Growing Oregon Gardeners: Level Up Series 2023
Take your gardening knowledge to the next level—from designing rain gardens to restoring biodiversity using native plants.
This online series is back in 2023 and offers education for experienced gardeners.
Topics and dates
Webinars are the 2nd Tuesday of the month at 12 noon (Pacific). The series runs from February through November 2023.
- February 14: Rooting for Runoff: Storing and Treating Home Stormwater Using Rain Gardens
- March 14: Put It to the Test: Improving Garden Fertility with Soil Analysis, Soil Regions, and Microclimates
- April 11: Global Gardening: Asian Vegetables for Pacific Northwest Gardens
- May 9: Forest Foe: How You Can Help Slow the Emerald Ash Borer Invasion
- June 13: The Bees' Needs: Make Your Backyard a Sweet Spot
- July 11: Getting Wild: Using Native Plants to Restore Biodiversity
- August 8: Savoring Summer: Safely Preserving Your Harvest
- September 12: The Healthy Gardener: Preventing Injuries and Staying Fit
- October 10: Picky Fruit: Establishing Blueberries in a Home Garden
- November 14: Pretty Slick: Using Oils for Pest Control
How to attend
Details and registration: See below for webinar details and to register.
Watch online: This webinar series will be available on Zoom and broadcast live on our Facebook page.
Who can attend: Open to the public, OSU Extension Master Gardener volunteers receive 1 Continuing Education Credit for each class.
Watch the recordings
Recordings of the webinars are posted below after the event.
Rooting for Runoff: Storing and Treating Home Stormwater Using Rain Gardens
Runoff isn't just a problem for the "wet side" of the state; it can cause water quality issues in drier areas too, carrying sediment and pollutants from urban places into streams, ponds, rivers, and wetlands. But with the right design, storage containers, and plants, rain gardens can be used to slow infiltration and reduce runoff by harvesting and treating rainwater and snowmelt before releasing them. Following the presentation, you'll be able to assess your site, select a layout and plants, plan the installation process, and obtain technical assistance to refine these plans.
Presenter: Derek Godwin has worked for OSU's Extension Service since 1994. He is a professor and statewide Watershed Management faculty who specializes in education and research related to minimizing impacts of urban and agriculture land use practices on surface water quality. He works with watershed councils, Soil and Water Conservation Districts, land managers, and policy makers to use a holistic watershed approach to address ecosystem concerns while maintaining economic stability. Derek earned a master’s in Bioresource Engineering at Oregon State University and a Bachelor of Science in Forest Management and Wildlife at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech).
Put It to the Test: Improving Garden Fertility with Soil Analysis, Soil Regions, and Microclimates
Assessing the soil can save gardeners time, labor, and money, not to mention the issues that can arise from under- and overfertilization and the disappointment of a failed crop. You can prevent that by getting to know your garden through soil testing and mapping out its regions and microclimates. The presentation will start by showing you the fundamentals of sample collecting so you can get the most accurate results. It will then teach you how to interpret those results and use them to create a planting and fertilizing plan that is tailored to the space, to maximize yield with minimal input.
Presenter: Mykl Nelson is an instructor at Oregon State University. He built his first greenhouse in 2012, in Colorado, with the help of his roommate from college. The thrill of picking lettuce and herbs directly from his backyard and putting them into his bowl for salads led him to move to Oregon the next year to get more deeply involved in agriculture. Since then, he has worked on three organic urban farms, earned another undergraduate degree as well as a graduate degree, obtained a landscaping license, and developed and taught two undergraduate courses in urban agriculture.
Global Gardening: Asian Vegetables for Pacific Northwest Gardens
Take yourself on a horticultural and culinary adventure overseas with just a trip to your garden. First stop: Asia. Our presenter will introduce you to a menu of delightful Asian vegetables you can grow at home—including a rainbow of radish varieties, mizuna and other greens, gai lan, and more—as well as show you how you can protect these crops from pests and diseases. They'll also cover innovative fertilizer trials for specific crops and point you toward local resources so you can continue your journey.
Presenter: Kristie Buckland is the Vegetable and Specialty Seed Specialist at the North Willamette Research and Extension Center. Her program strives to identify management strategies to increase farm sustainability using a systems approach. Kristie has worked for 11 years in both conventional and organic vegetable and seed production systems. She focuses on integrated management strategies such as inter-cropping, trap cropping, and crop rotations, as well as new crop options for the Willamette Valley. Kristie earned a BS in Aeronautical Engineering from the US Air Force Academy and completed her MS and PhD at Utah State University.
April 11, 12 noon - 1pm
Forest Foe: How You Can Help Slow the Emerald Ash Borer Invasion
The establishment of emerald ash borer (EAB) could devastate whole habitat types that are dominated by Oregon ash and reduce urban forest cover. Now that EAB has been found in Oregon, it is essential to learn how to recognize it and report its presence. This webinar will teach you how to correctly identify EAB, Oregon ash, and other common ash species, as well as share current best management practices and integrated pest management solutions for combatting EAB and slowing ash mortality.
Presenters: As the Forestry and Natural Resources Extension Agent for Yamhill County, Alex Gorman works closely with owners of small woodlands. With a background in forest management and forest pests and a passion for education and applied research, he helps landowners make meaningful decisions about managing their natural resources. He is a member of the statewide task force investigating the emerald ash borer in Oregon.
David Shaw is a professor in the Department of Forest Engineering, Resources, and Management. He is also a Forest Health Specialist for Forestry and Natural Resources Extension and director of the Swiss Needle Cast Cooperative. He came to Oregon State University in 2005 from the University of Washington.
