March 30, 2016
  
The truth about hot peppers
 
By Melinda Myers
Gardening Expert
 
Don't be afraid to add a little spicy heat to your meals this season by growing a few hot peppers in the garden or containers. It's easier than you think and many of the hot pepper myths floating around the garden are simply not true.
 
Don't worry about your hot peppers heating up your sweet peppers. Peppers are normally self-pollinated. If an insect happens to move the pollen from a hot to sweet pepper, it will not affect the flavor or heat of this year's harvest. If you save the seeds from a cross-pollinated pepper and plant them in next year's garden, the plants they produce may have hot or sweet fruit (or a little of both), but only time will tell.
 
And don't assume all green peppers are sweet or you will be in for a surprise. Jalapenos are typically harvested when green and others, like habanero, Anaheim and Poblano are hot, whether harvested when green or red. You'll also find that hot peppers can be yellow, orange, brown and of course red.
 
You can turn down the heat when preparing your favorite recipes, too. Contrary to popular belief, all the heat in hot peppers does not come from the seeds. While partially true, the majority of the capsaicin that gives hot peppers their heat is in the white membrane that houses the seeds. When the seeds are growing they may also be coated with extra capsaicin from the membrane. So remove the white membrane and the seeds, just to be safe, if you want to turn down the heat.
 
The spicy heat of hot peppers is measured in Scoville Heat Units. The ratings are based on the amount of sugar water needed to neutralize the spicy heat in the extracted capsaicin that has been diluted in an alcohol-based extract. A panel of five taste testers decides when the spicy heat has been neutralized and then assigns the rating. Today many companies use a chemical process (liquid chromatography) but translate their results into the popular Scoville heat units.
 
The Scoville heat unit ratings vary from one type of hot pepper to another, with Poblano rating between 1000 to 2000, jalapenos 2500 to 6000, habaneros at 100,000 to 300,000 and one of the hottest, the ghost pepper, at 1,000,000 to 2,200,000 Scoville heat units. Check online or the Homegrown with Bonnie Plants mobile app (for iOs and Android) at https://bonnieplants.com/app/ for the Scoville ratings, growing tips and a Pepper Chooser to help you pick the best varieties to grow. Ratings may also vary from individual plants within a specific type based on individual plant differences and the growing conditions.
 
Whatever kind you grow, be sure to label hot peppers when planting, harvesting and storing to avoid any mix-ups. The sweet banana pepper, for example, can easily be confused with hot banana. This could make for an unwelcome surprise when preparing, serving and eating.
 
Also, consider wearing rubber gloves and avoid touching your face and eyes when working with hot peppers, as they can burn. Wash your hands, utensils and cutting boards when finished to avoid any future issues.
 
And don't worry if you are having a bad day when planting your hot peppers. Contrary to some old adages, planting hot peppers when you're angry won't make the peppers hotter, but unknowingly taking a bite of a hot pepper may very well change your mood.
 
Melinda Myers has more than 30 years of gardening experience has written more than 20 gardening books, including Small Space Gardening and the Midwest Gardener's Handbook. 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 segments. Myers is a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine. Myers' website is www.melindamyers.com.

Five tips for fruit tree success

By Randy Schultz
 
There may be nothing quite as satisfying as plucking a fresh, ripe piece of fruit from your own backyard tree. Fruiting trees such as apple, pear, peach, citrus and others are among the most versatile and productive plants in the garden, capable of producing fruit for decades.
 
Fruit trees benefit from proper planting, routine care and optimum growing conditions. For maximum yield year after year, follow these five tips for fruit tree success:
 
Do your research first. Fruit trees are extremely diverse, and you can always find several types that thrive in your area. Take your garden's climate, space, soil and sun exposure into account, and select a fruit tree that suits your needs. "Don't forget to consider self-pollinating versus cross-pollinating varieties," said tree expert Jeff Dinslage, president of NatureHills.com. "If you buy a single fruit tree that needs cross-pollination, all you'll ever get are flowers." So if you only have room for one fruit tree, consider a self-pollinating variety such as the Fuji Apple or 'Flavortop' Nectarine.
 
