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UMD Extension 4-H Health & Wealth Club

UMD Ext. 4-H Health & Wealth Club at Robin's Nest Floral & Garden Center – Youth 8-18 - Herb Gardens & Cooking with herbs.  Hands-on learning activities.  RSVP 410-822-1244

ADKINS ARBORETUM STAFF PARTICIPATES IN SENTINEL PLANT NETWORK TRAINING

Two Adkins Arboretum staff members participated recently in training at Harvard University’s Arnold Arboretum to support Adkins Arboretum’s partnership with the Sentinel Plant Network (SPN).

A collaboration between the American Public Gardens Association and the National Plant Diagnostic Network, SPN contributes to plant conservation by engaging public garden professionals, volunteers and visitors in the detection and diagnosis of high consequence pests and pathogens. The network is committed to identifying outbreaks of exotic plant pests so that strategies can be employed for their control, with the goal of avoiding devastations such as the loss of the American chestnut in the 1930s and the more recent Emerald Ash borer that is disseminated in native green ash populations.

Register for Cecil County Master Gardners Class

Anyone who loves gardening but seeks to know more might want to consider becoming a Cecil County Master Gardener.

Sept. 30 is the deadline to register for the master gardener course, which begins in January.

Call 410-996-5280 to register or for more information about the class schedule and the cost of the 14-week training program, which will be held in Suite 1700 of the Cecil County Administrative Building in the Upper Chesapeake Corporate Center off East Pulaski Highway.

ADKINS ARBORETUM OFFERS FREE ADMISSION

Adkins Arboretum will waive admission fees on Sat., Sept. 25 in recognition of Smithsonian magazine’s sixth annual Museum Day. A celebration of culture, learning and the dissemination of knowledge, Museum Day reflects the free-admission policy of the Smithsonian Institution’s museums in Washington, D.C. Doors of museums and cultural institutions nationwide will be open free of charge.

The public is invited on Museum Day to explore the Arboretum’s 400 acres of native woodlands, wetlands, gardens and meadows along four miles of maintained paths; join a guided walk at 11 a.m.; and view the artwork of Kelly Adams. Visitors can also enjoy an audio tour that provides lessons about the Arboretum’s plant communities and ecology. A variety of native perennials, trees, shrubs and grasses will be available for fall planting. Arboretum hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Visitors can gain free admission by mentioning Museum Day or by printing tickets at http://microsite.smithsonianmag.com/museumday/.

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Admission will also be waived on Sun., Oct. 3 for the Arboretum’s quarterly Free Admission Sunday.

Native Plant Sale in Galena

Eastern Shore Land Conservancy (ESLC) will host a Native Plant Sale on Sunday September 26, 2010 from noon to 4 p.m. Whether you are an easement owner looking to engage in restoration or an interested gardener who wants to add some natives to the garden, there are plenty of fall plants for you to choose from!  This sale will be held at ESLC's Galena Office, located at 100 S. Main Street in downtown Galena.  Call ESLC’s main office at 410.827.9756  for more detail!

Come ready to buy plants and get some gardening advice. Laura Sanford, an ESLC staffer and owner of Native Daughter nursery in Centreville will be on hand to answer questions. All proceeds to benefit the efforts of Eastern Shore Land Conservancy

 

Murphy's Law of Summer Gardens

by Cyndi Paxton Johnson

Almost every Spring I succumb to the allure of Earth, warmth and bounty. I buy endless seeds and plants, I dig beds, fertilize, and plan. I'm always so proud when the sprouts poke through the earth, announcing the plentiful abundance of things to come.

From there things go downhill for me. Some years, I don't transplant quickly enough, and the sprouts crumple like ice cream on a hot sidewalk. Other times I manage to transplant - but weather or birds quickly destroy my fledgling sprouts. Sometimes they just flatly refuse to grow (other times I forget they need regular watering - SHHH!).

This year I knew the deer and rabbits would attack my garden like hungry children after a birthday cake. I delayed my planting until we had installed a protective fence around the majority of my garden. I replanted my seedlings, added more fertilizer and watered every morning. Finally - I was going to have a bumper crop!!! I'd planted enough tomatoes and peppers to ensure we'd have salsa all year thru! (I lost a few plants to the construction workers, who dumped a load of dirt on them!)

And then I recalled that my husband ALWAYS refers to my spring planting frenzy as "the annual immediately to the gardening gods".  First, my lovely tomatoes are all ROTTEN on the bottom. (I'm told I watered a bit TOO frequently). No problem - I'll stop watering everyday - and the REST of the tomatoes will be wonderful!

Growing Your Own

By Elizabeth Beggins

Last year, as people grew frightened of their peanut butter, and recession gripped the nation, thousands of Americans made the decision to get back to basics by growing their own food.  Seed companies were inundated with orders from enthusiasts ready to get their hands dirty in their new, or newly expanded, backyard gardens.  Perhaps you were among them?  Or maybe you only got as far as your good intentions.  Those new to vegetable gardening are often daunted by the perceived magnitude of what lies before them when, in fact, vegetable gardening is actually quite simple.  That is, if you remember a few important truths. 

First:  Most vegetable plants need at least six hours of full sun a day.  If you don't have a single location which offers that, consider several smaller sites. Interspersing your landscaped areas with edible plants can create suitable growing spaces, as can planting in containers.  Different kinds of plants prefer varying levels of light.  Summer crops, like tomatoes and squash, prefer more sunlight, but others, such as leafy greens and certain beans, are more shade tolerant.

Worm Farming 101

by Cyndi Paxton Johnson

Worm ComposterWorm ComposterI love the concept of worm farming - of letting the little slimy critters do their job - eat my garbage, and give me nutrient rich fertilizer! A few years ago I purchased a somewhat involved worm composting system and set it up in the garage. My mail order worms arrived - were set up in their dark home, and were sporadically fed my garbage. I was, perhaps, not the best example of a worm farmer - since I never recall actually using their compost on my garden and found out - too late - that the garage was a bit too cold for their winter survival.

Gardeners: The Dangers of Non-Organic Compost and Straw!

Alert! An herbicide called aminopyralid, released by DowAgroscience in 2005, does not decompose readily and may remain in treated straw and well-rotted manure. The perennial weed killer is aggressively marketed and has been used on thousands of acres of North American fields. Putting tainted manure, compost or straw on your garden may kill plants such as tomatoes, lettuce and beans.

This isn’t Dow’s first environmental nightmare; they were linked to destroying home gardens in 2001 due to their product clopyralid – which is still sold as Confront. Our Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) seems to be turning a blind eye to these dangerous chemicals.

Indeed, in spite of research showing that aminopyralid remains in the soil for years, the new products were fast-tracked by EPA through the Reduced Risk Pesticide Initiative. Apparently, by showing that the new generations of poisons are LESS toxic, regardless of amount, the product bypasses most of the scientific data required to win EPA approval.

Be very careful about putting tainted material on your garden. IF the EPA doesn’t care about potentially destroying our healthy, nutritious gardens – we must look out for ourselves. This is the time to ask probing questions – not to blindly accept a salesman’s assurances that “of course this stuff is safe – no problem!”

The Gardener's Abundance

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