloom

 

America in Bloom, with cooperating sponsorship from Home & Garden Showplace and Monrovia Nursery, announces an exciting new endeavor to encourage and recognize beautification efforts through a new annual photography contest.

 

Cities and towns across the United States will be evaluated on their overall beauty as demonstrated by a submitted portfolio of up to 18 photos. Entrants are invited to submit any photographs from their city.

 

Though not required, entrants may want to take a page from America in Bloom's long-standing National Awards Program and provide photography exemplifying:

  • Floral displays
  • Landscaped areas
  • Urban forestry
  • Environmental efforts
  • Heritage preservation
  • Overall impression

In its regular National Awards Program, which involves judges traveling to cities for an in-depth, on-site evaluation, each of these six criteria are evaluated based on evidence of municipal efforts, business and community group efforts, and residential efforts with part of each score relating to community involvement across these three constituent groups.

 

Specifications

 

Portfolios may be submitted from interested photographers individually, or from a coordinated effort involving the municipality, a local Chamber of Commerce, a local Convention and Tourism Bureau, or local photography stores, arboreta and botanical gardens, photography or garden clubs, and/or local garden retailers.

 

Photos each can be no larger than 8" X 12". Photos should focus on the city's or town's beautification efforts. Photos in each portfolio should each be clearly identified via a label on the back of each photo which includes the city/town name, total population, and the party submitting the entry. Submissions should include one paragraph of up to 50 words describing who was involved in the submission and the photography.

 

Entries also may include numbered paragraphs corresponding to numbered photos, with paragraphs explaining the photo or the activity represented by the photo; these paragraphs should not exceed 25 words for each photo in the portfolio.

 

Cities will be divided into three population groups:

 

Small city population: Less than 50,000

Media city population: 50,001 to 249,999

Large city population: More than 250,000

 

Judging & Awards

 

A winner will be announced for each population category. Judging will be done by a group of anonymous judges, which will include at least one professional photographer and others involved with marketing communications, all of whom will be familiar with America in Bloom.

 

Judging criteria will be based on the photographs in the portfolio within any one population category which best exhibit the America in Bloom criteria. The decisions of the judges will be final. Winners will be required to submit digital files of the photography in each winning portfolio.

 

Three $1,500 prizes will be awarded to the individual photographer or group entry, one for each population category.

 

Submission Information

 

Portfolios should be submitted no later than August 5, 2014 for evaluation

to:

 

America's Prettiest City Photography Contest

c/o America in Bloom

2130 Stella Court

Columbus, OH 43215

 

Announcement of the winning cities, as portrayed by the submitted portfolios, will be made at the America in Bloom Annual Symposium and Awards Program, which will be held in Philadelphia on October 2-4, 2014. Photos from the winning portfolio in each population category will be on display throughout the program. Winning cities and/or photographers are encouraged to have representatives present throughout the Symposium to answer questions about their cities.

 

Portfolios will be returned following the Symposium if a request is made with the submission, but America in Bloom reserves the right to use all submitted photos for promotional purposes.

 

Questions may be sent to America in Bloom at aib@AmericaInBloom.org or visit www.AmericaInBloom.org.


The compost heap
Nandina in the Panhandle

"While not taking issue with the premise of the article ('Invasive Nandina domestica,' Seeds, April 2, 2014)," writes Bob Hatton, "it still suffers from an all too common problem of painting with a broad brush. It is not invasive in the Panhandle. Most who write about gardening in Texas forget or ignore that the Panhandle is in Texas and, we're different. Here it's a great plant and any seedlings that may grow are easily transplanted or weeded."

Gardening tips
 

It is time to move houseplants outdoors in most parts of the state. Move them to complete shade for a couple of weeks or so before exposing them to part shade/sun conditions. They have spent the winter in a very low light environment and would sun-burn if exposed to any direct sun.     

