December 21, 2016
  
Hard-working soil provides year-round gifts
 
The Soil Science Society of America
 
Plants need the nutrients of soil to grow. The Earth's creatures need homes to live. The Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) December 15th Soils Matter blog post explains how soil provides these and other services.
 
"Just like water and air, soil provides 'services' to all life on earth, year round. It's a gift from the soil to humanity," write soil scientists Mary Stromberger and Nick Comerford.
 
Soil scientists summarize soil's work as four distinct ecosystem services:
  • Supporting: Soil provides a home for a diverse blend of bacteria, fungi, and fauna. It also provides the nutrients and physical scaffold for plant support.
  • Regulating: Soil regulates air and water quality, helping with issues such as severe climate, flooding, and even disease.
  • Provisioning: From antibiotics to clay bricks, soil gives us resources for survival.
  • Cultural: Pottery, dyes, paints, and more come from the soil.
Soils are the source and foundation of many ecosystem services. Without soils, there would be no life. That's why the Soil Science Society of America's tag line is Soils Sustain Life!
To read the entire blog post, visit http://soilsmatter.wordpress.com.
Flooded with memories, AgriLife Extension reopens Harris County office
 
By Kathleen Phillips
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service
 
Tax Day 2016. The day most income earners know as the deadline for filing federal returns became taxing in another way for more than 20 employees at the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Harris County office.
 
"More than 15 inches of rain fell during April 18-19," said Dr. Allen Malone, AgriLife Extension county director. "It was a 500-year flood. The most this area had seen in a while."
 
Now, some nine months after the unprecedented flood that washed up to 3-feet deep throughout the county office on Bear Creek Road, the faculty and staff are realizing some positive outcomes in returning to the newly renovated 22,000-square-foot building and gardens.
 
"Our agents and staff have actually had a chance to come into a new environment, a new setting," Malone said. "We've been in this building for 30 years, so the flood gave us an opportunity for an update and a facelift."
 
The ultimate joy was not immediately apparent on the morning of April 18 when Malone got a call from a county official about the massive rainfall.
 
"I was getting ready to go to Austin to meet with state officials to do our Extension in the City event," Malone recalled. "But that morning, my telephone started ringing and a call from the county commissioner told me I needed to get to my office to check it out. By the time I got near the office, the facility had been blocked off because the waters were rising."
 
So, Malone and his assistant notified all employees not to come to the area that Monday morning. In the 30 years of AgriLife Extension being in the building, which is located on a rise in a reservoir, flood waters had never gotten higher than the first step at the base of the property, not even in a hurricane. But authorities soon realized the massive rainfall in April 2016 was going to be different.
 
After the original deck in the garden of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Harris County was destroyed by an April 2016 flood, the renovation has begun.
Water had not yet entered the building, however, so authorities arranged for airboats to carry employees to the building in an attempt to secure valuable items and to retrieve lightweight items such as laptops.
 
"We were only able to get in two days. The first day we were able to put things up high and gathered up any information that we needed for our educational programs," said Fralonda Aubrey, AgriLife Extension agent for urban youth development. "The next time, we went after the water had receded, and we found as much as 3-feet had risen in the building. The outside, with all of our educational gardens, had stood under 4.5 feet of water."
 
The aftermath left all of the demonstration gardens destroyed along with all the office supplies and resources, she said. Filthy water had soaked the floors and seeped up the walls. Supplies and educational materials were strewn around the interior as if a swirling drain had sucked them into the receding waters. Outside, beyond the gardens, the personal vehicles of two employees and at least one county trailer used for agricultural programs would remain submerged for months in the county's secured parking facility.
 
Because numerous educational events were already scheduled in the county, the 25-employee staff quickly moved to the first available county facility - a 200-square-foot office, Malone said. Initially, it was hard to imagine how an agency that works largely through educational demonstrations and meetings requiring space for the public would be able to function in such a small space with few supplies.
 
About a month later, a larger county office - some 6,800-square-feet - was provided, and it included some public meeting space.
 
"But the flood didn't stop us," Aubrey remembers. "People pretty much just worked out of their own vehicles, and we found other places to hold public meetings."
 
In time, the staff realized silver linings in the flood. Because the agency had settled into the building over the past 30 years, a lot of outdated materials had accumulated in the closets.
 
"It turned into a sort of cleansing process," Aubrey said. "We were able to get rid of things that we didn't need."
 
Malone joked at a recent open house that God has a sense of humor because the month prior to the flood, the staff had begun planning to do a spring cleaning to rid the facility of unnecessary items.
 
