Dorothy Shippen, Ph.D. and post-doctoral fellow Borja Barbero Barcenilla are leading a study to determine how space radiation affects plants. (Courtesy photo)
Texas A&M-led, NASA-funded study investigates plant survival on long space missions
By Adam Russell
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service
The future of space exploration depends on plants.
Rockets and other exploratory technology can take astronauts to the moon and beyond, but plants will sustain their trips over longer periods. As NASA explores the potential for longer space flights, continued stays on the International Space Station or even the future colonization of the moon or planets like Mars, their scientists know that plants are needed for survival.
From food and water purification to carbon dioxide removal and oxygen production, plants are the foundation of humanity’s life on Earth and beyond.
However, exposure to extreme environmental factors related to space travel, including microgravity and space radiation, impacts biological systems like plants.
Researchers in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the Texas A&M College of Agriculture and Life Sciences are striving to understand the largely unknown effects of these extreme conditions in space.
The impact of radiation on plant telomeres
Dorothy Shippen, Ph.D., University Distinguished Professor and Regents Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, is leading a study to determine how radiation exposure in space impacts plant telomeres, which are basic building blocks in the DNA at the very ends of chromosomes. Much like plastic tips on shoelaces prevent the lace from fraying, telomeres help keep chromosomes stable and healthy.
Telomeres are not static, Shippen said. They contract and expand due to environmental stressors, and if they get outside the normal size range, they lose their protective function. There is evidence in plants and humans that chromosomes become unstable when telomeres get too short, and various cancers in humans are associated with telomeres lengthening.
NASA is interested in learning how and why some of the extreme stressors in space, particularly space radiation like gamma and cosmic rays, impact plants. This is where the Shippen Lab at Texas A&M saw an opportunity to contribute.
“Plants are obviously very important for space travel, and so from a practical point of view we want to understand how we can help them survive the extreme conditions of space,” Shippen said. “There is so much we don’t know, but this telomere research will answer some of the basic questions we have related to plants and space radiation.”
The team and the study
Shippen is known internationally for her pioneering work in establishing the plant Arabidopsis thaliana as a model for telomere biology. She will act as principal investigator and team with collaborators Sarah Wyatt, Ph.D., at Ohio University and Susan Bailey, Ph.D., at Colorado State University.
Wyatt is an international leader in plant molecular biology who has been involved in several spaceflight experiments with Arabidopsis. Bailey is a renowned radiation biologist who first reported changes in telomere length dynamics associated with a long-duration mission by astronaut Scott Kelly during the NASA Twins Study.
Borja Barbero Barcenilla, a postdoctoral fellow in the Shippen Lab, will conduct experiments and collect data for the study.
The team’s specific goals are to assess the impact of space radiation on oxidation status, telomere length dynamics and genome stability in plants.
“There is interest in telomeres because they are linked to survivability, and it turns out the environment can influence the size of telomeric DNA tract,” Shippen said. “The telomeres are like a reporter for the physiological health of organisms and a biomarker for their ability to be healthy. We are interested in understanding how plants respond to the stress of space radiation and then figure out how to protect them.”
Space radiation’s impact on plants
The research team hypothesizes that exposure to space radiation triggers genome oxidation and an increase in the activity of telomerase, a specialized enzyme responsible for maintaining telomeric DNA. The preliminary data suggests a strong connection between them.
The preliminary data of Shippen and Wyatt was gathered from Arabidopsis seedlings sent into low Earth orbit on a previous space flight. The team showed that the telomere lengths of the plants did not change, but that telomerase activity increased significantly – at least 150-fold. This unexpected finding suggests the telomerase enzyme may play some protective role during space travel.
The NASA-funded research will allow Shippen’s team to send their own plants into space in the future and perform radiation experiments in laboratories that will mimic the environment plants might be exposed to in space.
Land plants may, in fact, be very well equipped to go to space because they are remarkably tolerant to a broad range of environmental stresses on Earth like drought, disease and pests, she said. The researchers are interested to see how space radiation impacts plants directly from seed to flower. In addition, the team will collect seeds and test the progeny to see how radiation affects plants across generations. Chronic exposure to space radiation is expected to pepper the plant genome with mutations.