 

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.
APRIL

 

Houston: Harris County Precinct 4 and The Mercer Society (TMS) have partnered with the Houston Museum of Natural Science (HMNS) to offer "The Chinese Economic 'Bloom' - People, Plans, and Plants for a Verdant Earth" on Thursday, April 10 at 6:30 p.m. at 5555 Hermann Park Dr., Houston. Presented by Dr. David Creech of Stephen F. Austin State University, the signature lecture is part of a series to celebrate Mercer's 40th anniversary celebration. Dr. Creech will explore China, the mother of many traditional ornamental plants and fruits, as an emerging horticultural giant and discuss the country's nursery and landscape industry. Reservations are required, which can be made directly through HMNS by calling 713-639-4629 or visiting www.hmns.org. Individual lecture tickets are $12 for TMS members and $18 for non-members. A series package is available for all four presentations: $40 for TMS members and $60 for non-members. To learn more about becoming a TMS member, visit themercersociety.org. Free transportation to and from the lecture is available to senior adults 50 years and better using Harris County Precinct 4 buses departing from Mercer. Seating is limited and reservations are required on a first-come, first-served basis by calling 281-443-8731.

 

Nacogdoches: SFA Gardens at Stephen F. Austin State University will host the monthly Theresa and Les Reeves Lecture Series at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 10, in the new Ina Brundrett Conservation Education Building at the Pineywoods Native Plant Center, 2900 Raguet St., Nacogdoches. Retired Texas A&M Extension Vegetable Specialist Dr. Jerry Parsons will present "Growing the Best Tomatoes in Texas."Jerry Parsons has been a popular Extension Service personality for more than three decades, becoming something of a cult figure in the agricultural world of South Texas. Parsons has been responsible for educating and entertaining the Alamo City and surrounding area with weekly horticultural information on TV, radio, and in newspapers for 34 years. Although his specialty is vegetable production, Parsons has revolutionized the plant introduction arena and is the father of The Texas Superstar program at Texas A&M University. The plant introduction and promotion program is now copied by similar programs throughout the United States. Parsons is often described as the most popular public gardening speaker in the Lone Star State, sometimes deriding but always delighting gardeners with his enthusiastic combination of irreverent and educational humor. The Theresa and Les Reeves Lecture Series is normally held the second Thursday of each month at the Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture's SFA Pineywoods Native Plant Center. 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 always are appreciated. Parking is available at the nearby Raguet Elementary School, 2428 Raguet St. For more information, call (936) 468-1832 or email grantdamon@sfasu.edu.

 

San Antonio: Jenny Perez, Education Coordinator for the American Botanical Council, will speak at the April meeting of the Herb Society, Thursday, April 10, 6:30-8:30 p.m., at the San Antonio Garden Center, 3310 N. New Braunfels, San Antonio.For more information, visit www.sanantonioherbs.org.

 

Humble: As part of Mercer's ongoing 40th anniversary celebration, Harris County Precinct 4 and The Mercer Society (TMS) welcome Dr. David Creech of Stephen F. Austin State University as he presents "Cool Plants for a Hot Climate" on Friday, April 11 at 10 a.m. at Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens, located at 22306 Aldine Westfield Road, Humble. Dr. Creech will explore the diverse array of desert trees, shrubs, herbaceous perennials, and lilies that may be the mainstays of our future landscapes as we learn to cope with increasingly dry summers and a diminishing water supply. Many plants of central and west Texas and Mexico could hold the keys to the future of adventuresome horticulture along the Gulf Coast. Reservations are required, which can be made directly through TMS by calling 281-443-8731. Individual lecture tickets are $12 for TMS members and $18 for non-members. Find out how to become a TMS member by visiting themercersociety.org.

 

Austin: Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, Travis County Master Gardeners, and Austin Parks & Recreation present the 8th annual East Austin Garden Fair to be held Saturday, April 12, at Zaragoza Recreation Center, 2608 Gonzales St., Austin, from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. Free and open to the public, this fun, hands-on fair involves community members in creative, low-cost ways to grow vegetables, herbs and fruit to improve their family diet as well as information about Earth-Kind landscaping. Get expert advice from Master Gardeners on all aspects of gardening and composting, as well as backyard chickens and beekeeping. The fair will feature an assortment of DIY and demonstration activities, including garden planning, kids' activities and container garden building. Free vegetable, herb and ornamental plants offered to participants while supplies last. For more information, please call 512-854-9600.

 

Cleburne: On Saturday, April 12, a host of select plants for North Texas will be on hand at the Johnson County Master Gardeners' Spring Plant Sale. This annual event runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the rodeo grounds of Johnson County Sheriff's Posse, 1315 S. Main, Cleburne. Visitors will find a variety of sustainable plants, including drought-tolerant perennials, Earth-Kind Roses, shrubs, blooming annuals, herbs, tomatoes and peppers. And for the first time peach trees, released by Texas A&M, will also be offered. Photos and descriptions of Plant Sale perennials can be viewed online at www.jcmg.org. For information about this event and other Master Gardener activities, contact the Johnson County Extension Office at 817-556-6370 or email Johnson County Extension Agent Zach T. Davis at ztdavis@ag.tamu.edu.

