April 14, 2021
Pollinators are beginning to visit The Gardens at Texas A&M University. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Laura McKenzie)
Pollinators need help as freeze-damaged plants recover from Winter Storm Uri
By Laura Muntean
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service
Pollinators serve a great purpose in helping pollinate plants and vegetables alike during many months of the year. Although wildflowers returned post-freeze, and many plants are beginning to show life again, most flowering was set back several weeks meaning food sources for pollinators are not available. Planting a few already-flowering plants or fast-growing seeds in your pollinator garden will help them get through while other plants recover.
Michael Arnold, Ph.D., director of The Gardens at Texas A&M University and professor of landscape horticulture for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, walks us through what we can do immediately to help pollinators and what steps we can take to set them up for long-term success and year-round support.
Pollinators include butterflies and bees, but also birds, bats, moths and small animals who obtain nectar and pollen from flowers, trees and woody shrubs.
Pollinator-friendly plants that will immediately help the pollinators
Arnold suggested that gardeners plant already-flowering annuals or very fast-growing perennials that tend to bloom in the first year to provide immediate relief for pollinators. This will help them get through the early spring as plants recover from the freeze.
“Sweet alyssum and pot marigolds will do well for this cooler weather and grow into most of the spring,” he said. “Borage, if you like herbs, is fantastic for bees.”
A few other plants to consider are catnip, a great choice for bees and not just for cats, and traditional spring plants like larkspur and Mexican hat, which can be a perennial but also may bloom fairly quickly from seed.
“It is the year of the sunflower, and they are a good one to keep in mind because they are very fast growing, and they bloom early,” Arnold said. “So, you could make an impact in just a few weeks in the garden with them.”
If you are looking for something dual purpose, basil is a great herb to consider. Any bee balms can be a good option and are sold as perennials or in wildflower mixes. Salvias and sages will also crossover and pick up some of the butterfly and lepidoptera pollinators. Greg’s blue mist will most likely bloom this spring but will also return even better in years to come.
“Lepidoptera are often attracted to composite flowers like those in the aster family,” he said, “But you could also add some really quick-growing plants like cosmos and the calendula that would be available early in the season for them.”
Plants for an immediate pollinator garden:

  • Aster
  • Basil
  • Bee balm
  • Borage
  • Bush morning glory
  • Catnip
  • Cosmos
  • Flame acanthus
  • Greg’s blue mist
  • Larkspur
  • Mexican hat
  • Pot marigold
  • Sage
  • Salvia
  • Sunflowers
  • Sweet alyssum
  • Zinnias

Pollinator-friendly plants to help pollinators year round
Arnold said this pollinator rescue following Winter Storm Uri could be a good starting point for homeowners to think about providing garden spaces that support pollinators during all of the months for years to come.
The key to a great long-term pollinator garden is having plants that will provide a food source year-round. So, taking the time to plan out the periods of bloom per plant to make sure you have each month covered will insure you have your pollinators well cared for, Arnold explained.
“I may even make a spreadsheet and make my columns with the month of year and annotate these plants according to when they bloom to ensure I have things covering all the months needed for adequate pollinator support,” he said.
As you begin construction of your long-term pollinator garden, begin with the backbone of plants — woody plants.
Red maples are a great bee pollinator for early spring and late winter, and some yucca relatives are pollinator attractants as well. Yuccas planted now would provide food in coming years, and represent hardier, long-term additions to any pollinator garden.
“These will have some off-time blooms like the red maple to provide that early start. Or I may provide something like the flame acanthus, native honeysuckle vines, crossvines or trumpet creepers,” he said. “Things like the coral vine and Mexican flame vine will provide longer seasons. Pick the woody materials that will provide food in the times of sparseness or a long season of bloom.”
Coral vine is a woody tropical vine often used as either an herbaceous perennial in Texas or annual further north and will mature a bit later into summer. They typically grow on a garden fence, a porch side or large trellis.
Other shrubs to consider would be kidney wood, bee bush and almond verbena, which will bloom for about six months out of the year. Another good shrub option, glossy abelia, produces high volumes of trumpet-shaped flowers and blooms over a large portion of the growing season.
If roses are something you wish to have, you can use those too, but the old-fashioned single roses will provide the most use due to flower structure for the pollinators themselves. For a mid- to late-season bloom, butterfly bush would be a good option.
Plants for lasting pollinator gardens:

  • Almond verbena
  • Bush morning glory
  • Butterfly bush
  • Coral vine
  • Cross vine
  • Glossy abelia
  • Honey Suckle
  • Kidney wood
  • Mexican flame vine
  • Old-fashioned single roses
  • Red maple
  • Trumpet creeper
  • Yucca

Add plant diversity to your pollinator garden
Arnold suggests keeping pollinators in mind when choosing flowers and not picking varieties that are only appealing to the eye. Flower structure plays a large part in what benefits a pollinator.
Zinnias are a good example. While most people gravitate toward the double-flowering zinnia filled with showy ray flowers, pollinators prefer the old-fashioned single or semi-double zinnias with a prominent ray of disk flowers in the center, because those often have more pollen and nectar associated with them.
Having an assortment of composite flowers, flowers with both ray and disk petals, like sunflowers have the dark center disk petals with yellow ray petals surrounding it, as well as trumpet shaped flowers provides some versatility and becomes more appealing to a wider audience of insects as well as hummingbirds.
The flame acanthus provides a tubular, or trumpet-shaped flower, that is enticing to both butterflies and hummingbirds. It is a bit of a woody shrub and will usually bloom within the first year. The bush morning glory also provides good tubular shaped flowers and may return in mild winters.
“And once flame acanthus begins to bloom in the spring, it will pretty much bloom through the whole summer for you,” he said. “It doesn’t have a massive number of blooms, but it has a steady production of blooms, which is important for our pollinators.”
Many flowering vegetables need pollination and also provide food for pollinators. Growing things like peppers or strawberries that appeal to the pollinators is great.
“Don’t pull up all of your cabbage and kale because once it bolts and flowers, many of those flowers will be attractive to a variety of pollinators,” he said.
So, if you have already planted a few things that may be coming to an end, don’t pull them up as they look finished or have bolted. Leave them to offer another source of food as they go to flower.
Create a safe space for all type of pollinators
Arnold said long-term pollinator gardens should provide food for all pollinator life cycles and also sheltering plants and structures.
“So, as we think about pollinators, we have to think about food for them in their adult phases, but also in the larval stages if they have them,” he said. “So, it isn’t just about the flowers as adults but also the host plants to feed the developing larvae as well. Milkweeds and passion vines are good examples of larval host plants for butterflies.”
Consider placing a water source. Many insects get moisture from the plants they consume, but some will access supplemental water sources. Also, leave a bit of open ground, as some are ground-dwelling.
“If we have some open spots of soil that they can use to make nests, those are good things to think about,” he said. “So, we bring all of those concepts together.”
There are even plans available for pollinator hotels, from extremely extensive hotels to build or something as small as a mailbox. These will include things like wood that can be bored into, or sections of bamboo where pollinators may crawl in and build cocoons or have their young.
Remember, keep diverse areas, some bare-mulched areas and maybe even leave the back of the garden with just some bare spots on the ground where pollinators may end up making their home.
Mulch can help prevent weeds by. blocking sunlight for germination. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Sam Craft)
Newspaper and mulch key to keeping weeds at bay
By Laura Muntean
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

