August 5, 2020
By Kay Ledbetter
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service
Since the release of information about Asian giant hornets, Texas A&M AgriLife entomologists are being inundated with cicada killers and other lookalike insects submitted for identification as a possible "murder hornet," which thus far has only been found in Washington state in the U.S.
While the agency wants to continue to encourage Texans to be vigilant in watching for the Asian giant hornet, they also want to help provide guidance that will help narrow the focus.
David Ragsdale, Ph.D., chief scientific officer and associate director of Texas A&M AgriLife Research, and professor in the Department of Entomology, said many photos of Texas native cicada killers, or ground hornets, are being submitted as suspected Asian giant hornets. He said their website receives five to 10 photos a day, and agency pest management agents and specialists around the state have also been handling inquiries.
It's a bird, it's a plane ... it's a cicada killer
In May, the concern about Asian giant hornet was enough to prompt Gov. Greg Abbott to request a task force be mobilized to prepare Texas against the Asian giant hornet's arrival.
But June is the normal month for the cicada killer wasp, a common large wasp in Texas, to start showing up and this prompted posts on Facebook and in news feeds mistakenly reporting cicada killer wasps as sightings of the Asian giant hornet.
"Most everyone has seen the cicada killer wasp that is very large, but has mostly been ignored in the past," Ragsdale said. "With the most recent news of the Asian giant hornet, they are now paying attention to the native Texas insect."
While some people thought they had been seeing the newly pictured murder hornets for years, AgriLife Extension experts want to clarify, "No, you haven't." Now they are providing outlets to help tell the difference between the Asian giant hornet and similar looking pests.
Holly Davis, Ph.D., Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service entomologist in Weslaco, and Pat Porter, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension entomologist in Lubbock, recently developed a short video explaining the differences between the "murder hornet" and several common lookalikes here in Texas.
"To date, we have identified hundreds of insects that people in Texas suspect might be Asian giant hornets (murder hornets)," Porter said. "Eighty percent of these have been either the eastern cicada killer or western cicada killer. It is understandable how non-entomologists would have trouble deciding which was which."
How to tell the difference
"First, the Asian giant hornet is native to Japan and South Korea, and it has only been found in parts of British Columbia, Canada and the northwestern corner of Washington state," Davis said. "There have been no confirmed reports of these hornets in other U.S. locations, including Texas."
There are a number of Texas native species of wasp, hornet, yellow jacket and bees, but what really separates Asian giant hornet and a few of our native species is their size. The ones most likely to be confused with Asian giant hornet are three species of cicada killers and the pigeon horntail.
The Asian giant hornet is the world's largest known hornet measuring 1.5-2 inches in length. It has a head as wide as its shoulders, where the wings and legs are located, or wider, and it is a bright orange or yellow. The thorax, or shoulder portion where the wings and legs are connected, is a dark brown, as are the antenna. It has a much smaller or pinched waist and then smooth looking brown and orange stripes cover the abdomen.
The cicada killers, of which there are three different species here in Texas, are also quite large, measuring 1-1.5 inches in length. But they will all typically have a head that is narrower than the thorax. The head and the thorax are typically the same color, a darker orange or brown color. It does also have a pinched waist. But the stripes on the abdomen will be jagged and sometimes look like mountains.
The eastern cicada killer tends to be black and yellow. The western cicada killer is closer in color to the Asian giant hornet, being reddish brown and yellow. But there is no contrasting color between the head and thorax and the stripes are jagged on the western cicada killer.
The other group of insects that are most commonly confused with the Asian giant hornet are the horntail or wood wasps. They are large, have a distinct head that is as wide or wider than the thorax, and may share the same coloration as the Asian giant hornet. However, there is one trait that is easy to spot that is different, and that is the waist. Horntails lack any appearance of a waist.
Harmful or just alarming
The Asian giant hornet preys on bees and can decimate local honey bee populations, essential for most fruit and vegetable crop production. The Asian giant hornets also are fiercely protective of their nests and will deploy painful stings that can cause fatal allergic reactions in people already sensitive to bee stings.
The cicada killer and wood wasps, however, are solitary and thus do not aggressively protect their nesting sites by attacking in large numbers, Davis said. Cicada killers, however, may cause alarm due to the males' territorial behavior, dive-bombing or buzzing people and animals that walk into their territory.
"Although cicada killers are solitary, you can often find numerous individuals in areas with sandy soils where females dig nests in the ground," she said. "These nests appear as dime to quarter sized holes. As females come and go, provisioning their nest with cicadas they paralyze with a sting and carry back to their nests.