 

Dallas: Texas Discovery Gardens presents its annual Butterfly Gardening Workshop Saturday, April 12, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Discover how easy it is to garden and attract native butterflies with Horticulture Director Roger Sanderson & Entomologist John Watts. Bring home a starter flat of butterfly host and nectar plants, valued at $60. $60, $48 for TDG Members. Register in advance. 3601 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., Dallas. Details are at  http://texasdiscoverygardens.org/events_and_classes.php.

 

Dallas: Get out in the garden on this family friendly walk at Texas Discovery Gardens Saturday, April 12 at 11 a.m. Search for early spring blooms. It ends in time for you to catch the Butterfly Release talk at noon in our conservatory. Included with admission. 3601 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., Dallas. Details are at http://texasdiscoverygardens.org/events_and_classes.php.

 

Dallas: The Collin County Master Gardener Association will hold its 11th Annual Plant Sale on Saturday, April 12, from 9 a.m.-3pm. This year's selections include plants that are Texas-tough, water conserving, insect and disease resistant, and Earth-Kind favorites. Attendees will find hundreds of varieties of annuals, perennials, trees, shrubs, vegetables, herbs, vines, roses, grasses, and new Texas Superstars that thrive in sun, part-sun, and shade. Additionally, gorgeous container gardens, offered at some of the best prices in town, are sure to add a bright spot of color to your outdoor living space. Collin County Master Gardeners with decades of collective experience will be available throughout the day for "Q&A with the MG's" to answer questions, and offer timely tips and design ideas to help homeowners plan, and plant with confidence and success. Purchase these proven performers by cash, check, or credit card (Visa or MasterCard only). Bringing your own cart or wagon is encouraged. Children ages 5 and up can participate in environmentally friendly activities at the Children's Discovery Area throughout the day. The Plant Sale will be held indoors, rain or shine, hot or cold, in the pavilion at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center in far North Dallas, 17360 Coit Road, between Campbell Road and the George Bush Tollway. To find out more about The Plant Sale or view an updated plant list visit www.ccmgatx.org, or call the Collin County Master Gardeners by contacting the CCMGA Help Desk at 972-548-4219 or 972-548-4232.

 

Fort Worth: The Tarrant County Master Gardeners Association's (TCMGA) annual plant sale is scheduled for Saturday, April 12, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at the TCMGA Community and Demonstration Garden at Fort Worth's Resource Connection. The garden is located off Campus Drive, north of I-20 at 1801 Circle Drive. The sale will include hundreds of perennials, annuals, roses, herbs, succulents, vines, native plants, grasses and hanging baskets. Demonstrations on rain barrels, composting, sharpening tools and container gardens will be featured. Bring your plant and gardening questions to the "Ask a Master Gardener" table.

 

Kerrville: Hill Country Master Gardeners Spring Plant and Rain Barrel sale, Saturday, April 12, 2014 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at Hill Country Youth Event Center, 3655 Highway 27, Kerrville. Free programs on composting and proper planting at 9 a.m.; vegetable gardening and plant propagation at 10 a.m.; irrigation efficiency at noon and rainwater harvesting and tomatoes 101 at 2 p.m.. More than 1000 native and adapted plants as well as 55-gallon rain barrels for sale.

 

Stephenville: Native & Heirloom Plant Fair, Saturday, April 12, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.  Numerous vendors offering native and adapted plants, herbs, garden products, arts & crafts, and edible goodies. Free admission. Stephenville Historical House Museum, 525 E Washington Street, Stephenville. For more information, visit http://www.stephenvillemuseum.org/plantfair.htm

 

