West Fort Bend - June 2022

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FORT BEND June 2022


A publication of the

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Contents &Staff

On be e For FE stu nefi t Be AT de cia nd UR the nts (a l app mot E co nd roac her lle ge their h to offer sea pa he s a rch ren lpin PA pro ts) w g ces ith GE s 6










CHAIRMAN, EDITOR & PUBLISHER Clyde King cking@hartmannews.com MANAGING EDITOR Marquita Griffin mgriffin@fbherald.com Advertising Stefanie Bartlett sbartlett@fbherald.com Ruby Polichino ruby@fbherald.com


IG es




June 2022

un an in Fo dt hin rt Be gs nd to — do pla c


West Fort Bend

Writers & Contributors Marquita Griffin Scott Reese Willey




Rachel Cavazos rcavazos@fbherald.com


Th De e Cit pa rtm y of R en os t is en b su acce erg P mm pt a er ing rks sp reg and ort s c istra Rec am tion rea PA ps s f tion or GE tw o 1


GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Melinda Maya mmaya@fbherald.com




14 Arts & Entertainment

The ‘We Are Fort Bend’ Photography contest winners have been announced and are on display in the Bohachevsky Gallery.

TO ADVERTISE If you are interested in advertising in the West Fort Bend Living, please call 281-342-4474 and ask for Stefanie Bartlett or Ruby Polichino. We’ll be happy to send rates, and deadline information to you. PHOTO & ARTICLE SUBMISSIONS We are looking for fresh story ideas and enjoy publishing your articles in the West Fort Bend Living. If you have an story idea or photo to publish please send your information to mgriffin@fbherald.com with “West Fort Bend Living” in the subject line. ©2022 West Fort Bend Living. All Rights Reserved. West Fort Bend Monthly is a sister publication of Fulshear Living Monthly, Greatwood Monthly, Pecan Grove Monthly and is a publication of the Fort Bend Herald. Our publishing headquarters is 1902 S. Fourth Street, Rosenberg Texas 77471.

FORT BEND May 2022



Like us on Facebook @fortbendherald A publication of the

Tell us how we’re doing! Email: mgriffin@fbherald.com

4 • West Fort Bend Living

Texas A&M University

Southwestern University

Trinity University

Texas State University

University of the Incarnate Word

University of Texas-Austin

6 • West Fort Bend Living

Amy Gregorek and her daughter Aly. To advertise, call 281-342-4474


In T he S potl ight 8 • West Fort Bend Living

Continued on page 9


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Greatwood Veterinary Hospital At Greatwood Veterinary Hospital, we are dedicated to providing excellent and compassionate care for your furry, family friends. We offer full veterinary services in our new, spacious 6,500 square foot facility. Our experienced and caring veterinarians and staff strive to provide the best quality care available for your pets, with an emphasis on client education and an understanding of your pet’s specific needs. We would like to be partners with you in ensuring your pet’s good health and well-being. In addition to full medical, surgical, and dental veterinary care, we also offer boarding, grooming, and cremation services. Greatwood Veterinary Hospital has been providing affordable and quality veterinary care to the Fort Bend area for over 15 years. It is our hope that we can meet all your animal’s health care needs with our warm, friendly, and knowledgeable services. To make an appointment for your pet or for more information, please call us at (281) 342-7770 or visit us at 401 Crabb River Road in Richmond. To advertise, call 281-342-4474


Talk -of-th e-To wn

Sign Up for city Summer Sports Camps


he city of Rosenberg Parks and Recreation Department is accepting registrations for two summer sports camps in June, held at the Seabourne Creek Regional Sports Complex located at 3701 Fountains Drive in Rosenberg. The hope, the department said, is to inspire more youth to play sports and develop an athletic skill set in baseball. The first camp is the Overtime Athletics Summer Sports Camp, which will be held Monday through Friday, June 6-10 from 9 a.m. to noon. The camp is open to boys and girls from kindergarten to fifth grade and is $235/per person. A sibling discount is available. Participants will practice and play Vo games in both traditional Dr. Kyle D. McCrea andskills Dr. Victoria sports and playground favorites including: basketball, soccer, flag football, kickball, scavenger hunts, dodgeball, tag games, safe base, team building activities, brainbuster projects and more. The second camp is the Fun and Fundamentals Baseball Camp, open to boys and girls ages 6-12. Ages 6-8 will meet June 13-14, ages 9-10 will meet June 15-16 and ages 11-12 will meet June 17-18 — all from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The camp cost $125 per person. For more information about the programs and services offered by the Parks and Recreation Department, or to register for the camps, visit rosenbergtx.gov/parks or call 832-595-3960.


