April 23, 2014

Good bugs vs. bad bugs


Bugs often get a bad rap. Yet many bugs we often think of as pests - such as spiders, ants and wasps - are actually beneficial for your yard and garden!

The Good


Predatory Beetles and Bugs. Tiger, soldier, ground and ladybird beetles, along with assassin and pirate bugs, are a few you should welcome to your garden as residents. Why? Because they dine on other bugs that will try to make your plants their next snack.


Bees, Wasps and Ants. Don't be so quick to shoo away bees. Bee species are important pollinators, which are largely responsible for seeds, nuts, berries and other fruits that form the bottom of the food chain-feeding both people and wildlife.


Caterpillars. More than 95 percent of backyard birds rely on caterpillars as a primary food for their young. Attract caterpillars to your garden and you will also be attracting more birds.


Spiders. Spiders are some of the most helpful garden invertebrates. All spiders are predatory and feed on insects that could be a threat to your garden.


Dragonflies and Damselflies. These aerial acrobats are a double threat. In their adult phase, they feed on all manner of unwanted flying insects, from mosquitoes to biting flies and gnats. And their aquatic larvae are no slouches either, devouring the larvae of the same pests.


The Bad


Mosquitos. Mosquitos cause an itchy welt when they bite and spread many diseases. It is important to eliminate stagnant water in your yard and wear insect repellent.


Fire Ants. These ants have an extremely painful sting. Avoid their large mounds, or call a professional to eliminate them from your yard.


Ticks. These parasitic arachnids spread diseases and are especially problematic in areas with large deer population. Avoid areas with tall grass, mow pathways in your garden and wear long pants tucked into socks.

April gardening


By Tom Harris, Ph.D.

The Hill Country Gardener


Birds and Wildlife

  • If blackbirds and English sparrows are dominating your feeders, switch to pure sunflower seeds. Orange halves may attract orioles and butterflies.
  • Supplement your hummingbird-friendly plants with sugar-water feeders. Use one part sugar and four parts water by volume.


  • Maintain your spray program for modern roses.
  • Let your bougainvillea get root bound and stressed between waterings for best blooms.
  • Hibiscus food works well for container-grown hibiscus plants.

Fruits and Nuts

  • There is still time to thin late-season peaches, apples and plums. Thin to one fruit per 6-8 inches of stem.
  • Fertilize pecan trees in early April with 21-0-0 (1 lb. per inch of trunk diameter) to encourage good nut production.
  • Webworms, army worms, and oak leaf rollers show up in April. Control them with Bt or Spinosad. Remember to get the Bt or Spinosad on the leaves surrounding the nest as the worms must eat the it in order for it to be effective.


  • If you want to repot some plants, remove the root ball from the container and cut a 1-inch strip of soil and roots from it. Put the root ball back in the container and fill the new space at the edge with high quality potting soil or compost.
  • Plant caladium tubers after mid-month.

Shade Trees and Shrubs

  • You can still plant new shrubs and trees this month if they are container-grown.
  • In heavily shaded parts of the landscape where grass is difficult to maintain, choose one of the well-adapted groundcover plants such as English or Algerian ivy, Asian jasmine, or mondograss.

Turf Grass

  • Fertilize your lawn after the second or third "real" mowing. A "real" mowing is when you are cutting lawn grass and not winter weeds.
  • Mow St. Augustine grass at 3 inches, Zoysia at 2 inches and Bermuda at 1.5 inches, and Buffalo at 4-5 inches.
  • Don't start the automatic sprinkler system unless we haven't had rain for at least 2 weeks.
  • Weeds can literally take over a lawn this month if they are not controlled. Frequent close mowings, hand-pulling or the use of an herbicide usually provide adequate control.