Tyler: The fourth of seven seminars on the finer points of gardening in East Texas will be held April 12. Registration is $15 per individual lecture. The next two lectures will be held in April and May. After a summer hiatus, the series will begin again with lectures in September, October and November. All lectures will have registration at the door beginning at 8:30 a.m., with the program starting at 9 a.m. Ending will vary depending upon how many questions are asked, but should usually end by noon. For more information, call 903-590-2980 or visit http:// www.facebook.com/ETGardenConference. The lectures will be held at the Tyler Rose Garden Center, 420 Rose Park Drive, Tyler. The remaining 2014 East Texas Garden Lecture Series are: April 12 - "A Warm Welcome - Landscape Tips for Curb Appeal." Dee Bishop, Smith County Master Gardener and longtime landscape professional, will share ideas on how to easily set out a colorful and inviting welcome mat to your home with plants. Demonstration planters will be offered as door prizes. May 17 - "Saving Water With Drip - Drip Irrigation Basics and Applications." Dr. Dotty Woodson, AgriLife Extension water specialist, Dallas, and Brad McCullough, state licensed irrigator with Ewing Irrigation, Tyler, will demonstrate how to design and install a drip irrigation system. They will also show how easily an existing spray irrigation section can be converted to a drip system. Sept. 13 - "Enjoy Your Home Landscape - Make Your Yard Fit Your Life." David Gary, Smith County Master Gardener, has learned to continue gardening despite being confined to a wheelchair by muscular dystrophy. Gary will show how to design a landscape to fit anyone's physical limitations. Oct. 25 - "Forgotten and Underutilized Plants For East Texas." Greg Grant, research associate at the Piney Woods Native Plant Center, Nacogdoches, and Texas Gardener contributing editor, is co-author of "Heirloom Gardening in the South." He'll discuss choice plants for use in the home landscape. Nov. 15 - "Japanese Maples and Adapted Trees for Every Landscape." Dr. Dave Creech, regent's professor at Stephen F. Austin University, Nacogdoches, and director of the university's Mast Arboretum, will be the featured speaker. The arboretum has one of the largest collections of Japanese maples in the region, and Creech will share details of his favorite selections. He'll also discuss a wide selection of other trees adapted to the East Texas region, many of which are not frequently seen in our area.

 

Houston: Mike Serant will discuss "The Economics, Rationale and How-to of Organic Garden Care" beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the April 14 meeting of the Houston Urban Gardeners at Houston's Multi-Service Center, 1475 W. Gray, Houston. For more information, visit http://www.houstonurbangardeners.org/.

 

College Station: Master Gardeners Nilah Wright and Autumn Harry will teach "Earth-Kind Plants for Brazos Valley Landscapes," 6:30-8 p.m., Tuesday, April 15, at Cypress Intermediate School, 900 Graham Road, College Station. Class fee is $15 per person. Register online at rectrac.cstx.gov.

 

Kerrville: Susan Sander and Barbara Lowenthal will teach "Plant Family Identification," 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m., April 15, at Riverside Nature Center, 150 Francisco Lemos St., Kerrville. $15 for RNC member/$20 non-member. For additional information, visit www.riversidenaturecenter.org or email naturalist@riversidenaturecenter.org

 

La Marque: "The Culture and Care of Palms" with GC Master Gardener O.J. Millar. 6:30-8 p.m., April 15, at Galveston County AgriLife Extension in Carbide Park, 4102 Main, La Marque. Phone 281-534-3413; email reservation to galv@wt.net, further details www.aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston. Free.

 

Seabrook: "Crazy Ants" by Paul Nester, Extension Specialist, 10 a.m., April 16, at Clear Lake Park Meeting Room, 5001 Nasa Parkway, Seabrook. Harris County Master Gardeners at Precinct 2 event. Free. Details: https://hcmga.tamu.edu/Public/pubP2.aspx.

 

Bandera: An "Earth-Kind Water Conservation and Plant Selection" program will be presented by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service from 6:30-8 p.m. April 17 at the Mansfield Park Recreation Center, 2886 Highway 16 North, Bandera. The program will be presented by Dr. Larry Stein, AgriLife Extension horticulturist from Uvalde. Stein will discuss design and plant selection using Texas Superstar varieties, as well as irrigation, mulching and fertilization considerations. One-half a Texas Department of Agriculture continuing education unit in the category of integrated pest management is available to attendees completing the program. Registration is $10 per person, and includes program materials and refreshments. To register, contact the AgriLife Extension office in Bandera County at 830-796-7755 by April 11. For more information about this and other upcoming educational programs in Bandera County, visit http://bandera.agrilife.org.

