Texas A&M AgriLife Researchers are collaborating on the creation of genetic tools that will help polyploid plant breeders speed up the hybridization process. Tools could be a game-changer for polyploid specialty crops such as roses and other food crops. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo)
AgriLife Research collaboration could be ‘game changer’ for polyploid breeders
By Adam Russell
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service
Texas A&M AgriLife Research plant breeders are collaborating with an international, interdisciplinary group of scientists to enhance a genetics tool set that could be a game-changer for breeding new varieties of polyploid plants such as potatoes, wheat and turfgrass.
David Byrne, Ph.D., AgriLife Research rose breeder and geneticist, and Oscar Riera-Lizarazu, Ph.D., AgriLife Research plant geneticist, both in the Texas A&M University Department of Horticulture Sciences, College Station, received more than $4.3 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture to develop tools for genomics-assisted breeding in polyploids.
The researchers said current genomic tools are available for diploid crops such as apples, but the technology for polyploid crops has lagged. “Polyploid” means these plants have more than two sets of chromosomes in their cells. Polyploid specialty crops like roses and food crops like potatoes have an annual value of more than $9 billion in the U.S. and many times greater globally.
Tools to help polyploid breeders
Despite their importance, scientists have yet to create and implement a genomics-assisted tool for polyploids. The major obstacles for using genomic tools, based on extensive researcher and stakeholder input, are the dearth of software suitable for polyploid crops, technical expertise to create a reliable tool, and training to broaden its use.
Byrne said the genomic tools they intend to create will accelerate the rate of genetic gains in a wide range of polyploid breeding programs, which will lead to higher quality, more productive and resilient cultivars. The software will map polyploid genes, essentially locating traits of interest and link those traits to the associated DNA.
The project’s goals are to develop computational tools for quantitative trait locus analyses, genomic selection and haplotype analysis in polyploid crops and then train breeders and geneticists to use the tools for application in public breeding programs for potato, blackberry, turfgrass, kiwi, sweet potato and rose production.
The Polyploid Breeding Community Resource website will serve as the repository for the computational toolsets, genomic information, training datasets and materials.
“We started the process a few years ago and this grant is the culmination of those planning activities,” Byrne said. “The whole concept started with roses and expanded to include polyploid crops in general and changing the fact that all the technology out there is aimed at diploids. There has been some work on polyploids — alfalfa, potatoes and roses — but nobody was really working together. We want to bring in groups working on specific tetraploid crops and talk about developing software to work on a wide range of polyploids.”
Why polyploid genomic tools could be a game-changer
Byrne said producing a reliable genomic tools to identify traits in polyploid crops would be a game-changer for breeders because it would significantly reduce the time it takes to produce hybridized varieties with targeted characteristics like disease resistance or heat and drought tolerance.
Riera-Lizarazu said tools designed for polyploids would allow huge steps for research analysis that can be done easily in diploids today.
“When we look at the rate of gain from selection, there has been a slowdown in polyploid crops actively bred,” Riera-Lizarazu said. “The rate of genetic gain is much lower than diploids, so by improving the tools we use for polyploids we should be able to increase genetic gains and improve the breeding of these crops.”
The traditional process begins by crossing parent plants — typically two or more varieties that express specific desired traits such as color and disease resistance. It takes one year to produce seed of that hybrid and another year to grow plants big enough to transplant in research trial plots.
It takes another two years to select the best plants that express the desired adaptation traits from those field trials at one location, Byrne said. Evaluation cycles typically last four to five years, and in the case of roses, two evaluation cycles are needed to find the best of the best plants that express the desired traits from a few thousand plants in trial plots.
“It takes at least 10 years from the initial cross-hybridization to evaluation,” he said. “So, you’re looking at 16 years to produce a new variety. And that is assuming we can get where we want in one generation. If I am putting several genes together for disease resistance from three to four different parent plants, it could take three to four generations of interbreeding to do that. The tool would accelerate those computational and molecular processes.”
A reliable polyploid computational and molecular tool could essentially cut that time in half, Byrne said.
“When you look at plants in the field you don’t always know what genes they have. You know what traits they have because you see them, but you really don’t know why,” Byrne said. “This will give us the ability to know why, and therefore we can make better decisions with respect to collecting the best seedlings or parents to make future generations.”
Putting the tools in the hands of breeders
Byrne said tools are available and are being rolled out to train breeders and then receive feedback to improve the usability. Some of the funding is directed at training the national and international pool of breeders.
“The training will be extensive,” he said. “But breeder input will ultimately take it from the programming and computational language to a format that is user-friendly for them.”
