September 24, 2014
AgriLife Research putting designer potatoes on the menu to boost consumption


By Kay Ledbetter

Texas AgriLife Extension Service


A decline in overall potato consumption has Texas A&M AgriLife Research breeders working on "designer" spuds that meet the time constraints and unique tastes of a younger generation.


Dr. Creighton Miller, AgriLife Research potato breeder from College Station, recently conducted the Texas A&M Potato Breeding and Variety Development Program field day at the farm of cooperator Bruce Barrett south of Springlake.


"Potatoes are an important delivery system for nutrients to humans," Miller said. "The average consumption in the U.S. is 113 pounds per year per person. But overall potato consumption in the U.S. has generally declined somewhat.


"So what we are doing now is developing unique varieties that have a tendency to appeal to the younger set with high income who are willing to try something different," he said. "This has contributed to an increase in consumption of these types over the russets, which are still the standard."


Miller said the objective of the Texas A&M potato breeding program is to develop improved varieties adapted specifically to Texas environmental conditions.


"However, some of our varieties are widely adapted across the U.S.," he said. "Three of them collectively represent the fifth-largest number of acres certified for seed production in the U.S., so we've released some successful varieties and we are developing more all the time."


The Texas Potato Variety Development Program currently has 412 entries at the Springlake trials and 927 entries at the Dalhart trials. Additionally, the 2014 seedling selection trials at both Springlake and Dalhart include 115,408 seedlings from 634 families or crosses.


One selected Best of Trial at Springlake this year is BTX2332-IR, which is a round red potato. And, he said, the traditional russet potatoes will always be a mainstay, as they are used primarily for baking and French fries. Also in the trial is the standard white skinned variety with white flesh used for chipping purposes.


"We are always interested in new and improved red varieties and russet varieties, but there are some other types that have become more interesting lately," Miller said.


One type is a small potato, he said, adding that within the trials he is looking for varieties with a heavy set of small potatoes.


"One of the reasons for the popularity of the smaller potato is with both spouses working, the amount of time required to prepare potatoes becomes an issue with some people," Miller said. "With the small potatoes, they can be microwaved very fast and be on the table in a hurry."


Other varieties catching more attention are red potatoes with yellow and white flesh and the purple skinned potatoes with yellow flesh, he said.


The tubers with yellow flesh contain compounds that are antioxidants, and that appeals to the health-conscious consumer, Miller said.


"So in addition to having the unique appearance, they are healthier potatoes to eat," he said.


And this year, Miller also has specialty potatoes with splashes of red and yellow on the skin that have a yellow flesh.


"These are referred to as gourmet potatoes and that niche is receiving more emphasis lately," he said. "These are generally boiled and add unique color to the plate when served."


But Miller was quick to say the russet potato is still the primary emphasis of the program, and a new russet being grown by the Barrett's will soon be released for commercial production.


"It promises to be very successful," he said.  

Funding available to private landowners for longleaf pine conservation


Texas A&M Forest Service


Texas A&M Forest Service (TFS), on behalf of the Texas Longleaf Pine Implementation Team, announced on September 15 that funding is now available to private landowners to conserve and increase the total acreage of longleaf pine within Texas.


This funding, provided by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and International Paper (NYSE: IP), through the Forestland Stewards Initiative, a partnership of NFWF and International Paper, was granted to conserve and restore southern forestlands representing some of America's most iconic natural areas.


The Texas Longleaf Pine Implementation Team, including TFS and partner organizations, will restore and enhance approximately 5,000 acres of existing longleaf along the Central to Southeast Texas corridor. The project aims to educate private landowners on longleaf ecology and related resources and provide targeted technical assistance to engage landowners in available longleaf stewardship programs.


The longleaf pine ecosystem provides critical habitat for endangered wildlife and economic opportunities for local communities. This native ecosystem, once spanning over 92 million acres across the southern United States, now covers approximately 4.3 million acres. 


