May 21, 2014

Purple Flash named Texas Superstar


By Robert Burns

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service


With its nearly black leaves overlaid with dark purple and white swirls, the ornamental pepper Purple Flash - a new Texas Superstar plant - can be used in landscapes as a backup or a stand-alone bedding plant, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Research horticulturist.


"Though it has bright colors, the overall effect is dark, so it's more often used as a foliage plant," said Dr. Brent Pemberton, AgriLife Research ornamental horticulturist and chair of the Texas Superstar executive board, Overton. "The red peppers come later in the season, and they're showy in themselves, but Purple Flash is still used in flower borders or mass plantings."


Purple Flash, Capsicum annuum, is fast growing, Pemberton noted, but it rarely gets taller than 12 to 15 inches and can also be used "very effectively" in mixed containers.


"It's a nice, semi-compact plant," he said. 


All Texas Superstar plants undergo extensive tests throughout the state by AgriLife Research and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service horticulturists, Pemberton said.


To be designated a Texas Superstar, a plant must perform well for consumers and commercial growers throughout Texas, Pemberton said. Superstars must also be easy to propagate, which ensures the plants are not only widely available throughout Texas but are also reasonably priced.


In addition to disease resistance, summer plants such as Purple Flash must tolerate Texas heat well, and Purple Flash has proven itself exceptional in this regard too, Pemberton said.


In fact, Purple Flash doesn't simply tolerate heat well; it thrives in it, said Wayne Pianta, PanAmerican Seeds representative, Fort Worth. PanAmerican released Purple Flash along with a number of other ornamental peppers in 2008.


"It's like a lot of the ornamental peppers," Pianta said. "It seems to actually do better in the heat. It loves the sun and heat of Texas landscapes."


With its variegations of color, Purple Flash looks great with some of the other PanAmerican flowering plants that have done well in Texas trials, such as the East Texas bedding plant trials, which are conducted by Pemberton, Pianta said.


"Because Purple Flash provides its landscape color from its foliage, you don't have to wait for it to bloom," Pianta said. "This feature also makes it the perfect companion to flowering plants that have been previous Texas Superstar winners like Angelonia Serena."


Though it likes sun and heat, Purple Flash will also tolerate partial shade. It won't develop as deep variegations of black and white with purple flashes in partial shade, but it's still a beautiful plant, Pianta said.


In Texas, Purple Flash can be planted in the spring, late spring - or even into the summer - as long as it is watered regularly during establishment, Pemberton said. It prefers full sun but can tolerate partial shade. It is also tolerant of a wide variety of soils and potting mixes as long as they are well drained. With a little care, it should last through hot Texas summers and into the fall.

Urban gardeners may be unaware how to best manage contaminants in soil


Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future


Consuming foods grown in urban gardens may offer a variety of health benefits, but a lack of knowledge about the soil used for planting could pose a health threat for both consumers and gardeners. In a new study from the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future (CLF), researchers identified a range of factors and challenges related to the perceived risk of soil contamination among urban community gardeners and found a need for clear and concise information on how best to prevent and manage soil contamination. The results are featured online in PLOS ONE.


"While the benefits are far-reaching, gardening in urban settings can also create opportunities for exposure to contaminants such as heavy metals, petroleum products, and asbestos, which may be present in urban soils," said Keeve Nachman, Ph.D., senior author of the study and director of the Food Production and Public Health Program with CLF. "Our study suggests gardeners generally recognize the importance of knowing a garden site's prior uses, but they may lack the information and expertise to determine accurately the prior use of their garden site and potential contaminants in the soil. They may also have misperceptions or gaps in knowledge about how best to minimize their risk of exposure to contaminants that may be in urban soil."


According to CLF researchers, urban soils are often close to pollution sources, such as industrial areas and heavily trafficked roads. As a result, many soil contaminants have been found at higher concentrations in urban centers.


To characterize urban community gardeners' knowledge and perceptions of soil contamination risks and reducing exposure, researchers conducted surveys among urban community gardeners and semi-structured interviews with key informants in the gardening community in Baltimore, Maryland. Informants included individuals whose job function or organizational affiliation makes them knowledgeable about Baltimore City community gardening and soil contamination.


