June 11, 2014
  

East Texas Hoticultural Field Day set June 26

By Robert Burns

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

 

For the first time since 2009, the 2014 Overton Horticultural Field Day will include vegetable trials in addition to the hundreds of bedding plant trials that are the standard fare, according to Texas A&M AgriLife Research experts.

 

Set this year on June 26 at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Overton, gardeners, professional landscape managers and seed company representatives will learn which landscape plants do well under East Texas heat and sunshine at the field day, said Dr. Brent Pemberton, AgriLife Research ornamental horticulturist.

 

Pemberton said he started the trials in 1994 in response to need by both commercial seed companies as well as for local nursery managers and gardening enthusiasts.

 

There is no cost to attend or for the barbecue lunch. The field day will begin at 8:30 a.m. at the center's North Farm site, about four miles north of the Overton Center on Farm-to-Market Road 3053.

 

The field day will feature more than 500 bedding plants, including everything from geraniums to petunias to verbena to begonias in outdoor plots, said Pemberton.

 

The vegetable trials are a collaborative effort between AgriLife Research and Kilgore College, Kilgore. They are conducted by Dr. Karl Steddom, AgriLife Research plant pathologist who also is an instructor at Kilgore College.

 

Steddom said his vegetable trials include more than 30 tomato varieties, five pepper varieties, cantaloupe, strawberries in low tunnels, a fungicide trial on watermelon and a pruning trial on watermelon.

 

"We also have other vegetables like pole beans, bush beans, cucumbers, squash - things which we're doing for student education," Steddom said.

 

He noted that watermelons are subject to several diseases, including powdery mildew, downy mildew and gummy stem blight, all of which can be devastating for both commercial growers and home gardeners.

 

The bedding plant tour will continue at the North Farm, as will the vegetable tour, until about 10:30 a.m., then both tours will move to the Overton center's headquarters building at about 10:30 a.m. Lunch will be served at about 11:45 a.m.

 

The program will move inside after lunch with presentations by Pemberton and Dallas Arboretum representative Jenny Wegley, who will discuss the 2014 California Spring Showcase, also known as Pack Trials, as well as top performers for 2013.

 

Indoor presentations will begin at 1 p.m., and the program will conclude by 3:15 p.m. There also will be indoor presentations on vegetables by Steddom and Texas AgriLife horticulturists from College Station.

 

Participants are welcome to start the day at the Kilgore College site, then move to the bedding plant trials, or vice-versa, Steddom and Pemberton said. Or they may tour only one of the sites if they wish, and still have lunch at the Overton Center and attend the indoor presentations.
"The new Cora Cascade vinca will be on display as well as a large number of trailing petunias," Pemberton noted.

 

Newer additions will include Napier grasses, almost all of the commercially available varieties of seed-grown pentas and a large number of new New Guinea impatiens entries, he said.

 

New Guinea impatiens have received a lot of attention due to the fact that they are resistant to downy mildew, he said, and also noted the impatiens are great plants for shade gardens.

 

"Pentas are a great plant for full sun in our heat and humidity that flowers continuously and is attractive to butterflies," Pemberton said. "This will be a follow-up trial from last year, and will be a comprehensive trial of mainly seed-grown varieties of this great plant."

 

Also included this year will be more Napier grasses, which are purple- leaved ornamental plants, he said. The emphasis will be on some of the newer tall varieties that are just coming to market.

 

"I think the Napier grasses will be really interesting in the future for us," he said. "Last year, we promoted Princess Caroline Napier grass as a Texas Superstar plant and in the future we would like to look at the really tall ones."

 

There is also a huge selection of geraniums this year. New interspecific hybrids that have better heat tolerance are becoming widely available now and many are in the trials.

 

There will be an expansion of the tests of verbena from 2012 and 2013.

 

"Verbenas have been around for awhile, but the new varieties are making the bedding plant attractive to gardeners again," Pemberton said. "Several previous varieties did very well both years, and we're bringing them back for an encore, along with many new varieties."

 

The bedding plant industry has had a $500 million annual economic impact on the region for at least a decade, and though not recession proof, it hasn't experienced the downturn in consumer spending that other businesses have in the last couple of years, Pemberton said.

 

The center and the North Farm site are north of downtown Overton on Farm-to-Market Road 3053. For driving directions, go to http://flowers.tamu.edu/field-day/ or call 903-834-6191.

 

The Kilgore College Demonstration Farm can be reached from downtown Overton by going north 2 miles on Highway 135.

Gardening tips

"Cultivate a close friendship with your local nurseryperson," writes Ellen Atkins. "When you are on a first-name basis, he/she knows your skills and preferences and will work to find the specific variety for which you are looking. Occasionally, you can help advertise a special event for the business by telling your friends and local garden club. This relationship can have far-reaching benefits for both of you."

 

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.
JUNE

 

Nacogdoches: SFA Gardens at Stephen F. Austin State University will host the mconthly Theresa and Les Reeves Lecture Series at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 12, in the Ina Brundrett Conservation Education Building at the Pineywoods Native Plant Center, 2900 Raguet St. in Nacogdoches. Former president of The Native Plant Society of Texas, Peter Loos, will present "Native Plants That Work for You."Loos has a degree in horticulture from SFA and is a resident of Chireno. He owns Ecovirons which specializes in hard to find native plants, plant growing services, biological and botanical services, native plant seeds, landscape design, wetland construction and maintenance services, and land management services. The Theresa and Les Reeves Lecture Series is 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., with continual shuttle service to the Ina Brundrett Conservation Education Building. For more information, call 936-468-1832 or email grantdamon@sfasu.edu.  

 

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 www.sanantonioherbs.org.

 

Denton: The 2014 Denton County Fruit, Vegetable, Herb and Flower Show will be held Saturday morning, June 14 at the Denton County Historical Park, located at Carroll Boulevard and Mulberry Street in Denton. For more information, contact the Denton County Master Gardener Help Desk at 940-349-2892 or visit www.dcmga.com.

 

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 https://hcmga.tamu.edu/Public/pubp2.aspx.

 

Cleburne: Junior Master Gardener Wildlife Gardener Certification Summer Camp will be held Monday June 23 though Friday June 27, 9 a.m.- noon, and the Chisholm Trail Outdoor Museum, 101 Chisholm Trail Dr, Cleburne. Learn backyard habitat gardening basics by exploring, Birds, Amphibians/Snakes, Mammals/Bats & Insects/Monarchs. Classes will be made up of hands-on projects, class discussion & take home crafts. Friday the class will put everything they have learned about gardening for wildlife into practice by creating and planting a butterfly garden on site. Those who attend all 5 classes will receive JMG Wildlife Gardener Certification. Classes are geared for kids 7-11 and space is limited, If space is available, children under 7 may attend with an adult & those older than 11 but younger than 15 may attend with approval. Take all 5 classes and receive a JMG Wildlife Gardener Certification for $45.00 or take individual classes for $10.00 per class. For more information contact Pat Kriener, 817-793-4625 or wildwoodc@yahoo.com

 

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 www.hcp4.net/mercer.

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.

 

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.

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.

 

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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