"The contributions made by IP and NFWF through the Forestland Stewards Initiative will go a long way to restoring one of the most critical and diverse forest ecosystems within the state of Texas," Hughes Simpson, project manager for the Texas longleaf conservation grant, said. "The forest sector contributes $27 billion dollars to the Texas economy annually. This project will add to that contribution, while providing critical habitat to endangered plant and animal species in Texas, resulting in healthy, working forests."


The $650,000 in grants to support forestland restoration and working forests throughout the Piney Woods on the Louisiana-Texas border will be shared with the National Wild Turkey Federation in Louisiana.


Landowners interested in restoring and enhancing longleaf pine on their property can apply for financial assistance at or by contacting TFS at 979-458-6650 or their local TFS office. Funding is currently available to assist with costs associated with site preparation, tree planting, prescribed burning and forest stand improvement activities in Angelina, Jasper, Newton, Sabine and Tyler counties.  

Gardening tips

Although you can start cole crops such as cabbage, collards and broccoli from seed, you are better off using transplants. That way you will get a head-start ahead of cold weather. Be sure to water new transplants in with a water-soluble plant food or fish emulsion/seaweed mix. Side-dress them every couple of weeks with the same solution. With cole crops, you want to grow a big plant fast for a better harvest later on.   


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.


Belton: The Tonkawa Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas will hold their fall plant sale in conjunction with the Texas Renewable Energy Roundup & Sustainable Living Expo Sept. 26-28 at the Belton Expo Center, 301 Texas 121 Loop, Belton. Besides Native Plants there will be activities for children and many exhibits that feature Energy related products and speakers throughout the three days. For additional information visit or


Angleton: The Brazoria County Master Gardeners will hold their Fall Plant Sale on Sat., Sept 27.  This Sale will feature Perennials, Shrubs, Natives & Vegetables.  The sale is from 8 a.m.-noon at the Brazoria Environmental Education Station, Hospital Dr. & CR 171, Angleton. For details, call 979-864-1558 X 110 or visit


Sugar Land: The 16th Annual Sugar Land Garden Club Plant Sale has grown to a full scale Fall Festival this year! The event will be held Saturday, September 27 at a new, larger location in the historical Imperial Sugar Land area: 702 Burney Rd @ St. Theresa Blvd., KC Hall and Grounds. 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The event will kick-off a Children's School Garden Competition, The Great Grow, featuring a $500 grand prize for the winning school. Visitors will also find an array of children's activities including a planting station and craft center, learn how to grow a butterfly garden, purchase Sugar Land honey and learn about bee keeping, and shop with visit the many craft and food vendors. The event will still offer your favorite sought-after, unique and hard-to-find plants that are beautifully suited to gardens in the Sugar Land/Houston area, including more than 150 varieties of proven, hardy selections from Treesearch Farms. Another highlight of the Fall Festival will include The Brookwood Community Plant Sale outdoor tent sponsored by Gallery Furniture. The Brookwood Community, "Where Adults with Special Needs Contribute to the World" will offer their beautiful fall color hanging baskets, variety pots and fall color seasonal plants. Credit Cards are accepted.    



San Antonio: San Antonio Garden Center Clubs will meet at 10 a.m., Wednesday, Oct. 1, at 3310 N. New Braunfels @ Funston. The program will feature KSAT 12 television meteorologist Katie Vossler, who will share some of her weather-news experiences and explore the controversy over today's "hot" weather topics: global warming, climate change, extreme drought, etc. Coffee at 9:30; meetings are free and open to the public. For more information, visit or call 210-824-9981. 


Houston: The Garden Club of Houston's 77nd-annual Bulb and Plant Mart takes place October 2-4 at St. John the Divine Church, 2450 River Oaks Road, Houston. In addition to being a shopping mecca for local gardeners, the Mart will feature exhibts such as a live butterfly tent and a "conservation" booth featuring native and drought-tolerant plants. For additional information, visit


New Braunfels: Comal Garden Club will have their 2nd annual creating seed balls to help with erosion control in beautiful, historical Landa Park on October 2 Members are to meetat Pavilion #16 in Landa Park, New Braunfels, at 9:30 a.m. and wear clothes or aprons to work with dirt and seeds. For more information, contact Cecelia Lussen at 830-837-5262.


