Local Extension Resources

Horticultural Programs and Seminars, CEUs:

  • Extension holds free or low-cost public seminars on gardening and food preservation topics at various locations throughout the year.  These interactive seminars help the public get more joy and productivity from their gardens, troubleshoot problems, and develop environmentally-sensitive gardening techniques.  Seminars cover topics such as rainwater harvesting, seasonal vegetable gardening, lawn care, tree maintenance, native and adapted plants, food canning, propagating plants, and much more.
  • More extensive, in-depth horticultural programs are also offered to individuals, farmers and green industry professionals. Many programs offer CEUs for private pesticide applicator licenses and Texas Nursery & Landscape Association membership.
  • Learn about upcoming programs and seminars on our Workshops and Events page.

 

Gardening and Horticulture Hotline:

  • Master Gardener volunteers provide free, year-long gardening advice to homeowners. They will help you sort through all of your plant questions and issues; provide up-to-date, research-based advice from Extension; and offer you free, relevant publications.  Master Gardeners use a variety of resources including Texas and national Extension publications, a Texas-focused reference library, and updates from Extension agents and researchers.
  • Call (512) 854-9600 weekdays from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm and ask for the helpdesk, or
  • Call first to ensure a Master Gardener is available, then visit the office in person (1600-B Smith Rd., Austin, TX  78721).
  • You can either email a digital image (travismg@ag.tamu.edu) or bring in a sample of the plant in question. See sample instructions at http://www.tcmastergardeners.org/what/helpdesk.html.

 

Free Spent Coffee Grounds (Great Soil Amendment!) for Your Garden:

  • Used coffee grounds are a great immediate and long-term source of nitrogen for your plants.  They also contain magnesium, calcium, potassium, and other trace minerals not found in typical commercial fertilizers.  The used grounds are slightly acidic – perfect for Austin’s alkaline soils. Plus, the organic matter helps our soil to retain moisture.
  • Go to www.AustinGroundtoGround.org to locate sources of free grounds.  If you would like to help to expand the program in your neighborhood, please contact Lindsay.Razzaz@ag.tamu.edu.

 

Speakers for Gardening and Civic Clubs:

  • If your gardening or civic club would like a Master Gardener to present as a guest speaker, please send your request to speakerbureau2011-tcmga@yahoo.com at least one month in advance.  Include date and time of requested presentation, club name, and topic of interest in your request.

 

Diagnostic Soil, Water, and Forage Testing:

  • Great gardening starts with great soil!  For a small fee, Texas A&M University will perform a nutrient analysis on your soil, water, or pasture materials.  Learn about testing options, sampling methods, and find the correct form to submit: http://soiltesting.tamu.edu/.