Wednesday, April 09, 2014

“Organic Gardening Academy” Being Offered by MU Extension at Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center

Contact: Patrick Byers, horticulture specialist
Headquartered in Greene County
Tel: (417) 881-8909

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A total of 11 classes will be taught by University of Missouri Extension specialists this gardening season as part of a new “Organic Gardening Academy.”

Each of the classes will begin at 6 p.m. and be held at the Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center, 2400 S. Scenic Ave., Springfield, Mo. The first class on April 17 is free since it is an “Introduction to Organic Gardening” class.

Kelly McGowan, horticulture assistant with MU Extension, has been instrumental in getting the academy planned because of area interest in the topic.

“This class series was developed in response to growing interest in our area about organic and sustainable gardening practices.  Our hope is that people will use what they learn not only in their own gardens, but that they will share their knowledge with others,” said McGowan.

Patrick Byers, horticulture specialist with University of Missouri Extension, will be teaching many of the academy classes along with an Extension specialist from Lincoln University.

“The topics being presented at this academy are intended to help guide you to balance in your garden with naturally occurring products and practices,” said Byers.

The following is a list of class dates and topics. There is a $20 fee per class and pre-registration is necessary by calling the Greene County Extension Center at (417) 881-8909.

Apr 17 -- Introduction to Organic Gardening
May 1 -- Preparing Garden Soil
May 6 -- Basic Plant Nutrition/ Organic Fertilizers
Jun 12 -- Growing Organic Vegetables at Home
Jun 19 -- Disease Scouting and Treatments
Jul 16 -- Organic Pest Control
Jul 31 -- Organic Weed Control
Aug 7 -- Organic Gardening for Pollinators and Beneficial Insects
Aug 21 -- Garden Planning for the Next Season / 4-season Gardening
Sep 18 -- Composting
Sep 30 -- Sustainable Water Use

For 100 years, MU Extension has engaged Missourians in relevant programs based on University of Missouri research. The year 2014 marks the centennial of the Smith-Lever Act, which formalized the Cooperative Agricultural Extension Service, a national network whose purpose is to extend university-based knowledge beyond the campus.

University of Missouri Extension programs focus on the high-priority needs of Missourians. Each county extension center, with oversight by locally elected and appointed citizens, is your local link to practical education on almost anything. More information on this topic is available online at


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