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Master Gardener: Weather winter with library gardening classes


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As I write this, we are in a deep freeze. What saves me is planning for spring. It also helps that I am hearing about the arrival of slightly warmer weather.

I have worked out a shorter list of gardening classes at Wadsworth Library, 24 Center St., Geneseo. All classes are scheduled for 6:30 p.m.

New Library Director Debby Emerson, encouraged me to include a Feb. 12 class on “Starting Plants from Seeds” to warm our hearts.

February is too early to start most annual flowers and vegetables, but it is the perfect time for making plans, ordering seeds from quality sources, exploring educational resources for your needs, and winter sowing perennials.

“Vegetable and Herb Gardening” will be our topic on April 9, which usually brings out a nice group.

Some vegetables, including peas and leafy greens, can be planted in April, while others need to wait until May. It does take time to plan and carry out your set-up, so this is the time to jump in.

In this presentation I have a separate section on growing herbs, for those who may want to just grow these edibles.

Growing herbs is much easier than vegetables: they just need a sunny spot, poor soil is fine, and many don’t need much water. Mint and basil do need regular water, so I find it easiest to grow them in pots.

I will present some alternatives for growing vegetables, including straw bales, pallets and containers. More intensive practices including square foot gardening provide home gardeners with more produce in a small plot, so this will also be covered.

I welcome questions at all presentations, but on May 14 I won’t be making a presentation, in order to just focus on your questions.

I will provide a handout on “Planting Basics” that we could use if needed to facilitate our discussion, but questions on all topics will be welcomed. Some questions may require me to do research, or may be better answered with a reading reference, which I will provide as follow-up.

I enjoy writing this column, and believe that communicating directly with community members through these presentations enables me to better understand people’s concerns.

Julie Brocklehurst-Woods has been a Master Gardener Volunteer with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Livingston County for more than 10 years. She enjoys helping all gardeners become successful gardeners, especially helping people identify tools and strategies to prioritize and simplify their gardening tasks.

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