August 19, 2020
What's eating my vegetable garden?
By Adam Russell
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service
Pests grubbing on garden vegetables before they make it to the table might as well be a declaration of war against gardeners.
Joe Masabni, Ph.D., Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service horticulturist, Dallas, said the battle against insects and animals begins with preparation and identifying potential problems and is won by action.
Armyworm eating okra. They're a bad garden pest because they eat anything. Bt sprays are a good organic way to treat any worm pest, including armyworms. (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension photo by Joe Masabni)
Being proactive is better than being reactive, he said. Knowing what you're up against, having a battle plan and the right weapons to fight back takes vigilant scouting and timely treatments that will kill or deter pest bugs and/or eggs and larvae.
Masabni said it's important to treat plants to kill pest insects and curb infestations throughout the life of the plant. Whether you prefer organic or conventional pesticides is up to you, just use something. Insect pests can stunt plant growth and introduce diseases that can kill the plant or damage fruit.
Animals can also be a damaging pest to home gardens, especially in times of stress like drought, Masabni said. Deer don't prefer tomato or okra plants, but in a dry year, deer will nibble on them. So, they should be prevented from accessing the garden, if they are known to frequent the area, and/or damaging plants.
"You have to understand that pests are going to be an issue at some point. It's really just a matter of when and how bad," he said. "The key to success is to be in the garden every day, scouting and being ready to fight any bugs that want to feed on your plants."
The AgriLife Extension integrated pest management field guide is a good resource for identifying beneficial and pest insects and typical pests found on specific garden vegetables.
How to get rid of bugs eating your garden
Insects are a big issue, Masabni said. It's better to be proactive than reactive when it comes to bugs that infest and eat your plants and fruit or spread disease.
There are a wide range of insect pests that can negatively impact production or kill plants, he said. Stinkbugs, aphids, spider mites, fruit worms, corn ear worms, grasshoppers, cucumber beetles, tomato hornworms and squash bugs are common pests year after year.
Nematodes are a hidden pest that live in the soil and attack plant roots and kill plants, Masabni said.
Pests negatively impact vegetable production by sucking and chewing on plants or as vectors for diseases.
Aphids suck on leaves and stems while stinkbugs suck on fruit and stems, Masabni said. Grasshoppers will eat entire leaves and corn earworms feast on fruit like tomatoes, peppers and ears of corn.
Some insects, such as the cucumber beetle, are more dangerous because the damage is seen a month after they visited the plant as a viral disease, he said.
Some common signs of pest problems include plants that are stunted or not growing properly, deformed or damaged leaves, yellowed or light in color, and wilted or droopy.
The key is vigilant monitoring and action.
Masabni said small gardens can be protected by manually killing adult pests, larvae and eggs, but it takes close inspection of each plant on a regular basis.
"Every season, I receive emails from people when they're already having problems," he said. "Most every time they respond that they're not spraying, or at minimum manually staying on top of pests. The simple truth of gardening is you can't grow vegetable crops without spray applications and regular scouting. Otherwise, they will literally eat your garden alive."
Spray with fungicides and insecticides
If the war against pests and disease is lost this season, buy a quality backpack sprayer and at least three fungicides and three insecticides before you plant another seed or seedling.
A beneficial syrphid larvae (worm) stalks an aphid on a yard-long bean plant. Aphids are a major pest in vegetable gardens. (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension photo by Joe Masabni)
"Start your spray regimen early, especially when the plants make their first flower since this is the stage insects like squash vine borers or squash bugs become active," he said.
Apply sprays to transplants upon planting or seedlings once they've emerged, Masabni said. Spray plants with the mix every seven-14 days depending on the weather.
"If the spring is rainy, then spray every seven days," he said. "If it's a dry spring, then spray every 10-14 days."
Masabni uses organic fungicides and insecticides. Organic fungicides that have worked for him include Neem Oil, Actinovate or a Bordeaux mixture of copper, lime and water.
He recommends Spinosad, Bt or any horticultural oil as organic insecticides. Fungicides and insecticides can be mixed and applied at the same time, he said, but check labels and/or conduct a jar test first.
In a jar test, add both products to water and shake well and watch to see if the products bind together, Masabni said. If they bind, don't mix them.