  • Side-dress the tomatoes and peppers with half a cup of slow-release lawn fertilizer when the first fruit sets.
  • Mulch around all the veggies with leaves, straw, or hay to a depth of 2-3 inches to deter weeds and to keep the soil from drying out.
  • Aphid populations can become excessive on new growth of trees, shrubs, perennials and annuals - especially oaks, roses and tomatoes.
  • Snails, slugs and pillbugs can devour the tender growth of young plants.
  • Fire ants can eat young plants, especially tomatoes and eggplant.
  • Thinning vegetables is one of the most important follow-up activities in gardening. Thin with scissors according to the directions on the seed package.

The compost heap
Nandina has sprouted up again

Linda Higby, author of "Invasive Nandina domestica" (Seeds, April 2, 2014), had some questions about Nandina that she directed to Justin Bush, invasive species coordinator at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. His response, printed with his permission, follows:


"Nandina domestica is known to be invasive in Australia and the states of North Carolina, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia and Texas. It has been reported in the southern half of the United States as far north as California, Oregon and Virginia. To speak to the level of invasiveness specifically in the panhandle, I don't have a definitive answer. 


"This species may be less invasive in that area or it may be our perception, we don't have research supporting either assertion. Sometimes, we don't see a managed landscape plant taking over their planted areas and assume that is also true for unmanaged, natural systems. It could also be that the plant has not yet adapted to fill a niche in that region, known as the lag period (http://bio.research.ucsc.edu/people/thompson/PublPDFs/092Invasive.pdf) prior to exponential spread. 


"Regardless of the level of invasiveness at this point or in the future, Nandina remains a non-native, introduced species to all of North America that has little to no value to ecosystem function, animals, insects and other critters. All plant parts have been documented to be toxic, which can be fatal if birds and other animals consume a large enough dose. Because of this, I would recommend planting a native species to Texas that has a similar look or growth characteristic. 


"A list of native evergreen or semi-evergreen Nandina alternatives could include:

"Hopefully that helps."  

Gardening tips

If you have a tomato snap off in a spring storm or just want a few extra plants of a favorite variety, clip off a stem with a leaf or two attached and place it in a small pot with soil or stick directly in the ground. Keep it well watered and provide temporary shade until the plant is well rooted.    


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.

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.


Denton: The Denton County Master Gardener Association will hold its annual spring plant sale on the grounds of the Trinity United Methodist Church, 6333 Hobson Lane, Denton, from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 26. This year's inventory includes a wide selection of hard-to-find shrubs, ground covers and bedding plants, plus an expanded selection of herbs, native Texas plants, tough-as-nails perennials and no-fuss roses. Shoppers may choose from many special container plants and pass-along plants from the homes of local Master Gardeners. The Master Gardeners' Garden Shoppe will feature pots, garden art, decorative and handy tools. Experienced Master Gardeners will be on hand to offer landscaping advice, discuss plant care and answer questions about garden challenges. For additional information, call 940-349-2883.


Ft. Worth: Texas A&M Agrilife Extension will host EarthKind Modular Horticulture/Master Gardener classes on 11 Saturdays from April through December. The first module consists of two classes, on April 26 and May 17, and will cover Botany, Horticulture, and Plant Propagation. These classes will be held in Fort Worth at 200 Taylor St., Suite 500 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nine other Earthkind classes will also be held on Saturdays from May to December and will meet in Fort Worth, Grand Prairie, or Grapevine. Steve Chaney, Agrilife Extension Agent, will conduct the courses on a range of topics, including plant pathology, soils, fruits and nuts, vegetables, composting, lawn maintenance, and landscape design. Classes are organized into six modules, with each module consisting of one to three Saturday classes. Anyone interested can take any of the classes at a cost of $45 per module, or $270 for all six modules. Students completing all 11 classes can opt to pursue Master Gardener certification by enrolling in an additional 20 hour module, with an additional $55 fee. Master Gardeners are volunteers who educate the community about home gardening and also improve our quality of life through many gardening projects around the county. Space is limited, so pre-registration is recommended. However, walk-ins will be accepted, contingent upon space. Call 817-884-1944 for more information, or download the application form at http://tarrantmg.org.


