September 23, 2020
  
Honeybee nutrition might be key to healthy populations
 
By Gabe Saldana 
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service
 
A newly funded Texas A&M AgriLife Research project seeks to slow population losses among more than 2.6 million managed honeybee colonies in the U.S.
 
Honeybee
Honeybees provide pollination services that uphold $16 billion in U.S. agricultural crops. However, managed colonies have seen annual declines. Those include a 40% decline as recently as 2018-2019, said Juliana Rangel, Ph.D, AgriLife Research honeybee scientist in the Department of Entomology, Bryan-College Station.
 
The declines are attributed to several general issues, including poor nutrition and susceptibility to pathogens and diseases, said Pierre Lau, AgriLife Research graduate assistant, and a Texas A&M University doctoral candidate in Rangel's laboratory.
 
Lau is also the project leader. To prevent future managed colony losses, his team will look for ways to strengthen bee colony immunity to disease pathogens by feeding them more nutritious diets.
 
The project is supported by a U.S. Department of Agriculture pre-doctoral fellowship titled "Optimizing Macronutrient Contents in the Honeybee Diet as a Mechanism for Pathogen Defense."
 
The research team includes Lau, Texas A&M graduate student Alexandria Payne, undergraduate students Cora Garcia and Jordan Gomez, along with Rangel. Spencer Behmer, Ph.D., AgriLife Research professor in the Texas A&M department of entomology, is also part of the team, as is his postdoctoral research associate Pierre Lesne, Ph.D.
 
Focusing on macronutrients
 
Researchers will place heavy focus on macronutrients, which are those nutrients in the highest demand by a healthy body for proper metabolism and physiology, Lau said.
 
His team's work will be to first understand the varying amounts of proteins and lipids, or macronutrient ratios, present in bees' diets. They will work to optimize an ideal diet with varying ratios of macronutrients, then they will observe physiological benefits to bees that receive increasingly nutritious dietary mixes.
 
Commercial honeybee colonies succumb especially to Nosema ceranae and deformed wing virus. Nosema ceranae, a fungal pathogen, causes a fatal intestinal disease, while deformed wing virus causes death due to developmental complications in heavily infected adults, particularly due to crumpled wings.
 
Besides pathogens and diseases, Lau said, honeybee declines within agroecosystems - which describe most agricultural crop scenarios - can also come from parasitization, poor queen health, pesticide exposure and landscape fragmentation.
 
As such, in addition to immunity, the researchers will investigate how nutritional changes affect expression of genes that mediate proper honeybee development and growth.
 
Honeybee nutrition likely lacking
 
"We know that pollen is the most important source of nourishment for bees, but as a field of research, we have a poor understanding of all the macronutrients that make up pollen," Lau said.
 
At the same time, Lau and collaborators, in an unpublished study, were able to determine the nutritional content of certain pollens. In the same study, they noted that honeybees preferred pollen with a lower ratio of protein to lipids, or P:L ratio, than what would be currently available in the beekeeping industry. Moreover, Lau said, existing research shows that organisms naturally seek out pathogen-fighting nutrients in their surroundings.
 
"Does this mean that honeybees can alter their macronutrient intake to self-medicate and increase their tolerance to a pathogen, given the availability?" Lau said. "It could also be that the role of lipids is more significant than we understand."
 
Additionally, Rangel said, honeybees need certain plants in the vicinity to help them with physiological processes. Those include metabolizing certain macro and micronutrients. What if those plants are not available in a crop system?
 
"We know that honeybees need variety in their diet," Rangel said. "But, to what extent are certain nutrients required, or even sought after, by the bees for proper nourishment?"
 
"Can we introduce supplemental macronutrients that allow honeybees to self-medicate in the presence of pathogen infections?" Lau added. "This will be our focus for the next two years."
AgriLife Extension provides tips to help reduce possibility of foodborne illness

By Paul Schattenberg
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

Recent instances of salmonella contamination in some produce have led to widespread recalls and heightened consumer concern over food safety.
 
One of the recent instances of salmonella was in peaches from out of state. (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo)
"Occasionally, fresh fruits and vegetables can become contaminated with harmful bacteria or viruses, which are also known as pathogens," said Juan Anciso, Ph.D., Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service vegetable specialist at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Weslaco. "Some examples of these are salmonella, E. coli and hepatitis A."
 