"The males are more interested in mating. Thus, they may try to chase off intruders they perceive as a threat to their mating opportunities. However, male wasps are not capable of stinging, thus they are not dangerous, just a nuisance for a few weeks out of the year during the nesting season. Females can sting but are not aggressive and reports of stings are rare."
Horntails and wood wasps may have what appear to be very long stingers, but they are unable to sting. They lack venom glands and instead they use this structure, called an ovipositor, to insert eggs into plant tissue, hence the name wood wasp, Davis said.
The garden reader:
Hydrangeas and eco-smart shrub rows
By William Scheick
Naomi Slade. Hydrangeas: Beautiful Varieties for Home and Garden. Gibbs Smith, 2020. 245 pp. $21.99.
"Throughout history, hydrangeas have tended to divide people," Naomi Slade admits. "Some think they are marvelous in almost every way; others consider them an abomination."
The author has personally experienced both reactions. As a youngster, she despised "the lumpen mops of dull pink and mauve." Now, however, she revels in numerous new varieties of more compact hydrangeas with "lacecaps, airy as a bridal veil, and elegant, sophisticated panicles in cream and green."
After a succinct review of hydrangea history - including how its name refers to buds looking like ancient Greek water vessels - Slade turns to cultivation, design and cut-flower options. The colorful bulk of her book features an amazing, full-spectrum assemblage of gorgeous cultivars, each given a pertinent-data page companioned with a brilliant, enticing full-page photograph by Georgianna Lane.
In my Central Texas locale, hydrangeas rarely function as standalone showstoppers. Well-companioned and sheltered in northward-facing beds, they put on a brief, if glorious, spring display until our heat abruptly rockets into the debilitating 90s during June.
Then local hydrangea flowerheads fade, while the plant's large leaves remain vibrant a while longer due to their cooler setting with little direct sun-exposure. Drying, incidentally, can extend hydrangea floral beauty: cut the blooms at the peak of their looks, remove all foliage from the stems and then combine the flowers in a vase partially filled with silica gel crystals.
Eva Monheim. Shrubs & Hedges: Discover, Grow, and Care for the World's Most Popular Plants. Cool Springs Press, 2020. 224 pp. $30.00.
"Only in more recent years have we begun to understand the invaluable services hedgerows provide for the ecosystem," Eva Monheim reports. "Through a conscious replacement of plants within our own gardens and communities, we can purposefully replant habitat, create new microclimates and enjoy all the other services these plants provide."
Besides specific plant profiles, the author devotes worthwhile attention to design, including "winter interest" and edge planting. An entire chapter addresses pruning for "structure, shape, form and profit," while another section provides step-by-step instruction on how to propagate shrubs.
Hedgerows, rather than solitary shrubs, matter most to the author. She makes an excellent case for the environmental as well as aesthetic value of long, green corridors of plants.
Shrub rows prevent erosion, block wind, protect pollinators, welcome birds, create beneficial microclimates and define property boundaries. As Native Americans taught colonial French settlers, well-managed hedging plants (such as the root-spreading Osage orange) can pen and protect herds.
By Kay Ledbetter
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service
Texas residents are now among those across the nation receiving mysterious seeds delivered by mail in tiny bags marked as jewelry. U.S. Department of Agriculture officials are on alert because these seeds are unsolicited and are arriving in packages with Chinese writing and a return address in China.
"We don't know what kind of seeds they are," Ong said. "Not knowing what the seeds are could potentially open our agriculture industry up to noxious weeds. If that proves to be the case, if they take hold, they could impact agriculture negatively."
|Mystery seeds with labeling from China. (Source: Washington State Department of Agriculture)|
According to USDA-Animal, Plant Health Inspection Service, APHIS, the Plant Protection and Quarantine, PPQ, regulates the importation of plants and plant products under the authority of the Plant Protection Act. PPQ maintains its import program to safeguard U.S. agriculture and natural resources from the risks associated with the entry, establishment or spread of animal and plant pests and noxious weeds. These regulations prohibit or restrict the importation of living plants, plant parts and seeds for propagation.
"Seeds for planting can be produced all over the world and some you buy may come from other countries," Ong said. "Companies that sell these seeds have the necessary permits. In this situation, the source is not readily known. What USDA wants to know is why are people getting these and are they noxious weeds."
What to do with mystery seeds
Do not simply discard these seeds as they can potentially germinate and escape into nature, Ong said. All cases should be reported to USDA and all packages should be kept secure until USDA gives further instructions.
All incidences of receipt of these unrequested seeds should be reported to USDA-APHIS by sending an email to Carol Motloch, USDA-APHIS' Texas PPQ state operations coordinator, at email@example.com. The email should include a contact email and phone number as well as a description of package information. Sending a photo of the label and material would also be helpful.