Having and using a variety of fungicides and pesticides will decrease bugs' ability to build up resistance to any one treatment, he said. So, switch up the fungicide/pesticide mix every third treatment.
Many pests hide and/or lay eggs on the underside of leaves, so it's important to drench the plant, he said.
Wash fresh produce using cool, running water. Produce that has a thick skin like potatoes and carrots can be scrubbed with a brush.
"You have to spray something if you want a crop," he said. "During my research trials, I got 10% of the potential crop from plants that didn't receive any spray treatments."
How to keep birds and other animals from eating your garden
Vegetable and fruit losses to larger pests like birds, rabbit, racoons and deer are typically miniscule compared to insects and disease. However, animals can consume entire crops when they target a plant or during stressful times like drought.
But protecting plants from larger pests is a little more straightforward, Masabni said. Fences and nets are best.
Netting should be draped over stakes that allow it to hang loosely over the plants, he said. Rabbits, racoons and deer can be deterred with wire fencing or multiple-wire electric fencing that prevents access.
"Shiny reflectors and scarecrows look neat, but the only thing that will protect your crop from birds is netting," he said. "The same goes for deer and other animals. You need some sort of fencing to deter or prevent entry."
West Nile on the rise in Dallas, Tarrant counties
By Susan Himes
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service
The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service experts want Texans to be aware of a large rise in mosquitoes testing positive for West Nile virus in Dallas and Tarrant counties.
Only the Culex quinquefasciatus mosquito transmits West Nile virus. (AgriLife photo by S. Vintanza)
The state's warm climate makes Texas a prime breeding ground for vector-borne illnesses, and recent weather conditions have only heightened the mosquito problem for many areas of the state.
"In Texas, our biggest mosquito-related concern is West Nile virus," said Sonja Swiger, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension veterinary entomologist in Stephenville. "It has been found throughout Texas and the U.S., and even places that don't normally have a problem like Miami have had cases in 2020. It's just that kind of a year."
The West Nile virus also produces symptoms in people that can be similar to some COVID-19 symptoms - fever, cough and sore throat. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should consult their doctor.
"If you think you might have contracted West Nile virus, get tested," Swiger said. "Do not assume it is COVID-19."
West Nile mosquito numbers on the rise
"We're seeing numbers as high in some counties as we experienced in 2012 and that could be problematic," explained Swiger.
"Tarrant County is currently the hotspot, so to speak, but Dallas County is also starting to see a rise in their number of infected mosquitoes and their vector index," she said.
"Tarrant County is reporting 30% positive in some areas and 50% positive in the northeast section, which includes the cities of North Arlington, Grapevine, Watauga, Keller and North Richland Hills, to name a few."
According to Dallas County Health and Human Services, for the week ending Aug.1, 40 mosquito traps tested positive for West Nile Virus. A total of 127 mosquito traps in Dallas County have tested positive to date for the year and there has been one human case reported.
The previous week, Tarrant County reported that 51 trapped groups, or pools, of mosquitoes tested positive for West Nile virus and that there have been 163 positive test pools for 2020 so far.
In 2012, Texas experienced its largest outbreak of West Nile virus in history with over 1,800 confirmed cases.
"Most of these victims reported they were bitten at home," Swiger said. "So, it's important that Texans be aware at all times and use repellents when necessary."
When to worry
AgriLife Extension has identified 85 different species of mosquitoes in Texas, however people don't need to worry about contracting West Nile disease from all of them - only Culex quinquefasciatus.
Swiger said without any heavy rains, the Culex quinquefasciatus population will continue to grow without chemical intervention.
"We cannot predict what the next few months will bring unfortunately, but if heavy rains are in the future, we would anticipate a decline in positives, as the mosquitoes would be washed away," she said.
The mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus are night biters, Swiger said. People should be extra cautious when outdoors in the evenings and make sure screens have no holes and doors are kept closed at night and are properly sealed to prevent mosquitoes from entering the home.
Staying safe
"Repellents are a must and the only real way to stay safe," said Swiger. "Use DEET, picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus, which may also be listed as paramenthane-3, 8-diol, on people over 3 years of age, to get adequate protection. These are the only ones tested with certainty to stop the disease-carrying mosquitoes."
When you are outdoors in any area where there could be mosquitoes, it is wise to wear long sleeves and long pants. The tighter the weave of the fabric, the better protection it will offer from bites.
