By Paul Schattenberg
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service
The specialty crop sector in Texas - consisting primarily of fruits and vegetables - has been one of the hardest hit sectors of agriculture due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to agricultural economists, industry groups and agricultural producers.
|The specialty crop sector has been one of the agricultural sectors hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. (Texas A&M AgriLife Communications photos by Kay Ledbetter)
"Most fruits and vegetables are consumed when fresh and are highly perishable commodities," said Joe Outlaw, Ph.D., Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service agricultural economist and co-director of the Agricultural and Food Policy Center, AFPC, at Texas A&M University, College Station. "As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the closure of most restaurants and schools has caused a major reduction in demand for produce. The pandemic has also caused significant disruptions to the supply chain and agricultural systems."
Outlaw said while some of that reduction in demand from restaurants and other food-service outlets has translated to higher demand at grocery stores, different packaging requirements, changes in volume needed, other factors are affecting fresh produce prices, mainly at the farmgate level.
A recent report by the AFPC on how the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively affected Texas agricultural production indicates if the pandemic persists, Texas fruit and vegetable producers could be left without outlets for their highly perishable products and ultimately lose more than $397 million.
Fruit and vegetable producers in South Texas have experienced anywhere between a 20% to 50% reduction in sales. Additionally, imports of fruits and vegetables from Mexico went down 18% in April, so the demand is still low for both domestic and imported produce.
Many producers are struggling to find outlets for their produce and many grocery stores have significantly reduced the variety of items they stock, both of which have had a serious impact on Texas specialty crop producers.
Components of the 'perfect storm'
"Overall, due to COVID-19, the short-run outlook for specialty crop producers in Texas is complicated," Outlaw explained. "The sudden loss of most food-service outlets for highly perishable products along with good winter production of fruits and vegetables in the state is causing low prices across most fresh produce commodities. Changing consumer purchasing habits at the grocery store, demand uncertainty and labor shortages have created the perfect storm for specialty crop producers in Texas and throughout the U.S."
"In the Texas Winter Garden, specialty crop producers have had to deal with supply chain disruptions, lower demand, social distancing restrictions, labor shortages and other factors that have kept them from getting their products from the farm to the table," he said.
Leskovar noted while growing conditions in the state's Winter Garden area bode well for most specialty crops already in the ground, these factors will likely continue to affect producer profitability for some time to come.
"Right now, we're down to about 50% production," said Brandon Laffere, co-owner of L&L Farms in Batesville, which produces lettuce, cabbage, spinach, broccoli and other specialty crops. "We took the biggest hit with lettuce since that is more perishable and our food service outlets weren't ordering it."
Now, Laffere said, they are growing summer crops, including squash and watermelon, but are still uncertain as to how much of those they will be able to sell once harvested.
"Our biggest challenge is the unknown, but we're optimistic things will get better," he said.
A major shift in marketing direction
Reduced demand combined with good domestic winter fruit and vegetable production have driven down specialty crop prices in South Texas.
"We're seeing less competition from Mexico on fruits and vegetables due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which would normally be considered good news for specialty crop growers in the Valley," said Juan Landivar, Ph.D., director of the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Weslaco. "But lower demand, a lack of labor and logistical issues have negated most positive outcomes for a majority of growers."
Typically, a large fruit and vegetable producer would sell about 40% of its production to retail grocers, about 40% to restaurants and other food-service outlets, and about 20% to other outlets.
"Practically overnight, producers lost 40% of their outlets, and many producers had to destroy their crops because there was no place to sell them," said Dante Galeazzi, CEO and president of Texas International Produce Association, Mission. "Now producers are waiting to see how much of their current crop they may be able to salvage and how much they may have to plow under. They also have to decide if they should plant, what they should plant and how much they should plant under changing and uncertain conditions."
Galeazzi said while many Winter Garden and South Texas producers were able to cut short the harvest season for leafy greens such as kale, lettuce, parsley and celery - getting most of those products to food service outlets before they closed - new crops will have an even less certain future.
"Some producers are hoping to stretch out the season in hopes they will be able to sell to food service outlets once again," he said. "While grocery stores may be purchasing greater amounts of smaller onions and heads of cabbage, for example, it's restaurants and other food service outlets that buy the larger sizes. Unfortunately, the increase in retail sales to grocery stores doesn't come close to offsetting the food-service outlet losses."
