EMG Blog Learning Notes – Recapping May 2013

While our plants are growing, so are the many opportunities for interaction across our national gardening extension network.

Below you’ll find a number of inspiring blog posts and resources from a number of contributors across the country.  You’ll also find a number of on-demand Webinars and modules that you can put to use for the 2013 gardening season.

Generosity Through Blooms, Beauty, and Volunteer Service

Flower Philanthropy
Flower Philanthropy in Yarmouth, Maine

This month, gardeners really connected around flowers, gardens, and ways to share them with others.

How the Master Gardener Program Started 40 Years Ago at WSU Extension – Shared widely by Extension Master Gardeners across the country. It’s hard to know if we are more surprised the program is 40 years old already, or if we can’t remember what it was like without a program in every state!

Flower Philantrophy: Sharing a Bounty of Beauty  Mary Webber of Maine shared her story, which sparked conversations here and in Facebook, like this one:

“Mary, What a beautiful story! Your simple act has brought so much pleasure to those lucky enough to be on the receiving end of your generosity and to Master Gardeners who continue find ways to benefit and beatify their communities. Priceless….as they say”

Grandma’s Garden by Lee County Master Gardener (Alabama) was admired by many as we got a preview of their work at their local historical museum site.

An Artistic Way to Enjoy Veggie Gardening – Sent from Brisbane, Australia.  Mary Jean sent us these photos and asks: Were you able to guess the word before the last picture?

Spring Bloom (of Iris) lead to more Spring Blooms of Tree Peonies This month Connie’s photos in North Carolina inspired Shelby’s posts in Virginia, allowing us to pause two Wednesdays in a row to admire these spring bloomers.

National Public Gardens Day – My Gardens – Foy shares an endearing posts about gardens she’s essentially adopted through sweat equity, and a sense of admiration. Do you have a favorite public garden that feels a bit like your own?

Foy at the Longwood Gardens Lily Pool
During May, National Public Gardens Month, Foy remembers time spent at the Longwood Gardens Lily Pool

Garden How-to’s

Garden Journal
My Garden Journal (Photo: Carla Albright)

Garden Journaling Phenology Events Can Help Grow a Garden – This post was a hit on Pinterest , Facebook, and here on the blog, leading us to believe there are many out there journaling in one form or another. Look for future garden journal posts from Carla and others by searching: garden journaling.

Bees 101: Staring our Colony – Experienced as a Master Gardener and beekeeper, Gladys is now sharing the story of her adventures in beekeeping.  Stay tuned, and soon she’ll tell us how she cares for her bee hives.

Seed Saving 102 – What and How to Save Your Favorite Veggies Seeds is a followup to several seed saving posts this spring. Here, John Porter helps gardeners understand which seeds you can save with ease, and which ones will make you earn your keep(ing them)!

Horticulture and Gardening Webinars to Watch ,  Modules to Take

The following Webinars and modules are just a few options available for on-demand learning. View past monthly updates for more on-demand gardening Webinars, modules, courses and other learning opportunities.

 Landscaping to Reduce Insurance Claims (Webinar recording) – Available to view anytime, this Webinar will help you get ahead of damage caused to your home by storm-damaged trees.

Gardening for Pollinators - Webinar Recording
Gardening for Pollinators Webinar (Webinar recording)

Gardening for Pollinators Webinar (Webinar recording) – Want to be a pollinator friendly gardener?  Available now, learn captivating stories and facts about pollinators just in time for National Pollinator Week, June 17-24. 

Online IPM Modules (self-paced module) – Seeing plant problems already or think they may be just around the corner?  Available to take or view at anytime, learn how to start troubleshooting 8 important garden pests or problems in these half-hour, self-paced modules.

Growing Healthy Shade Tree Webinars (Webinar recording) – Designed for Extension Master Gardeners in the North Central States, this shade tree Webinar is divided into multiple parts covering planting, fertilizer, water and preventing abiotic problems.

Tomato IPM Webinar (Webinar recording)  – Learn how to prevent pests on tomatoes from the beginning to the end of the growing season. Variety selection, best planting practices, and cultural information will be covered along with how to recognize leaf spots, early and late blight, and bacterial spot.

Curious about a wide range of science-based learning opportunities? Check out…

  • eXtension Learn for upcoming and past Webinars on a variety of topics — anything from gardening to finance, backyard poultry to social media, or energy conservation to military families resources).
  • Ask.extension.org – View already answered questions by Extension horticulture professionals and Master Gardeners from across the country, comment on an answer by logging in with Facebook, Twitter, or Google, or submit a question yourself.

Until Next Month

Until next month, please join us and share your gardening or volunteer experiences with us in the following spaces:

Here – Extension Master Gardener Blog: https://publish.extension.org/mastergardener/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/extensionmastergardener
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/emastergardener/

-Karen Jeannette

-Editorial Reviewer
Linda Brandon, Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Coordinator
NC Cooperative Extension/Guilford County Center


Gardening for Pollinators Webinar Resources

Getting ready for the eXtension Gardening for Pollinators Webinar (that link goes to the recording) has been fun.

Pollinator feeding on echinacea
Pollinator feeding on echinacea

The intent of the Webinar is for gardeners to learn why pollinators are important, who they are, and some basic ways you can support them in your garden– all in time to be prepared for the upcoming National Pollinator Week, June 17-23.

To quote the pollinator partnership website:

Pollinator Week is a week to get the importance of pollinators’ message out to as many people as possible. It’s not too early to start thinking about an event at your school, garden, church, store, etc. Pollinators positively effect all our lives- let’s SAVE them and CELEBRATE them!

