UN Cooperative Extension offers free gardening classes | NevadaAppeal.com

UN Cooperative Extension offers free gardening classes

RENO — Northern Nevada's high elevation means Nevada has a short growing season, which makes gardening more of a challenge. So as the planning season begins, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension and their Certified Master Gardeners offer a chance to help you get the most out of your garden. Cooperative Extension has teamed up with Washoe County Regional Parks and Open Space to offer "Gardening in Nevada: The Bartley Ranch Series." Classes are free and run 6–8 p.m. every Tuesday, Feb. 2–March 29, at Bartley Ranch Regional Park, 6000 Bartley Ranch Road in Reno.

The classes are taught by Cooperative Extension horticulturists and experts, and Cooperative Extension's certified Master Gardener volunteers. Classes include:

Feb. 2: Selecting and Caring for Fruit Trees — Certified Arborist and Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Michael Janik, who grows more than 100 varieties of fruit trees in northern Nevada, gives tips on fruit tree selection, planting, maintenance and soil and pest management.

Feb. 9: Heirlooms, Past and Present — Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Pamela Van Hoozer discusses the importance of biodiversity, marketability, advantages and challenges of successful crops, and how to work with locally adapted varieties.

Feb. 16: From Buds to Vines and Grapes to Wine — Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Joe Bernardo covers the basic skills of growing grapes and making wine in Nevada.

Feb. 23: Dealing With Pests in the Landscape and Garden – Cooperative Extension Urban Integrated Pest Management and Pesticide Safety Program Assistant Melody Hefner discusses the steps to create a pest management plan, including alternatives to chemicals for pest control.

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March 1: Training and Pruning Fruit Trees — Certified Arborist and Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Michael Janik discusses the basics of fruit tree pruning, pruning to maximize production and the art of espalier (training fruit trees to grow on trellises or against a flat surface).

March 8: Landscape Gardening for Wildlife — Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Becky Colwell discusses cover food, nesting, and water and shelter needs of backyard wildlife, along with how to attract wildlife such as butterflies, birds and earthworms.

March 15: Designing a Water-Efficient Landscape Using Native Plants — Cooperative Extension Horticulture Specialist Heidi Kratsch shares how to use the natural environment and physical characteristics of local native plants to create a soothing and aesthetically pleasing landscape.

March 22: Growing Succulent Succulents — Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Liz Morrow discusses the vast selection of succulents well-suited for our area, as well as their growing conditions, care and maintenance.

March 29: Successful Vegetable Gardening — Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Randy Robison shares how he produces abundant crops and tips on improving garden soil, crop rotation, companion planting and gardening in raised beds.

For more information on "Gardening in Nevada: The Bartley Ranch Series," or for general horticultural inquiries, contact University of Nevada Cooperative Extension at 775-784-4848 or mastergardeners@unce.unr.edu, or visit http://www.unce.unr.edu. Persons in need of special accommodations or assistance should call at least three days prior to the scheduled event.

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