February 3, 2016
  
The garden reader:
Winning by adapting
 
By William Scheick 
Book Reviewer

Maureen Gilmer. Growing Vegetables in Drought, Desert and Dry Times. Sasquatch Books, 2015. 224 pp. $22.95.
 
Vegetables are hardly drought resistant. They originated in regions with plenty of moisture, which veggies store in significant amounts, making them delightful to eat.
 
So growing veggies in drier conditions is clearly a challenge, Maureen Gilmer explains in her deeply informed book. Because "of climate change, increasing populations and dwindling supply," future veggie production requires "a very different path to cultivation."
 
Clever design is the key to veggie sustainability in difficult conditions. Old-fashioned rows, intended for farm-type irrigation, are "out."
 
Raised beds, wind screens, shade cloths, non-metal containers, rain barrels, drip irrigation systems, micro-spray emitters, underground fencing and smart veggie variety selections are "in."
 
Over several particularly helpful pages Gilmer recommends specific veggie cultivars suitable for high desert, low desert and other dry regions. A useful seasonal crop guide makes up an entire chapter in Gilmer's timely book.
 
Mat Pember and Dillon Seitchik-Reardon. The Little Veggie Patch Co. DIY Garden Projects: Easy Activities for Edible Gardening and Backyard Fun. Hardie Grant Books, 2015. 272 pp. $ 34.95.

The Little Veggie Patch Co. DIY Garden Projects is a nifty how-to guide illustrating thirty-eight practical and easy backyard garden projects. Inexpensive undertakings with children, often involving recycled/upcycled materials, are especially highlighted.

Consider, for example, "root zombie resurrection" - the replanting of the taproot tops of carrots, beets, parsnips and turnips. As these root "heads" resprout, they serve as "a great eye-opener for kids on the biological makeup of our plants" and "show how plants can find ways to survive."

Other activities for children include scented herbs paths, pollinator huts, worm farms, mini-scarecrows and wicked milk containers filled with water. Many projects are also designed for adults, including "the ultimate tomato trellis" - "a serious system for some serious tomatoes" - and both the pallet and the rain-gutter wall gardens.
 
Besides an abundance of picture-perfect, hands-on images, the basic beauty of this inviting book lies in the utterly elementary skill-level of the recommended activities. Really, just about anyone can do them!
Extend the garden season with spring-planted bulbs
 
By Melinda Myers
Gardening Expert
 
Keeping your garden looking its best throughout the growing season and into fall is possible with the help of low maintenance spring planted bulbs. Plant them in spring among other annuals or perennials and watch as these bulbs brighten the garden, adding new life to your late season gardens.
 
Whether your gardens and containers are in full sun or shade you'll enjoy the attractive foliage and pop of color that dahlias, cannas, calla lilies, caladiums and elephant ears will add to the landscape.
 
These easy care plants reward you with loads of beauty. Just plant, water and enjoy. Quality online retailers offer the greatest variety of color, shapes and sizes as well as planting and care instructions.
 
Grow dahlias in sunny areas with at least six hours of sunlight for the best floral display. Simply plant the tuberous roots four to six inches deep with the stem facing up after the danger of frost has passed.
 
Use dahlias in a cutting garden or as an attractive screen along fences and property lines. Use the shorter more compact border dahlias, like 'Gallery Pablo' in containers on your patio, balcony or deck where you and the hummingbirds will enjoy their blooms.
 
Wait until the danger of frost has passed to plant cannas in a full sun to partially shaded locations. Plant the canna rhizomes horizontally two to three inches deep with the growing point facing up. Take advantage of their bold foliage and use cannas as a backdrop in the flower border or screen in the landscape. Use as a vertical accent in a large container or select dwarf varieties for smaller pots.
 
Calla lilies are another spring planted bulb that thrives in full sun or part shade. The speckled foliage adds color to the garden all season long. Include these one- to two- feet-tall plants in the front or middle of the flower garden or as a vertical accent or filler in a pot. And don't forget to cut a few flowers to enjoy indoors. The black flowers of 'Night Cap' teamed with the white blooms of 'Crystal Clear' create an elegant display.
 
Like the other bulbs, wait for the danger of frost to pass before planting them outdoors. Plant the knobby rhizomes two to four inches deep with the growing point facing up.
 