Managing garden weeds is a challenge all gardeners face, but Skip Richter, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service horticulture agent, Brazos County, and host of Garden Success, KAMU FM/HD-1, offers some advice to keep the weeds at bay that can be easily implemented with a bag of mulch and a few newspapers.
The importance of removing weeds
A weed is classified as any unwelcome plant in your garden. It could be an invasive plant, or just a volunteering plant of some sort, but if it is not something you want to grow in your garden area, then it may be considered a weed.
Aside from possibly not adding any beauty or benefit to your garden, weeds can take away water, nutrients, soil and sunlight from plants you wish to thrive in your garden area. Weeds may also harbor plant viruses or even attract pests that could then move on to your garden plants. As weeds grow larger, removing them by hand pulling or hoeing can disturb the roots of your garden plants.
Without proper maintenance or prep work, gardeners may find themselves pulling weeds year-round, when a few steps at the beginning of the season could significantly reduce or even eliminate your days of weed pulling all together.
How to manage your weeds
Mulch may offer protection from weeds in several different but similar ways. Mulch can help deter weeds, prevent surface crusting and minimize runoff. Organic mulches include leaves, pine needles, dried grass clippings, compost, shredded bark or other organic materials.
The first mulching option is simply to use an organic mulch on the soil surface.
“Weed seeds need light hitting the soil to germinate,” Richter said. “In fact, we say wherever sunlight hits the soil, nature plants a weed.”
By placing mulch over the surface, the sunlight is blocked out, which prevents weed seeds from getting started.
Mulch over newspaper
However, perennial weeds can push right through a light mulch, Richter said. So, for some perennial weeds and for germinating weed seeds, it helps to place newspaper on the soil surface to create more of a boundary between the soil and mulch to keep the sunlight from penetrating.
“When you put four to six sheets of newspaper down on the surface of the soil and then throw a mulch of leaves, dried grass clippings, compost, shredded bark or other organic materials on top of that, it will block out most weeds for the remainder of that particular gardening season,” he said. “It lasts about three or four months.”
A tip to keep in mind as you lay down the newspaper is to wet it as you lay it so that it does not blow away. Richter likes to lay the newspaper four to six sheets at a time and overlap it by a few inches. When you get to a plant, split the page, and lay the paper on either side of the plant. Then spray the newspaper with water and place the mulch over top.
After you have placed all the newspaper down with a mulch over the top, there should be no newspaper visible. The “mulch-over-newspaper” technique will keep weeds out, so you shouldn’t have to come back and do any more weeding any time soon. If a weed does appear, it may be due to a hole in the newspaper, so simply pull back the mulch, remove the weed and lay another piece of newspaper over the hole. Then cover it with the mulch.
The newspaper and organic mulch technique works well before weeds germinate but can also help capture lost ground by smothering young weeds before they get too large. It helps to wet the weeds and soil before laying the newspaper and mulch. Those young weeds will die and decompose under the newspaper cover, releasing their nutrients back to the soil.
For larger areas where you are not growing plants but just want to keep down the weeds, you can take it up a notch and use large sections of cardboard covered with leaves or even shredded branches to create a longer term weed block over the soil.
If mulching and weed control were helpful in the planning of your garden, be sure to look into raised garden beds, starting from seeds or transplants as well as how to choose the best fertilizers for your gardens.

