Master Gardener Spring Class to begin March 17

You can become a Master Gardener by signing up for the spring classes that start March 17 and go through May 19. The class will be on Tuesday evenings from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the MU Family Impact Center, 105 East Ash Street, Columbia, MO. The cost of the class is $150. Fee includes Master Gardener Core Manual notebook, one soil test and other references.  Registration deadline is March 10 to be sure we have a space for you, and if you register by March 5 the cost will only be $140.

You are eligible for the class if you have some knowledge or experience in gardening and want to learn and provide research based horticulture information to the public. The Master Gardener class is a basic horticulture class. Those who take the class are required to volunteer 30 hours during the next year in various community volunteer activities related to gardening.

Print an application: Master Gardener Application (PDF)

'Hands On' Fruit Care Workshop Series

Fruit tree pruning — Friday, March 6 at 4 p.m.

The following fully developed fruit trees will be featured ½ side fully pruned, the other side not pruned  —  apple (1), plum (2) and pear (2). Pruning of a four-year-old peach, seven-year-old peach and a nine-year-old apple tree will also be reviewed. Application of dormant oil will be discussed and other pest control tactics in the dormant season. Site selection, propagation material and planting preparation will be reviewed. At least one new tree will be planted (persimmon? Apricot?). Bring a hand pruner to try pruning yourself and dress accordingly.

Berries and organic fruit gardening — Friday, March 20 from 4 to 6 p.m.

Pruning of raspberries, grapes, & gooseberries. Winter mulch removal of a strawberry planting. Uncovering of fig from winter protection. Site selection of paw paw trees and a zone 6 persimmon tree. Site selection and planting of several berries (blue, black, wolf and honey). Will receive some plants by mail order, that will be removed from shipping container and planted.

Disease and insect pest control of fruit plantings — Friday, April 10 at 4 p.m.

Several sprayer models will be discussed and demonstrated. Fungicide and bactericide products will be reviewed, with emphasis on their varying effectiveness on the different diseases. The insecticides available to homeowners and the critical time for applying will be covered. Emphasis will be on fruit trees and grapes. Organic pesticides will not be addressed, as they will be reviewed in the berry session. Fruit thinning of peaches and apples will be demonstrated (if possible) or discussed. Dress accordingly.

Free Bonus Class — A Mid Summer Fruit Review — Friday, June 5 at 4 p.m.

A walk around the garden will feature fruit development or success with crop (e.g. strawberries), disease symptoms and insect damage, control (or lack of) of diseases and insect pests, grape shoot positioning, strawberry renovation, etc. There will be NO snacks or refreshments provided for this class, but we hope to eat some fruit (e.g. strawberries).

Please fill out the registration form: Fruit Care Workshop (PDF)

Help protect Hinkson Creek

Reducing air and water pollution due to reactive nitrogen and other nutrients requires voluntary adoption of new practices and technologies. A variety of best management practices (BMPs) already exist for both agricultural producers and homeowners. To learn more about implementing these BMPs, go to Help Protect Hinkson Creek.

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