Baitland named child advocate of the year Your Home for Dentistry

r. Betty Baitland has been honored as the Child Advocate of the

Dr. McCrea has been creating healthy, beautiful smiles in Year for 2021 at Child Advocates of Fort Bend’s Volunteer CeleRichmond/Rosenberg since 1994. Dr. McCrea and Dr. Vo are bration at Sugar Creek Country Club. both graduates of and current Professors at the Herman Hospital based General Practice Residency Program for UTDS Houston. Their goal is to work with each patient to produce the best possible outcome based on that patient’s individual needs and desires.

From left are, CAFB Board President Nancy Olson, Dr. Betty Baitland and CASA Program Director Metoyer Martin. More than 220 volunteers, community partners and staff attended. “This advocate has gone above and beyond, and her actions will have long-lasting impact for the children we serve and for our community,” according to Child Advocates of Fort Bend Chief Executive Officer Ruthanne Mefford. “Betty has a lifelong passion for children and has dedicated her career to advancing education opportunities and achievement for children and youth across Fort Bend County. “Betty served has our board parliamentarian for five years, vice president in 2019, president in 2020 and past president for two terms, first in 2021 and then when we invited her back to serve this year for a second

From Check-ups and Cleanings to Implants and Braces, We want to be your home for Dentistry Visit us at www.mccreadds.com to learn more about our office, our outstanding team, and the services we offer. 601 South Second St. Dr. Kyle D. McCrea & Dr. Victoria Vo

Richmond, TX 77469 YOUR HOME FOR DENTISTRY 281-342-2121

Dr. McCrea has been creating healthy, beautiful smiles in Richmond/Rosenberg since 1994. Dr. McCrea and Dr. Vo are both graduates of and current Professors at the Herman Hospital based General Practice Residency Program for UTDS Houston. Their goal is to work with each patient to produce the best possible outcome based on that patient’s individual needs and desires.

From Check-ups to Implants to Braces, We want to be your home for Dentistry

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10 • West Fort Bend Living

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term of past president,” Mefford added. “She was an inaugural member of our Voices for Children sustainable giving program and our Education Council where her vast experience and understanding of resources available to children has informed our educational advocacy for children in foster care. “She is someone we seek out for advice and to discuss new programming, strategy and fundraising ideas. Betty is a true gem and we honor her for her passion for CAFB, dedication to the children and her incredible generosity.” Other honorees at the volunteer celebration included Susan Brown and Linda Munsie (CASA Volunteers of the Year), Maria Sonnen (Children’s Advocacy Center Volunteer of the Year), Michelle Cano (Event Volunteer of the Year), Suzanne Slavin, Mary Titel and Tammy McCall (Voices for Children Ambassador of the Year), Vidya Dighe (Children’s Hero), Cindy McCauley (Unsung Hero) and James Steenbergen (Blue Ribbon Award). Juli Johnson was the recipient of the Mariel Barrera Champion for Children Award. Barrera, a longtime employee of Child Advocates of Fort Bend passed away in early 2017. To see a list of all of the honorees or to learn more about volunteer opportunities with Child Advocates of Fort Bend, go to https://www.cafb. org/events/volunteer-banquet/. Child Advocates of Fort Bend is a non-profit agency dedicated to ending child abuse by providing a voice, healing the hurt, and breaking the cycle of child abuse in Fort Bend County. Through its Court Appointed Special Advocates Program (CASATM), Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) and more than 200 trained community volunteer advocates, Child Advocates improves the lives of more than 400 children each month and has served more than 20,500 children since opening its doors in 1991. Volunteers are needed to help in the office and Children’s Advocacy Center and help with special events. For more information about getting involved with Child Advocates of Fort Bend, contact Volunteer Services at 281-344-5123 or jbrown@cafb.org or log onto www.cafb.org.