Add some color and plenty of wow factor to shaded areas with the foliage of caladiums and elephant ears. These tropical beauties thrive when soil and air temperatures are warm. Wait for the danger of frost to pass and the soil to warm, 65 to 70 degrees, before planting them in the garden.
 
Use caladiums to brighten containers, dress up window boxes or edge a shady pathway. The colorful leaves stand out amongst the greens of shade gardens. Team variegated varieties with complimentary colored begonias, coleus or impatiens.
 
Include elephant ears in the garden or containers. Their large heart shaped leaves give a tropical feel to the patio, deck or pool area. Consider planting one, two or more to create an impressive welcome for guests or a bold statement in the landscape. They pair nicely with caladiums, coleus and other shade loving plants.
 
Make this the best season yet with the help of spring flowering bulbs. You'll enjoy the variety and late season color these easy care plants provide.
 
Melinda Myers has over 30 years of gardening experience and has written over 20 gardening books, including
Small Space Gardening. She hosts The Great Courses "How to Grow Anything: Food Gardening For Everyone" DVD set and the nationally syndicated Melinda's Garden Moment TV & radio program. Myers is a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine.  
Gardening tips

Complete planting of bare-root plants this month. Look for bargains at your local nursery and garden center as it will soon be too late to plant bare-rooted trees and shrubs. They cannot be "carried over," so they usually go on sale. Plant them as soon as possible so they have a little time to develop roots and settle. Keep them well watered, and wait until after it has warmed up and they leafed out to apply any fertilizer.    
 
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 copy of the latest issue of  Texas Gardener magazine. 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.
FEBRUARY

Overton: 2016 Annual East Texas Turfgrass Conference For School Districts, City Parks & Recreation. Lawn & Landscape Managers and Homeowners will be held Thursday, February 4, at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research & Extension Center, Overton. $35. Registration starts at 7:30 a.m. For additional information, call 903-657-0376.

Seguin: The Guadalupe County Master Gardeners will present Lunch & Learn with a Master Gardener. Thursday, February 4, noon-1 p.m. at the AgriLife Extension Office in Seguin. Agent Travis Franke and a panel of Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer your gardening questions. If you have gardening questions or want to learn more about gardening in Guadalupe County bring them to the Lunch and Learn and get your answers from the experts. The Lunch and Learn Program will be at the AgriLife Extension Office, 210 East Live Oak, Seguin, free and open to the public. Attendees are welcome to bring lunch. For additional information, visit www.guadalupecountymastergardeners.org or call the Guadalupe County Extension Service Office in Seguin, 830-303-3889.

Austin: Texas First Detector will be presented Saturday, February 6, 10 a.m.-noon, Zilker Botanical Garden, 2220 Barton Springs Road, Austin. "See something, say something," a program that gardeners can use to improve observation skills detecting invasive pests (insects) and diseases such as the brown marmorated stink bug and rose rosette that may appear and cause problems in our gardens and landscapes. Susan Jung and Tommie Clayton, Travis County Master Gardeners, will introduce attendees to the National Plant Diagnostic Network program, review "wanted posters" so they'll know what to look for, provide web-based resources, and where to report sightings for confirmation. Seminar is free. Zilker park entrance fee is $2 per adult, $1 per child (ages 3-12) or seniors (age 62 & over), $3 for non-Austin Residents. Cash or check accepted. For more information contact: Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service - Travis County, 512-854-9600.

Cleburne: Seed Swapping Good Thyme, 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Saturday, February 6, at the Big Bear Native American Museum, Located at the Chisholm Trail Museum, 2929 W. Henderson, Cleburne, just west of Hill College & the Hospital on HWY 67. Trade a seed pack for a seed pack. Don't worry if you run out of seeds or forget your seeds, we accept a $1 donation per pack. The first 20 people to attend get a FREE pack of seeds from our favorite sponsor, Seed Saves Exchange. Door Prizes Tickets: $1 per ticket; $5. for 6 tickets. Help Cleburne Animal Shelter by bringing your newspapers or canned pet food for 1 FREE Door Prize Ticket. Bring in up to 6 cans or 2 bags of newspapers and get 6 FREE Door Prize Tickets. Admission to BIG BEAR is FREE for the Seed Swap. For more information contact Pat Kriener at 817-793-4625 or wildwoodc@yahoo.com.