In the planning meeting held several years ago, the team determined what is lacking and identified gaps in the existing software and genomic tools used in diploid and polyploid research.
Now that the project secured funding, computational experts Jeff Endelman, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin; Marcelo Mollinari, Ph.D., and Zhao-Bang Zeng, Ph.D., North Carolina State University; Chris Maliepaard, Ph.D., and Roeland Voorrips, Ph.D., the University of Wageningen, Netherlands; and Susan Thomson, Ph.D., Plant and Food Research in New Zealand, will configure software to close those gaps and begin the validation process with the project breeders.
Breeding and plant genetics collaborators include Isabel Vales, Ph.D., and Patricia Klein, Ph.D., Texas A&M; Laura Shannon, Ph.D., University of Minnesota; Walter de Jong, Ph.D., Cornell University; Greg Porter, Ph.D., and Han Tan, Ph.D., University of Maine; and Sagar Sathuvalli, Oregon State University — all for potatoes; Margaret Worthington, Ph.D., University of Arkansas — blackberries; David Huff, Ph.D., Penn State — turfgrass; Susan Thomson, Ph.D., Plant and Food Research in New Zealand — kiwifruit; and Craig Yencho, Ph.D., North Carolina State University — sweet potatoes.
“We want to validate it by breeders in our training pool using it,” Byrne said. “We can input those datasets and figure out any changes that need to be made on the computational side and work through the process of proving the technology works.”
Limiting training to virtual classes due to COVID-19 will complicate the process, Byrne said. But the feedback via questionnaires and subsequent troubleshooting is necessary to make sure the software works.
“Genotyping technology has been improving rapidly,” he said. “It’s applicable to many crops, but one big improvement would be polyploid crops. If we can be remotely successful, then the returns could be incredible.”
The end product will be available on a community resource website managed by Washington State University, including software and manuals, training datasets and tutorials.
Facing challenges to meet global challenges
Byrne said the computation side of the tools’ development faced more obstacles because polyploids have twice as many chromosomes and genes as diploid plants to calculate probabilities.
Riera-Lizarazu said the challenge will be to finetune a tool and make it user-friendly. But incorporating collaborators with different perspectives on the analytical potential of a tool will maximize the benefits the software ultimately represents for users.
Ongoing computational work on polyploidy is being done in Wisconsin, North Carolina, the Netherlands and New Zealand, said Riera-Lizarazu. The AgriLife Research team, working in collaboration with teams from the University of Arkansas and Penn State, is working with datasets from rose, blackberry and turfgrass research trials and will be interacting with the other researchers and breeders working on potato, sweet potato and kiwi fruit to fine-tune the tools.
Riera-Lizarazu and Byrne hope a meeting in January will draw at least 75 of the 200 national and 100 international collaborators who have signed up to give input on the project.
Next year, developers will work to standardize phenotypic data and DNA sequencing and how the information is coded to make it more user-friendly, Byrne said.
Training of breeders and graduate and undergraduate students and colleagues will continue as the validation team and feedback to developers continue each year, Byrne said.
Byrne and Riera-Lizarazu said the receptiveness for the project is indicative of its importance to polyploid breeding programs around the globe. There is a high level of confidence that these tools will enable the development of polyploid plants with high quality, high yields and climate resiliency to meet the demands and challenges of climate change. They said its application in breeding programs will have far-reaching impacts on polyploid crops and their role in global economics, food security and sustainability.
Ready your outdoor living area for fall
The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute
Seasonal change is upon us and more homeowners are making their backyards purposeful for recreation, work and homeschooling while sheltering at home during the pandemic. The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), reminds new (and not so new) outdoor power equipment users to be courteous when cleaning up the family yard with leaf blowers, chainsaws, mowers, chippers, shredders and other outdoor power equipment.
“Keeping a neat and safe yard is more important than ever,” says Kris Kiser, President and CEO of OPEI. “We’ve seen record sales of outdoor power equipment this year — from mowers to leaf blowers — as homeowners realize their family yard is a safe space for outdoor gatherings, even during cooler months.”
When using outdoor power equipment, it’s important to read your owner’s manual and follow the manufacturer’s directions.
“If you are a first timer, learn all its safety features and be courteous of others when using it, especially a leaf blower,” adds Kiser. “With so many people working from home and schooling kids at home, timing your yard work so disturb others is just being a good neighbor.”
The outdoor power equipment industry is constantly innovating and homeowners will find outdoor power equipment that is cleaner and more efficient than ever before. Various power sources are also available including battery/electric, gasoline, propane, solar and hybrids. Regardless of a homeowner’s choice, outdoor power equipment will make quick work of leaves and overgrown grass, trees and shrubs—which is key to keeping the family yard a place for family and friend gatherings and as an extension of their home.
