Cooperative Extension’s Gardening in Nevada classes return in February
University teams up with Washoe Parks and Bartley Ranch to offer free series
University of Nevada Cooperative Extension and their certified Master Gardeners offer “Gardening in Nevada: The Bartley Ranch Series.” The series is for anyone who wants to garden — those with big yards, small yards, or just patio or balcony space. These classes, offered in partnership with Washoe County Regional Parks and Open Space, are free and run 6-8 p.m., every Tuesday, Feb. 5-March 26, at Bartley Ranch Regional Park, 6000 Bartley Ranch Road in Reno.
“Northern Nevada has an ever-changing, unpredictable climate,” Cooperative Extension Horticulturalist and Master Gardener Coordinator Wendy Hanson Mazet said. “Learning to grow plants successfully here can be a challenge. Through this series, anyone interested in gardening and landscaping can learn from Master Gardeners and other successful Nevada gardeners who have decades of experience gardening here.”
The classes are taught by Cooperative Extension horticulturists, experts and certified Master Gardener volunteers, as well as local business owners. International Society of Arboriculture continuing education units have been requested for some classes. Classes include:
- Feb. 5: Selecting and Growing Fruit Trees — Michael Janik, Cooperative Extension Master Gardener volunteer and certified arborist, will discuss fruit tree varieties for northern Nevada and their needs, including soil, USDA zones and chill hours, watering and pest control. Janik will list fruit varieties he has grown and currently growing to determine suitability for our climate.
- Feb. 12: Growing Succulents Outdoors — Liz Morrow, Cooperative Extension Master Gardener volunteer, will discuss how to select and grow succulents outdoors in cold environments.
- Feb. 19: Plants and Pollinators in Nevada — Kevin Burls, Cooperative Extension integrated pest management educator, will review native bee biology and ecology, and will share how gardeners can create pollinator habitats and help conserve local pollinator populations.
- Feb. 26: Nuisance Weeds Identification and Control — Melody Hefner, urban integrated pest management and pesticide safety education coordinator, will discuss the differences between noxious and nuisance weeds; how to identify these common weeds in the Truckee Meadows; and control methods, including prevention, cultural controls, mechanical controls and lower-risk chemical controls.
- March 5: Training and Pruning Fruit Trees — Michael Janik, Cooperative Extension Master Gardener volunteer and certified arborist, will present fruit tree pruning basics, how trees respond to pruning, size control using appropriate rootstocks, how proper early training will reduce the need for pruning as the tree matures, and when to prune. He will give step-by-step instructions for training fruit trees as central leaders, open center and espaliers. International Society of Arboriculture continuing education units have been requested for this class.
- March 12: Nevada Soils and Vermicomposting — Billie Shea, Cooperative Extension Master Gardener volunteer, will discuss some of the extreme soil conditions in Nevada, several ways to improve plant health and vegetable garden yields, and alternative ways to planting in the ground. She will also demonstrate how to construct a low-cost worm habitat and ways to recycle vegetable and garden scraps to feed your worm population.
- March 19: Grow Anywhere Container Gardening — Joan Anglin and Sherry Ruth, Cooperative Extension Master Gardener volunteers, will discuss the ins and outs of creating containers from readily available materials, and growing food and flowers on a balcony or in a driveway. They will demonstrate how self-watering containers with a simple drip system can make gardening easier.
- March 26: Successful Vegetable Gardening — Randy Robison, Cooperative Extension Master Gardener volunteer, will share his secrets to harvesting abundant, award-winning produce from raised garden beds in our high-desert climate, including how to amend soil to help plants, crop rotation strategies to increase yields, and companion planting to discourage pests.