Scion – June 2022

Volume 32, Issue #6 – June 2022

Kathann El-Amin,
BCMG Treasurer

 I am Kathann El-Amin, serving as the BCMG Treasurer for the fourth year.

I retired in 2017 after working with and for non-profit organizations for over 25 years. In 2018, I applied to the Master Gardener program, something I had wanted to do for many years but had been unable to fit it into my schedule. I’m so glad I applied and was accepted. I learned so much during the initial training and subsequent lectures and webinars since I joined. Personally, I love gardening and gardens everywhere! My favorite pastime is plant shopping.

As Treasurer, I prepare the annual budget and provide monthly financial reports to the board, and to the membership at large. This is a way to ensure transparency and provide meaningful information on the income sources and expenditures of the organization, including our annual $2,000 scholarship to a college or university student.

What many people may not realize is that Bexar County Master Gardeners is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, a separate entity from AgriLife Extension Service.

In addition to serving as Treasurer, I have been the de-facto chair of the Champions fore Charity campaign. This fundraiser involves hundreds of nonprofits and schools and is an exciting program linked to the Valero Texas Open. It provides a way for participating organizations to raise funds that are matched by the Valero Texas Open. We hope to participate again in the Fall of 2022 and would greatly appreciate your financial support.

In the meantime, enjoy this Spring weather (and hope for more rain) while taking advantage of the many seminars, webinars and workshops offered by BCMG. Visit us on Facebook or on our website at

Support our local nurseries and happy gardening!!

You can now print or download Member Articles to your computer. Just click the Blue Button beneath the article you wish to save, and a pdf version of the article will pop up on your screen. From there, you can print or download using the indicators at the top right of your screen.

Please check out the many FREE classes and webinars listed in this issue.

Scion Index

The BCMG office is closed to Walk-ins. If you would like to set up an appointment to visit the office, please email [email protected].


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Hello Fellow Gardeners.

I hope everyone is doing well and starting to enjoy your garden harvest.

This month I am going to take a small detour from my usual topic selection of Water Conservation and highlight the upcoming Top Tomato Contest on Saturday, June 11, 2022. This contest will be hosted by Fanick’s Garden Center (1025 Holmgreen Road, SA 78220) and brought to you by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, along with the Bexar County Master Gardeners.

Anyone can enter, so bring out your garden’s harvest and try to win a prize.  There are several different categories to enter, including a ‘Basket of Plenty’.  Details can be found here.  Each participant will receive a bag of Espoma fertilizer just for entering the contest. The entry form can be located here. Registration will begin at 9:00am and will continue until 11:00am. Judging will start at 11:00am and will conclude at 12:00pm, with the winners announced shortly thereafter. Fanick’s Garden Center is once again graciously providing gift cards to the top prize winners.

There will also be recipe demonstrations by Better Living For Texas and many other fun activities for all ages.

This will be the second Top Tomato Contest; the first one occurred in June of 2019 and was a huge success. Everyone involved had a great time. Bring your friends and family, but please don’t forget to bring your prize-winning tomatoes and garden-fresh vegetables!

We hope to see you all there.

Conservationally yours,

Anna Vogler

Water Conservation Coordinator

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Gardening Education Opportunities

Butterfly 101 & Butterfly Gardening Online Course

Available starting June 1 ONLINE

Presented by Molly Keck, Entomologist, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. Curious about the butterflies in your garden?  Want to build a landscape to bring in butterflies?  This 2-hour online course is open to the public and available when you want to take it.  Molly will teach you how to attract butterflies as well as how to identify the common types of butterflies in Texas.  With an interactive garden and numerous videos, you will learn what types of plants will draw butterflies to your location. Course fee: $25

Find out more »

Home Grown Lecture Series 2022 – 10 Reasons for Yellowing LeavesFree

June 2 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am ONLINE

Presented by Brandi Keller, County Extension Agent-Horticulture as part of a Monthly Lecture Series in 2022 on Thursdays. Must pre-register for this course.

Find out more »

Summer Color Plants, Crape Myrtles and MoreFree

June 4 @ 10:00 am – 11:30 am

Milberger’s Landscaping & Nursery, 3920 North Loop 1604
San Antonio, TX 78247 

Presented by David Rodriguez, Horticulturist, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.

