Wealth of informative programs are on tap beginning in January

December 31, 2010

by Helen Boatman, Victoria County Master Gardener

edited by Charla Borchers Leon,
Victoria County Master Gardener
Master Gardeners "practice what they preach" in performing proper techniques in gardening. Master Gardener Jerome Janak is shown pruning a live oak tree at Victoria Educational Gardens.
Gardeners' Dirt

A typical "Lunch and Learn with the Masters" session attracted a full classroom of attendees last year. Educational information on gardening and landscape techniques were shared, free of charge, to almost 800 people from 19 towns and 13 counties at 12 sessions this past year.
The Victoria County Master Gardeners and Texas AgriLife Extension Service are pleased to announce the return of our award-winning program, Lunch and Learn with the Masters, for 2011.

If you are new to the area - or have not been aware of this opportunity before - this is a free gardening information program for the public. If you attended any of our sessions last year, you were part of the 790 people from 19 towns and 13 counties who attended. Thank you, and we hope to see you again. Be sure to bring a friend or neighbor.


The free programs will be presented at the Dr. Pattie Dodson Public Health Center, 2805 N. Navarro St., from noon to 1 p.m. on the second Monday of January through August.

The first five months of the year will offer an additional session on the fourth Monday. You are welcome to bring your lunch and a drink if you wish.


Victoria County Extension Agent Joe Janak once again will begin our year on Jan. 10 with "Soil Preparation, Fertilization, Etc." He'll be able to share information you will need to amend your soil for all of your gardening needs this year.

The remainder of our presenters will be Victoria County Master Gardeners.

Charlie Neumeyer will share his special knowledge of pruning when he presents "Pruning Shrubs and Trees" on Jan. 24.


An appropriate program for Feb. 14, Jerome Janak will share information on "Roses: Planting, Pruning and Care," just in time to get your roses ready for the season. He grows many varieties of roses and has lots of information.

Alton Meyer will present "Planting and Growing Fruit Trees in Victoria" on Feb. 28. Meyer knows a lot about fruit trees; however, his specialty is the Meyer lemon.


With spring just around the corner, Gerald Bludau will present "Spring Vegetable Gardening" on March 14. His special way of presenting vital information is always informative and entertaining.

A gardener is always looking for ways to increase plants in the garden. Learn how to propagate your own plants when Dick Nolen presents "Propagating Plants you Can Use in the Landscape" on March 28.


With all the new growth showing in the garden, Carmen Price will share with you "Hardy Plants for Butterflies and Hummingbirds" on April 11.

Following that informative program, two weeks later, on April 25, Barbara Hennig will share her special information on "Beautiful Flowering Landscape Plants."


"Citrus Greening" is a program that should be attended by anyone who has citrus trees growing in their yard. Citrus greening is a serious, tree-killing disease. Everyone should be on the lookout for tell-tale signs.

Three Master Gardeners have received special training on how to detect this malady. They are James Denman, Kay Dillingham and Pat Plowman. They will present their information on May 9.

Many people enjoy growing herbs, and this is the time of year to get them growing in your garden. Eunice Lee, will present "Growing and Enjoying Herbs" on May 23.


If you have attended our programs in the past, you have noticed new subjects and new presenters. Here are more newbies in both areas.

Doris Martinak and Virginia Ruschhaupt will present "Bulbs: Daylilies, Irises, Etc." on June 13.


It may be the in the middle of summer, but it really is time to start the fall garden. Roy Cook will present "Fall Vegetable Gardening" on July 11.


Our 2011 program will conclude with a different format. On Aug. 8, we will have a "Question-and-Answer Session: Panel of Master Gardeners." Bring your questions that were not answered in any of the sessions, or something that has just come to mind. Among those Master Gardeners on the panel will be Kathy Chilek, Glenn Chilek, Ed Gregurek, Pat Plowman and Nancy Zaplac. As with all of our Master Gardeners, they have a wealth of information to share with you.

We look forward to presenting our programs to you - and to seeing you beginning Jan. 10. Happy New Year from the Victoria County Master Gardeners.
Second and fourth Monday, January-May
Second Monday, June-August
Free gardening and landscape information
Dr. Pattie Dodson Public Health Center, 2805 N. Navarro St.
Noon-1 p.m.
Bring your lunch and drink (if you wish)

790 attended last year's programs.
Attendees came from 19 towns and 13 counties.
81 percent gained a high or very high level of knowledge.
89 percent rated the program content "good" or "excellent."
The Gardeners' Dirt is written by members of the Victoria County Master Gardener Association, an educational outreach of Texas AgriLife Extension - Victoria County. Mail your questions in care of the Advocate, P.O. Box 1518, Victoria, TX 77901; or vcmga@vicad.com, or comment on this column at www.VictoriaAdvocate.com.