July 29 , 2020
New Texas Superstar brochure go-to source for gardeners, industry professionals alike
By Adam Russell
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service
The new Texas Superstar guide to strong and stunning plants for Texans, created by Texas A&M AgriLife Research, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and the Texas Department of Agriculture, is now being distributed throughout the state.
The 2020 Texas Superstar brochure is available online at http://www.gotexan.org/Portals/1/PDF/Superstar_13_rev2.pdf. Hard copies are being sent to AgriLife Extension offices around the state, through regional and county Master Gardener programs, and they are available by request.
To be designated a  Texas Superstar , a plant must be beautiful  and perform well for consumers and growers throughout the state. Superstars must be easy to propagate, which should ensure the plants are not only widely available throughout Texas but also reasonably priced.  
A nine-person board chooses plants for Texas Superstar marketing campaigns. The Texas Superstar Executive Board is made up of a variety of AgriLife Research, AgriLife Extension and Texas Tech University experts specializing in fields of horticulture, plant physiology and other disciplines.
Input from board members, county horticulturists, arboretum and botanical garden personnel, horticultural writers and landscape designers is considered during the selection process.
Brent Pemberton, Ph.D., AgriLife Research horticulturist in Overton, said the new brochure represents a collective effort between the state agencies and the landscape and nursery industry to provide information to help industry professionals and the gardening public make sound, science-based decisions about the products.
"It's become an important educational tool for industry folks and the public and for our Master Gardeners around the state who go out there and provide informational programs," he said.
The Texas Superstar program began as a regional program in the early 1980s and became a statewide effort in 1989. The name Texas Superstar was coined in 1997. The designation was applied to all the statewide promotions and has been used ever since.
The newest brochure features dozens of Texas Superstar selections and provides recommendations for gardeners to create the best environment for those plants to perform.
Brochure is go-to source
Scott Sroufe, the Texas Department of Agriculture's Go Texan marketing coordinator, Austin, said the Texas Superstar program continues to be an incredibly successful way to promote ornamental varieties that perform best in the Lone Star State. The Texas Superstar brochure itself has become the go-to source for growers, amateur gardeners, nurseries and retailers and is an incredibly valuable reference for landscape industry professionals.
Sroufe said landscape companies use the brochure to help homeowners, especially those who have moved to Texas from other regions of the U.S., identify plant varieties that perform best here.
"Landscape companies have customers who want to plant varieties they planted in California and Florida or Wisconsin and were not having success," he said. "They hand them the brochure, and that gives the homeowners a wide range of ornamental plants to pick from that they can rely on and enjoy."
The brochure is typically updated every two to four years, Sroufe said. The department distributed more than 40,000 copies of the 18-page 2016 version of the Texas Superstar brochure over its four-year run. The brochure continues to be funded by a U.S. Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop Block Grant.
The 2020 printing includes 40 pages featuring just under 80 ornamental plant varieties designated as Texas Superstars, he said.
"We send copies to nurseries and retailers interested in distributing the brochure and typically hand out thousands of them at landscape and gardening expos around the state," he said. "COVID-19 is a challenge, but we want to do everything we can to make sure the updated brochure gets into the hands of professionals and amateurs who want and need them."
Texas Superstars set the standard
Amy Graham, Texas Nursery and Landscape Association president, Austin, said industry growers, landscapers and ultimately the public rely on the efforts of AgriLife Research and AgriLife Extension to determine how plants will perform around the state and in what conditions they perform best.
"We know these plants are Texas tough as a result of what AgriLife Research and AgriLife Extension provide the industry," Graham said. "Industry professionals know they can rely on a plant when they see the Texas Superstar label."
She said years of rigorous plant trials that certify plants as a Texas Superstar helps set a standard and differentiate new plants and reintroduce previously overlooked selections. The program gives direction for growers and a marketing tool for growers with highlighted plants.
Graham said partnerships with AgriLife Research, AgriLife Extension, Texas Tech University and the Texas Department of Agriculture make the industry stronger, and the success of the Texas Superstar program highlights that cooperation.
"We want to see the science behind products we take positions on," she said. "Our industry and ultimately our customers rely on experts, and when ornamental and landscape plants test well across the state, we take notice."
Pemberton said the program has evolved and flourished because of these cooperative efforts.
"It's a program that I think everyone is very proud of, and one that we all can see the positive impact it makes for growers, the nurseries and the consumers," he said.
Texas Superstar is a registered trademark owned by AgriLife Research, a state agency that is part of the Texas A&M University System. A list of wholesalers and retailers who stock Texas Superstar plants and labels is also available online.
Solving the mysteries of water and air underground
Crop Science Society of America
Stand outside and look underneath your feet. There, perhaps under some grass, is the soil. On a dry day, all the spaces in the soil are filled with air. And some distance further down, those spaces are entirely water. So, what's in between?
That's the capillary fringe. And it might just be the most important - and mysterious - thing you've never heard of.
Like a paper towel wicking up water from a surface, water rises above its natural level in soils through capillary action. A lot of chemical and microbial activity in the soil varies based on how much water or air is around. So, the capillary fringe controls many important functions in the soil.