  

Seguin: The Guadalupe Master Gardeners will meet on Thursday, April 17 at the Justice Center, 211 Court Street, Seguin. The meeting will start at 7 p.m. with the speaker Ray Elizondo talking about "Daylilies." The business meeting will be at the end of the program. For further information visit www.guadalupecountymastergardeners.org or call 830-303-3889.

 

Georgetown: Whether you have one pecan tree in the backyard or 1,000 trees, you will benefit from the Central Texas Pecan Field Day to be held April 19 at Georgetown Pecan Co., 1300 County Road 150, Georgetown. The day-long program begins with registration at 8 a.m. and includes speakers, lunch, a grafting workshop and vendor displays. The fee is $20 per person and the deadline to preregister is 5 p.m. April 16. Preregistration is required to ensure each participant a lunch. The registration fee is to be paid at the AgriLife Extension office for Williamson County. 3151 S.E. Inner Loop, Suite A, Georgetown. Field day speakers and topics include: Bill Ree, statewide pecan integrated pest management specialist, Bryan. Managing pests in an economically effective and less environmentally disruptive manner. Monte Nesbitt, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service pecan/fruit/citrus specialist, College Station. Orchard management issues including varieties, water quality, irrigation and fertilization. Dr. Marco Palma, AgriLife Extension economist, College Station. Horticultural marketing and program development for industry audiences. After lunch, attendees will tour a pecan orchard. The final field day activity will be a grafting workshop presented by a local pecan grower. Two Texas Department of Agriculture continuing education units will be available for licensed pesticide applicators - one integrated pest management and one general. For more information contact Fred Hall, AgriLife Extension agent for Williamson County at the AgriLife Extension office at 512-943-3300 or  fmhall@ag.tamu.edu.

 

San Antonio: Gardening Volunteers of South Texas "Essentials of Gardening" class. Monday, April 21, noon to 3 p.m. at San Antonio Garden Center, 3310 North New Braufels Ave., San Antonio. Members of San Antonio Daylily Society will present a two hour discussion on growing daylilies and using them in the landscape. Free and open to the public. $5 donation requested. No advance reservation necessary. More information: www.GardeningVolunteers.org or info@gardeningvolunteers.org.

 

Dallas: The annual Butterfly Plant Sale at Texas Discovery Gardens is a three day event. Members are invited to enjoy a pre-sale at 10% off on Friday, April 25, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. The sale opens to the public April 26 and 27, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Enjoy native and adapted plants that are rare to find in local nurseries! It's at Texas Discovery Gardens at Fair Park - 3601 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., Dallas. Find a plant list at http://texasdiscoverygardens.org/plant_sale.php.

 

Grapevine: The Grapevine Garden Club's Survive and Thrive Plant Sale is on Saturday, April 26, from 8 a.m.-1 p.m.at the Botanical Gardens at Heritage Park, 411 Ball St., Grapevine. Consultants will be available to assist in plant selection and answer questions. Browse drought resistant and butterfly host and nectar plants as well as many heirloom perennials from members' gardens. Free seminars on butterfly gardening and growing perennials. Proceeds benefit the club's scholarship and civic projects.Fore more information, call 817-410-3350 or visit www.grapevinegardenclub.org.

 

Rosenberg: Fort Bend Master Gardener Deborah Birge will present a "Backyard Basics" talk on Fruit Production on Saturday morning, April 26, at the Fort Bend County Extension Office, 1402 Band Road, Rosenberg. Ms. Birge, who earned the designation of Citrus Specialist in 2011 and National Plant Diagnostic Network First Detector in 2013, will discuss elements of fruit tree maintenance ranging from planting bare root trees to pruning, pest control, harvesting, improving production, and varieties that are best suited for Fort Bend County. Her talk, from 8:30 - 11 a.m., is presented by the Fort Bend Master Gardeners and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Fort Bend County. Registration for each class is $15 for individuals, $25 for couples. Kids under 10 accompanied by parents are free. For more information or to register, contact Brandy Rader at brandyrader@ag.tamu.edu or 281-342-3034. Or visit www.fortbend.agrilife.org or www.fbmg.com.

 

Victoria: Victoria County Master Gardner Association will hold its 2014 home garden tour Saturday, April 26, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday, April 27, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. This year the event will feature seven homes. Each of the homes is in Victoria at the following addresses: 403 Woodlands Lane, 6010 Country Club Dr., 6043 Country Club Dr., 604 N. Craig St., 6041 Country Club Dr., 408 Edgewater, and 303 Charleston. Tickets may be purchased at each location. Admission is $15 and includes entrance of all of the gardens.

