April 26, 2017
  
Let's get down and dirty about good soil this growing season!
 
 
Wait! Before you plant outdoors this spring and summer, take a good look at that soil in your garden beds and containers. An exciting biological world - teeming with life - lies just beneath the surface and is key to sustaining growth above it.
 
"Soil is much more than a pile of dirt - it's a living, breathing ecosystem," says Sandy Syburg, Purple Cow Organics , Middleton, Wis., which reaches across the country to teach others about why healthy soil matters. "If a nutrient is missing from soil, then it is not in the plants we grow or the food we eat. Rather than re-use soil time after time, soil needs to be rejuvenated."
 
Soil biology and healthy soil is a building block of the food chain, Syburg says. Before each planting, he suggests amending soil in garden beds and replacing it in pots.
 
"Plants take nutrients from soil, which over time can deplete vitamins and minerals that plants, animals and humans need. When rich in proper nutrients, healthy soil leads to healthier plants and, with consumables, healthier people" Syburg says. "With a living community of organisms to sustain essential growth, rich, organic, 'good' soil helps farmers and home gardeners set the table for a bountiful - and healthful - harvest."
 
Healthy soil replete with beneficial and natural microorganisms provides benefits to the environment, too. Nutrient-rich soil filters out pollutants from underground water, helps lower flood risk by storing water in the earth and can lower the effect of drought, disease and pests.
 
Urban soil can especially become degraded over time due to pollution, disturbance or compaction that reduces the amount of oxygen reaching plants' root systems. In the average suburban or rural garden bed, overusing soil year after year can leave the pH, minerals and microbes off-kilter. Once you replace organic components, your garden will be relatively low maintenance and will need much less attention.
 
"It is now a healthy, living, breathing, self-regulating ecosystem," Syburg says. "It can take hundreds of years to create just a small plot of healthy soil and less than two decades to destroy its usefulness. With soil under siege, everyone should be involved in learning and implementing ways to improve this vital ingredient in growing healthy plants and food."
 
Interesting Soil Facts

Soil is not a dead pile of dirt! It is a complex, living community of organisms. Purple Cow Organics has compiled these intriguing facts to remind us how remarkable - and important - soil is for nourishing plants and growing food.
  • There are more microorganisms in a handful of soil than there are people on earth.
  • It takes 437 years to create one inch of soil naturally - and as little as 15 years in some areas to lose it.
  • In extreme cases like the Kansas winter of 1995-96, some areas lost almost two inches of soil in less than a year.
  • Soil greatly reduces flood risk by storing up to 9,200 tons of water per acre. In other words, soil stores one-hundredth-of-a-percent of the Earth's total water.
  • Soil filters out pollutants from underground water.
  • Approximately 10 percent of the world's carbon dioxide emissions are stored in soil.
  • Soil consists of 45 percent minerals, 25 percent water, 25 percent air and 5 percent organic matter, including broken rock and decaying plants and animals.
  • The amount of sand, clay and silt is what gives different soil types their various textures. Most soils are a mix of all three.
  • Soils come in various colors, including black, red, yellow, white, brown and gray.
Purple Cow Organics gratefully acknowledges the sources of this information: Cornell Chronicle, Researcher Dave Montgomery, www.childrenoftheearth.org, www.quickcrop.ie/blog .
Harvesting, storing and preserving herbs from the garden
 
By Melinda Myers
 
Enjoy herbs all year round. Harvest herbs now for garden-fresh meals and preserve a few for the winter ahead.
 
Snip a few leaves or leaf-covered stems as needed. For the same intensity of flavor, you generally need two to three times more fresh herbs than dried, except for rosemary which has an equally strong flavor fresh or dried. Continue harvesting herbs as needed throughout the growing season. And don't worry about harming the plant because regular harvesting encourages new growth, which means more for you to harvest. Just be sure to leave enough foliage to maintain plant growth.
 
You can remove as much as 50 percent of the foliage from annual herb plants. This is about when the plants near their final height. You can remove up to one third from established perennial plants that have been in the garden for several months or more. Harvest when the plant has formed buds, but before they open into flowers for the greatest concentration of flavor. This is the perfect time to harvest herbs you plan to preserve.
 
