Earn 5 CEU credits for BMGA members!
8:00 am: Gardens open. Join us for coffee and light breakfast
8:50 am – 9:00 am: Welcome: Jay White
9:00 am – 9:50 am: Rosanne Green – Growing Tomatoes with, and for the Young Family
10:00 am – 10:45 am: Destin Noak – Mastering Container Grown Tomatoes
11:00 am – 12:00 pm: Patty Leander– Know Before you Grow: Best Varieties for 2024 PLUS 8 Steps to Grafting Success.
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm: Lunch
1:00 pm – 1:45 pm: Kevin Ong – The Beauty of Diseased Tomatoes
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm: Skip Richter– 10 Commandments of Tomatoes
3:30 pm: Wrap up and final door prizes
Many Thanks to our generous sponsors!
The Antique Rose Emporium
Nelson’s Plant Food
Medina Agriculture Products
The Bluebonnet Master Gardener Association announces opening registration for it 2024 Master Gardener Certification Training Class.
Our 2024 Class is scheduled each Wedenday from January 10th – April 24th, 2024 with the final graduation class on Tuesday, April 23, 2024. The last class on April 24th is a Bonus Day including topics not contained in the standard training manuel.
Participants from Austin, Colorado, Fayette & Washington Counties are welcome to register for the class. The 50+ hours of classes will be held at the Washington County Expo Event Center at 1305 East Bell Road, Brenham, Texas 77833.
Details of field trips for on-site learning will be announced in class. The Master Gardener Handbook, compiled by the Texas Master Gardener Association, is included in the $200 registration fee. You may register online below or contact the Washington County Extension office at (979) 277-6262 for more information.
Class size is limited to 25.
For more information about the Master Gardener Program and to apply for the class, HERE
The Texas Superstar brochure is updated. The new brochure is a beautiful, full color 44-page booklet with detailed descriptions, suggested uses and special notes for each plant with the Texas Superstar® designation.
You may print, download, view it in your browser or on device. Be sure to have it available when planning your landscape and vegetable gardens.
To be designated a Texas Superstar® a plant must be beautiful and perform well for growers throughout the state. Texas Superstars must also be easy to propagate, ensuring the plants are widely available and reasonably priced.
Texas Superstar® is a registered trademark owned by Texas A&M AgriLife Research, a state agency that is part of the Texas A&M University System. Plants are designated Texas Superstars by the Texas Superstar executive board, made up of nine horticulturalists from AgriLife Research, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and Texas Tech University.
Gerald Dupont (BMGA) will speak about fall vegetable gardening.
All educational programs begin with:
Registration at 11:50 to 12:05 PM
Program from 12:05 to 12:50 PM
Bring your own lunch and drink.
All programs are free to the public!
Bluebird eggs are a welcome herald of Spring at the Bluebonnet Master Gardener Association’s Sens Center Demonstration Garden. Five lovely bluebird eggs are in a nest box attached at the top of an 8′ tall chain-link fence which encloses the garden. The nest box faces west toward an open area with woods approximately 100′ away. The Sens Center Demonstration Garden is located in Bellville, Texas behind the Sens Community Center.
There are several species of bluebirds found in Texas, including the Eastern Bluebird, Western Bluebird, and Mountain Bluebird. Eastern Bluebirds are the most common throughout the eastern and central parts of the state, while Western Bluebirds and Mountain Bluebirds are less common and typically found in the western and northern parts of the state. Bluebirds in Texas prefer open areas with scattered trees and may be found in fields, pastures, and orchards. They primarily feed on insects and berries and can often be spotted perched on fences, power lines, or other elevated perches. Bluebirds are a beautiful and welcome sight in Texas and are often attracted to birdhouses placed in suitable habitats.
Bluebird nest boxes are encouraged by Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD) as the boxes provide important habitat for bluebirds and other cavity-nesting birds. In many areas of Texas, natural cavities suitable for nesting are in short supply, so nest boxes can be a vital resource for bluebirds.
The photo was taken by certified Master Gardener and BMGA member Leah Pearce, on Wednesday, April 5, 2023.
For paper order form, click HERE
All proceeds benefit the AgriLife Extension Horticulture Committee’s Scholarship Fund.
Bluebonnet 2023 Master Gardener Annual Plant Sale.
In addition to landscape plants for sale, tomato plants will also be available for purchase. Nine varieties will be offered. Click HERE for the complete list.