Dallas: An Earth-Kind Landscape Design and Management School will be held Oct. 3-5 in Building E of the Texas A&M Research and Extension Center, 17360 Coit Road, Dallas. Extended, personalized design consultations will be given a few weeks after the program. Dr. Steve George, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service landscape specialist and creator of the Earth-Kind Environmental Landscape Management System, will serve as lead instructor in addition to conducting the personalized post-program design consultations. Class times for the program will be from 6-9:30 p.m. Oct. 3, from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Oct. 4 and from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Oct. 5. No prior plant, design or landscape management knowledge is needed, and those attending the school will learn how to:Design, plant, and manage a beautiful, low-maintenance, environmentally responsible landscape; Work with Mother Nature to protect homes and communities; and reduce irrigation use in landscape beds by 70 percent, and totally eliminate fertilizers and harsh pesticides on the plants, as well as reduce the amount of pruning needed. Topics covered during the program will include: basic landscape design principles; front yard versus backyard landscaping; creating "destination gardens" within a larger landscape; landscaping with low-maintenance Earth-Kind roses; selecting the right landscape plants and turf grass; choosing and working with a retail nursery; Earth-Kind environmental soil-management techniques; selecting high-quality compost; and Earth-Kind irrigation techniques and methods for coping with heat and drought. The school is $295 per household and includes all class materials, lecture programming, outdoor laboratory, field trip and extended design consultation. For more information and to get a participant contact information sheet for enrollment, please contact Kimberly Betancourt at 972-952-9211 or Enrollment will be closed when class size limit is reached or at 5 p.m. on Oct. 2, whichever comes first.


Denton: "Texas Gardening - You can do it!" is the theme of the Denton County Master Gardener Association's Fall Garden Festival from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 4, in the Family Life Center at Trietsch Memorial UMC, 6101 Morriss Road, Flower Mound. The annual even provides free entertainment and educational activities for the entire family. Master Gardener booths at the Festival cover topics such as propagation, lawn care, designing a water-wise landscape, herb growing, worm composting and a dozen other topics. Seminars on gardening will be offered in classroom areas, including "Perennial Gardening" by Marilyn Simmons and "Transitioning from Sprinkler to Drip" by Patrick Dickinson. Live entertainment will be provided by the Flower Mound Community Orchestra, Voices of Flower Mound, Studio B Performing Arts Center, Texas Harmony Chorus (Sweet Adelines) and Dallas Tap Dazzlers. Vendors will offer hand-crafted items and information about maintaining a sustainable environment. More information is available on the Master Gardener website:


Glen Rose: The Prairie Rose Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas will host a presentation by the renown BatWorld Sanctuary in Mineral Wells in conjunction with the Fall Native Plant Sale at historic Barnard's Mill, 307 SW Barnanrd, Glen Rose. The Saturday, October 4, event begins at 10 a.m. and will end around 3 p.m. 


Humble: Autumn Plant Sale and Market will be held Saturday, October 4, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens, 22306 Aldine Westfield Road, Humble. Enjoy a day of plants, shopping, and food among the pine trees of Mercer's West Arboretum. Browse the selection of exciting plants offered by The Mercer Society and other vendors. This year Mercer is proud to feature the Houston Orchid Society, which will offer special growing workshops, orchid displays, and more! For more information, call 281-443-8731.  


Jasper: Master Gardener plant sale Oct. 4, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Arboretum at 225 E. Water Street, Jasper. Sale is held in conjunction with the Butterfly Festival, and the plant sale will include plenty of milkweed as well as native plants and butterfly attractors. Free children's activities, butterfly migration talks and two butterfly releases. For a schedule of activities, visit or call 409-384-3721.


Lake Jackson: Sat., Oct 4: "Lake Jackson Gardening Seminar," Plant Propagation, Fall Vegetable Gardening, Rain Water Harvesting, Patio Gardening, 8 a.m.-noon, Lake Jackson Library, 250 Circle Way, Lake Jackson. Free. Brazoria County Master Gardeners. Details: John 713-818-8806.


