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WSU Ext Offers Home Horticulture Training

Home Horticulture TrainingLearn to be a better home gardener and steward of the environment this winter with Washington State University Extension’s new online Home Horticulture Training program. Training is open to Washington state residents 18 years of age and older. No gardening experience is needed.

This training focuses on a wide range of horticulture topics taught online by WSU faculty, staff, Master Gardeners, and other regional experts on Saturday mornings from 9 a.m. to noon starting Jan. 9 and continuing weekly through Apr. 24. See the FAQ, Syllabus and the Topics and Schedule for more information.

Those wishing to earn a Certificate of Completion will need to participate in weekly online quizzes, a final, and attend most classes. Homework is expected to average 3-5 hours a week. Completion of this course does not lead to becoming a Master Gardener. If you are interested in becoming a Master Gardener, please consider waiting until our next regular WSU Master Gardener King County Training planned for Winter 2022.

Master Gardeners, you can help promote this online opportunity to meet the increased demand for gardening education. Here is a flyer (for print or to post) to publicize this training to your local community.

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Message to Our Master Gardeners

From: Mary Watts, WSU Extension Master Gardener Program Coordinator
Subject: Announcements
New! Date: October 5, 2020

This is a much shorter email than usual, just a few announcements.

Continuing Education Opportunity
Join us on Zoom for a presentation by Kevin Zobrist on the signs, symptoms and management of some of the common root diseases we see in the Pacific Northwest…

Growing Groceries
As you know, the Growing Groceries team will launch season 3 of this popular teaching series hosted by our King County program. The series of 12 separate classes is ideal for the beginning to intermediate level veggie gardener. The Growing Groceries team has prepared some simple short messages that you could cut and paste into blogs, other social media and web pages or even emails. You’ll find those messages here: https://mgfkc.org/education/growinggroceries/growing-groceries-media. Thank you for helping us out.

Finally, An Announcement from Annamarie Lacrosse
It is with great sadness, I wish to report the passing of long time Master Gardener, Edward L. Lacrosse on August 15, 2020. Ed completed his Master Gardener Training in 1991 and was active for 25 years in a variety of roles! He served King County Clinics, plant sales and became a Board member and President of the King County MG Foundation in the 1990s. In 2008, the State Foundation Distinguished Service Award was renamed the Edward Lacrosse Service Award in recognition of his commitment, involvement and service. Ed was honored as the MG Gardener of the Year in 2010. Remembrances may be directed to BonneyWatson.com or “Celebrate the Life of Ed Lacrosse” on Facebook…

In closing, it is always difficult to learn of the passing of one of our community members. It is a reminder to enjoy and appreciate one another, and to take care of each other and ourselves.

Read the full message and all the Program Coordinator’s messages on the Member Area page of this website (log in required).

Dahlias, Dahling Dahlias

dahliaAs an accomplished dahlia grower, we know says, “It is time to fluff your dahlias.” This form of maintenance includes deadheading old blooms, disbudding and debranching, tying the plants to support stakes, controlling insects, and possibly spraying for powdery mildew.

Deadheading (removing spent or declining blooms), along with disbudding and debranching, helps to redirect the plant’s energy to the formation of the new blooms. Disbudding and debranching involve the removal of the new buds adjacent to the new bloom and removal of the new growth of side branching one branch lower. This also helps to build stronger stems and larger flowers. Our dahlia grower said, “The first time I disbudded and debranched, I felt like a murderer . . . but I got over it.” It really does improve the plant and bloom.

The “border” dahlias are usually shorter and don’t generally need to be staked, but taller plants can be somewhat floppy and need to be supported. The stake should be in place by now and the plant can be tied with regular garden twine. Some folks have even eased their dahlia plants into wire tomato cages for support.

Spraying an insecticide in a garden can interrupt the life cycles of the beneficial insects. Give the good bugs an opportunity to do their jobs. A preferred philosophy in the Diagnostic Lab is the opposable thumb method of dispatching most of the troublesome insects in the garden. Literally “rubbing them out” is quite effective.

Spraying a fungicide now will mitigate the inevitable powdery mildew that will become prevalent on your dahlia plants this time of year. Remember, you are applying the fungicide to protect the plant from a fungal infection. Spraying won’t make the existing powdery mildew go away. If you choose to spray, follow the container instructions to spray in continuing intervals until the end of the growing season while your plants still look healthy.

Published in the September-October 2017 issue of Heads UP!

East Meets West in the Garden

East Meets West in the Garden

Thank you to all who contributed to the King County Master Gardener Program and participated in the September 11 East Meets West in the Garden event with Dan Hinkley and Nita-Jo Rountree. These local garden celebrities generously donated their time to help the Master Gardener Foundation of King County raise funds for the Master Gardeners.

Over 165 Master Gardeners and friends of Master Gardeners attended this event, helping the Foundation to raise over $7600 for its continuing support for this program. We recognize additional support from individual and businesses who sponsored the event with generous donations for door prizes made this a fun and well-attended event. Read more about the event and Dan and Nita-Jo.

The 600 plus Master Gardeners require a strong support system. The Foundation finances demonstration gardens throughout King County that in turn offer harvested goods to local food banks for their underserved communities. Classes help gardeners successfully to grow their own food sharing ideas for fruits and vegetables easily planted on balconies and in yards, on sunny windowsills or in doorway pots. Finally, at clinics they share science-based information to help create sustainable and ecologically robust gardens in homes and communities throughout King County.