Use a pair of garden scissors or pruners for faster and easier harvesting. Make your cuts above a set of healthy leaves to keep the plants looking good. Then preserve the flavor and zest of herbs with proper storage and preservation.
 
Store thin leafy herbs such as parsley and cilantro for up to a week in the refrigerator. Place in a jar of water, like a flower arrangement, and loosely cover with a plastic bag. Keep basil out of the fridge to avoid discoloration and others on the counter for quick and frequent use.
 
Wrap dry thicker-leafed herbs like sage and thyme in a paper towel, set inside a plastic bag and place in a warmer section of the refrigerator.
 
Freeze sprigs, whole leaves or chopped clean herbs on a cookie sheet. Or pack clean diced herbs in ice cube trays and fill the empty spaces with water. These are great for use in soups and stews. Store the frozen herbs and ice cubes in an airtight container or baggie in the freezer.
 
Or bundle several stems together, secure with a rubber band and use a spring type clothespin to hang them in a warm dry place to dry. Make your own drying rack from an old embroidery hoop, string and S hooks. Visit Bonnie Plants do-it-yourself Herb Drying Rack project for detailed instructions.
 
Get creative and use some of your herbs to make a fragrant edible wreath. Use fresh herbs that are flexible and easier to shape into a wreath. They will dry in place and can be harvested as needed.
 
Speed up the drying process in the microwave. Place herbs on a paper towel-covered paper plate. Start with one to two minutes on high. Repeat for 30 seconds as needed until the herbs are brittle.
 
Store dried herbs in an airtight plastic or glass jar.
 
Keep enjoying these fresh-from-the-garden flavors throughout the remainder of the season. And consider preserving a few for you, your family and friends to enjoy throughout the winter.
 
Gardening expert Melinda Myers 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 also a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine. Myers' website is www.melindamyers.com.
Getting out your spring yard equipment

Outdoor Power Equipment Institute
 
April is National Lawn Care Month and homeowners are eager to get out their lawn and garden equipment and work in their yards. The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), an international trade association representing more than 100 power equipment, engine and utility vehicle manufacturers and suppliers, reminds everyone to keep safety in mind.
 
"We know everyone is eager to get outside and start working in their yards and enjoying our living landscapes after the winter. But remember to keep safety in mind," said Kris Kiser, President and CEO. "Doing some basic maintenance will ensure your equipment operates safely and gets the job done."
 
Kiser adds, "Now is also a good time to assess your outdoor power equipment needs. Whether you're needing battery, electric, gasoline, propane, diesel or hybrid powered equipment, there is a product to fit you and any job."
 
Before you use a lawn mower, trimmer, leaf blower, chain saw, pruner or other piece of outdoor power equipment this season, OPEI offers some tips to help:
 
Get out your owner's manual. Follow all guidelines for your outdoor power equipment and familiarize yourself with the controls. If you have lost your manual, look it up online.
 
Inspect your equipment. Check for loose belts and missing or damaged parts. Replace any parts needed or take your equipment to a qualified service representative.
 
Drain old fuel. Don't leave fuel sitting in the tank for more than 30 days. Untreated gasoline (without a fuel stabilizer) left in the system will deteriorate, which may cause starting or running problems and, in some cases, damage to the fuel system.
 
Only use E10 or less fuel. Some gas stations may offer 15 percent ethanol (E15) gas or higher ethanol fuel blends, but any fuel containing more than 10 percent ethanol can damage - and is illegal to use in - small engine equipment not designed for it.
 
Label your fuel can with the date of purchase and ethanol content of the fuel. Never put "old" gas in your outdoor power equipment. If you don't know the date of purchase, dispose safely of the fuel in the can and buy fresh fuel.
 
Clean your equipment. Remove any dirt, oil or grass stuck to it. A clean machine will run more efficiently and last longer.
 
Sharpen your cutting blade. Have lawn mower cutting blades sharpened so you can get a clean cut on your lawn and not tear the grass. Sharper blades mean lawns will be healthier and lawn mowers will operate more efficiently. Nicked or broken blades, which can come from hitting rocks or other debris, should be replaced.
 