J&B Produce in Edinburgh is now in the process of completing its melon and onion harvest.
"We were fortunate in that we were finished growing and harvesting most of what we produce here in South Texas before the COVID-19 pandemic hit," said Trent Bishop, vice president of sales and marketing. "But overall, our sales dropped about 20% because the sales we made to high-end restaurants, hotels and even cruise ships suddenly came to a screeching halt. It was even necessary to disc under a few crops, but it could have been worse."
Bishop said the operation has taken measures to ensure a safe work environment for packing plant workers by having them wear aprons, gloves and face masks, as well as asking them to adhere to social distancing guidelines.
"We have also alternated their breaks to minimize the amount of potential congregating among workers," he said. "Our administrative staff was able to work from home and just recently returned to the office. We're all wearing face masks and practicing social distancing."
Jimmy Bassetti, co-owner of J&B Produce, said demand for certain specialty crops they grow - including Swiss chard, parsley, dandelion greens and honeydew melons - has fallen dramatically.
"We're also facing a labor shortage," he said. "There has always been a shortage of labor in this area and the pandemic has just made it worse. We have had to divert a lot of our labor toward additional cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing. And while this is all necessary, it has kept available labor from performing other essential tasks, such as harvesting the produce."
Bassetti also noted during the pandemic J&B made produce donations to all local food banks, but even that sometimes had its challenges.
"At the outset, many of the food banks were understaffed and were unable to get our products unloaded and into their system for distribution," he said. "But the community rallied, and after a while there were enough people hired or volunteering, so they were able to handle the increased volume of produce and other food donations being made."
Unwanted fruits of their labor
Dale Murden, CEO and president of Texas Citrus Mutual in Mission, said while most citrus production in South Texas is now complete, there are still effects from the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Some citrus producers, including myself, even though we have finished the grapefruit growing season, were hampered by reduced food service sales and difficulties in getting our product onto store shelves," he said. "Many of us have had to take more of our grapefruit to tank farms where it can be processed into juice, bottled and delivered."
Jim Kamas, AgriLife Extension fruit specialist based in Fredericksburg, said with peaches and blackberries now being harvested, producers will have to find different ways to market their product.
"There likely won't be the large numbers of people we're used to coming to the Hill Country and other fruit-producing parts of the state," Kamas said. "The loss of this foot traffic and previously dependable outlets will affect producers for some time.
He noted the warm January counteracted the number of chill hours the peaches needed, so the crop likely will not be as strong.
"Producers who have stayed on top of things and used growth regulators to compensate say they expect to have 75% to 80% of their normal crop," he said.
Kamas also noted the COVID-19 pandemic has been especially hard on Texas wineries.
"Wineries and tasting rooms have had to close and many are struggling to stay afloat," he said. "And the grape growers throughout the state are having to deal with losing that outlet for their product, as well as wondering what future demand might be."
Strawberry growers have been affected as well. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the popular Poteet Strawberry Festival was postponed from April to Oct. 30-Nov. 1.
"The pick-your-own strawberry operations have seen a significant reduction in traffic and are adjusting by picking the strawberries themselves and selling them in containers," he said. "But with fewer people and fewer dependable outlets to buy them, they are also facing uncertainty."
Labor and market uncertainty
A labor shortage mixed with market uncertainty has also kept specialty crop producers guessing, said Luis Ribera, AgriLife Extension agricultural economist, College Station.
"Some producers have experienced up to a 50% reduction in harvesting crews," he said. "There is also uncertainty regarding the processing of new H-2A nonimmigrant temporary or seasonal job applicants, which means uncertainty about the future availability of H-2A workers."
Payments under the Payment Protection Program of the U.S. Small Business Administration do not cover H-2A workers.
"The specialty crop situation in Texas is a complicated, one and producers are having to do the best they can to adapt to and try to overcome a number of challenges on multiple fronts," Ribera said.
Escape and connect with Texas A&M Forest Service podcast
Texas A&M Forest Service
Texas A&M Forest Service podcast, "Trees Are Key," is reminding listeners to get outside and explore during stay-at-home times. Celebrating five years this spring, the short, weekly podcast helps listeners better care for their trees by featuring short lessons and weekly tree highlights.
Paul Johnson, the Urban and Community Forestry Program leader, is the voice and producer behind the podcast.
