Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Learning more!

     Tis the season for conferences, seminars and workshops it seems.  Lee is off for a few days to Birmingham for Alabama Urban Forestry  / International Society of Arboriculture (gotta keep those CEUs coming) conference so I slid into the Master Gardener's Fall Workshop at the Extension Office ACES on Cook Ave today in his place.  
     First up was Dottye Pierce (President MGNA) and Ken Creel (extension agent for this area) for the welcome and overview of their organizations.  Then we were treated to Janet Boothe's talk on Flower Bulbs.  Such gorgeous pictures of all the types of tulips and daffodils and crocus as well as the more unusual frittaria and snowdrops.  New to me was the botanical species tulips, the forerunners to our modern hybridized tulips.
Tulipa chyrsantha - Courtesy Wiki Commons

Tulipa turkestanica - Courtesy Wiki Commons

She included lots of good information on planning and planting so I hope to see more bright colors around town!

     Ed Gray spoke next on cold frames.  TONS of good ideas here from the simplest to the most elaborate.  I loved the hay bales with an old window on top, wish I had a picture!  The essence of cold frames is to capture the sun's light and heat and protect plants from drying winds. 

    Stacy Scannell from the Botanical Garden gave us a powerpoint tour of the greenhouses and cold frames of all kinds that they use to keep the plants coming in all seasons.  From simple wood boxes with wire screening on top to keep the critters out to an automated greenhouse that heats and cools and opens and closes as needed, the Garden has something to suit every plant. 
      Karen Voelker hauled in a sampling of the produce currently on tap at the CASA garden.  Radishes, kale, curly mustard, cucuzzi squash, okra (still!?) , turnip (root and tops) and spoke about growing everything under the sun.  Her main message? Rotate crops, compost and keep planting!  Seeds are cheap and you never know what will grow :)

    Max Campbell is a joy to listen to.  You don't just get his wisdom from 40 years of vegetable gardening in this area, he throws in the years before that (ahem not sure how many) and his father's nuggets too !   He covered about all the topics you could ask for from seeds to tools and included a great list of ACES publications and other resources for the attendees.

Not sure where we'll end up next, but we'll learn something new!   Have you picked up any fall or winter garden tips lately?

Shannon McBride

No comments:

Post a Comment