La Marque: "Easy Butterfly Gardening" will be presented by GC Master Gardener Phyllis Koenig, 9-11:00 a.m. October 4 at Galveston County AgriLife Extension in Carbide Park, 4102 Main, La Marque; 281-534-3413; email reservations to, further details Free.


La Marque: "Herbs in the Garden" will be presented by GC Master Gardener Cindy Croft, 1-3:00 p.m. October 4 at Galveston County AgriLife Extension in Carbide Park, 4102 Main, La Marque; 281-534-3413; email reservation to, further details Free.


Nacogdoches: The Flora Garden Club of Nacogdoches will present a Fall Fair, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., October 4, at the historic Gruebel-Carlson home built in 1897, 310 N. Mound St. Tours of the home will be available and handmade items will be for sale on the huge porch. For additional information, contact Dorothy Morse at of Sandy O'Brien at 936-559-2573.


Nacogdoches: SFA Gardens at Stephen F. Austin State University will host its annual Fabulous Fall Festival Plant Sale from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 4, at the SFA Pineywoods Native Plant Center, 2900 Raguet St. in historic Nacogdoches. A wide variety of hard-to-find, "Texas tough" plants will be available, including Texas natives, heirlooms, tropicals, perennials, shrubs, trees, and exclusive Greg Grant and SFA introductions. Most of the plants are extensively trialed in the gardens before being offered to the public, and most are produced by the SFA Gardens staff and volunteers.This popular event benefits the SFA Mast Arboretum, Pineywoods Native Plant Center, Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden, Gayla Mize Garden and educational programs hosted at the gardens. The educational programs at SFA Gardens reach more than 15,000 students ages 1 to 100 on a yearly basis. The public is encouraged to arrive early and bring a wagon. For more information, call 936-468-4404 or visit two weeks before the sale for a list of available plants. 


Rosenberg: Visit with Fort Bend Master Gardeners at their vegetable and ornamental Demonstration Gardens for tips and advice on preparing your gardens and plants for the fall growing season. Free. 9 - 11 am, Saturday, October 4, at the Agriculture Center located at 1402 Band Road, Rosenberg. Call 281-341-7068 or visit for more information.


La Marque: "Gardening for Jewels...Hummingbirds" will be presented by GC Master Gardener Deborah Repasz, 6:30-8:00 p.m. October 7 at Galveston County AgriLife Extension in Carbide Park, 4102 Main, La Marque; 281-534-3413; email reservation to, further details Free. 


Austin: "Austin Bonsai Society Annual Auction" will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, October 8, at Zilker Garden Center. An opportunity to purchase a diverse collection of seedlings, pre-bonsai, and mature bonsai along with bonsai pots, tools and other items. Guests are welcome. For further information, visit


Humble: Winter Vegetable Gardening will be presented Wednesday, October 8, noon-2 p.m. at the Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens, 22306 Aldine Westfield Road, Humble. Southeast Texas enjoys two full vegetable growing seasons every year! Learn how to ready winter vegetable gardens from Darnell Schreiber, who shares her tips for a great variety of delicious fruits and veggies that will grow unaffected in our area's winter weather. For additional information or to make reservations, call Mercer Botanic Gardens at 281-443-8731.


Pearland: Thurs., Oct. 9: "Fall Vegetable Gardening" by Herman Auer, 7 p.m., Busy Bee Café, 4009 W. Broadway, Pearland. Free. Brazoria County Master Gardeners. Details: John 713-818-8806.     


