March 3, 2021
Get the most out of your elevated garden by spacing plants just far enough apart to reach their mature size. (Photo courtesy of
Tips for raised bed and elevated gardening success
By Melinda Myers
Raised beds and elevated gardens provide easier access to gardens and can increase space available for growing vegetables and flowers. You will enjoy convenience and easy access when including one or more in your landscape or on your patio, deck or balcony.
Providing proper care for these elevated planting spaces will ensure the biggest possible harvest and a growing season filled with beautiful flowers. Adapting planting strategies and care to fit the needs of these unique growing spaces can help reduce maintenance.
It starts with creating and maintaining a healthy growing foundation. Fill your raised beds with a quality planting mix composed mostly of topsoil and compost. Or create your own planting mix with lasagna and Hugelkultur techniques. These methods allow you to convert plant trimmings, compost, and a minimal amount of soil into a quality planting mix.
Elevated gardens are basically containers on legs and usually filled with a quality, soilless planting mix. The lighter weight makes it much more suitable for this type of gardening. Look for a product that provides drainage yet retains moisture. Both features are important when gardening in smaller volumes of soil.
Make sure you have easy access to water and your gardens have means for excess water to drain. The limited soil mass and increased exposure to wind, heat and sunlight make planting mixes dry out more quickly than in-ground beds. Always water thoroughly to encourage deep, more drought tolerant roots.
Extend the time between watering by as much as 25% with the help of a sustainable, organic product such as Wild Valley Farms’ wool pellets ( Made from wool waste, these pellets absorb and retain moisture releasing it when needed by the plants.

Purchase an elevated garden with wheels or add casters to the legs if you need to move your garden out of the way for entertaining. Take advantage of the added mobility to move your planter into the sun or shade as needed throughout the season.