Some raised beds have built-in water reservoirs to extend the time between watering. (Photo courtesy of Gardener’s Supply Company)
Expand your planting space
By Melinda Myers
When your plant list is longer than the available gardening space it is time to expand your planting options. Create new gardening space by adding raised bed gardens, elevated planters, and containers wherever space allows.
Convert the end of the drive or edge of the patio into raised bed gardens. Just use a raised bed liner to contain the soil. Raising the garden makes planting, maintaining and harvesting easier on the back and knees. It also allows you to create the perfect soil foundation by filling your raised bed with a quality planting mix.
Long-lasting cedar is a traditional choice for raised beds. Now you can also find them made of a wood and plastic composite or metal and in a variety of shapes and sizes. Finding one to complement your gardening style and space is much easier these days.
Reduce time spent watering with a self-watering metal raised bed (gardeners.com) or similar product. Self-watering raised beds have built-in water reservoirs to extend the time between watering. Or use a raised bed drip or soaker hose irrigation system to easily apply water right to the soil where it is needed.
Elevated gardens are just containers on legs. They are perfect for patios, balconies and other hard surfaces. Use them to define space, create privacy and grow ornamental and edible plants. Those on wheels can easily be moved out of the way when guests arrive. Or wheel them into the gathering, so everyone can harvest and dress up their meals with garden-fresh herbs and veggies.
Just pull up a chair and start planting or weeding your elevated garden. Grow vines in those with built-in trellises and extend the season by protecting plantings with frost and insect covers. Select elevated planters with a shelf below to conveniently store gardening tools and accessories.
Even small-space gardeners can expand their planting space with the help of containers. You’ll find plenty of attractive options to fit your front steps, patio, balcony or deck.
Railing planters and window boxes don’t take up floor space yet dress up any outdoor area. Grow herbs in planters located near the kitchen and flowers wherever additional color is needed. Add a few pollinator-friendly plants to attract butterflies and hummingbirds to watch and enjoy.
Extend your time outdoors with outdoor lighting. Or look for multi-functional options like solar illuminated planters. Powered by the sun and with a flip of a switch, you can choose a single or multi-changing light color display.
Don’t let the thought of frequent watering stop you from growing in containers and elevated gardens. Self-watering options are available in a variety of shapes and sizes including the classic, yet curvy self-watering Valencia window box.
Once you select your raised bed, elevated garden, or container, you will need to fill it with a planting or potting mix. Figure out exactly how much is needed with a soil calculator. Just plug the size and shape into the form. It tells you how many cubic yards or cubic feet of soil are needed for raised beds and the number of quarts for containers and elevated gardens.
Expanding the garden doesn’t have to mean a lot more work. Selecting the right option that provides convenience and ease of care can help you grow more flowers and garden-fresh produce this season.
Melinda Myers is the author of more than 20 gardening books, including Small Space Gardening. She hosts The Great Courses “How to Grow Anything” DVD series and the Melinda’s Garden Moment TV & radio program. Myers is a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine. Her web site is www.MelindaMyers.com.
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 this past year. 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 or postponed, or if it will take place as scheduled.

Tyler: The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service is hosting “Growing and Grubbing with Greg” each Thursday morning from 9 a.m.-noon on April 15, 22 and 29. The classes are free and open to the public. Each week will feature different topics, lessons, and speakers on planning, producing, picking, and preparing homegrown vegetables and herbs. The instructors will include Smith County Horticulture Agent Greg Grant, Smith County Agriculture-Natural Resources Agent Clint Perkins, Smith County Family and Consumer Health Agent Claudann Jones, and Smith County Better Living for Texans Agent, Amy Shively. The classes will be held at the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Classroom at the Cotton Belt Building (1517 West Front Street, Tyler). Hand sanitizer will be provided, and masks are encouraged. Seating is limited so call to register in advance. For more information or to register call (903) 590-2980.

Online: “Growing Cucurbits”: with Herman Auer, long-time Galveston County Master Gardener presenting, April 16, 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m., online via Zoom. Pre-registration required and ends at 3 p.m. the day before the program. Register: https://galveston.agrilife.org/horticulture/mgseminars/.

Gonzales: Annual Spring Plant Sale on Saturday, April 17, on Texas Heroes Square in downtown Gonzales from 8:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. There will be a great Silent Auction, Children’s Activities and “Ask the Master Gardener” booth. Consider signing up for the next MG training class scheduled for the fall of 2021. They will accept cash/checks/credit/debit cards. For specific plants, contact Fran Saliger at fsaliger@gvec.net or call 830-203-0311.

Online: Green Thumb Gardening Lecture Series: Butterfly Gardens presented by Harris County Gardeners with Houston Community College, Monday, April 20, 11:00 a.m.-noon. Free virtual lecture, no registration required. Watch via Facebook live at facebook.com/harriscountypl/live.

