Overview

The results of a Nevada’s Washoe County Horticulture Needs Assessment identified the following issues: home food production and edible landscaping, diagnosis and management of plant pests (insects, disease, weeds), local food production and urban agriculture, sustainable landscaping practices (including native plant landscaping), and landscape water conservation. In addition, the Mojave Desert’s unique conditions require special training. Extension offices in both Clark and Washoe Counties receive thousands of phone calls and emails, as well as visits to the office, from people requesting assistance, which can easily overwhelm faculty and staff resources.

Across Nevada, Extension Master Gardeners volunteer over 40,000 hours each year. Some Master Gardener volunteer activities are consistent throughout the state, including teaching classes, offering garden tours, staffing information booths at community events, and answering questions in person at Extension offices and through email and telephone. In addition, Master Gardeners in each county performed activities and events specific to the county. Master Gardeners also presented for the Southern Utah Green conference.

 
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News Articles, Fact Sheets, Reports...
evening primrose flowers
A dreamy moonlight garden
Plants and objects to use in a moonlight garden design.
Fisher, J. 2018, Reno Gazette Journal
california fuschia flowers
Add plants to attract hummingbirds
Attracting hummingbirds to your garden can be done by adding specific plant species.
Fisher, J. 2018, Reno Gazette Journal
aphids on unside of leaf
Aphids and Their Management in Home Gardens
Aphids can be one of the most persistent and noticeable pests in the home garden. They are especially prominent in the spring when new growth is forming on plant material. This publication covers identification, life history of aphids and the various methods of natural and control methods.
McKie, P., and Johnson, W. S. 2002, Extension, University of Nevada Reno, FS-02-10
children learning about ember awareness
Attend Nevada Field Day to learn about Cooperative Extension and other University programs
Attend Nevada Field Day to learn about Cooperative Extension programs
Fisher, J. 2018, Reno Gazette Journal
living wall with bromeliads
Bring plants indoors to beat winter blues
What is interior plantscaping, including living walls.
Fisher, J. 2018, Reno Gazette Journal
vegetables in water for regrowing
Bring vegetable growing indoors this winter
Using kitchen vegetable cuttings to regrow indoors.
Fisher, J. 2018, Reno Gazette Journal
prickly pear cacti
Cold-hardy cacti
A list and description of cold-hardy cacti.
Fisher, J. 2018, Reno Gazette Journal
russian sage growing near garden bed
Common herbs can become weeds
Many herbs are aggressive and become weeds in our vegetable gardens
Fisher, J. 2018, Reno Gazette Journal
Community Gardening Makes Reno Bloom Andrews, A. 2017, Reno Gazette-Journal
pumpkins and canning jar
Create cozy, inviting home décor with fall leaves
Use items from the garden to decorate for fall.
Fisher, J., Hanson Mazet, W. 2017, Reno Gazette Journal
Creating a Community Garden
People who are concerned about food accessibility, variety and safety often consider growing their own vegetables and fruits. Community gardens can provide spaces for growing food and for contact with others living nearby. This publication provides guidance for creating and maintaining community gardens.
O'Callaghan, A. M., Fagin, E., and Robinson, M. L. 2013, Extension University of Nevada Reno, SP-13-07
Date Palm Gardening Guide for Southern Nevada
This publication is a companion to the publication, in Southern Nevada publication. It is a month by month guide to fertilization, pruning, irrigation and other cultural practices for the date palm.
Robinson, M. L. 2002, Extension University of Nevada Reno, FS-02-99
roses on arbor
Different rose varieties need different pruning
How to prune different varieties of roses.
Fisher, J. 2018, Reno Gazette Journal
house plant on shelf
Four Myths of House Plant Care
Learned the scientific information that debunks many of the myths thought to be true.
Fisher, J. 2019, Reno Gazette Journal
flowers
Gardening education you need
Educational opportunities in landscaping and gardening for spring 2019.
Fisher, J. 2019, Reno Gazette Journal
Gardening Guide of High-Desert Urban Landscapes of Great Basin Regions in Nevada and Utah
Tips for gardening in the high desert of Nevada and Utah including plant lists and photos of grasses, perennial and annual flowers, shrubs and tress that grow well in the high desert.
Kratsch, H. and Heflebower, R. 2013, Extension, University of Nevada, Reno, Special Publication 13-09
Getting Started with a Vegetable Garden