"First, if you didn't order it, we don't want anyone planting these seeds or even opening the packages," said Larry Stein, Ph.D., Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service horticulturist, Uvalde. "It could be a scam, or it very well could be dangerous."
"We recommend anyone receiving the seeds send an email to USDA and then wait to see if they are asked to send them in," Stein said. "We would not advise throwing them away until more information is known because they might contaminate the landfill."
To date, packages containing these mystery seeds have also been received in Washington, Virginia, Utah, Kansas, Louisiana and Arizona.
"I am urging folks to take this matter seriously," Miller said in a press release. "An invasive plant species might not sound threatening, but these small invaders could destroy Texas agriculture. TDA has been working closely with USDA to analyze these unknown seeds so we can protect Texas residents."
An invasive species is an organism that is not native to a particular region. The introduction of this "alien species" can cause economic or environmental harm. In agriculture, an invasive species can destroy native crops, introduce disease to native plants and may be dangerous for livestock.
|Texas kissing bug population spike could increase risk of Chagas disease in dogs, humans
By Gabe Saldana
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service
Texas A&M AgriLife Research entomologists have seen an increase in kissing bugs collected in multiple regions of the state this year. The insects carry a parasite that can cause potentially fatal Chagas disease in humans and animals.
"We have already collected over 300 adult kissing bug specimens in a location where we only collected six individuals in 2019," said Gabriel Hamer, Ph.D., AgriLife Research entomologist, College Station. He is also a member of the Texas Chagas Taskforce
- a group of experts raising awareness about the disease.
|This image by Gabriel Hamer, Texas A&M AgriLife Research, shows the full life cycle of T.gerstaeckeri, one of the insects commonly known as the kissing bug.|
The collection site Hamer described is near Mission, about a four-hour drive south of San Antonio. He collected 115 kissing bugs there in about three hours one night in May.
's kissing bug collections from College Station are also higher than in normal years," he said.
Texas Chagas Taskforce organizer Paula Stigler Granados, Ph.D., assistant professor at Texas State University in San Marcos, also cited an unusually high number of kissing bug photos from people being sent through the group's Facebook page.
AgriLife entomologists across the state continue to search for factors leading to above-average number of kissing bug encounters.
The kissing bug
"Kissing bug" is a common name for a group of bugs called triatomines. These blood-sucking insects persist across the southern U.S., Mexico, Central America and South America, especially during the hottest months of summer, experts said.
They are a bit longer than the width of a penny, with head and mouth parts resembling cones. Their other common name, Gabriel Hamer said, is cone-nosed bugs.
"There are many other insects that do not feed on blood, which resemble kissing bugs, so it is important to be able to distinguish the species," he said.
About 11 species of kissing bugs are found in the U.S., each with subtle differences in dark brown, black and orange color patterns. An infographic factsheet on kissing bugs and the potentially fatal Chagas disease is available from the Texas Chagas Taskforce for free online
Kissing bugs usually feed on blood at night when animals or people are sleeping. Bites are often painless, and many people do not realize they have been bitten. The nocturnal insect is attracted to lights and lives in a range of outdoor environments. Kissing bugs can feed on dogs, wild mammals, birds, humans and even other insects, like crickets, said Sarah Hamer.
The main risk of disease comes from a parasite in the kissing bug's intestines and feces - Trypanosoma cruzi. Research shows about 50-60% of kissing bugs in Texas might be infected, Gabriel Hamer said. About 25% of the people they infect with Chagas develop serious chronic disease. Most infected people remain unaware of their infection and might stay symptom-free for life.
"Even so," he said, "we know transmission is inefficient, and studies show that a person usually needs to be bitten many times by an infected kissing bug before the transmission of the parasite to the person occurs."
Chagas disease manifests in an initial "acute" phase with symptoms that can include fever, fatigue, body aches, headache, rash, loss of appetite, diarrhea and vomiting, or there may be no symptoms at all. Some infected persons, roughly 30%, later develop a "chronic" phase. It includes a range of cardiac and intestinal complications that might only appear decades after initial infection.
The disease also affects a wide range of domestic and wild animals.
"There is increasing recognition for canine Chagas disease, especially in Texas, where increasing numbers of household pets, working dogs and hunting dogs are being diagnosed with Chagas disease," said Sarah Hamer.
The FAQ section
of Texas A&M's official kissing bug website includes detailed information on Chagas disease as well as resources for more about diagnosis and treatment.
Finding a kissing bug
Anyone bitten by a kissing bug should speak with a doctor about further testing. Animal owners who suspect animal contact with kissing bugs should consult a veterinarian.