Dallas: Learn ways to maintain a healthy lawn with less frequent watering. Discover the most effective and earth-friendly way to care for lawn at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research & Extension Center Auditorium (17360 Coit Road, Dallas) on Saturday, February 6 from 9 a.m.-11 a.m. Patrick Dickinson, a horticulturalist with the Urban Water Program at Texas A&M AgriLife Research in Dallas, will teach how to care for lawn like an expert. Subjects covered will include basic care for lawns, common turf problems, how to water most efficiently and much more. Space is limited, so please register online at SaveDallasWater.com or by calling 214-670-3155.

San Angelo: On February 6, The People/Plant Connection will present the first in a new series, "Family Day in the Garden-All About Trees." We invite families to come and learn about trees; why we need them, how to plant them and how to care for them. We will have activities for families to do together. Weather permitting we'll go outside for more activities. This is the first Family Day before the opening of the Children's Adventure Garden in April 2016. These seminars will be offered quarterly with more activities in the garden. It will be held from 9-11 a.m. at the Southside Recreation Center, 2750 Ben Ficklin Rd., San Angelo. Cost: $3/Adults $2/Children 4 and up. Children 3 and under get in free. To reserve your space and assure materials call 325-656-3104.

La Grange: Fayette County Master Gardeners present their Lunch-N-Learn on "Attracting Pollinators" with Harold Pieratt as speaker from 12:05 p.m. to 12:50 p.m., Tuesday, February 9 at Fayette County AgriLife Extension Service, 255 Svoboda Lane, La Grange. Meetings are free and open to the public. For more information, call 979-968-5831.

Bryan: Gardening with the Masters - Growing Potatoes will be presented by
Brazos County Master Gardeners, noon-1 p.m. Wednesday, February 10 (bad weather date: Feb. 17). Join the Brazos County Master Gardeners under the pavilion at the DIG (Demonstration Idea Garden) for a basic introduction to planting, harvesting, and troubleshooting problems with potatoes in the Brazos Valley. The program is open to the public at no charge. For additional information call 979-823-0129 or visit http://brazos.agrilife.org .
 
Austin: "Effects on Insect Ecology: How You Can Help," will be presented Thursday, February 11, 10 a.m.-noon, at Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service-Travis County, 1600-B Smith Road, Austin. The talk covers why insects and other arthropods are important to humans and other animals, how drought impacts various insect groups and how people can help attract and keep insects in their yard even in times of drought. Wizzie Brown serves as Program Specialist - IPM in the Austin metroplex encompassing Travis County and surrounding counties. Cost: $10 through 2/1; $15 starting 2/2 and on-site. NO cash accepted - checks and credit cards only. Space is limited so register on-line early to reserve your seat! Register: https://agriliferegister.tamu.edu/TravisCounty , Register by Phone: 979-845-2604. For more information, contact: Sue Carrasco, 512-854-9610 or sacarrasco@ag.tamu.edu.

Houston: "Rose Pruning Done Right" will be the topic of the Houston Rose Society meeting on Thursday, February 11, at 7:30 p.m. at the Cherie Flores Garden Pavilion, 1500 Hermann Drive, Houston. The parking lot is Lot C, located at Hermann Drive and Crawford Street. Expert rosarians with the Houston Rose Society will demonstrate pruning techniques on actual bushes of all types of roses. Tables will be placed so all can get a close-up view of the demonstration. Questions are encouraged. Added bonus: all pruned bushes will be given away as door prizes; obtain a free raffle ticket upon arrival to be eligible. Free admission. For additional information, visit http://www.houstonrose.org. 
 
San Antonio: Ohio native Pat James-Hasser will present how herbs were transported to this country on the Mayflower and stored and used in colonial times for medicinal, pest control, and to make food more palatable. We will learn how our herbs were shipped to America and why. The presentation will be at the San Antonio Garden Center at 3310 N. New Braunfels on February 11 from 6:30 to 8:30. Free and open to the public. For additional information, visit the Herb Society website at www.sanantonioherbs.org.

