June 17, 2015

Feds approve wider testing of spinach defenses against citrus greening disease


By Rod Santa Ana

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service


In a landmark step in the fight against citrus greening disease, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved Southern Gardens Citrus' application for an Experimental Use Permit under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act.


This allows Southern Gardens to move forward in its development of the possible use of a spinach protein to help control this devastating disease, according to management.


Research conducted by Dr. Erik Mirkov, a plant pathologist at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Weslaco, resulted in the production of proteins that appear to provide effective control of citrus greening disease.


Mirkov's patented use of spinach proteins also provides defense against diseases in other plants, he said.


Ricke Kress, president of Southern Gardens, said this latest development is a milestone in efforts to fight off citrus greening.


"Since this disease was first detected in the company's groves in 2005, the immediate decision was to become as proactive as possible to learn about the disease and, at the same time, develop methods and procedures to deal with the disease on a day to day basis," he said. "The company directed a research focus towards spinach, because it is already safely consumed daily and should be more favorably received by consumers."


Kress added that all U.S. regulatory controlled field trials and evaluations are ongoing, and there is no citrus fruit or juice product from the tests in the commercial product market today.


"A final solution to eliminating this disease may still take some years," Kress said, "but the latest EPA action and continuation of all research projects are major steps in the right direction."


Southern Gardens Citrus is one of the largest citrus producers in the state, with three groves in southwest Florida, all of which are infected with citrus greening. Over the last several years, the company has worked to find an efficient and effective solution to this very serious disease, Kress said.


Dale Murden, interim president of Texas Citrus Mutual in Mission, a citrus growers' cooperative, said the EPA's decision is exciting news.


"This is wonderful news," he said. "We certainly appreciate the work on this disease by Dr. Mirkov, AgriLife Research and Southern Gardens Citrus. We feel this will be beneficial to the citrus industry worldwide. We were very excited when we heard the news and are anxious to get the trials started."


Citrus greening disease, or Huanglongbing (HLB), is the most serious citrus disease in the world. HLB was first identified and confirmed in Florida in 2005. HLB is now found in every Florida county where citrus is grown commercially. Notwithstanding the threat that HLB poses, there are no successful control programs yet available for this disease.


The citrus company's activities include participation in a wide variety of research projects focused on developing environmentally sound and scientifically proven methods to manage and control the disease.


To reach this goal, Southern Gardens is working with several universities and state and federal agencies, including the University of Florida's Institute for Food and Agricultural Sciences, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Texas A&M AgriLife Research, the U.S Department of Agriculture and several independent researchers.


The EPA granted the new Experimental Use Permit to Southern Gardens on April 30. It authorizes large scale tests of citrus plants containing the protein derived from spinach, which the company has developed from Mirkov's patented discoveries in South Texas.


"Citrus greening is a bacterial disease that affects the vascular system of the tree," Mirkov said. "It basically shuts off the tree's ability to take up and use water and nutrients, causing the tree to die. We were able to improve the transgenic trees by having the genes express themselves in the vascular system."


John Sharp, Chancellor of The Texas A&M University System, said Mirkov's work on transgenic trees is another example of how AgriLife Research is impacting not just Texas, but the nation and world as well.


"By taking novel discoveries, protecting the intellectual property and partnering with a world-class organization like Southern Gardens, Texas A&M is quickly moving towards commercializing a biotechnology solution that could help save the citrus industry," Sharp said.


Consistent with the conditions established by EPA, Southern Gardens may now move forward with field tests to evaluate the efficacy of the spinach protein against HLB in citrus plant tissues and continue generating the environmental, health and safety data that are required under federal law to support a fully registered product for commercial use.


On the basis of the company's related petition, EPA also concluded that residues of the spinach protein in citrus are safe for the public, and established a temporary allowance - known as tolerance exemption - to cover this.  

Scientists pinpoint genes that make stem cells in plants, revealing origin of beefsteak tomatoes


By Peter Tarr, Senior Science Writer

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory


A team of scientists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) has identified a set of genes that control stem cell production in tomato. Mutations in these genes explain the origin of mammoth beefsteak tomatoes. More important, the research suggests how breeders can fine-tune fruit size in potentially any fruit-bearing crop. The research appears online in Nature Genetics.


In its original, wild form the tomato plant produces tiny, berry-sized fruits. Yet among the first tomatoes brought to Europe from Mexico by conquistador Hernan Cortez in the early 16th century were the huge beefsteaks. Producing fruits that often weigh in at over a pound, this variety has long been understood to be a freak of nature, but only now do we know how it came to be.