 

La Marque: "The Joy of Daylilies" with Nell Shimek, 6:30-8 p.m., April 29, at Galveston County AgriLife Extension in Carbide Park, 4102 Main, La Marque. Ph 281-534-3413; email reservation to galv@wt.net, further details www.aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston. Free.

MAY

Austin: The Inside Austin Gardens tour features six gardens of exemplary quality and design. The tour is presented by Travis County Master Gardeners Association in cooperation with the Travis County AgriLife Extension Service on Saturday, May 3, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Tour includes gardens to explore, continuous one-on-one educational offerings, kids' activities, and book sales. Complete tour information can be found at www.InsideAustinGardens.org. Purchase tickets online or at each garden on tour day. Cash, CC accepted at gardens. Further information including addresses, educational topics, maps, kid's activities and ticket prices can be found at www.InsideAustinGardens.org.

 

San Antonio: Gardening Volunteers of South Texas presents "Watersaver Landscape Design School" Saturday, May 31, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at San Antonio Garden Center, 3310 N. New Braunfels, San Antonio. Four presentations on Basic Principles of Low Water Landscapes, Design Ideas, Plants That Thrive in the San Antonio area, and Understanding and Scheduling Your Drip Irrigation System. $25 or $40 for household of two people. Includes three full color plant and landscape guides, and a CD version of the book "Drip-Line Gardening." After enrolling, you will receive graph paper to draw your yard and/or ideas to bring with you for one-on-one idea consultations after the presentations. Find more information and an enrollment form on the GVST website at www.GardeningVolunteers.org or info@gardeningvolunteers.org.

JUNE

Austin: The Austin Pond Society will host its 20th Annual Pond Tour in June and will feature ponds and gardens at more than 20 locations in North, Central and South Austin. Ponds of every size and description are included in the tour, along with waterfalls, streams, and fountains. Some gardens are Certified Wildlife Habitats, and most have native plants.Tour Dates and Times: Saturday, June 7 - South and Central Austin (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) Saturday Night - Night pond locations (8 p.m. to 10 p.m.) Sunday, June 8 - North Austin (9 .am. to 5 p.m.) Wristbands for the three events are $15 in advance and can be purchased using PayPal at austinpondsociety.org; at Emerald Garden, Hill Country Water Gardens, McIntire's Garden Center, Shoal Creek Nursery, and The Great Outdoors. Wristbands can be purchased at each site during the event for $20. Wristbands for children 12 and under are free with a paid adult. Volunteers who work a four-hour shift on either day of the tour will receive entry to all of the tour sites, a tour T-shirt, and an invitation to the SPLASH! Party on May 31. Sign up at volunteers@austinpondsociety.org. For more information visit austinpondsociety.org.

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

 

Kaufman:The Kaufman County Master Gardeners meet the first Monday of each month at the First Community Church at 1401 Trinity Drive in Crandall. January through April and August and September meetings are at 9 a.m., with the remaining meetings beginning at 7 p.m. For additional information visit http://www.kcmga.org, call 972-932-9069 or email to sbburden@ag.tamu.edu.


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 Rolling Meadows, 2nd floor Media Center, 3006 McNeil Ave., Wichita Falls, on the first Tuesday of each month. For more information, visit www.txmg.org/wichita or call 940-716-8610.

 

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.

  

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.

 

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.

  

Kilgore: Northeast Texas Organic Gardeners meets at 1:30 p.m. on the second Saturday of each month. For more information, call Carole Ramke at 903-986-9475.

 

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.

  

New Braunfels: The Comal Master Gardeners meet at 6 p.m. the third Monday of each month (except April and December,) at the GVTC Auditorium, 36101 FM 3159, New Braunfels. An educational program precedes the business meeting. The public is invited to attend. For additional information, call 830-620-3440 or visit http://txmg.org/comal/.

 

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.

 

Evant: The Evant Garden Club meets on the third 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 254-471-5860.  

 

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.

 

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 email npsot.sanantonio@gmail.com.

 

Houston: The Houston Chapter of the Native Prairie Association of Texas (HNPAT) meets from 7 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. the fourth Thursday of each month at 3015 Richmond Ave., 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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