Words from Wendy: Spring 2014 Master Gardener Newsletter

Welcome everyone to 2014! I hope you all had a great Holiday Season.

New Years is traditionally a time to look back on the past year and analyze the good and the bad, and then make resolutions to change something about ourselves or what we are doing to make the upcoming year better than the last. I have tried to take this to heart, but I still don’t have a New Year’s resolution.

I thought about cutting back on tomato plants in the garden or incorporating more drought-tolerant or rabbit-proof plants, but those seemed simple. As Master Gardeners, you are well known for enjoying nature, growing plants and giving back to the community. I have a question and a challenge for you: if we were to make a New Year’s resolution for the program, a goal to achieve, what would you recommend? I would like to hear from you where we should focus.

I would also like to hear from you if you would like to join our new MG Demonstration Garden Committee. We will design 3’x3’ garden beds for the east side of our Reno building, and help to supervise their installation.

It has been an interesting dry and warm and then freezing winter thus far. As you all know me well, you know my fingers are crossed that we receive some snow soon. December was an amazing month with temperatures ranging from the  60’s to well below freezing. The long weeks of extremely cold temperatures could really help gardeners like us in the upcoming spring; adult insects that over-winter in our landscapes may have died in the freezing temps. This could mean fewer aphids and earwigs.

A quick reminder for everyone; if you have not already done so, it is important to get out on warm days and water your landscape trees and shrubs. Without a blanket of snow covering our soil, our plants are not only losing moisture through their leaves, needles and stem tissue, but through the soil as well. If you have mulched your trees, this will help, but it is not enough during an extremely dry winter.

In February, our season truly begins with the beginning of Gardening in Nevada, Green Industry Training and the start of the spring Master Gardener class. This year has the potential to be incredible. This year, over 70 people interested in becoming an MG attended orientation. After careful interviewing by our Advisory Council and other MGs, we chose just over 40 very qualified people to join our team in Reno. It was not an easy task; those who wanted to join our program were wonderful, but space was a big constraint on class size. I wanted to let you know how much I appreciate those who put in many hours to help with orientations and interviews. Our lead person was Pamela Van Hoozer and our interviewers were Liz Morrow, Leah Syfers, Shelley De Dauw, Judi Kleidon, Bruce Rice, Earstin Whitten and Pat Baxter.

I am looking forward to a wonderful class and a great year!