February 21: Garden Stretches: Stop the Ache before you Rake (Michelle Wright, Austin County, CEA)
March 21: Composting (Mary Karish, Waller County Master Gardener)
April 18: TBA
May 16: Orchids
June – August: No Program
September 19: Plumerias (Faye Beery, Bluebonnet Master Gardener)
October 17: Wonderful World of the Honeybee (Tom Shaughnessy, Local Beekeeper)
Bring your own lunch
Light refreshments: coffee, tea and snacks provided.
11:50 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
12:0 p.m.- 1:00 p.m.
Austin County AgriLife Office
800 E. Wendt St., Bellville, Tx 77418
Questions: Call 979-865-2072
Bring your lunch and learn.
Light refreshments: coffee, tea and snacks provided.
11:50 a.m.-12:05 p.m.
12:05 p.m.- 12:55 p.m.
No pre-registration required
Colorado County Services Building
305 Radio Lane, Columbus, Texas 78934
Questions: Call 979-732-2082
Colorado County Services Facility
305 Radio Lane in Columbus
Registration: 11:50 a.m.
Program: 12:05 – 12:55
You are welcome to bring your own lunch.
Colorado County members of the Bluebonnet Master Gardener Association are pleased to announce the upcoming Colorado County Lunch-N-Learn Series focused on gardening and horticulture!
Programs will be held on the 3rd Wednesday of each month at the Colorado County Services Facility located at 305 Radio Lane in Columbus. Registration will open at 11:50 am with the program starting promptly at 12:05 pm and ending by 12:55pm. Attendees are asked to bring their own lunch. Light refreshments including coffee, tea and snacks will be provided. No preregistration is required for this free program.
The following is our program line-up:
- July 20th – Firewise Landscaping
- August 17th – Fall Vegetable Gardening
- September 21st – All About Berries: Blackberries and Blueberries for the Home Gardener
- October 19th – Tree Care
- November 16th – Soil Biology and Compost Tea
For more information please contact the Colorado County AgriLife Extension Office at 979-732-2082.
The Gardens at Texas A&M
Saturday, June 11, 2022
Free parking available in lot 97.
Join us at our annual community Summer Celebration for food and fun for the family, including children’s educational activities, story time with Chance The Librarian, JJ’s snow cones, and more. You won’t want to miss this fun-filled morning!
Pete & Paula’s Pollinator Patch is a section of the Bluebonnet Master Gardener’s Sens Center Demonstration Garden in Austin County, Texas. The garden overall is dedicated to demonstrating sound techniques for growing vegetable and other food crops. However, this year, Master Gardeners Pete Smith and Paula Trahan started the “Pete & Paula’s Pollinator Patch” to demonstrate the use of plants which attract pollinators to the garden to pollinate the vegetables in the garden. As many fruit and vegetable plants require a pollinator to set fruit, attracting pollinators to the garden is necessary.
After about four months, Pete and Paula are pleased with how quickly our pollinator garden has progressed. “We truly got a late start, but everything has grown by leaps and bounds. Every plant was a pass along or freebie from the garden center.” Ms. Trahan explained. Pete & Paul’s next step is to include a small solar water feature in the center to attract more butterflies, bees and birds. Included in the garden are lantana, standing cypress, Asian purple basil, echinacea, porterweed, rock rose mallow.
The Fort Bend Regional Vegetable Conference is a celebration of vegetable production along the upper Gulf Coast region. Counties of Waller, Wharton, Harris, Galveston, Brazoria, Colorado, and Austin join with Fort Bend to put on this event focusing on teaching sustainable practices to help producers maximize efficiencies and profitability. Although we were not able to host our annual Vegetable Conference in February, we have put together a short virtual summer session with topics centered around sustainable and organic production, disease and insect management, and variety selection. Partnering sponsors have allowed us to offer this program at a great price. The cost to attend is $10. We will offer three (3) continuing education credits in the General category for Texas Department of Agriculture Pesticide Applicator license holders.
Come join us virtually at the Fort Bend Regional Vegetable Conference – Summer Session on Thursday, July 29, 2021. The conference will begin at 9:00 am and end at 12:00 pm.
To register, please go to https://tinyurl.com/t86xftbh. There will be no in office registrations. For general questions, please contact Brandy Rader at 281-633-7029.
Please join Texas A&M Agrilfe Extension Service August 27, 2021 for the Fall Horticulature Seminar, hosted by Texas A&M Agrilfe Extension Service for Austin County. Topics, which will be presented by AgriLife Extentions Agent Robert “Skip” Richter and Specialists Tim Hartmann, Ph.D and Monte Nesbitt, Ph.D include:
Planting Fall Vegetables
Fruit Tree Care and Maintenance
Citrus Tree Care and Maintance
Prepping Plants for Freezes
RSVP HERE by August 25, 2021 or call 979-865-2072.