Learn More. For more safety tips, visit www.opei.org. For further information on proper fueling, visit www.LookBeforeYouPump.com.
Join Texas Brigades in celebrating its 25th year of conservation ambassadorship
 
Texas Brigades is celebrating its 25th year hosting wildlife and natural resource-based leadership camps. These youth programs are held across Texas and, in its milestone year, will host more than 200 Texas youth, filling all eight summer camps!
 
Texas Brigades is a wildlife and natural resource-focused leadership development organization for youth that features summer camp programs, a Wildlife Intensive Leadership Development (WILD) program, and targeted day-programming. In 25 years, Texas Brigades has grown from its premier Bobwhite Brigade, into a multi-program, non-profit organization. Approximately 3,000 youth from throughout the state of Texas have graduated from a Texas Brigades program.
 
The 25th Anniversary Fundraiser will be held in Fredericksburg on Saturday, April 29, at the Gillespie County Fair Grounds, from 4:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. This event is to celebrate achievements, honor and recognize those who have shaped Texas Brigades, including Dr. Dale Rollins, and raise funds to create a stronger organization that shapes Texas' youth into high-achieving stewards and conservation ambassadors.
 
The 25th Anniversary event will feature a program and dinner, entertainment and keynote address from Captain Steve Stapleton from Animal Planet's Lone Star Law, multiple silent auction items and firearm raffles, as well as high-valued live auction items such as trophy hunts and fishing trips. Help Texas Brigades reach its fundraiser goal of "$25,000 for 25 years."
 
Tickets to the 25th Anniversary event may be purchased online at https://texasbrigades25thanniversary.eventbrite.com or by calling the Texas Brigades office in San Antonio by April 25th. For more information, contact Texas Brigades at info@texasbrigades.org  , call the office at 210-556-1391.
Gardening tips

For instant garden color and impact, purchase some large containers of your favorite flowering plants, vegetables, herbs and place them on your patio. This can be a good solution for gardeners with limited sunny space in their landscape.

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

Denton: Spring gardeners and plant lovers are invited to the Denton County Master Gardener Association's plant sale from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. - or sell out - on Saturday, April 29, on the grounds of Trinity United Methodist Church, 633 Hobson Lane, Denton. This popular annual event offers a wide range of native and North Texas-adapted plants, including hundreds of varieties of shrubs, ground covers and bedding plants. Shoppers can choose from herbs, tough perennials and colorful roses. Many pass-along plants from the homes of local Master Gardeners will be available.Shoppers are encouraged to bring their wagons and carts in order to transport their purchases. Early birds have the best selection since the plants go quickly. All funds generated by the sale helps fund DCMGA educational activities for Denton County residents.

Johnson City: Blanco County Master Gardeners will present their annual plant sale on Saturday, April 29 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Memorial Park in Johnson City. The park is located at the corner of US 290 and Avenue G. This year's sale is a great opportunity for gardeners to add plants and interest to their gardens and landscapes. Shoppers will discover a wide variety of plants selected to thrive in Hill Country soil and climate. Master Gardeners have been propagating and potting plants since last fall to ensure there is a wide selection of natives, perennials, and ornamentals including trees and shrubs. We also will give you tips on how best to plant, grow and care for your new plants. The book, How to Grow More Than Rocks in Blanco County, Texas, will be available for purchas . The book won the first place Search for Excellence award for written education at the Texas Master Gardeners convention in 2015 and focuses on overcoming Texas Hill Country gardening challenges. Plants available include Texas Superstars, cacti, vegetables, Hill Country natives and houseplants. The Master Gardeners have lovingly grown the plants to ensure plants purchased at the sale will contribute to productive and flourishing gardens. Master Gardeners will be available to answer questions about plants and proper planting techniques. Bring ideas and questions and get more design ideas while browsing the plants. Exhibitors will include Garden Art, Llama Poo, Cat Coalition, WAGS, an Extension Education Association Bake Sale, refreshments, Jay Luckenbach, Penny Ney, and Kenny Bowker will provide live music for attendees' enjoyment. Master Gardeners also will have other presentations at the sale. There will be information about rainwater harvesting and Texas Superstar plants. Information also will be available about the National Fire Protection Association's FireWise program. The program encourages homeowners to take responsibility for preparing their homes from the risk of wildfire and teaches people how to adapt to living with wildfire and work with neighbors to take action now to prevent losses.
MAY