For TSTC Welding student, Phillips 66 internship fulfills dream of working with dad


annah Balli has always liked to work with her hands — especially on cars with her father. Her father’s work in refineries also inspired her to take a technical path in Texas State Technical College’s Welding Technology program. “I’ve always been close to my dad, so I was like, ‘I want to work with you,’” she said. Balli will now have that opportunity through an internship with Phillips 66. Though her father works in the corporate office while Balli will be welding, she is excited for her wish to come true — and to get her foot in the door to work at a refinery. Her father is excited too. “As soon as I got the phone call, I ran downstairs and told my dad,” Balli said. “Seeing my dad smile and glow, he was like, ‘OK — good for you.’” Balli, of Richmond, did not know that her grandfather had been a welder until she started welding herself. “I was like, ‘When did this happen?’” she said, laughing. Her parents told her about the family history when she decided to enroll in TSTC’s Welding Technology program after a frustrating experience at another college. “I was getting discouraged,” Balli recalled. “I said, ‘I wanted to go to school, but I can’t do it.’ My parents said, ‘Remember, you said college or a trade school. If college isn’t for you, find a trade.’” When Balli first walked into the Welding Technology lab at TSTC’s Fort Bend County campus, she worried about her lack of experience. “I came with no knowledge, knew nothing, and could not strike an arc the first day,” she recalled. “I was so embarrassed and nervous.” However, one-on-one attention from her instructors kept Balli going.

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TSTC Welding Technology student Hannah Balli recently learned that she was accepted for an internship at Phillips 66, where her father works.

When she finally mastered the skill, it became a point of pride. While Balli is a little nervous to be a woman entering the male-dominated field of welding, she encourages other women to pursue it if they are interested. “Don’t overthink it,” she said. “Once you get the hang of it and your work starts to show that you’re trying your best and doing good, it’ll all be worth it.” TSTC offers its Welding Technology program at all 10 of its campuses across the state. The program is part of the college’s Money-Back Guarantee, which promises tuition refunds for participating graduates who do not get hired in the field within six months of earning their degree. In Texas, welders can earn an average annual salary of $47,820, according to onetonline.org, which forecasts the positions to grow in the state by 13% through 2028. Texas employs 46,580 welders — the highest number in the nation, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land metropolitan area has the highest employment level of welders out of all other U.S. metropolitan areas. Registration for the summer and fall semesters is underway. For more information, visit tstc.edu.


Historical Commission honors Michael R. Moore


he Fort Bend County Historical Commission presented historian Michael R. Moore with the 2022 Bert E. Bleil Heritage Award at its quarterly meeting in May. The Bleil Award is presented annually by the Fort Bend County Historical Commission to a person or organization for exceptional efforts and achievements in developing and promoting heritage tourism, promoting an awareness of and appreciation for historical preservation, the identification and protection of historic sites and features, and the preservation of historical and cultural resources in Fort Bend County. The award is named for the late Bert E. Bleil, the former Chair of the Fort Bend County Historical Commission, who first envisioned this method of acknowledging exceptional achievements in historic and cultural preservation. This year’s honoree, Michael Rugeley Moore, has a long and distinguished career in leading a number of historic preservation and education organizations in Fort Bend County. He served from 1984 to 2006 as the Executive Director of the Fort Bend County Museum Association, overseeing its growth in visitors served from 10,000 to over 100,000 annually. Moore was among the leaders of the planning group that developed and opened the George Ranch Historical Park in 1989 and created the Texian Market Days festival that continues to educate and entertain visitors. Moore was also one of the founding members of the Fort Bend Archaeological Society and served as the Chair of the Fort Bend County Historical Commission from 2004 to 2008. Recently, Moore has been closely involved in the development of the San Felipe de Austin State Historic Site in Austin County. He helped design a number of the exhibits at the museum and served as the Project and Construction Manager for the Villa de Austin outdoor interactive area on the grounds of the historic site. For further information about the Fort Bend County Historical Commission or the Bert E. Bleil Heritage Award contact: Chris Godbold, Chair: chris.godbold@fortbendcountytx.gov; Ferrel Bonner, Vice-Chair: ferrel.bonner@fortbendcountytx.org; Claire Rogers, Secretary: crogers@fbhistory.org; or Jeff Hoffman, Treasurer: jeff1208@aol.com.

