May 20, 2015
  
Gardening in a polluted paradise

 

Soil Science Society of America

 

Green thumbs, do not fret. Pockets of soil in urban areas are still available for the increasingly popular practice of urban gardening.

 

And while the proximity of these soils to pollution and industry can increase levels of contamination by harmful compounds, some scientists have found that the risks associated with gardening in these soils may not be as high as first thought.

 

Researchers at Kansas State University have looked into how vegetables take up different soil contaminants. They also considered how different gardening practices could reduce this uptake. They found that, in the majority of examples, eating vegetables grown in the contaminated soils studied was safe.

 

The researchers grew tomatoes, collard greens and carrots in the soils. Previously researchers looked at lead contamination in city soils. This time they also looked at arsenic and compounds called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which are potentially cancer causing.

 

The group found that almost all of the vegetables grown in the soils had low levels of all of the contaminants. The safety of root crops, such as carrots, was less certain. Root crops can uptake levels of lead in their roots that are at or slightly above the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization and World Health Organization's joint safety standards.

 

However, Ganga Hettiarachchi, a scientist at Kansas State University, cautions against using these results as a reason not to grow an urban garden.

 

"It's important to know how these safety levels are calculated," she explained. "A person isn't going to be eating those carrots for every meal 365 days a year. In the grand scheme personally I wouldn't worry much about the possibility of contaminants in carrots because I know I'm not really eating that much carrot."

 

She added that, as a precaution, concerned gardeners could grow carrots in containers filled with clean soil.

 

The presence of lead in the soils is a result of leaded gasoline and lead-based paint use. Arsenic can get into soil from arsenic-based pesticides and wood preservatives. The burning of fossil fuels and creosote can cause buildup of the hydrocarbons that were studied.

 

Soil naturally contains these compounds but elevated levels are most likely due to these sources, Hettiarachchi added.

 

"Fruiting vegetables, leafy vegetables and root vegetables all take up and accumulate contaminants differently and that's why we tested three different types of plants," she said. "To those worried about possible soil contamination we say to get your soil tested and avoid directly ingesting it."

 

The study identified numerous ways to reduce the risk of this type of direct exposure to these specific contaminants.

 

First, researchers tested different cleaning methods on the vegetables to see which worked best to decrease the chance of consuming soil particles. While laboratory cleaning with a type of soap was most successful, thorough washing with water was also helpful.

 

"Thorough washing is definitely the key," Hettiarachchi said. "Soap isn't even really necessary if you wash all of the visible soil off with water in your kitchen. The main point is to make sure you're not intentionally eating soil."

 

They also tested the effectiveness of different composts in lowering the concentration of contaminants in these vegetables.

 

The researchers didn't find a specific compost type reduced the contamination best. Instead, the data showed adding any compost can dilute the soil's concentration of contaminants.

 

"It's easy to see how by simply adding compost to the contaminated soil, you can increase the volume and dilute the contaminant levels," she said. "Besides compost, an urban gardener can also bring in outside clean soil to help dilute the contaminant levels."

 

A last suggestion from Hettiarachchi is to be sure the nutrient levels in the soil are appropriate. Research shows plants are less likely to take up contaminants when they have ideal nutrients.

 

"Soil chemistry is complex and people need to understand that even though there may be contamination, there are countless factors, including plant factors, that determine whether it will be taken up by plants," she said. "The most important thing is that you test your soils to get to know your soils better. In the end the benefits really outweigh any possible contamination if testing is done and precautions are taken. Urban gardens give people access to fresh fruits and vegetables and are also good for physical, mental and community health."

Healthy soil makes a healthy garden

 

Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss Association

 

What's the key to a garden full of healthy plants? Garden experts say the secret is in the soil.

 

"Most homeowners don't have great garden soil in their yards," said Melinda Myers, author of more than 20 gardening books and host of Melinda's Garden Moment, which airs on 125 TV and radio stations. "The soil in most suburban yards has been damaged during the construction process. Typically it was scraped away and sold, or it was compacted during building."