St. Francisville, Louisiana: With featured speakers like the LSU Ag Center's Dan Gill, award-winning New Orleans landscape architect Rene Fransen, and noted authors Bill Welch and Greg Grant, no other gardening program brings together top quality speakers and historic plantation settings as well as the Southern Garden Symposium in St. Francisville, Louisiana, October 10-11. Known as much for its engaging social events and historic venues as for its outstanding gardening lectures and workshops, the Southern Garden Symposium - now in its 26th year - has become an annual tradition for garden enthusiasts from across the south. While the symposium's workshops and lectures provide ideas and inspiration for the gardener, the social activities surrounding the event are classic southern elegance at its best. From the home-baked breakfast breads served in the morning, to the sumptuous fare of the evening gala and the delightfully relaxed Saturday afternoon tea, not a single detail of southern hospitality is overlooked. Symposium events are held at several historic and picturesque locations, both public and private, including Afton Villa Gardens, Rosedown Plantation, Grace Episcopal Church, Woodland, Beechwood Plantation, and more. For complete program information and registration forms, visit; call 225-635-3738 or email . For information regarding overnight accommodations in St. Francisville, visit  or call 225-635-4224, toll free at 800-789-4221. Seating is limited and hotel rooms can be scarce in St. Francisville in October, so register now!


Humble: "A Day of Bonsai" Fall Show will be held Saturday, October 11, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens, 22306 Aldine Westfield Road, Humble. Experience the magnificent and ancient art form of bonsai during this presentation under the treehouse portico. For more information, call 281-443-8731.  


La Marque: "Galveston County Master Gardeners Annual Fall Sale" will be presented by GC Master Gardeners, 9:00a.m.- 1:00 p.m. October 11 at Galveston County AgriLife Extension in Carbide Park, 4102 Main, La Marque; 281-534-3413; further details Free.  


Marble Falls: Native Plant Society Garden Tour, hosted by Highland Lakes Chapter, NPSOT (Native Plant Society of Texas). 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 11. Admission: $5 adults and children over 12, pay that morning at Tour Headquarters, Falls on the Colorado Museum, 2001 Broadway, Marble Falls. Showing 5 private and 3 public gardens in Marble Falls and Horseshoe Bay. Also: Native plant sale / tree give-away (limited number). For more information, contact: Fred Zagst, 512-755-2557,  or visit and


Rosenberg: "Backyard Basics: Canning" will be presented Saturday, October 11. Learn how to extend the enjoyment of your backyard food production through canning. The presentation by Anne Ondrusek, Owner of Honeys Homemade Jams & Jellies, is presented by Fort Bend Master Gardeners. Demonstrations included. 9 a.m. Fort Bend County Extension Office, 1402 Band Rd, Rosenberg. $15 ($25 couple). Details: Call 281-342-3034, email, or go to or


Seabrook: "Trees, Choice & Maintenance" will be presented at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, October 14, at Clear Lake Park Meeting Room, 5001 Nasa Parkway, Seabrook. A Harris County Master Gardeners Precinct 2 event. Free. For more information, visit  

Humble: The Mercer Society Annual Meeting will be held Wednesday, October 15, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens, 22306 Aldine Westfield Road, Humble. Attend this open meeting to learn more about The Mercer Society, the support they offer the botanic gardens, and the various memberships available. Contact Tami at or 281-443-8731 for more information.  


Seabrook: "Fall Fertilization for the Landscape ,Ornamentals and Grasses" will be presented by Skip Richter, Texas AgriLife Agent and contributing editor of Texas Gardener magazine, at 10 a.m., Wednesday, October 15, at Clear Lake Park Meeting Room, 5001 Nasa Parkway, Seabrook. A Harris County Master Gardeners Precinct 2 event. Free. For more information, visit


San Antonio: Mary Dunford, owner of Nature's Herb Farm and co-founder of the SA Herb Society, will speak about drying and arranging herbs for holiday use at the San Antonio Herb Society October meeting, Thursday, October 16, starting at 6:30 p.m. at the San Antonio Garden Center, 3310 N. New Braunfels. Free and open to the public. For additional information, call 210-826-6860 or email


Seguin: The Guadalupe Master Gardeners will meet on Thursday, October 16, at the Justice Center, 211 Court Street, Seguin. Kirby Fry will speak about "Food Forests: Perennial Forest Gardening Systems." Fry has been a permaculture teacher and design consultant for more than 15 years. He studied permaculture under Bill Mollison. He is also familiar with conventional agriculture and forestry, having studied these disciplines at Texas A&M. He offers permaculture design services via his firm, Southern Exposure Permaculture. In addition, he has extensive experience as a building contractor, including natural building. Mr. Kirby studied Natural Resource Conservation at Texas A & M University, and served in U.S. Peace Corps in Guatemala, working in the area of agro-forestry. The meeting will start at 7 p.m. after a social function starting at 6:30. For further information visit or call 830-303-3889.  