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.

Austin: The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will present the first program in an educational series designed to strengthen the technical knowledge of the ranchette operator from 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. April 30 at the Travis County East Service Center, 6011 Blue Bluff Road, Austin. Program registration begins at 8:30 a.m. for this multi-county program developed for new, absentee and small-acreage landowners in Central Texas. Instruction will be provided by AgriLife Extension and U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service personnel. Preregistration is $25 if received by April 28, and lunch is included with the program. The cost is $35 for registration after April 28 and on site. More information and a registration form may be obtained by contacting the AgriLife Extension office in Travis County at 512-854-9610 or in Bastrop County at 512-581-7186, or by emailing Sue Carrasco atSACarrasco@ag.tamu.edu. Send checks payable to "Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service" to either the AgriLife Extension office in Travis County, 1600-B Smith Road, Austin, TX 78721 or the AgriLife Extension office in Bastrop County, 901 Pecan St., Bastrop, TX 78602. Checks only; do not send cash.


Kerrville: Susan Sander, Susan Tracy and July Clay will teach "Native Grasses in the Landscape," 9 a.m.-1 p.m., April 30, at Riverside Nature Center, 150 Francisco Lemos St., Kerrville. Grasses are much more than just lawn cover. Provide your own lunch. $30 for RNC member/$35 non-member. For additional information, visit www.riversidenaturecenter.org or email naturalist@riversidenaturecenter.org



Austin: "Drip Irrigation Systems" will be presented Thursday, May 1, 10 a.m. - noon, at the Travis County East Service Center, 6011 Blue Bluff, Austin. As the heat of summer arrives, your garden will need more water to continue to produce those beautiful flowers and delicious homegrown veggies we all appreciate. Reduce the amount of wasted water in your garden this year with irrigation targeted for your plants' specific needs. Learn how to install an effective water-wise drip irrigation system from Joe Posern, current president of the Travis County Master Gardeners Association. Joe will describe the key factors involved in a system and how to gauge and monitor its efficiency. Register at https://agriliferegister.tamu.edu/TravisCounty or by phone 979-845-2604. $10 fee, $15 at site. When you register, you'll automatically be entered in a drawing for a gift certificate to The Great Outdoors on South Congress. Class is limited to 40 people.


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.


Kerrville: RNC Naturalist Susan Sander will lead "Wicked Family Fun with Bugs," 9 a.m.-10 a.m., May 3, at Riverside Nature Center, 150 Francisco Lemos St., Kerrville. Learn what "bugs" plants by looking for evidence of insects. $10 suggested donation per family ot $5 individual. For additional information, visit www.riversidenaturecenter.org or email naturalist@riversidenaturecenter.org.

Fort Bend: Saturday, May 3, attend Saturday with the Master Gardeners - Presentation on "Drip Irrigation" by Fort Bend Master Gardeners. Improve your understanding of landscape water usage, including calculating costs of excessive water usage and finding sources of irrigation system problems with hands-on demonstrations. Master Gardeners' Demonstration gardens open for tours and Master Gardeners available for tips and advice, 8:30-11 am. Park in front of the Agriculture Center located at 1402 Band Road in Rosenberg and take one of the sidewalks back to the area behind the building. Call 281-341-7068 or visit http://www.fbmg.com/ for more information. 

Austin: Children and families will bloom outside this spring as the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center unveils its new Luci and Ian Family Garden at a public grand opening on Sunday, May 4. The 4.5-acre Family Garden is the only native plant garden developed for families in Central Texas. It is designed to encourage hands-on, creative outdoor play, with sustainable features including giant birds' nests, a creek, caves, and a maze. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is located at 4801 La Crosse Avenue, Austin. To learn more about the Family Garden, built by SpawGlass, visit, http://www.wildflower.org/family_garden.