 

Because gardening often involves dealing with poor soil, improving the soil structure and adding soil amendments before you plant will save a lot of time and hassle in the long run. Healthy plants require the right growing conditions and healthy, fertile soil.

 

"The best way to improve soil is to add amendments such as compost and peat moss," said Myers. "Peat moss improves water drainage in clay soil, and peat moss helps lean, sandy soil retain water."

 

Most of the peat moss used in the U.S. and Canada for horticultural purposes is Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss - a natural, organic soil amendment that helps loosen compacted soil. Peat moss naturally absorbs water, slowly releasing it to plants. In addition to helping to balance the soil's water retention and drainage, peat moss also improves soil aeration that improves plant health.

 

According to Melinda Myers, investing in your soil is the key to successful gardening. In new gardens, she recommends adding 2-3 inches of organic matter to the top 12 inches of soil. "That's the basic root zone of most plants," said Myers. "Organic matter such as peat moss breaks down and improves the soil texture. Top dressing existing perennial gardens with peat moss or compost will also help build healthy soil."

 

Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss is responsibly harvested, and the Canadian peat moss industry is recognized as an international leader in sustainable practices. Canada's overall peatlands are estimated at 280.7 million acres, but only 0.02% of that area has ever been used for peat moss production. After harvesting, a peatlands site is restored by re-establishing the biodiversity and ecosystem processes so the peat can once again begin to accumulate.

 

For more tips on how to use peat moss in home gardening, visit the Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss Association's website at www.peatmoss.com.

2015 "Taking Root" college scholarship program now accepting applications

 

Arborjet

 

In an effort to help bright and promising young students to fulfill their dreams of entering careers in the arboriculture industry,Arborjetis seeking applicants for its 2015"Taking Root" Scholarship Program. Again this year, 10 graduating high school seniorswill each receive a $1,000 scholarship to pursue full-time studies in Forestry, Plant Sciences, Horticulture, Entomology, Environmental Science or a related majorat an accredited two-year or four-year college.

 

As a leader in the care of America's urban and natural forests, Arborjet is committed to giving promising high school seniors the financial support they need to pursue careers in the growing arboriculture industry. The opportunities for this next generation are numerous given that plant and tree care industry professionals are employed by private companies, the federal government, utilities, municipalities, universities and more.

 

"Through Arborjet's 'Taking Root' Scholarship Program we recognize dedicated students who have already demonstrated achievement in their communities and schools, and who plan to bring their skills and talents to our industry," said Russ Davis, President and COO of Arborjet. "Parents, educators and the plant health care community were instrumental in helping us award 'Taking Root' Scholarships to our inaugural group of recipients last year, and we invite them to again join us in encouraging young students to transform their ingenuity and passion into a meaningful career in this exciting industry."

 

Applicants for Arborjet's 2015 "Taking Root" Scholarship Program must be graduating U.S. high school seniors who plan to major ina forestry course of study or related major for the entire 2015-16 academic year at an accredited two-year or four-year college or university.Interested students and educators can find out more about the Scholarship by visiting Arborjet.com and applying directly at http://sms.scholarshipamerica.org/arborjet. The application deadline is June 30, 2015.

The Compost Heap:
Permethrin insecticides

"What other insects do permethrin-based insecticides kill?" asks Dallas Baxter, host of Nature Notes on Marfa Public Radio (marfapublicradio.org). "There are probably some good insects being eliminated with a yard spray, and with the general assault on pollinators these days, wouldn't it be best to stick with mosquito coils to eliminate the bother for those of us who like to sit in the garden at twilight? Less is pretty nearly always more - especially with poisons!"

