Tuesday, October 26, 2010

New Website!

The “old” Extension website has been closed down.  When it is accessed users will be redirected to the new website.
    Here is the link to the Yavapai County Extension homepage.


Most of what we will use is related to Horticulture and the Master Gardener Program.  When you hover over Horticulture on the left navigation bar, a drop-down menu will come up.   If you click on the word Horticulture (in the left navigation bar) you will get a Horticulture page with not too much on it.   If you click on Home Horticulture on the drop-down menu you will get the Home Horticulture page that contains access to the U of A bulletins, Yavapai County bulletins, the MG Blog, insect and disease diagnostic info, etc.  

    The 2011 Master Gardener class info and application can be accessed from any of the above mentioned pages.
The new link will be found in the favorite links box from now on.

2010 Recognitions Picnic

A beautiful day, great food and over 100 Master Gardeners made the 2010 annual Master Gardener Recognition Picnic a smashing success.  Montezuma's Well was the backdrop.  Excellent food was on the menu thanks to Linda Kimberly's master bar-b-quer husband and Kathy MacCauley's food organizational skills with the great cooks among our master gardeners.  Jeff Schalau presented forty-six awards for 150, 250, 500, 1000, 1500 and 2000 hours.  Jeff and Bob Burke, our president, also recognized many Master Gardeners who have made the Yavapai County Master Gardener Association one of the most successful in the country.  The rarified Emeritus club (those with 10 years of continuous MG membership) acquired one new members:  Delores Johnson.
(article by Angela Mazella)

150 Hours
Black, David
Bourdage-Allman, Tana
Gerber, Lisa
Gessner, Bob
Hauserman, Cindy
Heisinger, Pete
Herrick, Merle
Hunter, Donna
Kimmel, Joy
Tierney, Jean
Weesner, Robin
Williams, Rose
Wilson, Deborah

250 Hours
Allen, Debbie
Ames, PJ
Colangelo, Juliette
Cowan, Judy
Downing, Eric
Earls, Ken
Gooslin, Bobbie Jo
Herrick, Michele
Hughes, Kirby
Konzem, Tom
Loos, Betty
McIntyre, Steve
Moody, Steve
O’Laughlin, Jean
Spring, Wendy
Zmyslinski, Ron

500 Hours

Berkshire, Sally
Fleishman, Jay
Kinnen, Sandee
Loving, Connie
Mansoldo, Janet
Millet, Nancy
Russi, Suzette
Selna, Bernadette

1000 Hours
Carter, Cynthia
Howard, Sherry
Smith, Sue

1500 Hours
Art Filippino

2000 Hours
MacCauley, Kathy
Wise, Richard

Delores Johnson

Monday, October 11, 2010

A Wild Garden

My yard is a mess.  I can never control the Bermuda grass.  I let the sunflowers grow wildly (even though I pull up tons of seedlings) because in the fall, the finches flock to eat the seed.  I have some native milkweeds that I let grow because they attract butterflies.  I rarely use any pesticides or do much of anything to control the insects.  While the yard does attract the birds and butterflies it also attracts bees, wasps and ants.  This year I have been stung three times by flying creatures and I can't even remember how many ant bites I've suffered through.  I finally had to kill a huge wasp nest that hung on the roof of my porch endangering access to both of my doors.  Just today I was stung by one of the bees that were foraging in the vegetables and taking advantage of a late season drink of the hummingbird feeders.

Each time I decide to kill something, its a rather agonizing decisions.  I hate buying the chemicals because they are both a large expense and then a burden when the unused portion sits on my shelf for years after.  There are few ways to get rid of them safely.

I try hard to avoid the creatures and give them space.  When you have a wild garden you have to make a choice.  Will you accept nature as it is or will you make the decision about what you preceive as good or bad.

 So what is good and what is bad?  The line is blurred.  Wasps are great predators that eat many insects the damage my vegetable plants.  I rarely have insect problems with my vegetables.  The bees are pollinators and are crucial to providing me with fruits and vegetables.  The ants are engines of soil rejuvenation.  I choose to give them all the benefit of the doubt and have learned to live with them...most of the time...... even if I have to put up with a few stings and arrows.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Plant Garlic Now!

October is the perfect time to get your garlic planted.   I've had people complain that they've never had much luck with growing garlic only to find out they were planting in the spring.  Readjust your calendar when it comes to garlic.

The mild days of October give the garlic bulb time to send out leaves.  Once it gets cold, the plant slows down and not much happens above ground. As it begins to warm up again in spring, the leaves suddenly brighten and start growing again.  Its spring when the bulb forms.

Garlic is a pretty forgiving plant but prefers a loose soil.  I rarely fertilize except to add compost each year and every 4 to 5 years I might toss in a phosphate fertilizer.  I've found one of the keys to good sized bulbs is even watering throughout the winter.  Long stretches of dry soil won't necessarily kill the plant but it does result in very small bulbs.

Its an easy winter plant to grow and pays off dramatically come spring.  You can even eat the leaves and scapes (the flower stalks and heads).  What more could one want in a plant!