"People may come into contact with these contaminants if they work or play in contaminated soil, or eat food that was grown in it. In some cases, exposure to soil contaminants can increase disease risks, especially for young children," said Brent Kim, MHS, lead author of the paper and a program officer with CLF. "Given the health, social, environmental and economic benefits associated with participating in and supporting urban green spaces, it is critical to protect the viability of urban community gardens while also ensuring a safe gardening environment."


For more information, including resources for urban farmers and gardeners, please visit the Center for a Livable Future's Urban Soil Safety page.


"Urban Community Gardeners' Knowledge and Perceptions of Soil Contaminant Risks" was written by, Brent Kim, Melissa Poulsen, Jared Margulies, Katie Dix, Anne Palmer and Keeve Nachman.


The research was funded in part by Johns Hopkins Urban Health Institute and the GRACE Communications Foundation. The research was conducted in partnership with the Community Greening Resource Network.

5 tips for gardening with allergies


Ask anybody with allergies how they feel about springtime and inevitably they'll talk about red-eyes, itchiness, runny noses and sneezing ... lots of sneezing. But what if you love gardening? Can you enjoy the outdoors, or do you just give up on having a beautiful garden?


Dr. Clifford Bassett, M.D., Medical Director of Allergy and Asthma Care of New York, gives advice on how to minimize the effects of the pollen season while tending to your garden:


Get yourself tested. The first step toward reducing allergy-related symptoms while gardening is to identify the plants and flowers that can trigger your discomfort. An allergist will highlight which allergy-causing plants are problematic and develop an individually tailored prevention and management for your seasonal allergies after a series of diagnostic allergy skin tests.


Know your plants. By knowing which plants are the right plants for you, you can plan ahead and modify your gardening schedule. This involves having the knowledge regarding peak periods throughout the day (for some sufferers sneezing may be worse in the morning, while for others may be more affected in the afternoon and evening).


Stay informed. Learn the pollen count in your town or city. Pollen counts from the previous day are available for major cities via the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) as well as in local newspapers and with the daily weather reports on radio and TV.


Don't blame the pretty plants. Many people, especially those who haven't been tested, often blame plants with bright, fragrant flowers for their allergies. But the truth is that the plants that often cause allergies are those whose pollen is windborne and have nondescript flowers.


The Battle of the Sexes (of Plants). Modern landscapes are heavily loaded with predominantly male-only trees and shrubs, favored because they produce fewer berries and twigs. Male plants produce the pollen bad guys that cause seasonal sniffling and itchiness, not female plants! A relatively new numerical scale, the Ogren Plant Allergy Scale or OPALS, can help to predict the likelihood of each plant's potential to cause allergy.

The compost heap
Painting cuts, the second coat

To clear the air on this subject, we don't recommend using pruning paint when making pruning cuts on trees with one exception: it should be used on cuts made to live oak and red oak trees to help prevent the spread of Oak Wilt. The best time to prune these two susceptible oaks is during the dead of winter (December, January and February). However, sometimes the wind blows and branches break. Cut those damaged limbs off promptly no matter what the season. Once again, apply pruning paint only to live oak and red oak trees. - Chris S. Corby, publisher
Gardening tips


If you are anxious for shade and want to speed the growth of young trees, apply a few handfuls of turf fertilizer from the base of the tree out to the drip line several times during the growing season. Maintaining soil moisture and applying a layer of organic mulch around the base of the tree will also help the tree grow healthy and faster.    

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.


Glen Rose/Ft. Worth: Join the Prairie Rose Chapter of the NPSOT for a field trip to the Botanical Research Institute of Texas on Thursday, May 22. Learn about BRIT's history, present and future, as we talk about our research programs, herbarium, libraries, educational programs, and BRIT's sustainable building. BRIT is green from the ground up; learn how and why as you take this tour of BRIT's amazing new LEED platinum home. Led by a BRIT-trained Ambassador. This tour is FREE! You may arrive directly at BRIT, 1700 University Drive, Fort Worth, at 1:30 p.m. or for those interested in carpooling and incorporating a visit to the Ft. Worth Botanical Gardens, we will meet at 10:30 in Glen Rose. We can visit the Gardens, grab lunch in time to make the tour at 1:30 at BRIT. If interested in carpooling, please RSVP to Karen Richardson at 254-897-1960.


