April 12, 2017
  
Fun springtime garden projects for kids
 
 
Kids absolutely love to dig in the dirt, help in the garden, and experience life growing around them. Helping mom and dad in the backyard offers kids fresh air, exercise, learning experiences, and family bonding. It's a win-win and what's not to love about that? With a little bit of patience and some planning, even parents who are novices in the garden, can enjoy this wonderful backyard experience with their kids. If you're not sure where to start, we've got the perfect ideas to get your family going:
 
Plant Garden Bulbs Together . Beautify your landscaping with beautiful blooming flowers, such as Hostas, this year. Let your child help select the plant bulbs and plan out your soon-to-be gorgeous garden beds. Spring and fall are the standard planting times for bulbs. Let the kids help you dig the holes, insert the bulbs the right way, and measure the distance apart with a ruler. Your kids will be thrilled with what blooms the following season and feel so proud of their accomplishment.
 
Build a Kid-Size Garden . Give your children the gift of their own garden. And by gift, we mean the pleasure and learning they'll get from it because it truly a gift to them. You can buy a ready to build raised garden bed at a big box home store, build a DIY version with leftover wood, or give your children an area of your regular garden and fence it off. Let them pick a few veggies to plant and have them be responsible for the planting and watering (with your guidance, of course). When children see their fruits and veggies go from seeds to the dinner table, they'll feel so proud! Studies show that kids who are active in growing their own food, are more apt to eat it too. So go ahead and plant the rainbow!
 
Plant a Butterfly Garden . This fun idea is probably the easiest and reaps the most benefits. Pick an area of your yard or use a big container planter and fill with rich, black soil. Pick up an inexpensive packet of Butterfly Garden Seeds. Let your children sprinkle the seeds on the dirt and water. Watch all the different varieties of flowers bloom and attract butterflies and humming birds.
 
Start a Worm Composter . Your first thought might be "oh yuck" but your kids and garden will love your worm composter. You can buy a pre-made composter or build your own DIY version for around $5. It's easy to make and only requires a bit of drilling holes and setting up the bin. Vermicomposting requires worm compost bedding and compost worms, which can be ordered online. They will need to be watered and fed, which your kids can be responsible for. The compost created by the worms makes your garden grow like crazy and healthy too. Your kids will be more fascinated by the worms.
 
Add Bug Repellant Plants Around Play Areas . Pick up a few Citronella or Lemongrass from your local garden store to use by your children's play areas. Both Citronella and Lemongrass repel mosquitoes and flies, which are both a nuisance to kids playing. Using a few containers you have around the garage, fill with dirt and fill with the Citronella or Lemongrass plants and water. Place around the outer edges of your kids' swing set and sandbox.
 
Make Homemade Stepping Stones . This project may be a little messy, but it's so much fun for the whole family! It can be made as simple or involved as you'd like, and may depend on the age of your children. Basic stepping stones can be made with rocks from your property or found at a nearby park. Give them a good washing with soap and water and paint with non-washable paint. A fun addition is googly eye balls glued on to make "pet rocks." A more advanced approach is making your own stepping stones with Plaster of Paris. Just mix the Plaster of Paris with water in an old bucket, and pour into molds. Fun molds are available at art supply stores or you can use simple disposable aluminum baking pans. While the Plaster of Paris is still wet, you can etch in names, add gem stones or other finds, and paint when dried. Stepping stones also make great gifts for grandparents and friends.
Select the best tomatoes for your garden and table
 
By Melinda Myers
 
Sliced, sauced, or cooked in your favorite recipe; tomatoes are a favorite and versatile vegetable. What's more, they taste best when grown and harvested from your own garden or container.
 
Ensure the best flavor and greatest results by selecting the most disease-resistant varieties and growing your tomatoes in full sun and moist, well-drained soil.
 