Gardens continue to be a place of solace in these challenging times. Community support through these generous donations help Master Gardeners to be there today when we all need help, when a kind word of encouragement about a struggling plant sets us on our way, and tomorrow when a new normal still includes time spent in nature in our green places. You may still donate to the Foundation at MGFKC.org and find us online at ask-a-MG.

WSU Ext Pubs website

We are all aware of the unintended consequences resulting from WSU upgrading their WSU Extension publication website and the adoption of a new web-based store platform for the Extension publications. Changes have recently been made to their new website. It is now possible to download copies of the free PDF publications without setting up an account.

Use the Download Now link for the digital version of a publication to access and download available PDF files.WSU Ext Publications Download Now feature

 

 

 

 

 

To purchase hard copy versions of publications, you will be asked to set up an account. Use the ADD TO CART button to begin that process.

WSU Ext Publications Add to Cart feature

 

 

 

 

 

NOTE: Hortsense and Pestsense links are not affected at this time. Links on the Gardening in Washington State site, http://gardening.wsu.edu/, have been updated.

The URL for that new WSU publications platform is:  http://pubs.extension.wsu.edu

We will continue to work to make access easier and more readily available to King County Master Gardeners in our clinics, gardens and at other events. Watch this website for these updates. [Oct. 22, 2019]

New Program Coordinator Announced

King County Master Gardener Program

 

Today’s message from our King County Interim Coordinators:

Fellow Master Gardeners,

We are very happy to announce on behalf of Todd Murray, WSU Agriculture and Natural Resources Unit Director, that we have successfully recruited Mary Watts as the new WSU King County Master Gardener Program Coordinator.  Her first day of work will be November 1, 2019.

Mary said:

I joined the Master Gardener program with the 2017 class of Interns and have been part of the Woodland Park Zoo Clinic in Seattle since that time. I love everything about the Master Gardener program and am thrilled to now make it my vocation.

I am deeply grateful to Penny Kriese and Carrie Hill for their leadership and hard work as interim co-coordinators and look forward to collaborating with them and all of you as we continue to develop and steward the Master Gardener program of King County.

We welcome Mary and look forward to working with her over the next several weeks as we make this transition in leadership. She will be joining us at the Recognition Event on October 27 at Bellevue Botanical Garden.

Carrie & Penny

[October 22, 2019]

WSU Master Gardener Volunteer Week

2018 Master Gardener Volunteer Week

Congratulations WSU Master Gardeners!

Governor Jay Inslee proclaimed September 22 – 28, 2019, as Washington State University Master Gardener Volunteer Week. The Governor commended WSU Master Gardeners for being the model of service emulated in all fifty states and numerous foreign countries. The program, founded by WSU, has been in place since 1973. He asked all citizens to join him in this special observance.

Read the Governor’s proclamation.

Vision, Mission and Values

The WSU Master Gardener program has recently reviewed and revised its Vision and Mission and developed values that are important to our program.

  • Our vision describes where we want to be in 10 years.
  • Our mission describes who we are, what we do and the value our work provides to the communities we serve.
  • Our values describe attributes, traits and behaviors that are important to the WSU Master Gardener program.

When considering long term projects, short term goals and daily tasks, use our vision, mission and values statements to guide your decision making. Ask yourself, how does this project help achieve our vision; how does the task I am working on right now align with our vision and mission; how do my behaviors and the things that are important to me align with our program’s values? Be certain that everything you do helps to achieve our vision, maintains our mission and aligns with our values to help lead our program into the next decade.

Read the WSU MG Vision Statement

Fasciation

Fasciated CelosiaSome of the most popular new variations of recent plants are mutations that cause the stem and other plant parts to grow wide and flats. Also, shoots can appear to be composed of several fused parts, flattened, elongated or misshapen flower heads with numerous flowers. This is called fasciation.

Fasciation can occur in just about any kind of plant. Everything from weeds to trees will produce this unusual growth given the right circumstances. Gardeners who love oddball plants have propagated some of these rarities. Grafting or cutting propagation is the usual means by which horticulturists propagate fasciated plants. Fasciation is especially common in cacti and succulents, but willows, cockscomb and foxgloves also frequently show this abnormality. Continue Reading »

Mason Bee Habitat Measurements

See additional resources at the bottom of this post.

From 3/8th inch Plywood – “Cut and Assemble

2 ea 9X8           Sides

1 ea 12X8         Back

1 ea 12X13       Top

1 ea 9X13         Bottom

This “box” will hold “six – ½ gal plastic milk cartons (just cut off the top, making a six inch plastic container)”.  This box will hold about 450 “Roll Your Own” paper Nesting Tubes, enough for about 4000, “Pollinating Bees”.  These Mason Bees pollinate your trees, March-May/June – when nothing else is out to pollinate.  They only live about 100 days, then die, but have laid their eggs for next year’s crop. Continue Reading »

Watch your garden investment grow with trees

Garden investment grown with trees
Trees may not live forever, but they usually outlive the gardener who plants one to leave a lasting heritage. Think carefully about not only the kind of tree you select but also where you put it in the garden.

Along with the hardscape — paths, terraces, fences and garden shelters — trees form the bones of the garden. One of their most important functions is to give scale to a design; they provide the over-story. A mix of trees, shrubs and low plants fosters a plant community that lends richness to our gardens.

Continue Reading »




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