"Important processes like contaminant breakdown and carbon storage depend on the amount of water and oxygen available," says Jaclyn Fiola, now a graduate student at Virginia Tech. "Understanding the conditions in the capillary fringe will help us predict where certain soil processes will occur."
Fiola and her team set out to better understand this strange region. But that's no easy feat. With the entire fringe underground, it's invisible. And even scientists have a hard time agreeing on where the fringe begins and ends. That's where lab experiments come in handy.
The team gathered two kinds of soil, one sandy and one loamy. The scientists packed this soil into five-gallon buckets with holes near the bottom to allow water to enter.
To track the key events in the capillary fringe, Fiola turned to cleverly simple systems. To study how much oxygen was in the soil, the researchers painted PVC pipes with rust-embedded paint. They inserted these pipes into the soil.
Wherever there wasn't enough oxygen, microbes would "breathe" rust instead. That would turn the rust into a different form of iron, which washes away. By measuring how much rust was left, the team could get a glimpse beneath the soil.
The researchers were surprised to find that the water rose the entire height of the buckets in both types of soils. That means the capillary fringe extended at least 9 inches, more than they were expecting.
They were also surprised that the PVC pipes had lost their rust well above the water table. "This means the soil in the capillary fringe at least 2 inches above the water table is behaving like soil in the water table even though it's not fully saturated," says Fiola.
"Based on the findings, the soil directly above the water table behaves a lot like the saturated soil within the water table," says Fiola.
Wetlands are defined by the government as soils that are saturated near the surface. But if soils act like they're saturated even above the water table, that means more areas might act like wetlands and deserve protection.
Scientists also wanted to better understand how water and air in the capillary fringe can affect other soil processes. To track decomposition, they inserted wooden sticks into the soil. Researchers found that microbes eating the wooden sticks were finnicky.
"Our results suggest that the microbes that carry out decomposition require ideal conditions - not too wet and not too dry," says Fiola. The wood was most eaten away in the middle of the buckets where it was moist.
"The capillary fringe is far too complicated to define based on one single measurement," says Fiola. Even though her team measured many different aspects of the fringe, those measurements didn't always agree with one another.
Soils are complex, especially outside of the lab. So now the researchers are planning to study the capillary fringe in more realistic conditions and in the field.
That future work might give us a better understanding of - and appreciation for - the fuzzy, complex, and vital in-between spaces beneath our feet.
Reduce snake encounters around the house
By Adam Russell
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service
It's summertime, and like it or not, snakes are out.
Last year, several news organizations reported an increase in the number of venomous snake bites in Texas and other states like North Carolina and Georgia.
Rapid urbanization and higher-than-normal amounts of rain were blamed for the spike in bites, especially since they were occurring more frequently in suburban areas.
The copperhead is among four venomous snakes, including rattlesnakes, cottonmouths and coral snakes, that people should watch for while walking. Their pattern blends well with fallen leaves and debris on the ground. (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension photo by Maureen Frank)
Maureen Frank, Ph.D., Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service wildlife specialist, Uvalde, said snakes, whether we like them or fear them, are active around the house and in their natural habitat this time of year.
People can encounter snakes while walking trails, camping or just doing summer yardwork around the house, she said. There's little to fear about snakes if a few basic precautions and principles are applied before and during an encounter.
Snakes are integral to Texas' array of regional ecosystems. While many Texans view them as a dangerous pest, they are an important predator of insects and animals.
There are around 75 snake species in the Lone Star State, but only about a dozen are venomous.
Even though most species are non-venomous, Frank said her best advice is to avoid contact with any snake. Snakes are typically not aggressive and will typically escape an area if they hear someone approaching.
Frank said the best ways to avoid snake bites is to watch where you step or reach and to keep your distance if you see one.
"When you encounter a snake, it's best to just leave it alone," she said. "Most bites occur when a person is trying to handle the snake or trying to kill it. It's best to give them plenty of room and let them go on their way."
Where and when you might encounter a snake
Because snakes are cold-blooded, they prefer sun and/or stretching out on warm surfaces like rocks, pavement and other heat-absorbing materials when temperatures are cooler. But in the heat of the summer, they prefer shade, especially from the midday sun.
"People need to take these environmental conditions into account," she said. "On a cool morning, you may find a snake sunning a rock along a hiking trail or the stones in a walkway or a paved walking trail. When it's hot they may be in the shade under a bush or sheet of plywood or in a brush pile. These are things to consider when you go outside."
Frank said venomous snakes typically do not want to use their venom as a defense. They usually give warnings - like rattlesnakes rattling - before they strike. The Texas Department of Health Services reported that half the reported bites by venomous snakes were "dry," meaning no venom was injected into the victim.
"A snake strikes because it views you as a threat," she said. "Producing venom is an energetically costly process, and they only have so much. If they use it, they must make more to hunt for food, and they have to work for every single meal, so striking to defend themselves is something they would rather avoid."
To avoid snake bites, Frank said people should consider their location and be cautiously aware of where they step or reach, such as picking up a log for firewood.