Huntsville: Walker County Master Gardeners 5th Annual Butterfly Festival and Fall Plant Sale will be held from 8 a.m.-2 p.m., October 18, at 102 Tam Road, Huntsville (2 miles north of the Pilot Truck Stop on Hwy. 75N). Find out how butterflies are tagged and released at this annual event featuring a variety of activities for children and adults including: face painting, guest speakers, videos and displays on the migration of Monarchs, a treasure hunt, insect identification, learn about bees and how they make honey, etc. At the plant sale, find an extensive selection including natives, fruit and nut trees, roses, perennials, shade loving varieties, herbs, daylilies and a wide variety of seeds. For additional information, contact Brenda Lichtman at 936-435-2426 or, or Reggie Lepley at 936-435-2426 or


La Marque: "The Fabulous Fragrant Frangipani" will be presented GC Master Gardener Loretta Osteen, 9:00-11:00 p.m. October 18 at Galveston County AgriLife Extension in Carbide Park, 4102 Main, La Marque; 281-534-3413, email reservation to, further details Free.


McKinney: Join the Collin County Master Gardeners Association on October 18 in the Stall Barn at beautiful Myers Park and Event Center in McKinney from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. to learn more about, and purchase, the best selections of bulbs and perennials for North Texas at the 2014 Bulb and Perennial Mart. The 2014 Annual Bulb and Perennial Mart is a one-day, one-stop shopping opportunity and an introduction to some of the best, hard-to-find heritage bulbs and drought-tolerant perennials for North Texas. CCMGA will be selling some of the beautiful, yet hardy perennials that are doing so well in the nationally award winning trial gardens at Myers Park; as well spring, summer, and fall blooming bulbs that are researched and proven to be suitable for our climate and soil extremes. This year they will also have a wonderful assortment of crinums. The Texas tough plants being offered at The Mart will add a splash of color to the garden throughout the year. Purchase these proven winners by cash, check, or credit card (Visa or Mastercard only). The Bulb and Perennial Mart is an indoor event, so come rain or shine! Master Gardeners will be on hand to conduct tours of the trial gardens and answer questions.The event is free and no sales tax. Schedule of Events: 8:30 a.m., Early Bird Seminar; 9 a.m., Pick up August Pre-Sale Bulb Orders; 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Bulb and Perennial Sale; 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Tours of Myers Park Research & Demonstration Gardens; 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Information Booth. Myers Park is located at 7117 County Road 166, McKinney. To learn more about the 2013 Bulb and Perennial Mart, visit, or call 972-548-4219 or 972-548-4232.


Seabrook: Open Garden Day, with Harris County Master Gardeners at Precinct 2 will be held 8:30-11 a.m., Monday, October 20, at Genoa Friendship Garden,1202 Genoa Red Bluff Rd. 9:30 a.m.: Educational Programs and Master Gardeners Q&A. Note: Gardens open and plants available for purchase every Monday, May-October. Free, children welcome. For more information, visit


La Marque: "Wellness Gardening" will be presentedby GC Master Gardener Tim Jahnke, 6:30-8:00 p.m. October 21 at Galveston County AgriLife Extension in Carbide Park, 4102 Main, La Marque; 281-534-3413, email reservation to, further details Free.  


