I know I’m not the only gardener who routinely does a walkabout to see what’s up. When the magical date of March 20 is heralded as the arrival of spring, gardeners become more anxious. I’m never sure just what we expect on the magical day. Do we expect to wake up and see a barren landscape has been transformed into a wash of spring colors over night? I guess that would only be possible with the artistic technology of a Disney movie.
What we can rely on every year is the Central Oregon Chapter of OSU Master Gardeners annual Spring Garden Seminar held the third Saturday of April. This year the date is April 21, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Deschutes County Fair & Expo Center in Redmond. This is a fee-based event with registration open until April 14.
The Spring Seminar 90-minute classes are the major educational focus of the Central Oregon Master Gardener Association and the Oregon State University Extension Service. The presenters are well-known in their profession or in their specialized field of interest. There are many class choices and decisions need to be made soon. Class sizes are determined by the capacity of the classroom and classes do fill up fast.
Just to put some frosting on the cake, many garden product vendors participate in the garden market, which is open and free to the public. It is like a local Saturday market focused solely on garden products. Visualize over 30 booths of garden art, books, nursery stock from at least two nurseries, landscape products, soil thermometers, worm castings and row coverings (the great Central Oregon frost protector). Look under the mattress for a few extra dollars — the temptations are great.
A quick rundown of the classes will help in the decision making.
• Molly McDowell Dunston, owner of North of South Landscape will offer suggestions to increase irrigation efficiency in her Irrigation for High Desert Gardens class.
• Introduction to Vegetable Gardening in Central Oregon will be presented by Pat Kolling, a certified master gardener. Climate, soil challenges and specific vegetables will be discussed.
• Joy Lawrence from Moonfire & Sun Garden Center will lead a DIY project: Growing Gorgeous Succulents in Small Containers. Create an 8-inch color bowl full of sedums. Materials fee is $10.
• Clara McCarthy, an urban and community forestry professional, will present Tree Selection for Central Oregon. The topic includes the importance of understanding the basic science of tree health, site location and criteria for tree selection.
• Growing Cold Hardy Cactus in the High Desert is a favorite taught by David Stetson.
• Steve Renquist, OSU Extension horticulture agent from Douglas County, will share his expertise on growing tree fruit.
• Linda Beutler, curator of the Rogerson Clematis Collection will focus her presentation on cold-climate clematis.
• Twenty-nine years of commercial vegetable growing in Central Oregon definitely qualifies Jim Fields to share his expert knowledge of vegetable varieties for Central Oregon.
• Trying to Understand Central Oregon Climate and How It Relates to Gardening is the presentation being offered by Amy Jo Detweiler, OSU faculty. The more we know, the better gardener we will be.
• Genie McBurnett’s How to Have a Flower Garden — Not a Critter Salad Bar will be an inspiration to all who attend. Lots of good information and sharing of her “Last Plant Standing” list.
• How Gardening Will Save the World presented by Gail Langellotto, statewide coordinator of the Extension Master Gardener Program, OSU professor and entomologist, gives much food for thought. The talk will present the latest research on ecosystem services provided by gardens and tips that you can use to make your garden a lean, mean ecosystem-service machine.
•Looking for a new gardening method to try? Jennifer Gold, OSU-certified master gardener, will share her knowledge on Straw Bale Gardening: What It Can Offer Central Oregon Gardeners.
• You’ve grown a successful garden with a bountiful harvest, now what? OSU Master Food Preserver Diane Tolzman will guide you through the steps of Freezing Your Harvest.
• As you may have noticed, lush green grass just doesn’t happen naturally — TJ Todd, owner and operator of a landscape company, will explain the fine points of Turf Grass Maintenance in Central Oregon.
• Toni Stephan, OSU Extension horticulture and small-farms instructor, is the go-to person for advice on how to Prune Like a Pro. It’s an art and a science and should be done properly.
• I love growing tomatoes and feel it is my job to convince others to try. Look for The Ruby Red Jewel of the Summer Table session, and let’s talk.
— Reporter: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you go
What: Central Oregon Chapter of OSU Master Gardeners annual Spring Garden Seminar
When: April 21, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Where: Deschutes County Fair & Expo Center in Redmond.
Cost: This is a fee-based event with preregistration open until April 14.
For complete registration information go to www.goCOMGA.com or call 541-548-6088