The secret of the beefsteak tomato, CSHL Associate Professor Zachary Lippman and colleagues show, has to do with the number of stem cells in the plant's growing tip, called the meristem. Specifically, the team traced an abnormal proliferation of stem cells to a naturally occurring mutation that arose hundreds of years ago in a gene called CLAVATA3. Selection for this rare mutant by plant cultivators is the reason we have beefsteak tomatoes today.


In plants, like animals, stem cells give rise to the diversity of specialized cell types that comprise all tissues and organs. But too many stem cells can be a problem. In people, too many stem cells can lead to cancer. Similarly, when stem cell production goes unchecked in plants, growth becomes imbalanced and irregular, threatening survival.


The finely tuned balance of stem cell production in plants is controlled by genes that have opposite activities. Specifically, a gene known as WUSCHEL promotes stem cell formation, whereas CLAVATA genes inhibit stem cell production. Several genes in the CLAVATA family encode for receptor proteins that sit on the surface of plant cells - the equivalent of locks - as well as a series of proteins that dock at these receptors - the equivalent of keys. When a CLAVATA key is made and fits in a CLAVATA lock, a signal is sent inside the cell that tells WUSCHEL to slow down. Critically, this prevents WUSCHEL from making too many stem cells.


It is therefore no surprise that when CLAVATA genes are mutated, the plant makes too many stem cells in the meristem. However, in the newly reported experiments, Lippman's team examined never before studied mutant tomato plants, three of which contained faulty genes encoding enzymes that add sugar molecules to proteins. How was this discovery relevant to plant stem cells? Lippman's experiments revealed that the enzymes, called arabinosyltransfersases (ATs), add sugar molecules called arabinoses to CLAVATA3 - one of the CLAVATA keys. Remarkably, these sugars are required for the key to fit a CLAVATA lock.


The team's important discovery: changing the number of sugars attached to the CLAVATA3 key can change the number of stem cells. Three sugars is normal, and produces normal growth. But when the one or more sugars on the CLAVATA3 key are missing, the key no longer fits properly in the lock. WUSCHEL therefore sends its signal to make new stem cells, but that message is not accompanied by a "stop" signal. There is abnormal growth; the plant's fruit becomes extremely large. Revisiting the original beefsteak tomato variety, Lippman and collaborator Esther van der Knaap at Ohio State University found that the secret of the beefsteak is that not enough of the CLAVATA3 key is made in the meristem. The result is too many stem cells and giant fruits.


The research more broadly shows that there is a continuum of growth possibilities in the tomato plant, and in other plants - since the CLAVATA pathway is highly conserved in evolution and exists in all plants. By adjusting the number of sugars on CLAVATA keys, and through other mutations affecting components of the pathway, Lippman and colleagues show it is possible to fine-tune growth in ways that could allow breeders to customize fruit size.


The research discussed in this story was funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Life Sciences Research Foundation, the Energy Biosciences Institute, DuPont Pioneer, the National Science Foundation, ,and the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.  

Gardening tips

If you are accustomed to using broad leaf weed killer on your St. Augustine lawn, avoid doing so during hot weather (over 85 degrees F). Doing so would stunt or kill your St. Augustine grass. Instead, set your mower blade higher and mow more frequently to discourage weeds and encourage turf growth.       


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.


Bryan: Skip Richter, contributing editor of Texas Gardener and host of the weekly KAMU-FM program "Garden Success," will present important and timely natural pest control techniques 1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m. Thursday, June 18, as part of the Brazos County Master Gardeners' Gardening with the Masters Series at the Brazos County Extention Office - DIG Pavilion, 2619 Highway 21 West, Bryan. For additional information, visit http://brazos.agrilife.org.


San Antonio: Companion Planting Seminar will be held Thu, June 18, 1-3 p.m. at the Texas AgriLife Office, Suite 208, 3355 Cherry Ridge Dr. San Antonio. Free. Master Gardener, Don Crites, will explain which plants, when grown together, attract beneficial or repel harmful insects and/or improve flavor or growth. Bexar County Master Gardener (BCMG) Educational Seminars are held on the afternoon of the third Thursday every other month. For more information, call: 467-6575, or email President Barbara Lutz at bblutz@stic.net.


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."