Give young fruit trees plenty of TLC. The day you bring your tree home and plant it in your garden is the most critical time in the tree's life, and it's important to provide proper care until it becomes fully established. "Proper care from the start is really important," said Dinslage. "The care you give your tree during its first few years will affect its shape, strength, yield, and even lifespan." To give your tree the best possible start, keep it well-watered, and offer extra protection from pests and inclement weather.
 
Prune correctly. Proper pruning is a must for a productive, happy fruit tree. Pruning your trees can give their leaves better access to light, keep messy growth to a minimum, and help them set bigger, juicier fruit. Remove dead wood, and thin out branches that cross each other. Every species of tree is different, so read up on when and how to prune your tree for best results.
 
Mulch and fertilize (but don't overdo it). Like pruning, mulching and feeding your fruit trees will keep them healthy and productive. Mulch your trees after planting and every spring and fall thereafter, taking care to leave room right around the base of the trunk. (Mulch piled high around the base of the tree can lead to rot). Feed your trees with a high-quality fertilizer throughout the growing season to encourage strong roots, a lush canopy and an abundant harvest.
 
Keep an eye out for problems, and act quickly. Like all plants, fruit trees can be susceptible to blight, insects and other common problems. Keep one step ahead of disease and pests by preventing them in the first place and by acting quickly to identify and treat anything that's causing trouble. Research your fruit tree type and variety, and contact your local extension office for information on the most common pests and diseases to watch out for.
 
Growing fruit trees for that first homegrown harvest does take a little patience, but expert gardeners insist that they're worth the initial effort. "A great harvest doesn't happen overnight," said Dinslage, "but fruit trees are one of the most rewarding plants a gardener can grow."
 
For more information about fruit tree care and the wide variety of fruit trees available for growing in the U.S., visit www.NatureHills.com.
The compost heap
Newspaper layering

"In regards to the tip ('Gardening Tips,' Seeds, March 16, 2016)," writes Josh B. Lowery, "is there any concern with the lack of oxygen movement under the newspaper (or cardboard as some suggest), that creates a 'septic' environment that grows 'bad' organisms (bacteria, etc)."

I have never heard of any problem like that with using newspaper as mulch. It usually breaks down much faster than five years as Ms. Smith reports. The paper is porous and not continuous so it allows for oxygen movement. If you have a drainage problem it could conceivably make the drainage problem worse. - Chris S. Corby, publisher 
Gardening tips

Don't dispose of leaves and grass clippings. Instead, use them as mulch or put them in the compost pile. If you don't have a compost pile, sprinkle them between your garden rows, and they will compost in place over time and provide a nice mud-free walkway this spring.
 
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.
MARCH

Athens: The Henderson County Maser Gardeners 2016 Spring Conference will be held March 31 at the First United Methodist Church in Athens. There will be a silent auction at 5:30 p.m. followed by dinner at 6 p.m. At 7 p.m., Dr. David Creech will discuss native plants. $25. For additional information, email hendersoncmga@gmail.com.
APRIL

Angleton:
The Brazoria County Master Gardeners will present their 18th Annual Spring Plant Sale, Saturday, April 2, 8 a.m. to noon, at the Brazoria County Environmental Education Station, 799 E. Hospital Drive, Angleton. For more information, call 979-864-1558 x110.

Bonham: The 12th Annual Garden, Lawn, and Home Expo sponsored by the Fannin County Master Gardeners will be Saturday, April 2, at the Bonham High School, Hwy 121, Bonham. The Expo opens the doors at 8:30 a.m. with vendors offering a variety of plants, including landscape, herb and vegetables. Exhibit and vendor booths will have lawn and garden tools and supplies, handmade art and crafts, household items and outdoor equipment to see and to sell. Throughout the day there will be a silent auction and door prizes will be awarded. Presentaters include Dr. Kevin Ong, Associate Professor, TAMU Plant Pathology, and Ashley Hartman, Associate Professor, TAMU Plant Pathology. Lunch will be available to purchase. For more information or to be a vendor at the Expo call Fannin County Extension office at 903-583-7453 or visit http://fannin.agrilife.org.