Angleton: The Brazoria County Master Gardener present 10th Annual Fruit & Citrus Tree Sale 8 a.m.-noon, February 13, at the Brazoria County Fair Grounds, 901 South Downing, Angleton. More than 1,800 individual plants will be available. For additional information, visit http://txmg.org/brazoria/ or http://barzoria.agrilife.org/

Pasadena: Saturday, February 13, Precinct 2, Harris County Master Gardener Fruit Tree and Tomato Sale at Campbell Hall, Pasadena Fairgrounds, 7600 Red Bluff, Pasadena. Fruit Tree Overview by Heidi Sheesley, owner of Treesearch Farms, at 8 a.m. Sale hours 9 a.m.-1 p.m. If it's sold at our sale, it grows in our area. Details: https://hcmga.tamu.edu.

Terrell:
Is the green in your lawn weeds or grass? Do you have brown circles in your yard? Proper lawn care maintenance is a key component to a healthy lawn. This program covers basic lawn maintenance practices and selecting the right turf grass to improve the health and longevity of your landscape. You will learn how to maintain your landscape using less water, fertilizer, and pesticides. Space is limited to 250. "Lawncare" will be presented 9 a.m.-noon, Saturday, February 13, and Saturday, February 20, at City of Terrell Service Center, 400 Industrial Blvd., Terrell, Texas 75160. For additional information, visit http://dallas.tamu.edu.

Cleburne: The 2016 Johnson County Junior Master Gardener classes begin February 15 at the Johnson County Demo Garden located in the Chisholm Trail Museum, 2929 W. Henderson, Cleburne. Morning Class 10 a.m.; Afternoon Class 4 p.m.. Classes geared for kids 7-11. Funky Fungus starts the year. Learn some Fun Fungus Facts and take home an Organic Mushroom Kit. This class is $10.00 per Take-Home Project. Siblings can get 1 kit per 2 kids. Register NOW by contacting Pat Kriener, 817-793-4625 or wildwoodc@yahoo.com.

San Antonio: David's Garden Seeds, 7715 Tezel Drive, San Antonio, will present a "Tomato Grafting Class" at 1 p.m. Saturday, February 15. They will graft rose tomato plants with Maxifort rootstock plants. Call ahead to make sure the plants are ready because this is the best guess at when they will be ready to graft. Visit http://www.davids-garden-seeds-and-products.com/gardening-seminar.html for more information. For information on other gardening seminars, visit www.davids-garden-seeds-and-products.com.

Diboll: The 2016 Texas Timber Tax Workshop scheduled for February 16 in East Texas is a day-long event that provides information on timber tax laws and rules, helping attendees understand recent changes before filing taxes. This annual workshop hosted by Texas A&M Forest Service and Texas Forestry Association gives hundreds of foresters, landowners and other professionals the training and education needed for applying new tax rules, which could prove an advantage in forest management planning. The workshop is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 16 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Lottie and Arthur Temple Civic Center, 601 Dennis St., Diboll, Texas. Registration is $75 and includes a workbook, lunch and refreshments. The workshop is designed for forest landowners, consulting foresters, public accountants, loggers and anyone who deals with timber taxes. Participating in this workshop also qualifies for continuing education credits. For more information or to register, go to http://texasforestservice.tamu.edu/timbertaxworkshop, or contact Jennifer Hayes at 979-458-6630 or jhayes@tfs.tamu.edu.

Lockhart: Have you ever wanted to become a beekeeper? Are you afraid of bees when you are working in your garden? Tara Chapman with BeeWeaver Apiaries will present a fun and educational talk about Bees, the Great Pollinator at the Lockhart Library at 6:30 p.m -8 p.m., February 16. For more information, visit http://txmg.org/tsmg/, email TexasSageMG@gmail.com, or call 512-581-7186.

New Braunfels: The Lindheimer Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas will meet at 6:30 on Tuesday, February 16, at the GVTC Auditorium located at 36101 FM 3159, New Braunfels. Deedy Wright will make a presentation on native plant propagation for our annual plant sale to be held at Folkfest. The meeting is open to the public, and new members are welcome. For more information contact: Susan James, President, at 979-373-8259 or visit npsot.org/wp/lindheimer/.

Woodway: "What to Plant in the Spring and Fairy Gardening" will be presented by Sandra Killough of Bonnie's Greenhouses February 16 from noon to 2 p.m. at 1 Pavilion Way (The Pavilion at Woodway Arboretum), Woodway. Bring lunch and enjoy learning about planting a Fairy Garden and about the best choices for a spring garden. For more information, call 254-399-9204.

