Master Gardeners

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Advisory from Oregon Department of Agriculture

This flyer provides information about a change in the law regarding pesticides used on linden trees. We encourage anyone who plans to use use any type of insecticide to read the flyer carefully. Normally, a product label is the law. However, due to the large bee die-offs last year, Oregon law has changed. Since large amounts of product were already in the distribution "pipeline", the labels on your product will probably not reflect the change. If you have questions, please contact the Oregon Department of Agriculture, 503-986-4635 or

Mini-College registration is open!

If you've been looking for an affordable vacation.... practically a "stay-cation", since it's just over in McMinnville, mini-college may be for you. And if you're not a Master Gardener, but have been thinking about the possibility, this is a wonderful time to test the water. There are classes, discussion groups, hands-on workshops, tours, and a keynote speaker who will change forever how you see the "dirt" in your yard. And if you yearn for a quick trip back to your college days, you can spend the night(s) right on campus, complete with dorm parties! Check out the flyer (above), or go directly to the Mini-College web page to choose your activities and get registered.

Open House returns to the Marion Garden

Join the Master Gardeners the third Saturday of the month, May through October, from 10 am to noon. This is an easy opportunity to watch the changing seasons in the garden, and ask participating Master Gardeners about particular interests or problems.

There will also be a clinic or class offered each month. For May, it will be "Thinning your fruit", part of the Fruit Management series. Learn how to maximize your harvest by removing excess fruit while it's small.

The three-session Open House series was very popular when it was introduced last year. We hope you will enjoy the extra dates that have been added this year.

The Master Gardeners have been transplanted!

The OSU Extension Office has moved to the new Farm Bureau building, 1320 Capitol St NE, one block north of Market St. And of course, the Master Gardener's Help Desk has moved there too.

We have the same phone number, e-mail address and website.

Mark your calendar and join us!

Master Gardeners are offering a series of clinics on management of the fruit trees and berries in your home garden. The clinics will demonstrate important practices that will improve the health and productivity of your plantings. Print the attached flyer as a reminder for yourself or to share with a friend.


Check out our sidebar menu for the newest page - Coming Events. Here you'll find flyers and other information about Master Gardener activities, both here in Marion County and with other groups around the state. Visit it often - new events will be posted as we learn about them.

Open House in the Marion Garden

Thank you to all our neighbors who visited the Marion Garden during our Open House events last summer. If you weren't able to make it, or would just like to get on-site information about the garden in various seasons, please stop by for a visit on Mondays between 9 and noon. There is always a work party, rain or shine, and you're welcome to ask any of the Master Gardeners your questions. The Garden is located south of the parking lot at 3180 Center St NE in Salem, behind the Marion Co. Health and Services Building. We hope to see you there!

Check us out on Facebook

A link to our new page is under Social Media, at the right side of this page. "Like" us and keep up with Master Gardener news whereever you are!

Help Desk hours for spring and summer

Beginning Wednesday, April 1, Master Gardeners are available to assist you Monday through Thursday, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, and Fridays from 9:00 to 1:00 pm. Please call 503.373.3770, email or stop by with questions.

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We get questions...

OSU provides an excellent calendar of tasks for various seasons, helping gardeners plan activities throughout the year. There is also an archive of helpful articles on a wide variety of gardening topics in the OSU Gardening Encyclopedia. Dip into these useful resources for tips and inspiration.

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What is this plant?

This question is usually accompanied by a leaf, a twig, sometimes even a whole plant. Master Gardeners on the Help Desk can usually make an identification, at least after a bit of research. This applies whether the unidentified is a weed or a wanted plant.

For best results, please bring in a good-sized section of the plant, preferably with either blossom or fruit/seeds attached. If possible, a section of root, or a bulb/tuber can also be helpful. Many plants are very similar in appearance, so having several parts to work with definitely improves the result.

Unfortunately, we normally cannot identify a particular cultivar; for example, given the above parts, we can't tell you if a blueberry is Earliblue or Bluecrop.

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If you have a question, call us at 503-373-3770 or drop us an e-mail, We love finding answers!


How can Master Gardeners help you?

Marion County Master Gardeners (MGs) are here to serve our neighbors in a variety of ways:

A large group of dedicated MGs maintain the Marion Garden, located behind the county health services building at 3180 Center St. in Salem. Originally a rubbish dumping ground for the county, it has been transformed in the last 15+ years to an outstanding demonstration garden. Stop by and stroll around for inspiration, information, or just enjoyment. Monday mornings are the regular time for MG work parties, so there’s usually someone on hand then to answer your questions. Garden tours are also available by appointment.

We also staff the MG Help Desk at the OSU Extension Office, located in the Farm Services Bureau Natural Resources building, 1320 Capitol St. NE. Clients call 503.373.3770, send us an e-mail, or come in with questions regarding plant culture; weed, insect and plant disease identification; and a wide variety of other home gardening issues. Experience, training, and an excellent library, as well as knowledge of online resources, help us provide the answers to most questions. For those outside our range of information, we supply referrals to other agencies and organizations, including our Marion Co. horticulturist, Neil Bell. From October through March, the Help Desk is staffed Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. April through September, office hours are 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Thursday, and 9:00 am to 1:00 pm on Friday. Messages left on our voicemail outside those hours will be answered on the next business day.

During much of the year, MGs also sponsor and staff booths at various fairs, garden shows and farmers’ markets. These serve as a mobile form of the Help Desk, and are an opportunity to find answers to your gardening questions and pick up useful information.

MGs also offer workshops to help with some of those gardening tasks that are best learned from hands-on presentations. Pruning in early spring and beneficial insects in April are recurring topics. Check our Coming Events page for specific information as events draw near.

Many MGs also simply love to talk about gardening. If you have a community group that would like a speaker, please call the Help Desk, 503.373.3770, and leave your name and number for our Speakers’ Bureau coordinator. You also can sample MG information every Thursday morning on Radio KBZY (1490 am) from 8:40 to 9:00 am.

For our younger neighbors, MGs also develop and present gardening programs at area elementary schools in late spring, and host an activity booth at AgFest.

Home gardens come in all shapes, sizes and types of plantings. Please call or stop by to see how Marion County Master Gardeners can help you make yours the garden of your dreams.

Thinking about becoming a Master Gardener?

Click here for general information about the OSU Master Gardener program. Please e-mail Neil Bell, Marion Co. Horticulturist, if you'd like to be placed on the list for 2016 Marion County class information. Classes take place every Monday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm for 13 weeks, January through the beginning of April. Trainees then join veteran Master Gardeners in the variety of activities listed above. Each trainee completes over 60 hours of service to our communities before graduating the following December. During much of the year, copies of presentation and supplementary are available on our Class Materials web page (see sidebar menu above on the right), so you can explore the learning available. And please call Neil, 503.373.3765, if you have questions.

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Oregon State University Extension Service offers educational programs, activities, and materials without discrimination based on age, color, disability, gender identity or expression, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran’s status. Oregon State University Extension Service is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

El Servicio de Extensión (Extension Service) de Oregon State University ofrece programas educativos, actividades, y materiales sin discriminación basada sobre edad, color, incapacidades, identidad o expresión de identidad sexual, estado matrimonial, origen nacional, raza, religión, sexo, orientación sexual, o estado de veterano. El Servicio de Extensión de Oregon State University es una institución que ofrece igualdad de oportunidades.

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