April 29, 2020
Lessons from the plant world offer insight into COVID-19 pandemic
By Kay Ledbetter
Texas A&M AgriLife
Plants are no strangers to diseases and devastating outbreaks. Humans can learn a valuable lesson from them when it comes to the current COVID-19 pandemic, according to a Texas A&M professor.
While the urge is to return to our workplace and business once diagnosed COVID-19 cases peak, a Texas A&M AgriLife Researchvirologist and plant pathologist says one must only turn to the plant world to see how that would be a mistake.
"When we reach the peak, we are at best only halfway towards coming down from this mountain of disease," said Karen-Beth Scholthof, Ph.D., a professor in the Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology at Texas A&M University.
Scholthof concurs with Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, that social distancing should continue until there are essentially no new cases, no deaths.
Her reasoning is based on a long-standing concept from plant pathology, which she says describes the spread of any disease, explains why environmental measures matter, and sheds light on the similarities between plant and human diseases.
"All biology is connected. Now is the time to learn from other areas of science and the environment," said Patrick J. Stover, vice chancellor of Texas A&M AgriLife, dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and director of AgriLife Research. "We may need to take extra time now, which we know will be difficult in the short-term, but life-saving for many in the long-term.
"The novel coronavirus is certainly revealing our vulnerabilities, from the food supply system to our social environments to the quality of life. We must learn from this experience, including prioritizing the development of cutting-edge technologies to protect from and prevent against COVID-19 and its far-reaching effects on our lives before we restart the vicious cycle once again, especially the most vulnerable."
THE DISEASE TRIANGLE
Disease outbreaks depend on the "disease triangle," Scholthof said. This concept arose more than 60 years ago when George McNew, a plant pathologist at the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research, diagrammed the fact that an epidemic arises from the interaction of three factors - a susceptible host, a virulent pathogen and a hospitable environment.
Scholthof said a simple form of McNew's disease triangle is helpful to explain the key role of environment in the success of pathogens such as SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
Genetically identical plants are a "monoculture" and are especially vulnerable to emerging pathogens and disease. Today, plant pathologists break these cycles of disease by modifying or controlling either the host, the pathogen or the environment.
"We may breed crops that are resistant to the disease, plant them in a different way or at different times or use chemical treatments to protect the plants from harmful fungi, viruses, bacteria and insects," Scholthof explained. "By changing the host with resistance genes, stopping the pathogen with chemicals, or altering the environment by planting earlier or later, for example, we can control an outbreak of a new disease or seasonal recurrence of a known pathogen."
In the case of COVID-19, people are the susceptible hosts and SARS-COV-2, the virulent pathogen. The constant and close contact between people is the hospitable environment needed to keep this pandemic going strong. The novel coronavirus, having jumped from an animal host, has become extraordinarily successful at infecting humans.
"We do not have population-wide immunity to this virus," Scholthof said. "Again, from Dr. Fauci, we 'don't make the timeline, the virus makes the timeline.' Until drugs or vaccines are shown to control the virus and the disease, we can only do our part to disrupt an environment that is favorable to the novel coronavirus."
TAKING A PAGE OUT OF PLANT PATHOLOGY HISTORY
She used the Great Irish Potato Famine, a humanitarian crisis, to shed light on the close link between pathogens, the environment and society - including how an epidemic drives policy while unmasking social and economic injustice.
"These are issues that strike close to home since COVID-19 has become our daily reality," Scholthof said.
The Irish potato famine was precipitated by late blight disease of potato, which still occurs today. First-hand reports from Ireland described how the blight sprung up overnight with fields of lush green plants suddenly destroyed, resulting the near total collapse of the potato crop.
Although disease outbreaks were also occurring in Europe and North America, the dependence of the Irish poor on the potato for most of their food calories was devastating. This plant disease outbreak led to the emigration of a million people from Ireland and another million deaths - a loss of 25% of the country's population.
"It was a single pathogen that provided a horrifying lesson for the need to scientifically manage, reduce and control disease," Scholthof said. "COVID-19 will recur if we do not continue to perturb the virus's favored environment until either a vaccine to strengthen the host or medications to destroy the virus are created."
CONTROLLING THE OUTBREAK
There may be a single peak of infection, waves of infection, or seasonal recurrence of COVID-19 in our communities, Scholthof said. Similarly, potato late blight disease that caused such destruction is ongoing today, but in a controlled environment.
"Ongoing COVID-19 infections would suggest that we have not been sufficiently vigilant with perturbing the virus's favored environment," she said. "Today, and for at least the near future, disrupting a favorable environment for the virus is the main element of controlling the spread of the disease, and the disruption must continue until either proven vaccines or medications are created."