Find out more »

Gardening Begins with the Soil Free

June 4 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am

Raymond Rimkus Park, 6440 Evers Rd.
Leon Valley, TX 78238

Presented by Bill Swantner, Bexar County Master Gardener. Join Bill for an overview of the native soils of the Bexar County area, especially Leon Valley, as he explains about good soil and bad, as well as how to fix it. 

Find out more »

Surviving the Summer Heat

June 8 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

San Antonio Botanical Garden, 555 Funston Place
San Antonio, TX 78209

Presented by Anna Vogler, Bexar County Master Gardener. Is it hot enough for you?  Texas summers are hard on plants and the gardeners that tend them.  Join Bexar County Master Gardener Anna Vogler as she explains how our region’s weather impacts our gardens and lawns and how you can create a resilient landscape.  Master Gardeners will be available at the end of the workshop to answer your gardening questions. This seminar is WaterSaver Rewards Eligible. Limited seating. Must pre-register by June 7 by 10 am.

Find out more »

BCMG June Monthly Meeting – Plants That Attract HummingbirdsFree

June 16 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm ONLINE

Presented by Virginia (Ginger) Easton Smith, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and hosted by Bexar County Master Gardeners. Learn about what plants to grow to attract hummingbirds to your yard, which to select for sun or shade, and how to grow them. Ms. Easton-Smith will also cover other important elements for hummingbirds to be happy and well-fed.

Find out more »

Getting Your Lawn and Landscape Ready for the Summer Heat – Free

June 18 @ 10:30 am – 12:00 pm

The Garden Center, 10682 Bandera Rd.
San Antonio, TX 78250 

Presented by David Rodriguez, Horticulturist, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. Join David for this seminar and learn what you can do to prepare your lawn and landscape for our brutal south Texas summers.  Be sure to bring a notebook and all your questions!

Find out more »

Offices Closed: Juneteenth (Observed)

June 20

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and Bexar County Master Gardeners offices are closed today.

Planting Summer Color Plants: Texas Superstars, Crape Myrtles, and MoreFree

June 25 @ 10:30 am – 12:00 pm

Fanick’s Garden Center, 1025 Holmgreen Road
San Antonio, TX 78220

Presented by David Rodriguez, Horticulturist, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

Find out more »

Easy Plant Propagation

June 29 @ 10:00 am – 11:30 am

Rainbow Gardens, 8516 Bandera Rd.
San Antonio, TX 78250

Presented by Bill Swantner, Bexar County Master Gardener. Tickets – $12.50 per participant.

Find out more »

Frequently check the BCMG Calendar, as that is where all the new, upcoming programs will be posted. Click Here

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Master Gardener of the Summer – Ray Montez

Ray Montez, BCMG Member

Ray has been a BCMG for 4 years, having graduated with Class 63.  He grew up in San Antonio on the South Side and learned to love gardening as a child with family role models.   His grandfather helped him pick corn by hand and he even picked cotton.  “Not ever again!” was his quote as he recalled the pricks to his fingers.  Early on, he pulled weeds in the yard and learned to use a garden fork to till out weeds.  His mother and grandmother loved florals as well as growing herbs.  He recalled their abundant tomatoes and many varieties of chili peppers, some of which were put into a Molcajete, a small avocado shaped bowl where the peppers could be macerated with spices and oils to make a condiment.   

The way Ray learned about the BCMG program is interesting.  After retiring from public service he became an active AARP volunteer (He was formerly in the US Airforce Security Forces for 9 1/2 years; then became a certified Texas Peace Officer until retirement).  At an AARP meeting, there was a presentation on gardening which included a lot of information on soils, seeds and native plants. Ray volunteered to help the senior citizen participants with a planting activity.  The presenters noticed his ability to answer the senior’s questions and encouraged him to learn about the BCMG program.  Ray looked up the program, applied, was accepted.  He really loves volunteering with the Children’s Vegetable Garden at SABOT and working at the Greenies Urban Farm.  He commented: “When I first volunteered with the Children’s Vegetable Garden, I had my own group of kids and they just loved it. They learned to get their hands in the soil and learned about planting, insects, watering and care.”  He has also been very active at the  Greenies  Urban Farm because he saw the growing need for food during COVID. He commented:   “We planted so late in the season that I was worried we would get not get much yield, but the irrigation system provided by Dr. Stein helped so much.  I helped everywhere I was needed- repairing things, etc.  It was amazing to see the vegetables and the three kinds of watermelons, etc. all growing so well! The whole thing about me doing Master Gardener is I want to find a way to feed people – I grow then give it away!”

