The Grapevine May 2019

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May2019 newsletter

The Month of May

Lubbock Master Gardeners have had quite a month—plant sales, the iris show, volunteering at Rosecoe garden, while we get our own gardens ready for summer! Our president, Kristin Bingham, along with MGers Dennis and Penny Howard, attended the annual Texas Master Gardeners’ Conference in Victoria, sending back beautiful photos of Texas coast flora. They give us a glimpse into their trip, see below.

May events include a really neat program on keeping chickens in your back yard, to be presented by Sally Doherty, LMG. If you’ve never considered raising chicken, this meeting may offer you an entirely new focus (as well as a fertilizer source for composting).

Congratulations to our own Master Gardeners, Terri Presley and Bonnie MacLean, who won Blue Ribbons in the South Plains Iris Society’s annual competition! Those of you who haven’t used your garden equipment since last year may find it needs some mechanical attention! Come to our May meeting on Tuesday, May 9, to learn from Chris Ray, owner of RR Lawn and Garden Equipment Repair how to get mowers, blowers, and edgers up and running again!

Joyfully gardening, Melinda

Melinda Cagle, Editor


LMGA May General Meeting

Featuring RR Lawn and Garden Equipment Repair

Chris Ray, Speaker, for LMGA’s May General Meeting is the owner of RR Lawn and Garden Equipment Repair. Chris provides customers with cost-effective lawn and garden equipment maintenance and repairs. Proper maintenance is essential for safe, economical and trouble-free operation. It also reduces air pollution. Some of the topics he will discuss:
• Changing engine oil and filter
• Replacing fuel and air filter
• Replacing spark plugs
• Inspecting your lawn equipment
• Recommended service for equipment used in dusty areas

2019 Texas Master Gardeners Conference

from Kristin Bingham, LMGA President

The Victoria Master Gardeners put on a wonderful conference for the Texas Master Gardener Association this year. Yes, I know—an 8.5 hour drive across the state is not easy, but I promise you, these trips are WORTH IT! I, along with Dennis and Penny Howard, enjoyed several days of visiting with Master Gardeners from all over the state, hearing from experts on issues and interests important to Texas Master Gardeners, and learning about other groups and their successes. One I attended was Leadership Training on Wednesday afternoon, and I highly recommend this course if you attend any TXMG conferences, particularly if you are interested in serving as an officer.

This meeting covered a wide range of topics from tips on social media and fundraising to member retention and intern development. There was major announcement from Jayla Fry—a new TXMG logo. Look for more information about this new logo and what it will mean for LMGA at the May general meeting. On Thursday, I met up with Dennis and Penny and enjoyed hearing from the comedic gardening guru, Felder Rushing; the Bulb Hunter, Chris Weisinger of Southern Bulb Company; and I learned about the major recovery efforts taking place at Bastrop State Park after severe wildfire in 2011 and a major flood in 2015.

Friday included talks on foraging by one of my favorite foragers, Dr. Mark “Merriweather” Vorderbruggen; insight into the latest succulent trends with Brie Arthur; and discussions of native plants in horticulture. The conference wrapped up with workshops and tours on Saturday —my husband Sean and I toured the Formosa Tejano Wetlands and Knopp Branch Farm to finish a wonderful week in South Texas. I hope you’ll make plans now to attend the meeting in Waco-McLennan County, May 12-14, 2020 and join in the fun!



2019 Texas Master Gardeners Conference

by Dennis Howard, TMGA

My first experience at a TMGA State Conference has been an enjoyable and enlightening experience. Texas is such a huge state, encompassing such a wide array of ecological and climatic zones that having one conference that meets the needs of the entire state seems to be an almost impossible task. The information presented was invaluable and extensive, and much of it will translate back to West Texas. On the other hand, much of it was region-specific and, while interesting, was of no real value to bring back to Lubbock and the surrounding area. This is no criticism of the TSMG or the Victoria MGA. They did a marvelous job of hosting and organizing this event. It could not have been more enjoyable, better managed, or hosted by a more friendly group.