Select plants with the growth habit that works best with your garden space and gardening style. Determinate tomatoes are perfect for small-space gardens and containers. They grow to a certain height, stop growing, and produce their fruit over a relatively short timeframe. Indeterminate tomatoes continue to grow throughout the season, producing flowers and fruit until frost kills the plant or you prune off the growing tip found at the end of the main stem(s). Stake or tower the plants to save space, reduce disease and insect problems, and make harvesting more convenient.
 
Further narrow down your selection and grow varieties best suited to the intended use. Plant tags often provide recommendations. Or, save time and do a bit of research before visiting the garden center. The Bonnie Plant Tomato Chooser can help you select the best tomato for your growing conditions and the intended use.
 
Bite-sized tomatoes are great for salads, relish trays, and snacking. Red Robin and Sweet 'n Neat produce clusters of red cherry tomatoes on compact plants. Grow them in containers or even a window box.
 
Tumbling Tom Red and Tumbling Tom Yellow cherry tomatoes are compact, cascading plants that create an attractive edible display in tall containers, hanging baskets, or window boxes.
 
Grow the explosively sweet Sun Gold and Sun Sugar cherry tomatoes. They're the candy of the garden and will get even your most reluctant family members, young and old, to eat their tomatoes. Stake or cage these tall plants and, if space is limited, grow them in a 24-inch-diameter pot.
 
Paste and sauce tomatoes have meatier fruit, making them perfect for sauces, soups, and preserving. Roma is the traditional favorite. The egg-shaped fruit has thick walls and few seeds. Use them during the growing season for sauces, chop and add them to an omelet, or can and freeze them for future use.
 
Expand your options with San Marzano heirloom paste tomato. Popular with gourmet and home chefs, the sweet, complex flavor makes a fabulous sauce. Chop a few and add them to salads, or slice and top your favorite sandwich. You'll enjoy the flavor and versatility of this tomato.
 
Grow a few slicing tomatoes. Most gardeners look for large, juicy tomatoes to enjoy on their sandwiches, hors d'oeuvres, and salads. Look for varieties that are suited to the growing conditions. Solar Flare and Creole are heat-tolerant and keep producing despite high summer temperatures. Start picking tomatoes as soon as 65 days after planting by growing short-season varieties like Early Girl and New Girl tomatoes.
 
An All-America Selections winner, Celebrity, has great disease resistance and is an excellent all-around tomato. Grow this determinate tomato in a cage, or stake the plant to save space.
 
Heirloom varieties have been grown for more than 50 years and have maintained their original traits and popularity. Cherokee Purple's rich flavor rates high in taste tests. The dusky pink fruit with deep red interior looks as beautiful as it tastes. Add some fun and sweet flavor with Mr. Stripey. The irregular striping of the red and yellow beefsteak-type fruit make this a popular choice.
 
So, gather your favorite recipes and create a list of both longtime favorites and new tomato varieties to include in this year's garden.
 
Gardening expert Melinda Myers has written over 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 also a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine. Myers' website is www.melindamyers.com.
Set strawberry alarm clock for post-apple bloom
 
Cornell University
 
Growers who time their strawberries to bloom just after apples do can reap a better harvest, according to new Cornell University research.
 
When apple trees blossom, the sheer abundance of flowers attracts most of the pollinators, which not only leaves fewer bees for other nearby crops such as strawberries, but also lowers their yields. But if growers time their strawberries to flower directly after a neighboring apple bloom, strawberries produce higher yields than they would if there were no apple trees nearby.
 
The findings, published in the March 27 issue of Nature Scientific Reports, offers growers a sustainable method for boosting yields of crops that bloom around the same time as apples.
 
Previous research showed that strawberries can have as much as 40 percent yield increase when bees and other pollinators visit, compared with relying on wind pollination alone.
 
"We are trying to figure out ways that growers can use ecosystem services to promote crop yield rather than relying on external inputs, such as fertilizers and pesticides," said lead author Heather Grab, a Cornell University doctoral student in the lab of co-author Bryan Danforth, professor of entomology.
 