 

Permethrin-based insecticides are non-selective and would harm pollinating insects. We suggest if you must use any kind of toxic pesticide that you use it judiciously and sparingly. We would opt, instead, for using one of the neem repellant products that are available or simply stay inside during the time when mosquitoes are most active. If you do opt to use a permethrin-based insecticide, follow all label directions and apply in in the late afternoon or evening when bees are not active but mosquitoes are active. - Chris S. Corby, publisher

Gardening tips

 It will eventually stop raining and get hot. When it does, it is important to keep the soil moist around young fruit trees, vines and shrubs to help them survive summer stress. Also, apply mulch around each plant and consider building a soil berm around young trees to help direct supplemental irrigation to the limited root systems of these growing plants.   

 

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 2015 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.
MAY

 

Woodway: "Raised Bed Gardening" will be presented by Master Gardener Ila Jean Carothers from noon-2 p.m., May 20, at the Pavilion at Carleen Bright Arboretum, 1 Pavilion Way, Woodway. Learn the advantages of growing in raised beds and learn how to construct various types of raised beds. For more information, call 254-399-9204.

 

San Antonio: "Edible, Poisonous & Sacred Plants" (& BCMG Meeting) will be presented: Thursday, May 21, 6-8 p.m. at 3355 Cherry Ridge Suite 212 San Antonio. Free. Paul Cox, botanist, co-author of Texas Trees, a Friendly Guide, and former Horticulturist for the City of San Antonio will share his expertise on plants that we might not recognize as edible, poisonous, or considered sacred. For more information, call 210-699-0663.

 

Seguin: The Guadalupe County Master Gardeners will meet Thursday evening May 21 at the AgriLife Building, 210 East Live Oak, Seguin. A social gathering will begin at 6:30 p.m., followed by the educational program at 7 p.m. The topic of the meeting, presented by Sir Oliver Smith, Master Naturalist and Master Gardener, will be "Native Vines." The membership meeting will follow the educational program. or further information, call the AgriLife staff at 830-303-3889 or visit www.guadalupecountymastergardeners.org.

 

Cedar Hill: "Design and Development with Native Plants," a class for NLCP Level 1 graduates only, will be presented Saturday, May 23, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center, 1206 W. FM 1382, Cedar Hill. Learn about designing sustainable landscapes and preserving native plants already existing in the landscape. The class includes a 5-hour classroom session and a t2-hour outdoor plant knowledge walk. Completion Certificate provided upon completion of the class. Competency Certificate issued upon passing an optional end-of-day test. Register online at http://npsot.org.wp/nlcp/. $37 NPSOT members; $52 non-members. For more information call Meg Inglis at 512-589-1316.

 

San Antonio: 18th annual Festival of Flowers. May 23 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at San Antonio (Alzafar) Shrine Auditorium, 901 N. Loop 1604 West, San Antonio. Indoor plant and gardening vendors. City-Wide Plant Exchange open to all of South and Central Texas. Organic Roundtable featuring the state's leading experts on natural and organic gardening, including Bob Webster of KTSA Radio, Andy Chidester of Lady Bug Natural Brand Products, Stuart Franke of Medina Agriculture Products, Noel Garcia with Texas Plant and Soil Lab, organic farm and ranch consultant Bruce Deuley and anti-GMO activist Diane Baines. Seminars include "Create Your Own Spa Garden" with Trisha Shirey of Lake Austin Resort Spa, Texas' Flowering Trees with City of San Antonio Arborist Mark Bird, "Full-Scorch" Gardening with Mark Peterson of San Antonio Water System, and Soil Science: What Every Gardener Should Know About Soils with David Vaughn. Also featured: the 2015 Daylily Show and Sale presented by the San Antonio Daylily Society; Texas Superstar plant exhibit; and herb cooking, rain barrel and floral design demonstrations. Admission $6 at the door, children under 10 free. Free parking. Free plant and package check. ATM on-site. Food concessions available all day. For additional information, visit www.SAFestivalofFlowers.com or call 210-380-3532.