Our need to learn more
Scientists have learned many things about how plants react to microgravity environments through experiments designed by the Wyatt lab for flights to the International Space Station.
But little is known about how plants react to space radiation, Barcenilla said. He expects Arabidopsis plants involved in the project will be aboard a flight to the International Space Station sometime in 2024.
“This is all very new, and we need to understand how this exposure to radiation plays out,” Barcenilla said. “Right now, the level of radiation these samples were exposed to in our preliminary experiments in low Earth orbit aboard the International Space Station are much less than what they will suffer on the moon or Mars. The radiation exposure will exponentially increase on those missions, so we need to understand how plants will react to the much higher levels of radiation.”
An important first step
Barcenilla said the study is an important step forward for space travel but could also help scientists better understand how plants react and adapt to stressors here on Earth.
Intentionally exposing plants to radiation has led to beneficial mutations for plant breeding purposes, with the goal of generating plant varieties better suited to contend with a variety of stressors, he said.
“In the end, we are trying to develop better, smarter ways to help plants withstand stressors,” he said. “It just happens that we are studying stressors that are very, very harsh on plant DNA. So, the mutations that benefit us in space can also benefit us here on Earth.”
Shippen said it is exciting the project has classical agriculture and engineering components focused on revealing basic science for an innovative field like interstellar travel. But the research may also advance scientific understanding about how space travel can impact other biological systems, including humans, and offer insights into adaptations.
“I think we are in a really good position to deliver some interesting data,” she said. “We have the right collaborators, and we feel privileged that NASA sees the value in these experiments and trusts us with them.”
Editor's Note: Gardening news is slow at the beginning of the year, and many gardeners are unable to work in their gardens during winter. We thought you might enjoy a change of pace during this slow season, so following is a gardening-themed short story presented for your enjoyment. — Michael Bracken, editor
By John M. Floyd
Deputy Ed Malone was heading across the lobby of the sheriff’s office when retired schoolteacher and amateur crimefighter Frances Valentine strolled in. “Am I glad to see you,” he said to her.
“You charming devil,” Fran said. “Where’s the sheriff?”
“She’s out of town till Friday. I figured she’d told you.”
Fran sighed. “Sheriff Valentine might be my daughter, but that doesn’t mean she keeps me up to date.” She looked around and said, “So you’re the head fred, today. How does it feel?”
“Not too good. Follow me — I might need your advice.” With that, he opened the door of the sheriff’s office, where a middle-aged woman in a John Deere cap sat frowning at an older lady and a man with his left ankle in a cast. Fran knew them: the first woman was Colleen Johnson and the couple were Ms. Johnson’s neighbors, Herb Hillman and his wife Pearl. Deputy Malone asked them if Fran could sit in on the discussion, and then — when they’d agreed — asked Mr. Hillman to speak first.
“It started last week, when I put a sign in my wife’s cantaloupe patch,” Herb said.
“Sign?” Malone asked.
“It said, THIEVES BEWARE: ONE OF THESE MELONS HAS DONE BEEN POISONED. It was meant to keep kids from stealing the missus’s cantaloupes. I didn’t really poison nothin’. Anyhow, next day Pearl and me saw that two words on my sign had been crossed out and changed. Now the sign said, YOU BEWARE: TWO OF THESE MELONS HAS DONE BEEN POISONED.”
Fran chuckled, and even Malone grinned a little.
“It ain’t a laughin’ matter,” Herb growled. “Far’s I knew, somebody’d done really poisoned one.” He added, pointing at Ms. Johnson, “And I figured right then it was CollieBaby who changed the sign.”
Colleen Miller, Fran knew, had grown up the youngest of seven girls, and had been called CollieBaby since an early age. She’d taken the late Alvin Johnson’s last name when they got married, but her nickname had stuck. Ms. Johnson nodded and said, “I confess, I changed it. I thought it was funny. I didn’t poison nothing, though.”
“That ain’t true, Deputy,” Pearl said.
“So you think Ms. Johnson did tamper with one of the melons?” Malone asked.