“In the fall, in particular, it’s important to clean up leaves,” notes Kiser. “Wet leaves can often be slick on hard surfaces proving a safety hazard, and leaf piles are a home for ticks.”
If you have a lot of leaves on your property, scientists from the Entomological Society of America recently recommended you remove those leaves from your lawn and any areas you use regularly to prevent ticks from using them for habitat over the winter. “The best thing to do is move them from highly trafficked areas and then shred and mulch them into the grass with a mulching mower.”
He adds, “However, when you are using your leaf blower and other equipment, it’s important to act responsibly. Remember all safety guidelines, and be courteous as to when you use it.”
Pay attention when using a leaf blower. Focus on the task at hand.
Stay outside. Leaf blowers should not be used indoors or in poorly ventilated areas.
Maintain space around you. Never point an operating leaf blower in the direction of people or pets. Make sure bystanders, including other people using leaf blowers, are at least 50 feet away before you turn on your leaf blower. Stop blowing if you are approached by someone.
Be polite to others. Don’t use your blower during neighborhood quiet hours, such as late at night or very early in the morning.
Dress for safety. Long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, and a good pair of gloves will help protect your body from debris. Ear and eye protection (safety goggles or glasses) should also be used.
Check your leaf blower. Inspect the blower before and during use to make sure controls, parts and safety devices are not damaged and are working properly. Review your safety manual if needed. Never modify a blower in a way not authorized by the manufacturer.
Blow with care. Do not use your blower on gravel driveways, mulch or bare dirt, which can stir up dust clouds.
Upcoming Garden Events
If you would like your organization's events included in "Upcoming Garden Events" or would like to make a change to a listed event, please contact us at Garden Events. To ensure inclusion in this column, please provide complete details at least three weeks prior to the event.
The COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak has caused the cancellation of many events. Because SEEDS has a long lead time, events listed below may have already been cancelled. We strongly encourage you to take care of yourself by practicing social distancing. If you do wish to attend any of the events listed below, please contact the presenters in advance to determine if the event has been cancelled or if it will take place as planned.
Online: Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service is helping Texans explore beekeeping anytime through an online course – Beekeeping 101. Beekeeping has increased as a popular hobby and a way to reduce property taxes on smaller tracts of land. The four-hour online course for beginners will cover beekeeping basics, including how to start a beehive. Cost is $45.50 per person. Participants will learn how to raise bees in their backyard and how much it costs to start beekeeping. The course will answer questions about honeybee biology, beekeeping equipment and suit options, and what to expect during the first year of beekeeping. To enroll: https://agrilifelearn.tamu.edu/product?catalog=ENTO-025
Online: HRS virtual meeting on November 12 features retired Texas Master Gardner Angela Chandler. Angela will lecture on how to choose annuals, perennials and ornamental grasses that are good companion for roses. Properly arranged companion plants can add contrast to rose bushes and attract beneficial insects. They can also help control pests naturally. Angela is a lifelong gardener and she’s teaching classes and provides a wide variety of horticultural advice at the Arbor Gate Nursery. She also has a half-acre micro-homestead in Highlands where she and her husband are growing vegetables, fruits and bee-friendly plants. This will be a virtual meeting held at GoToMeeting from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. (CDT). Join meeting using computer, tablet or smartphone with access code: 338-015-965, https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/257506565 or you can also dial in using your phone. United States: +1 (571) 317-3122. New to GoToMeeting? Get the app now and be ready when your first meeting starts: https://global.gotomeeting.com/install/257506565. For more information, visit www.houstonrose.org.
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and the Fort Bend County Master Gardeners will be hosting the last 2020 class of the popular Grow Your Own program using an online format. Saturday, 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.email@example.com
. 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.
Round Top: The Pioneer Unit of the Herb Society of the Herb Society of America will hold a plant sale 9:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m., March 19, and 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., March 20, on the grounds of the Round Top Festival Institute, 249 Jasper Road, Round Top. For more information, visit http://www.herbsocietypioneer.org/.
Galveston: The Young Gardeners Program is a school garden and healthy eating program operating on Galveston and the Bolivar Peninsula. Every Saturday, 9-11 a.m., they host a garden Community Day at one of the schools. It's an opportunity for community members to work and play in the garden and it's kid-friendly. First Saturday - Crenshaw, 416 State Hwy 87, Crystal Beach; Second Saturday - Rosenberg Elementary, 721 10th St., Galveston; Third Saturday - Morgan Elementary, 1410 37th St., Galveston; Fourth Saturday - Oppe Elementary, 2915 81st St., Galveston.
