Friday, February 07, 2014

Two Master Gardener Programs Begin Feb. 24; Register for MoGardens and Potting Shed University Now

Master Gardeners of Greene County
Author: Jeanne Christakos Duffey, master gardener

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Volunteers with Master Gardeners of Greene County have planned two different series of classes for home gardeners in the Ozarks.

Beginning Monday, Feb. 24 and running through April 28, Potting Shed University will present a series of 10 diverse garden topics. Also starting on Feb. 24 and running through April 7, MOGardens will begin a seminar series of 14 different presentations that will provide a comprehensive overview of gardening in the Ozarks.

Both events are presented in cooperation with University of Missouri Extension of Greene County whose offices are located in the Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center in Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park, 2400 S. Scenic Ave, Springfield.


Potting Shed University, now in its third year, is a casual, pay-at-the-door event that costs $5 per person, per hour-long class, at the Botanical Center. Missy Sanford, president of Master Gardeners of Greene County, will present the first class on “Winter Seed Sowing” from 6:30 until 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 24. During the class, participants will plant seeds in recycled or other containers to take home.

“Winter sowing involves planting seeds during the dead of winter in covered containers,” said Sanford. “The containers are then stored outdoors, allowing the seeds to experience the chill of winter, ice, snow and rain. When the temperature warms enough, the seeds germinate and start to grow. By the time soil in the planting beds has warmed, the seedlings are ready to transplant.”

The second session on companion planting presented by Master Gardeners Joe and Cathy Wolven will be held on Monday, March 3. “Roses love garlic. Carrots love tomatoes. Even plants like companions,” say the couple. “This program tells which plants prefer which for best production.”

Other sessions address native plants (March 10), organic gardening (March 17), easy-care lawns and groundcovers (March 24), shrubs (March 31), herbs (April 7), worm composting bins (April 14), butterfly gardens (April 21), annuals and perennials (April 28).

For questions about this program contact Mary Ann Bolli at (417) 413-4834 or Classes will be cancelled due to inclement weather when Springfield Public Schools are closed.


Presentations in the annual MOGardens seminar series “give a foundation of understanding of gardening and an opportunity for those who desire to further their gardening knowledge,” according to Patricia Tursi. “The classes are taught by experienced members of Master Gardeners, some professionals working in the field of horticulture or related areas and people who are growers or in plant-related businesses.”

Two topics are presented each evening from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. with a 20-minute refreshment break at the Mercy (O’Reilly) Cancer Center, 2055 S. Fremont Ave., Springfield.

Experienced landscaper Paul Armstrong will discuss the beauty, benefits and growing techniques of native plants followed by Christine Chiu, past president of Master Gardeners of Greene County, who will talk about kitchen gardens at the first session on Monday, Feb. 24. “There’s no need to plant in straight lines,” says Chiu. “I’ll help you discover the secrets to establish a stunningly visual edible garden that feeds your mind, soul and body.”

Other upcoming topics include herbs and growing nutrient dense food (March 3), shade gardening and succulents (March 10), benefits of trees and healthy and lush lawns (March 17), sex and the single flower and creative urban farming (March 24), bird gardens and productive small gardens (March 31) and greenhouse biochar stoves and home fruit production (April 7).

The cost to attend the entire MoGarden series of seven sessions with 14 speakers is $90 for one person and $145 for a couple. A person can also register for individual classes at $20 each or $35 for a couple at the Botanical Center. Individuals can pay at the door for $20 each, but will need to reserve a place at least one day before the class by calling 417-881-8909.


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