San Antonio: October 21 is the evening to learn all about Home Aquaponics. Join David Rodriguez at 6:30 p.m. when he introduces Steven Sumrow from Aquaponic Systems USA at Texas A&M AgriLife Ext Svc, 3355 Cherry Ridge, San Antonio. During this two-hour presentation, learn how to create your own Home Aquaponics to grow plants and vegetables in a water environment along with aquatic fish. Aquaponics is a system of aquaculture in which the waste produced by farmed fish or other aquatic animals supplies nutrients for plants grown hydroponically, which in turn purify the water. No chemicals or soil needed, thanks to its automatic recirculating system, Aquaponics does not require much monitoring or measuring. 2 CEUs for Master Gardeners and Interns. Fee: $10. RSVP to Angel Torres at 210 467-6575 or


Creedmoor: The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service-Travis Co. will hold an Irrigation/Turf Maintenance Workshop on October 22 at Creedmoor Community Center, 12511 FM 1625, Creedmoor. This conference is in response to ongoing critical water issues. The general public can attend but the materials presented will be for turf and irrigation professionals such as those working with municipalities, including parks departments; golf courses; and large and commercial landscape maintenance firms as well as contractors; retail nurseries and other users of urban water resources. The goal of the workshop is to share new technologies and best practices for water conservation and drought survival. Four Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) licensed irrigator credits are available to attendees. Presentations and speakers will be: 9 a.m., Irrigation Scheduling, Brad Smith, Instructor, Irrigator Training, LLC; 10 a.m., Efficient Irrigation Practices, Brett Briant, Water Conservation Coordinator, LCRA; 11:15 a.m., Turfgrass Selection and Cultural Practices for Water Conservation; 1 p.m., Water Management for Sports Field Turf, Dr. Casey Reynolds, Assistant Professor and Extension Turfgrass Specialist; 2 p.m., Evaluation, Wrap-up and CEU certificates. Cost: $50 (through 10/17), $60 (10/18 and on-site). CEUs: 4 Irrigation. Register: or by phone: 979-845-2604. For more information, contact: Daphne Richards, CEA-Horticulture,, 512-854-9615.


Bryan: Brazos County Master Gardeners 2014 Town and Country Garden Tour, Saturday, October 25, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Tickets are $15 per person and allow visitors into all six garden gardens. Tickets go on sale September 25 at the Brazos County Extension Office, 2619 Highway 21 West, Bryan. Checks only will be accepted at this location. 979/823-0129. Tickets On Site: On the day of the tour at any of the garden sites and checks or cash only are accepted. For more information, visit or email


Humble: The 3rd Annual Sustainable Landscape Conference will be held Friday, October 31, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens, 22306 Aldine Westfield Road, Humble. Learn from industry leaders about sustainable parking design and development during this year's conference at Big Stone Lodge at Dennis Johnston Park. For additional information or to make reservations, call Mercer Botanic Gardens at 281-443-8731.


Dallas: A Fall Plant Sale and Garden Safari will be held from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., Saturday, November 1, at Texas Discovery Gardens at Fair Park, 3601 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., Dallas. Enjoy native and adapted plants that are rare to find in local nurseries. Arrive at hor early, at 9 a.m., for a guided plant sale safari, and learn what plants are on sale. The tour is $10, $5 for members. Register in advance. For additional information, visit

Humble: Herb Gardening for Home Use will be presented Wednesday, November 12, noon-2 p.m. at the Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens, 22306 Aldine Westfield Road, Humble. Join Marilyn O'Conner, "The Herb Lady," to learn about the wide variety of herbs and their uses in homes and gardens. For additional information or to make reservations, call Mercer Botanic Gardens at 281-443-8731.


Humble: Succulentarriums will be presented Wednesday, December 10, noon-2 p.m.

at the Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens, 22306 Aldine Westfield Road, Humble.

Learn how to combine remarkable succulents, moss, and cacti with recycled glassware to create fun and fanciful display items for your home or office. These unique items also make great holiday gifts! For additional information or to make reservations, call Mercer Botanic Gardens at 281-443-8731.

MARCH 2015

Quitman: Wood County Master Gardeners will host a Spring Conference, "Time to Plant Smater," 8 a.m.-noon, Saturday, March 21, at the Quitman High School. Vendors, speakers and mini garden-related demonstrations. For more information, contact Gloria Jean Rosewall at or Roy Culbertson 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.

New Braunfels: The Comal Garden Club meets the first Thursday of each month at 9:30 a.m. at Southbank Clubhouse, 222 Southbank Blvd., New Braunfels. 




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 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


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.

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