More than 40 rolloff dumpsters - each holding some 30 cubic yards of trash and debris - carted off ruined materials as the interior was stripped to the steel studs, he noted. The nine-month renovation now provides even better space for the AgriLife Extension programs in the county.
 
Plus, through the experience, the employees bonded in ways that Malone and Aubrey feel will help them better serve the citizens of Harris County.
 
"When you're cooped up in an office with four of your co-workers, you have the opportunity to share what's going on in each other's lives," Malone said. "It actually was a good time for us. We were able to feel comfortable with each other and just work together in a pretty unique circumstance. I think that will help with our camaraderie and our ability to work with each other in our educational programming to serve the public.
 
"This is a phoenix rising from its ashes, and we are all excited," Malone said.
 
Aubrey agreed.
 
"We were destroyed at that time, but we are very happy and very grateful to Harris County for helping us get back up and rolling," Aubrey said. "We're excited. Everything is new, plus we got rid of some stuff that we really didn't need in the first place."
The Compost Heap
The missing link

"In this email ('Grow a high-yield vegetable garden this season,' Seeds, December 14, 2016)," writes Pam Umstead, "you suggested searching www.Gardeners.com for this info: 'Or grow more than 50 pounds of produce in just 18 square feet of space with the High Yield Vegetable Garden Plan and High Yield Vegetable Seeds.' However, a search of this topic on that website yields no results. Where is this info available? I would love to see this plan!"

Sorry, Pam. Apparently the entire link didn't get included. Try this one: http://www.gardeners.com/kitchen-garden-planner/preplanned-gardens?id=High_Yield. - Michael Bracken, editor
Gardening tips

Wait until late winter to shear ground covers. Turf areas that are shady and not performing well can be transitioned over to groundcover now in the southern half of the state and late winter to spring in the northern half.
 
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.
DECEMBER

Hempstead: Peckerwood Garden presents Peckerwood Garden Open Day: Saturday, December 24, 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 info@peckerwoodgarden.org.

Schertz: The Guadalupe County Master Gardeners are now accepting applications for their upcoming "Become a Master Gardener" Class 29 evening class. This class will be held on Tuesdays starting January 17, 2017 through May 23, 2017 from 5:45 p.m.-8:45 p.m. at the Schertz Civic Center located at 1400 Schertz Parkway, Schertz. Cost of the class is $190. Application deadline is December 30, 2016. Class size is limited, so applications are taken on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information or registration, please contact Cynthia Lyssy at cmlyssy@prodigy.net or text (210) 275-3970.
JANUARY

La Marque: January 5 "Collection of Dormant Peach and Plum Graft Wood" with GC Master Gardeners Sue Jeffco and Herman Auer presenting, 9:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m., January 5, at the Galveston County Master Gardeners' Research & Demonstration Garden in Carbide Park, 4102 Main St., La Marque. Fee/Free. Participants must pre-register: Ph 281-534-3413. Galveston County Master Gardener event. Further details: http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/. Seating limited to 90 persons.

Hempstead: Peckerwood Garden presents Peckerwood Insider's Tours: Saturday, January 7, 10 am., 20559 FM 359 Rd. Hempstead. Pre-Registration Required. Tours will highlight a focused subject each month, ranging from Peckerwood's specific plant groups, garden design strategies, seasonal interest and more. Attendees will have the rare opportunity to see sections of the garden never visited during the general tours as we explore "Early Interest Winter Plants." $15 admission and parking, Free  for members. For more info, visit http://www.peckerwoodgarden.org/explore/visit-peckerwood-garden/ or info@peckerwoodgarden.org.

La Marque: "Wedge Grafting" with GC Master Gardener Sue Jeffco presenting, 9:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m, January 7, at the Galveston County AgriLife Extension Building in Carbide Park, 4102-B Main St., La Marque. Fee/Free. Participants must pre-register: Ph 281-534-3413. Galveston County Master Gardener event. Further details: http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/. Note: Class limited to 32 participants; pre-registration required to participate. Others may attend to observe.
 
La Marque: "Propagation of Plants by Cuttings" with GC Master Gardener Bill Cummins presenting, 1:00 p.m.-2:30 p.m., January 7, at the Galveston County AgriLife Extension Building in Carbide Park, 4102-B Main St., La Marque. Fee/Free. Participants must pre-register: Ph 281-534-3413. Galveston County Master Gardener event. Further details: http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/. Note: Class limited to 24 participants; pre-registration required to participate. Others may attend to observe. Bring a small, sharp knife, if participating.