Bryan: Dr. Joe Masabni, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Specialist, will speak about "Unusual Edibles" 7 p.m.-8 p.m., June 23, at The Brazos Center, 3232 Briarcrest Dr., Bryan. For additional information, call 979-823-0129 or email brazosmg@brazosmg.com


Athens: Summer Series #1 - Henderson County Master Gardeners present Summer in the Garden: Dream of Blossoms, Butterflies and Bees on Thursday, June 25, 6 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. 


Dallas: The Urban Harvest: Foraging in the City will be presented Thursday, July 9, 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. at Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center WaterSense Labeled Home, 17360 Coit Road, Dallas. "You can eat that?!" The city is full of food ripe for the picking. Learn how to identify (and legally acquire) more traditional foods like edible fruits, nuts, and naturalized vegetables, as well as wild edibles, edible flowers and even edible weeds that are well adapted to our extreme climate and commonly found in North Texas neighborhoods. Bring a hat, a camera, and wear your walking shoes! Plant list provided. Free.


Houston: The Houston Rose Society will hold its annual Ice Cream Social on Thursday, July 9, at 7 p.m. There will be vendors, door prizes and make your own ice cream sundaes with lots of toppings to choose from. This event will be held at the Parish Hall of St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, 1819 Heights Blvd., Houston. Entrance to the parking lot is on W. 19th Street near Yale St. Free admission. For additional information, visit www.houstonrose.org.


San Antonio: A two-part Earth-Kind Water Conservation Workshop will be held Sat., Jul 11, and Sat., Jul 25, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. each day at the Bexar County Extension Office, 3355 Cherry Ridge St., Suite #208, San Antonio. Learn how to make your landscape look better and save water, all while having fun! This is a great training for new homeowners and residents to the San Antonio area. Topics include: Landscape design for water conservation; Getting the most out of your soil; Managing turf to save water and money; Plant selection for beauty and drought-tolerance; Mulching and other water-conserving practices; Management for a low-maintenance landscape; How to install a drip irrigation system; How to identify and fix irrigation problems; Rainwater harvesting. CEUs: 8 CEUs. Fee: $40.00 per person / $50 per couple. Fee includes one set of the following materials per registration (individual or couple): Earth-Kind Landscape Management Book ($20 value); Rainwater Harvesting Manual ($4.50 value); "Best of Texas" landscape plant guide ($10 value); Sprinkler monitoring equipment ($18 value). Plus, real-world expert advice on landscape management. RSVP to Angel Torres at matorres@ag.tamu.edu , 210 467-6575. Make check payable to Bexar County Master Gardeners.


Austin: Trisha Shirey, recently featured in the May/June issue of Texas Gardener magazine, will present her Top Tips and Favorite Things, Monday, July 13. Head gardener at Lake Austin Spa Resort, Shirey is the author of Vegetable Gardening in the Southwest. The Austin Organic Gardeners' Club meets at the Austin Area Garden Center, 2220 Barton Springs Rd, in Zilker Botanical Gardens. Doors open at 6:30 pm for the opportunity to meet, mingle, and ask questions with local gardeners; club business begins at 7 pm, followed by our guest speaker's presentation. For more information, visit www.austinorganicgardeners.org .


Dallas: Sprinkler System Quick Fixes & System Operation will be presented Tuesday, July 14, 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center WaterSense Labeled Home, 17360 Coit Road, Dallas. Is your sprinkler system turning on the wrong day? Do you have a leak or broken head? Did your city give you a warning? Learn how to make very basic hands on repairs & maintenance to home automatic sprinkler systems, how your sprinkler system operates and its components as well as how to program and reprogram your sprinkler controller utilizing the best and most efficient ways to water your landscape like, the soak and cycle method and other water efficiency practices. A properly functioning sprinkler system saves you time, money, and water! Free.


Seabrook: Marti Graves presents a Hibiscus program at 10 a.m., Wednesday, July 15, at the Meeting Room at Clear Lake Park, 5001 NASA Parkway, Seabook. Graves is editor of the newsletter for the Lone Star Chapter of the American Hibiscus Society. For additional information, visit https://hcmga.tamu.edu


Woodway: Master Gardener Melody Fitzgerald will present "Art in the Garden" 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.

Athens: Henderson County Master Gardeners Summer Series #2: Fall Vegetable Production "Science and Sense". Rick Hirsch, HC Extension Agent, shares his best tips for your successful fall vegetable garden. Thursday, July 16, 6 p.m., Cain Center, Athens. Free and open to the public. For more information, call 903-675-6130 or email hendersoncmga@gmail.com.


