The Garden Cub of Austin
Thursday May 24, 2018

Monthly Meeting -Laura Joseph's House

TGCOA Newsletter

New Members - Always welcome

Bring a friend to the next meeting!


Garden Show

The Gardening Club holds an annual Garden Show and Sale at Zilker Garden, and all members are encouraged to attend. Voluteers are always wanted to help with the set up and organization and also with the plant sales.

This year's Garden show will be held on: June 2-3, 2018. Plants can be dropped off at the Zilker Park Garden Center all day on Friday June 1 or on Saturday morning June 2, from 8:00 am - 9:30 am.

OPEN SHOW: The show is open to anyone; however competition is limited to amateur growers and club members with two exceptions. Entries in Division I, Section E & Division II, Section Y, are the Club Cultivar (Click here for details) submitted only by members of The Garden Club of Austin.

All entries must have been grown by the exhibitor and been in exhibitor's possession for at least 60 days prior to the show.

Entries will be accepted o Saturday, June 2, from 8:00 am until 9:30am.

Entries received after 9:30 am Saturday will be considered late.

Late entries may be displayed in the show; they will be marked. "Not for Competition"

All entries should be clearly marked with the plant name and exhibitor's name. Pots should be neutral in color and should not detract from the exhibit. Vegetables should be clean and of like size. See the rules for more details.

JUDGES will meet at 9:30am, Saturday in the library of the Austin Area Garden Center. Judging will commence at 10am.


SATURDAY June 2, will be opened to the Public after the judging of the plant entries is completed. Opens to the public from approximately Noon until closing 5:00pm. The show and sale will continue on Sunday June 3.


The 2018 tomato cultivar Red Robin, (Genus: Lycopersicon), is a dwarf plant only twelve inches high, and we will be displaying the entire plant in 10 in. pots.
You also have the option of displaying only the tomatoes- that are about 1 in. diameter. For tomatoes only, display 6 tomatoes of uniform size. The tomatoes can be red or green.
The following is the history of the Red Robin seedlings: 96 seeds planted in Jiffy Seed Starting medium on Jan 19; sprouted in five days at 78°F on Jan 25; 82 seedlings (85% germination rate) placed in 5 oz cups with homemade potting soil on Feb 1; distributed to TGCOA members on Feb 22.

There are two flower cultivars.

Genus: Platycodon grandifloras; Cultivar, Astra pink.

Commonly called balloon flower and Chinese bellflower. Large, balloon-like buds open into long-lasting, 3 in. wide, star-shaped flowers. The dwarf, 8-12 in. tall, plants are exceptionally bushy and branching, blooming heavily in summer. Astra series balloon flowers thrive in part sun or light shade. Plants are long-lived and bloom the first year. Astra balloon flowers are perfect for edging borders, or use in patio containers and window boxes. Winter hardy.

Seedling history: a single seed was planted on Jan 13 in a 3 oz cup containing a potting soil composed of 4 parts peat moss, 3 sand,1 perlite plus some gypsum and covered with clear plastic wrap; 96 cups were prepared and 75 sprouted (78% germination rate) between Jan 23-31 at 65-70°F; growth rate has been very slow and erratic but has improved significantly over the past two weeks. On Feb 3, twelve additional Astra Pink cups were prepared with two seeds in each cup. At the present time, Apr 22, there are 87 Astra Pink seedlings but they probably will not be ready for display in time for the June Show.
However they will be distributed to TGCOA members that signed up for the cultivar competition so we can determine if they will bloom this year.
As a side note, the Astra Pink was a new variety. On Feb 3 a small number (30) of Astra White seeds, an older variety, was planted. Those plants are about 3 inches high compared to the ¼ inch high Astra Pink seedlings even though the Astra Whites are three weeks younger.
Because of the slow growth rate of the balloon flower seedlings, a second flower cultivar was started.

Genus: Tagetes patula: Cultivar, Alumia vanilla cream.

A 10-12 in high French marigold. Full Sun. Three plants to be displayed in an 8 in pot. Annual.

Seedling history: 100 marigold seeds planted in Jiffy Mix on Mar 28: seeds sprouted in three days, transferred 96 seedlings (96% germination rate) to 5 oz cups with homemade potting soil on Apr 4; will distribute to Cultivar participants at the April TGCOA meeting.