Hurricanes and mosquitoes
West Nile virus-carrying mosquitoes can be just about anywhere, although we typically see them more around urban areas, said Swiger.
"The recent hurricane to hit south Texas and the lower Rio Grande Valley area has left many areas flooded," she said. "The rains will kick start development for the many thousands of floodwater mosquito eggs that have been laying dormant in the soil since last year or the last rain event."
She said when there are large areas of flooding, more locations will be inundated with mosquitoes at the same time.
"When there is just normal rainfall, only isolated areas will spark mosquito development, so hurricanes and tropical storms impact more areas at once and increase populations," Swiger said. "In addition to the inland floodwater mosquitoes, the salt marsh mosquitoes have been triggered to emerge, and so have any container species that were waiting for water, be that rain or irrigation, to arrive."
The Rio Grande Valley is not typically a location where we see a lot of West Nile virus, said Swiger, but they are dealing with large populations of mosquitoes right now due to Hurricane Hanna.
Other diseases
It's not just contracting West Nile from mosquitoes that Texans should be aware of, they are also carriers of viruses such as Zika, malaria and dengue.
Swiger said dengue is the other most important mosquito-related disease Texans need to be aware of. While it is primarily seen in South Texas, the lower Rio Grande Valley and areas bordering Mexico, someone who contracts it could travel anywhere.
"We also need to remember that Zika is still out there," Swiger said. "That is something that pregnant women in particular need to be aware of."
Mosquito basics
Male mosquitos feed only on nectar, unlike their blood-sucking counterparts. Females also feed on nectar but need blood for egg production.
There are species of mosquitoes that feed during the day and species that feed at night. That may be why it seems like there are so many mosquitoes out at dawn and dusk - during these periods, the day and night feeders may overlap.
Swiger said during the day, grassy areas with tree coverage are where mosquitoes like to be to avoid the hot sun. Mosquitoes are cold-blooded and can't regulate their body temperature. That's why on warmer days they seek shade and why they typically aren't around when the thermometer dips below the mid-50s.
"People in the city may not even notice mosquitoes during the day," she said. "But the species of mosquito that carries West Nile virus typically lives in more urban areas, so people in cities are more likely to contract West Nile virus and need to be aware."
If you live in the country, you'll typically encounter more mosquitoes during the day, especially when it's wet, Swiger said.
"At night, no one is better off than anyone else when it comes to mosquitoes," Swiger said. "Whether you live in the country, suburbs or a big city, you'll have mosquitoes to contend with."
Mosquitoes hibernate in the winter. Some mosquitoes spend their winter as eggs that then hatch when the weather warms up, while others hibernate as adults or larvae. Areas with a hot and humid tropical climate can experience mosquitoes year-round.
Mosquitoes and animals
Mosquitoes can transmit dangerous disease-causing parasites to dogs and horses too, including canine heartworms, Eastern equine encephalitis, EEE, Western equine encephalitis, WEE, and West Nile virus.
"We don't see Eastern equine encephalitis much, but even one case is cause for concern, since the mortality rate for horses with EEE is 75-80%," Swiger said. "We typically see cases in East Texas and can expect to have cases in horses again this year. But we haven't seen a case in humans yet."
Swiger also noted while there are currently EEE, WEE and West Nile vaccines available for horses, there are none for humans as yet.
Mosquito prevention
The first step in mosquito prevention involves finding and eliminating mosquito breeding grounds. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in or near standing water, so any stagnant water is a potential problem. Any place around the home or property where water can collect and sit for seven to 10 days is a problem to address.
Check property for standing water in clogged rain gutters, birdbaths, old tires, children's play equipment, potted plant trays, tarps, holes in trees, bowls and buckets - literally anything that can hold standing water. Make sure to regularly change the water in any pet bowls outside.
Dump or drain stagnant water and turn over or cover items that catch and hold water. Gravel or sand can be used to fill places where stagnant water collects.
Mosquito eradication
If a mosquito problem needs wider control, it may be necessary to call a pest control company that specializes in mosquito management. For some do-it-yourself options, AgriLife Extension experts suggest:
  • Treating standing water with insecticide/larvicide.
  • Applying residual sprays on yard surfaces.
  • Using mosquito foggers in the yard.
If opting for a chemical solution, always read the label first and carefully check to determine if it is harmful for human, animals, plants or beneficial insects.
Gardening tips