Social distancing and good hygienic practices remain the best community options available to break the disease triangle, Scholthof said. Simple efforts such as handwashing disrupt the virus's membrane envelope, preventing it from initiating an infection.
"With time, we, the host, may acquire 'herd immunity' as a form of protection from the virus," she said. "Or the amazing ongoing scientific work may identify safe and effective treatments or a vaccine.
"But we must remain vigilant in continuing with the recommended practices that create an unfavorable environment for the virus until that time occurs," Scholthof said. "We must not become complacent."
Protect your skin when gardening
By Melinda Myers
May is National Skin Cancer Awareness Month and a busy time for gardening and other outdoor activities. Gardening provides many benefits, but like any outdoor activity it's important to protect yourself from the sun's damaging rays.
More than 5 million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed each year, and most are associated with exposure to the ultraviolet rays from the sun. Even though it's the most common form of cancer in the U.S. it is also one of the most preventable. Help reduce this percentage and keep yourself and others safe with a bit of skin cancer prevention.
Use sunscreen year-round. It is easy to overlook during those extremely cold or hot months where we may be bundled up or spending minimal time outdoors. In fact, running errands and even time spent in the car results in sun exposure.
||Wear sunscreen, a hat and gardening gloves with ultraviolet protection to stay safe from ultraviolet rays that can cause skin cancer. Photo courtesy of FoxGlovesInc.com
Apply a sunscreen with UVA/UVB protection and a minimum SPF of 30 over your entire body at least 30 minutes before going outdoors. This includes cloudy days when we often forego this precaution. Reapply sunscreen every two hours or after swimming or excessive sweating. Pay close attention and make a generous application to lips, tips of ears, and the backs of your neck and hands.
Keep a bottle of sunscreen in your garden tool kit as a reminder to apply throughout the day. If it's easily accessible, you are more likely to apply it as needed.
Avoid gardening and outdoor activities when the sun is most intense. This is usually between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Find those shady spots in the landscape to weed or relax during that time. Avoiding the intense sunlight means cooler temperatures that make working in the garden more enjoyable.
Cover up for greater protection. Wear a broad brimmed hat to protect your ears, scalp, neck and face from the sun. Don clothing of tightly woven fabric that helps block harmful UV rays. And talk to your dermatologist about the benefits of investing in photoprotective clothing.
Be sure to include gloves when purchasing sun protective clothing. Look for knit gloves like
(foxglovesinc.com) that provide 50+ UPF, Ultraviolet Protection Factor. These gloves are made of lightweight, breathable fabric and come in a variety of colors, including skin tone, making them easy to wear when working, driving or participating in any outdoor activity.
And don't forget about your eyes. Wear sunglasses and a broad brimmed hat to protect your eyes when gardening, relaxing or recreating outdoors.
Check your skin regularly for any suspicious moles, spots, growths and changes. And visit your dermatologist at least once a year. They can help you detect and manage problems early.
As you work to improve your landscape or do other outdoor activities this season, add sun protection to your to-do list. Then encourage your family and friends to do the same. A bit of prevention can reduce your risk of becoming that one individual in five that develops skin cancer by the age of 70.
As the bloom cycle of your roses winds down, cut spent blooms back to the first leaflet with five leaves. Then give them a boost of fertilizer and water it in well.
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
we will send you a copy of
r's 2020 Planning Guide & Calendar.
Please send your tips of 50 words or less to the editor at:
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.
The COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak has caused the cancellation of many events. Because SEEDS has a long lead time, events listed below may have already been cancelled. We strongly encourage you to take care of yourself by practicing social distancing. If you do wish to attend any of the events listed below, please contact the presenters in advance to determine if the event has been cancelled or if it will take place as planned.
Galveston: The Young Gardeners Program is a school garden and healthy eating program operating on Galveston and the Bolivar Peninsula.
Every Saturday, 9-11 a.m., they host a garden Community Day at one of the schools. It's an opportunity for community members to work and play in the garden and it's kid-friendly. First Saturday - Crenshaw, 416 State Hwy 87, Crystal Beach; Second Saturday - Rosenberg Elementary, 721 10th St., Galveston; Third Saturday - Morgan Elementary, 1410 37th St., Galveston; Fourth Saturday - Oppe Elementary, 2915 81st St., Galveston.
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.
The Jasper County Master Gardeners meet on the first Monday of each month at St. Michael's Catholic Church from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. The evening begins with pot luck social and then guest presentations and/or educational class to conclude. Visit https://jasper.agrilife.org/jasper-master-gardeners/ 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; Visit
https://mastergardener.tamu.edu/become/ to become a member.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Harris County Master Gardeners meet at noon the
first Tuesday of each month at a location in Houston to be determined. For additional information, visit
or call 713-274-0950.