Kerrville: Cathy Downs, HC Master Naturalist will present "Gardening for Monarchs," 9 a.m.-10:30 a.m., May 24, at Riverside Nature Center, 150 Francisco Lemos St., Kerrville. The Native Plant Society of Texas is working with Monarch Watch to encourage gardeners to provide a Monarch Waystation in their garden. Learn how to grow milkweeds to ensure that there is a next generation. $15 for RNC member/ $20 non-member. For more information, visit


San Antonio: "Fallowing the Garden Work(ing)shop" will be presented 9 a.m.-noon, May 24, at the East Side Neighborhood Garden, 1719 Center St., San Antonio. Topics inlcude sheet mulching, solarization, cover crops, and ways to maintain perennial crops and herbs through the summer. Cost: $10. For more information and to register, visit


San Antonio: The 17th Annual Festival of Flowers will be held Saturday, May 24. Indoor garden event features retail and non-profit vendors offering plants, landscape materials and supplies, and garden accessories. Seminars on "Vegetable Gardening with Deer," "Growing Olive Trees," "Gardening Style SA-200 Square Feet at a Time," and "Indoor Gardening Décor" and book signing with co-author Jenny Peterson. Afternoon Organic Roundtable hosted by Bob Webster of Shades of Green and KTSA Radio; panelists include John Dromgoole of the Natural Gardener Austin and KLBJ Radio; Andy Chidester of Lady Bug Brand Natural Products; Stuart Franke of Medina Agriculture Products; Bruce Deuhley of KTSA "Organic Matters"; and Noel Garcia of Texas Plant and Soil Lab. The City-Wide Plant Exchange is the largest in the state. Enter plants in the Alamo Area Horticulture Show. San Antonio Daylily Society presents its 2014 Daylily Show and Sale. Cooking demonstrations in the Herb Kitchen. Floral Design challenge and how-to presentations. Ask the Expert Booth and Gardening Radio Shows. 9 a.m.-5 p.m., San Antonio Shrine (Alzafar) Auditorium, 901 N. Loop 1604 West, San Antonio. Admission $6 adults, children under 10 free. Free parking. Co-hosted by San Antonio Water System. For more information, visit   


Bryan: Dr. Paul Nester, AgriLife Extension Program Specialist-Integrated Pest Management, will discuss integrated pest management at the May 27 meeting of the Brazos County Master Gardeners, 7 p.m.-8 p.m., in room 102 of  The Brazos Center, 3232 Briarcrest Dr., Bryan. For additional information, visit or call 979-823-0129.  


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 or



La Marque: Galveston County Master Gardener Loretta Osteen will present "The Fabulous Fragrant Frangipani (Plumeria)," a program covering the history and culture of the plant, 6:30-8:30 p.m., June 3, at the Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office in Carbide Park, 4102 Main St. (FM 519), La Marque. To register or for more information, call 281-534-3413, ext. 12, or email 


Glen Rose: Paul Dowlearn, author of The Lazy Man's Garden: Maximum Return, Minimum Input, Owner of Wichita Valley Nursery, Wichita Falls, and member of Red River Chapter, NPSOT, will be the speaker at the June 6 meeting of the Prairie Rose Chapter of NPSOT. As his book and career in landscaping emphasize, Dowlearn will talk on xeriscaping and adjusting attitudes to practical gardening. The 6:30 p.m. meeting will be held at the Somervell County Citizen Center, 205 SW Barnard, Glen Rose.


Austin: The Garden Club of Austin's annual show & plant sale will be held June 7 and 8 at Zilker Park Botanical Gardens, 2220 Barton Springs Rd., Austin. The juried plant, vegetable & flower show is open to all amateur gardeners. Show contest plants will be accepted Friday, June 5, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and on Saturday, June 7, from 8 a.m. until 9:30 a.m. Plant sale hours will be Saturday from 9 until 5 and Sunday from 10 until 5. Enter your favorite plant or vegetable or buy some beautiful, very well priced items at the plant sale. More information is available at Click on events and scroll down to the garden show. 