Planting natural habitats around farm fields can lead to improved health of pollinators and a boost in their services, according to research. But for many growers in agriculturally dense areas, increasing natural habitats is not an option.
 
"Those growers need some more sustainable agriculture options," Grab said. "If growers pay attention to timing of when crops are blooming and manipulate that by planting apple varieties and strawberry varieties that don't overlap, you can get a boost in yield that is almost equivalent to having natural habitat nearby."
 
The study was supported by Smith Lever and Hatch funds and the United States Department of Agriculture.
Gardening tips

Take a break from all the weeding and hoeing and go on a backroads tour of Texas to see all the beautiful bluebonnets and other wildflowers our state has to offer. April is the prime month for doing so in most of Texas. If you are near Austin, be sure to visit The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. It is not against the law to pick wildflowers or take pictures, but just be sure to leave some for other folks and keep your children off the roadway to avoid getting hit by a passing car.

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 copy of Texas Gardene r's 2017 Planning Guide & Calendar. Please send your tips of 50 words or less to the editor at: Garde ning 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.
APRIL

Houston: "Delighting in the Fragrance of Garden Roses" will be the topic of the Houston Rose Society meeting on Thursday, April 13, at the Cherie Flores Garden Pavilion, 1500 Hermann Drive, Houston. The parking lot is Lot C, located at Hermann Drive and Crawford Street. Mike Shoup will present the program. Mike is the owner of the Antique Rose Emporium in Brenham, Texas. He is the author of many books and articles about roses including, most recently, Empress of the Garden. He is a long-time Texas Rose Rustler, hybridizer of numerous "Pioneer" roses and past president of the Heritage Rose Foundation. Mike will be bringing roses for door prizes and will autograph copies of his books. Free admission. For more information, visit www.houstonrose.org.

Houston: "How to Take Care of Your Hand Tools" will be presented by Louis Mickler, Harris County Master Gardener, 10:00-11:30 a.m., Thursday, April 13, at Genoa Friendship Garden Education Bldg., 1202 Genoa Red Bluff Rd., Houston. Free. For additional information, visit https://hcmga.tamu.edu.

Nacogdoches: Steven Chamblee, director of Chandor Gardens in Weatherford, will present, "Great Garden Ideas" at Stephen F. Austin State University's SFA Gardens' monthly Theresa and Les Reeves Lecture Series at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 13, in the Brundrett Conservation Education Building at the Pineywoods Native Plant Center, located at 2900 Raguet St., Nacogdoches. Chamblee has been active in horticulture for 40 years. He began developing his green thumb in the 1970s while transplanting trees with his father. In 1986, Chamblee joined the Fort Worth Botanic Garden as a gardener and later worked as a greenhouse attendant. He enrolled in horticulture programs and earned an Associate of Applied Science at Tarrant County Junior College before completing a Bachelor of Science from Tarleton State University. Chamblee continued his studies through a fellowship in the prestigious Longwood Graduate Program in Public Horticulture and earned a master's degree in public horticulture administration from the University of Delaware. After graduate school, he worked as the native plant horticulturist for the Heard Natural Science Museum in McKinney then returned to the Fort Worth Botanic Garden, where he later served as education director for four years. Currently, Chamblee gives presentations across Texas and writes a monthly e-newsletter column entitled "Native Son." He has authored dozens of magazine articles and the book, "The Story of Chandor Gardens." The Theresa and Les Reeves Lecture Series is held the second Thursday of each month and includes a rare-plant raffle after the program. The lecture is free and open to the public, but donations to the Theresa and Les Reeves Lecture Series fund are always appreciated. Parking is available at nearby Raguet Elementary School, 2428 Raguet St., with continual shuttle service to the Brundrett Conservation Education Building. For more information, call (936) 468-4129 or email sfagardens@sfasu.edu  .