By Faye Beery, Bluebonnet Master Gardener Assocaiton
That is how long the Master Gardener program has been going in our 4 county region. On May 25, 2021 the Bluebonnet Master Gardeners celebrated our 20th anniversary of the demonstration garden in Austin County. While the weather was not the best, everyone enjoyed the program given by Dr. Shackelford, good food and seeing the Bluebonnet Master Gardener Association’s demonstration garden located at the Sens Acitvity Center in Bellville, Texas. Vegetables were available, most gave a voluntary donation to the garden, as well as some produce was avaialbe to pick in the garden.
A big attraction in the garden was the keyhole garden. The keyhole concept was first introduced into arid African regions by the U.K. organization Send a Cow. The idea was to help poor families grow their own food despite the poor soil and drought conditions. The keyhole concept is a raised circular bed with a wedge shaped cutout on one side which allows persons easy access to the whole bed. When seen from above, it resembles a lock and keyhole. In the center is a wire cage for compost which decomposes and provides nutrients to the bed. This form is less labor intensive and more affordable for people who want to grow their own food. And you don’t have to bend over.
The outer structure can be any sturdy material, cinder blocks, bricks, rocks are a good choice. They are placed in a round design with a wedge on one side so that individuals can reach the middle as well as the outsides allowing for easy planting and harvesting. The wire cage in the center makes it easily accessible to place the compost materials.
A strong advocate of the keyhole concept is Deb Tolman, PhD, from Clifton, Texas. She is an environmental scientist and landscape designer and co-founder of the Silo Project a non-profit organization, which is centered on sustainability. Due to her outreach and workshops, there are more than 70 keyhole gardens in Clifton, which is in arid North Texas. She recommends a 3:1 ratio of brown and green material which forms the core garden. Decomposition rapidly generates heat and breaks down the material to feed plants. Brown material includes brown grass/leaves; paper and wood, straw, sawdust, lint from the dryer or vacuum, and lots of cardboard, which is the first layer in the bottom of the bed. It should be thoroughly wet to begin decomposition. Green materials include kitchen scraps, manure, green grass/leaves, or plants. Her website provides instructions on how to construct a keyhole garden. Follow the link to her Field Guide PDF .
There is also a new addition to the garden which is currently under construction this week. It is Pete and Paula’s pollinator patch. They plan to include plants which attract pollinators to the garden to pollinate the vegetables that grow there. We’ll have more on this when they begin planting.
I know everyone is happy to get back to our regular meetings. See you at the next one!
The 2021 Texas Master Gardener State Conference will be held virtually this year on May 18-19, 2021. The leadership workshop will be on May 17, 2021.
Join us as we walk through Texas gardens! We have an amazing line-up of inspirational speakers ready to share with you their favorite topics in horticulture. We will also travel across the state through virtual tours to see the diverse gardens of Texas.
The conference offers continuing education hours for Master Gardeners including three keynote presentations, twenty-four breakout sessions, and four virtual tours.
The conference is also time to celebrate the Search for Excellence Awards and the incredible achievements our volunteers are accomplishing in education across the state.
Cost: $50 includes both Day 1 & Day 2!
Planting flowers and vegetables can result in beautiful bouquets and bountiful harvests for your meals. But did you know that gardening offers many health benefits as well? Join Jennifer Shukaitis, MPH, FCHS Educator, Rutgers Cooperative Extension from the State Office to learn how gardening may benefit the well-being of you and your family members. See registration link below:
When: March 31, 2021 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. Central Time
BMGA CEU: 1 hour
Presenter: Jennifer Shukaitis, Family & Community Health Sciences Educator III (Eqv. to Asst. Professor), Dept. of Family and Community Health Sciences
BMGA Chapter Meeting at the American Legion Hall in Sealy.
Time: 8:30 – 10:00 Board Meeting
10:00 – 10:30 Social/Team Time
10:30 – 11:30 Presenter
11:30 – 12:00 General Chapter Business
Place: Austin County /Sealy American Legion Hall, 1630 Meyer Street, Sealy, TX 77474
Presenter: Jay White – Texas Gardener Magazine
Presentation: Texas Gardener’s Grow Great Vegetables
Masks and social distancing required.
All snacks must be individually wrapped food items.