Gonzales:
The Gonzales Master Gardeners' 6th Annual Spring Plant Sale will be held Saturday, April 2, from 8:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. in downtown Gonzales on Texas Heroes Square located just west of Gonzales County Court House. Shoppers will have the opportunity to select from an assortment of vegetables, herbs, annual and perennial plants, succulents, cacti, houseplants and citrus fruit trees. A wide variety of vegetable plants will include heirloom tomato plants, various pepper varieties and much more. A great selection of herbs for the garden will be available. Check out the not-so-common perennials, hanging baskets, bromeliads, and dish gardens that will also be offered for sale. Bring gardening questions to the "Ask the Master Gardener" booth and stop by to bid on the wide variety of items in the silent auction. Food and drink will also be available for sale. Proceeds from the silent auction and the sale of plants will be used for education projects for the school children, adult education programs and other community projects. Contact Fran Saliger at 830-672-2953 for more information.

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.

Houston: Rose Plant Sale will be held Saturday, April 2, at St. Andrews Church Bazaar, 1819 Heights Blvd. Houston, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. The Houston Rose Society will be selling 48 grade #1 roses purchased from Congo Nursery in Pasadena. Arrive early for the best selection. $25 per potted bush. Consulting Rosarians will be on hand to answer rose questions. For additional information, visit http://www.houstonrose.org.

Marshall: The Annual Spring Plant Sale of the Harrison County Master Gardeners will be held on Saturday, April 2, 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.

Nacogdoches: SFA Gardens at Stephen F. Austin State University will host its annual Garden Gala Day Spring Plant Sale and Earth Day Celebration from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday, April 2, at the SFA Pineywoods Native Plant Center, 2900 Raguet Street, in historic Nacogdoches. A wide variety of hard-to-find, "Texas tough" plants will be available, including Texas natives, heirlooms, tropicals, perennials, shrubs, trees, and unusual species. Most of the plants are trialed in the gardens before being offered to the public and most are produced by the SFA Gardens staff and volunteers. This popular event benefits the SFA Mast Arboretum, Pineywoods Native Plant Center, Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden, Gayla Mize Garden, and educational programs hosted at the gardens. The educational programs at SFA Gardens reach more than 15,000 students of all ages on a yearly basis. The 9th Annual SFA Earth Day Celebration presented alongside the SFA Spring Garden Gala Plant Sale will begin at 10 a.m. and feature informational booths, guest speakers, activities for kids of all ages, free local food, live music, and more. Held in the beautiful setting of the Pineywoods Native Plant Center, the outdoor festival is sponsored by Campus Recreation's Outdoor Pursuits program, the SFA Student Sustainability Coalition, SFA Gardens, and Nacogdoches Naturally. The celebration is an opportunity for members of the SFA student body and the Nacogdoches community to join together in furthering the vision of a sustainable campus and community. Parking is available at the nearby Early Childhood Research Center, 2428 Raguet St. The public is encouraged to arrive early and bring a wagon. For more information, call 936-468-4404, or visit www.sfagardens.sfasu.edu two weeks before the sale for a list of available plants.

Tyler: Tyler 1st Tuesday in the Garden, "Bullet-Proof Plants," will be presented in the IDEA Garden in the Tyler Rose Garden Center, 420 Rose Park Dr., Tyler, noon-1:00 p.m., April 5. Free and open to the public. Seating is limited; please bring a chair for your comfort. In case of inclement weather, program will be held inside the Rose Garden Center. For more information visit http://txmg.org/smith/coming-events or call 903-590-2980.

San Antonio: San Antonio Garden Center Clubs will meet Wednesday, April 6, at 10 a.m. at 3310 N. New Braunfels @ Funston. The program, "Keeping the Bloom in Blooms," will feature Joe Don Zetzsche, the Director of HEB's Blooms. He will talk about the logistics of supplying and running the Blooms floral departments in 250 stores and the unique joys and challenges of such a large operation. Coffee at 9:30; meetings are free and open to the public. For more information visit sanantoniogardencenter.org or call 210-824-9981.