Grant awarded to Cullinan Park honors John Null

he George Foundation honored the outgoing President of the Board, John Null, with a $25,000 donation to Cullinan Park Conservancy. Both the George Foundation and Null have been supporters of the Conservancy and Park for many years. “We are so grate- From left Outgoing George Foundation Board President ful for the continued John Null, John Van De Wiele, CPC Board Member; support of the George Betty Baitland, CPC Board Member; Gay Thompson, CPC Board Development Chair; Haley Peck, CPC Board Foundation and of Marketing Chair; Robbin Mallett, CPC Board President; John and Diana Null,” Keith Borgfeldt, CPC Board Member; and Beth Wolf, said Conservancy CPC Executive Director. Board President Robbin Mallett. “The continued success of the improvement projects at Cullinan Park would not be possible without their support.” The Conservancy works to enhance the natural beauty of the Park for all by raising funds for capital improvements. Current projects include the much‐needed expansion of parking and additional trails. The Conservancy is also raising funds to complete the Learn, Explore and Play (LEAP) children’s nature play area at the park. For more information on the Park or Conservancy, visit www.cullinanparkconservancy.org or email cullinanparkconservancy@gmail.com.

12 • West Fort Bend Living

Photo courtesy of Bryan McAuley | Michael R. Moore at the Texas Gazette Printshop, Villa de Austin exhibit, San Felipe State Historic Site.

Photo courtesy of Bryan McAuley | Michael R. Moore researching Texas history in the Thomas W. Streeter papers collection of Texana at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University.

CEP in Washington, D.C.


alvary Episcopal Preparatory eighth grade students recently returned from their annual trip to Washington D.C. The action-packed week was filled with backto-back museum excursions, memorial visits, and even a personal tour of the Capitol by Congressman Troy Nehls.

From left, Claire McDonald, Hannah Hennessey, Donnie Fondon, Elliana Shogren, William Broussard, Landon Standlee, Evelyn Jones, Shannon Stiles, Samantha Schmid, Congressman Troy Nehls, and Ayan Butt.

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A Ente rt & rtainm e nt F

“We Are Fort Bend” Photography Contest winners announced

ort Bend County Libraries, in conjunction with the Fort Bend County Diversity Over Division Initiative and the Fort Bend Photography Club, announced the winners of the “We Are Fort Bend” photography contest. All entries will be on display through June 30 in the Bohachevsky Gallery at George Memorial Library, located at 1001 Golfview in Richmond. The exhibit can also be viewed in an online gallery on FBCL’s website. Amateur photographers were challenged to capture the spirit of the people, culture, nature, and places that make Fort Bend County special. More than 100 photographs were entered into the competition. Winning photographs were determined by a panel of judges, who made their determinations based on the following criteria: relationship to contest theme, composition, focus, lighting, emotional impact, and creativity. First place was awarded to Gregory Gibson for his photograph, “Sunset at Del Webb Sweetgrass,” which was taken in Richmond. “My photo was of the Del Webb Sweetgrass clubhouse at sunset,” said Gibson. “Del Webb Sweetgrass is an active 55+ senior community with almost 1500 homes that improve Fort Bend County and Richmond-Rosenberg with residents who support the area by serving through charities, churches, and supporting business in the area. The DW Sweetgrass neighborhood started a little over 10 years ago.” Second place was awarded to Ciara Emmalaine Anderson for her photograph, “Bridged Reflections,” which was taken at Oyster Creek Park in Sugar Land.

recently, and I wanted to highlight one of my favorite pieces from the shoot. Fort Bend County is home to all of my teenage memories, and I wanted to properly convey that before I graduated high school.” Third place was awarded to Gerald Hopman for his photograph, “Richmond Railroad Trestle,” which was taken in Richmond. “This railroad trestle is the best in the county in my estimation,” said Hopman. “It has supported trains carrying people and cargo for many years throughout the time the town originated and grew as an historical county icon.” “We appreciate all the photographers who entered the contest and shared their interpretations of what makes our county a wonderful place to live and work,” said Library Director Clara Russell. “We had many wonderful photos that were entered, and we are honored to be able to share them with the community.” The exhibit may be viewed in the Bohachevsky Gallery during regular library hours. To view the exhibit online, visit Fort Bend County Libraries’ website www.fortbend.lib.tx.us and click on the “We Are Fort Bend Photo Exhibit” icon on the lower half of the website.

