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Get gardening tips at Garden Discovery Day

Popular 10-Minute University classes offered on many topics

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Get essential gardening tips, including what to plant when, at Garden Discovery Day March 8. The free event is hosted by the Clackamas County Master Gardeners.

Save March 8 for the not-to-miss fifth annual Garden Discovery Day. In one morning, you will gain essential gardening tips to start the 2014 growing season. Offered by OSU Extension Master Gardeners of Clackamas County, this event will take place 9 a.m. to noon at the Milwaukie Center, 5440 SE Kellogg Creek Drive, Milwaukie.

Join the fun as you explore the latest gardening know-how through seminars, educational displays, soil pH testing service, and a gardening clinic, all free to participants. For the event schedule, go to www.cmastergardeners.org.

The popular 10-Minute University seminars will be presented. Offered are 12 25-minute seminars covering a wide range of topics, from raised bed gardening to lawn care and fruit tree pruning. Gardeners interested in edible plants will likely glean new ideas from sessions on low-care fruit trees, growing blueberries, and early-season vegetables. If you like tomatoes, the class on starting tomatoes from seeds will get you off and running.

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Learn tips for preparing garden beds of all sizes.

Or attend the session on attracting pollinators and Mason bees for strategies to garden in harmony with nature and wildlife. Before venturing out into the garden, this is an ideal time to review spring gardening tips, how to prune trees and shrubs, and manage slugs and snails. Participants in the 10-Minute University seminars take home a handout which succinctly captures key points of each subject. For the schedule of sessions visit cmastergardeners.org and click on the 10-Minute University tab.

Educational displays deepen learning and expand on such topics as managing moles, managing gophers, gardening with compost and mulch, season-extenders for vegetable gardening, and sheet mulching. Many are accompanied by models, specimens, tools and publications.

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Best practices for raising edible plants like blueberries is a topic of one of the 10-Minute University sessions.

Winter rain tends to wash out soil minerals and turns local soil acidic. You can have your soil pH tested and get advice on amendments at the event. Cold, wet soil does not affect the accuracy of the test and amendments take time to work.

“We encourage separate samples for your lawn, vegetable garden, rose garden, and perennial bed,” said Sherry Sheng, a member of Clackamas County Master Gardeners. Each client may submit up to four soil samples, each taken from a part of the garden. For step-by-step instructions, get your Testing Soil pH handout at cmastergardeners.org under the 10-Minute University tab.

Garden Discovery Days is offered in support of the Oregon State University Extension Service Master Gardener Program and in partnership with North Clackamas Parks and Recreation District and the Milwaukie Center.

Master Gardeners are volunteers trained by Oregon State University in the science of gardening. They provide free advice that is research-based, reliable, and localized for our area. They promote sustainability by encouraging gardening practices that conserve water, improve soil health, and protect the environment, and they enjoy sharing gardening successes.

Clackamas County Master Gardeners put on the annual Spring Garden Fair at the Clackamas County Fairgrounds, bringing together 16,000 gardeners and 200 plant and garden-art vendors. Log on to cmastergardeners.org for more information about the 30th Spring Garden Fair to be held May 3 and 4.

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