Online: Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service’s Healthy Lawns and Healthy Waters Program will host a residential rainwater harvesting and turf management training April 22 for residents of Caldwell and Hays counties. The free training is being offered in collaboration with the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority and Plum Creek Watershed Partnerships. It will be held online via Zoom from 10 a.m.–2:30 p.m. with a half-hour lunch. Online registration is required at https://bit.ly/3fEv8DV. Attendees who RSVP will receive updates, instructions to join online and materials related to the meeting via email. They can RSVP by contacting John Smith, AgriLife Extension program specialist, Bryan-College Station, at johnwsmith@tamu.edu or 979-204-0573.

Online: “Best Practices of Watering”: with Karolyn Gephart, Galveston County Master Gardener presenting, April 23, 10-11:30 a.m., online via Zoom. Pre-registration required. Registration ends 3 p.m. the day before the program. Register: https://galveston.agrilife.org/horticulture/mgseminars/.

Online: “Galveston County Master Gardener May Day Sale” Due to COVID19, the plant sale will be held online April 30-May 1. Browse online beginning April 23. Shop online noon April 30-noon May 1, and schedule a curbside pick-up time. Visit the Galveston County Master Gardener online store for more details: https://store.galvestonmg.org.

Galveston Island: The 9th Annual Gulf Coast Herb Fair will be held at Moody Gardens on Wednesday, May 5 from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. The theme of this year's fair is Fiesta Hierbas (Spice Party) celebrating Cinco de Mayo and the variety of herbs used in the cooking with a Mexican flavor. Guest speaker Chef Mary Bass will talk about chili peppers, cumin, cilantro, oregano and other spices she uses in preparation of different popular dishes. This year’s Herb Fair has been expanded and moved to the ballroom at Moody Gardens Hotel. Ample free parking is available. Social distancing and current Covid-19 practices will be practiced. A noon luncheon sponsored by the Friends of Moody Gardens will feature Bass, who owns several food establishments: a restaurant, a take-out service, a catering company and a barbecue place – all on Galveston Island. The Herb Fair is free and open to the public. The luncheon is $40 per person for members; $50 for non-members. Reserved tables for six are $300. Contact Ellen Perry e.l.perry@att.net for more information. Reservation deadline is April 30. Dozens of vendors selling herbs and other craft items will be available in the ballroom and terrace at the Moody Gardens Hotel. Other lectures will be conducted by Galveston County Master Gardeners. The annual Blessing of the Garden will be conducted on the hotel’s terrace. In addition, a hands-on workshop will be held on Tuesday, May 4 from 1:30 to 3:30 with glass artist Tamara Kriter of the Shard Yard in Alvin, who will teach participants how to create a glass art garden stone. All art supplies, instruction and refreshments are included in the cost of the class, $45 per person. www.facebook.com/TheFriendsofMoodyGardens/.

Online: Homegrown Lecture Series: Benefits of Bats, presented by Brandi Keller, Harris County Master Gardener Program Coordination, May 6, 10:00 a.m. Free virtual lecture. Registration is required. To register, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/home-grown-lecture-series-tickets-143797162183.

Online: Green Thumb Gardening Lecture Series: Integrated Pest Management presented by Harris County Master Gardeners with Houston Community College, May 10, 10:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Free virtual lecture. Register early at hccs.edu/community-learning-workshops.

Online: Green Thumb Gardening Lecture Series: Integrated Pest Management presented by Harris County Master Gardeners with Houston Community College, May 18, 11:00 a.m.-noon. Free virtual lecture. No registration required. Watch via Facebook Live at facebook.com/harriscountypl/live.

Online: Home Grown Lecture Series: Growing Fabulous Houseplants presented by Paul Winski, Texas A&M AgriLife County Extension Agent-Horticulture, May 20, 10:00 a.m.. Free virtual lecture. Registration is required. Register at https/eventbrite.com/e/home-grown-lecture-series-tickets-143797162183.