Schulenberg: Schulenburg Garden Club meets the first Tuesday of the month, at 11:30 a.m., September-May, at the Schulenburg First Baptist Church Fellowship Hall, 110 Upton Ave., Schulenburg.
Garden Masters, Inc., meet the first Wednesday of each month, Sept.- May, at North Haven Gardens, 7700 Northaven Rd., Dallas, 75230. The club hosts different speakers each month from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Come early and order lunch from the The Cafe, which features a healthy menu, fresh local produce and sustainably produced meats and fish (or call in advance to order
. For more information about Garden Masters Inc, email Marcia Borders at
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
Midland: The Permian Basin Master Gardeners (Ector/Midland counties) have monthly meetings at noon on the
first Wednesday of each month at the West Texas Food Bank, 1601 Westcliff Drive in Midland. For more information 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.
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
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
The Native Plant Society of Texas - North Central Chapter meets the first Thursday of each month, excluding January and July, at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden, 3220 Botanic Garden Blvd., Fort Worth. Meeting begins at 6:30 p.m., program begins at 7:00 p.m. Guest speakers present educational programs on topics of interest. Members, friends, family, guests and the public are welcome. For a list of speakers and topics or more information, visit http://www.txnativeplants.org.
Hempstead: The Waller County Master Gardeners usually meet at 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.
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
for more information
The Comal Garden Club meets the
first Thursday of each month
at 9:30 a.m. at Southbank Clubhouse, 222 Southbank Blvd., New Braunfels.
The Peckerwood Garden Conservation Foundation, 20559 F.M. 359, Hempstead, hosts a special Insider's Tour at 10 a.m. on the first Saturday of each month. Spaces are limited so pre-registration is encouraged. $15, free for members. For more information, visit http://peckerwoodgarden.org/product/peckerwood-insiders-tours/.
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. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.; club business begins at 7:00 p.m., followed by a presentation. For more information, visit
The Cherokee County Master Gardeners meet on the
second Monday of each month
at 9:30 a.m. at The First Methodist Church, 1031 TX-456 Loop, Jacksonville. For additional information, contact Kim Benton at
Cedar Park/Leander/Liberty Hill:
The Hill Country Bloomers meet the
second Tuesday of each month (except December)
at 7 p.m. at the Cedar Park Recreation Center, 1435 Main Street, Cedar Park. Arrive at 6:30 p.m. to socialize and swap plants and seeds. Meetings feature guest speakers on a variety of topics for the home gardener or landscaper. They host a plant sale in the spring and a garden tour in the late summer/early fall. Throughout the year they contribute time and expertise to local projects. Those with any level of experience are welcome. Non-members are invited to their first meeting at no cost. Membership and speaker info is available at
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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 email@example.com or visit
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
for more information
: The Harris County Precinct 2 Master Gardeners hold an educational program at 10 a.m. on the
second Thursday of each month
at The Genoa Friendship Garden Educational Building at 1202 Genoa Red Bluff, Pasadena. The programs are free and open to the public. For more information,
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
San Marcos: The Spring Lake Garden Club meets the second Thursday of each month at 9:30 a.m., September-May, at McCoy's Building Supply Headquarters, 1350 IH-35, San Marcos. Contact Terri Boyd (512) 395-66644 x6134.
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.
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
Houston: The Spring Branch African Violet Club meets the
second Saturday of each month, January through November, at 10:00 a.m. 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.
Youth Backyard Gardening Initiative holds community engagement meetings the
second Saturday of each month
at 2:30 p.m. at Monarch Academy, 4205 Old Florence Road, Killeen. To learn more, visit
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
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
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 Elaine Bell at 817-309-8052.
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
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
The Master Gardeners meet the
third Tuesday of each month
at the Taylor County Extension Office, 1982 Lytle Way, Abilene. For more information, contact Big Country Master Gardeners Association at
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.
The Lindheimer Chapter (Comal County) of the Native Plant Society of Texas meets on the third Tuesday of each month at
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.
: there will be no meeting in June or December.
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
or call 361-790-0103.
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
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.
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
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
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
or call 817-454-8175.
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
for more information.
The Native Plant Society of Texas - Houston Chapter meets at 6:45 pm on the third Thursday of each month at the American Red Cross Building, 2700 Southwest Fwy. For more information about meeting presentations and native plants, visit http://npsot.org/houston.
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 with presentation is held 6:00-8:00 p.m. During the intervening months (Feb., April, June, Aug., Oct.), afternoon educational seminars/general meetings are held from 1:00-3:00 p.m. Check
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.