Fellow BCMG Bill Swantner had this to say about Ray Montez:  “Ray is a man of deep compassion, who has a heart for people.  He uses his life experiences to reach out to military personnel who are struggling with their own life challenges.  As a Master Gardener, Ray brings that openness to the gardening community.”

Ray shared his personal outreach:  “I took on supervising a landscaping project at our local church with several islands that were built over old tarmac. I made the work crew jackhammer out the asphalt and dig it out so we could put in good soil.  I’ve grown and donated trees for this project including a Post Oak, a Burr Oak, a Mexican Plum, three Crape Myrtles, and a Vitex. I’ve also provided the bedding plants for volunteers to plant.  And, I’ve talked to the priest about doing a talk for the parishioners about gardening!  My mantra is “Life is too short to sit on a couch”  My oldest son says “Motion is the lotion!”  Gardening is a great way to move around!” Aren’t we fortunate to have Ray as a fellow BCMG.

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Applications are now being accepted for the
2022 Bexar County Master Gardener Training Class

Classes begin: August 24, 2022
Classes end: November 18, 2022
Classes meet every Wednesday, 12:30 – 4:30 PM
Plus Field Trips

Application Deadline is Thursday, June 30, 2022

For more information and to apply, click here

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Past webinars are posted on YouTube for your viewing (or reviewing) pleasure! Check often for new postings! Click here for the list.

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Click to go to Aggie Horticulture Facebook, where they have regular information and educational videos

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Call in to Live Radio on Saturday mornings, with your gardening questions for David.
Call in: 210-737-1200 or 1-800-383-9624 on Saturdays from 7 am to 10pm

Or just listen to the show, and learn from everyone else’s questions!

WOAI 1200 AM – Lawn and Garden Show
Host: David Rodriguez, Bexar County AgriLife Extension Horticulturist.

Past shows are archived here, for easy listening on your computer, tablet or phone, anytime! Listen on your phone while you drive!

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Ask a Master Gardener

Master Gardeners are available to help you with your gardening questions. We provide unbiased, research-based, locally relevant gardening information. Free service. You can reach us:

By phone: 210-631-0400 (Ask to speak to a Master Gardener)

Mon-Fri 9 am – Noon, 1-4 pm (Closed on county holidays)

Or Submit A Question Online

The phones and the Hotline are being operated from Master Gardener home telephones; hotline calls are being directed by the AgriLife Extension receptionist.

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Last year, Amazon Smile donated $82 to the Master Gardeners, at no cost to Amazon customers.

What is AmazonSmile?

An easy, convenient way for you to support BCMG every time you shop, at no cost to you.

Available at on your web browser and can be activated in the Amazon Shopping app for iOS and Android phones.

Amazon smile has the same prices, selection and convenient shopping experience as

How to Sign Up

Simply go to on your web browser or activate AmazonSmile in the Amazon Shopping app on your iOS or Android phone within the Settings or Programs & Features menu

On your first visit to AmazonSmile, you will be prompted to select a charitable organization to receive donations from your future eligible AmazonSmile purchases.

Use the Search feature to Select:   Bexar County Master Gardeners

That’s it! AmazonSmile will donate 0.5% of your eligible purchases to Bexar County Master Gardeners.

On your web browser, you can add a bookmark to to make it even easier to return and start shopping with AmazonSmile.

Use your existing Amazon  user name and password to sign on to Amazon Smile. No need to create another Amazon account.

Note: Amazon will remember your selected charity. You do not have to select BCMG each time you purchase from We are grateful for all you do and all you give to Bexar County Master Gardeners.

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