"Trees are key to happy, healthy and safe communities," said Johnson. "Due to the current situation, we have geared the last few episodes towards making sure people know to look at the science of things, get outside and explore and why that's important."
In the past five years, the Texas A&M Forest Service podcast has produced around 32,000 hours of educational information that reach Texas cities and beyond.
"Everything talked about is interesting and/or important and usually both," Johnson said about the podcast features.
Right now, Johnson said, is the perfect time to escape outside and recharge by listening to a podcast before going back in your house to work or take care of children.
The power of audio
Johnson has been a Texas A&M Forest Service employee for more than 15 years, starting as a staff forester. Before joining Texas A&M Forest Service he worked in extension in Oklahoma City, Okla., with an emphasis in horticulture. During his work with extension, Johnson was the host of a live call-in radio show, "The Garden Show on TKOK."
"This is where I really found the power of audio," Johnson said. "The show reached 70,000 people per hour, it's amazing the impact you can have when speaking with big numbers like that."
Johnson's experience with the radio show sparked his idea for the "Trees Are Key" podcast.
"There was a gap," he said. "I know the power of audio and knowing how much time interested individuals spend behind the wheel of their cars or exercising, things where they can still be productive by listening to something."
Once the idea was approved, Johnson committed to producing the podcast for one year. Wanting it to be consistent, he mapped out the first 52 episodes of content to produce one episode per week.
During this beginning phase is also when Johnson and his team developed a structure for each episode, which is still used today. Each episode includes a learning lesson, a weekly tree highlight and any upcoming tree events.
Five years of growth
The audience in mind when producing "Tress Are Key" is very specific, but meant for all listeners to learn more about trees and the forestry industry. When producing, Johnson said he tries to focus on early career professionals or very interested armatures to feel comfortable with the information.
A key performance indicator of the podcast is total number of listeners, which have increased each year since its start in 2015.
"The first year, we had around 4,000 listeners, the second we had over 20,000 and then went up each year from there," Johnson said. "In 2019, we had almost 60,000 listens."
Though the majority of the 673 average listeners per episode are located in Texas, the number five and six overall top cities for the podcast are San Jose and Los Angeles, California.
"Five years ago an average podcast had about 200 listeners per episode," Johnson said. "The average listens per episode are why we're still investing in the production."
The reach of the podcast goes even beyond the country's border. Though the United States is the top listening country, the podcast's top five reaching countries also include Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and Ireland.
"I have one story of a listener from France reaching out through Instagram that asked about becoming a certified arborist," Johnson said. "It was the week after we released the certification test in French and I let him know about that."
Even with all of the reach each season has brought, the first episode of the podcast "Why Trees Are Key" remains the most listened to episode with 1,800 listens.
Looking to the future
Johnson is excited about the future and continued growth of the podcast and said there are multiple things listeners can look forward to in the coming episodes.
"Early on, it was really big picture stuff and over time we've been able to focus on more specific and timely topics," he said.
In the episodes to come, Johnson said you can look forward to a mixture of topics including trees, arboriculture, forestry and a bit of personal and professional development.
"One of the things to look forward to is the likelihood of bringing guests in to expand the scope of the show," Johnson said. This includes healthcare professionals, industry professionals and more.
Another focus Johnson has for the future of the podcast is working on is having continuing education units (CEU's) available for the podcast.
"We are actively creating quizzes that people can listen to two episodes and then take a quiz and earn half of a CEU," Johnson said.
Ultimately, Johnson's goal is to get research-based information about the connection of trees and people to listeners. During the current precedence, he also hopes that it is a way to maintain community connection.
"Trees and the outdoors are a great way to de-stress and the ability to interact with other people, even virtually, right now is important," Johnson said.
During these uncertain times, Johnson wants his podcast to be a resource to listeners to go outside, enjoy the connection and escape by learning more on why trees are key.
You can find the "Trees Are Key" podcast anywhere you listen to podcasts including iTunes, Google Play and iHeartRadio. Learn more about the Trees Are Key podcast and Texas A&M Forest Service at
If your tomatoes have curling, twisted foliage in their new growth, they may be suffering from a virus or herbicide overspray. There is no cure for either of these issues so pull out, and dispose of, affected plants.
Have a favorite gardening tip you'd like to share?
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Upcoming garden events
If you would like your organization's events included in "Upcoming Garden Events" or would like to make a change to a listed event, please contact us at Garden Events. To ensure inclusion in this column, please provide complete details at least three weeks prior to the event.
The COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak has caused the cancellation of many events. Because SEEDS has a long lead time, events listed below may have already been cancelled. We strongly encourage you to take care of yourself by practicing social distancing. If you do wish to attend any of the events listed below, please contact the presenters in advance to determine if the event has been cancelled or if it will take place as planned.
Galveston: The Young Gardeners Program is a school garden and healthy eating program operating on Galveston and the Bolivar Peninsula.
Every Saturday, 9-11 a.m., they host a garden Community Day at one of the schools. It's an opportunity for community members to work and play in the garden and it's kid-friendly. First Saturday - Crenshaw, 416 State Hwy 87, Crystal Beach; Second Saturday - Rosenberg Elementary, 721 10th St., Galveston; Third Saturday - Morgan Elementary, 1410 37th St., Galveston; Fourth Saturday - Oppe Elementary, 2915 81st St., Galveston.
If you would like your organization's events included in "Monthly Meetings" or would like to make a change to a listed meeting, please contact us at Monthly Meetings. To ensure inclusion in this column, please provide complete details.
The Jasper County Master Gardeners meet on the first Monday of each month at St. Michael's Catholic Church from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. The evening begins with pot luck social and then guest presentations and/or educational class to conclude. Visit https://jasper.agrilife.org/jasper-master-gardeners/ to verify meeting date for any given month, as circumstances could require a change, and to find information on the speaker and topic scheduled for each meeting; Visit
https://mastergardener.tamu.edu/become/ to become a member.
The Kaufman County Master Gardeners meet the first Monday of each month at the First Community Church at 1401 Trinity Drive in Crandall. January through April and August and September meetings are at 9 a.m., with the remaining meetings beginning at 7 p.m. For additional information, visit http://www.kcmga.org, call 972-932-9069 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Harris County Master Gardeners meet at noon the
first Tuesday of each month at a location in Houston to be determined. For additional information, visit
or call 713-274-0950.
Schulenberg: Schulenburg Garden Club meets the first Tuesday of the month, at 11:30 a.m., September-May, at the Schulenburg First Baptist Church Fellowship Hall, 110 Upton Ave., Schulenburg.
Garden Masters, Inc., meet the first Wednesday of each month, Sept.- May, at North Haven Gardens, 7700 Northaven Rd., Dallas, 75230. The club hosts different speakers each month from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Come early and order lunch from the The Cafe, which features a healthy menu, fresh local produce and sustainably produced meats and fish (or call in advance to order
. For more information about Garden Masters Inc, email Marcia Borders at
Hill Country Master Gardeners meet the
first Wednesday of each month
at 1:00 pm at Hill Country Youth Event Center, 3785 Hwy 27. For more information visit
Midland: The Permian Basin Master Gardeners (Ector/Midland counties) have monthly meetings at noon on the
first Wednesday of each month at the West Texas Food Bank, 1601 Westcliff Drive in Midland. For more information call 432-498-4071 or 432-686-4700.
Navasota: The Navasota Garden Club meets on the
first Wednesday of each month (September through May) at 10:00 a.m., usually at the First Baptist Church Family Life Center, 300 Church Street, Navasota. If not meeting at the church, a change of meeting notice will be placed on the door at the North entrance. Guests are welcome. Members are from Grimes County and surrounding counties.
The Allen Garden Club meets at 7 p.m. on the
first Thursday of each month, February through December, at the Allen Heritage Center, 100 E. Main St., Allen. For more information, visit
The Cass County Master Gardeners meet the
first Thursday of each month
at the Atlanta Memorial Hospital Conference Room, State Highway 77 @ S. Williams St., Atlanta. A business meeting is followed by an educational program. The public is welcome to attend. For additional information, call 903-756-5391 or visit
The Native Plant Society of Texas - North Central Chapter meets the first Thursday of each month, excluding January and July, at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden, 3220 Botanic Garden Blvd., Fort Worth. Meeting begins at 6:30 p.m., program begins at 7:00 p.m. Guest speakers present educational programs on topics of interest. Members, friends, family, guests and the public are welcome. For a list of speakers and topics or more information, visit http://www.txnativeplants.org.
Hempstead: The Waller County Master Gardeners usually meet at 9 a.m. the first Thursday of each month at the Waller County AgriLife Extension Office, 846 6th St., Hempstead. For more information on the meeting schedule, visit http://txmg.org/wallermg or call 979-826-7651.