In talking to people from around the state, I have learned many things. There is considerable interest in sharing information, especially about different growing regions. There is a comradery among MGs that transcends geographical differences. I have also learned that there is already a growing level of interest in our planned advanced training course in aquaponics/ hydroponics.

There are things on the horizon for the TMGA and for the LMGA that excite me. As these changes unfold, I think they will excite you as well. I have been proud to represent the LMGA in Victoria and hope that the impression I have left among the attendees is as good as the impression I have taken away from them. I look forward to visiting with you all when I get back and passing on what I have learned and observed over the past two days.

Dennis K. Howard, Retired
Certified Texas Master Gardener
Advanced Training – Vegetables and Greenhouse Management
Natural Organic Certification – Texas Organic Research Center
Accredited Professional – America Rainwater Catchment Systems Association

Cheep Thrills – The Joys of Backyard Chicken Keeping

Presented by Sally Doherty, Certified Texas Master Gardener and Certified Backyard Chicken Keeper
Location: Lubbock Garden & Arts Center
4215 University Avenue, Lubbock, Texas 79413
Date: Saturday, May 4, 2019
Time: 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Fee: $10 collected at the door
1 CEU will be earned by attendees
Interested in learning in keeping chickens in your backyard?
Come to this presentation sponsored by the Lubbock Master Gardeners Association.

Sally Doherty is a Certified Master Gardener and a Certified Backyard Chicken Keeper. She keeps pets, livestock, and a personal family flock of 40+ chickens on a small farm/homestead outside of Lubbock where she also grows a large garden every year. She has kept chickens for over 20 years, beginning at a young age when her grandfather introduced her to the concept and basics. She has experience in judging, feeding, medical care, hatching, brooding, mail-order sales, photographing, writing about, showing, egg gathering, processing and flock starting, and consulting for new chicken keepers. She was an FFA Poultry Judging team member.

Playa Lakes Report

by Darryl Birkenfeld, Ph.D

Executive Director, Ogallala Commons

Dear Playa Enthusiasts,

We had a terrific Playa Field Day in Hereford, Texas on March 26th with two very informative  presentations and a Field Tour under pleasant weather conditions. I know not everyone could attend, so below, you will find a couple of photos (one of Dr. Chris Grotegut presenting and another out on the Field Tour). Even better, I have attached two articles that Jim Steinert published in The Hereford Brand. The articles give you the basic information we received in the two presentations. (Note:Contact Darryl Birkenfeld or the newsletter editor for copies of Jim Steinert’s articles)

Our next Playa Field Day will be on Tuesday, May 14th in Abernathy, Texas from 9 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. We will gather at Abernathy City Hall, 811 Ave. D (in the Court Room). A highlight will be a presentation by Amanda Emert on her playa amphibian research project. Amanda is a grad student at Texas Tech University. In addition, we will have Don Kahl’s presentation on playa restoration, plus a field trip to see a restored playa near Abernathy.

Happy Easter, and we will see everyone down the road.
Darryl (


South Plains Food Bank, Community Room
5605 Martin Luther King Blvd., Lubbock, Texas
Saturday, May 18, 2019

Please join us as we celbrate the accomplishments of youth in the South Plains Food Bank’s GRUB Program

Schedule of Events
11:00 a.m. Arrival and Tours of the South Plains Food Bank
12:00 p.m. Serving Line for Buffet Lunch
12:30 p.m. GRUB Recognition and Awards

For more information, please contact:
Sandy Garcia, GRUB Coordinator (806) 368-1333

LMGA Members in the Spotlight

LMGA Members Terri Presley and Bonnie MacLean walked away with top honors from the South Plains Iris Society’s 2019 annual show. Terri’s iris was judged Best in Show (Queen of the Show) while Bonnie netted a blue ribbon for Best Design in Show! Congratulations!!!

LMGA Member News

To Give Away —
Free Kitty Litter Pans. ContactKaren Silvas-Weston at or call (806)
445-0772. Karen says, “I have eight heavy-duty plastic kitty liter containers which come

with lids and handles, to give away. I have used some in the past for yardwork and for tem-
porary planters when transplanting (just need to drill holes in them for drainage). If any-
one is interested they can call me, and I can put them out for pick-up at the house.”