Practical information on getting started with a vegetable garden, including easy to grow vegetables for beginners and planting dates for Nevada.
Kratsch, H., Allen, L., Hanson Mazet, W. 2010, Extension, University of Nevada, Reno, Fact Sheet 10-15
Getting Started with Backyard Fruit Trees in Northern Nevada
Practical advice for getting started with backyard fruit trees, including selection tips, pruning tips, chill requirements and lists of fruit trees varieties that grow well in northern Nevada, including apple, pear, cherry, plum, peach and apricot varieties.
Kratsch, H. and Hanson Mazet, W. 2014, Extension, University of Nevada, Reno, Fact Sheet 14-14
Green Fountain Grass
Green Fountain Grass
Too often, attractive plants that we bring into the landscape from other regions turn out to be just too successful. They usually have no natural enemies in the new area, so they are able to thrive. They appear in wild areas and begin to out-compete native plants. One of these is green fountain grass.
O'Callaghan, A. M., and Robinson, ML 2014, Extension University of Nevada Reno, FS-14-11
planting hops in nevada
Growing Hops in Southern Nevada
Hops are mainly used for brewing beer. The perceived bitterness in an Indian Pale Ale is derived from the hops themselves. Hops can also impart other flavors into beers, such as fruity, citrusy, or spicy notes. However, hops can serve other purposes as well.
Wynne, T., O’Callaghan, A., and Jeff Anderson, O. 2017, Extension | University of Nevada, Reno, Fact Sheet FS-17-05
sweet potatoes
Growing Sweet Potatoes in the Desert
Sweet potatoes easily grow in the desert and provide necessary vitamins and nutrients. By implementing the proper gardening techniques, everyone can enjoy the tasty treat. Sweet potatoes like a hot growing season, making southern Nevada an ideal place for them.
Wynne, T., Callaghan, A. 2017, Extension | University of Nevada, Reno, Fact Sheet FS-17-02
garden beds
Healing Gardens: How we can honor veterans
Healing gardens provide a source of relaxation, inspiration and rehabilitation for veterans.
Fisher, J. 2017, Reno Gazette Journal
Dormant Oil spraying
Horticultural Oils – What a Gardener Needs to Know
Horticultural oils are pesticides that control insects, mites and some plant diseases. They are specifically designed to control plant pests. Commercially available horticultural oils are highly refined petroleum products that are filtered and distilled to remove compounds that can harm plants.
Skelly, J. 2013, Extension | University of Nevada, Reno, FS-13-20
Hydrangea
Hydrangeas in Northern Nevada
Are there varieties of hydrangeas that will grow here? Yes. Will they thrive? Rarely, under average garden conditions.
JoAnne Skelly 2016, Extension | University of Nevada, Reno
master gardener volunteers talking to clients in the office
Is it scientific or just a myth?
The best place to get science-based information if from Cooperative Extension.
Fisher, J. 2018, Reno Gazette Journal
Sphinx Moth
Know Nevada Insects: Sphinx Moth
This publication reviews the biology of caterpillars commonly called hornworms, including the tomato hornworm, Manduca quinquemaculata, which can be a common pest of tomato plants in Nevada. Integrated pest management techniques for controlling caterpillars are also discussed.
Kevin Burls and Joy Newton 2019, Extension | University of Nevada FS 19-16
shady walkway with plants
Master Gardener Garden Tour funds community education program
The Master Gardener garden tour funds the master gardener program.
Fisher, J. 2018, Reno Gazette Journal
scottish thistle
Nevada Nuisance Weeds Field Guide
The plants listed in this field guide are nuisance weeds, those that are troublesome, but have not been listed by the state as noxious weeds.
Hefner, M., Kratsch, H. 2018, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension SP-18-02
snow in the sierras
Nevada's Weather and Climate
Weather and climate are related, but they are not the same. The difference between weather and climate is time. Practically speaking, weather determines which clothes you decide to put on today, but climate determines the type of clothes that are in your closet.
Ormerod, Kerri Jean; McAfee, Stephanie 2017, Extension | Fact Sheet 17-04
norfolk pine with red ornament
Norfolk Island pine: a living Christmas tree
How to care for Norfolk Island pine trees indoors.
Fisher, J. 2017, Reno Gazette Journal
Palm fond
Palm Problems That Aren't
Many people are not familiar with growing palm trees and make observations that they think are abnormal in the palms growth and appearance. This publication addresses these symptoms, perceived problem and explanation of what is actually occurring in the Palm. It is also an easy guide for the professional and homeowner.