Pinch faded blossoms from crapemyrtles but do not prune branches.
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 Gardener's 2021 Planning Guide & Calendar. Please send your tips of 50 words or less to the editor at: Gardening Tips.
Upcoming garden events
If you would like your organization's events included in "Upcoming Garden Events" or would like to make a change to a listed event, please contact us at Garden Events. To ensure inclusion in this column, please provide complete details at least three weeks prior to the event.

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.

Online: The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Bexar County will present a Lunch-and-Learn horticulture webinar series during August. The gardening webinars, which will be from noon to 1 p.m. on Tuesdays, are all free and open for public participation. They will be presented via Microsoft Teams. Attendees are requested to register for the webinars. Those who register will be provided with a link to the webinar a few days prior to the program. Horticulture webinar dates and topics: Aug. 11: Tomato 101, Growing Basics - Will provide information on tomato selection and best practices for growing tomatoes in the home garden; Aug. 18: Lawn 101, Turfgrass Basics - With so many lawns stressed from the summer heat, this webinar will address how to help lawns recover and the best way to maintain them during the fall and winter; Aug. 25: Growing a Fall and Winter Vegetable Garden - Will address vegetable selection and plant maintenance for fall and winter vegetables in the home garden. For more information, contact Rodriguez at

San Angelo: Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service announced the "Beautiful, Edible Earth-Kind Landscapes" garden series will start Aug. 11 and run for nine consecutive Tuesdays. The cost is $30 for the series and is limited to 10 participants per session. Classes will be held from 6:30-8 p.m. at the People/Plant Connection Studio at 416 S. Oakes in San Angelo. Allison Watkins, AgriLife Extension horticulture agent for Tom Green County, will be the instructor for the series. Participants may attend as many classes in the series as they like, but registration is required. Register online or call (325) 659-6522. Dates and topics are: Aug. 11 - Fall Vegetable Gardening; Aug. 18 - Growing Herbs; Aug. 25 - Fruit for West Texas; Sept. 1 - Landscape Design; Sept. 8 - Soil and Compost; Sept. 15 - West Texas Lawn Care; Sept. 22 - Tree Planting and Care; Sept. 29 - Best Plants for the Concho Valley; Oct. 6 - Irrigation and Water Conservation.

Online: Droughts are not an uncommon phenomenon in Texas, especially during the summer. It poses risks and complications to plants that are water-lovers, like the common Rose. Lack of adequate water will negatively impact roses, causing less new shoots and fewer roots, as well as attracting insects and making them more vulnerable to disease. Jolene Adams will address Roses in the Drought via GoToMeeting. Jolene Adams has more than 60 years of experience in growing roses. She is the former president of American Rose Society, ARS Master Rosarian, ARS Horticultural Judge, editor and director for various societies. This meeting is going to be a virtual meeting held at GoToMeeting on August 13 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. (CDT). Join the meeting using computer, tablet or smartphone with access code: 714-588-565 or dial in using the phone: United States +1 (646)749-3122. If new to GoToMeeting, get ready before the meeting starts by downloading the app at: For additional information, visit

Online: The Healthy Lawns and Healthy Waters Program of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will host an online residential rainwater harvesting and turf management training Aug. 20 for Austin and Washington counties. The free training, offered in collaboration with the Mill Creek Watershed Partnership, will be online 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m., with a half-hour break for lunch. Online registration is required. Attendees can RSVP online at or contact John Smith, AgriLife Extension program specialist, College Station, at or (979) 204-0573. Those who RSVP to the event will receive updates, instructions to join the online meeting and materials related to the meeting via email. Participants can have their soil tested as part of the training. The soil sample bag and analysis are free to Healthy Lawns and Healthy Waters Program participants. Beginning Aug. 3, area residents can pick up a soil sample bag with sampling instructions and the Urban and Homeowner Soil Sample Information Form at the AgriLife Extension office in Austin County, 800 E. Wendt St., Bellville, or the AgriLife Extension office in Washington County, 1305 E. Blue Bell Road, Suite 104., Brenham.