May 9, Noon - 1:00 pm
The Bees' Needs: Make Your Backyard a Sweet Spot
Backyards and urban landscapes can play a crucial support role for pollinators, especially when they contain the plants and other materials that provide food, habitat, and more for Oregon's diverse bee population. Hear the latest research findings from Oregon State University's Garden Ecology Lab, a team of people who study gardens and their “ability to promote environmental and human health.” They’ll also have practical information and recommendations on how to increase the bee-friendly nature of the green spaces around you.
About the presenters: Nicole Bell is a graduate student pursuing a master's degree in Horticulture at Oregon State University. Nicole was first introduced to the world of pollinators as an undergraduate lab technician in the OSU Honeybee Lab and fell in love with native bees while completing an undergraduate thesis in the OSU Forest Animal Ecology Lab. She is interested in how gardens and urban greenspaces can provide both a refuge for wild bees and fulfill human needs.
Jen Hayes is a is a graduate student pursuing a PhD in Horticulture & Entomology. She fell in love with native bees as an undergraduate in the Ricketts Lab at the University of Vermont. Since her first exposure to bee research, she has had the opportunity work on pollinator studies in Vermont, Ecuador, North Dakota, and Oregon. She is exploring how human-developed landscapes, such as farms and gardens, can achieve dual goals of pollinator conservation and plant productivity.
June 13, 12 noon - 1:00 pm
Getting Wild: Using Native Plants to Restore Biodiversity
Most of us select plants for what they give us: perhaps the produce they provide or the beauty they bring. We may forget that other creatures depend on plants for food, habitat, and more, and that, unlike us, they can't grow what they need to survive. Opting for native plants that support and protect our local wildlife can enhance biodiversity and restore disrupted ecosystems, both of which benefit all life. This presenter will share seven steps you can take to create a healthy, productive garden or landscape that can help save our disappearing pollinators and birds.
Presenter: Lynn Kunstman is a Master Gardener and Master Food Preserver. She established and runs the native plants nursery at Jackson County's Southern Oregon Research and Extension Center (SOREC). Her recent focus has been on gardening for wildlife and pollinators, and the front yard of her quarter-acre lot in Medford is certified as a Monarch Way Station, Pollinator Garden, and Wildlife Habitat. She has a degree in Wildlife Management from Humboldt State University and a master's in Science Education from Southern Oregon University.
July 11, Noon - 1pm
Savoring Summer: Safely Preserving Your Harvest
Growing your own food is one of the main reasons many people start gardening. And there's no better way to savor the season than preserving your homegrown fruits and vegetables for later enjoyment. But do you know how to can, freeze, and dry safely, or what equipment you really need? Watch this webinar to learn safe methods of food preservation and explore reliable resources and tested recipes, so you can fill your shelves—and maybe those of your family and friends—with your summer surplus.
Presenter: Patty Case is a registered dietitian and has worked as a nutrition educator for over for 34 years. She has taught classes on health, nutrition, and food preservation. She is also Professor Emeritus of Extension Family and Community Health at Oregon State University's Klamath County Extension. In her role with the Extension Service, she collaborated with local organizations to link resources between the university and the community to “ensure lifelong health and well-being for every person, every family, and every community."
August 8, 12 noon - 1pm
The Healthy Gardener: Preventing Injuries and Staying Fit
Gardening can be great exercise, but it can also be hard on your body and put you at risk of injury. Aging and elderly gardeners may find it especially difficult or dangerous. Our presenter, a retired physical therapist, has advice that gardeners of all ages can benefit from, including strategies for preventing injuries while gardening, how to adapt after injuries occur, and how we can continue gardening safely throughout life's seasons.
Presenter: Patricia Kolling is a retired physical therapist who has been a certified Master Gardener since 2007. She uses her extensive career experience to teach other Master Gardeners and the public how to prevent injuries while gardening, as well as how to continue to garden as they age. She is a graduate of the University of Washington.
September 12, Noon - 1:00 pm
Picky Fruit: Establishing Blueberries in a Home Garden
If the conditions that are ideal for growing healthy, productive blueberry bushes are not in place before they go in the ground, it may be difficult to get them to thrive or even survive. In this webinar, our presenter will cover the dos and don’ts of establishing a new planting of blueberries, including variety selection, site preparation, and pruning principles in the first few growing seasons after planting. They'll also discuss some issues that commonly affect young blueberry plants and the tools home gardeners can use to address those problems.
Presenter: Alex Gregory is a certified Master Gardener and an Oregon State University graduate who recently received his master's in horticulture. His research has focused on organic blueberry production in the Columbia Basin region of Oregon. Alex currently works as a research assistant in Washington State University's small-fruit breeding program (raspberries and strawberries) and the Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources.
October 10, Noon - 1:00 pm
Pretty Slick: Using Oils for Pest Control
The shelves of garden centers are filled with various options for pest control, including oils. But choosing the right oil for your problem can be overwhelming, and you may worry about the hazard it poses—to your plants, to beneficial insects, or to yourself. In this presentation, Oregon State University's pesticide safety specialist will explain the different oils available for pest control and guide you in selecting and safely using them.
Presenter: Kaci Buhl is an associate professor of practice at Oregon State University. She also coordinates the statewide Pesticide Safety Education Program, educating professional pesticide applicators. On the national level, she is the Deputy Director of the Pesticide Educational Resources Collaborative, which creates pesticide manuals, exams, and other resources for professionals. She studied integrated pest management at Michigan State University and previously coordinated the National Pesticide Information Center.
November 14, Noon-1:00 PM