San Antonio: Summer Camps for Kiddos, Grands, Nieces, Nephews: Art in the Garden for Ages 5-8 yrs, Jul 16, 9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. at 3355 Cherry Ridge, Suite 208, San Antonio. Learn about plants, insects, and other garden life while creating art for your garden(s). Cost: $20 per child. For more information and to register email Ruby Zavala at Ruby.Zavala@ag.tamu.edu.


Cleburne: Johnson County Junior Master Gardener Vegetable Gardening Certification Course for children 7-11 will be held Monday-Friday July 20-24 at the Chisholm Trail Museum, 101 Chisholm Trail Dr., Cleburne. Monday - What a P.L.A.N.T. NEEDS - Shake Rattle & Roll Your Soil; Tuesday - Propagation - Create an olla watering system; Wed. - How to Bring Pollinators to the Garden - What's Bugging YOU; Thursday - Prepare & Plant for the Fall Garden; Friday - Celebrate our garden with finishing touches and having a party by make salsa from the Summer Garden. During the week we will study explore the Summer Vegetable Garden; plants what kinds and why they are planted, soil testing soil type and pH, check for insects good and bad and is it underwater? Over watered? What a PLANT needs? Bring water and a snack. Seating is limited. Registration required. For more information and to register, contact Pat Kriener at 817-793-4625.


Dallas: Drip Irrigation DIY will be presented Tuesday, July 21, 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center Building E Auditorium, 17360 Coit Road, Dallas. Water slower, deeper and more efficient with every drop. Convert your spray heads and watch your sprinkler system save you money from our hands on drip conversion class. You will learn how to install drip irrigation tubing from your faucet or how to convert an existing zone to drip. Drip irrigation is the most efficient irrigation method and essential to sustainable landscapes. Drip irrigation for foundation watering will also be covered. Free. 


Victoria: Victoria County Master Gardener Association will hold its 2015 Summer Symposium, Thursday, July 23 at Victoria Educational Gardens, 283 Bachelor Dr., Victoria. VEG is located across from Victoria Regional Airport control tower. The event will be held starting at 8 a.m. with registration and conclude at 2 p.m. Speakers will be Texas A&M AgriLife Extension horticulturist Dr. H. Brent Pemberton, internationally known speaker Gaye Hammond and Texas Rose Society chairman Audrey McMurray. Registration is $25 at the door. Early registration ends July 20 and is $20. To obtain registration form go to vcmga.org. For more information telephone 361-575-4581. 


La Marque: A Homeowner's Guide to Weed Control will be presented by GC Master Gardener Anna Wygrys, 9-11 a.m. Saturday, July 25, at the Galveston County AgriLife Extension in Carbide Park, 4102 Main, La Marque; Ph 281-534-3413. Fee/Free. Galveston County Master Gardener event. Further details www.aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston. For the Galveston County residents help line, call 281-534-3413 ext.1 and press menu option 1 to ask a Master Gardener.    


McKinney: Join the Collin County Master Gardeners on Saturday, July 25, for their annual Fall into Vegetable Gardening program and learn how to make your own garden produce delicious and nutritious cool-season vegetables. The class will be conducted at beautiful Myers Park and Event Center in McKinney from 8 a.m. until noon. Master Gardeners will speak about the Best Varieties of Vegetables to grow, Harvesting Vegetables; Integrated Pest Management for the Vegetable Garden; and the Planting Calendar with a few Garden Secrets. Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer questions and will feature demonstration tables offering information on raised bed construction, container gardening, irrigation and rain water harvesting, general CCGMA information, Texas Pure products, and vegetable gardening resources. There will also be tours of the vegetable demonstration beds at Myers Park at the end of the program. Attendees will take home goodie bags filled with useful information to help get their fall/winter garden off to a great start. To register for the event or for more information visit the CCMGA website,www.ccmgatx.org, or call the CCMGA Information Center at 972-548-4232. Registration is required and will open July 1, 2015 on the website. There is a $10 per person fee payable online or at the door with cash, check, or credit card. 


Athens: Henderson County Master Gardeners Summer Series #3: Taste the "Foods and Flavors of the Mediterranean" with Ellis Co. Master Gardeners Susan Clark and Arlene Hamilton. Taste & learn which herbs do well in our local area and love the Texas heat. Saturday, August 1, 10 a.m., Cain Center, Athens. Free and open to the public. For more information, call 903-675-6130 or email  hendersoncmga@gmail.com. 