Kerrville: RNC Naturalist Susan Sander will present "Cinco de Mayo: Nature's Tex-Mex Connection," 6:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m., May 5, at Riverside Nature Center, 150 Francisco Lemos St., Kerrville. Wild things do not recognize political borders and many native plants can be found in Texas and Mexico. $10 suggested donation per family to $5/individual. For more information, email naturalist@riversidenaturecenter.org or visit www.riversidenaturecenter.org.


La Marque: "Rainwater Harvesting" presented by GC Master Gardener Tim Jahnke, 9-11:00 a.m., May 10, at Galveston County AgriLife Extension in Carbide Park, 4102 Main, La Marque. Ph 281-534-3413; email reservations to galv3@wt.net, further details www.aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston. Free.


Rosenberg: "Backyard Basics - Culinary Herbs," sponsored by Fort Bend Master Gardeners will be presented Saturday, May 10. Learn which herbs to grow, how to grow them, and their culinary uses. Dual format: indoor program and outdoor instruction in the Master Gardeners' herb garden. Master Gardeners' Demonstration gardens open for tour. 8:30-11 a.m., Fort Bend County Extension Office, 1402 Band Rd, Rosenberg. $15 ($25 couple). For more information, call 281-342-3034, email brandy.rader@ag.tamu.edu, or visit http://fortbendagrilife.org or www.fbmg.com.


La Marque: Tour three orchards during the "Galveston County Fruit Growers Tour," 9 a.m-noon.. May 17. For further details, contact the Galveston County AgriLife Extension in Carbide Park, 4102 Main, La Marque; Ph 281-534-3413; or email galv@wt.net, or see full details and maps at www.aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston. Free.


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.


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. 




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.


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.




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.

Smithville: The Smithville Community Gardens meets at 5:30 p.m. the second Thursday of each month at the Smithville Recreation Center. 


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.




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.




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.

Texas Gardener digital edition available

Same magazine as our print edition without the paper and at a better price. Fully compatible with your desktop, laptop, iPad or Tablet. Access Texas Gardener anywhere, anytime: at the office, home, vacation, even in the garden. Easy to use with robust features and fully searchable archive as long as your subscription is active. Visit www.TexasGardener.com and click on the digital radio button to subscribe.
Garden success starts here!

Make gardening easier and more enjoyable in 2014. No more keeping it in your head or, worse yet, juggling all those wrinkled, sweat-stained pieces of paper that seem to accumulate and end up lost. It's time to get organized and the perfect way to start that off is with your very own copy of the 2014 Texas Gardener Planning Guide and Calendar. No more guessing when to plant or do different activities. You will find everything you need in one simple but informative guide and calendar. Plus plenty of room to record your own planting dates, rainfall events and other data for future reference.

Here's a sample of what you will find in this information-packed guide:
  • Many, many practical and timely garden tips that are for Texas - not Maine or California!
  • Organic, earth friendly tips to make your garden grow and prosper
  • Lots of space to record your own activities for future reference
  • Planting dates and tips for vegetables, flowers, herbs, fruit and lawns
Order today, while it is fresh on your mind. Don't forget to order copies for your gardening friends and relatives!

Only $12.80 per copy (includes shipping, handling and tax).

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

The Vegetable Book

By Dr. Sam Cotner


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

The Texas Tomato Lover's Handbook

By William D. Adams


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

Order both books, receive a FREE Texas Gardener cap!

($15.82 if ordered separately)


Remit payment to:

TG Books * PO Box 9005 * Waco, TX 76714

or call Toll-Free 1-800-727-9020


American Express, Visa, MasterCard and Discover Accepted

Texas Gardener's Seeds is published weekly. Suntex Communications, Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. You may forward this publication to your friends and colleagues if it is sent in its entirety. No individual part of this newsletter may be reproduced in any manner without prior written permission from the publisher.


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


Publisher: Chris S. Corby ● Editor: Michael Bracken 


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