Libraries celebrate newborns during Children’s Book Week


ort Bend County Libraries will continue its annual tradition of welcoming newborns to the wonders of books. Every Fort Bend County baby born during FBCL’s Children’s Book Week — June 5-11— may receive a special baby book bag, courtesy of the Friends of Fort Bend County Library.

“Fort Bend County is home to a very diverse community, and that’s the beauty behind what makes it so great. The people of Fort Bend County make it such a unique and wonderful place to live.” said Anderson. “I’ve made wonderful memories with my friends, and I wanted to capture that through this contest piece. I did a photoshoot with a friend from school

14 • West Fort Bend Living

Each bag contains a book, a bib, a special certificate, a list of suggested reading for children, and information on parenting and library services. These bags represent the library system’s commitment to providing library services for county residents throughout their lives, beginning at birth. “We hope to start every child born in hospitals in Fort Bend County on a successful road to life-long learning,” said Susan King, Coordinator of Youth Services for FBCL. “We distribute the baby book bags to babies born during that week at area Fort Bend County hospitals, but all Fort Bend County babies who are born during the week of June 5-11 are eligible to receive one, while supplies last.” Families of Fort Bend babies born at other locations during this period should call the Youth Services department, at 281-633-4762, to receive their book bag. Not only is reading to a child an opportunity for bonding between parent and child, it has also been shown to stimulate brain development. Even the youngest baby can benefit from the chance to develop eye focus by looking at the page of a book, while being comforted by the familiar voice of a parent. Reading aloud to children exposes them to the sounds and cadences of a human voice, resulting in an earlier and stronger grasp of vocabulary skills. Helping children develop early literacy skills is a major goal for FBCL. Parents are encouraged to register their children for FBCL’s annual “Summer Reading Challenge.” Children from infancy through school-age earn rewards for the number of books they read (or are read to them) during the summer. Parents can register their child for the Summer Reading Challenge by going to the FBCL website, clicking on the “SRC Sign-Up image, and using the link for the Beanstack app to sign up. Easy-to-use online reading logs are available. For more information, see the Fort Bend County Libraries website at www.fortbend.lib.tx.us, or call the library system’s Communications Office (281-633-4734).

Multicultural Festival comes to Richmond


ort Bend County Libraries’ “Multicultural Festival: Bringing the World to You” will take place on Saturday, June 11, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at George Memorial Library, located at 1001 Golfview Drive in Richmond. Sponsored by the Friends of the George Memorial Library, the Multicultural Festival celebrates the rich, cultural diversity of the county and of the people who reside in it. Featuring an exciting line-up of performances, artisans, games, crafts, and more, the festival will have free activities and fun for the whole family. Stations representing cultures from around the world will be set up in the Bohachevsky Gallery. Stop by the Japan America Soci-


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IN THE SPOTLIGHT Continued from page 16






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To advertise, call 281-342-4474

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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT Continued from page 15 ety-Houston booth to join in the edamame chopstick challenge. In addition to the stations, which will be ongoing throughout the festival, the following events will take place at designated times: Soaring Phoenix Lion Dancers: 11 a.m. performance in the Lobby. USA Tai Chi Academy: 12:30 p.m. demonstration in the Lobby. Joy of Djembe African Drumming: 1 p.m. performance in the Jodie E. Stavinoha Amphitheater. Enjoy an energetic performance of drumming, introducing West African rhythms and beats. Members of the audience will be invited onstage for a drumming workshop. The festival will also showcase authentic red lanterns that were presented to Fort Bend County in 2012, by representatives of the Chancheng District, of Foshan City, China. The lanterns will hang in the lobby of the library for the day’s activities. A complete schedule of events will be posted on the Fort Bend County Libraries website www.fortbend.lib.tx.us.