“Don’t know. But it ain’t true she done it just to be funny. She done it so I’d be scared to enter them cantaloupes at the competition in the state fair next month.” Pearl glared at her and added, “CollieBaby grows cantaloupes too, and I bet she wanted to be sure hers’ll win the prize.”
Ms. Johnson groaned. “This ain’t even why we’re here today. Admit it, why don’t you? — we’re here because you two got mad at me and drove your big ugly truck through my tomato garden last night.”
“We did no such thing.”
“One of you did. I got proof. My neighbor, Daisy Landers, told me she saw your red-splattered pickup leaving my place late last night. She couldn’t see a face, but she said there was just one person — the driver — in the truck.”
Deputy Malone said, “How was Daisy sure it was the Hillmans’s pickup?”
“Everybody around here knows it on sight. Old gray Ford, rusted top, stick shift, LSU bumper sticker.” Ms. Johnson gave Pearl Hillman a stare. “I enter my tomatoes every year at the fair too, like they do, and them tearin’ up my plants keeps me from competing against ’em.”
Malone looked at Fran. “Ms. Valentine, could we step outside a minute?”
When they’d reached the lobby he said, “Cantaloupes? Tomatoes? CollieBaby?”
“You’re from up north,” she said. “Southerners like nicknames.”
He rubbed his eyes wearily. “I wonder what the sheriff would do, here.”
“I know what she’d do,” Fran said. “She’d have a doughnut and wave goodbye to all three of them.”
“Should I do that?”
She sighed. “Ed, there’s been bad feelings between the Hillmans and CollieBaby Johnson for ten years. This isn’t about sabotage, or winning ribbons at the state fair. This is just neighbors who don’t like each other.”
“So I think you should tell the Hillmans to either end this feud right now, apologize for what was done to Ms. Johnson’s tomatoes, and pay her for the damages — or face the consequences.”
“Justice for the destruction of property — a person’s crop. That’s a crime.”
“But who would I arrest?” he said.
“Do you agree that we know, through the eyewitness, that it was the Hillmans’s pickup?”
“Sure. But we don’t know for sure which one was the driver.”
Fran smiled. “Doesn’t matter. They’re probably both guilty. But the driver was Pearl.”
“How do you know?”
“Because I have two eyes, and I can see Herb has a broken left ankle. He couldn’t have operated the clutch on a stick-shift transmission.”
Malone thought that over and listened for a moment to the shouting voices on the other side of the door.
“You think the Hillmans will apologize?” he asked.
“Nope. I think you’ll have to make an arrest.”
His shoulders sagged. “That means I’d have to find the keys to the cell.”
Fran smiled again. “Nobody said sheriffing was easy.”
John M. Floyd’s short stories have appeared in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Strand Magazine, The Saturday Evening Post, four editions of Otto Penzler’s best-mysteries-of-the-year anthologies, and many other publications. A former Air Force captain and IBM systems engineer, John is also an Edgar nominee, a Shamus Award winner, a five-time Derringer Award winner, and the author of seven collections of short mystery fiction.
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 or rescheduling of many events these past few years. If you wish to attend any of the events listed below, please contact the presenters in advance to determine if the event has been cancelled, postponed, moved online or if it will take place as scheduled.
Conroe: Montgomery County Master Gardener Fruit and Nut Tree Sale, Saturday, January 28, presentation at 8, sale begins at 9 a.m. til noon. Live and in person! Come get your fruit and nut tree and other good plants. The plant catalog is ready and open for viewing at this link: mcmga.square.site/shop. AgriLife Extension Office, 9020 Airport Road, Conroe, 936-539-7824, mcmga.com.
"Backyard Poultry Fundamentals" will be presented by Shannon Dietz, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Agent-Horticulture, at 10:00 a.m., Thursday, February 2
. This virtual presentation is free, but registration is required: https://homegrown2023a.eventbrite
Galveston: Fri., February 10, Noon-Sat., February 11, Noon: SPRING PLANT SALE. Choose from hundreds of plants adapted to the Texas Gulf Coast growing area. Visit the Galveston County Master Gardeners’ online store for more details: https://galveston.agrilife.org/horticulture/
Galveston: Sat., February 11: URBAN ORCHARD SERIES: GROWING PEACHES IN GALVESTON COUNTY with Galveston County Master Gardener Herman Auer, 9-11:30 a.m. For additional details, visit https://galveston.agrilife.org/horticulture/ or call 281-309-5065.