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
The Greater Fort Worth Herb Society meetings are held the
third Saturday of each month
at Texas Garden Club Inc, 3111 Old Garden Club Rd., Fort Worth (located next to the Fort Worth Botanic Garden), 10:00 a.m. to noon, September through June. For more information, email
The New Braunfels Chapter of Native Plant Society of Texas meets on the
fourth Monday of each month
except July and December. Meetings are held at the Westside Community Center, 2932 S. I-35 Frontage Road, New Braunfels. Meetings start at 6:15 p.m. with a meet and greet time, followed by a short business meeting. Programs begin around 7:00. Native plant and seed exchanges are held monthly. Expert speakers present educational programs on topics of interest. Meetings are free and open to the public. For more information or to join, visit
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
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
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.
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
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
The Houston Native Prairie Association meets at 7 p.m. on the
fourth Wednesday of each month
(except November and December) at the Houston Red Cross Building, 2700 Southwest Freeway, Houston. Refreshments served at 6:30 p.m. For more information, contact
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
The Leander Garden Club meets on the fourth Thursday of each month (except June, July and August) at 10:30 a.m. in the Fellowship Room of the Leander Presbyterian Church, 101 N. West St., Leander, unless there is a special event planned. Following a program and short business meeting, there is a pot-luck luncheon. To confirm the meeting place and time, please call President Kathleen Tully at 512-422-8580 or email LeanderGardenClub@gmail.com .
The Dallas County Master Gardeners meet the
fourth Thursday of each month
at 11:30 a.m. For location and program information, visit
or contact The Helpdesk, M-F, 8 to 4:30 214-904-3053.
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.
The Peckerwood Garden Conservation Foundation, 20559 F.M. 359, Hempstead, hosts a garden Open Days from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the fourth Saturday of each month. Drop-in tours are permitted but pre-registration is encouraged. Docent led tours are $10 for guests, free for members. For more information, http://peckerwoodgarden.org/explore/visit-peckerwood-garden/.
Dallas: The Greater Dallas Organic Garden Club meets at 2:30 p.m. on the fourth Sunday of each month (except November and December) at North Haven Gardens, 7700 Northaven Road, Dallas. For more information, visit www.gdogc.org.
Texas Gardener digital edition available-Only $19.95 per year (digital only) or $9 per year if you tack it on to your print subscription!
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. Click on this link to explore your options
2020 Planning Guide & Calendar
Only $14.95 per copy (includes tax and shipping)
Make gardening easier and more enjoyable in 2010. No more keeping it in your head or, worse yet, juggling all those wrinkled, sweat-stained pieces of paper that seem to accumulate and end up lost. It's time to get organized and the perfect way to start that off is with your very own copy of the 2020 Texas Gardener Planning Guide and Calendar. No more guessing when to plant or do different activities. You will find everything you need in one simple but informative guide and calendar. Plus plenty of room to record your own planting dates, rainfall events and other data for future reference.
Here's a sample of what you will find in this information-packed guide:
- Many, many practical and timely garden tips that are for Texas - not Maine or California!
- Organic, earth-friendly tips to make your garden grow and prosper
- Lots of space to record your own activities for future reference
- Planting dates and tips for vegetables, flowers, herbs, fruit and lawns
Order today, while it's fresh on your mind. Don't forget to order copies for your gardening friends and relatives!
Easy Gardening for Texas
By Joseph G. Masabni
Only $31.94 (includes tax and shipping)
Gardening in the Lone Star State has unique challenges, but that doesn't mean you can't grow vegetables here. This new book tells what varieties are best, how to handle insect and disease problems, and how to control weeds with a minimum of work, plus detailed growing information on a host of vegetables that do well in Texas. This is the perfect guide for gardeners new to the state as well as those more-experienced gardeners looking for a handy guide of research-tested advice. 220 pages with lots of color photos! Click on this link to order
By Judy Barrett
Only $29.75 (includes tax and shipping)
Eating fresh and eating local has really caught on!
Easy Edibles: How to Grow and Enjoy Fresh Food
focuses on ways to grow some of your own food without devoting a lot of space, time and work to the project. Barrett also covers how and where to find the bounty offered at local farmers markets, farm stands and pick-your-own operations. This book is the perfect gift or guide for folks new to gardening or those who have limited time and resources but still want to eat fresh! Click on this link to order
The Texas Tomato Lover's Handbook
By William D. Adams
Only $31.94 (includes tax and shipping)
The best thing for tomato enthusiast since the tomato itself! Adams draws on more than thirty years' 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, the must have book has everything you'll need to assure a bumper crop! 189 pages. Lots of color photographs! Click on this link to order