Employ space saving techniques to maximize your garden’s productivity. Space plants just far enough apart to reach their mature size. Plant quick-maturing vegetables such as radishes, lettuce and beets between tomatoes, peppers and other vegetables that take longer to reach full size and start producing. You will be harvesting the short season vegetables just as the bigger plants need the space.
Look for compact flower and vegetable varieties that allow you to make the most of every square inch of these gardens. All-America Selections winner Patio Choice Yellow Cherry tomato produces up to 100 tomatoes on an eighteen-inch plant. Mascotte compact bush bean and Patio Pride peas are big producers suited to these and small space gardens.
Extend your enjoyment and harvest with succession plantings. Fill vacant spaces left once a row or block of vegetables are harvested. Freshen up ornamental plantings by replacing weather worn flowers with healthy new selections. Add more planting mix along with wool pellets if needed.
Train vining plants onto trellises or other supports to save space and reduce the risk of disease. Dress them up by allowing trailing herbs and flowers to cascade over the edge of these planting beds.
Increasing growing success and reducing maintenance will make raised beds and elevated gardens a practical and productive addition to your gardening endeavors.
Melinda Myers has written more than 20 gardening books, including Small Space Gardening. She hosts The Great Courses “How to Grow Anything” DVD series and the nationally-syndicated Melinda’s Garden Moment TV & radio program. Myers is a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine. Myers’ website is
Prescribed burning explained
Texas A&M Forest Service
When Texans see a pillar of smoke rising out of a forest or state park, our gut instinct is always the same: wildfire. However, that isn’t always the case.
Prescribed burning has become one of the most efficient and effective tools for land management in the state of Texas, and some of the state’s leading experts in wildland fire management —f rom Texas A&M Forest Service to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department — can’t emphasize its merits enough.
“Prescribed burning helps reduce fuel loading,” explained Connor Murnane, a district forester with the Texas A&M Forest Service. “We see fuel as a woody, shrubby or herbaceous species that can easily burn.”
Eliminating some of this excess “fuel” reduces the risk and severity of potential wildfires. If there’s not enough brush or grass on the ground for a fire to feed on, it won’t get as hot or as big, and it’s less likely for the flames to reach the canopy of more established trees. It can also help slow down a raging wildfire, giving Texas A&M Forest Service and local firefighters a better shot at containment.
It feels counter-intuitive to light a fire in dry, burnable conditions, and many Texans believe that humans should simply “get out of the way” and let nature run its course, but the result would mean disbanding fire suppression all together. Since fire suppression has been integral to the establishment and upkeep of communities across Texas, one of the main issues facing wildland fire management is the build-up of fuels from about a hundred years of unnatural fire suppression.
“For a long time, we excluded fire,” said Chris Schenck, the State Fire Program Leader for the wildlife division of Texas Parks and Wildlife. “At the turn of the 20th century, we looked at fighting fires as almost the moral equivalent of war.”
In fact, one of the earliest laws in Texas prohibited the burning of grass. People didn’t realize that fire is a natural part of the Texas landscape. Before Texas was fully settled, lightning would strike in the heart of an eastern pine forest — or on the grassy plains of the Panhandle — and spark a fire to sweep across the land, purging it of invasive species, diseases and unwanted undergrowth. It was an essential element that helped uphold the natural balance.
“Native Americans recognized the importance of fire in their environment,” said Murnane. “They would often intentionally light fires to create a better habitat for hunting or browsing of wildlife species.”
East Texas is what Murnane calls a “fire-dependent ecosystem,” and the wall of understory brush — namely yaupon, sweetgum, Chinese tallow and other invasive species — is unnatural. Because of the lack of fire suppression by humans, east Texas used to look more like a pine meadow or savannah, with beautiful open spaces filled with green grasses and wildflowers between the trees. And while that kind of environment is visually pleasing and aesthetic to us, it’s also attractive to wildlife.
“One of the immediate positive results of any prescribed fire is forage production and habitat improvement,” said Schenck. “Better feed means better care and capacity for the land, and therefore greater diversity of species, both wild and domestic.”
Wildlife depends on open space and healthy plant life for foraging – including grasses, fruits, seeds and other vegetation – and out of the ashes of a prescribed fire rises healthy new plants. The trick, it seems, is to avoid fully incinerating the brush.
“Depending on the fire’s intensity, the ash produced following a burn can be full of valuable nutrients,” said Mike Lloyd, a Wildland Fire Manager with Texas State Parks.
Prescribed burning breaks down the chemical composition of organic matter, recycling nutrients back into the soil. According to a study by Leonard F. DeBano, some of those nutrients are “volatilized” or lost, but most are made more readily available to plants and native organisms. The fire acts as a mineralizing agent, making nutrients immediately accessible, instead of being gradually recycled over the span of years, or even decades, via decomposition.
Even for us, fire (heat) can make an otherwise inedible substance not only palatable, but more nutritious. Cooking anything too long, however, can leave it charred, vaporizing its nutrients. In the case of forest management, the most endangered element is nitrogen. If a wildfire burns off too much nitrogen, it can adversely affect a wildland ecosystem for decades.
This is one of the many reasons that prescribed burning is so crucial — to prevent wildfires from burning forests past the point of rehabilitation — but it is also a key reason why prescribed burning is so highly regulated, and so carefully conducted. For Texas A&M Forest Service, very specific conditions are required to conduct a prescribed burn.
“It’s extremely weather dependent,” said Murnane. “The winds, the direction of your winds, your mixing heights, what your fuel moisture is at, all sorts of different things, and all of this comes back to the prescribed burn plans that we’re required to write.”
Once a burn plan is in place — which can be written and approved by Texas A&M Forest Service up to six months in advance — foresters look for an ideal weather window to conduct their burn. These usually occur between November and March, during the dormant season. Then it has to be a clear-skies day to help with smoke dispersal, and the winds have to be no less than 5 mph, but no greater than 15 mph. If the winds are too strong it could blow the fire out of control and start an uncontained wildfire, but if the winds are too weak, the fire won’t disperse well and parts of the forest could overheat, burning the roots of trees.
That’s why at the W.G. Jones State Forest prescribed burning requires a lot of preparation, and a lot of boots on the ground.
“We get several firefighters dragging drip torches, and several more on type-6 engines that are ‘holding’ so we don’t have a spread or a spot fire,” said Murnane. “Then we’ve got several bulldozers on standby, just in case.”
While Texas A&M Forest Service has the resources and capacity to take all of these precautions, not many landowners do. That’s why Murnane recommends any landowner interested in conducting a prescribed burn reach out to their local TFS forester or Parks and Wildlife Biologist. According to Murnane, they would be happy to visit the property and give their recommendations. They also have local connections with certified burn vendors that can provide prescribed burning services.
Schenck of Texas Parks and Wildlife even encourages landowners interested in learning how to conduct their own prescribed burns to reach out to their local forester or TPWD Regional Fire Coordinator.
“Because Texas is 95% privately owned, one of our roles is to provide landowners with technical guidance, and the development of a burn plan,” said Schenck. “Then we help them implement it. We teach them how to use their prescribed fire tools, how to prepare their land and how to implement that fire.”
Schenck was a federal wildland firefighter for years, but he still sees a need for prescribed burns across the state. This is, in part, because he’s witnessed the benefits of prescribed burning firsthand: from the clearing and rejuvenation of Wildlife Management Areas, to the survival of forests and structures during the catastrophic wildfires of 2011. In Bastrop, Schenck and Lloyd recall how areas that had received a prescribed burn the year before survived virtually unscathed.
“Believe it or not, prescribed burning saved a lot of the structures in those parks because we had burned the year prior,” said Lloyd. “At the Bastrop state park, I wonder if those cabins would’ve made it if we hadn’t implemented a prescribed burn around them the year before.”
A survey conducted by the Coalition of Prescribed Fire Councils (CPFC) and Texas A&M Forest Service found that over 325,000 acres of land in Texas were successfully treated with prescribed burns in 2019. That number is down from the year prior, but even 2018’s record amount is shy of where Texas A&M Forest Service and Texas Parks and Wildlife would like it to be.
“For Texas to get enough prescribed fires safely on the landscape, it’s going to take a lot of people,” said Schenck. “But if you’re going to light ’em, you’ve got to know how to fight ’em.”
Fortunately, Texas A&M Forest Service does both. They also provide ample resources to help landowners conduct their own prescribed burns — from grants and cost-shares to help subsidize the price of a prescribed burn vendor, to courses and trainings on how to become qualified to conduct prescribed burns yourself. But the most important element, for both Texas A&M Forest Service and Texas Parks and Wildlife, is educating the public.
If you’re a home or landowner interested in conducting a prescribed burn on your property, visit the PRESCRIBED BURNS page of the Texas A&M Forest Service website or the WILDLAND FIRE MANAGEMENT page by Texas Parks and Wildlife. There’s also this INTERACTIVE MAP to help you determine your eligibility for a Prescribed Fire Grant, with additional information on how to apply HERE.
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:

Online: The Fort Bend County Master Gardener Vegetable-Herb Plant Sale is back for the Spring 2021 planting season! All plants to be sold have been grown by Fort Bend County Master Gardeners in their greenhouse. All varieties are recommended for Fort Bend County by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and Fort Bend County Master Gardeners. The online Store opens March 3 and will close March 10 (or earlier if all plants are sold). Drive-thru pickup dates and times to be announced closer to the date of the sale. You can find detailed descriptions about the plants and the information on how the online sale will work in early February by visiting For more information email or call Monday-Friday 281-341-7068.

Online: “Herbs for the Gulf Coast Garden,” with Galveston County Master Gardeners Briana Etie & Nancy Langston-Noh presenting, 10-11:30 a.m., March 5, online via Zoom. Pre-registration required. Registration ends 3 p.m. the day before the program. Register:

Gonzlaes: Gonzales Master Gardeners will have two plant sales this Spring. The Tomato/Vegetable Sale will be held Saturday, March 6, selling only tomatoes, peppers, and other vegetables. The sale will take place at PACE (Planatarium: A Center for Exploration) in the GMG building at 623 N. Fair Street (between the Gonzales Elementary School and Bus Barn). The sale will be held inside from 8:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. Masks and social distancing will be required. The number of people in the building will be limited at any given time. The annual Spring Plant Sale will be held Saturday, April 17, on Texas Heroes Square in downtown Gonzales from 8:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. Many perennial/adaptive native plants, annuals, herbs, tropical house plants and succulents will be available. There will also be a few varieties of citrus trees, blackberries and blueberries available. 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. Cash, checks, credit, debit cards will be accepted this year. Come on out for a great time (rain or shine). For more information contact Fran Saliger at or call 830-203-0311.

Online: “Successful Spring Vegetable Gardening,” with Galveston County Master Gardener and Vegetable Specialist Herman Auer presenting, 10-11:30 am, March 8, online via Zoom. Pre-registration required. Registration ends 3 pm the day before the program. Register:

Online: The Williamson County Master Gardeners will present the online program “Seasonal Herbs” via the WebEx platform on March 8. The free program, which will be from 7-8 p.m., is open to the public. It is one of the monthly horticultural education programs offered by this volunteer horticultural organization of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Williamson County. The program presenter will be Master Gardener Radhika Baliga, who is on the herb committee and has been raising them for quite some time. He will talk about growing, harvesting and drying herbs. Participants will learn how to use and preserve cool-season plants such as dill and cilantro, as well as warm-season plants like basil and lemongrass. They can be grown in your backyard, on your patio, or even on your windowsill. For additional information, contact Kate Whitney, AgriLife Extension horticulture agent for Williamson County, or call the agency’s office at 512-943-3300.