Landscape Design - Be Your Own Landscape Designer, with Water Efficiency in Mind will be presented Tuesday, August 4, 11, 18, and 25, 6 p.m.-9 p.m. at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center WaterSense Labeled Home, 17360 Coit Road, Dallas. Are you on a budget, but your landscape needs a facelift? Be your own Landscape Designer by learning hands on approaches to landscape design for the "do it yourself" homeowner. Learn proper plant placement, design aspects and installation for a more water efficient landscape. This is a four week class meeting once per week. Cost: $395. Note: This is a project-based class and is limited to one project please. Fee includes dinner each week for up to 2 project leaders/homeowners listed at initial registration. If you will have two project leaders/homeowners please reply to the confirmation email after you have registered.

Master Gardener Mark Barnett will discuss "Soils, Trees, and Oak Wilt" at the Carleen Bright Arboretum, The Pavilion, Woodway, August 19, 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. 




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. 




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.




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.




Brackenridge Park: The Native Plant Society San Antonio Chapter meets every fourth Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. in the Lions Field Adult and Senior Center, 2809 Broadway at E. Mulberry, Brackenridge Park, except August and December. Social and seed/plant exchange at 6:30 p.m. Free and open to the public. For more information, contact Bea at 210-999-7292 or visit www.npsot.org/sanantonio.


Bryan: The Brazos County Master Gardeners, a program of Texas AgriLife Extension, meet the fourth Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. at the Brazos Center, 3232 Briarcrest Drive, Bryan. There is a public gardening program at each meeting and pertinent information may be found at brazosmg.com or 979-823-0129.


Edna: The Jackson County Master Gardeners present their "Come Grown With Us" seminars on the fourth Tuesday of each month, January through October, beginning at 7 p.m. at 411 N. Wells, Edna. The seminars are free, open to the public and offer 2 CEU hours to Master Gardeners or others requiring them. For additional information, contact the Jackson County Extension Office at 361-782-3312.


Linden: The Caddo Wildflower Chapter of Native Plants Society meets the fourth Tuesday of each month at the senior citizens building at 507 S Kaufman St. in Linden at 6:30. Visitors are welcome. For additional information, contact Karen Tromza at khtromza@yahoo.com.


Fort Worth: The Organic Garden Club of Forth Worth meets at 7 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of each month except July and December at the Deborah Beggs Moncrief Garden Center, 3220 Botanic Blvd., Ft. Worth. Refreshments are served. For more information, call 817-263-9322 or visit www.ogcfw.webs.com.


San Antonio: The Native Plant Society of Texas San Antonio Chapter meets the fourth Tuesday of each month, except August and December, at the Lions Field Adult & Senior Center, 2809 Broadway, San Antonio. Social and plant/seed exchange at 6:30 p.m., program at 7:00 p.m. For more information, visit www.npsot.org/sanantonio or email npsot.sanantonio@gmail.com.


Houston: The Houston Chapter of the Native Prairie Association of Texas (HNPAT) meets from 7 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. the fourth Thursday of each month at 3015 Richmond Ave., Houston. For more information, contact hnpat@prairies.org.


Leander: The Leander Garden Club meets on the fourth Thursday of each month (except July and August) at 10:30 a.m. at the community room behind the Greater Texas Federal Credit Union,1300 N. Bell, Cedar Park, unless there is special event planned. Following a program and short business meeting, we share a pot-luck luncheon. To confirm the meeting place and time, please call president Cathy Clark-Ramsey at 512-963-4698 or email info@leandergc.org.


Dallas: The Dallas County Master Gardeners meet the fourth Thursday of each month at 11:30 a.m. For location and program information, visit http://www.dallascountymastergardeners.org/ or contact The Helpdesk, M-F, 8 to 4:30 214-904-3053.


Dallas: The Greater Dallas Organic Garden Club meets at 7:00 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of each month at the REI, 4515 LBJ Freeway, Dallas. For more information, call 214-824-2448 or visit www.gdogc.org.


Arlington: The Arlington Organic Garden Club meets from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. on the last Thursday of each month (except November and December) at the Bob Duncan Center, 2800 S. Center Street, Arlington. For more information, contact David at 817-483-7746.

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Texas Gardener's Seeds is published weekly. Suntex Communications, Inc. 2015. All rights reserved. You may forward this publication to your friends and colleagues if it is sent in its entirety. No individual part of this newsletter may be reproduced in any manner without prior written permission from the publisher.


Missed an issue? Back issues of Texas Gardener's Seeds April 2006-September 2013 are available at www.texasgardener.com/newsletters. Back issues beginning October 2013 are available here


Publisher: Chris S. Corby ● Editor: Michael Bracken 


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