Master Gardeners

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Helpers in your garden

Beneficial Insects and Some Flowers That Attract Them: Saturday, March 18, 10-12 am; Pringle Creek Community Center, 3911 Village Center Dr SE, Salem. Directions: Take Madrona to Fairview Industrial Dr. Turn right onto Old Strong/Lindberg Rd. After about a half-block, road bends sharply to the left. Follow the sign to Pringle Creek Community.

Helpful hints for hosting Hostas

Hostas grow with enthusiasm, and need to be divided every few years. You're invited to join the Master Gardeners for a demonstration of how to divide those tough clumps and re-plant the resulting starts so their beauty is enhanced and their garden neighbors are safe from being overrun.

Saturday, March 18, 10 to noon at the Marion Demonstration Garden, 3180 Center NE in Salem (behind the Health Services building). Check the site map for the Shade Garden.

And there will be hostas to go home with all participants!

It's the Plant Sale - Mark your calendars!

The annual plant sale is coming. Check the flyer for our new indoor location. And share the link with everyone you know. There will be plenty of plants for everyone, but for best selection, do plan to come early. We look forward to seeing you!

Pruning Hybrid Tea and Shrub Roses

Saturday, February 25 – 9:00 – 11:00 am

Marion Demonstration Garden, 3180 Center St NE, Salem. The Garden is located behind the Marion County Health building.

OSU Master Gardeners will teach how to prune roses to provide good air circulation and prevent most diseases of roses. You will also learn how to tell if your roses suffered damage during the cold spells we experienced this winter. You will have the opportunity to practice pruning a rose bush. How to care for roses during the spring and summer will also be covered. Pruning equipment will be provided for this workshop but you will need to bring leather gloves and wear a long sleeved jacket. Waterproof shoes or boots are also advised.

March meeting

Monthly meetings continue March 28, for an evening of native plant information from Richie Steffen, from the Elisabeth C. Miller Botanical Garden in Seattle. His topic is "Wild Plants for the Civilized Garden".

Changing times

Beginning Thursday, September 1, Master Gardeners will be available Monday thru Friday from 10 am to 2 pm. If you can't get there by 2, you can leave specimens with the front desk at the Extension office.

Winter wonderland

If the recent weather has you suffering from garden withdrawal, you might enjoy Brooke Edmunds presentation on growing microgreens. These can brighten up the flavor and crunch of winter meals, and add a sparkle of easy-to-grow green to help you cope with the grey (or snowy) days.

Marion Demonstration Garden

The Garden is always open, and you're welcome to drop by any time. If you would just like to get on-site information about the garden in various seasons, you can stop by any day there's a work party (Tuesdays Jan-April, Mondays the rest of the year). Work parties happen 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. We hope to see you there!

The Master Gardeners have been transplanted!

The OSU Extension Office moved in 2015 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.

If you have a question, you're welcome to stop by during our regular office hours. You can also call us at 503-373-3770 or drop us an e-mail.  We love finding answers!

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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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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 parking lot 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. Tuesday mornings January thru April and Monday mornings the balance of the year 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 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. 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 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 2017 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.

Upcoming Events

Mar. 23, 2017 8:45am - 9:00am
Mar. 25, 2017 9:00am - 11:00am
OSU Master Gardeners will teach you the tips and techniques to successfully graft a shoot …
Mar. 25, 2017 10:00am - 12:00pm
Rescheduled!    This workshop will be held in the Shade Garden. OSU Master Gardeners Penny …
Mar. 28, 2017 9:00am - 12:00pm
Mar. 28, 2017 7:00pm - 8:00pm
Our March speaker is Richie Steffen, the interim director/curator of the Elisabeth C. Miller Botanical …
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