Gonzales Master Gardeners hold their monthly meeting at noon on the
first Thursday of each month at 623 Fair Street, Gonzales. Bring a bag lunch, drinks provided. Contact AgriLife Extension Office at 830-672-8531 or visit
for more information
The Comal Garden Club meets the
first Thursday of each month
at 9:30 a.m. at Southbank Clubhouse, 222 Southbank Blvd., New Braunfels.
The Peckerwood Garden Conservation Foundation, 20559 F.M. 359, Hempstead, hosts a special Insider's Tour at 10 a.m. on the first Saturday of each month. Spaces are limited so pre-registration is encouraged. $15, free for members. For more information, visit http://peckerwoodgarden.org/product/peckerwood-insiders-tours/.
Austin Organic Gardeners Club meets at 6:30 p.m. on the
second Monday of each month (except December) at the Austin Area Garden Center, 2220 Barton Springs Road, Zilker Botanical Gardens in Austin. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.; club business begins at 7:00 p.m., followed by a presentation. For more information, visit
The Cherokee County Master Gardeners meet on the
second Monday of each month
at 9:30 a.m. at The First Methodist Church, 1031 TX-456 Loop, Jacksonville. For additional information, contact Kim Benton at
Cedar Park/Leander/Liberty Hill:
The Hill Country Bloomers meet the
second Tuesday of each month (except December)
at 7 p.m. at the Cedar Park Recreation Center, 1435 Main Street, Cedar Park. Arrive at 6:30 p.m. to socialize and swap plants and seeds. Meetings feature guest speakers on a variety of topics for the home gardener or landscaper. They host a plant sale in the spring and a garden tour in the late summer/early fall. Throughout the year they contribute time and expertise to local projects. Those with any level of experience are welcome. Non-members are invited to their first meeting at no cost. Membership and speaker info is available at
The Glen Rose Garden Club meets at 10 a.m. on the
second Tuesday of each month
(September through May) at the Somervell County Community Center in Glen Rose. For additional information, email
The Prairie Rose Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas meets at 6 p.m. on the
second Monday of each month
at the Somerville County Citizen Center, 209 SW Barnard St., Glen Rose. For additional information, email
The Harrison County Master Gardeners meet on the
second Tuesday of each month
in the Harrison County Annex building, 102 W Houston St. (south side of the square), Marshall. Meetings are held in the 2nd floor AgriLife Extension meeting room. For more information, call 903-935-8413, or email
The Guadalupe County (Schertz/Seguin) Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas meets on the
second Tuesday of each month except July, August and December at St. John's Lutheran Church in Marion. Directions to St. John's Lutheran Church: From FM 78 turn south onto FM 465 and the church is just past the Marion School on the right. From IH-10 go north on FM 465 towards Marion. The Church will be on the left, just before you get to town. A plant exchange and meet-and-greet begins at 6:30 p.m. followed by the program at 7 p.m. Visitors are welcome. For more information or an application to join NPSOT visit
The Quitman Garden Club meets at 2 p.m. the
second Tuesday of each month at the Quitman Library on E Goode Street, Quitman. It is a diverse group that welcomes all visitors. For more information, e-mail
The Denton County Master Gardener Association meets from 9:30 a.m. until 11 a.m. the
second Wednesday of each month
. Meetings are open to the public. For complete details, visit
Humble: The Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Garden, 22306 Aldine Westfield Road, Humble, hosts a Lunch Bunch the
second Wednesday of each month from noon until 2 p.m. Take a sack lunch or order a box lunch from Starbucks when you call 281-443-8731 to reserve your spot. Master Gardeners and Masters Naturalists may earn CEU credits by attending.
Jacksboro: The Jacksboro Garden Club meets at 9:30 a.m. the
second Wednesday of each month (except June, July and August) at the Concerned Citizens Center, 400 East Pine Street, Jacksboro. For more information, call Melinda at 940-567-6218.
The Gregg County Master Gardeners Association's Learn at Lunch program meet the second Wednesday of each month. The business meeting begins at 11:30 a.m., with the program at noon, at the AgriLife Extension Office, 405 E. Marshall Ave., Longview. The program is presented for horticultural education and is free to the public. For further information call 903-236-8429, visit www.txmg.org/gregg, or like us on Facebook at Gregg County Master Gardeners.