If you would like your organization's events included in "Monthly Meetings" or would like to make a change to a listed meeting, please contact us at Monthly Meetings. To ensure inclusion in this column, please provide complete details.
Jasper: The Jasper County Master Gardeners meet on the first Monday of each month at St. Michael's Catholic Church from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. The evening begins with pot luck social and then guest presentations and/or educational class to conclude. Visit https://jasper.agrilife.org/jasper-master-gardeners/ to verify meeting date for any given month, as circumstances could require a change, and to find information on the speaker and topic scheduled for each meeting; Visit https://mastergardener.tamu.edu/become/ to become a member.
Kaufman: The Kaufman County Master Gardeners meet the first Monday of each month at the First Community Church at 1401 Trinity Drive in Crandall. January through April and August and September meetings are at 9 a.m., with the remaining meetings beginning at 7 p.m. For additional information, visit http://www.kcmga.org, call 972-932-9069 or email to 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.
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.
Gonzalas: Gonzales Master Gardeners hold their monthly meeting at noon on the first Thursday of each month at 623 Fair Street, Gonzales. Bring a bag lunch, drinks provided. Contact AgriLife Extension Office at 830-672-8531 or visit http://gonzalesmastergardeners.org for more information.
New Braunfels: The Comal Garden Club meets the first Thursday of each month at 9:30 a.m. at Southbank Clubhouse, 222 Southbank Blvd., New Braunfels.
Hempstead: The Peckerwood Garden Conservation Foundation, 20559 F.M. 359, Hempstead, hosts a special Insider's Tour at 10 a.m. on the first Saturday of each month. Spaces are limited so pre-registration is encouraged. $15, free for members. For more information, visit http://peckerwoodgarden.org/product/peckerwood-insiders-tours/.
Austin: Austin Organic Gardeners Club meets at 6:30 p.m. on the second Monday of each month (except December) at the Austin Area Garden Center, 2220 Barton Springs Road, Zilker Botanical Gardens in Austin. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.; club business begins at 7:00 p.m., followed by a presentation. For more information, visit www.austinorganicgardeners.org.
Jacksonville: The Cherokee County Master Gardeners meet on the second Monday of each month at 9:30 a.m. at The First Methodist Church, 1031 TX-456 Loop, Jacksonville. For additional information, contact Kim Benton at 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 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 firstname.lastname@example.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 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 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 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. in the training room of the College Station Waste Water Facility building at the end of North Forest Parkway, College Station. Expert speakers, plant sharing, and federated club projects help members learn about gardening in the Brazos Valley, floral design, conservation, and more. For more information, visit http://www.amgardenclub.com/.
Houston: The Spring Branch African Violet Club meets the second Saturday of each month,January through November, at 10:00 a.m. at the Copperfield Baptist Church, 8350 Highway 6 North, Houston. Call Karla at 281-748-8417 prior to attending to confirm meeting date and time.
Killeen: Youth Backyard Gardening Initiative holds community engagement meetings the second Saturday of each month at 2:30 p.m. at Monarch Academy, 4205 Old Florence Road, Killeen. To learn more, visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/ybkydgarden/.
Dallas: The Rainbow Garden Club of North Texas meets the second Sunday of each month at 2 p.m. Everyone is welcome. Meetings are held at member's homes and garden centers around the area. For more information, visit www.RainbowGardenClub.com.
Arlington: The Arlington Men's Garden Club meets from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. on the third Monday of each month (except December) at the Bob Duncan Center, 2800 S. Center Street, Arlington. For more information, contact Lance Jepson at LJepson@aol.com.
Cleburne:The Johnson County Master Gardener's meet on the third Monday of each month at McGregor House, 1628 W Henderson, Cleburne. Meeting times are at 2 p.m. October through April, except December and at 6 p.m. May through September. An educational program precedes the business meeting. For additional information, contact Elaine Bell at 817-309-8052.
New Braunfels: The Comal Master Gardeners meet at 6 p.m. the third Monday of each month (except April and December,) at the GVTC Auditorium, 36101 FM 3159, New Braunfels. An educational program precedes the business meeting. The public is invited to attend. For additional information, call 830-620-3440 or visit comalmg.org.
Texarkana: The Four Corners Chapter of Native Plant Society of Texas meets at 7 p.m. on the third Monday of each month at the Southwest Center, 3222 W. 7th St. (U.S. 67), Texarkana. Visitors are welcome. For additional information, contact Belinda McCoy at 903-424-7724 or 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.