Austin: The Austin Organic Gardeners' Club kicks off their 72nd year with their first meeting of 2017 on Monday, January 9. They will have a compost panel discussion with local commercial compost experts: George Altgelt of Geogrowers; Lisa Boatman, a DilloDirt engineer from Hornsby bend; Phil Gosh from Organics by Gosh; and Dakota from Whittlesey Landscape Supply. The Austin Organic Gardeners' Club meets at the Austin Area Garden Center, 2220 Barton Springs Rd, in Zilker Botanical Gardens. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for the opportunity to meet, mingle, and ask questions with local gardeners. Club business begins at 7 p.m., followed by our guest speaker's presentation. For more information, visit www.austinorganicgardeners.org.

Houston: Harris County Master Gardeners Precinct 2 Lecture Series featuring Charlene Perry of "Diggit Organics." She will present a program on Vermiculture, Composting Worms. 10:00-11:30 a.m., January 12, at the Genoa Friendship Garden Educational Building, 1202 Genoa Red Bluff Rd., Houston. Note: New Location. For more information, visit https://hcmga.tamu.edu. 

Houston: "Backyard Rose Hybridizing" will be the topic of the Houston Rose Society meeting on Thursday, January 12, 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 John Jons, an award-winning Galveston County Master Gardener, Texas Master Naturalist and American Rose Society Consulting Rosarian. John has hybridized the new and unique 'Texas Tough Roses.' One of his roses has been selected as an American Rose Society 'All American Rose Center Trial Grounds Winner.' Free admission. For more information, visit www.houstonrose.org.

San Antonio: The San Antonio Herb Society meets January 12. Beginning in 1995, the International Herb Association has chosen an Herb of the Year to highlight. Based upon being outstanding in at least two of the three major categories: medicinal, culinary, or decorative; the herb of the year is selected. This year's selection is Coriander/Cilantro. Leslie Bingham will present a fun and informative look at the Herb of the Year with the assistance of fellow herb society member, Adrienne Hacker. Leslie has a degree in Horticulture, was a member of the Herb Society of America, Southern Ontario Unit for more than 20 years, and is currently a member of San Antonio Herb Society. In addition, Leslie has worked on the restoration of several 19th century museum gardens including Dundern Castle, McKenzie House Museum, and Montgomery's Inn Museum where she delved into the historical archives, letters, journals and diaries to re-create the garden designs of the early 19th century inhabitants. The meeting will be held at the San Antonio Garden Center, 3310 N. New Braunfels at Parland,San Antonio, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Admission is free and the public is welcome. For more information, visit www.sanantonioherbs.org.
 
Tyler: Smith County Master Gardeners at the library, January 13 at 11:30 a.m. "Winter Sowing" with Trish Wittinger. 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.

La Marque: "Growing Great Tomatoes (Part 2 of 3)" with GC Master Gardener Ira Gervais presenting, 9:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m., January 14, at the Galveston County AgriLife Extension Building in Carbide Park, 4102-B Main St., La Marque. Fee/Free. Participants must pre-register: Ph 281-534-3413. Galveston County Master Gardener event. Further details: http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/.
 
La Marque: "Successful Spring Vegetable Gardening" with GC Master Gardener Herman Auer presenting, 1:00 p.m.-3:30 p.m., January 14, at the Galveston County AgriLife Extension Building in Carbide Park, 4102-B Main St., La Marque. Fee/Free. Participants must pre-register: Ph 281-534-3413. Galveston County Master Gardener event. Further details http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/.
 
Hempstead: Peckerwood Garden presents Evening at Peckerwood Lecture Series: Friday, January 16, 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 info@peckerwoodgarden.org.

Houston: Open Garden Day , with Harris County Master Gardeners at Precinct 2. 8:30-11 a.m., January 16, Genoa Friendship Garden, 1202 Genoa Red Bluff Rd., Houston. Master Gardeners will also be available to answer your gardening questions. FREE. Plants for sale in the Greenhouse. Details: https://hcmga.tamu.edu.

La Marque: "Gardening by the Square Foot" with GC Master Gardener John Jons presenting, 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m., January 17, at the Galveston County AgriLife Extension Building in Carbide Park, 4102-B Main St., La Marque. Fee/Free. Participants must pre-register: Ph 281-534-3413. Galveston County Master Gardener event. Further details: http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/.