Cleburne: Annual Plant Sale J. C. Master Gardeners will be held at the Sheriff's Posse White Building, 1315 S. Main, Cleburne, Saturday, April 9, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

Huntsville: Herb Festival at the Wynne Home will be held Saturday, April 9, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. at 1428 Eleventh Street, Huntsville. Sponsored by the Texas Thyme Unit of the Herb Society of America. Herb, butterfly and hummingbird, camellias and perennial plants for sale. Speakers, herbal and garden vendors, artists, musicians, food, and children's activities. The Festival is free. For information, call 936-891-5024.

Nacogdoches: A Little Princess Tea Party will be held April 9, 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. at SFA Gardens in Nacagdoches. Please join charming Flower Fairies for a delightful party with treats, music and merriment among the enchanting pines and azaleas of the Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden. Wear your favorite princess or fairy apparel and enjoy a magical day in the garden! Recommended for princesses, age 3-10 years, accompanied by fanciful adults. $25.00/person. Purchase tickets online: http://sfagardens.sfasu.edu. For further information, contact Fairy Headquarters at 936-468-1832 or sfagardens@sfasu.edu.

New Braunfels: The NPSOT, Lindheimer Chapter, will present "Spring Native Plant Sale" on April 9, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and April 10 from noon to 5 p.m. The sale will take place at Folkfest in Heritage Park, 1370 Church Hill Dr., New Braunfels. There will 40+ varieties of native plants, with special focus on butterfly and hummingbird plants. Activities for children will be included.

Odessa: Permian Basin Master Gardeners (Ector/Midland Counties) will host Chris Casanova from Lubbock for a seminar on Color in Design with Water Wise Plants on Saturday, April 9, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The class will be held at the West Texas Food Bank, 411 South Pagewood, Odessa and cost is $20, which includes lunch and door prizes. Doors open at 9:30 a.m. for payment and meal selection. Registration is required by contacting the Extension office at 432-498-4071 or emailing wrroberson@ag.tamu.edu. Guest speaker, Christine Casanova, began gardening at an early age. She received a Bachelor in Art History and practiced interior design for 20 years. Then she moved to Lubbock and Earned a Masters from Texas Tech in Landscape Architecture. In addition to being a certified Master Gardener, she teaches Landscape Design, color graphics and planting design full time at Texas Tech.

San Angelo: Saturday, April 9, will be the first of the three "Talk & Tour" series sponsored by The People/Plant Connection. This is a special time where attendees meet at the Southside Rec Center, 2750 Ben Ficklin Rd., San Angelo to caravan to the nursery. The first one is a trip to Desert Gardens at Cactustown, located on N. Hwy 67. Once you arrive at the garden, refreshments will be served and the owner, Mike Moseman will give a personal tour of his garden. You will see an extensive collection of cactus and succulents and he will show you how to add these beautiful specimens to your garden. If you are looking for unique garden art, you will also find a large selection of metal and wood pieces. You'll learn how to create a beautiful garden using cactus and succulents that give a better alternative to rocks. Join us on this fun trip. The cost is $25 per person. Shopping is optional, however, PPC members get a discount at Desert Gardens and memberships will be available on-site. Preregistration is required. Call 325-656-3104 to register.

San Antonio: The 2016 Watersaver Landscape Tour, a free, self-guided walking tour (about one mile) of 6 unique landscapes in gated neighborhood of Inverness in north-central San Antonio, will be held 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Saturday, April 9 (rescheduled from October, 2015, due to weather) in the Inverness neighborhood. NOTE: Entry to Inverness will be by free shuttle only. Park and Ride from the Barshop Jewish Community Center, 12500 NW Military Highway at Wurzbach Parkway. You will receive a tour program and trail map when you board the shuttle. Reserve your preferred shuttle time at the event website: www.watersaverlandscapetour.org. The website also shows photos and descriptions of the six landscapes.

La Grange: La Grange: Fayette County Master Gardeners present their Lunch-N-Learn on "Companion Planting" with Pat Mokry as speaker from 12:05 p.m. to 12:50 p.m., April 12, 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.