 

San Antonio: A rain barrel workshop will be offered May 23 at Rainbow Gardens, 8516 Bandera Road, San Antonio, as part of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Backyard Basics series. A rain barrel is a container that collects and stores water for when it is needed most. Learn to conserve water to benefit your plants and garden. Attendees will make a rain barrel to take home and put to use. The Bexar County Master Gardener rainwater specialists will also provide information at the event. The cost for the workshop is $50 per person and due by May 15. Attendance is limited, and reservations must be made with payment to Angel Torres, 210-467-6575 or matorres@ag.tamu.edu. Backyard Basics promotes healthy living by providing residents of Atascosa, Bexar, Comal, Guadalupe, Kendall and Wilson counties with information about the benefits of homegrown and homemade foods. For more information, visit http://bexar-tx.tamu.edu/backyardbasics/.

 

Bryan: Master Gardener, Kate Kelly will give a presentation on squash, Wednesday, May 27, from noon till 1 p.m. at the Brazos County Extension Office - Dig Pavilion, 2619 Highway 21, West, Bryan.Bring your lunch and get your questions answered about raising squash; pollination, diseases, squash bugs. The public is invited and there is no charge.For more information, visit www.brazosmg.com, call the Brazos County Extension office at 979-823-0129, or send an email to brazosmg@brazosmg.com.

 

Helotes: "Basics of Home Made Wine" will be presented Friday, May 29, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. at Gardens at Old Town Helotes, 15060 Antonio Drive, Helotes. Fee: $40 includes lunch. RSVP by noon,Tueday, May 26 by calling 210 467-6575. Dr. Larry A. Stein and Dr. Justin Scheiner will present a history of winemaking, how to grow grapes and other winemaking fruit, steps and equipment for starting and a wine making demonstration. Phillip Manea from Wine 101 Helotes will discuss wine selections and offer a wine sampling.

 

Dallas: Find out about those mystery trees and shrubs in your yard May 30 from 10 a.m. to noon with Director of Horticulture Roger Sanderson at Texas Discovery Gardens. Bring photos of the specimens as well as a cutting. He will do his best to answer questions and share great trees and shrubs for North Texas landscapes. $25, $20 for TDG members. Register in advance at www.texasdiscoverygardens.org or call 214-428-7476 ext. 343. The Gardens are at 3601 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Dallas, Texas 75210.

 

San Antonio: "Citrus Trees for Your Landscape" will be presented Saturday, May 30, 10:30 a.m.-noon at Milberger's Landscaping & Nursery, 3920 North Loop 1604 East, San Antonio. Free Earth-Kind seminar. More information at http://www.milbergernursery.com/events/2015-05/. David Rodriguez, Horticulturist, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will discuss how to successfully grow bountiful citrus from trees planted in your landscape or in containers. Bring a notebook.

 

Tyler: The Smith County Master Gardener Annual Garden Tour will be held May 30. This is a unique opportunity to view four private gardens and landscapes in the Tyler area. For more information, visit http://txmg.org/smith/coming-events/ or call 903-590-2980.

 

Wichita County: On May 30, the Wichita Co. Master Gardeners present "The Drought Survivors Garden Tour." Gardening during this unrelenting drought has been a challenge. In November 2013, Wichita County reached State 4 Water Restrictions, which meant no more outside watering from the tap. Five members open their yards for this tour to showcase what they have growing and how they've done it. Each has some type of rainwater harvesting system, from simple to elaborate, but they each get the job done. The Smith Street Community Garden is on the tour as well. There are 70 plus beds available to residents to rent and grow whatever pleases them. Several members have garden spots there and will be on hand to explain how to get one. They not only have a rainwater harvesting system, they had a well drilled last year. For additional information, visit www.txmg.org/wichita.

JUNE

La Marque: "Tomato Evaluation and Taste Testing" with GC Master Gardener Terry Cuclis presenting. 6:30-9:00 p.m. June 2 at the Galveston County AgriLife Extension in Carbide Park, 4102 Main, La Marque; Ph 281-534-3413; for further details visit www.aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston. Free.