Online: Home Grown Lecture Series: Focusing on Fall Vegetable Varieties by Kim Perry, Cooperative Extension Program- Agriculture & Natural Resource, Prairie View A&M. Thursday, August 20, 10:00-10:30 a.m., Virtual Lecture, Free, Register through Eventbrite at: Deadline to register is at 8:00 a.m.
Online: Gulf Coast Lecture Series: Understanding the Soil of the Texas Gulf Coast by Stephen Janak, AgriLife Extension Program Expert. Thursday, August 20, 10:00-10:30 a.m., Virtual Lecture, Free, Register at:
Online: Home Grown Lecture Series: Elements of Landscape Design by Brandi Keller, Harris County Master Gardener Program Coordinator. Thursday, August 27, 10:00-10:30 a.m., Virtual Lecture, Free, Register through Eventbrite at: Deadline to register is at 8:00 a.m.
Online: Gulf Coast Lecture Series: Ginger for Tropical Flair by Stephen Brueggerhoff, AgriLife Extension Horticulture Agent in Brazoria County. Thursday, August 27, 10:00-10:30 a.m., Virtual Lecture, Free, Register at:

Online: Fall is the season when roses start blooming after the summer heat. Houston Rose Society will promote an annual product sale this September, with two senior Master Consulting Rosarians presenting in this program. Gaye Hammond will discuss three types of fertilizer (granular, water soluble, slow release) and the pros and cons of organic and synthetic fertilizers. She will also discuss the products used in her garden. Gaye is the former president of Houston Rose society, as well as a life member of American Rose Society. As an avid writer, she published more than 300 articles and also has been a special section editor to the American Rose magazine. Robbie Tucker will discuss the use of fungicides and pesticides and answer any related questions. Robbie and his wife, Marsha, have grown roses for more than 30 years and won dozens of queens of show, including one at a national convention and four times with his own varieties. He has also hybridized more than 30 varieties with 4 now in the mini hall of fame. As the owner of Rosemania for over 20 years, he has many customers and deep knowledge on the products. This meeting is going to be a virtual meeting held at GoToMeeting on Sept. 10 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. (CDT). 
Joint meeting using computer, tablet or smartphone with access code: 257-506-565 or you can also dial in using the phone: United States +1 (571) 317-3122. If you are new to GoToMeeting, you can get ready before the meeting starts by downloading the app at: For additional information, visit

Online: From Bulbs to Blooms Fall Conference and Sale. Greg Grant will video his bulb talk. The video will be posted to the SCMG website: and linked to Facebook: The sale will be conducted online with curbside pickup at Harvey Hall in Tyler. The pertinent dates are; Sept. 14 - Greg Grant's bulb talk video goes live; Sept. 28 - Online sale begins; Oct. 7 (5:00 p.m.) - online sale closes; Oct. 10 - curbside pickup. For more information call: (903) 590-2980 or email .

Montgomery County Master Gardeners are having a virtual Plant Sale! Shop for plants from the comfort of your home, beginning Tuesday, September 15, from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. Starting on September 16, you'll get an email to arrange your plant pickup details. Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Office, 9020 Airport Road, Conroe. Visit for plant list and more details.

Weekly Meetings

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.
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. 
Jasper: 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 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 to become a member.
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, call 972-932-9069 or email to

Houston: 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.

Dallas: 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 972-338-2233). For more information about Garden Masters Inc, email Marcia Borders at
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
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 Presbyterian Church Family Life Center, 302 Nolan Street, Navasota. If not meeting at the church, a change of meeting notice will be placed on the door of the Family Life Building. 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

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

Fort Worth: 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
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 or call 979-826-7651.
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 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 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
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. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.; club business begins at 7:00 p.m., followed by a presentation. For more information, visit

Jacksonville: 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

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

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
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
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 or contact
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
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
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, 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 and
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
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 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.

Pasadena: 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, visit

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

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.

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
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.

Killeen: 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
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
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
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 Elaine Bell at 817-309-8052.
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

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

Abilene: 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. 
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 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 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
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
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

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 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, 107 Fink Street, 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 afterwards. Visitors are welcome!  Please email Sharon Harrigan at for more information.
Houston: 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

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 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.
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
Fort Worth: 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
New Braunfels: 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
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
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 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
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 or email
Houston: 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

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

Leander: 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 .
Dallas: 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.
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, 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,
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 
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Texas Gardener's Seeds is published weekly. © Suntex Communications, Inc. 2020. 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.

Texas Gardener's Seeds has been published each Wednesday since April 26, 2006.
Publisher: Jay White ● Editor: Michael Bracken 
Texas Gardener's Seeds, P.O. Box 1676, Brenham, Texas 77834-1676