July 9, 2014

Prairie-scaping: A perfect alternative to lawn


By Kim Eierman, CH, AOLCP 

Founder, EcoBeneficial!



Tired of watering, fertilizing and mowing your lawn? Why not consider planting a native prairie-scape: a prairie or a prairie-like garden? Prairie-scapes are fantastic ecological alternatives to lifeless lawns, what I call "the Green Deserts."


A traditional American lawn is composed of exotic cool-season turf grasses that evolved in Europe. These non-native turf grasses are not adapted to our climates or our ecosystems and they don't support our wildlife species. Additionally, turf grasses are very shallow rooted, unlike our native warm season grasses, and they require tremendous amounts of water to keep them going. The average American lawn uses 20,000 gallons of water a year - not very practical for the hot climates in Texas where water can often be in short supply.


Exotic turf lawns show their incompatibility with our ecosystems in other ways too - by demanding tremendous inputs of fertilizer and labor. Turf grass is like a demanding child - always hungry, always thirsty, incapable of being left alone. It's not happy here, so why do we keep planting it? My advice - keep only the lawn that you really use, and even then, think about some native grass alternatives that emulate shortgrass prairies like Buffalograss (Bouteloua dactyloides), Blue Grama Grass (Bouteloua gracilis) and Curly Mesquite Grass (Hilaria belangeri).


Even better, create a prairie-scape with a much greater degree of species diversity, and one which reflects your region - whether you are in the Gulf Prairie, the South Texas Plains, the Blackland Prairie, etc. To get some help figuring out what plants are native to your area, check out these helpful websites: Texas Parks and Wildlife "Wildscapes by Ecoregion," The Native Prairies Association of Texas, Biota of North America, and The Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center native plant database.


Whether you have a tiny yard or an expansive landscape, you can create a native "prairie" and give your landscape a big ecological boost. Bees, butterflies, other beneficial insects, and many species of birds will appear, seemingly out of nowhere. Many of these creatures are in trouble, including a number of the 800 species of bees that are native to Texas. You have the power to help them out in your own landscape.


Unlike traditional lawns, prairie-scapes are low-maintenance, requiring less labor and fewer costs than lawns. After a prairie-scape has established, you will need to cut it back once a year, and that's it!


Here are some things that you need to know to create a successful prairie-scape:


- Prairies are almost always free of woody plants - no trees or shrubs.


- Most prairie plants require full sun and infertile soil.


- Utilize plants that are native to your eco-region that will support your ecosystem.


- Plant diversity is key. Bio-diverse landscapes have been found to be much more resistant to pets, diseases and extreme weather events resulting from climate change.


- Emulate the "plant communities" in your region when selecting plants - plants which grow together in nature. Butterflyweed (Asclepias tuberosa), a tough xeric plant, is not a good partner for Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis), which likes it moist.


- Native grasses should comprise at least 50 percent of plants in a prairie-scape. In tall grass prairies, up to 80 percent of the plants can be grasses. Native grasses are a critical component in a prairie, creating a structural and ecological foundation both underground and above ground.


- A lawn which you stop mowing is not a prairie, it is only exotic cool-season grass allowed to grow, and will never provide the ecological benefits of a native prairie.


You can create a prairie-scape by using seeds, plant "plugs" or even large containers of plants. Your budget, the size of your landscape and your patience will determine which format you use. While seeded prairie-scapes are reasonably inexpensive, they can take several years to establish. Using large containers of plants can be prohibitively expensive, for all but the smallest landscapes. Plant plugs are a nice compromise - affordable and fairly quick to establish, but they can be hard to find.


Prairie-scapes can be naturalistic or more formally designed. A seeded prairie will be quite random in terms of where plants grow. By using plugs or containers of plants, you can create more of a design with swaths of plants, exactly where you'd like to have them. Do realize that plants will re-seed and move around over time.


Leave your prairie plants standing through winter to provide seeds for birds, cover for overwintering insects, and visual interest for you. Cut the plants back in early spring. If you have a large area, consider cutting back only half of the prairie-scape, or even less, each year to preserve habitat for wildlife species. Alternate the areas that you cut each year.


If you have a lawn, you can have a prairie-scape, and a much healthier ecosystem too!


Kim Eierman is an environmental horticulturist, an Accredited Organic Landcare Professional, a Master Gardener and Master Naturalist. She teaches at New York Botanical Garden, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, The Native Plant Center, et al. Kim speaks across the country on ecological gardening topics and native plants, and blogs on www.ecobeneficial.com. All rights reserved by Kim Eierman.