Galveston: Sat., February 11: VEGGIE GARDEN SERIES: IRISH POTATOES with Galveston County Master Gardener Kevin Lancon, 1-3 p.m. For additional details, visit https://galveston.agrilife.org/horticulture/ or call 281-309-5065.
Houston: Weather permitting, the annual Houston Rose Society February Rose Pruning Demonstration will be held outdoors at 2:00 p.m., February 11, in person, in the St. Andrew’s Church courtyard at St. Andrew’s Church, 1819 Heights Blvd., Houston. Participants are encouraged to bring their pruning shears and gloves to the event. Immediately following the pruning demonstration, participants are invited and encouraged to assist in pruning the rose bushes located throughout the St. Andrew’s church grounds.
Galveston: Thu., February 16: URBAN ORCHARD SERIES: PRUNING APPLE TREES with Galveston County Master Gardeners Robert Marshall and Herman Auer, 9-11 a.m. For additional details, visit https://galveston.agrilife.org/horticulture/ or call 281-309-5065.
Galveston: Sat., February 18: URBAN ORHARD SERIES: GROWING AVOCADOS with Galveston County Master Gardener Hazel Lampton, 9-11 a.m. For additional details, visit https://galveston.agrilife.org/horticulture/ or call 281-309-5065.
Galveston: Thu., February 23: URBAN ORCHARD SERIES: PRUNING PEAR TREES with Robert Marshall and Herman Auer, 9-11 a.m. For additional details, visit https://galveston.agrilife.org/horticulture/ or call 281-309-5065.
Gonzales: The Gonzales Master Gardeners will hold their annual Tomato/Vegetable Sale on Saturday, February 25, where they will be selling tomatoes, peppers and other vegetables. The sale will take place at PACE (Plantatarium: A Center for Exploration). This is the GMG building located at 623 N. Fair Street (between the Gonzales Elementary School and Bus Barn). The sale will be held inside from 8:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. The number of people in the building will be limited at any given time. For more information, contact Shirley Frazier at email@example.com or call 830-857-3634.
Round Top: The Herb Society of America, Pioneer Unit’s Annual Plant and Gift Sale. Friday, March 17, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday, March 18, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Bring your carts and wagons to Round Top Festival Institute to fill with plants from our annual plant and gift sale. Replace those plants that didn't make it through the winter with items from our great selection of bedding plants, herbs, shrubs and succulents. You'll find new varieties and old favorites in the plant sale as well as lovely garden gifts and delicious food items in the Thyme Well Spent Shop. Admission is free. 248 Jaster Road, Round Top. See http://herbsocietypioneer.org/events or call 832-867-9617.
Jacksonville: Cherokee County Master Gardeners Spring Conference will be held March 25, 2023, 1:00-4:00 at the First Christian Church, 1920 Beaumont, Jacksonville. For questions contact Brenda Sheridan at 903-571-7417.
Galveston: The Young Gardeners Program is a school garden and healthy eating program operating on Galveston and the Bolivar Peninsula. Every Saturday, 9-11 a.m., they host a garden Community Day at one of the schools. It's an opportunity for community members to work and play in the garden and it's kid-friendly. First Saturday - Crenshaw, 416 State Hwy 87, Crystal Beach; Second Saturday - Rosenberg Elementary, 721 10th St., Galveston; Third Saturday - Morgan Elementary, 1410 37th St., Galveston; Fourth Saturday - Oppe Elementary, 2915 81st St., Galveston.
If you would like your organization's events included in "Monthly Meetings" or would like to make a change to a listed meeting, please contact us at Monthly Meetings. To ensure inclusion in this column, please provide complete details.
Jasper: The Jasper County Master Gardeners meet on the first Monday of each month at St. Michael's Catholic Church from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. The evening begins with pot luck social and then guest presentations and/or educational class to conclude. Visit https://jasper.agrilife.org/jasper-master-gardeners/ to verify meeting date for any given month, as circumstances could require a change, and to find information on the speaker and topic scheduled for each meeting; Visit https://mastergardener.tamu.edu/become/ to become a member.