Reduce snake attractors around the house
There are no chemical repellants proven to deter snakes, Frank said, but there are two things homeowners can do to reduce the likelihood of snakes hanging around a location - remove potential shelter and food.
"It's best to take the habitat approach and remove the things that attract snakes," she said. "Cutting the grass, removing brush and debris, and trimming the lower branches on bushes and trees will go a long way in reducing the places a snake might want to hide."
Frank said AgriLife Extension researchers are conducting experiments in the Hill Country to see what type of cover they prefer by placing various items like lumber including sheets of plywood, sheet metal and other things that could act as potential hiding spots snakes might utilize.
Reducing hiding spots for snakes will also reduce hiding spots for the prey they seek, like rats and mice, she said. Cleaning around the house and other structures to remove trash, which is shelter for small prey animals, also helps keep snakes away.
Be careful when moving debris and other items that snakes might use for cover, Frank said. Use tools like a shovel or the tip of a boot.
Teach children not to reach inside crevices and under bushes with low-hanging limbs, she said.
"They need to know they shouldn't reach into a place if they can't see what might be in there," she said.
Frank said homeowners should also take precautions to reduce the chance of their pet encountering a snake, such as having them on a leash during walks.
Snakes of Texas
Common non-venomous species found throughout Texas include garter snakes, which people also refer to as garden snakes; rat snakes, also known as chicken snakes; and bull snakes. Common venomous snakes include western diamond-backed rattlesnakes, copperheads and the cottonmouth, also known as the water moccasin.
The range of species and likelihood of an encounter differ from region to region and specific locations. For instance, it's much more likely to see a cottonmouth around bodies of water, like ponds, lakes or creeks, as well as bottomlands that maintain high levels of moisture throughout the seasons.
"Being able to identify a snake can help you avoid danger," she said. "But the best advice is to keep your distance and avoid contact."
Snake bites
Most snake bites to humans occur to the feet/lower leg or the hands, Frank said.
Despite common misconceptions on how to deal with a venomous snake bite, she said it's best to stay calm and get to a hospital as quickly as possible.
First, try to identify the snake species, Frank said. This is especially important for coral snakes because the treatments differ significantly from those to treat copperhead, cottonmouth or rattlesnake bites.
"Do not try to kill it," she said. "The emergency room doctors don't need it. They just need a decent description of the snake or take a photo of it with your cell phone if it's safe to do so. If someone else tries to get the snake, you run the risk that the doctor may be dealing with two snake bite victims."
Frank said the victim should remove clothing like socks if bitten on the foot and items like rings on fingers if bitten on the hand because of swelling.
Tourniquets and suction devices or using other mythologized methods to remove snake venom could do more harm than good, she said. Hospitals have anti-venom on hand to deal with bites.
"Just focus on getting to the hospital quickly but safely," she said.
Bites to pets
Christine Rutter, DVM, clinical assistant professor at the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital at Texas A&M Universityand emergency/critical care specialist, College Station, said snake bites to pets are very common, but the majority of cases are not lethal when the owner seeks immediate care.
Bite cases typically begin rising in March, Rutter said. Bites to dogs typically occur on or around the head, while cats are typically bitten in the front paws. Identifying the snake will help veterinarians with treatments, but agitated snakes can be very dangerous, and owners should not attempt to handle or kill them.
Even dead snakes can bite and should be left alone. If possible, a photograph of the snake is sufficient, but not required for emergency veterinary care.
Signs of a snake bite can include localized pain, bruising and swelling, or one or two small wounds trickling blood, she said.
"Not all snake bites are life threatening. Some may only require pain management and cleaning the wound, but others can be nasty and cause paralysis, tissue damage and potentially death," she said. "It's my recommendation to take your pet to a vet sooner rather than later if there is a suspicion that your animal was bitten by a venomous snake. Outcomes are typically more survivable with early treatment."
Rutter said it is nearly impossible to totally prevent snake/pet encounters outside the home. But turning on lights at night, checking the backyard area and/or making noise to announce your presence and giving snakes 20-30 seconds to leave are good starting points.
Keeping control of your dog on or off leash can also help, she said.
"If your pet is interested in something in the shrubbery, that's typically not good, so you should probably stop the interaction," she said. "Whether it's an armadillo or a snake, that's an encounter I don't recommend."
Rutter said snake bites are one reason she recommends pet insurance for emergencies.
"Emergency and critical care can be expensive," she said. "Throw in the cost of anti-venom and that can turn a pleasant afternoon into a bad day."
Bites to large animals
Dusty Nagy, Ph.D., clinical associate professor in large animal clinical sciences at the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital at Texas A&M, said she rarely sees snake bites in large ruminant animals including cattle, sheep and goats. However, when a large animal is bitten, a bite to the face is the most common.
Nagy said she is not aware of a lethal snake bite to larger animals likely due to their size. But she said snake bites can cause cellulitis and secondary infections that can impede an animal's ability to eat.
Most of the time the bites are not noticed by ranchers unless there is severe swelling due to a secondary infection, she said.
"Typically, when they get to us our focus is pain management," Nagy said. "In bad cases where there is an abscess or extreme swelling that is affecting their ability to eat, we will drain it or clean the wound and possibly give the animal anti-inflammatories and antibiotics."