San Antonio: "Baking Up a Storm With Herbs" featuring Suzanne Parker, will be presented at the April 13 meeting of the San Antonio Herb Society. Suzanne Parker is the founder and CEO of Powerhouse Bakery. As a registered dietitian and personal trainer, Suzanne's mission is to show her customers that healthy should taste amazing! Suzanne designs recipes to showcase the healthiest gluten free, non-GMO & organic ingredients. Her kitchen is run by several passionate foodies dedicated to health & wellness education and offer cooking classes, individual and group nutrition coaching. Suzanne will be demonstrating herbs used in the healthiest ways. Social time starts at 6:30 p.m. with the general meeting starting at 7:00 p.m. The San Antonio Herb Society meets at the San Antonio Garden Center located at the corner of Parland and New Braunfels. For more information visit www.sanantonioherbs.org.

Santa Fe: "Grafting Pecan Trees" with Galveston County Master Gardeners presenting/demonstrating, 2-3 p.m., April 13, 15102 Williams Street, Santa Fe. Free. Participants must pre-register: 281-534-3413. Galveston County Master Gardener event. Further details www.aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston.

Waco: Join Master Gardeners at the Downtown Farmers Market on Saturday, April 15, from 9 a.m. to 1:00 pm. Learn about Butterflies and Bees and ask questions about specific garden interests. Handouts and seeds are available and it's all free! New temporary location: 500 Washington Ave. across from the Courthouse. Since November 2011, the Market has been and will continue to be open every Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and Tuesdays from 3:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. seasonally, featuring the best local agricultural producers and artisan vendors within 150-miles of Waco.

Houston: Open Garden Day, 8:30-11:00 a.m., Monday, April 17, at Genoa Friendship Garden, 1202 Genoa Red Bluff Rd., Houston. Plants for sale in our greenhouse. Master Gardeners available to answer your questions. Free. For additional information, visit https://hcmga.tamu.edu.
 
Woodway: Take lunch and enjoy a free Horticulture Seminar on Wednesday, April 19, from noon to 2 p.m. at the Carleen Bright Arboretum Pavilion,
9001 Bosque Blvd., Woodway . Dr. Robert Creech, master gardener, will introduce Wendell Berry, an 81-year-old Kentucky farmer, as well as an award-winning poet, essayist, and novelist. Be inspired by Berry's thinking about the land, soil, farming and farmers. Listen to readings of his poetry along with some reflections on their implications. For additional information, call the Carleen Bright Arboretum at 254-399-9204 or email jschaffer@woodwaymail.org.

San Antonio:  Environmental Horticulture, Thursday, April 20, 1-3 p.m., 3355 Cherry Ridge, San Antonio. Dr. Barron Rector, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Range Specialist in College Station, will discuss  the ecosystems of old and compare them to today! Free. Bexar County Master Gardner (BCMG) Educational Seminars/General Meetings are held on the afternoon of the third Thursday every other month at the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Office, Suite 208. For more information contact BCMG President at President@bexarmg.org , or call  210-699-0663 .

Seguin: Thursday, April 20, at 7:00 p.m. Guadalupe County Master Gardeners will meet at the Texas AgriLife Extension, 210 E. Live Oak. National Wildlife Federation Habitat Steward Meredith O'Reilly will present "Gardening for Wildlife." Learn how to attract butterflies and birds to your yard, plants to use and water features. Social at 6:15 p.m. Announcements at 6:45 p.m. Everyone is welcome. Free. For more information, visit www.guadalupecountymastergardeners.org.
 
Hempstead: Peckerwood Garden presents Evening at Peckerwood Lecture Series: Friday, April 21, 7 p.m.-9 p.m., 20559 FM 359 Rd., Hempstead. Topics will include various aspects of horticulture, botany, garden design, plant collecting adventures, conservation and many other related fields of interest. Wine and refreshments provided. $10 admission and parking, $5 for members. For more info, visit http://www.peckerwoodgarden.org/explore/visit-peckerwood-garden/ or email info@peckerwoodgarden.org.

