What's In The Bag
for Victoria County Master Gardeners in 2009
January 1, 2009

By Cliff Knezek, Victoria County Master Gardener, President

Edited by Charla Borchers Leon
2009 Master Gardener
Calendar of Events

Lunch and Learn with the Masters
Every 2nd and 4th Monday through April, begins January 12.
Every 2nd Monday, May through August

Spring Plant Sale
March 21

Annual Garden Tour
May 16 & 17

EarthKind Rose Seminar
October 17

The Gardeners' Dirt
Published weekly in the Home & Garden section of Thursday's Victoria Advocate
Knezek volunteered at most every project in the recent expansion phase of VEG including the installation of the rain harvesting water tank/cistern.  He is shown with fellow Master Gardeners, Ed Gregurek, Glen Chilek, and Ken Knief.
As the New Year begins with a new president, I am honored and humbled that I have been elected as president of the Victoria County Master Gardener Association (VCMGA) for 2009.  I will do my best to follow in the footsteps of the previous presidents.  We are starting our 12th year of existence and what a pleasant journey it has been.  To help me with my duties as president, my fellow officers include: President Elect-Roy Cook, Vice President-Barbara Thedin, Secretary-Barb Henry, Treasurer-Carmen Price,  Treasurer Elect-Alton Meyer, State Directors-Maria Sobczak and Jerome Janak, and Alternate State Directors-Kay Dillingham and Mary Janak.
2009 Victoria County Master Gardener Association President, Cliff Knezek, front right, is "hands on" in construction and mulching of Victoria Educational Gardens with Master Gardeners Pat Plowman and Ken Knief.

The gardens known as VEG is one of our organization's major projects that all members volunteer to upkeep.  Open from dawn to dusk, seven days a week, VEG is located at the Victoria Regional Airport, 333 Bachelor Drive, across from the newly renovated control tower.  It is available for tours by request.  There have been hundreds of school children in Victoria and the surrounding area tour VEG during the past year, and we will continue to make these tours available again in 2009.  In additionlto schools, there have been numerous garden clubs andn other organizations requesting guided tours.


Plans are underway to erect a pavilion between the present garden and the 4-H Activity Center.  This building will enable usu to hold our educational programs, meetings, plant sales and seminars all at the same location.  The building will also be available to the public on a rental basis.  We are currently in the fundraising stage of the project.


The 2008 Lunch and Learn with the Masters was such a successful program, it will be continued in 2009.  Coordinated by the Master Gardeners through Texas AgriLife Extension Service, it will be held from noon till 1 p.m. at the Dr. Pattie Dodson Health Center in Victoria on the second and fourth Mondays of the month January through April.  May through August it will be held on the second Monday of each month.  Proposed topics for 2009 include pruning fruits, ornamentals and trees, collecting graftwood, pruning of roses, preparation for spring vegetable gardening, types of vegetables and weed control.  Also budding and grafting ornamentals, coloring your landscape wiht annuals and perennials, insect control, rainwater harvesting, essentials for building a trellis, arbor and raised beds, water gardening, and mulching, composting, and water conservation.  Watch for dates and topics in the Victoria Advocate Crossroads calendar.  There is no charge for these programs, so pack your sack lunch and join us.


The Gardeners' Dirt column in the Thursday Victoria Advocate has published information weekly to help educate the public.  In the six years of publication, we have not had a duplicated subject yet, which is phenomenal!  All articles are written by Master Gardeners and Master Gardener interns.  If you have a subject we have not addressed and would like to see it in print, please let us hear from you.  Contact us at VCMGA, P. O. Box 1723, Victoria, TX 77902 or


The Victoria County Master Gardener Association has undertaken a statewide project called "Painting Texas With Wildflowers".  This project is in cooperation with the Texas Department of Transportation and the Department of Agriculture, and of course, all Texas AgriLife Extension organized county Master Gardener programs.  Our own Master Gardener, Maria Sobczak, is the statewide chairperson of this project.  The ultimate goal is to get all the counties in the State of Texas to participate in planting wildflowers across the State.  Thus far, 35 counties have joined us in the project.  The Victoria County Master Gardeners have made seed balls to distribute in our area to beautify Texas with wildflowers.


Each year the VCMGA holds two plant sales--one in the spring and one in the fall.  Al plants for ale have been propagated in our greenhouse, grown by Victoria County Master Gardeners or are highlighted plants we feature.  Our spring plant sale is March 21, so mark your calendar now for this sale.


After an absence of two years, the garden tour will resume in the spring of 2009 on the weekend of May 16-17.  There will be six beautiful landscaped gardens for your viewing experience.  There will be three main locations on the tour with two gardens located in each area--Downtown, Castle Hills, and Springwood.  Two of the gardens are being presented by our own Master Gardeners.  The gardens will feature container plants, perennials, palms, citrus, shade plants, tropicals, vines, a vegetable garden, fountains, and structures.


An EarthKind Rose seminar will be held on October 17, 2009 at the 4-H Activity Center near the Victoria Regional Airport.  The featured speaker will be Steve George, a horticulture specialist with Texas AgriLife Extension Service.  In addition to George, there will be other speakers who are specialists in their field of study.  As we near the date, all the details will be announced and publicized.


If you are interested in becoming a Master Gardener, the next training classes start in August and finish in November.  The classes are from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. each Thursday.  Each week a different subject will be discussed by speakers with expertise on the subject.  For further information, call Vikki at the Texas AgriLife Extension Office at 361-575-4581.

The future of the Victoria County Master Gardener Association looks bright and we will continue to educate the public in the Crossroads area.  With the 30 new interns joining the Master Gardeners, we can predict great things for our organization.  Happy New Year from all of us to each of you.