Since we opened Webinar registration, we’ve heard from gardeners from 28 states, and along the way they’ve shared some of their favorite pollinator plants and asked about various ‘gardening for pollinator’ resources.

Thus as the Webinar itself is 60 minutes, but the questions and resource list keeps growing, we’d thought we’d share this growing list of resources with you here:

Gardening for Pollinators Webinar Resources

These are resources developed specifically for the eXtension Gardening for Pollinators Webinar, held June 6, 2013.

  • Gardening for Pollinators Pinboard – If you are a visual kind of person, we’ve gathered many of these resources and pollinator plant ideas from this webinar. Click on the individual “pin” or picture and it will take you to the original source or web page.

Finding Pollinator Events,  Plants and People Near You?

Butterfly Garden at Milwaukee County Zoo, Wisconsin
Butterfly Garden at Milwaukee County Zoo, Wisconsin

So what about during National Pollinator Week?  What if you have more questions about gardening for pollinators after the Webinar? The following resources may help.

  • National Pollinator Events – Find or list a pollinator week event that you know of through this link.
  • Pollinator friendly planting guides via the Pollinator Partnership are divided into 32 eco-regions, so there should be one for you. You can also download the Pollinator Partnership app to get plant recommendations via smartphone.
  • Pollinator and Bug Blogs –
    • Catch up continually with insect and pollinator news from our Webinar presenter , Denise Ellsworth’s OSU pollination blog. Here you’ll find snippets of the latest research and pollinator facts.
    • Stop back at the Extension Master Gardener blog to view ‘Pollinators’ blog posts for how gardeners are incorporating pollinators into their gardens.
    • The BugSquad bug from University of California —  another great blog to learn the latest on bees, insects, and pollinators.
  • Looking to contact a person? If you have a question about growing pollinator plants that you can’t find on the open web, you might like to consult a local extension horticulture professional or Extension Master Gardener via one of these methods.
  • Contact your local Cooperative Extension office or website to find resources and people to answer your gardening questions. Many offices support phone hotlines or have host plant clinic workshops certain days of the week or month.
  • Reach your local extension professionals or Extension Master Gardeners through eXtension’s Ask an Expert email based service to get a response.

Additional Resources?

We know this is just the tip of the iceberg, so if you have other pollinator webinar resources you’d like to share,  be sure to leave us a comment on this blog posts.

-Karen Jeannette
on behalf of the Extension Master Gardener Social Media Team

Find or follow us @
Extension Master Gardener Blog: https://publish.extension.org/mastergardener/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/extensionmastergardener
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/emastergardener/

EMG Blog Learning Notes – Recapping December 2012

This month was a festive month on the Extension Master Gardener blog.

Getting Caught Up in the Season

Winter Imagination
Winter Imagination Collage

Our EMG Bloggers enthusiastically explored the winter and holiday spirit through many blog posts. Here is what we covered this month.

Favorite Plants and Scenes:

  • Conifers, Which is Your Favorite?  We tried a new crowd sourcing experiment this month.  After Foy shared some interesting conifers (my favorite was ‘Pusch’ spruce), she added a ‘Linky Lists’ link to the bottom of her post so readers could submit a link with a thumbnail image to a webpage on their favorite conifer(s).  The ‘Linky List’ was available to contribute to for about a week, so if you were busy celebrating the holidays you might have missed it.  I gave it a test and linked to my photos of dwarf evergreens from the U of MN Landscape Arboretum.  One other person contributed a favorite conifer,  ‘Whipcord’. You can check the images and links out at the bottom of the post, and look for future blog posts using the ‘Linky List’ tool.

Christmas Cheer Rhododendron

Wordless Wednesday Wreaths
Wordless Wednesday Regional Wreaths

Online Learning and Resources

In the past few months, we’ve tried to maintain a list of online learning opportunities that Extension Master Gardeners or other avid gardeners might like to take or view.  This month’s list includes links to blogs and webinars.

  • Garden Professors Blog Invitation: Spreading the Word About Research-based Gardening Information. This month, “Garden Professor” Jeff Gillman specifically invited Extension Master Gardeners to view and discuss horticulture topics of  interest through the Garden Professors blog and Facebook page.  This invitation also goes out to agents, educators, gardeners, and green industry members, as well, since multiple perspectives and questions stimulate more dialogue and opportunities to learn.
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture People’s Garden Fall 2012 Webinar Series Recordings.  As mentioned in last month’s update, you can now view speakers talking about hot topics and titles such as seed saving, engaging volunteers in the garden, going native, composting and compost use,  and best practices in starting and sustaining a school garden.
  • How Much Does a Vegetable Garden Cost/Save? From Gail Langellotto’s (State Coordinator of the OSU Extension Master Gardener program) blog, this post was widely shared on our Facebook page. As becomes apparent when reading the post,  different gardens have different costs associated with them.  Sylvia, from New Mexico, drove this point home on our Facebook page, as she stated:  “My highest cost, is water, water, water, I try to offset it by collecting rain water, when we get rain.”

Next Month?

Stay tuned for more January posts.….And please let us know (either in the comments section or by email: emg@extension.org) if you or your EMG program have a story, learning experience,  or opportunity to share with other Extension Master Gardeners,  or simply join us at:

Extension Master Gardener Blog: https://publish.extension.org/mastergardener/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/extensionmastergardener

-Karen Jeannette
eXtension Consumer Horticulture Coordinator

-Editorial Reviewer
Linda Brandon, Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Coordinator
NC Cooperative Extension/Guilford County Center