Fall pecan crop


By Robert Burns

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service


Because of significant damage from an April freeze along with other factors, it's become difficult to estimate the size of the Texas pecan crop, according to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service experts.


But that doesn't stop Monte Nesbitt, AgriLife Extension pecan and fruit specialist, College Station, from "going out on a limb," and predicting a total Texas crop of 50 million to 55 million pounds.


These production levels, along with increased demand by Asian markets, will probably mean continued high prices for retail consumers this fall, especially for shelled pecans, he said.


Yield projections used to be much easier, according to Nesbitt. Pecan production used to vary from heavy one year to light the next year, then back to heavy, with the cycle repeating.


"Prior to 2009, we would look at a heavy year to be about 70 million to 75 million pounds total for the state, and we would expect 30 million pounds to be a weak production year," he said. "The last two or three years, we've vacillated in the 35 million to 45 million pound range, and that's been made up by some good production and some bad production across the state. So we're kind of averaging out to the middle-of-the-range production, which would be 50 million pounds, and that's what I expect this year."


This year's April freeze damaged pecans in the Panhandle, Far West Texas out to Fort Stockton, portions of the Midland/Odessa area and even into Central Texas, Nesbitt said.


"There was some regrowth after that, which included some new flowers, but there were questions of the pollination sequence being a little bit thrown off," he said. "You overlay that with what we've had the last three years, which is drought and other problems in various parts of the state, and we're in a pattern of 'un-synchronicity,' where we don't have a true on-year or off-year."


As for prices, the pecan market "is often a mystery to pecan growers themselves," Nesbitt said. "But we expect very volatile wholesale prices, with prices very strong early in the season and extremely volatile later in the pecan marketing season."


The June estimates for the overall U.S. pecan crop was 256 million pounds, Nesbitt noted.


More information on the current Texas drought and wildfire alerts can be found on the AgriLife Extension Agricultural Drought Task Force website at http://agrilife.tamu.edu/drought/.

Plants respond to leaf vibrations caused by insects' chewing, study finds


University of Missouri


Previous studies have suggested that plant growth can be influenced by sound and that plants respond to wind and touch. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri, in a collaboration that brings together audio and chemical analysis, have determined that plants respond to the sounds that caterpillars make when eating plants and that the plants respond with more defenses.


"Previous research has investigated how plants respond to acoustic energy, including music," said Heidi Appel, senior research scientist in the Division of Plant Sciences in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources and the Bond Life Sciences Center at MU. "However, our work is the first example of how plants respond to an ecologically relevant vibration. We found that feeding vibrations signal changes in the plant cells' metabolism, creating more defensive chemicals that can repel attacks from caterpillars."


Appel collaborated with Rex Cocroft, professor in the Division of Biological Sciences at MU. In the study, caterpillars were placed on Arabidopsis, a small flowering plant related to cabbage and mustard. Using a laser and a tiny piece of reflective material on the leaf of the plant, Cocroft was able to measure the movement of the leaf in response to the chewing caterpillar.


Cocroft and Appel then played back recordings of caterpillar feeding vibrations to one set of plants, but played back only silence to the other set of plants. When caterpillars later fed on both sets of plants, the researchers found that the plants previously exposed to feeding vibrations produced more mustard oils, a chemical that is unappealing to many caterpillars.


"What is remarkable is that the plants exposed to different vibrations, including those made by a gentle wind or different insect sounds that share some acoustic features with caterpillar feeding vibrations did not increase their chemical defenses," Cocroft said. "This indicates that the plants are able to distinguish feeding vibrations from other common sources of environmental vibration."


Appel and Cocroft say future research will focus on how vibrations are sensed by the plants, what features of the complex vibrational signal are important, and how the mechanical vibrations interact with other forms of plant information to generate protective responses to pests.


"Plants have many ways to detect insect attack, but feeding vibrations are likely the fastest way for distant parts of the plant to perceive the attack and begin to increase their defenses," Cocroft said.


"Caterpillars react to this chemical defense by crawling away, so using vibrations to enhance plant defenses could be useful to agriculture," Appel said. "This research also opens the window of plant behavior a little wider, showing that plants have many of the same responses to outside influences that animals do, even though the responses look different."


The study, "Plants respond to leaf vibrations caused by insect herbivore chewing," was funded in part by the National Science Foundation and was published in Oecologia.  

Gardening tips

It is getting close to planting time for fall tomatoes in most areas of the state. Set those transplants out in the evening, mulch and water well. When you set them out, place a board or piece of cardboard on the West side of the plants to protect them from the intense afternoon heat. Once the plants are well established, you can remove the shade device.    


