Gardening events in the Houston area

TUESDAYS-SUNDAYS
The Mercer Society Gift and Plant Shoppe: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sundays at 400 Main, Old Town Spring; 281-651-5475, themercersociety.org/ways-to-give/donate. Sales proceeds benefit flood-damaged Mercer Botanic Gardens.
SATURDAY
Galveston County Master Gardeners Spring Fruit Tree and Plant Sale: 8 a.m. seminar, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. sale at Galveston County Fair Grounds, 10 Jack Brooks Road at Texas 6, Hitchcock; aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston. Free.
Urban Harvest’s Starting a Community or School Garden Workshop: 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. at the University of St. Thomas, 3800 Montrose; 713-880-5540, urbanharvest.org/classes-calendar. $20.
Vegetable Gardening for Beginners: with Andy Chidester.

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Gardening events in the Houston area

TUESDAYS-SUNDAYS
The Mercer Society Gift and Plant Shoppe: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sundays at 400 Main, Old Town Spring; 281-651-5475, themercersociety.org/ways-to-give/donate. Sales proceeds benefit flood-damaged Mercer Botanic Gardens.
SATURDAY
Brazoria County Master Gardeners Citrus and Fruit Tree Sale: 8 a.m.-noon at Brazoria County Fair Grounds, 901 S. Downing, Angleton; txmg.org/brazoria. Free.
Planting Fruit Trees: with Herman Auer, Galveston County Master Gardener specialist. 9-10:30 a.m. at Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, 4102-B Main, La Marque; register at 281-309-5065 or aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/index.html. Free, but registration required.

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Don’t murder the crape myrtles when pruning

Q: It pains me to see so many crape myrtles chopped down to ugly stubs. I see it everywhere, with properly pruned myrtles almost outnumbered by crape “murdered” trees. Will you provide pruning advice?
Betty Pritchett, Houston
A: The annual “crape myrtle murder” discussion has begun, so here are guidelines to prune these low-maintenance flowering trees.
Crapes do not need to be pruned to bloom. However, a tree can benefit from late-winter pruning to remove dead, weak or crossing branches and suckers at the base. But avoid mutilation.
Trim to maintain or restore a natural shape. Remove branches 2 inches or less in diameter, if necessary. Don’t top the trees.

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Don’t murder the crape myrtles when pruning

Q: It pains me to see so many crape myrtles chopped down to ugly stubs. I see it everywhere, with properly pruned myrtles almost outnumbered by crape “murdered” trees. Will you provide pruning advice?
Betty Pritchett, Houston
A: The annual “crape myrtle murder” discussion has begun, so here are guidelines to prune these low-maintenance flowering trees.
Crapes do not need to be pruned to bloom. However, a tree can benefit from late-winter pruning to remove dead, weak or crossing branches and suckers at the base. But avoid mutilation.
Trim to maintain or restore a natural shape. Remove branches 2 inches or less in diameter, if necessary. Don’t top the trees.

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Gardening events in the Houston area

ONGOING
The Mercer Society Gift and Plant Shoppe: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sundays at 400 Main, Old Town Spring; 281-651-5475, themercersociety.org/ways-to-give/donate. Sales proceeds benefit flood-damaged Mercer Botanic Gardens.
SATURDAY
First Saturday Birding: with Al Barr. 7:45 a.m. at Jesse H. Jones Park and Nature Center, 20634 Kenswick, Humble; 281-446-8588, hcp4.net/community/parks/jones. Free, ages 10 and older.
Amend, Feed, Protect – Simple Steps to Grow Better: with David Young from Soil Menders. 10 a.m. at Enchanted Forest, 10611 FM 2759, Richmond; 2 p.m. at Enchanted Gardens, 6420 FM 359, Richmond; myenchanted.com. Free.
Tomato Time: with the Gunters. 9 a.m. at Buchanan’s Native Plants, 611 E.

