December 30, 2011

by Helen Boatman, Victoria County Master Gardener

edited by Charla Borchers Leon,
Victoria County Master Gardener
Gardeners' Dirt
“Master Gardener Helen Boatman, standing front, has been instrumental along with Master Gardener Jolene Molder in coordinating the Lunch and Learn with the Masters program since inception four years ago.   She is present at most sessions to welcome participants and introduce speakers.  Over 1000 attendees obtained gardening information from these sessions in 2011. ”
“Master Gardener Jerome Janak will share his vast knowledge about roses on the fourth Monday in January.  A noted rosarian, Jerome has been involved with EarthKind roses at Victoria Educational Gardens and in Texas.  He and his Master Gardener wife, Mary, also are active with the ‘rose rustler’ group in Texas and grow various kinds of roses in their own landscape.”
For the past four years, the Victoria County Master Gardener Association (VCMGA) has offered educational gardening programs free to the public on various Mondays over the noon hour.  They have been a tremendous success with nearly 1000 people attending this last year.  Attendees have been from Victoria and as many as 12 other counties.

Once again, VCMGA will be presenting lunchtime gardening information in 2012 with our “Lunch and Learn with the Masters” program starting the second week in January.  As in the past, all of the one hour sessions will be presented by Master Gardeners (except the first one by County Extension Agent Joe Janak) at the Pattie Dodson Health Center, 2805 North Navarro in Victoria, 12 noon until 1:00 P.M.  Guests are welcome to bring their lunch and drink.  The first of the year brings sessions twice a month, with one presentation per month offered after May.

With the drought being a part of all of our lives, we have strived to plan and present programs on how to deal with this phenomenon in our landscape.  We have also included popular subjects that most gardeners are always asking about, year after year.

• January Presentations

On January 9, Extension Agent Joe Janak will start the new year with his program on “Soil Preparation, Fertilization, Etc.”    He will help gardeners get a jump start on what needs to be done to get their gardens ready for spring planting.

Jerome Janak (yes, related to Joe!) will present “Everything You Want to Know About Roses” on January 23.   Jerome is a knowledgeable rosarian with a full hour of information for you.  No doubt he will also give a demonstration on the proper pruning technique of roses.

• February Presentations

On February 13, Ruth Anderson will present “Wildscapes.”  She will share information on using drought tolerant native plants in the home landscape, and also give information on how your yard can become a certified wildscape with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

Dick Nolen will share information on February 27 on how to make more plants for yourself and your friends, when he presents his program on “Propagation.” There are various techniques of propagation, and some plants lend themselves to a particular version.  Dick will help you determine which method suits the plant you wish to propagate.
• March Presentations

Helping to get your vegetable garden ready with valuable information will be Gerald Bludau, when he presents “Spring Vegetable Gardening” on March 12.  Gerald always has a vegetable garden growing at his home, and is anxious to share valuable information.
Our lawns have suffered greatly through this drought.  Charlie Neumeyer will present “Turf and Other Options for Shady Areas” on March 26.  He’ll have some new ideas on how to make your landscape beautiful. 

• April Presentation

On April 9, Chip Stepflug will present “Landscape Horticulture.”  Information will be shared on the basic design possibilities when undertaking new or renewing beds and problem areas in the homeowner’s yard, and sample ideas of plants to include.
• May Presentations

  On May 14, Beth Ellis will present “If I Want It in My Flowerbed, It’s Not a Weed.”  She will share with us names of native plants that are drought tolerant and are often overlooked for the home landscape, but would do very well in a difficult spot in the yard or flowerbed.
Linda Hartman and Gloria Spell, will present “50 Ways to be Water Smart” on May 21.   They will give tips on saving water in our homes and our yards, as well as ideas for conserving water in our environment.


• June Presentation

Mary Janak will present “Crepe Myrtles:  Lilacs of the South” on June 11.  The plants will be in bloom at that time, and Mary has lots of good information to share with you about them.

• July Presentation

Even though we will be in the middle of summer, it will be time to plan the next garden.  Chip Stepflug will present “Fall Vegetable Gardening” on July 9.

• August Presentation

Our last presentation of the year will be “Composting and Mulching”, presented by Ed Gregurek, on August 13.  Ed is in charge of composting at our Victoria Educational Garden (VEG), and has some great information for you.

There you have it, the line-up of programs for 2012.  We hope you will share an hour of your time on those scheduled days with us.  We’ll be looking forward to seeing you.  And from all of us as Victoria County Master Gardener Association, we hope you have a very Happy New Year!

• January 9 - Soil Preparation, Fertilization, Etc.
• January 23 - Everything You Want to Know About Roses
• February 13 - Wildscapes
• February 27 - Plant Propagation
• March 12 - Spring Vegetable Gardening
• March 26 - Turf and Other Options for Shady Areas
• April 9 - Landscape Horticulture
• May 14 - If I Want It in My Flowerbed, It’s Not a Weed
• May 21 - 50 Ways to be Water Smart
• June 11 - Crepe Myrtles:  Lilacs of the South
• July 9 - Fall Vegetable Gardening
• August 13 - Composting and Mulching

Presented by Victoria County Master Gardeners ~
CLICK for list of presenters

PLACE:   Pattie Dodson Health Center
2805 North Navarro

TIME:     12:00 Noon to 1:00 P.M.

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, or comment on this column at