 

McKinney: The Collin County Master Gardeners Association will be hosting tours of the international award winning research and demonstration gardens at beautiful Myers Park and Event Center in McKinney on Saturday, June 6, 9 a.m.-noon. For more than five years CCMGA has partnered with the staff at Myers Park to install gardens that include perennials, annuals, crape myrtles, roses, vegetables and herbs, as well as demonstration gardens around the office and park entrance. Learn about Earth-Kind gardening principles and see beautiful plants that survive, and thrive without fertilizer, pesticides, or excessive irrigation. Master Gardeners will be on hand to serve as guides and answer questions. Butterfly experts will be in the perennial garden pointing out the various plants that are host and nectar plants for butterflies and other pollinators. The Water Conservation Committee will have hands-on displays where attendees can learn about drip irrigation and rainwater harvesting, and answer irrigation questions. An information booth will also be available to answer general gardening questions. The Walk in the Park is an event for all ages. The CCMGA Youth Education Committee will have a Children's Discovery Area offering fun, educational activities for children in the Pole Barn. Learn more about Collin County's rural heritage at The Collin County Farm Museum. With 8,528 square feet of collections, restoration exhibits, and historic farming equipment, visitors will learn about Collin County's agricultural history from its early settlement to the 1960s. The museum will be open for tours and is located next to the perennial garden. For more information visit www.ccmgatx.org, or contact the CCMGA Information Center at 972-548-4232. Admission is free.

 

Seguin: "Gardening with your Kids or Grandkids" will be presented June 4, noon-1 p.m. at Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Office, 210 Live Oak Street, Seguin. Topics include: affordable gardens kids can manage, three types of backyard gardens, sustainable gardening concepts, and more. For additional information, call 830-303-3889 or visit www.Guadlupecountymastergardeners.org. 

 

Austin: The 21st Annual Austin Pond and Garden Tour will be held 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and 8 p.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, June 6, and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday June 9. Wristbands for the three events are $20 in advance or onsite for $25. Children 12 and younger are free with a paid adult. For more information, visit austinpondsociety.org or call 512-629-7825.

  

Dallas: City of Dallas Water Utilities, City of Dallas Park & Recreation, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, and Dallas County Master Gardeners are teaming up to demonstrate the beauty of Water-Wise and EarthKind gardening with the 21st annual Water-Wise Landscape Tour. Dallas County Master Gardeners will be conducting free 30-minute talks on Water-Wise gardening and related topics at all tour headquarters. Dallas County Master Gardener volunteers will also be assisting homeowners and helping answer questions about the plants and landscapes on the tour. The first 100 visitors at each of the three tour headquarters, June 6, will receive a free hose spray nozzle. Tour Headquarters: Central: White Rock Pump Station - 2900 White Rock Rd., Dallas; North: Texas A&M AgriLife Research & Extension Center - 17360 Coit Rd., Dallas; and South: Kidd Springs Recreation Center - 711 W. Canty Street, Dallas. For more information, visit SaveDallasWater.com or call the Water Conservation Hotline at 214-670-3155 Monday-Friday 8:15 a.m.-5:15 p.m. Maps for the self-driving tour are available at SaveDallasWater.com  and at all tour headquarters.

 

La Marque: "The Fabulous Fragrant Frangipani" with GC Master Gardener Loretta Osteen presenting. 9:00-11 a.m. June 6 at the Galveston County AgriLife Extension in Carbide Park, 4102 Main, La Marque; Ph 281-534-3413; email reservations to galv3@wt.net, further details visit www.aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston. Free.

 

La Marque: "The Culture and Care of Palms":with CG Master Gardener O.J. Miller presenting. 1:00-3:00 p.m. June 6 at the Galveston County AgriLife Extension in Carbide Park, 4102 Main, La Marque; Ph 281-534-3413; email reservations to galv3@wt.net, further details visit www.aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston. Free.