Gardening tips

Protect transplants and seedlings by shading from excessive heat. Use shingles, boards or Chade cloth.
Have a favorite gardening tip you'd like to share? Texas Gardener's Seeds is seeking brief gardening tips from Texas gardeners to use in future issues. If we publish your tip in Seeds, we will send you a copy of Texas Gardene r's 2020 Planning Guide & Calendar. Please send your tips of 50 words or less to the editor at: Garde ning Tips.
Upcoming garden events
If you would like your organization's events included in "Upcoming Garden Events" or would like to make a change to a listed event, please contact us at Garden Events. To ensure inclusion in this column, please provide complete details at least three weeks prior to the event.

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: Creating School Gardens Workshop: A workshop for community leaders wanting to start a youth/school garden, Friday , July 31, 9:00 a.m.-noon. Topics include: basics of planting, building a garden with raised beds or containers, easy vegetables and herbs, garden maintenance and troubleshooting. Register by 4:00 p.m. on July 29 at: https://schoolgardensjuly31.eventbrite.com. Registration is $10.00. For more information, visit  https://harris.agrilife.org/.

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  johnwsmith@tamu.edu 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 johnwsmith@tamu.edu 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.

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.
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 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 sbburden@ag.tamu.edu.

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 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  borderlineart1@gmail.com .
Kerrville: Hill Country Master Gardeners meet the first Wednesday of each month at 1:00 pm at Hill Country Youth Event Center, 3785 Hwy 27. For more information visit www.hillcountrymastergardeners.org.
Midland: 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.
Allen: The Allen Garden Club meets at 7 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month, February through December, at the Allen Heritage Center, 100 E. Main St., Allen. For more information, visit www.allengardenclub.org.

