You may think it's just about impossible to grow a decent garden in the harsh high desert climate of northern Nevada. It is a challenge in our high desert environment of frigid winters, hot summers, and little precipitation, but it can be done. These free classes from Washoe County Regional Parks and Open Space and University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE), titled Gardening in Nevada: The Bartley Ranch Series, will acquaint would-be gardeners with a many techniques to ensure the successful growing of a variety of plants in the Reno area.
Schedule for Gardening in Nevada: The Bartley Ranch Series
These classes are presented by members of the Master Gardener Program (see more below) of the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. Each class covers a specific topic related to successfully growing plants in northern Nevada, from fruits and vegetables to turf and trees. These classes will be held on Tuesday evenings in February and March, 2013. All classes are from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Classes in February, 2013
- February 5 - Mulch 101 - Master Gardener Rod Haulenbeek will discuss the many benefits of using mulches, from weed suppression to different types of mulch and their ability to benefit plants and hold moisture. Plus, helpful guidelines to help you decide which may be right for your garden or landscape.
- February 12 - Training and Pruning Fruit Trees – Master Gardener Michael Janik will discuss the art of espalier and production pruning of fruit trees, how and why to thin fruit. Plus, tips on pruning to restore older, neglected trees. He will review the basics of pruning, plant response to pruning and methods to train and maintain an attractive and productive tree.
- February 19 - Growing and Selecting Garlic for Northern Nevada – Master Gardener Earstin Whitten will discuss growing great garlic. It's both easy and rewarding for beginning and experienced gardeners alike. In most of the country, garlic is planted in the fall by sowing the individual cloves of "seed garlic," but many new gardeners will try in spring. Come learn why fall is the best time to plant and what are the best varieties for your use.
- February 26 - Theme Gardens – Master Gardener Pamela Van Hoozer will discuss growing something a little different to ignite your gardening imagination to create / design a special garden. Theme gardening is an excellent way to expand your gardening horizons, involve others, or use your expertise in creating a garden to share or spend time relaxing. It can be simple or complex, small or large and is limited only by the imagination and how much work one wants to put into it.
Classes in March, 2013
- March 5 - Selecting and Caring for Fruit Trees - Master Gardener Michael Janik grows over 100 varieties of apples, stone fruits and small fruits. He will discuss the importance of proper selection, planting and care of fruit trees in northern Nevada. He will also cover climate and soil effects, pest and disease management and yearly maintenance requirements for newly planted trees.
- March 12 - Aquaponics — Heidi Kratsch, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Horticulture Specialist, will discuss the benefits of aquaponics and creating a home system. Not sure what Aquaponics is? It is the combination of aquaculture and hydroponics. In aquaponics, you grow fish and plants together in one integrated, soilless system. Aquaponics produces safe, fresh, organic fish and vegetables.
- March 19 - Successful Vegetable Gardening – Master Gardener Randy Robison knows the secrets to bountiful, award-winning harvests. Learn how he produces his abundant harvests through tried-and-true techniques. He will share tips on amending your native soil and gardening in raised bed.
- March 26 - Harvesting and Storing Vegtables – Wendy Hanson Mazet, University of Nevada Master Gardener program Coordinator, shows gardeners, experienced or not, how to grow and pick your crops at the peek of perfection. Plus, money saving tips on safe storage.
Where to Go for the Gardening in Nevada: The Bartley Ranch Series
All classes will be at Bartley Ranch Regional Park, 6000 Bartley Ranch Road is south Reno. The classes are free. For more information about the classes, or to ask general horticulture questions, contact the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Western Area / Washoe County Office at (775) 784-4848. You can reach the Washoe County office for the Western Area Master Gardener Program at the same phone number.
About the Master Gardener Program
The Master Gardener Program, started in 1972 in Washington state, is a response to ever increasing requests from home gardeners for information about growing fruits, vegetables, and landscape plants in their region. Master Gardeners are volunteers that give Cooperative Extension the ability to provide the public with current and accurate information while providing "participants a sense of community spirit, accomplishment and intellectual stimulation." You can contact the Master Gardener Program by phone at (775) 336-0265 or by email at email@example.com.
More Gardening Information from About.com
Sources: Washoe County Regional Parks and Open Space and University of Nevada Cooperative Extension.