 

Tomball: The Arbor Gate will host a tomato contest at 10 a.m., Saturday, June 6, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball. The judges will be Tom LeRoy, Bill Adams, Jeremy Kollaus, and Chef Chris Crowder. For additional information, visit www.arborgate.com  or email info@arborgate.com

 

Tyler: Jewels in the Garden, aone day gardening conference sponsored by the Smith County Master Gardener Association, will be held June 6 at the Tyler Rose Garden Center, 420 Rose Park Dr., Tyler. 8:30 a.m. Registration, 9 a.m. Program $25 until May 15; $35 after. Lunch included. Presentations include: "Great Ideas for the Modern Garden with True Gems and Jewels for your Garden" with Nicholas Staddon - Director of New Plant Program, Monrovia Calif.; "Landscaping with Fruits and Vegetables and other Delicious Garden Beauties" with Tom LeRoy, Extension Agent for Montgomery County, Retired; "Using Native and Passalong Plants in the Landscape" with Steve Huddleston-Director of Fort Worth Botanic Gardens; "New to you and more-A Garden Adventure" with Nicholas Staddon; Tour 4 gardens created by the Smith County Master Gardeners. For registration and lodging information, visit http://txmg.org/smith/jewels/ or contact Texas A&M Extension Service - Smith County 903-590-2980. 

 

Austin: Monday, June 8, Ed Parken, Vice President of Special Projects with the Austin Area Garden Center, will discuss rain water collection at the The Austin Organic Gardeners' Club meeting at the Austin Area Garden Center, 2220 Barton Springs Rd, in Zilker Botanical Gardens. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for the opportunity to meet, mingle, and ask questions with local gardeners; club business begins at 7 p.m., followed by the guest speaker's presentation. For more information, visit www.austinorganicgardeners.org.

 

Schertz: The Guadalupe County Master Gardeners will present a Lunch and Learn program about gardening in heavy shade from noon to 1 p.m. on June 8 in Schertz. Liz Romero, Guadalupe County Master Gardener, will present "Dark and Dry: Plants for Shade" Mrs. Romero's program will discuss how to convert shady areas with easy to care for plants that thrive in shade. Learn which plants work well and how to plant and care for them without harming valuable shade trees. The program will be at the GVEC Service Center Community Room, 908 Curtis Street, Schertz, and is free and open to the public. Attendees are welcome to bring lunch, and free handouts will be available. For additional information, visit www.guadalupecountymastergardeners.org or call the Guadalupe County Extension Service Office in Seguin at 830-303-3889.


Austin: "Preparing for the Fall Vegetable Garden" will be presented June 11, 10 a.m. to noon, at Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service-Travis Co, 1600-B Smith Road, Austin. Imagine gardening without sweat dripping from your brow or mosquitoes buzzing in your ears or having to water every day. Those are just a few of the many benefits of the cool season vegetable garden. Join us as we discuss vegetable selection, soil preparation and the importance of timing for the fall and winter garden. Master Gardener Patty Leander is a writer for Texas Gardener magazine and grows vegetables year round in her Oak Hill garden. $10/seminar for early registration; $15/seminar for late or on-site. Register: For additional information, contact Daphne Richards, 512-854-9600 or drichards@ag.tamu.edu.

 

Houston: Gaye Hammond, past president of the Houston Rose Society, will present "Chilli Thrips - Scourge of the Roses" at the Houston Rose Society Meeting on Thursday, June 11. Hammond is the liaison between The Houston Rose Society, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and the University of Florida concerning the identification and control of chilli thrips in Texas. The meeting will be held in the Parish Hall of St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, 1819 Heights Blvd, Houston. Entrance to parking lot is on W 19th Street near Yale St. Free admission. For additional information, visit http://www.houstonrose.org.  

 
La Grange: Carol Dennis will present "Drought Adaptation," noon-12:50 p.m., June 11, at the Fayette County Agricultural Building, 255 Svoboda Lane, La Grange. For additional information, call 979-968-5831 or visit http://fayette.agrilife.org.

 

San Antonio: Enter your prized tomatoes and vegetables in the Spring Top Tomato and Salad Bowl Contest. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. June 13 at Milberger's Landscape Nursery, 3920 N. Loop 1604 East, San Antonio. Entries judged to be the best in 5 different categories will win Milberger's gift certificates. Entry guidelines and rules available at Milberger's or at www.GardeningVolunteers.org Sponsored by Milberger's Landscape Nursery, 930AM The Answer KLUP and Gardening Volunteers of South Texas.