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.

Nacogdoches: SFA Gardens at Stephen F. Austin State University will host the monthly Theresa and Les Reeves Lecture Series at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 10, in the Ina Brundrett Conservation Education Building at the Pineywoods Native Plant Center, 2900 Raguet St. in Nacogdoches. Paul Wilson will present "I Came All the Way from Louisiana to Explain to You What Real Salsa Is All About." Dr. Wilson, Professor Emeritus, was an Ola Cook Holmes Endowed Professor of Horticulture in the LSU College of Agriculture and taught in both the Horticulture and Food Science departments. Dr. Wilson spent most of his career in the Horticulture Department transferring to Food Science shortly before retiring. He obtained his bachelors at Eastern Illinois University and both his masters and Ph.D. from Purdue University. He is currently President of JEMCO Consulting and has consulted with such industry mainstays as Community Coffee, Gerber, Green Giant, and Pillsbury. Bring your taste buds as there will be salsa tasting at the lecture. 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:
The San Antonio Herb Society's July meeting will be held on Thursday, July 10
starting at 6:30 p.m. at the San Antonio Garden Center, 3310 N. New Braunfels Ave., San Antonio.  Members and guests will take turns presenting and sharing their experiences of all things herbal.

Dallas: Garden Explorers Walk: Life in the Pond, Saturday, July 12, at 11 a.m. Get out in the garden on this family friendly walk! Examine why ponds are so important to the local ecosystem. It ends in time to catch the Butterfly Release talk at noon in our conservatory. Included w/admission ($8/adults, $6 for ages 60+, $4 for ages 3-11). Texas Discovery Gardens at Fair Park - 3601 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., Dallas. For additional information, visit http://texasdiscoverygardens.org/events_and_classes.php.


Humble: Texas Rose Rustler meet Saturday, July 12, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.at Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens, 22306 Aldine Westfield Road, Humble. For additional details, visit www.texasroserustlers.com or call Mercer at 281-443-8731.


Rosenberg: Suzanne King, Co-owner of My Chicken Diaries & Supporter of Hens for Houston, will will lead "Backyard Basics - Poultry" ay 9 a.m., July 12, at the Fort Bend County Extension Office, 1402 Band Road, Rosenberg. $15/person, $25/couple. For more information, call 281-342-3034, email brandy.rader@ag.tamu.edu, or visit http://fortbendagrilife.org or www.fbmg.com.


San Antonio: "Growing Palms in San Antonio," a free Earth-Kind seminar, will be presented at Milberger's Nursery, 3920 North Loop 1604, San Antonio, Sat., July 12, 10:30 to Noon. Many varieties of palm trees grow well in the area but it is important to select the varieties that can survive the occasional cold weather. Learn about which palms will work in your landscape and what you can do to growing palms successfully at this Earth-Kind Seminar.Presented by David Rodriguez, Extension Horticulturist for Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. Free and open to the public. David will answer questions about specific gardening issues, so bring a notebook. For more information, call 210-497-3760 or visit http://www.milbergernursery.com/. 


Humble: "Plant Hunters: A World of Exploration," a week-long exploration camp, will introduce children to the world of plants. Monday, July 13-Friday, July 25, 9 a.m.-noon each day, at Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens, 22306 Aldine Westfield Road, Humble. This program is available to children entering the 4th and 5th grades. For additional program and registration  information, call 281-443-8731.


Houston: The next meeting of HUG will be Monday, July 14, 6:30 p.m. at Houston's Multi-Service Center, 1475 W. Gray, Houston. Joe Icet, Founder of the Last Organic Outpost (LOO) community farm, and MaDiana Diaz, will speak about the LOO. Before and after the meeting, Roger Demeny will do a show-and-tell with his environmentally friendly rat bait traps. He may bring one to give away.  


Austin: The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Travis County is offering Forward Farming program sessions in July for small-scale agricultural producers wanting practical information and instruction on for-profit farming, said program coordinators. The Forward Farming program is helpful for both home and small-plot producers, including producers who grow for farmers markets or are involved in sustainable foods efforts or community gardens. Both sessions will be held at the AgriLife Extension office, 1600-B Smith Road in southeast Austin. The sessions will be: July 16: Business Planning and Management. Will address business planning, best management practices, risk and performance-based borrowing, and production value-added assessments. July 23: Sales and Marketing. Will address marketing development, communications and relationship building, packaging, labeling, pricing, supply, delivery, quality assurance, storage, invoicing, insurance, marketing and more. The cost is $50 per session for regular registration and $65 for late and on-site registration. To register, call 979-845-2604 or go to http://agriliferegister.tamu.edu and enter "urban" or "farming" in the search field.

