Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Two Short Course Programs for Landscaping Professionals

Dr. Meng Meng Gu, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service specialist, has organized two horticulture short course programs for landscape professionals.  See information below for registration information and further details.

In Tyler, December 5th and 6th:

December 5-6, 2012 Tyler Earth-Kind Landscape Workshop (PDF Flyer—registration form included); Approved for 6 TNLA CEUs for Wednesday and 7 CEUs for Thursday. TDA CEUs have been  approved for Ag CEU  (3.5 general and 5 IPM) and SPCS CEU  (1 general safety, 1 general other, 3 general IPM, 1 weed and 2 lawn & ornamental).
Participants are not required to attend the entire workshop to receive CEU credits for the sessions they attend.

In College Station, December 10th through 14th:

Earth-Kind Landscape Short Course College Station, Dec 10-14 (PDF Flyer—registration form included); Approved for 7 TNLA CEUs/day for Monday-Thursday and 3.5 CEUs for Friday; TDA CEUs have been approved for Ag CEU (10 general, 9 IPM and 1 laws and regulations), and SPCS CEU  (1 general safety, 1 general laws and regulations, 2 weed and 10 lawn & ornamental).
Participants are not required to attend the entire short course to receive CEU credits for the sessions they attend.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Are your trees struggling?  It may be the lingering effects of drought.
I often get asked about trees that have died "suddenly." True sudden death in trees is actually not that common. Drought stress can take years to show symptoms, and then the secondary problems move in, which may cause what seems to be a very sudden death.  Extension's AgriLife Today news service has a very informative article on this topic.  Read on to find out more:

Monday, October 15, 2012

Buy your tickets now to the 2012 Inside Austin Gardens Tour!

Inside Austin Gardens Tour
Saturday, October 20, 2012, 9am-4pm

Join us for the 2012 Inside Austin Gardens tour, showcasing 7 gardens where vegetables and ornamentals not only get along but elevate each other to new heights of design.   Presented by the Travis County Master Gardeners in cooperation with the Texas Agrilife Extension Service in Travis County, the tour takes place Saturday, October 20, 2012 from 9:00am until 4:00pm.  Tour includes gardens to explore, educational talks, and plant and book sales. Tour information can be found at   

With water-wise gardening techniques in mind, seven gardens will showcase ways to incorporate food and water for all the visitors to the garden:  bees, hummingbirds, butterflies, and birds - as well as people and pets.   The gardens feature herbs, vegetables, citrus and fruit trees, as well as heirloom roses mixed with Texas-tough, drought-tolerant native and adapted plants.  All gardens will feature water conservation in a variety of methods including rainwater collection systems, drip irrigation, mulches and soil composition.
As always, the tour will include educational seminars and other fun activities at each stop.   Learn what vegetables to grow and why, let the children eat rainbows, or hear the thought-provoking story of the American Indian medicine wheel.  Learn practical methods to add edibles to your landscape, how to eat the fruits of your labors, and recipes to spice things up with herbs!  Books, plants and t-shirts will be available at each garden.  

Purchase advance tickets online at a discounted price, or at regular price at each garden on tour day.  Further information – including seminar topics and schedules, maps and ticket prices-- can be found at   So join us on the tour and help keep Austin edible and blooming.   

Planting for Winter Color

Planting for Winter Color
Thursday, October 18, 2012, 10am-12pm
Travis County AgriLife Extension Office
1600 B Smith Rd., Austin TX  78721

Perk up the winter landscape by incorporating the principles learned at this seminar   Understand the best times and conditions required to ensuring success with the plants and seeds.   Bulb, dramatic vegetables, flowering annuals and perennials, shrubs and trees are all part of the selection mix and will be discussed.  This seminar is free and open to the public.  It is presented by the Travis County Master Gardeners, a volunteer arm of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service in Travis County. For information, call (512)854-9600.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Upcoming Urban Farming Program

Do you have an interest in urban farming?  If so, this program may be for you.  See press release below, and contact me at if you have any questions.  The full agenda is posted on the registration website at, keyword "urban."

Three program sessions for people interested in producing agricultural crops on small-acreage sites will be held during Oct. and Nov. at the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service office in Travis County.

The office is located at 1600-B Smith Road in southeast Austin.

“This program is being offered in three parts and will be helpful for both home and small-plot producers, including producers who grow for farmers markets or are involved in sustainable foods efforts or community gardens,” said Daphne Richards, AgriLife Extension agent for horticulture in Travis County.

Program sessions will be from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. on Oct. 25, Nov. 11 and Nov. 18 at 1600-B Smith Rd.

The program will cover vegetable and greenhouse crop production, as well as how to plan, manage and find resources and possible funding to help support a small-scale farming operation, Richards said. There is also a field tour of a local urban farm.

The Oct. 25 session will address planning a small-scale farming operation and include a presentation and field tour at certified organic Green Gate Farms. The Nov. 1 session will cover vegetable production, recommended fruit crops, insect and disease management and permaculture basics. The Nov. 8 session will focus on programs and resources available to the small-acreage farmer, plus provide information on zoning, soil surveys, organic certification and grant writing.     

Instruction will be given by AgriLife Extension personnel and representatives of other agencies, including the Texas Department of agriculture and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. 

“This three-part program is particularly relevant, given the growing public interest in small-scale local food production and home-based backyard farming,” Richards said.

Texas Department of Agriculture continuing education units in the general and integrated pest management categories will be available for pesticide licensees attending the sessions. 

The cost is $50 per session or $100 for all three.  To register, go to the AgriLife Extension Conference Services website and search for keyword "urban."