Anciso said within the past few months, instances of salmonella contamination in out-of-state produce, especially peaches and red onions, have caused consumers everywhere to be more wary about the safety of the produce they buy for themselves and their families.
 
"Contamination can occur at any point from the field to the table, so it's often difficult to determine precisely where the produce may have come in contact with the pathogen," he said.
 
"While farms and processing facilities have safety guidelines they are required to follow, the process of bringing produce from field to the table can be complicated and each step presents an opportunity for contamination."
 
Anciso said E. coli and salmonella contamination are related to fecal material, which can come from large animals that wonder into fields, rodents that infiltrate storage or processing facilities or inadequately filtered irrigation water.
 
"Fruits and vegetables contaminated with these pathogens can cause foodborne illness with symptoms that include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headaches and fever," he said.
 
Food handling for safety

Rebecca Dittmar, AgriLife Extension program specialist in nutrition, Kerrville, said vigilance and proper handling and washing practices can greatly reduce the risk of foodborne illness from fresh produce.
 
"You should thoroughly rinse fresh produce with fresh water just before you eat or prepare it to be eaten," she said. "Use running water to rinse only the fruits and vegetables you plan to eat immediately or in the very near future."
 
Dittmar said fruits and vegetables with a firm skin should be rubbed by hand or scrubbed with a clean brush while rinsing under running water.
 
"Soft fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes should be rubbed gently to loosen the dirt," she said. "Remove and throw away the outer leaves of lettuce and cabbage before washing them."
 
In a word of caution, Anciso noted that while thorough washing of fruits and vegetables before consumption is a good common-sense practice and can eliminate most pathogens from the surface of produce, it's still not a "foolproof" method for eliminating all pathogens such as salmonella and E. coli.
 
Food safety guidance while shopping

Dittmar said when shopping for fresh produce, avoid items that are bruised, damaged or moldy or that show signs of insect damage.
 
"Bruises and cuts may allow pathogens to enter a fruit or vegetable," she said. "And damaged produce typically spoils faster. If you can't find good-quality fresh produce, using canned or frozen fruits and vegetables may be an option."
 
She said when shopping for pre-cut fresh fruits and vegetables, buy only those that are refrigerated or surrounded by ice and avoid any damaged items and open or torn packages.
 
"Check the use-by or sell-by dates on packages of pre-cut fruits and vegetables and do not eat them after the date shown on the package," Dittmar said.
 
She said keep fresh produce separate from raw beef, poultry, fish and seafood in the shopping cart or when it is bagged.
 
"Place raw meats in plastic bags as blood and juice from raw meat may contain pathogens that could contaminate fresh fruits and vegetables," she said. "And keep fresh produce away from any household chemicals in the shopping cart and in the grocery bags."
 
Safe storage at room temperature

Dittmar offered the following tips for safe storage of produce at room temperature:
  • Do not wash produce before storing but only when you are ready to use it. However, if the produce is dirty when purchased, rinse and then dry well before storing.
  • Keep storage areas clean and free of insects. Store fruits and vegetables in bowls, bins or mesh bags off the floor.
  • Keep produce in a cool, dry, dark place. Do not store near heat sources such as ovens, water heaters and hot water pipes or in direct sunlight.
  • Store fresh fruits and vegetables away from household cleaning products as these may be toxic.
  • Do not place heavy items on top of fruits and vegetables because bruising can cause spoilage.
  • Check stored fruits and vegetables often and throw out items that show signs of spoilage.
Safe storage in the refrigerator

"All fruits and vegetables should be stored in the refrigerator once they are cut or peeled," Dittmar said. "And pre-cut fruits and vegetables bought at the store should also be refrigerated immediately."
 
She offered these additional tips for safe storage of produce in the refrigerator:
  • Do not wash whole fruits and vegetables before storing them.
  • Store all fruits and vegetables in the crisper or produce drawer and do not overload the crisper. It is best to buy only the amount of produce you will use within a few days.
  • Cover cut fruits and vegetables tightly with plastic wrap or store in sealed plastic bags or clean, air-tight containers.
  • Keep fruits and vegetables separate from raw beef, poultry, fish and seafood. Place raw meats on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator in a tray or pan to prevent blood or juices from dripping onto fresh produce.
  • Keep refrigerator temperature 40 degrees or lower.
  • Clean the refrigerator as needed, throwing out any spoiled food. Wipe spills with hot, soapy water.
Food safety tips while preparing produce

Dittmar said when preparing fresh fruits and vegetables, all utensils, countertops and cutting boards should first be washed with hot, soapy water and sanitized with a mixture of one teaspoon of chlorine bleach in one quart of water.
 