will also perform Pops Hoe Down, an arrangement of fiddle tunes. After the performance, children are invited to get an up-close look and learn more about the different instruments during an instrument “petting zoo” in the Bohachevsky Gallery inside the library. Guided by Music Director Dominique Røyem, the Fort Bend Symphony Orchestra and Chorus has been serving the communities of Fort Bend County for more than 25 years. FBSO is a non-profit, volunteer-driven organization that supports local community musicians and artists. The performance will be presented in an outdoor amphitheater, and the seating is concrete. Theater-goers are encouraged to bring cushions to sit on. Glass containers, alcoholic beverages, and popcorn are not allowed in the amphitheater. Made possible by the Friends of George Memorial Library, the event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit www.fortbend.lib.tx.us.

Fort Bend Symphony Orchestra to perform free family concert

ort Bend County Libraries will present a free, musical performance, “Doodles for Orchestra,” by the Fort Bend Symphony Orchestra, on Saturday, June 4, from 11 a.m. to noon, in the Jodie E. Stavinoha Amphitheater at George Memorial Library, 1001 Golfview in Richmond. This family-friendly concert is a great way to foster a young child’s love of music. The performance will include fun, call-and-response interaction between the orchestra and the audience that will have everyone clapping and dancing along with the music. Children will learn about various orchestral instruments when the orchestra plays different versions of Yankee Doodle Dandy. The orchestra

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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT Continued on page 22

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How to deal with fire ants

CHRIS TAYLOR | Fort Bend County Master Gardener


de n i n



hances are good that you have experienced fire ants in your yard since they are ubiquitous throughout the South and Southwest U.S. Most of us are familiar with the large mounds that they can build in our yards, but more memorable are the stinging bites they can inflict when we accidentally step on a mound. Fire ants tend to act as a group and, therefore, will also sting in a swarm, which only amplifies their potency. A project at Texas A&M called “Texas Imported Fire Ant Research and Management Project” at fireant.tamu.edu can provide some basic information and fireant.tamu.edu/controlmethods/twostep/ provides instructions about dealing with fire ants. WHAT ARE FIRE ANTS? Fire ants fit into two categories – native fire ants known as Solenopsis geminata and the red imported fire ant known as Solenopsis invicta. The red imported fire ant from South America is an invasive species that arrived in the 1950s and continues to spread throughout the United States and Mexico, preferring warmer and drier climates. Both species look very similar, but the red imported variety is much more aggressive and, in many cases, displaces the native varieties. HOW CAN I CONTROL FIRE ANTS IN MY YARD?

In Texas, the two-step is a great way to dance away the night to country and western music. However, the “Two-Step Method” has also been proven to be the way to deal with fire ants. (Fortunately, no dance steps are required on the mounds). The two-step method gets its name from treating fire ants in two phases. The first phase of treatment is to make a wide application of a bait product throughout your yard. The ants take the bait as a source of food. Research has shown that the best time to apply the bait is mid-morning and within a temperature range of 65-95 degrees. As well, be sure to apply the bait based on the weather for the next several (preferably five) days. The bait must be applied when the ground is dry and should not receive any rain for the following days after application. One way to test whether the ants are active is to put a food lure such as a piece of fruit or a potato chip, along with some bait, in the area to be treated and wait to see if the ants are all over them. If so, they are active, and you can proceed with the broader application. The best time to apply the bait-formulated insecticide is from August through October. Late summer – early fall is the ideal time, since it allows time for the bait to be discovered by the ants and distributed into the mound. Ants are not as active in cool-to-cold temperatures, so it is better to put bait out before cold weather sets in. It does take time for the process to work, so this is another reason to broadcast the bait early. The second phase of treatment pertains to treating isolated, specific mounds of ants as they become present. These mounds can develop at almost any time. There are several methods used to treat mounds, such as granules, dust, bait, drench insecticide, and even home remedies. The first four methods are available in abundance at your local gardening stores, while the most common home remedy is to pour very hot or boiling water on the mounds. It is doubtful that we can eliminate fire ants completely, but research has identified ways to lessen their impact on our lives. Happy Gardening! Fort Bend County Master Gardeners are trained volunteers who assist Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in educating the community using research-based horticultural information.