Online: Mark Chamblee, an enthusiastic advocate of agriculture and horticulture, will speak to the Houston Rose Society Thursday, March 11, 7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. (CST). He grew up in the family rose business, managing the business since 1974. In 1982, he purchased the family's Chamblee’s Rose Nursery and ran that successful wholesale/retail/mail order nursery in Tyler. For many years Mark has been a leader in Texas agriculture serving as a past State Director and Chairman of the Texas Nursery and Landscape Association and past State Director and Vice-President of Texas Farm Bureau. He is a Texas Master Certified Nursery Professional, and was awarded the AgriLife Extension Award of Excellence, not only for his involvement in agriculture, but for his advocacy for the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and participation in the Earth-Kind Rose and Landscape programs. Mark sold his nursery business in 2019 and went to work as the Grower/Landscape Sales Representative for Vital Earth Resources/Carl Pool Fertilizer, a company he had purchased products from since 1982. Mark is a well-known speaker across the state and an authority on rose growing, care and production. He continues to serve the industry in his current position with Vital Earth. Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone. .You can also dial in using your phone. United States: +1 (872) 240-3412 Access Code: 380-904-309. New to GoToMeeting? Get the app now and be ready when your first meeting starts:

Online: March 12-13 “March Madness Plant Sale.” Online-only plant sale. Plants fruit trees, Master Gardener grown plants, herbs, hot peppers, eggplant, squash, melons & cucumbers. Plant pickup at Galveston County Master Gardeners Discovery Garden in Carbide Park, 4102-B Main Street (Hwy 519), La Marque. For additional details visit:

Online: “Galveston County Master Gardener March Madness Sale.” Due to COVID19, the plant sale will be held online. Shop online and schedule curbside pick time, Noon to Noon, March 12-13. Browse online starting March 5. Visit the Galveston Master Gardener online store for more details:

Online: “Year-Round Care of Landscape Trees and Shrubs,” Dr. William M. Johnson, Galveston County Extension Agent for Horticulture presenting, 10-11:30 am, March 19, online via Zoom. Pre-registration required. Registration ends 3 pm the day before the program. Register:

Online: “Tomato Stress Management – Growing Great Tomatoes, Part 3 of 3,” Galveston County Master Gardener Ira Gervais, 10-11:30 a.m., March 26, online via Zoom. Pre-registration required. Registration ends 3pm the day before the program. Register:

Huntsville: The Texas Thyme Unit of The Herb Society of America will be holding its annual Herb and Plant Sale on the grounds of the historic Wynne Home, 1428 11th Street, Huntsville, on Saturday, March 27, 8:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Perennial and annual herbs, passalong plants, native plants, pollinator plants and vegetables will be for sale. Masks and social distancing will be required. For more information, contact or visit at

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 or call 830-203-0311.
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 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 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, call 972-932-9069 or email to

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 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
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
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

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

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
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 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 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

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
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

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

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
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
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 or
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
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
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, 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 and
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
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 or visit
Orange: The Orange County Master Gardeners Association holds their monthly meeting on the second Thursday of each month. A short program is presented. The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. at the new Orange County Expo Center on Hwy 1442 in Orangefield. Enter the building in the front entrance, first door on the right, Texas AgriLife offices. Pot luck supper at 6 p.m. Visit for more information.

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

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

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
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
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
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
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

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

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

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  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 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
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
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

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 or call 817-454-8175.
Hallettsville: The Hallettsville Garden Club meets at 2 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month from September through May, at the Hallettsville Garden and Cultural Center, 107 Fink Street, Hallettsville. Each month, the club hosts speakers that provide informative programs on a wide range of gardening subjects, and refreshments are provided by member hostesses afterwards. Visitors are welcome! Please email Sharon Harrigan at for more information.
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

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

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 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
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
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
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
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 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
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 or email
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

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

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
Dallas: The Dallas County Master Gardeners meet the fourth Thursday of each month at 11:30 a.m. For location and program information, visit or contact The Helpdesk, M-F, 8 to 4:30 214-904-3053.
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,
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
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

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

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

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