Dallas:
"Master Gardener - Water Efficient Landscape Design" will be presented
Wednesday-Friday, February 17-19 at Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center, Building C Classroom & Large Hall, 17360 Coit Road, Dallas. Do you have a demonstration garden or school garden project that needs help to be water efficient? The Water Efficient Landscape Design Program for Master Gardeners provides you the skills to be your own landscape designer. You bring the project and we provide the guidance. You will learn basic landscape design techniques, native/adaptive plant selection, rainwater harvesting and efficient irrigation to help your project become the envy of water efficient landscapes. This is a three-day program with Wednesday and Thursday evening optional design workshops. This workshop is only open to current Master Gardener volunteers. One registration is good for two club members to attend with design materials to share. Additional design materials available for purchase. Registration: Only 20 Master Gardener participant spots are available for this training (10 groups). Registration is first come/first served basis. Cost: $300.00: (includes lunch, dinner and design materials). For additional information please email Karen Sanders at karen.sanders@tamu.edu. To pay by credit card please contact Clint Wolfe at 972-952-9635.Registration Dallas.tamu.edu/courses.

San Antonio: Bulbs for San Antoni
o, a BCMG Educational Seminar, will be presented 1 p.m.-4 p.m., February 18, at 3355 Cherry Ridge, Suite 208, San Antonio. Bexar County Master Gardeners (BCMG) sponsors this free, afternoon seminar. Sandy Justice will present a program on how to select the kinds of bulbs that will grow in San Antonio on how to plant and propagate them, and where to find them for starters. 2 CEUs for MGs. For more information, email the BCMG President, President@bexarmg.org, or call 210-699-0663.

New Braunfels: The Comal Master Gardeners and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will present their Spring Seminar featuring "Plants For All Seasons, Magnificent Monocots, A to Z" at McKenna Events Center, 801 West San Antonio Street, New Braunfels, on Friday, February 19, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Registration is $55 and includes lunch, snacks, and seminar handout. Dr. Flo Oxley, Professor of Biology at Austin Community College, will give an introduction to Monocots; Joanne Hall, owner of South Texas Growers of Bulverde, will give an overview of ornamental grasses in the landscape; Velia Sanchez-Ruiz, a member of the American Hemerocallis Society and a Region 6 Daylily Judge, will cover Daylilies; David Will, Texas Certified Landscape Professional and owner of Landscape Details, will speak on bulbs; Dotty Woodson an AgriLife Extension Specialist, will provide instruction on how to make a rain garden. Seating is limited, so register early. Registration forms are available at http://txmg.org/comal/event/seminar/. For additional information, call 830-620-3440.

San Angelo: Friday, February 19, The People/Plant Connection will present "Lunch 'n' Learn" seminar series with Allison Watkins, AgriLife Extension Horticulturist for Tom Green County. She will be talking about "Spring Forward: Get Ready to Grow." Spring is almost here, get a head start by learning the right things to do in the landscape and garden to be prepared for the spring planting season. You'll find out the best EarthKind practices to assure a water conserving landscape. We meet from noon to 1 p.m. at the Edd B. Keys Building, 113 W. Beauregard, San Angelo. We'll be in the AgriLife Extension Offices, in the former Library location, on the first floor by the elevator. Cost is $5 per person. All proceeds go toward building the Children's Adventure Garden, projected to open in April, 2016. For more information, visit www.peopleplantconnection.org.

Hitchcock: "Galveston County Master Gardener Annual Fruit, Citrus Tree and Vegetable Sale" will be held at Galveston County Fair Grounds in Jack Brooks Park - Rodeo Arena, Hwy 6 and Jack Brooks Road, Hitchcock, February 20. GC Master Gardener Jon Johns presents the plants and vegetables that will be available 8-8:45 a.m. Sale 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Ph 281-534-3413; further details visit www.aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston.

McKinney: The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will present a two-day Earth-Kind Landscape Design and Management School at the Myers Park and Event Center, 7117 County Road 166 near McKinney. The course will be held Feb. 20-21 and consist of an in-depth classroom program and outdoor laboratory session, plus a personalized, extended 1.5 hour landscape design consultation to be conducted a few weeks later. Earth-Kind landscaping combines the best of research-proven techniques of organic and traditional gardening and landscaping to provide maximum garden and landscape enjoyment while preserving and protecting the environment. Cost for the course is $295 per household and class size is limited, so attendees are encouraged to enroll as soon as possible. For more information and to enroll, contact Kim Betancourt at 972-952-9211 or kim.betancourt@ag.tamu.edu.

