Thursday, March 14, 2013

Helpful Publication on Soils

If you were unable to attend our soils presentation today, you missed a great program!  One of the bottom line points was that organic matter, most especially compost here in Central Texas, is the best possible amendment for our garden and vegetable beds.  So I wanted to share with you a good publication from Oregon State University Extension Service:

And I'll also share a tip with you that I shared in this morning's class:  anytime you are doing an internet search for gardening/horticulture information (and many other topics too), use the word "Extension" as part of your search ("Extension soil compaction," Extension roses," etc.).  That will ensure that most of the information that comes up is from a land-grant university, which means that the information will be based on research and written by degreed specialists in their field.

Happy gardening!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

ISA CEUs Being Offered for Tree Care Workshop

We have just received approval from the International Society of Arboriculture to offer continuing education units for certified arborists who attend the oak wilt/tree care workshop on Saturday, April 13th.

ISA CEUs offered
Certified Arborist:  3.5
BCMA - Science: 3.5
Utility Specialist:  3.5
Municipal Specialist:  3.5

As a reminder, 2 TDA pesticide applicator CEUs are also being offered for this program.  And the program details are posted here:  Oak Wilt/Tree Care workshop

Friday, March 8, 2013

Organic Pest Control Options Seminar

Friday, March 15, 2013, 9:00 to 11:00 AM
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service
1600 Smith Rd, Austin TX 
Dr. Joe Masabni, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service vegetable specialist, will present a 2 hour webinar on organic product options for controlling garden pests.  Many organic products are not as effective as others. Also, organic products are not necessarily safer to use than synthetic options and should be handled and used with care.  With the need to control pollution and other harmful effects of over-use of pesticides, learning which organic products actually work, and how to use them, is crucial.

2 TDA Ag pesticide recertification CEUs will be offered.

Class is limited to 25 participants.  Please register at   keyword: Organic.  Or register by phone (979) 845-2604.  If space is available, onsite registration will be offered at 8:00 AM on the morning of the program.  Class fee is $10.

Aphids actively feeding on plant juices.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Change of date for Ornamental Trees seminar

Please note a date change for one of our upcoming seminars.  The seminar on ornamental trees has been changed from March 30 to April 13.

Care of Ornamental Trees
Saturday, April 13, 2013, 9am-1pm
Austin Community College, South Campus, rm 1130
1820 W Stassney Lane, Austin TX 
Oak wilt, one of the most destructive tree diseases in the United States, is killing oak trees in central Texas at epidemic proportions.  Dr. David Appel, professor in the Department of Plant Pathology at Texas A&M, will teach which trees are affected by oak wilt, how to identify the disease, how it is spread, and how it can be managed.  We will discuss preventative measures that can help you avoid this devastating disease. 
Please register at   keyword: Trees, or by phone (979)845-2604.  Class fee is $25 (water and snacks provided). Free parking available.  Sign-in at the security desk with your vehicle license number. This class is presented by the Travis County Master Gardeners, a volunteer arm of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service in Travis County.
2 TDA pesticide applicator CEUs (general) offered.

Monday, March 4, 2013

March 14 seminar: Understanding Your Soil

Your soil is the foundation of your garden and it can make your plants survive and thrive or bring them down.  So understanding how to make your soil the best it can be should be at the top of your gardening priority list.
Understanding Soil and Soil Amendments
Thursday, March 14, 2013, 10am-12pm
Travis County AgriLife Extension Office
1600 B Smith Rd., Austin TX  78721
Get to know your soil so you can improve its ability to retain moisture and improve plant growth.  Your soil may be blocking vital elements your plants need to grow.  Ascertain how and when to add missing elements to improve plant health and production. Learn the type of soil on your property and its corresponding strengths and weakness.  (Bring a cup of your soil in a plastic bag and a glass jar with lid.) Discover changes you can make to improve the soil structure and water storage capacity.  Organic matter, cover crops, soil microorganism and mulching will be discussed.
This class is part of The Green Thumb series.  Registration required at or by phone 979-845-2604.  Keyword Search: Green Thumb.  One class is $15, with price discounts for signing up for 3 or more classes at the same time.  Class is limited to 40 people. It is presented by the Travis County Master Gardeners, the volunteer arm of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Travis County.