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Gardening events in the Houston area

ONGOING
The Mercer Society Gift and Plant Shoppe: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sundays at 400 Main, Old Town Spring; 281-651-5475, themercersociety.org/ways-to-give/donate. Sales proceeds benefit flood-damaged Mercer Botanic Gardens.
SATURDAY
First Saturday Birding: with Al Barr. 7:45 a.m. at Jesse H. Jones Park and Nature Center, 20634 Kenswick, Humble; 281-446-8588, hcp4.net/community/parks/jones. Free, ages 10 and older.
Amend, Feed, Protect – Simple Steps to Grow Better: with David Young from Soil Menders. 10 a.m. at Enchanted Forest, 10611 FM 2759, Richmond; 2 p.m. at Enchanted Gardens, 6420 FM 359, Richmond; myenchanted.com. Free.
Tomato Time: with the Gunters. 9 a.m. at Buchanan’s Native Plants, 611 E.

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Pocket-size seed packets speak volumes to gardeners

A seed packet may be small, but it speaks volumes.
While seed catalogs promote thousands of types of plants, seed packets tell gardeners how to grow one. All the information is printed on the back of a paper pouch slightly larger than the size of your wallet, and at prices that won’t empty it.
Although the cost of seeds has risen over the past few years, they’re still an economical way to garden, said Elsa Sanchez, a commercial vegetable crops specialist at Penn State University Extension.
“The other option would be to buy transplants, which is generally more expensive,” Sanchez said. “You also find a lot more options for types and cultivars when you start from seed.

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Pocket-size seed packets speak volumes to gardeners

A seed packet may be small, but it speaks volumes.
While seed catalogs promote thousands of types of plants, seed packets tell gardeners how to grow one. All the information is printed on the back of a paper pouch slightly larger than the size of your wallet, and at prices that won’t empty it.
Although the cost of seeds has risen over the past few years, they’re still an economical way to garden, said Elsa Sanchez, a commercial vegetable crops specialist at Penn State University Extension.
“The other option would be to buy transplants, which is generally more expensive,” Sanchez said. “You also find a lot more options for types and cultivars when you start from seed.

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Gardening events in the Houston area

ONGOING
The Mercer Society Gift and Plant Shoppe: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sundays at 400 Main, Old Town Spring; 281-651-5475, themercersociety.org/ways-to-give/donate. Sale proceeds benefit flood-damaged Mercer Botanic Gardens.
SATURDAY
Harris County Master Gardeners’ Fruit Tree Sale: 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Houston Farm and Ranch parking lot, adjacent the Texas AgriLife Extension Service parking lot, 3033 Bear Creek Drive; hcmga.tamu.edu. Free.
Montgomery County Master Gardeners’ Fruit and Nut Tree Sale: 8 a.m. plant preview, 9 a.m.-noon sale at the Texas AgriLife Extension Service, 9020 Airport, Conroe; 936-539-7824, mcmga.com. Free.
Begin Growing Your Own Fruit Trees: with John Panzarella. 10 a.m.

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Gardening events in the Houston area

ONGOING
The Mercer Society Gift and Plant Shoppe: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sundays at 400 Main, Old Town Spring; 281-651-5475, themercersociety.org/ways-to-give/donate. Sale proceeds benefit flood-damaged Mercer Botanic Gardens.
SATURDAY
Harris County Master Gardeners’ Fruit Tree Sale: 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Houston Farm and Ranch parking lot, adjacent the Texas AgriLife Extension Service parking lot, 3033 Bear Creek Drive; hcmga.tamu.edu. Free.
Montgomery County Master Gardeners’ Fruit and Nut Tree Sale: 8 a.m. plant preview, 9 a.m.-noon sale at the Texas AgriLife Extension Service, 9020 Airport, Conroe; 936-539-7824, mcmga.com. Free.
Begin Growing Your Own Fruit Trees: with John Panzarella. 10 a.m.

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