Houston: "Roses on Fortuniana Rootstock" will be the topic of the Houston Rose Society meeting, Thursday, April 14, 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. This program will be presented by Don Adlong. Don is an ARS District Director and consulting rosarian. He grows 450 roses of all types in his garden. The program will discuss why rosa fortuniana is used as a root stock, how this can benefit rose growers in Houston, special care for these roses and the most popular roses available on fortuniana root stock. Free admission. For additional information, visit http://www.houstonrose.org.

San Antonio: On April 14, the San Antonio Herb Society will present a demonstration of herbal teas by Herb Society member Diane Lewis. This will be held at the San Antonio Garden Center, 3310 N. New Braunfels, San Antonio from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Admission is free and the public is welcome.For more information, visit www.sanantonioherbs.org.

Seabrook: Harris County Master Gardeners at Precinct 2 present Ed Drier, Harris County Master Gardener, speaking on Growing Herbs in the Gulf Coast Region, 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m., April 14, at Clear Lake Meeting Room, 5001 Nasa Parkway, Seabrook.For more information, visit https://hcmga.tamu.edu.

San Angelo: A monthly Lunch 'n' Learn seminar will be on Friday, April 15, and will feature guess speaker, Ron Knight, Master Gardener. He will be talking about varieties of drought tolerant plants known as Texas Superstars. These are proven varieties of plants that can replace your high-water-use plants and still have a beautiful landscape. Find out which plants are designated Texas Superstars and where to find them. The seminar is held at the Edd B. Keys Building, 113 W. Beauregard, San Angelo, in the AgriLife Extension Office. It starts at noon and goes until 1 p.m. If you are on your lunch hour, feel free to bring your lunch. The cost is $5. All funds go toward the The People/Plant Connection garden projects. For additional information, call 325-656-3104. 

Austin: East Austin Garden Fair: A Passion for Plants! will be held 9 a.m. 2 p.m., Saturday, April 16, at Parque Zaragoza Recreation Center, 2608 Gonzales Street, Austin. Ask the experts and get garden ideas. Lots of Kid-friendly activities! Free admission; free plants; free garden books, magazines, seed catalogs and plastic garden buckets; free soil screening for food gardeners - bring a 2-cup soil sample in a quart zip lock bag. Free and open to the public, this fun, hands-on fair involves community members in creative, low-cost ways to grow vegetables, herbs and fruit to improve the family diet as well as information about Earth-Kind landscaping. Travis County Master Gardeners offer University-based information to fairgoers on a diverse variety of horticulture topics, while Community Partner Organizations provide information on closely-related services, programs and projects. The fair features an assortment of DIY and demonstration activities, including building a rain barrel, raised bed or compost bin, and information about waterwise irrigation methods and gardening in containers and straw bales. Learn how to care for house plants as well as your garden tools! Booths on backyard chickens and beekeeping are a big hit with all ages and there will be plenty of activities for kids. For more information, call 512-854-9600 or visit  http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/travis/local-extension-resources/east-austin-garden-fair/.

Midland: Permian Basin Master Gardeners (Midland/Ector Counties) will hold their annual plant sale from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, April 16, at the Horseshoe Multipurpose Facility, I-20 and Cotton Flat Road Exit, Midland. They will have drought-tolerant plants, herbs, perennials, grasses, shrubs, trees and EarthKind Roses. Local vendors will also be on site with native plants, cacti, succulents and metal yard art. Master Gardeners will be available to help with any questions. Mastercard and Visa accepted. For more information, visit www.westtexasgardening.org.

Houston: Houston Rose Society Spring Rose Show will be held Saturday, April 16, at Memorial City Mall, 1-4 p.m. Use the entrance near Dillards. See roses grown by expert exhibitors. Free to the public. For additional information, visit http://www.houstonrose.org.

San Antonio: "Annual Grafting Seminar" will be presented April 16, 9 a.m. to noon, at Fanick's Garden Center Inc., 1025 Holmgreen Rd, San Antonio. Dr. Larry Stein from the AgriLife Extension Service will demonstrate how and why fruit, nut and citrus trees are grafted. Learn all the different grafting techniques such as inlay, four flap, cleft, and approach grafts, and some of the budding techniques such as chip budding and t-budding. Also learn about the overall care of fruit, nut and citrus trees before and after grafting them. This seminar is very popular so arrive early for best parking and seating. Seminar is free.3 CEUs for MGs. For more information, visit Fanick's website: http://www.fanicknursery.com/Upcoming%20Events.htm.