San Antonio: Bexar County Master Gardeners (BCMG) and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will offer Master Gardener Intern Training Class #60 from February 24 to May 25 (Noon-4 p.m., each Wednesday) at 3355 Cherry Ridge, Suite 208, San Antonio. Application Deadline is Tuesday, Feb. 9. Application form available at http://www.bexarmg.org/get-involved/.

San Antonio: "Landscape Chores To Do Now" will be presented 10:30 a.m.-noon, Saturday, February 27, at Milberger's Landscape Nursery, 3920 N Loop 1604 E, San Antonio. 1.5 CEUs. Spring is just around the corner, so what needs to be pruned, fertilized, mulched, planted, etc. in your landscape, lawns and garden? Visit with David Rodriguez, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Horticulturist who will show you the what & how!  
MARCH
 
Santa Barbara, Calif.: The Santa Barbara International Orchid Show returns to Earl Warren Showgrounds March 4-6. As the oldest and one of the largest annual orchid shows in the United States, the Santa Barbara International Orchid Show marks its 71st year with the theme "Wild World of Orchids." General admission to the show is $12. Seniors and students with ID pay $10; children 12 and under are free with a paying adult. Individual tickets can be purchased at the show box office or through Ticketmaster. Group sales information is available at www.sborchidshow.com, via email at sborchidshowpublicity@gmail.com or by phone at (805) 403-1533. The Show is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, March 4, Saturday, March 5, and Sunday, March 6. To learn more, visit www.sborchidshow.com.

Dallas: "Landscape Design - Be Your Own Landscape Designer, with Water Efficiency in Mind" will be presented 6 p.m.-9 p.m., Tuesdays, March 8, 15, 22, 29 at 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. Registration Dallas.tamu.edu/courses.

Bastrop: Do you know a good bug from a bad one? Tommie Clayton and Susan Jung, First [Bug] Detector Specialists, will explain the difference on March 15, from 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m. at the Bluebonnet Electric Co-op building (650 Hwy 21 East) in Bastrop. With more than 30 years of Master Gardening experience between them, Tommie and Susan are also founding members of Texas Sage Master Gardeners, which serves Bastrop and Caldwell Counties. For more information, visit http://txmg.org/tsmg/, email TexasSageMG@gmail.com, or call 512-581-7186.

Marshall: The Annual Spring Plant Sale of the Harrison County Master Gardeners will be held on Saturday, March 19, 8 a.m.-2 p.m., on the Tractor Supply parking lot at 105 E End Blvd (Hwy 59) in Marshall. Many Master-Gardener grown (pass-along) plants will be available, as well as commercially-grown flowers and vegetables, all at competitive prices. Arrive early for the best selection.

Orangefield: The Orange County Master Gardeners Association will host their Annual Bloomin' Crazy Plant Fair on Saturday, March 19, at Cormier Park, 8235 FM 1442, Orangefield. Available will be Texas Superstar plants, natives, perennials, annuals, vines, tropical storm, vegetables, citrus, blueberries, and many other varieties. In addition, vendors will have locally produced products, specialty plants and organic items for plants and lawns. For more information, visit txmg.org/orange.
APRIL

Dallas:
Is your landscape brown and crispy? Learn to create and install a water efficient landscape or garden. You will learn proper soil preparation, a large selection of minimal water use plants that are native and adaptive, and how to design and plan a small or large project. Plant list provided. "Water Efficient Landscape" will be presented 9 a.m.-noon, Saturday, April 2, and Saturday, April 9, at Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center, Building E Auditorium, 17360 Coit Road, Dallas. For additional information, visit http://dallas.tamu.edu.
Monthly meetings
 
If you would like your organization's events included in "Monthly Meetings" or would like to make a change to a listed meeting, please contact us at Monthly Meetings. To ensure inclusion in this column, please provide complete details. 
 
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.

Hempstead: The Waller County Master Gardeners usually mee tat 9 a.m. the first Thursday of each month at the Waller County AgriLife Extension Office, 846 6th St., Hempstead. For more information on the meeting schedule, visit http://txmg.org/wallermg or call 979-826-7651.