Online: May 21 “Composting,” with Jim Gilliam, Galveston County Master Gardener, presenting, 10-11:30 am, online via Zoom. Pre-registration required and ends at 3 p.m. the day before the program. Register: https://galveston.agrilife.org/horticulture/mgseminars/.

Online: May 28 “Rainwater Harvesting,”with Nat Gruesen, Galveston County Master Gardener and Certified Rainwater Harvesting Specialist, presenting, 10-11:30 a.m., online via Zoom. Pre-registration required. Registration ends 3 pm the day before the program. Register: https://galveston.agrilife.org/horticulture/mgseminars/.
Weekly Meetings

Galveston: The Young Gardeners Program is a school garden and healthy eating program operating on Galveston and the Bolivar Peninsula. Every Saturday, 9-11 a.m., they host a garden Community Day at one of the schools. It's an opportunity for community members to work and play in the garden and it's kid-friendly. First Saturday - Crenshaw, 416 State Hwy 87, Crystal Beach; Second Saturday - Rosenberg Elementary, 721 10th St., Galveston; Third Saturday - Morgan Elementary, 1410 37th St., Galveston; Fourth Saturday - Oppe Elementary, 2915 81st St., Galveston.
Monthly Meetings

If you would like your organization's events included in "Monthly Meetings" or would like to make a change to a listed meeting, please contact us at Monthly Meetings. To ensure inclusion in this column, please provide complete details. 
Jasper: The Jasper County Master Gardeners meet on the first Monday of each month at St. Michael's Catholic Church from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. The evening begins with pot luck social and then guest presentations and/or educational class to conclude. Visit https://jasper.agrilife.org/jasper-master-gardeners/ to verify meeting date for any given month, as circumstances could require a change, and to find information on the speaker and topic scheduled for each meeting; Visit  https://mastergardener.tamu.edu/become/ to become a member.
Kaufman: The Kaufman County Master Gardeners meet the first Monday of each month at the First Community Church at 1401 Trinity Drive in Crandall. January through April and August and September meetings are at 9 a.m., with the remaining meetings beginning at 7 p.m. For additional information, visit http://www.kcmga.org, call 972-932-9069 or email to sbburden@ag.tamu.edu.

Houston: The Harris County Master Gardeners meet at noon the first Tuesday of each month at a location in Houston to be determined. For additional information, visit http://hcmga.tamu.edu/Public/ or call 713-274-0950.

Schulenberg: Schulenburg Garden Club meets the first Tuesday of 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 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.
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 contactguadalupecounty@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.
Arlington: The Arlington Men's Garden Club meets from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. on the third Monday of each month (except December) at the Bob Duncan Center, 2800 S. Center Street, Arlington. For more information, contact Lance Jepson at LJepson@aol.com.
Cleburne:The Johnson County Master Gardener's meet on the third Monday of each month at McGregor House, 1628 W Henderson, Cleburne. Meeting times are at 2 p.m. October through April, except December and at 6 p.m. May through September. An educational program precedes the business meeting. For additional information, contact Elaine Bell at 817-309-8052.
New Braunfels: The Comal Master Gardeners meet at 6 p.m. the third Monday of each month (except April and December,) at the GVTC Auditorium, 36101 FM 3159, New Braunfels. An educational program precedes the business meeting. The public is invited to attend. For additional information, call 830-620-3440 or visit comalmg.org

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

Abilene: The Master Gardeners meet the third Tuesday of each month at the Taylor County Extension Office, 1982 Lytle Way, Abilene. For more information, contact Big Country Master Gardeners Association at mgardeners@yahoo.com.

