New to gardening? These basic tools will get you growing:
— A shovel or spade for digging
— A steel rake for preparing beds
— A hand trowel for planting
— Stakes, twine and a measuring tape to set out plants or line up seed rows
— For tiny seeds, a hand held sower will properly space seeds
— A loop or circle hoe helps to weed close to the plant without disturbing roots
— A wheelbarrow, a kneeling pad and good garden gloves.
— Don't forget sunscreen and a hat.
Slugs and snails can be a problem now. Look for pet-safe baits to sprinkle in slug territory. The problem decreases as the weather gets drier.
- When laying out planting schemes, make sure to change the locations of your plants from year to year. Plant rotation confuses garden pests and helps maintain balanced soil nutrients.
- Plant greens like arugula, kale, chard, lettuces, and spinach. Starts of cold season vegetables like broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower can be planted.
- Plant perennial food plants: asparagus, strawberries and berries. Local advice on planting beds is available in the Jackson County Master Gardener's Garden Guide for the Rogue Valley, available at local garden centers or at the OSU extension office on Hanley Road in Central Point, 541-776-7371. The book offers valley-specific advice on growing food, including which varieties are best for our climate's temperature extremes.
- Prune and fertilize your roses. Summer-blooming perennials should be divided now.
- Diligent policing is necessary in order to maintain variety in your garden. Control the growth of bamboo by spearing a shovel around the perimeter of the plant to stop the spread of roots.
- Look for volunteer seedlings of plants like foxglove, sedges, daisies and yarrow. When small, these plants are easy to dig and plant in other areas. Ditto for the cosmos seedlings that appear in later spring. Rake up unwanted seedlings.
Weather permitting, remove the thatch from your lawn, aerate and reseed your lawn. See our article in this issue about choosing seed. Adding fertilizer now will improve spring growth.
- This spring, North Mountain Park Nature Center has hands-on classes in gardening, including starting plants and establishing a kitchen garden. Learn about local wine production with Prof. Greg Jones. Or if gardening is inspiration for artistic expression, learn to draw garden scenes, or how to create a pine needle basket. All classes are listed on line at www.northmountainpark.org or get more information by calling 488-6606.
- The Master Food Preservers will present a class on small batch preserving at the OSU extension center, 569 Hanley Rd., Central Pt., March 26 from 7 to 9:00 p.m. Class fee is $10 and you'll learn about ginger-pear preserves and red-hot apple slices and how to make any preserves safely. If this class seems too tasty to miss, call 776-7371.
- Jackson County Master Gardeners present a class on rose pruning on 9 to noon on March 7. BYOL (Bring your own loppers.) For $5, learn how to prune correctly. Dress for the weather. Gardener beginners can learn how to plant vegetables from 7 to 9 p.m., March 12. Each class is $5. If you are ready for more "expert" gardening, learn how to graft your own fruit tree, 7 to9 p.m., March 9. The fee is $25 and you will bring home three grafted fruit starts. For more information call 776-7371.
- Tired of reading about gardening? Donate your used books to the Master Gardeners so others may learn! Books on gardening and landscape (all aspects), bees, birds, butterflies, insects, rocks, varmints, wildlife, worms, how to books, arts and crafts, cookbooks, canning and preserving, wine, wine making, and children's books are accepted. No magazines will be accepted. Proceeds will benefit the scholarship fund. Call 776-7371.
OSU Extension Service
Master Gardener Program
Sat. March 7, Rose Pruning
George Jennings & Medford Rose Society
Rose anatomy, general rose care, pruning tools, and the 10 principles for successfully pruning roses will be discussed. The class will conclude with outdoor practice in pruning roses so dress for the weather and bring gloves, clippers, and lopers. This class qualifies for Master Gardener re-certification hours.
Thurs. March 12, Gardening for the True Beginner
Carol Oneal, Master Gardener
Want to raise your own veggies, but don't know where to begin? Had a garden in California, or Ohio or Florida and wonder if what you did there works here? If you are 'rookie' in the vegetable gardening department, this is the class for you. Soil preparation, watering, variety choices, raised beds and more to get you started on the right foot in your gardening adventure. This class qualifies for M.G. re-cert. Hours.
Thurs. March 19, Fruit Tree Grafting
George Tiger, retired OSU Extension Agent
Class limited to 25. Preregistration required by calling 776-7371. Materials fee of $25.
Learn how to create your own apple tree or save grampa's favorite apple tree. The techniques and tools for grafting fruit trees will be taught. Class members will choose from a variety of apple tree varieties to make a minimum of three grafted starts to take home. This class qualifies for M.G. re-certification hours.
Sat. and Sun March 1 &2 Spring Fair - Mark your calendars
Its almost time for The Jackson County Master Gardener Association Spring Fair. Please mark your calendars! The date has been changed from April to Sat., March 1 and Sun., March 2, (the first weekend).
Saturday classes 9am-12pm
Weekday classes 7pm-9pm
To learn more about Jackson country Master Gardener Association go to: http://extension.orst.edu/sorec/mg