Tyler:  Smith County Master Gardeners at the library, April 21 at 11:30 a.m. "Flower Arranging from the Garden" with Master Gardener Neysa Mueller. Presentation with Q&A to follow. Tyler Public Library, 201 S. College, Tyler. Free and open to the public. For additional information, call 903-590-2980.

Athens: Henderson County Master Gardeners Association's 2017 Plant Sale will be held 9:00 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, April 22, at Senior Citizens Center, 3356 State Highway 31E, Athens. Included will be a wide variety of trees, shrubs, bulbs, perennials, annuals, natives, heirlooms, vegetables and herbs. This event will be held inside. For more information, call 903-675-6130, email hendersonCMGA@gmail.com, or visit www.henderson-co-tx-mg.org.

Hempstead: Peckerwood Garden presents Peckerwood Garden Open Day: Saturday, April 22, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., 20559 FM 359 Rd., Hempstead. Visitors enjoy 1-hour guided tours of the garden led by knowledgeable docents. Guided tours are offered approximately every 30 minutes, leaving between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Purchase Tickets. $10 admission and parking, Free for members. For more info, visit http://www.peckerwoodgarden.org/explore/visit-peckerwood-garden/ or email info@peckerwoodgarden.org.

Houston: The spring Galveston County Plant Swap will be on Earth Day, Saturday, April 22, from 8 a.m.-noon at the Johnson Space Center Gilruth Center on Space Center Blvd (between Nasa Rd. and Bay Area Blvd). It will be in the covered Bluebonnet Pavilion. Spend Earth Day morning swapping plants! For additional info, visit: http://www.freewebs.com/gcplantswap/.

Houston: The Houston Rose Society will be hosting their spring rose show on Saturday, April 22, at Memorial City Mall, 303 Memorial City Way, Houston, noon-4 p.m. Use the entrance near Dillards. See roses grown by expert exhibitors and decide what your next rose will be! Free to the public. For more information, visit www.houstonrose.org.

San Antonio: "Valor at Pearl Harbor," the San Antonio Rose Society's Spring Rose Show, will b held 1:00 p.m.-3:30 p.m., April 22, at the San Antonio Garden Center, 3310 N. New Braunfels, San Antonio. The spectacular display of roses will include single blooms, miniatures and antique roses, as well as artistic arrangements. Attended "How to Grow Roses," a free seminar at 2:00 p.m. For more information, visit www.sarosesociety.org.

Houston: Houston Rose Society Spring Garden Tour, Sunday, April 23, noon-6 p.m. See four spectacular gardens filled with roses of all kinds. Consulting rosarians will be on hand to answer your questions about roses. This event is free to the public. For more details about the tour visit www.houstonrose.org.

La Marque: "Beneficials in the Garden" presented by Dr. William M. Johnson, Galveston County Extension Agent for Horticulture, 6:30-8:00 p.m., April 25, at the Galveston County AgriLife Extension in Carbide Park, 4102 Main, La Marque. Fee/Free. Participants must pre-register: 281-534-3413. Galveston County Master Gardener event. Further details www.aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston.

Schulenburg: The Schulenburg Garden Club is hosting a Flower and Horticulture Show from noon to 4:00 p.m., April 25, at the Schulenburg Civic Center, 1107 Hillje, Schulenburg. Lunch, plants and country store items available for purchase. This year's theme is Fairy Tales and Rhymes. Free and open to the public.
MAY

Tyler: Smith County Master Gardeners at the library, May 5 at 11:30 a.m. "Heat Loving Plants" with Master Gardener Andie Rathbone. Presentation with Q&A to follow. Tyler Public Library, 201 S. College, Tyler. Free and open to the public. For additional information, call 903-590-2980.

Austin: Inside Austin Gardens Tour, will be held May 6, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. rain or shine, and features 5 private gardens, 1 public garden. A rare, behind-the-scenes look at gardens that demonstrate realistic, sustainable practices for Central Texas. Garden Themes: Earth-Kind Landscaping; Wildlife Restoration & Preservation; Birds, Butterflies, and Zen; Sun & Shade; A Journey Through Fairyland and the AgriLife Testing Ground. $20 advance purchase for all 6 gardens $25 on tour day for all 6 gardens, $5 on tour day for single-garden ticket. Information and tickets at www.InsideAustinGardens.org or call 512-854-9600.

