Home Gardening Essentials

New Educational Series Presented By Adams County Master Gardeners

Barb Mrgich
Adams County Master Gardener

(12/26) For those of you who have enjoyed our Gardening In Your Environment education classes in the past, Adams County Master Gardeners want you to know that we have changed up our name and format.

Our new name for these education classes is Home Gardening Essentials. Unlike previous years, this year our presentations will be divided into two sessions so you can choose to attend one or both sessions. We hope you will choose to attend both!. By changing our basic format for spring 2017, we will be able to include specific topics dealing with gardening that we have not addressed in the past. Dates and times for the 2017 classes are noted at the end of this article.

Our first session will include two classes covering basic gardening skills. Donít think that because you know a little about gardening you donít need these classes. You may be surprised at what you can learn! Do you know your soil type? Do you know your soil's pH? Do you understand why knowing them is extremely important? Do you know the best way to improve poor soil conditions? What are the major reasons - not including cold - that plants die during the winter and what can you do to help? What is the difference between a true annual and a tender perennial? What is a biennial? Should you add fertilizer to the hole when you plant a new tree? What is the proper way to plant a shrub?

The second session will cover two topics: - Herb gardening (two classes) and Gardening in small spaces (two classes). In the first two classes of the second session, we will cover how to grow, keep and use herbs. Which herbs are annual, which are perennial? What herbs will grow well inside the house for the winter?

How do you dry or freeze herbs? What are some favorite herbs for teas? How about a little herbal folklore?

Our last two classes of the second session will cover small -scale gardening. There's a lot to learn about gardening in containers We will discuss recommended growing mediums, and proper watering and fertilizing techniques. What factors should you consider when choosing a container? What are some easy and successful container combinations? What vegetables will do well in a container? Is there such a thing as a permanently planted container?

The second class of Small - Scale gardening will be devoted to small space gardening. Do you have a small corner, a narrow, unused walkway, or a tiny patio that you would like to improve? This is the class for you! Learn design techniques to help a small area look larger, or more interesting or more useful. Learn to consider the mature size of plants before planting, and become familiar some dwarf varieties that are available.

As in previous years, our classes will be offered in two separate locations. The same material will be offered each week at both locations, so pick the location or time that is most convenient for you. If you find you must miss a class one week, you can always make it up in the other location. Classes will begin on Wednesday February 15, 2017, and will run through Saturday March 25.

Wednesday evening classes (6:30-8) will be conducted at the Penn State Agricultural and Natural Resource Center, 670 Old Harrisburg Pike in Gettysburg, and Saturday morning classes (10-11:30) will be held at the Eichelberger Performing Arts Center, 195 Stock Street, Hanover.

Among the instructors, you will find some fresh, new faces, as well as some who are familiar to you from past years.

The cost for Session 1 Ė Basic Gardening (class 1 & 2) will be $30, and for Session 2 Ė Growing Herbs, Using Herbs, Container Gardening and Small Space Gardening (4 classes) will be $50

To register for these classes, go to http://extension.psu.edu/plants/gardening/events or call 334-6271 for more information.

Read other articles by Barbara Mrgich