Robinson, M. L., and O'Callaghan, A. 2010, Extension University of Nevada Reno, FS-10-72
Preparing your landscape for a vacation
How to care for your landscape or garden during vacation in summer months.
Fisher, J. 2018, Reno Gazette Journal
trough in soil
Private Soil Testing Labs for Home Gardens
A list of private soil testing laboratories to use for home gardeners.
Master Gardeners 2019, Extension
collection fruits from cactus plants
Pruning Cacti And Other Desert Succulents
Pruning is an important part of any landscape maintenance program, including Southwestern desert landscapes. Pruning plants such as cacti, yuccas, agaves and other succulents is simple, but requires some basic plant knowledge.
Robinson, M. L., O’Callaghan, A., and Anderson, J. 2016, Extension | University of Nevada, Reno, SP-16-01
Pruning Desert Shrubs
Pruning Desert Shrubs in Southern Nevada-Type Climates
This publication is a guide to correct pruning of desert and desert adapted shrubs in the landscape. It details how to prune and why correct pruning is important to the health and beauty of the plants.
Robinson, M.L., O'Callaghan, A., and Anderson, J. 2014, Extension, University of Nevada Reno, SP-14-13
Pruning Palm Trees
Palm trees are one of the most dominant plant materials found in the landscapes of southern Nevada and the desert Southwest. Unfortunately, most palm trees are incorrectly pruned by homeowners and commercial landscape maintenance companies. This publication explains why and how palm trees should be correctly pruned.
Robinson, M. L. 2004, Extension, University of Nevada Reno, SP-04-16
wooden raised bed
Raised Beds Can Make Gardening Easier
How to use raised beds to make gardening easier!
O'Callaghan, A. 2010, Extension, University of Nevada, Reno, FS-10-33
beets
Root Vegetable Varieties for the Moapa and Virgin Valleys
The purpose of this publication is to emphasize the selected vegetable varieties or cultivars (seeds/plants) that may perform better than others in the Moapa and Virgin Valleys.
Bishop, C and Stoesser, D. 2013, Extension | University of Nevada, Reno, FS-13-07
jar with tomato seeds
Saving seeds from your garden is easy and free
Saving seeds from your garden is easy and free.
Fisher, J. 2018, Reno Gazette Journal
potted kohlradi greens
Steps to a successful container salad garden
Growing a container salad garden at home is easy, includes steps and varieties to plant.
Fisher, J. 2018, Reno Gazette Journal
The Date Palm in Southern Nevada
The true date palm, Phoenix dactylifera grows in the desert region and is one of the most popular landscape plants for homes and is uniquely adapted for fruit production and ornamental purposes. This publication focuses on growing the date palm in home and commercial landscapes as well as how to produce edible dates.
Robinson, M. L., Brown, B., and Williams, C. F. 2002, Extension, University of Nevada Reno, SP-02-12
easter lily flower
The history and tradition of the Easter lily
History and meaning of Easter Lily including origin, current nurseries and religious meaning.
Fisher, J. 2018, Reno Gazette Journal
person kneeling on pad while digging in garden bed
The importance of ergonomics in the garden
Gardening ergonomics are important for every gardener.
Fisher, J. 2018, Reno Gazette Journal
gardener with hula hoe
Top six garden must-haves for 2018
Best items for gardeners in 2018.
Fisher, J. 2018, Reno Gazette Journal
producing manure
Using Chicken Manure Safely in Home Gardens and Landscapes
When a family raises chickens, they have a ready supply of brown gold from composted or aged manure to benefit their garden and landscape plants. Learn more about using chicken manure safely in home gardens and landscapes in this factsheet.
Saliga III, R. and Skelly, J. 2013, Extension | University of Nevada, Reno, FS-13-23
Using Preemergence Herbicides for Weed Control in the Home Landscape
Practical tips for using preemergence herbicides correctly in the home landscape, including how preemergence herbicides work and risks to consider when making a preemergence herbicide application. A list of common preemergence products is included.
Donaldson, S. and Skelly, J. 2011, Extension, University of Nevada, Reno, Fact Sheet 11-67
Master Gardeners learning with training activity
What do Master Gardeners do anyway?
The Master Gardener program has a little for everyone and serves Washoe County through the Cooperative Extension horticulture office in Reno.
Fisher, J. 2017, Reno Gazette Journal
oregon grape flower
What’s blooming now?
Flowers blooming in spring that are inconspicuous.
Fisher, J. 2018, Reno Gazette Journal

Learn more about the program's team

Wendy Hanson Mazet
Program Leader & Contact
Heidi Kratsch
Program Leader
Lori Leas
Program Leader & Contact
Angela O'Callaghan
Program Leader
Lindsay Chichester
Program Contact