Woodway: Jan Serface will present tips on redoing your garden and saving some money on your water bill by using earth kind techniques and water saving plants from noon until 2 p.m., April 20, at the Pavilion at Carleen Bright Arboretum. Also, some ideas for small changes in the landscape to freshen your yard will be discussed. Bring a bag lunch and your questions. For additional information, visit www.mclennanmastergardeners.org or contact Janet Schaffer at 254-399-9204 or Jschaffer@woodwaymail.org.

San Antonio: Ecological Landscaping, a BCMG Educational Seminar, will be presented 1-3:30 p.m., April 21, at Texas AgriLife Extension Office, 3355 Cherry Ridge Dr., Suite 208, San Antonio. 2 CEUs. Free. Mary Irish will talk about ecological landscaping. Learn how to create attractive landscape by using difficult features. For example, if you have an area where water collects after a rain, why not include a rain garden and make it an asset rather than a detraction. Mary is well known for her work at the Arizona Botanical Garden and her expertise on plants that grow in the heat. She has written five books on gardening and will have books available for signing. In addition, her husband Gary may bring some of his artwork, which showcases Texas plants, for sale.

Houston: Houston Rose Society Rose Garden Tour will be held Saturday, April 23, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tickets on sale at HEB for $5 a person. See four spectacular gardens in Bellaire and River Oaks. For additional information, visit http://www.houstonrose.org.

Pasadena: Harris County Master Gardener Perennial and Pepper Sale will be held Saturday, April 23, at Campbell Hall, Pasadena Fairgrounds, 7600 Red Bluff, Pasadena. Overview of Perennials by Heidi Sheesley, owner of Treesearch Farms at 0 a.m. Sale hours 9 a.m.-1 p.m. For additional information, visit https://hcmga.tamu.edu .
 

Canyon Lake: The NPSOT, Lindheimer Chapter, will be sponsoring the "Native Landscape Certification Program, Level 1: Introduction to Native Landscapes," to be held on April 30, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Tye Preston Memorial Library, Canyon Lake. The course will focus on the value of including and preserving native plants in landscapes. The classroom and outdoor sessions will cover 45 native plants to use in landscaping and 5 exotic invasive plants to avoid. Students graduating with a Certificates of Completion or Competency may progress to Level 2 or 3. The cost of the program is $37 for members and non-members alike. To register, visit http:/npsot.org/wp/nlcp and click on register beside the Lindheimer class. For additional information, about registration, contact Meg Inglis, NLCP Coordinator, meg.inglis@npsot.org  or 512-589-1316. For additional information about the class, contact Sara Riggs, Class Coordinator, Riggs_571@msn.com or 512-236-8571.

Ft. Worth: The Tarrant County Master Gardener Association Annual Plant Sale and Gardening Demonstration will be held 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Saturday, April 30, at the Tarrant County Resource Connection, 1801 Circle Drive, Ft. Worth. For additional information, visit www.tarrantmg.org
MAY

San Antonio: "Earthkind Gardening Practices
" will be presented at the BCMG General Meeting, 6-8:30 p.m., Thursday, May 26, 3355 Cherry Ridge, Suite 208, San Antonio. The Bexar County Master Gardeners (BCMG) meeting begins with a social time at 6 p.m. followed by a special, free presentation at 6:30 p.m. 1.5 CEUs for MGs. David Rodriguez, AgriLife Extension Service, will combine the best of organic gardening with the best of traditional gardening and include elements of Integrated Pest Management.
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 Glen Rose Garden Club meets at 10 a.m. on the second Tuesday of each month (September through May) at the Somervell County Community Center in Glen Rose. For additional information, email stringer030@yahoo.com.

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  6:30 pm at the GVTC Auditorium, 36101 FM 3159, New Braunfels. Meetings include an informative speaker and a Plant of the Month presentation. Meetings are free and visitors are welcome. For more information,visit www.npsot.org/w/lindheimerNote: there will be no meeting in June or December.
 
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.
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