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

Brownwood: Brownwood Garden Club meets the third Thursday of each month, 11:30 a.m.- 1 p.m. The club meetings are at Southside Baptist Church, 1219 Indian Creek Road, with refreshments and a speaker presentation. Visitors are welcome. For more information, email boeblingen@centex.net or call 817-454-8175.
Hallettsville: The Hallettsville Garden Club meets at 2 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month from September through May, at the Hallettsville Garden and Cultural Center, 107 Fink Street, Hallettsville. Each month, the club hosts speakers that provide informative programs on a wide range of gardening subjects, and refreshments are provided by member hostesses afterwards. Visitors are welcome! Please email Sharon Harrigan at sharonspetals@gmail.com for more information.
Houston: The Native Plant Society of Texas - Houston Chapter meets at 6:45 pm on the third Thursday of each month at the American Red Cross Building, 2700 Southwest Fwy. For more information about meeting presentations and native plants, visit http://npsot.org/houston

Mineola: 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 herbalhen@yahoo.com.
New Braunfels: The New Braunfels Chapter of Native Plant Society of Texas meets on the fourth Monday of each month except July and December. Meetings are held at the Westside Community Center, 2932 S. I-35 Frontage Road, New Braunfels. Meetings start at 6:15 p.m. with a meet and greet time, followed by a short business meeting. Programs begin around 7:00. Native plant and seed exchanges are held monthly. Expert speakers present educational programs on topics of interest. Meetings are free and open to the public. For more information or to join, visit www.npsot.org.
Brackenridge Park: The Native Plant Society San Antonio Chapter meets every fourth Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. in the Lions Field Adult and Senior Center, 2809 Broadway at E. Mulberry, Brackenridge Park, except August and December. Social and seed/plant exchange at 6:30 p.m. Free and open to the public. For more information, contact Bea at 210-999-7292 or visit www.npsot.org/sanantonio.
Bryan: The Brazos County Master Gardeners, a program of Texas AgriLife Extension, meet the fourth Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. at the Brazos Center, 3232 Briarcrest Drive, Bryan. There is a public gardening program at each meeting and pertinent information may be found at brazosmg.com or 979-823-0129.
Edna: The Jackson County Master Gardeners present their "Come Grown With Us" seminars on the fourth Tuesday of each month, January through October, beginning at 7 p.m. at 411 N. Wells, Edna. The seminars are free, open to the public and offer 2 CEU hours to Master Gardeners or others requiring them. For additional information, contact the Jackson County Extension Office at 361-782-3312.
Linden: The Caddo Wildflower Chapter of Native Plants Society meets the fourth Tuesday of each month at the senior citizens building at 507 S Kaufman St. in Linden at 6:30. Visitors are welcome. For additional information, contact Karen Tromza at khtromza@yahoo.com.
San Antonio: The Native Plant Society of Texas San Antonio Chapter meets the fourth Tuesday of each month, except August and December, at the Lions Field Adult & Senior Center, 2809 Broadway, San Antonio. Social and plant/seed exchange at 6:30 p.m., program at 7:00 p.m. For more information, visit www.npsot.org/sanantonio or email npsot.sanantonio@gmail.com.
Houston: The Houston Native Prairie Association meets at 7 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday of each month (except November and December) at the Houston Red Cross Building, 2700 Southwest Freeway, Houston. Refreshments served at 6:30 p.m. For more information, contact hnpat@prairies.org.

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

Leander: The Leander Garden Club meets on the fourth Thursday of each month (except June, July and August) at 10:30 a.m. in the Fellowship Room of the Leander Presbyterian Church, 101 N. West St., Leander, unless there is a special event planned. Following a program and short business meeting, there is a pot-luck luncheon. To confirm the meeting place and time, please call President Kathleen Tully at 512-422-8580 or email LeanderGardenClub@gmail.com.
Dallas: The Dallas County Master Gardeners meet the fourth Thursday of each month at 11:30 a.m. For location and program information, visit 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
Planning Guide & Books of Interest
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/.

Easy Edibles
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 Bugs

Wicked Plants

Wicked Plants Coloring Book

A Kid's Guide to Keeping Chickens
Texas Gardener's Seeds is published weekly. © Suntex Communications, Inc. 2021. 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