Seabrook: "Sustainable Gardening, Rainwater Harvesting, Composting, and Organic Gardening" will be presented by Mary Karish, owner of The Three Sisters-Your Backyard Gardener at 10 a.m., July 16, at Clear Lake Park Meeting Room, 5001 Nasa Parkway, Seabrook. For additional information, call 291-855-5600.


Seguin: "Rain Gardens and Storm Water Treatments" will be presented by Matt Madrone, Landscape Architecture, at 7 p.m., July 17, at the Justice Center, 211 Court St., Seguin. A 6:30 p.m. social function precedes the meeting. For additional information, call 830-303-3889 or visit www.guadalupecountymastergardeners.org.


Austin: Chris Doggett, of Williamson County Beekeepers Association, will present "Raising and Managing Bees, Saturday, July 19, 10 a.m. - noon, at Zilker Botanical Garden, 2220 Barton Springs Rd., Austin. Doggett will share his knowledge and expertise in raising and managing bees. Learn how to provide a healthy and attractive environment for bees, whether you have a backyard hive, or acres of crops needing pollination. A delightful speaker with hands-on experience, Chris will gladly answer your questions and concerns to take the mystery out of beekeeping. This seminar is free; Zilker park entrance fee is $2 per adult, $1 per child or senior. The seminar is presented by the Travis County Master Gardeners, a volunteer arm of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service in Travis County. For information, visit www.tcmastergardeners.org or call -512-477-8672.


Dallas: "Moths: Tales from the Dark Side" will be presented Saturday, July 19, from 10 a.m.-noon.

Delve beyond butterflies and learn about one of nature's "other pollinators," the moth. Learn about fascinating behaviors, adaptations and diversity in the moth world from Entomologist John Watts. $15; $12 for TDG members. Texas Discovery Gardens at Fair Park - 3601 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., Dallas. For more information, visit http://texasdiscoverygardens.org/events_and_classes.php.


La Marque: "A Homeowners Guide to Weed Control" will be presented by GC Master Gardener Anna Wygrys. Saturday, July 19, 9-11:30 a.m. at Galveston County AgriLife Extension in Carbide Park, 4102 Main, La Marque; Phone 281-534-3413; email reservations to galv3@wt.net, further details www.aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston. Free.


Nacogdoches: Join Cindy Hoyt, proprietor of Pineywoods Herb Farm, for a special Herbal Seminar on July 19 from 9 a.m.-noon in the Ina Brundrett Conservation Education Building, 2900 Raguet Street at the SFA Pineywoods Native Plant Center in Nacogdoches. Participants will learn about creating infusions using bay leaves and also participate in a hands-on lesson of making compound (herbal flavored) butter. Cindy plans to share her culinary treats with participants, so get ready for the sight, smell and taste of fresh herbs at this delicious seminar. Pineywoods Herb Farm is located in Kennard, where Cindy and her husband Richard use organic and sustainable farming practices to raise herbs. They specialize in culinary, medicinal, and landscape herbs and also offer seasonal vegetable plants, Texas native plants, wildflowers, and plants that attract bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. Cost for the seminar is $25 for SFA Garden Members and $30 for non-members. To register for the seminar, or for more information, contact the education office at 936-468-1832 or email erodewald@sfasu.edu .


San Antonio: The 2014 Junior Master Gardener Summer Adult Training designed for teachers, educators, and volunteers in support of Youth Gardening will be held July 22-24 at the San Antonio Botanical Garden, 555 Funston Place, San Antonio. Participants will become affiliated with the Texas Junior Master Gardener (JMG) Program, which engages children in novel, "hands-on" group and individual learning experiences that provide a love of gardening, develop an appreciation for the environment, and cultivate the mind. Participants will learn how to establish a garden, start a Junior Master Gardener group, and obtain the JMG curriculum. CPE Hours are provided for this three day training. Cost of the training is $100. No refunds, after the application is submitted will be accepted. For an application, contact Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Bexar County office at 467-6575, or download an application at: www.bexar-tx.tamu.edu.


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 Gardener's meet on the third Monday of each month at McGregor House, 1628 W Henderson, Cleburne. Meeting times are at 2 p.m. October through April, except December and at 6 p.m. May through September. An educational program precedes the business meeting. For additional information, contact Sue Matern at 817-517-9076.


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.

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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 www.texasgardener.com/newsletters. Back issues beginning October 2013 are available here


Publisher: Chris S. Corby ● Editor: Michael Bracken 


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