20 • West Fort Bend Living

The benefits of companion gardening and understanding fertilizer


by LAUREN MARTIN | Texas Master Gardener

ur topic this time is companion gardening. Companion gardening, in general, is planting flowers, herbs and vegetables, which grow well together and are beneficial to each other. They help deter pests, attract beneficial bugs, provide shade for food plants, weed suppression and improve soil fertility. CONSIDER FLOWER COMPANION GARDENING Companion gardening can bring blossoming color, edible opportunities, and additional benefits to your pots and vegetable gardens. Vegetable and herb companions are impressive and can serve a double purpose, but that will be another article. My favorite flower companion plants are Borage, Calendula, Marigolds, Nasturtiums, and Tansy. Borage is a pollinator mecca. I personally love calendula not only for its benefits in the garden but also, because I make skin lotions from the dried flowers. Marigolds for their lovely colors and bad-bug deterring scent. Nasturtiums because they are edible and appealing in salads or decoration on baked goods and help to protect my cucumbers. Tansy is a beneficial pest-eating magnate (beneficial bugs deter, eat or kill bad bugs). It is also a perennial (plants that live more than two years); another added plus for the Laid-Back Gardeners. One can place all these plants throughout your garden or just one variety as a perimeter around your veggies. The choices are as varied as your imagination. USING HERBS AS COMPANION PLANTS When using herbs as a companion plant, the following are my top 10 choices for beneficial uses in the vegetable garden: basil, chive, cilantro, garlic, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage and thyme. However, feel free to plant any herbs that fit your culinary choices. As stated before, plant these amongst the companion flowers or just the herbs plants among your veggies. I like to plant my herbs close to my kitchen door, combined in pots or singularly. This is for easy access while I am cooking. The companion flowers are working in my garden while providing beauty. An example of vegetable companion planting is the Three Sister Planting. It is an example of Native Americans using vegetables to help benefit each other by conserving water, providing structure and enhancing the soil. The Three Sisters include a ground cover, height and stabilization. The vegetables are corn, beans and squash. Corn to give something for the beans to climb on. Beans provide nitrogen to fertilize the soil and support the tall corn stalks. The squash vines provide ground cover for water retention and a weed deterrent. Sister planting can be done with almost any vegetable you want just follow the ground cover, height and stabilization standards. As a side note, check the space needed for any of these herbs and veggies at maturity. As well as the different varieties within each of the plant suggestions. There is not enough room in this article for all of the choices. Email me at thelaidbackgardenerlauren@gmail.com with any questions or comments. UNDERSTANDING FERTILIZER We have touched base on soil preparations, mulching, and companion plantings of flowers, herbs and vegetables. Now, let’s briefly discuss fertilizing. You are already on the road to success with the best soil preparation as we discussed in the May article. Acquaint yourself with the three numbers on the fertilizer products. They are always in the same order and they indicate the percentage of Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium — NPK. All plants need Nitrogen for growth – roots, stems, leaves, flowers and fruits. Phosphorous is needed for cell division, root growth and flowering. Potassium (K) helps plants grow for their flowering and fruiting production. At this time of year for your vegetable garden, you want to look for a fertilizer that reads 10 (N)-20(P)-10(K); twice as much Phosphorus (P) as Nitrogen (N) or Potassium (K). The numbers can change but you will want to keep the middle number twice as high as the 1st and 3rd number; 1020-10, 12-24-12, etc. We really want our gardens to start flowering and growing making fruits and vegetables.