Kissing bugs found outside, and not suspected of biting any humans, may be sent to Texas A&M University Kissing Bug Citizen Science Program
for free identification and testing. The program's website includes information resources for all Texas residents and specific information for pet owners and veterinarians.
Kissing bug environments
Texas A&M AgriLife experts suggest staying especially aware of kissing bug presences in these areas:
- Beneath porches
- Between rocky structures
- Under cement
- In rock, wood, brush piles, or beneath bark
- In rodent nests or animal burrows
- In outdoor dog houses or kennels
- In chicken coops
Now's the time to add a healthy layer of compost to your vegetable gardens and flower beds.
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 2020 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 will host a Preserving Your Harvest Online Canning Class Series in August. All classes will be held online from 6:30-7:30 p.m., and those interested should pre-register through Eventbrite. The fee is $15 for all three classes, with an additional $2.55 Eventbrite fee. "Preserving food was almost a lost art, but in the past few years, we've seen a resurgence of interest," said Felice Acker, AgriLife Extension family and community health agent, Castro County. "As more and more people are planting gardens this year in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we want to make sure they know how to preserve any food they don't immediately consume." The Preserving Your Harvest classes will be: August 4 - Introduction and equipment; August 6 - Water bath basics; August 11 - Pressure canning basics. The classes were planned and will be taught by AgriLife Extension family and community health agents, including Acker; Kathy Carr, Bailey County; Sierra Stephens, Yoakum County; Ann Millican, Terry County; Ronda White, Scurry County; Kay Rogers, Dallam and Hartley counties; and Courtney Lowe, AgriLife Extension health agent, Castro, Hale and Lamb counties. For more information, contact any of these agents at their AgriLife Extension offices in their respective counties.
Online: The Healthy Lawns and Healthy Waters Program of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will host an online training on residential rainwater harvesting and turfgrass management on August 6 for residents of Hays and Blanco counties. The free training will be from 1-5 p.m. Participation is limited, and online registration is required. Attendees can RSVP online
or contact John Smith, AgriLife Extension program specialist, College Station, at firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Online: The Healthy Lawns and Healthy Waters program of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will host a residential rainwater harvesting and turf management online training August 11 for residents of Jackson and Lavaca counties. The training is offered in collaboration with the Lavaca River Watershed Partnership. The free training will be from 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m. with a half-hour break for lunch. Participation is limited and online registration is required. Attendees can RSVP online or contact John Smith, AgriLife Extension program specialist, College Station, at email@example.com 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. Residents can pick up a soil sample bag with sampling instructions and the Urban and Homeowner Soil Sample Information Form beginning July 7 at the AgriLife Extension office in Jackson County, 411 N. Wells, Suite 111, Edna, or the AgriLife Extension office in Lavaca County, 300 S. Lagrange St., Hallettsville. "Attendees can submit a soil test by dropping their soil sample off to the AgriLife Extension offices in Jackson or Lavaca counties prior to or by one week after the meeting," Smith said. Bags containing residents' soil samples should be returned to the location where they were obtained and not mailed directly to the sampling lab. Samples will be grouped into one submission and sent to the AgriLife Extension Soil, Water and Forage Testing Lab in College Station for routine analysis, including micronutrients, pH, conductivity, nitrate-nitrogen and other parameters. The training will include information on how to understand soil test results and nutrient recommendations so residents can interpret results once the analysis is mailed to them.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Houston: As one of the most famous rose breeders, David Austin introduced over 190 rose cultivars during his lifetime. Many of them not only send out beautiful blooms but also have wonderful fragrance. At the August 13 HRS monthly meeting in August, Gaye Hammond will introduce the fragrant shrub roses of David Austin. Gaye is the past president of Houston Rose society. She is also 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. The meeting opens at 7:00, begins at 7:30, and is held at Cherie Flores Pavilion, 1500 Hermann Drive, Houston. Free Admission. Sanitation station will be provided and social distancing will be required. For additional information, visit www.houstonrose.org.
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.
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 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.
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 email@example.com.
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 http://hcmga.tamu.edu/Public/
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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: 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 www.allengardenclub.org
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
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 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 http://gonzalesmastergardeners.org 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.
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 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 www.austinorganicgardeners.org
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 email@example.com
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 www.hillcountrybloomers.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.org
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 txmg.org/jcmg
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 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
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 http://hcmgap2.tamu.edu. 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
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.
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 10:00 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.
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 https://www.facebook.com/groups/ybkydgarden/
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
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 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 comalmg.org
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 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.
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
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/
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 email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 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 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.
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
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 email@example.com
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 www.npsot.org
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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 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 http://www.dallascountymastergardeners.org/
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.
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, 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.
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