 

San Antonio: Engage in gardening and engage your community. Join Green Spaces Alliance for the second Community Harvest Blitz. The theme is Salsa Gardening and it will be a chance to learn about gardening, participate in cultivation, watch and taste food demonstrations straight from the garden by local chefs, share a meal with new friends, and watch a movie all in the garden setting. Green Spaces' Community Harvest Blitz will occur Saturday, June 13, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Gardens of St. Therese - a west side community garden at 906 W. Kentucky Ave, 78201. Multiple activities are scheduled for all age ranges. Interested parties should visit www.greensatx.org/fruitfulsa for more detailed information and must register their planned attendance. Materials and foods will be limited by the number of registered attendees.

 

San Antonio: Engage in gardening and engage your community. Join Green Spaces Alliance for the third Community Harvest Blitz. The theme is Fall Harvest, as this is National Food Day. It will be a chance to learn about gardening, participate in cultivation, watch and taste food demonstrations straight from the garden by local chefs, share a meal with new friends, and watch a movie all in the garden setting. Green Spaces' Community Harvest Blitz will occur Saturday, June 13, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at River Road Community Garden - a near north community garden at 780 E. Huisache, 78212. Multiple activities are scheduled for all age ranges. Interested parties should visit www.greensatx.org/fruitfulsa for more detailed information and must register their planned attendance. Materials and foods will be limited by the number of registered attendees.

 

Seabrook: Andrew Sipocz, Texas Parks and Wildlife, will present "Wetlands and Wildlife Conservation and Restoration" at10 a.m., Wed., June 17, in theMeeting Room at Clear Lake Park, 5001 NASA Parkway, Seabrook. Harris County Master Gardeners at Precinct 2 event. For more information, visit https://hcmga.tamu.edu.

 

Woodway: Lunch with the Masters - Jr. Master Gardener Program will be held at the Carleen Bright Arboretum, The Pavilion, Woodway, June 17 from noon until to 2 p.m. For those interested in working with students or children, join Master Gardeners Brenda Gloubski and Jeanette Kelly. Learn fun and educational activities for children as they learn about nutrition, plants, and gardening. Hands on activities will be included. Bring lunch! For more information, call 254-399-9204.

 

San Antonio: Gardening Volunteers of South Texas presents a Watersaver Native Plant Landscape Design School, 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Saturday, June 20 at Phil Hardberger Park, 8400 NW Military Highway, San Antonio. Three presentations including "Native Plants in Your Landscape Design" with Judit Green, Urban Biologist for Texas Parks and Wildlife; "Native and Adapted Plants that Thrive in San Antonio Area" with Master Gardener and Alamo Area Master Naturalist Sir Oliver Smith; and "Maintaining Your Native Landscape: Happy Plants and Happy HOA's" with Mark Peterson, forester and Water Conservation Coordinator for San Antonio Water System (SAWS). Enroll before June 16. $25 individuals and $40 for a household of two people attending. Fee includes four full-color guide books: "Best of Texas" landscape guide published by Texas Nursery and Landscape Association, "Texas Native and Adapted Plants" published by the City of Austin, "San Antonio Landscape Care Guide" published by SAWS, and the CD version of "DIY Drip-Line Gardening". Plus, one-on-one idea consultations with experienced gardeners after the presentations (when you enroll, you'll be sent graph paper to 'draw your yard' and bring to the school for the consultations). Presented in partnership with SAWS. For additional information, visit www.GardeningVolunteers.org or call 210-251-8101.

 

Victoria: Hibiscus Fest will be held at Devereux Gardens, 120 David Wade Drive, Victoria, Saturday, June 20, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. More than 50 varieties of hibiscus will be available. For additional information, call 361-574-7245 or search for the Facebook page "Devereux Gardens." 