So whether you are an organic gardener or traditional/inorganic gardener, these three nutrients will be listed in the same order (NPK) on fertilizers products. In the garden, tomato plants are one of our heaviest feeders. When your tomatoes start to set fruit this is a good time to start feeding them on a regular schedule; once every one to two weeks. Depending on the soil you built your garden with, most other veggies will benefit from once-a-month fertilization. The main objective is to be consistent with your watering (pay attention to your amount of rain) and fertilization schedule. Please email me with any questions or comments. I love hearing from everyone. Next time I will touch base on some of the most common issues/problems you may have in the garden.


garden heart; Belinda Shufelt, winner of the Music of the Sphere’s wind chime; and Regina Weeks, who won the adorable Little Bo Peep planter. The Quail Valley Garden Club hosted the annual Spring Plant Sale at The TEE Garden in Missouri City. This space is one of many “adopta-spot” projects in the Garden Club’s Beautification program and was deemed the perfect place to hold this Springtime event. The care of the TEE garden is a shared responsibility with the City of Missouri City, a partnership that has proven to be most effective and has resulted in providing a beautiful park area for all Missouri City residents to enjoy and use as a special photo opportunity for their special occasions.

Local Spring plant sale blossomed

he Quail Valley Garden Club’s 2022 Spring Plant Sale was bursting with color and featured more than 2,000 plants. Offered were all sorts of beautiful plants, in all categories; annuals, perennials, succulents, herbs, vegetables, native plants, trees, bushes and shrubs. “We had beautiful, colorful hanging baskets that were made and donated by our members”, said Deborah Douglas, the Garden Club’s president. “There were lots of pollinator-attractors too, such as Buddhleia, the native Coreopsis and Blue Daze. There were blueberries, blackberries and lots of vegetables; eggplant, okra, yellow squash, zucchini, pole beans and purple hull peas. Along side that were numerous herbs; sage, oregano and basil, etc. Not to mention our fabulous caladiums!” In addition to purchasing plants and bushes, the City of Missouri City’s “Mayors’ Youth Commission” participated in a fun activity for kids, encouraging them to paint a pot and plant a seed of their choosing and start a plant of their own to take home and nurture. The Plant Sale concluded with the Garden Raffle with City Council Member Floyd Emery, announcing the winner’s names. An excited crowd congratulated Debbie Hanks, winner of the beautiful Blue Bird Spinner; former mayor Allen Owen, who won the extraordinary quartz and rock

Quail Valley Garden Club members with city staff and council members: E. Joyce Iyamu, Crystal Roan, Sedrick Cole, Floyd Emery, Lynn Clouser, Monica Riley, Anthony Maroulis, Jeffrey Boney, Tyson Stittleburg.

The Mayor’s Youth Commission hosted a children’s activity, providing pots, paints and seeds for the little ones to create their very own personal plant.

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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT Continued from page 19


Library presents bilingual fable “The Aztec Princess”

n conjunction with the Summer Reading Challenge, Fort Bend County Libraries will host a special storytelling performance for children, “The Aztec Princess,” on Tuesday, June 28, beginning at 2:30 pm, in the Meeting Room of George Memorial Library, located at 1001 Golfview in Richmond. Presented by Express Children’s Theatre, “The Aztec Princess” is a bilingual Mexican fable told by a time-traveling princess. In this interactive storytelling adventure, the Aztec Princess tells two classic fables – one about making good choices and another about stranger danger – while teaching English and Spanish vocabulary along the way. Express Children’s Theatre is a multicultural theatre company that has been creating and performing work for children and their families in the Houston area for more than 30 years. This performance is for families with children of all ages. Made possible by a grant through Young Audiences of Houston, the performance is free and open to the public.

Young children can experience the Science Of Sound this month


ort Bend County Libraries’ Youth Services department will host a special performance of “The Science of Sound,” presented by Tom’s Fun Band, on Monday, June 27, at 2:30 p.m., in the Meeting Room of the University Branch Library, located at 14010 University Blvd in Sugar Land, on the UH campus. Because seating is limited, the performance at this location is only for students in grades 1 through 5.A free ticket, available one hour prior to the performance, is required for admission. In this fun and interactive performance, learn how sound waves, vibrations, air molecules and frequency all come together to create music. Demonstrations of unique sounds are introduced with the tuba, guitar, and didgeridoo. Families with children of all ages are encouraged to sing, move, and listen together, as they explore how sound is produced, how it moves, and how it is perceived. Made possible by a grant from Young Audiences of Houston, the program is free and open to the public. For more information, visit www. fortbend.lib.tx.us, or call the University Branch Library at 281-633-5100.



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