Rockport: The Rockport Herb & Rose Study Group, founded in March 2003, meets the
Wednesday of each month at 10 a.m. at 619 N. Live Oak Street, Room 14, Rockport, to discuss all aspects of using and growing herbs, including historical uses and tips for successful propagation and cultivation. Sometimes they take field trips and have cooking demonstrations in different locations. For more information, contact Linda 361-729-6037, Ruth 361-729-8923 or Cindy 979-562-2153 or visit
Woodway: The McLennan County Master Gardeners meet on the
second Wednesday each month at noon at the Carleen Bright Arboretum, 9001 Bosque Blvd., Woodway. Educational programs follow the business session. For more information, call 254-757-5180.
The Jefferson County Master Gardeners meet at 6 p.m. (social) 7:00 (meeting) the
second Thursday of each month
except in July in the AgriLife Extension auditorium, 1225 Pearl 2nd floor (downtown Beaumont next to the Court House). For more information contact: 409-835-8461 or
The Williamson County Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas meets from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. the
second Thursday of each month at the Georgetown Public Library, 402 W. 8th Street. Georgetown. For additional information, contract Kathy Henderson at email@example.com or visit
Orange: The Orange County Master Gardeners Association holds their monthly meeting on the
second Thursday of each month. A short program is presented. The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. at the new Orange County Expo Center on Hwy 1442 in Orangefield. Enter the building in the front entrance, first door on the right, Texas AgriLife offices. Pot luck supper at 6 p.m. Visit
for more information
: The Harris County Precinct 2 Master Gardeners hold an educational program at 10 a.m. on the
second Thursday of each month
at The Genoa Friendship Garden Educational Building at 1202 Genoa Red Bluff, Pasadena. The programs are free and open to the public. For more information,
The San Antonio Herb Society meets at 7 p.m. on the
second Thursday of each month at the San Antonio Garden Center, 3310 N. New Braunfels (corner of Funston & N. New Braunfels). For more information on programs, visit
San Marcos: The Spring Lake Garden Club meets the second Thursday of each month at 9:30 a.m., September-May, at McCoy's Building Supply Headquarters, 1350 IH-35, San Marcos. Contact Terri Boyd (512) 395-66644 x6134.
The Smithville Community Gardens meets at 5:30 p.m. the
second Thursday of each month
at the Smithville Recreation Center.
Angleton: The Brazoria County Master Gardeners meet at 11 a.m. on the
second Friday of each month at the Brazoria County Extension Office, 21017 County Road 171, Angleton. There is a general business meeting followed by a brief educational program each month. For further information call 979-864-1558, ext.110.
The A&M Garden Club meets on the
second Friday of each month during the school year at 9:30 a.m. in the training room of the College Station Waste Water Facility building at the end of North Forest Parkway, College Station. Expert speakers, plant sharing, and federated club projects help members learn about gardening in the Brazos Valley, floral design, conservation, and more. For more information, visit
Houston: The Spring Branch African Violet Club meets the
second Saturday of each month, January through November, at 10:00 a.m. at the Copperfield Baptist Church, 8350 Highway 6 North, Houston. Call Karla at 281-748-8417 prior to attending to confirm meeting date and time.
Kilgore: Northeast Texas Organic Gardeners meets at 1:30 p.m. on the
second Saturday of each month. For more information, call Carole Ramke at 903-986-9475.
Youth Backyard Gardening Initiative holds community engagement meetings the
second Saturday of each month
at 2:30 p.m. at Monarch Academy, 4205 Old Florence Road, Killeen. To learn more, visit
The Rainbow Garden Club of North Texas meets the
second Sunday of each month at 2 p.m. Everyone is welcome. Meetings are held at member's homes and garden centers around the area. For more information, visit
The Arlington Men's Garden Club meets from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. on the
third Monday of each month (except December) at the Bob Duncan Center, 2800 S. Center Street, Arlington. For more information, contact Lance Jepson at
The Johnson County Master Gardener's meet on the third Monday of each month at McGregor House, 1628 W Henderson, Cleburne. Meeting times are at 2 p.m. October through April, except December and at 6 p.m. May through September. An educational program precedes the business meeting. For additional information, contact Elaine Bell at 817-309-8052.