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

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.
Gonzalas: Gonzales Master Gardeners hold their monthly meeting at noon on the first Thursday of each month at 623 Fair Street, Gonzales. Bring a bag lunch, drinks provided. Contact AgriLife Extension Office at 830-672-8531 or visit http://gonzalesmastergardeners.org for more information.

New Braunfels: The Comal Garden Club meets the first Thursday of each month at 9:30 a.m. at Southbank Clubhouse, 222 Southbank Blvd., New Braunfels.

Hempstead: The Peckerwood Garden Conservation Foundation, 20559 F.M. 359, Hempstead, hosts a special 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: 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.

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 kim.benton@ag.tamu.edu.
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.

Glen Rose: The Glen Rose Garden Club meets at 10 a.m. on the second Tuesday of each month (September through May) at the Somervell County Community Center in Glen Rose. For additional information, email stringer030@yahoo.com.

Glen Rose: The Prairie Rose Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas meets at 6 p.m. on the second Monday of each month at the Somerville County Citizen Center, 209 SW Barnard St., Glen Rose. For additional information, email prairierose.npsot@gmail.com
Harrison County: The Harrison County Master Gardeners meet on the second Tuesday of each month in the Harrison County Annex building, 102 W Houston St. (south side of the square), Marshall. Meetings are held in the 2nd floor AgriLife Extension meeting room. For more information, call 903-935-8413, or email wannagrow2@gmail.com
Marion: The Guadalupe County (Schertz/Seguin) Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas meets on the second Tuesday of each month except July, August and December at St. John's Lutheran Church in Marion. Directions to St. John's Lutheran Church: From FM 78 turn south onto FM 465 and the church is just past the Marion School on the right. From IH-10 go north on FM 465 towards Marion. The Church will be on the left, just before you get to town. A plant exchange and meet-and-greet begins at 6:30 p.m. followed by the program at 7 p.m. Visitors are welcome. For more information or an application to join NPSOT visit www.npsot.org/GuadalupeCounty/ or contact guadalupecounty@npsot.org.
Quitman: The Quitman Garden Club meets at 2 p.m. the second Tuesday of each month at the Quitman Library on E Goode Street, Quitman. It is a diverse group that welcomes all visitors. For more information, e-mail quitmangardenclub@gmail.com.
Denton:  The Denton County Master Gardener Association meets from 9:30 a.m. until 11 a.m. the
second Wednesday of each month . Meetings are open to the public. For complete details, visit  http://dcmga.com/.
Humble: The Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Garden, 22306 Aldine Westfield Road, Humble, hosts a Lunch Bunch the second Wednesday of each month from noon until 2 p.m. Take a sack lunch or order a box lunch from Starbucks when you call 281-443-8731 to reserve your spot. Master Gardeners and Masters Naturalists may earn CEU credits by attending.
Jacksboro: The Jacksboro Garden Club meets at 9:30 a.m. the second Wednesday of each month (except June, July and August) at the Concerned Citizens Center, 400 East Pine Street, Jacksboro. For more information, call Melinda at 940-567-6218.
Longview: The Gregg County Master Gardeners Association's Learn at Lunch program meet the second Wednesday of each month. The business meeting begins at 11:30 a.m., with the program at noon, at the AgriLife Extension Office, 405 E. Marshall Ave., Longview. The program is presented for horticultural education and is free to the public. For further information call 903-236-8429, visit www.txmg.org/gregg, or like us on Facebook at Gregg County Master Gardeners. 
Rockport: The Rockport Herb & Rose Study Group, founded in March 2003, meets the
second Wednesday of each month at 10 a.m. at 619 N. Live Oak Street, Room 14, Rockport, to discuss all aspects of using and growing herbs, including historical uses and tips for successful propagation and cultivation. Sometimes they take field trips and have cooking demonstrations in different locations. For more information, contact Linda 361-729-6037, Ruth 361-729-8923 or Cindy 979-562-2153 or visit www.rockportherbs.or g and http://rockportherbies.blogspot.com.
Woodway: The McLennan County Master Gardeners meet on the second Wednesday each month at noon at the Carleen Bright Arboretum, 9001 Bosque Blvd., Woodway. Educational programs follow the business session. For more information, call 254-757-5180.
Beaumont: The Jefferson County Master Gardeners meet at 6 p.m. (social) 7:00 (meeting) the second Thursday of each month except in July in the AgriLife Extension auditorium, 1225 Pearl 2nd floor (downtown Beaumont next to the Court House). For more information contact: 409-835-8461 or txmg.org/jcmg.
Georgetown: The Williamson County Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas meets from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. the second Thursday of each month at the Georgetown Public Library, 402 W. 8th Street. Georgetown. For additional information, contract Kathy Henderson at kshend@verizon.net or visit http://www.npsot.org/wp/wilco.
Orange: The Orange County Master Gardeners Association holds their monthly meeting on the
second Thursday of each month. A short program is presented. The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. at the new Orange County Expo Center on Hwy 1442 in Orangefield. Enter the building in the front entrance, first door on the right, Texas AgriLife offices. Pot luck supper at 6 p.m. Visit http://txmg.org/orange for more information.