Kaufman: The Kaufman County Master Gardener Association meets the first Monday of each month (second Monday if the first is a holiday) the First Community Church at 1402 Trinity Drive in Crandall. An educational program begins at 10 a.m., followed by the business meeting. For topic and additional information, visit http://www.kcmga.org/ and check Events. Refreshments will be available. For more information or to ask about accommodations, call 469-376-4520, or email Jackie Robertson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 each month, at 11:30 a.m., September-May, at the Schulenburg First Baptist Church Fellowship Hall, 110 Upton Ave., Schulenburg.
Corpus Christi: The Coastal Bend Cactus and Succulent Society meets the first Wednesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. at the Garden Senior Center, 5325 Greely Dr., Corpus Christi. The purpose is to stimulate an interest in cactus and succulent plants by providing a forum to foster and broaden knowledge of the plants. Join the society on Facebook: Coastal Bend Cactus & Succulent Society.
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 email@example.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.
Gonzales: 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
Marion: The Guadalupe Chapter, Native Plant Society of Texas meets on the second Tuesday of each month except July, August and December at St. John Lutheran Church in Marion. Directions to St. John 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 always welcome. For more information or an application to join NPSOT contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Or visit https://npsot.org/wp/guadalupe/
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 email@example.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 meeting is held on the second Wednesday of each each month at noon at the Central Presbyterian Church, 9191 Woodway Dr., Woodway. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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. at Peace Lutheran Church, Fellowship Hall, 2201 Rio Grande Blvd., 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.
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 Johnson. County Agricultural Office, 109 W. Chambers, 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.
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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alvarado: The Alvarado Garden Club meets on the third Tuesday of each month during the months of September through May (excluding December). The meeting time is 1 p.m. and the locations vary for each meeting. The club hosts a different and exciting speaker each month that focuses on enriching the lives of all gardeners. Meetings are free and include a light lunch. The public is invited to attend. For additional information, please contact 817-680-4291.
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.
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 email@example.com 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/.
Waco: The McLennan County Master Gardeners host Lunch with the Masters on the third Wednesday of each month at noon at MCC’s Emergency Services Education Center (ESEC), 7601 Steinbeck Bend Dr., Waco. These educational programs are free and open to the public. Attendees bring their own lunch. For more information, call 254-757-5180.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.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 Houston Arboretum, 4501 Woodway, Houston. For more information about meeting presentations and native plants, visit https://npsot.org/wp/houston/.
The Fannie Marchman Garden Club meets at the Mineola Civic Center, 9:30-11:30 a.m. the third Wednesday of each month
from September through May. For additional information, find them on Facebook or email FannieMarchmanGardenClub@gmail.com
Ft. Worth: The North Texas Daylily Society is affiliated with the American Daylily Society and is located in AHS Region 6. Club meetings are held in the Camellia Room located inside the Fort Worth Botanic Garden, 3220 Botanic Garden Blvd, on the third Thursday of each month (excluding June and July). Throughout the year NTDS hosts guest speakers, special interest programs, an annual daylily show, an annual daylily sale, and social activities and outings. For more information visit, their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/northtexasdaylilysociety.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 New Braunfels Public Library, 700 E. Common St, New Braunfels. Meetings are “hybrid” with in-person and Zoom available. They start at 5:45 PM. with a meet and greet time, followed by a short business meeting at 6:15 PM. Programs begin at 6:30 PM. 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 about Zoom or to join, visit https://npsot.org/wp/newbraunfels/
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 County Extension Office, 4153 County Park Ct., 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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
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.
Denton: The Trinity Forks Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas meets the fourth Thursday of each month to share information about native plants. Excellent programs are heard each month. Social time begins at 6:30, program at 7:00 p.m. For more information, visit https://npsot.org/wp/trinityforks/.
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.
Texas Gardener's Seeds is published weekly. © Suntex Communications, Inc. 2023. 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.
Texas Gardener's Seeds, P.O. Box 1676, Brenham, Texas 77834-1676