Corpus Christi: The Nueces Master Gardeners meet at noon the third Tuesday of each month,except December, at Garden Senior Center, 5325 Greely Dr., Corpus Christi. An educational program precedes the business meeting. For further information call 361 767-5217.
Evant: The Evant Garden Club meets on the third Tuesday of each month at 10 a.m., usually at the bank in downtown Evant. To confirm the date, time and place of each month's meeting, call 254-471-5860.
New Braunfels: The Lindheimer Chapter (Comal County) of the Native Plant Society of Texas meets on the third Tuesday of each month at 6:30 pm at the GVTC Auditorium, 36101 FM 3159, New Braunfels. Meetings include an informative speaker and a Plant of the Month presentation. Meetings are free and visitors are welcome. For more information,visit www.npsot.org/w/lindheimer. Note: there will be no meeting in June or December.
Rockport: Monthly meetings of the Aransas/San Patricio Master Gardeners are held at 10 a.m. on the third Tuesday of each month at Texas AgriLife Extension Service - Aransas County Office, 892 Airport Rd., Rockport. For additional information, e-mail 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/.
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 American Red Cross Building, 2700 Southwest Fwy. For more information about meeting presentations and native plants, visit http://npsot.org/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
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 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 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.
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 digital edition available!
Only $19.95 per year (digital only) or $9 per year if you add it to your print subscription!
Same magazine as our print edition without the paper and at a better price. Fully compatible with your desktop, laptop, iPad or Tablet. Access Texas Gardeneranywhere, anytime: at the office, home, vacation, even in the garden. Easy to use with robust features and fully searchable archive as long as your subscription is active. Click on this link to explore your options https://texasgardener.com/product/subs-1-year-digital-subscription/.
2021 Planning Guide & Calendar
Only $14.95 per copy (includes tax and shipping)
Make gardening easier and more enjoyable in 2021. No more keeping it in your head or, worse yet, juggling all those wrinkled, sweat-stained pieces of paper that seem to accumulate and end up lost. It's time to get organized and the perfect way to start that off is with your very own copy of the 2021 Texas Gardener Planning Guide and Calendar. No more guessing when to plant or do different activities. You will find everything you need in one simple but informative guide and calendar. Plus plenty of room to record your own planting dates, rainfall events and other data for future reference.
Here's a sample of what you will find in this information-packed guide:
- Many, many practical and timely garden tips that are for Texas - not Maine or California!
- Organic, earth-friendly tips to make your garden grow and prosper
- Lots of space to record your own activities for future reference
- Planting dates and tips for vegetables, flowers, herbs, fruit and lawns
Order today, while it's fresh on your mind. Don't forget to order copies for your gardening friends and relatives!
Easy Gardening for Texas
By Joseph G. Masabni
Only $31.94 (includes tax and shipping)
Gardening in the Lone Star State has unique challenges, but that doesn't mean you can't grow vegetables here. This new book tells what varieties are best, how to handle insect and disease problems, and how to control weeds with a minimum of work, plus detailed growing information on a host of vegetables that do well in Texas. This is the perfect guide for gardeners new to the state as well as those more-experienced gardeners looking for a handy guide of research-tested advice. 220 pages with lots of color photos! Click on this link to order https://texasgardener.com/product/easy-gardening-for-texas/.
By Judy Barrett
Only $29.75 (includes tax and shipping)
Eating fresh and eating local has really caught on! Easy Edibles: How to Grow and Enjoy Fresh Food focuses on ways to grow some of your own food without devoting a lot of space, time and work to the project. Barrett also covers how and where to find the bounty offered at local farmers markets, farm stands and pick-your-own operations. This book is the perfect gift or guide for folks new to gardening or those who have limited time and resources but still want to eat fresh! Click on this link to order https://texasgardener.com/product/easy-edibles/.
The Texas Tomato Lover's Handbook
By William D. Adams
Only $31.94 (includes tax and shipping)
The best thing for tomato enthusiast since the tomato itself! Adams draws on more than thirty years' experience to provide a complete, step-by-step guide to success in the tomato patch. Learn everything from soil preparation, planting, feeding, caging and watering. Liberally sprinkled with the author's easy humor and illustrated with his own excellent photographs, the must have book has everything you'll need to assure a bumper crop! 189 pages. Lots of color photographs! Click on this link to order https://texasgardener.com/product/texas-tomato-lovers-handbook/.
And check out these other great books available from Texas Gardener:
Worms Eat My Garbage
Grow Great Vegetables Texas
Wicked Plants Coloring Book
A Kid's Guide to Keeping Chickens
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.
Texas Gardener's Seeds, P.O. Box 1676, Brenham, Texas 77834-1676
Company Name | Phone | Address | Website