 

Athens: Summer Series #1 - Henderson County Master Gardeners present Summer in the Garden: Dream of Blossoms, Butterflies and Bees on Thursday, June 25, 6:00 p.m. at the Dream Garden inside the East Texas Arboretum, 1601 Patterson Rd., Athens. Programs presented will include Summer Color, planting for color in the summer garden; Butterflies in the Garden, identifying host and nectar plants for attracting butterflies; Bees in the Backyard, see an observation hive and learn about bee forage plants; and Composting Made Easy, the fundamentals of composting. Free and open to the public. Door prizes. If raining, meet at the Arboretum pavilion. For more information, call 903-675-6130 or email hendersonCMGA@gmail.com.    

JULY

Woodway: Master Gardener Melody Fitzgerald will present "Art in the Park at the Carleen Bright Arboretum, The Pavilion, Woodway, July 15 from noon until to 2 p.m. Learn about crafty ways to create art for your garden. Get ideas on fairy gardens, cement as art, beautifying areas of your landscape, decorative signs, plant markers, fence panels, and many other fun and creative ideas. Bring lunch! For more information, call 254-399-9204.
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.

Dallas: Garden Masters, Inc., meet the first Wednesday of each month at North Haven Gardens, 7700 Northaven Rd., Dallas. The club hosts different speaker each month from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Bring your lunch! For more information, email Bunny Williams at bunny-williams@sbcglobal.net.

 

Kerrville: Hill Country Master Gardeners meet the first Wednesday of each month at 1:00 pm at Hill Country Youth Event Center, 3785 Hwy 27. For more information visit www.hillcountrymastergardeners.org.

 

Midland/Odessa: The Permian Basin Master Gardeners meet at noon, the first Wednesday of each month, lternating between the Midland and Ector County's Extensions Offices. For more information about location, call 432-498-4071 or 432-686-4700.

  

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.

Atlanta: The Cass County Master Gardeners meet the first Thursday of each month at the Atlanta Memorial Hospital Conference Room, State Highway 77 @ S. Williams St., Atlanta. A business meeting is followed by an educational program. The public is welcome to attend. For additional information, call 903-756-5391 or visit http://cass.agrilife.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.

Fort Worth: The North Central Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas meets the first Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m. except (January and July) in the Fort Worth Botanical Garden Building at 3220 Botanic Garden Boulevard, Fort Worth. For additional information, contact President Theresa Thomas at kayleetl@sbcglobal.net.

 

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.

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. 

 

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.

Jacksonville: The Cherokee County Master Gardeners meet on the second Monday of each month at 9:30 a.m. at Woodmen of the World, 1800 College Ave., Jacksonville. For more information, e-mail Tom Abbott at tom@deerfield-abbey.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. Meetings are open to the public. For complete details, visit 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's Learn at Lunch program meet the second Wednesday of each month. The business meeting begins at 11:30 a.m., with the program at noon, at the AgriLife Extension Office, 405 E. Marshall Ave., Longview. The program is presented for horticultural education and is free to the public. For further information call 903-236-8429, visit www.txmg.org/gregg, or like us on Facebook at Gregg County Master Gardeners. 

 

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 6 p.m. (social) 7:00 (meeting) the second Thursday of each month except in July in the AgriLife Extension auditorium, 1225 Pearl 2nd floor (downtown Beaumont next to the Court House). For more information contact: 409-835-8461 or txmg.org/jcmg.

 

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 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. 

 

New Braunfels: The Lindheimer Chapter (Comal County) of the Native Plant Society of Texas meets on the third Tuesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. at the GVTC Auditorium, 36101 FM 3159, New Braunfels. Meetings include an informative speaker, plant of the month presentation, and plant raffle. Visitors are welcome. For more information, visit www.npsot.org/wp/lindheimer.

 

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 Knights of Columbus Hall, 702 Burney Road, 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) at the Houston SArboretum and Nature Center in Memorial Park (4501 Woodway Dr.). For more information on programs, and for information about native plants for Houston, visit http:/npsot.org/wp/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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