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University, Washoe County host gardening series

Posted 1/19/2011

Cooperative Extension program includes 9 classes at Bartley Ranch

By Andrew Church

The University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE) and the Washoe County Department of Regional Parks and Open Space are hosting “Gardening in Nevada: The Bartley Ranch Series,” a program consisting of nine gardening classes throughout February and March. The classes will be held at the Bartley Ranch Regional Park.

The free classes are held every Tuesday at 6:30 p.m., and address a variety of gardening issues, including sustainable landscaping, water-reduction strategies and tips to producing thriving gardens. Instructors from UNCE’s Master Gardener Program will direct the classes and offer their expertise.

Here is a list of the classes and what will be covered:

Feb. 1: Training and Pruning Fruit Trees

Master Gardener and certified arborist Michael Janik will discuss standard and espalier pruning of fruit trees, thinning fruit and pruning to restore older trees. Janik will review the basics of pruning, plant response to pruning and methods to train and maintain an attractive and productive tree.

Feb. 8: Is my Yard Earth-Friendly?

Western Area Horticulture Specialist Heidi Kratsch will discuss sustainable landscaping strategies such as reducing fertilizer usage and optimizing the use of water. This class is presented in cooperation with the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials (NEMO) program.

Feb. 15: Drought-tolerant Plants for Northern Nevada

Master Gardener Carol Feldman will explore the fundamentals of xeriscaping -- gardening with plants that tolerate dry conditions in northern Nevada. Feldman will offer advice on how to achieve a thriving garden while reducing water usage. Feldman will also consult participants on what plant types to use, how to get them started and how to keep them healthy.

Feb. 22: The Ins and Outs of Houseplants

Master Gardener Suzanne Adams will present information on a variety of houseplants available, along with interesting facts about each. Adams will also instruct participants on how to keep houseplants beautiful, healthy and blooming in Nevada’s dry climate.

Mar. 1: Selecting and Caring for Fruit Trees

Master Gardener and certified arborist Michael Janik will share his expertise with growing fruits in Nevada. Janik grows over 100 varieties of apples, stone fruits and small fruits, and will discuss how to select, plant and care for fruit trees. Janik will also address the issues of climate, chill hours and soil effects, pest and disease management and yearly maintenance for newly planted trees.

Mar. 8: Building Healthy Soil

Master Gardener Melody Hefner will offer advice about different Nevada soils. Hefner will explain what constitutes healthy soil and what strategies gardeners can employ to improve soil and maximize landscaping potential. Participants are encouraged to bring in soil from their yards to learn more about its properties. This class is presented in cooperation with the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials (NEMO) program.

Mar. 15: Sustainable Gardening in Nevada

Master Gardener Donna Weidner will focus on tips for transforming high-maintenance gardens into thriving landscapes for humans, plants and animals. Weidner will show how using certain plants and techniques can reduce water usage while remaining compatible with Nevada’s climate. Weidner will also instruct participants on starting this process, planting in zones, use of xeric, native and adapted plants and turf, watering schedules and techniques, and the value of compost, mulch and ground covers.

Mar. 22: Roses for Reno

Master Gardener Charlene Oakes will show both experienced and inexperienced gardeners how roses can transform the appearance of their gardens. Oakes will focus on choosing and maintaining roses that are optimal for Nevada’s growing conditions. Oakes will cover a variety of topics related to rose care, including rose selection, planting and pruning, fertilizing and winterizing. There will also be a detailed slide presentation with examples of roses that have proven to thrive in Reno’s climate.

Mar. 29: The Keys to Successful Vegetable Gardening

Master Gardener Randy Robinson will share his strategies to producing a bountiful harvest. Robinson will instruct participants on how to cultivate an abundance of produce using organic techniques, raised beds and other tips on adapting to a short growing season.

The UNCE Master Gardener program was established in 1972 to meet the rising demand for horticultural knowledge in Nevada. The Master Gardener program works to provide Nevadans with reliable, up-to-date information regarding horticultural issues and practices.

The Bartley Ranch Regional Park is located at 6000 Bartley Ranch Road in Reno. Inquiries regarding directions should be directed to 775-828-6612. More information regarding the Gardening in Nevada program can be found by contacting the Washoe County Cooperative Extension Office at 775-784-4848 and at or the Master Gardener program at

The University of Nevada Cooperative Extension encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. If you anticipate needing any type of accommodation or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact the horticulture office, 777-784-4848 or, 24 hours in advance of your participation or visit. The University of Nevada, Reno is an EE/AAO institution.

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