Nacogdoches: The Texas Pollinator PowWow will host their next conference May 5-6 at the Nacogdoches Exposition Center, with a fun- and fact-filled field day at Boggy Slough, outside of Lufkin. Speakers include: Doug Tallamy, author of Bringing Nature Home and The Living Landscape; Merlin Tuttle, founder of Bat Conservation International; and Clay Bolt, communications lead for World Wildlife Fund's Northern Great Plains Program and renowned photographer and filmmaker. You can find out much more about the event at the Nacogdoches PowWow information page: http://www.texaspollinatorpowwow.org/nacogdoches-may-5-7-2017.html. The registration cost is remarkably affordable at $50 per day or $80 for both - lunch is included. You can attend Bat Night, led by Merlin Tuttle and Chris Comer, and/or Moth Night, led by Doug Tallamy and Dan Bennet for an additional $15/each. Attendees who participate in the Friday and/or Saturday conference are eligible to attend the free Sunday field day at Boggy Slough. Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/texas-pollinator-powwow-tickets-29080640980. Online registration ends April 26, so sign up today to learn more about Birds, Bears, Bats, Butterflies, Bees and Blueberries.

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.

Hempstead: Peckerwood Garden, 20559 FM 359 Road, Hempstead, will host a special evening with horticulturist, author, and TV gardening correspondent Brie Arthur on Tuesday, May 9. Arthur encourages gardeners to rethink the use of green spaces through her signature design technique, "Foodscaping," which pairs edibles with more traditional ornamental landscapes in an innovative way. Featured on the PBS television show Growing a Greener World, Brie is combining her passion for plants and design by communicating the value of horticulture. The Foodscape movement is a model of community development that incorporates sustainable, local food production. Her first book, The Foodscape Revolution, will be available for purchase and signing at her presentation. Brie will also demonstrate her easy bloody mary recipe that is included in her book. Special thanks to David Creech at Stephen F. Austin University Mast Arboretum for partnering with Peckerwood Garden to enable her Texas visit. Please join us prior to the lecture for a garden tour at 5:00 pm. A light dinner will be provided for a donation. Tour Tickets ($10) and Lecture Tickets ($10) can be purchased at https://mkt.com/peckerwood-garden-conservation-foundation/. The light dinner is by donation. You may donate online or at the door. Attendance is limited so advance reservations are necessary.

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.

Denton: Five private residential gardens and two public gardens will be showcased on the 2017 Denton County Master Gardener Association spring garden tour from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 13. "Passport to Nature" is the theme of this year's tour. "Journey through the City Cottage Garden" at 3005 Terry Court, Denton, which has evolved in response to Mother Nature. Since this garden's debut on the 2011 garden tour, it has grown and filled out. "Treasures on Leisure Lane" at 3852 Leisure Ln., Denton, is four acres of Certified Wildlife Habitat. "Pollinator's Paradise II" at 2005 Burning Tree Ln., Denton, is an explosion of beloved plants and colorful flower, all tried and true Texas survivors. "Texas Tropical Resort" at 1520 Hunters Ridge Circle, Denton, was created using interior design principles: size, shape, texture and movement. "Lazy Gardener's Oasis" at 1306 Ballycastle Ln., Corinth, is a compact garden with a meandering path. The tour's two public gardens are the Courthouse on the Square, 110 West Hickory Street, Denton, and the nearby Denton County Historical Park at 317 West Mulberry Street, Denton. Tour tickets are $10 each and available from Master Gardeners; at the Denton County Extension office, 401 W. Hickory St., Denton; at the Redbud Festival in Denton on April 22; at the DCMGA Plant Sale on April 29; at Denton County Calloway's locations; or online from the Denton County Master Gardener website at www.dcmga.com. Tickets also may be purchased at any of the homes on tour day. Admission to a single garden is $5 at the gate. There is no charge for children aged 12 and under. Admission to both public gardens is free. Master Gardeners will be at each location to answer questions.

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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