Save the date on Saturday, March 8, for the fifth annual Garden Discovery Day to gain essential tips to start this year’s growing season.

Offered by OSU Extension Master Gardeners of Clackamas County, the event will take place between 9 a.m. and noon at the Milwaukie Center, 5440 S.E. Kellogg Creek Drive.

Explore the latest gardening know-how through seminars, educational displays, a soil pH testing service and gardening clinic, all free to participants. For the event schedule, go to

Twelve 25-minute seminars cover 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 “Low-Care Fruit Trees,” “Growing Blueberries” and “Early-Season Vegetables.” If you like tomatoes, “Starting Tomatoes from Seeds” will get you off and running. Or try “Attracting Pollinators and Mason Bees” for strategies to garden in harmony with nature and wildlife.

Before venturing out into the garden, it is an ideal time to review “Spring Gardening Tips,” “Pruning Trees and Shrubs,” and “Managing Slugs and Snails.” Participants take home a handout with key points of each subject.

Educational displays deepen learning and expand into 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.

Winter rain tends to wash out minerals and turns local soil acidic. Test your soil pH and and allow some time for amendments to work. Experts encourage separate tests for your lawn, vegetable garden, rose garden and perennial bed. For step-by-step instructions, get the “Testing Soil pH” handout at under the “10-Minute University” tab.

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

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