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.
College Station: The A&M Garden Club meets on the second Friday of each month during the school year at 9:30 a.m. in the training room of the College Station Waste Water Facility building at the end of North Forest Parkway, College Station. Expert speakers, plant sharing, and federated club projects help members learn about gardening in the Brazos Valley, floral design, conservation, and more. For more information, visit http://www.amgardenclub.com/.
Houston: The Spring Branch African Violet Club meets the second Saturday of each month, January through November, at 10:00 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 https://www.facebook.com/groups/ybkydgarden/.
Dallas: The Rainbow Garden Club of North Texas meets the second Sunday of each month at 2 p.m. Everyone is welcome. Meetings are held at member's homes and garden centers around the area. For more information, visit www.RainbowGardenClub.com.
Arlington: The Arlington Men's Garden Club meets from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. on the third Monday of each month (except December) at the Bob Duncan Center, 2800 S. Center Street, Arlington. For more information, contact Lance Jepson at LJepson@aol.com.
Cleburne: The Johnson County Master Gardener's meet on the third Monday of each month at McGregor House, 1628 W Henderson, Cleburne. Meeting times are at 2 p.m. October through April, except December and at 6 p.m. May through September. An educational program precedes the business meeting. For additional information, contact 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 comalmg.org.

Texarkana: The Four Corners Chapter of Native Plant Society of Texas meets at 7 p.m. on the third Monday of each month at the Southwest Center, 3222 W. 7th St. (U.S. 67), Texarkana. Visitors are welcome. For additional information, contact Belinda McCoy at 903-424-7724 or blackmtngardens@yahoo.com.

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 mgardeners@yahoo.com.

Corpus Christi: The Nueces Master Gardeners meet at noon the third Tuesday of each month, except December, at Garden Senior Center, 5325 Greely Dr., Corpus Christi. An educational program precedes the business meeting. For further information call 361 767-5217.
Evant: The Evant Garden Club meets on the third Tuesday of each month at 10 a.m., usually at the bank in downtown Evant. To confirm the date, time and place of each month's meeting, call 254-471-5860. 
New Braunfels: The Lindheimer Chapter (Comal County) of the Native Plant Society of Texas meets on the third Tuesday of each month at  6:30 pm at the GVTC Auditorium, 36101 FM 3159, New Braunfels. Meetings include an informative speaker and a Plant of the Month presentation. Meetings are free and visitors are welcome. For more information,visit www.npsot.org/w/lindheimer Note : there will be no meeting in June or December.
Rockport: Monthly meetings of the Aransas/San Patricio Master Gardeners are held at 10 a.m. on the third Tuesday of each month at Texas AgriLife Extension Service - Aransas County Office, 892 Airport Rd., Rockport. For additional information, e-mail aransas-tx@tamu.edu or call 361-790-0103.
Sugar Land: The Sugar Land Garden Club meets on the third Tuesday of each month, September through November and January through April at 10 a.m. at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 702 Burney Road, Sugar Land. The club hosts a different speaker each month. For more information, visit www.sugarlandgardenclub.org.
Denton: The Denton Organic Society, a group devoted to sharing information and educating the public regarding organic principles, meets the third Wednesday of each month (except July, August and December) at the Denton Senior Center, 509 N. Bell Avenue. Meetings are free and open to the public. Meetings begin at 7 p.m. and are preceded by a social at 6:30. For more information, call 940-382-8551.
Glen Rose: The Somervell County Master Gardeners meet at 10 a.m., the third Wednesday of each month at the Somervell County AgriLife Extension office, 1405 Texas Drive, Glen Rose. Visitors are welcome. For more information, call 254-897-2809 or visit www.somervellmastergardeners.org.
Granbury: The Lake Granbury Master Gardeners meet at 1 p.m. on the third Wednesday of each month at the Hood County Annex 1, 1410 West Pearl Street, Granbury. The public is invited to attend. There is an educational program each month preceding the business meeting. For information on topics call 817-579-3280 or visit http://www.hoodcountymastergardeners.org/.