La Marque: "Tool Time Hands-on Workshop" with Galveston County Master Gardeners Henry Harrison, III, and Tim Jahnke presenting/demonstrating, 9-11 a.m., May 6, at the Galveston County Master Gardener Demonstration Garden in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street, La Marque. ring 2-3 garden tools to work on. Class size limited to 30 participants; pre-registration required. Ph 281-534-3413, e-mail   galvcountymgs@gmail.com to pre-register. For further details, visit www.aggiehorticulture.tamu.edu/galveston. Free.

Houston: "Residential Rainwater Harvesting" will be presented by Teresa See, Harris County Master Gardener, 10:00-11:30 a.m., Thursday, May 11, at Genoa Friendship Garden Education Bldg., 1202 Genoa Red Bluff Rd., Houston. Free. For more information, visit https://hcmga.tamu.edu.

Houston: "Growing Roses is for Everyone!" is the topic of the Houston Rose Society meeting on Thursday, May 11, at the Cherie Flores Garden Pavilion, 1500 Hermann Drive, Houston. The parking lot is Lot C, located at Hermann Drive and Crawford Street. The program will be presented by Pat Shanley, president of the American Rose Society. She is an ARS Horticultural Judge, Arrangements Judge and a Master Rosarian. In 2010 she co-edited The Sustainable Rose Garden. Currently Pat is the chairman of the American Garden Rose Selections (AGRS)a national testing program for new rose varieties. Free admission. For more information, visit www.houstonrose.org.

Waco:
The Annual Master Gardener Plant sale will be held May 13 at the Westview Village Shopping Center, 551 N. Valley Mills Dr., Waco, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Browse a great selection of plants, including flowers, shrubs, vegetables, house plants, roses, Texas Superstars, herbs, and more. Also available: special gifts for Mother's Day, hanging baskets, color bowls, and seeds. Cash, checks and credit cards accepted. Proceeds fund many community projects. For more information, call 254-366-8246.

Houston: Open Garden Day, 8:30-11 a.m., May 15, at Genoa Friendship Garden, 1202 Genoa Red Bluff Rd., Houston. Plants for sale in our greenhouse. Master Gardeners available to answer your questions. Free. For more information, visit https://hcmga.tamu.edu.

Woodway: Steven Chamblee, Horticulturist of Chandor Gardens, will present "Peace, Love, & Milagros: Life Lessons from the Road," noon-2 p.m., May 17. During his 30-plus years road-tripping around Texas, Chamblee has collected great stories about horticultural heavens, botanical blunders, and tender tales that will melt your heart. Heeding the advice of a close friend, Chamblee has brought his favorite stories together for a very personal presentation of inspiration, enlightenment, and humor. The seminar will be held at the Whitehall Center of the Carleen Bright Arboretum, 9001 Bosque Blvd., Woodway. This is not the usual location. For additional information, call the Carleen Bright Arboretum at 254-399-9204 or email jschaffer@woodwaymail.org.

Galveston County: "Galveston County Home Fruit Growers Tour," May 20. Three fruit orchards on tour, 9 a.m.-noon; visit sites in any desired order. Locations: 1) Galveston County Master Gardener (homeowner) at 5202 Highland Road, Santa Fe; 2) Galveston County Master Gardener Demonstration Orchard and Garden, 4102 Main Street, La Marque; 3) Wilson and Renee Hillman's Fruits 'n Such Orchard at 6309 Ave. U, Dickinson; ph. 832-443-6733. Further details visit www.aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston. Pre-registration not required. Galveston County Master Gardener event. Free.

