Adams County Master Gardeners Announce 2003 Green Thumb Series

Tom Wajda
Adams County Master Gardener

Spring has always been the season of hope. Adams County Master Gardeners aim to advance the calendar, help drive away winter blues, and provide useful gardening advice with their annual Green Thumb series. Scheduled for the first four Monday evenings in March, the program will cover a variety of topics ranging from vegetables to problem areas to attracting birds to your backyard. Whether you’re an experienced weed-puller or a novice homeowner without a blade of grass in your yard, you are bound to take away some useful advice as well as an improved attitude.

The series begins on March 3 with presentations by Dee Lawrence and Ann Radcliff lecturing, respectively, on "Common Sense Vegetable Gardening" and "Companion Planting for Weed and Pest Control." These programs are designed to broaden the gardener’s understanding of how he or she can maximize production while minimizing labor and crop loss. They will be of interest to both vegetable and flower lovers.

On March 10, Marty Young will cover "Trial Garden Results and Promising New Plants." Marty is the Adams County Coordinator for the Penn State Trial Garden Program, a statewide effort designed to field test both annuals and perennials under local growing conditions. She will share her experience about which plants do best in our area and discuss new varieties that gardeners will see on the market this year. The same evening, Tom and Madeline Wajda will present a slide lecture entitled "Basil and Friends." Their presentation will feature different varieties of basil (the 2003 Herb of the Year) as well as growing and harvesting tips for a dozen other herbs.

Not everyone has a well-established lawn or perfect conditions for gardening. Joe Breighner and Audrey Hillman will provide helpful suggestions as they discuss "Starting New Lawns and Rejuvenating Old Ones" and "Challenging Gardens" on March 17. Drawing on his studies at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens and his work as a local landscaper, Joe’s presentation on how to maintain a greener lawn is entirely appropriate for St. Patrick’s Day. Audrey, who has completed both a Certificate of Merit in Ornamental Horticulture at Longwood Gardens and a Certificate in Landscape Design at the New York Botanical Gardens, will address a number of "challenging" gardening situations including shade, poor soils, and limited space. New homeowners whose topsoil has been damaged or removed during building construction may find these two lectures particularly helpful.

The final Green Thumb evening will be March 24 when Cherie Moyer and Mary Ann Ryan lecture on "Water Features" and "Bird-scaping." Cherie’s presentation will be of interest to those thinking about adding a water garden, fountain, or similar water focus to their garden. Mary Ann brings to her subject the experience that comes from having several score birdhouses posted on her family’s property in Adams County.

The programs will be held at the Agriculture and Natural Resources Center, 670 Old Harrisburg Rd. They are from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM and there is a $5.00 fee per evening. Participants may sign up for as few or as many evenings as they like. For additional information or a registration form call the Extension Office at 334-6271.

Tom Wajda is a Penn State Cooperative Extension Master Gardener serving Adams County. Penn State in Adams County is located at 670 Old Harrisburg Road, Gettysburg, PA 17325, phone 334-6271 or 1-888-472-0261.

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