Brownwood: Brownwood Garden Club meets the third Thursday of each month, 11:30 a.m.- 1 p.m.  The club meetings are at Southside Baptist Church, 1219 Indian Creek Road, with refreshments and a speaker presentation. Visitors are welcome. For more information, email boeblingen@centex.net or call 817-454-8175.
Hallettsville: The Hallettsville Garden Club meets at 2 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month from September through May, at the Hallettsville Garden and Cultural Center, 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   sharonspetals@gmail.com  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.

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 http://www.bexarmg.org/ to verify meeting date for any given month, as circumstances could require a change, and to find information on the speaker and topic scheduled for each meeting.
Seguin: The Guadalupe County Master Gardeners meets at 6:30 p.m. the third Thursday of each month, at the AgriLife Building, 210 East Live Oak, Seguin. After a brief social hour, the meeting and guest speaker begins at 7 p.m. The meeting is free and open to the public. For additional information, call 830-303-3889 or visit www.guadalupecountymastergardeners.org.
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 herbalhen@yahoo.com.
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 www.npsot.org.
Brackenridge Park: The Native Plant Society San Antonio Chapter meets every fourth Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. in the Lions Field Adult and Senior Center, 2809 Broadway at E. Mulberry, Brackenridge Park, except August and December. Social and seed/plant exchange at 6:30 p.m. Free and open to the public. For more information, contact Bea at 210-999-7292 or visit www.npsot.org/sanantonio.
Bryan: The Brazos County Master Gardeners, a program of Texas AgriLife Extension, meet the fourth Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. at the Brazos Center, 3232 Briarcrest Drive, Bryan. There is a public gardening program at each meeting and pertinent information may be found at brazosmg.com or 979-823-0129.
Edna: The Jackson County Master Gardeners present their "Come Grown With Us" seminars on the fourth Tuesday of each month, January through October, beginning at 7 p.m. at 411 N. Wells, Edna. The seminars are free, open to the public and offer 2 CEU hours to Master Gardeners or others requiring them. For additional information, contact the Jackson County Extension Office at 361-782-3312.
Linden: The Caddo Wildflower Chapter of Native Plants Society meets the fourth Tuesday of each month at the senior citizens building at 507 S Kaufman St. in Linden at 6:30. Visitors are welcome. For additional information, contact Karen Tromza at khtromza@yahoo.com.
San Antonio: The Native Plant Society of Texas San Antonio Chapter meets the fourth Tuesday of each month, except August and December, at the Lions Field Adult & Senior Center, 2809 Broadway, San Antonio. Social and plant/seed exchange at 6:30 p.m., program at 7:00 p.m. For more information, visit www.npsot.org/sanantonio or email npsot.sanantonio@gmail.com.
Houston: The Houston Native Prairie Association meets at 7 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday of each month (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 hnpat@prairies.org.

Austin: The Garden Club of Austin meets at Zilker Botanical Gardens auditorium, 2220 Barton Springs Rd., Austin, at 7:00 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of each month. 7:00-7:30 p.m. Refreshments and Social, followed by a presentation at 7:30 p.m. Free. For additional information, visit http://thegardenclubofaustin.org/.

Leander: The Leander Garden Club meets on the fourth Thursday of each month (except 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 .
Dallas: The Dallas County Master Gardeners meet the fourth Thursday of each month at 11:30 a.m. For location and program information, visit h ttp://www.dallascountymastergardeners.org/ or contact The Helpdesk, M-F, 8 to 4:30 214-904-3053.
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, 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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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