Smithson Valley: The Lindheimer Chapter (Comal County) of the Native Plant Society of Texas will hold their monthly meeting on January 17 at the GVTC Auditorium, 36101 FM 3159, Smithson Valley. The doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the meeting starts at 7:00 p.m. The speaker will be Andrew McNeil-Marshall, LBJ Wildflower Center. Andrew will speak on "Texas Oak Collection, Hall of Texas Heroes and other exciting exhibits at the Center." The meeting is free and the public is welcome. For more information, call Martha Guethle, 830-438-5996.

LaGrange: The Bluebonnet Master Gardener Association is offering a training program with weekly classes running from January 19 to graduation on April 25. Classes will be held on Thursday mornings at the Fayette County Agriculture Building in LaGrange. Topics for the class include plant growth and development, entomology, soils and plant fertility, landscape and fruit trees, plant pathology, vegetable gardening, lawn care and various aspects of environmental horticulture. Classes are taught by Texas AgriLife Extension specialists, agents, and local experts. The Texas Master Gardener program boasts the largest corps of Master Gardener volunteers in the nation. A love of gardening and search for knowledge is central to why Master Gardeners join the program. They remain Master Gardeners to enjoy the camaraderie and friendship of others who share their interests, to gain and share horticulture knowledge, and to give back to the community. For additional information, contact Susan Yancey at susan.yancey@gmail.com.

La Marque: "Fig Tree Pruning and Propagation" with Certified, GC Master Gardener Terry Cuclis presenting, 9:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m., January 19, at the Galveston County Master Gardeners' Research & Demonstration Garden in Carbide Park, 4102 Main St., La Marque. Fee/Free. Participants must pre-register: Ph 281-534-3413. Galveston County Master Gardener event. Further details: http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/. Bring gloves.

Conroe: Montgomery County Master Gardeners are having their Fruit and Nut Tree Sale on Saturday, January 28, at the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Office, 9020 Airport Road, Conroe. The presentation starts at 8 a.m., the sale is from 9 a.m. until noon. Varieties sold will grow well in Montgomery County. Trees and plants include apples, blackberries, blueberries, citrus, grapes, strawberries, raspberries, and much more. Take your wagon! Visit www.mcmga.com or call 936-539-7824 for more info.
 
Hempstead: Peckerwood Garden presents Peckerwood Garden Open Day: Saturday, January 28, 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 info@peckerwoodgarden.org.

La Marque: "Growing Peaches in Galveston County" with GC Master Gardener Herman Auer presenting, 9:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m., January 28, at the Galveston County AgriLife Extension Building in Carbide Park, 4102-B Main St., La Marque. Fee/Free. Participants must pre-register: Ph 281-534-3413. Galveston County Master Gardener event. Further details: http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/.
 
La Marque: "Kitchen Gardening" with GC Master Gardener Mary Demeny presenting, 1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m., January 28, at the Galveston County AgriLife Extension Building in Carbide Park, 4102-B Main St., La Marque. Fee/Free. Participants must pre-register: Ph 281-534-3413. Galveston County Master Gardener event. Further details: http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/.

Orlando, FL: Join the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) for the 56th Vegetable and Flower Seed Conference, January 28-31, in Orlando. The annual conference brings together nearly 900 seed industry professionals from more than 20 countries for four days of global networking and education. Held at Disney's Yacht and Beach Club Resort next to EPCOT Center, the 2017 Vegetable & Flower Seed Conference will bring agricultural innovation to life with exclusive tour opportunities at Disney's trial gardens, greenhouses, and a special version of Disney's "Behind the Seeds" tour, in addition to ASTA sessions on plant breeding, organic seed, communications, and more. On the evening of Saturday, January 28, All-America Selections (AAS) and National Garden Bureau will provide an update on both organizations' yearly activities and new AAS Winners, followed by a meet-and-greet cocktail reception. Sunday, January 29 and Monday, January 30, will feature special Disney "Behind the Seeds" tours, including the AAS trial garden. On Monday, January 30, the General Session will feature Walt Disney World's Eric Darden, the man behind the magic of EPCOT's International Flower and Garden Festival - an event that has grown in popularity in each of its 20-plus years to an audience that is now over 7 million! Bringing to life a renewed interest in gardening, produce and food, this festival has been instrumental in the creation of EPCOT as the "festival park" of Walt Disney World. For more information including the full schedule of events, visit http://www.betterseed.org/events/asta-vegetable-flower-seed-conference/.