The Comal Master Gardeners meet at 6 p.m. the
third Monday of each month
(except April and December,) at the
GVTC Auditorium, 36101 FM 3159, New Braunfels. An educational program precedes the business meeting. The public is invited to attend. For additional information, call 830-620-3440 or visit
The Four Corners Chapter of Native Plant Society of Texas meets at 7 p.m. on the
third Monday of each month
at the Southwest Center, 3222 W. 7th St. (U.S. 67), Texarkana. Visitors are welcome. For additional information, contact Belinda McCoy at 903-424-7724 or
The Master Gardeners meet the
third Tuesday of each month
at the Taylor County Extension Office, 1982 Lytle Way, Abilene. For more information, contact Big Country Master Gardeners Association at
Corpus Christi: The Nueces Master Gardeners meet at noon the
third Tuesday of each month, except December, at Garden Senior Center, 5325 Greely Dr., Corpus Christi. An educational program precedes the business meeting. For further information call 361 767-5217.
Evant: The Evant Garden Club meets on the third Tuesday of each month at 10 a.m., usually at the bank in downtown Evant. To confirm the date, time and place of each month's meeting, call 254-471-5860.
The Lindheimer Chapter (Comal County) of the Native Plant Society of Texas meets on the third Tuesday of each month at
at the GVTC Auditorium, 36101 FM 3159, New Braunfels. Meetings include an informative speaker
and a Plant of the Month presentation. Meetings are free and
visitors are welcome. For more information,visit www.npsot.org/w/lindheimer.
: there will be no meeting in June or December.
Monthly meetings of the Aransas/San Patricio Master Gardeners are held at 10 a.m. on the
third Tuesday of each month
at Texas AgriLife Extension Service - Aransas County Office, 892 Airport Rd., Rockport. For additional information, e-mail
or call 361-790-0103.
The Sugar Land Garden Club meets on the
third Tuesday of each month,
September through November and January through April at 10 a.m. at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 702 Burney Road, Sugar Land. The club hosts a different speaker each month. For more information, visit
Denton: The Denton Organic Society, a group devoted to sharing information and educating the public regarding organic principles, meets the
third Wednesday of each month (except July, August and December) at the Denton Senior Center, 509 N. Bell Avenue. Meetings are free and open to the public. Meetings begin at 7 p.m. and are preceded by a social at 6:30. For more information, call 940-382-8551.
The Somervell County Master Gardeners meet at 10 a.m., the
third Wednesday of each month
at the Somervell County AgriLife Extension office, 1405 Texas Drive, Glen Rose. Visitors are welcome. For more information, call 254-897-2809 or visit
The Lake Granbury Master Gardeners meet at 1 p.m. on the
third Wednesday of each month
at the Hood County Annex 1, 1410 West Pearl Street, Granbury. The public is invited to attend. There is an educational program each month preceding the business meeting. For information on topics call 817-579-3280 or visit
Brownwood Garden Club meets the
third Thursday of each month,
11:30 a.m.- 1 p.m. The club meetings are at Southside Baptist Church, 1219 Indian Creek Road, with refreshments and a speaker presentation. Visitors are welcome. For more information, email
or call 817-454-8175.
Hallettsville: The Hallettsville Garden Club meets at 2 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month from September through May, at the Hallettsville Garden and Cultural Center, 107 Fink Street, Hallettsville. Each month, the club hosts speakers that provide informative programs on a wide range of gardening subjects, and refreshments are provided by member hostesses afterwards. Visitors are welcome! Please email Sharon Harrigan at
for more information.
The Native Plant Society of Texas - Houston Chapter meets at 6:45 pm on the third Thursday of each month at the American Red Cross Building, 2700 Southwest Fwy. For more information about meeting presentations and native plants, visit http://npsot.org/houston.
The Bexar County Master Gardeners (BCMG) meet on the
third Thursday of each month
at the Texas AgriLife Extension Office, 3355 Cherry Ridge Dr., Suite 208, San Antonio. During the months of Jan., March, May, July, Sep. and Nov., an evening meeting with presentation is held 6:00-8:00 p.m. During the intervening months (Feb., April, June, Aug., Oct.), afternoon educational seminars/general meetings are held from 1:00-3:00 p.m. Check
to verify meeting date for any given month, as circumstances could require a change, and to find information on the speaker and topic scheduled for each meeting.