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; 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 For more information visit


Dallas: City of Dallas Water Utilities, City of Dallas Stormwater Management, City of Dallas Park & Recreation, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, and Dallas County Master Gardeners are teaming up to demonstrate the beauty of Water-Wise and EarthKind gardening with the 20th annual Water-Wise Landscape Tour. Dallas County Master Gardeners will be conducting free 30-minute talks on Water-Wise gardening every hour on the hour at each of the tour headquarters. Dallas County Master Gardener volunteers will also be assisting homeowners and helping answer questions about the plants and landscapes on the tour. The first 100 visitors at each of the three tour headquarters, June 7, will receive a free hose spray nozzle. For more information, visit or call the Water Conservation Hotline at 214-670-3155 Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Maps for the self-driving tour are available at and at all tour headquarters. Tour Headquarters: Central: White Rock Pump Station - 2900 White Rock Rd., Dallas; North: Texas A&M AgriLife Research & Extension Center - 17360 Coit Rd., Dallas; South: Lake Cliff Park - E. Colorado Blvd. at N. Zang Blvd., Dallas.  


Rosenberg: Fort Bend Master Gardeners will present "Native Plants" at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 7, at Agriculture Center, 1402 Band Road, Rosenberg. The presentation will increase understanding of the appeal and value of plants native to Texas. Texas Native Garden and other demonstration gardens open for tours and Master Gardeners available for tips and advice from 9 a.m.-11 a.m. Call 281-341-7068 or visit for more information.  

Marion: Matt Turner, author of "Remarkable Plants of Texas," will introduce some of Texas's most amazing plants, their little-known histories, and their medicinal, cultural and culinary uses during his presentation at 7 p.m., Tuesday, June 10, at St John's Lutheran Church, FM 465, Marion. Meetings are open to the public. Visitors are welcome. There is a plant/seed exchange and greeting at 6:30 p.m. followed by the program. For more information, directions to St John's Lutheran Church, or membership applications, visit  

Seabrook: "Herbs - Garden to Table" will be presented at 6:30 p.m., June 10, at Clear Lake Park Meeting Room, 5001 Nasa Parkway, Seabrook. For additional information, visit


Humble: Mark Klym, Texas Parks & Wildlife program coordinator, will present "Hummingbirds - Myth, Magic, and Mystery" noon-2 p.m., Wednesday, June 11, at Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens, 22306 Aldine Westefield Road, Humble. For additional information, call 281-443-8731 or visit


San Antonio: Christine Arredondo, owner and manager of San Antonio Gourmet Olive Oils, will speak at the San Antonio Herb Society's meeting June 12. The meeting, running 6:30-8:30 p.m., will be held at the San Antonio Garden Center, 3310 N. New Braunfels, San Antonio. For additional information, visit  


Seabrook: Judy Jones, part-owner of Enchanted Gardens, will present "Fairy Gardens and Terrariums" at 10 a.m., June 18, at Clear Lake Park Meeting Room, 5001 Nasa Parkway, Seabrook. For additional information, visit


Humble: Children entering the 4th and 5th grades can jump into the fascinating world of plants during summer camp at Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens. Participants may choose from two week-long sessions: Monday, June 23 through Friday, June 27 or Monday, July 21 through Friday, July 25 from 9 a.m. to noon each day. Registration is now open, but seating is limited! Call 281-443-8731 or visit Mercer to register and find out more. An $80 enrollment fee is due at the time of registration. Plant hunters will learn about the diverse plants of the world and the ecosystems in which they are found as they engage in a variety of outdoor activities to learn about the natural world. Discover the amazing abilities of plants that allow them to thrive in virtually every habitat on earth, including grasslands, wetlands, the tropics, temperate forests, and the human environment. Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens is located one mile north of FM 1960 at 22306 Aldine Westfield Road, Humble. For additional information, contact Mercer at 281-443-8731 or online at

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, call 972-932-9069 or email to

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
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


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 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


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 or contact


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


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:


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


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 and


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


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 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

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


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




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


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


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 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


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


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


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


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 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


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




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


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 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


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


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 or email


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


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


Dallas: The Dallas County Master Gardeners meet the fourth Thursday of each month at 11:30 a.m. For location and program information, visit 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


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 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.

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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

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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

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Remit payment to:

TG Books * PO Box 9005 * Waco, TX 76714

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


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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 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