La Marque: "Anyone Can Grow Roses" with GC Master Gardener and American Rose Society Consulting Rosarian John Jons presenting, 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m., January 31, at the Galveston County AgriLife Extension Building in Carbide Park, 4102-B Main St., La Marque. Fee/Free. Participants must pre-register: Ph 281-534-3413. Galveston County Master Gardener event. Further details: http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/.
FEBRUARY

Tyler: Smith County Master Gardeners at the library, February 10 at 11:30 a.m. "Rose Rustlers" with Greg Grant, Smith County horticulturalist and Texas Gardener contributing editor . 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.

Hitchcock: "Galveston County Master Gardeners 2017 Spring Plant Sale" with pre-sale seminar 8:00 a.m.-8:50 a.m., plant sale 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m., February 18, at Jack Brooks Park Rodeo Arena, 10 Jack Brooks Rd and Hwy 6, Hitchcock (Galveston County Fairgrounds).

Pasadena: Harris County Master Gardener "Fruit Tree and Tomato" Sale will be held February 18 at Campbell Hall, Pasadena Fairgrounds, 7600 Red Bluff RD., Pasadena. For more information, visit https://hcmga.tamu.edu .

Smithson Valley: The Lindheimer Chapter (Comal County) of the Native Plant Society of Texas will hold their monthly meeting on February 21 at the GVTC Auditorium, 36101 FM 3159, Smithson Valley. The doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the meeting starts at 7:00 p.m. The speaker will be Kathryn Bryant, Management Chair, Lindheimer Chapter Plant Sale. Kathryn will speak on "Plant Sale Primer." Kathryn will review native plants of interest for the sale and propagation techniques. The meeting is free and the public is welcome. For more information, call Martha Guethle, 830-438-5996.
Monthly meetings
 
If you would like your organization's events included in "Monthly Meetings" or would like to make a change to a listed meeting, please contact us at Monthly Meetings. To ensure inclusion in this column, please provide complete details. 
 
FIRST WEEK
  
Kaufman: The Kaufman County Master Gardeners meet the first Monday of each month at the First Community Church at 1401 Trinity Drive in Crandall. January through April and August and September meetings are at 9 a.m., with the remaining meetings beginning at 7 p.m. For additional information visit http://www.kcmga.org, call 972-932-9069 or email to sbburden@ag.tamu.edu.

Houston: The Harris County Master Gardeners meet at noon the first Tuesday of each month at the Texas AgriLife Extension, 3033 Bear Creek Drive (near the intersection of Highway 6 and Patterson Road), Houston. For additional information visit http://hcmga.tamu.edu
or call 281-855-5600.

Dallas: Garden Masters, Inc., meet the first Wednesday of each month at North Haven Gardens, 7700 Northaven Rd., Dallas. The club hosts different speaker each month from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Bring your lunch! For more information, email Bunny Williams at bunny-williams@sbcglobal.net.
 
Kerrville: Hill Country Master Gardeners meet the first Wednesday of each month at 1:00 pm at Hill Country Youth Event Center, 3785 Hwy 27. For more information visit www.hillcountrymastergardeners.org.
 
Midland/Odessa: The Permian Basin Master Gardeners meet at noon, the first Wednesday of each month, lternating between the Midland and Ector County's Extensions Offices. For more information about location, call 432-498-4071 or 432-686-4700.
   
Allen: The Allen Garden Club meets at 7 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month, February through December, at the Allen Heritage Center, 100 E. Main St., Allen. For more information, visit www.allengardenclub.org.

Atlanta: The Cass County Master Gardeners meet the first Thursday of each month at the Atlanta Memorial Hospital Conference Room, State Highway 77 @ S. Williams St., Atlanta. A business meeting is followed by an educational program. The public is welcome to attend. For additional information, call 903-756-5391 or visit http://cass.agrilife.org
 
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.
 
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/.
 
Texas Gardener digital edition available

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

By Trisha Shirey

 

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

 

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

 

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

The Vegetable Book

By Dr. Sam Cotner

 

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

The Texas Tomato Lover's Handbook

By William D. Adams

 

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

Order both books, receive a FREE Texas Gardener cap!

($15.82 if ordered separately)

 

Remit payment to:

TG Books * PO Box 9005 * Waco, TX 76714

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

 

American Express, Visa, MasterCard and Discover Accepted

Texas Gardener's Seeds is published weekly. © Suntex Communications, Inc. 2016. All rights reserved. You may forward this publication to your friends and colleagues if it is sent in its entirety. No individual part of this newsletter may be reproduced in any manner without prior written permission from the publisher.

 

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

 

Publisher: Chris S. Corby ● Editor: Michael Bracken 

 

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

www.TexasGardener.com