Ft. Worth: The Greater Fort Worth Herb Society presents their 31st annual herb/garden festival 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m., May 20, at the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens, 3220 Botanic Gardens Blvd., Fort Worth. General admission $4.00, children under 12 free. Silent Auction, vendors, annuals & perennials, herbs, plants, handmade soap, cheese, honey, garden art, jewelry, herbal pet products and much more. Presentations: 10:30 a.m., Tonja Wells, CNH consultant, presents "Energize your life with herbs"; 1:00 p.m., Amanda Vermillion, The Tea Mistress LLC, presents "History of tea and its origins." For more information contact herbalhen@gmail.com.

Waco: Visit the McLennan Co. Master Gardeners booth at the Downtown Farmers Market, 500 Washington Ave., Waco, on Saturday, May 20, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. to learn about easy propagation practices. Two propagation specialist will be on hand to demonstrate simple propagation techniques and to answer specific gardening questions. Free seeds and handouts available on many topics.
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.

Navasota: The Navasota Garden Club meets on the first Wednesday of each month (September through May) at 10:00 a.m., usually at the First Baptist Church Family Life Center, 300 Church Street, Navasota. If not meeting at the church, a change of meeting notice will be placed on the door at the North entrance. Guests are welcome. Members are from Grimes County and surrounding counties.
   
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
 
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.

Hempstead: The Peckerwood Garden Conservation Foundation, 20559 F.M. 359, Hempstead, hosts a special Peckerwood Insider's Tour at 10 a.m. on the first Saturday of each month. Spaces are limited so pre-registration is required. $15, free for members. For more information, visit http://www.peckerwoodgarden.org/explore/visit-peckerwood-garden/.
 
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.or g 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 Kathy Henderson at kshend@verizon.net or visit http://www.npsot.org/wp/wilco.
 
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
 
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/lindheimer Note : 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.
 
Hallettsville: The Hallettsville Garden Club meets at 2 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month from September through May, at the Hallettsville Garden and Cultural Center, 605 E 2nd St, Hallettsville. Each month, the club hosts speakers that provide informative programs on a wide range of gardening subjects, and refreshments are provided by member hostesses after the business meeting. Visitors are welcome. Please email Sharon Harrigan at sharonspetals@yahoo.com for more information.

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.

San Antonio: The Bexar County Master Gardeners (BCMG) meet on the third Thursday of each month at the Texas AgriLife Extension Office, 3355 Cherry Ridge Dr., Suite 208, San Antonio. During the months of Jan., March, May, July, Sep. and Nov., an evening meeting begins with a social time at 6 p.m. followed by a free presentation from 6:30-8:30 p.m. During the intervening months (Feb., April, June, Aug., Oct., Dec.), afternoon educational seminars/general meetings are held from 1-3:30 p.m. Check http://www.bexarmg.org/ to verify meeting date for any given month, as circumstances could require a change, and to find information on the speaker and topic scheduled for each meeting.
 
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.

Hempstead: The Peckerwood Garden Conservation Foundation, 20559 F.M. 359, Hempstead, hosts the Evening at Peckerwood Lecture series at 7 p.m. on the third Friday of each month. Tickets are available online. Tickets are $10, $5 for members.For more information, visit http://www.peckerwoodgarden.org/explore/visit-peckerwood-garden/.

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.

Austin: The Garden Club of Austin meets at Zilker Botanical Gardens auditorium, 2220 Barton Springs Rd., Austin, at 7:00 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of each month. 7:00-7:30 p.m. Refreshments and Social, followed by a presentation at 7:30 p.m. Free. For additional information, visit http://thegardenclubofaustin.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 h ttp://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.

Hempstead: The Peckerwood Garden Conservation Foundation, 20559 F.M. 359, Hempstead, holds an Open Day, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on the fourth Saturday of each month. Tours start at 10 a.m. and the last tour leaves at 2 p.m. Tickets available online or at the gate. $10, free for members. For more information, visit http://www.peckerwoodgarden.org/explore/visit-peckerwood-garden/.
 
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