The Guadalupe County Master Gardeners meets at 6:30 p.m. the
third Thursday of each month,
at the AgriLife Building, 210 East Live Oak, Seguin. After a brief social hour, the meeting and guest speaker begins at 7 p.m. The meeting is free and open to the public. For additional information, call 830-303-3889 or visit
The Greater Fort Worth Herb Society meetings are held the
third Saturday of each month
at Texas Garden Club Inc, 3111 Old Garden Club Rd., Fort Worth (located next to the Fort Worth Botanic Garden), 10:00 a.m. to noon, September through June. For more information, email
The New Braunfels Chapter of Native Plant Society of Texas meets on the
fourth Monday of each month
except July and December. Meetings are held at the Westside Community Center, 2932 S. I-35 Frontage Road, New Braunfels. Meetings start at 6:15 p.m. with a meet and greet time, followed by a short business meeting. Programs begin around 7:00. Native plant and seed exchanges are held monthly. Expert speakers present educational programs on topics of interest. Meetings are free and open to the public. For more information or to join, visit
The Native Plant Society San Antonio Chapter meets every
fourth Tuesday of each month
at 7 p.m. in the Lions Field Adult and Senior Center, 2809 Broadway at E. Mulberry, Brackenridge Park, except August and December. Social and seed/plant exchange at 6:30 p.m. Free and open to the public. For more information, contact Bea at 210-999-7292 or visit
The Brazos County Master Gardeners, a program of Texas AgriLife Extension, meet the
fourth Tuesday of the month
at 7 p.m. at the Brazos Center, 3232 Briarcrest Drive, Bryan. There is a public gardening program at each meeting and pertinent information may be found at
Edna: The Jackson County Master Gardeners present their "Come Grown With Us" seminars on the
fourth Tuesday of each month, January through October, beginning at 7 p.m. at 411 N. Wells, Edna. The seminars are free, open to the public and offer 2 CEU hours to Master Gardeners or others requiring them. For additional information, contact the Jackson County Extension Office at 361-782-3312.
The Caddo Wildflower Chapter of Native Plants Society meets the
fourth Tuesday of each month
at the senior citizens building at 507 S Kaufman St. in Linden at 6:30. Visitors are welcome. For additional information, contact Karen Tromza at
The Native Plant Society of Texas San Antonio Chapter meets the
fourth Tuesday of each month,
except August and December, at the Lions Field Adult & Senior Center, 2809 Broadway, San Antonio. Social and plant/seed exchange at 6:30 p.m., program at 7:00 p.m. For more information, visit
The Houston Native Prairie Association meets at 7 p.m. on the
fourth Wednesday of each month
(except November and December) at the Houston Red Cross Building, 2700 Southwest Freeway, Houston. Refreshments served at 6:30 p.m. For more information, contact
The Garden Club of Austin meets at Zilker Botanical Gardens auditorium, 2220 Barton Springs Rd., Austin, at 7:00 p.m. on the
fourth Thursday of each month.
7:00-7:30 p.m. Refreshments and Social, followed by a presentation at 7:30 p.m. Free. For additional information, visit
The Leander Garden Club meets on the fourth Thursday of each month (except June, July and August) at 10:30 a.m. in the Fellowship Room of the Leander Presbyterian Church, 101 N. West St., Leander, unless there is a special event planned. Following a program and short business meeting, there is a pot-luck luncheon. To confirm the meeting place and time, please call President Kathleen Tully at 512-422-8580 or email LeanderGardenClub@gmail.com .
The Dallas County Master Gardeners meet the
fourth Thursday of each month
at 11:30 a.m. For location and program information, visit
or contact The Helpdesk, M-F, 8 to 4:30 214-904-3053.
The Arlington Organic Garden Club meets from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. on the
last Thursday of each month
(except November and December) at the Bob Duncan Center, 2800 S. Center Street, Arlington. For more information, contact David at 817-483-7746.
The Peckerwood Garden Conservation Foundation, 20559 F.M. 359, Hempstead, hosts a garden Open Days from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the fourth Saturday of each month. Drop-in tours are permitted but pre-registration is encouraged. Docent led tours are $10 for guests, free for members. For more information, http://peckerwoodgarden.org/explore/visit-peckerwood-garden/.
Dallas: The Greater Dallas Organic Garden Club meets at 2:30 p.m. on the fourth Sunday of each month (except November and December) at North Haven Gardens, 7700 Northaven Road, Dallas. For more information, visit www.gdogc.org.
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