Make sure all surfaces and utensils are clean when preparing produce. (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo)
"It's especially important to wash and sanitize cutting boards and utensils that have been in contact with raw meat before you use them to prepare fresh produce," she said.
 
Dittmar also provided these additional tips on preparing produce for consumption:
  • Wash all whole fruits and vegetables before preparing them-even if the skin or rind will not be eaten.
  • Wash fruits and vegetables in clean, running water and do not use detergents, soaps or bleach.
  • To wash berries, parsley and greens, put them in a clean colander and spray them with a kitchen sink sprayer. You can also gently turn the produce as you hold it under running water.
  • Once cut or peeled, fresh produce should be refrigerated within two hours. If it is left at room temperature for more than two hours, throw it away.
"If you purchase good-quality fruits and vegetables, store them properly and wash them thoroughly, you can greatly reduce the chance of foodborne illness," Dittmar said.
Connect outside this fall: It's the safe place to spend time and it's good for you
 
The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute
 
Fall is nearly here, and you can boost your health and connect with nature, your friends and your family by getting outside and into green space.
 
"Due to the pandemic, we are gaining a fuller understanding of the importance of the outdoors - from our yard and parks to school yards and sports fields. They are essential to our well-being and to nature, itself," said Kris Kiser, President of the TurfMutt Foundation, which directs the TurfMutt environmental education and stewardship program, and The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI).
 
TurfMutt has advocated the importance of managed landscapes and other green space as critical to human health and happiness for over a decade.
 
"We are reconnecting to the family yard in a way we haven't seen for many years," said Kiser. He noted that time spent in green space like your yard, is really good for you.
 
"Research shows that time spent outside reduces stress for adults and children alike," said Kiser. With indoor gatherings limited in many areas and many people eager to see family and friends, the safest place to spend a fall evening catching up and socializing is your yard.
 
Reconnect with yourself and others. Unplug from your computer, television, and smartphone by getting outside. Disconnecting from electronics, to-do lists and the news cycle lets you re-connect to nature, family and friends.
 
Burn more calories. A brisk walk around the block or a few minutes of yard work can help you drop the extra "COVID 15" weight that many have added while sheltering at home during the pandemic. Exercising and exertion in cooler temperatures also burns more calories.
 
Get a happiness boost. Fall afternoons in the yard are great for soaking up sunshine and natural Vitamin D, which can improve your mood and support overall health.
 
Give your eyes a break. We spend a lot of time looking at screens - on our TVs, computers, tablets and smartphones. This can overstimulate our eyes and lead to nearsightedness. Just walking outside, you give your eyes an opportunity to relax and widen their focus, as they look at the ground in front of you and to the landscape around you.
 
Boost your energy. Spending time in nature and breathing fresh air increases energy levels in 90 percent of people, according to research.
 
Stimulate your brain. Fall yard work in cooler weather, such as digging in planting beds, mulching leaves, aerating soil and planting trees or shrubs is all good for your brain. Research shows people perform tasks better when temperatures are cooler. Go for a brisk walk around the neighborhood or do a few minutes of yard work.
Gardening tips

It's time to treat St. Augustine grass with an approved fungicide to prevent Brown Patch. To discourage fungus, avoid watering in late afternoon. 
   
Have a favorite gardening tip you'd like to share? Texas Gardener's Seeds is seeking brief gardening tips from Texas gardeners to use in future issues. If we publish your tip in Seeds, we will send you a copy of Texas Gardener's 2021 Planning Guide & Calendar. Please send your tips of 50 words or less to the editor at: Gardening Tips.
Upcoming garden events
 
If you would like your organization's events included in "Upcoming Garden Events" or would like to make a change to a listed event, please contact us at Garden Events. To ensure inclusion in this column, please provide complete details at least three weeks prior to the event.

The COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak has caused the cancellation of many events. Because SEEDS has a long lead time, events listed below may have already been cancelled. We strongly encourage you to take care of yourself by practicing social distancing. If you do wish to attend any of the events listed below, please contact the presenters in advance to determine if the event has been cancelled or if it will take place as planned.
SEPTEMBER

Online: Home Grown Lecture Series:Cool Kids Plan Projects by Brandi Keller, Harris County Master Gardener Program Coordinator, Thursday, Sept. 24, 10:00-10:30 a.m.,Free Virtual Lecture. Register through Eventbrite at homegrown2020september.eventbrite.com. Deadline to register is at 8:00 a.m. For more information, visit hcmga.tamu.edu.

Longview: Gregg County Master Gardener's (GCMGA) annual Fall Plant Sale will be held on Saturday, September 26, from 9 a.m.-noon at the Longview Arboretum, 706 W. Cotton St., Longview. Shoppers will find a variety of indoor and outdoor plants, ground covers, native plants, bulbs, succulents and more. All plants are propagated by members and many will be plants not usually found at local big box stores. Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer plant care and gardening questions. Arrive early for best selection and find treasures to add color and beauty to your home and garden. For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/greggcountymastergardeners/ or call the Gregg County Master Gardeners Association at (903) 236-8429.

Online: Gulf Coast Lecture Series:Citrus Varieties by Stephen Brueggerhoff, AgriLife Extension Horticulture Agent in Brazoria County, Wednesday, Sept. 30, 10:00-10:30 a.m. Free Virtual Lecture, For more information, visit hcmga.tamu.edu. Register at gardeningonthegulf.eventbrite.com.
OCTOBER

Online: As one of the most famous rose breeders, David Austin introduced more than 190 rose cultivars during his lifetime. Many of them not only send out beautiful blooms but also have wonderful fragrance. At the HRS monthly meeting in April, 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. She's also a great speaker giving talks across United States. This meeting will be a virtual meeting held at GoToMeeting on October 8 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. (CDT). Joint meeting using computer, tablet or smartphone with access code: 508-500-077 https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/508500077 or you can also dial in using your phone. United States: +1 (312) 757-3121. For more information, visit www.houstonrose.org.

Buda & Dripping Springs: Hays County Master Gardeners will host their annual Plant and Tree Sale on Sunday, October 11, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Buda Farmers Market and Wednesday, October 14, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at  Dripping Springs Farmers MarketThis year they will feature native and adapted perennials, herbs and Texas SuperstarHCMGA will also be selling Ornamental & Small Trees and Shade Trees on a preorder only basis. Details and order forms are available on the HCMGA website. To ensure availability, order early. The last date to order trees is September 30, 2020. While we remain optimistic, we cannot guarantee that this sale will occur as scheduled due to the uncertainties around COVID-19. Payment for trees will be accepted from September 1-30, closer to the actual sale date. Payment must be received by September 30 in order to take delivery at the Dripping Springs Farmers Market on October 14, 2020. Payment may be made by cash or check.

Online: Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and the Fort Bend County Master Gardeners will be hosting the last two 2020 classes of the popular Grow Your Own program using an online format. Saturday, October 17, Fruit Trees - what to grow in Fort Bend CountySaturday, November 14,Composting - benefits and how to compost. Online classes will begin at 9:00 a.m., last approximately 1½ hours, and include a question and answer session. The registration fee is $15 per class and registration is required at least two days prior to the class date. For more information and to register visit https://fortbend.agrilife.org/grow-your-own/ or contact Brandy Rader by phone at (281) 342-3034 or by email at Brandy.rader@ag.tamu.edu. All registrants, including those who signed up earlier in the year, will receive instructions on joining the online class via email a few days in advance of the class.
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. 
 
FIRST WEEK
 
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 Presbyterian Church Family Life Center, 302 Nolan Street, Navasota. If not meeting at the church, a change of meeting notice will be placed on the door of the Family Life Building. Guests are welcome. Members are from Grimes County and surrounding counties.
  
Allen: The Allen Garden Club meets at 7 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month, February through December, at the Allen Heritage Center, 100 E. Main St., Allen. For more information, visit 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/.
 
SECOND WEEK
 
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.org 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.
 
THIRD WEEK
 
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/lindheimerNote: 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.
 
FOURTH WEEK
 
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 http://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