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.

Glen Rose: The Prairie Rose Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas meets at 6 p.m. on the second Monday of each month at the Somerville County Citizen Center, 209 SW Barnard St., Glen Rose. For additional information, email prairierose.npsot@gmail.com
 
Harrison County: The Harrison County Master Gardeners meet on the second Tuesday of each month in the Harrison County Annex building, 102 W Houston St. (south side of the square), Marshall. Meetings are held in the 2nd floor AgriLife Extension meeting room. For more information, call 903-935-8413, or email wannagrow2@gmail.com.   
 
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/.

Texarkana: The Four Corners Chapter of Native Plant Society of Texas meets at 7 p.m. on the third Monday of each month at the Southwest Center, 3222 W. 7th St. (U.S. 67), Texarkana. Visitors are welcome. For additional information, contact Belinda McCoy at 903-424-7724 or blackmtngardens@yahoo.com.

Bastrop: Texas Sage meets the third Tuesday of each month. The location varies. For additional information, call 512-581-7186 or email TexasSageMG@gmail.com
 
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 AgriLife Building, 210 East Live Oak, 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 Native Prairie Association meets at 7 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday of each month at the Cherie Flores Pavilion in McGovern Centennial Gardens at Hermann Park, 1500 Hermann Drive, 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.
Texas Gardener digital edition available

Same magazine as our print edition without the paper and at a better price. Fully compatible with your desktop, laptop, iPad or Tablet. Access Texas Gardener anywhere, anytime: at the office, home, vacation, even in the garden. Easy to use with robust features and fully searchable archive as long as your subscription is active. Visit www.TexasGardener.com and click on the digital radio button to subscribe.
Vegetable Gardening in the Southwest

By Trisha Shirey

 

Sweet, vine-ripened watermelon, tomatoes, bell peppers, crisp winter salads are just a few of the delights awaiting gardeners in Texas and the Southwest. While the cold winters and hot, dry summers can present challenges, there are many ways to have a productive garden and an ever changing menu of seasonal food. This book is for vegetable gardeners in Texas and surrounding states who want to get the most out of their gardens. Trisha Shirey (featured in the May/June issue of Texas Gardener magazine) is an award-winning heart-of-Texas gardener, and the head gardener at the Lake Austin Spa Resort where she has successfully overcome drought, insects and early freezes. She shows readers how to deal with these problems, along with others, and come out a winner. This book isn't loaded with lots of pretty color pictures, but it is loaded with lots of terrific gardening advice written just for gardeners in Texas and the southwest! Softback. 238 pages.

 

Only $26.55 (includes shipping, handling and tax). 

 

To order using your credit card, call toll-free 1-800-727-9020 or online at
www.TexasGardener.com.
Buy two books, receive cap free!

The Vegetable Book

By Dr. Sam Cotner

 

Finally, back by popular demand and in its fourth printing, the most informative and comprehensive "how-to" book on vegetable gardening in Texas (also, suitable for most other areas of the South) written by the late, great Dr. Sam Cotner, former head of horticulture at Texas A&M University and lifelong gardener. This interesting read has over 370 pages of detailed information on every crop, from Asparagus to Watermelon including problem/solving sections for each vegetable. If you want to maximize your enjoyment and success growing vegetables in Texas, this book is a "must have," whether you are a beginner or a seasoned gardener. Price $34.02

The Texas Tomato Lover's Handbook

By William D. Adams

 

The best thing for tomato enthusiasts since the tomato itself! Adams draws on more than thirty years of experience to provide a complete, step-by-step guide to success in the tomato patch. Learn everything from soil preparation, planting, feeding, caging and watering. Liberally sprinkled with the author's easy humor and illustrated with his own excellent photographs, this must-have book has everything you'll need to assure a bumper crop! 189 pages. Lots of color photographs! Price: $31.94

Order both books, receive a FREE Texas Gardener cap!

($15.82 if ordered separately)

 

Remit payment to:

TG Books * PO Box 9005 * Waco, TX 76714

or call Toll-Free 1-800-727-9020

 

American Express, Visa, MasterCard and Discover Accepted

Texas Gardener's Seeds is published weekly. Suntex Communications, Inc. 2016. 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 

 

Texas Gardener's Seeds, P.O. Box 9005, Waco, Texas 76714

www.TexasGardener.com