A new growing season is beginning. Winter-long dreams of warmer weather and the recent seed catalog parade in our mailboxes have whetted our appetites for gardening. Another resource to help ready you for the upcoming growing season is University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. We have four gardening and landscaping events planned, from basic entry-level classes to more advanced. We invite you to attend them all. These classes will help every gardener and green industry professional answer the question “how does your garden grow?” For those of you who answered “it didn’t” in 2010, we’ve got the help you need to try again for a great harvest in 2011.

Our spring educational marathon begins with a collaborative event between UNCE and the Nevada Landscape Association. We will present an entire track of information on water-efficient landscaping at their 21st annual conference on January 19. For information about UNCE’s part of this event, please call our office, 775-784-4848.

With that day-long intensive learning opportunity completed, we turn our focus to our new Plant Industry Training. This is not simply our Nursery Worker Training renamed. It is a whole new experience we’ve crafted to give green industry professionals, and those who need a leg up in this challenging job market, a chance to grow. Every Tuesday and Wednesday in February, participants will meet for three hours with UNCE Horticulture staff and industry professionals to learn the basics. From botany to xeriscaping, it will all be covered.

There are two ways to register for this course, so it’s a perfect fit not only for bigger industry firms, but also the small mom-and-pop shops that need more flexibility. Participants can register to attend all eight of the classes for $80. Or, they can register a la carte, conserving money and maximizing time by attending only the courses they need. The registration deadline for Plant Industry Training is January 17. For registration information, visit our webpage (www.unce.unr.edu) or look for our “UNCE Plant Industry Training” Facebook fan page.

Not an industry professional? We have you covered! Priority Plant Industry Training registration will be given to professionals, but avid gardener applications are welcome too. If that’s not what you’re looking for, be sure to check out our next two series of classes. They’re FREE and they’re tailored for the home gardener.

Just as we do every year, this year we will kick off the growing season with a UNCE Master Gardener miniseries called Gardening in Nevada: Bartley Ranch. But this year, we’ve shaken up the curriculum. We will still hear from our fruit tree expert, UNCE Master Gardener Michael Janik, but we’ve added new topics. Classes include learning how to select and grow drought-tolerant and low-water-use plants and discovering how to landscape in an environmentally friendly way. Another new Gardening in Nevada program twist is that this year we’ve teamed up with NEMO.

NEMO isn’t a fish; it’s a UNCE program that teaches water-resource protection skills to the policy leaders in our community. You may have heard of it under its longer name: Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials. The NEMO program will deliver to community gardeners two water-friendly and fun courses as a part of the Gardening in Nevada series. When Gardening in Nevada winds down as we march into April, NEMO will pick up the educational torch and run with it by offering monthly sessions extending into November as a part of their Nevada Landscaping that Works series.

For more information about our Gardening in Nevada: Bartley Ranch series or our NEMO-provided Nevada Landscaping that Works gardening courses, please visit our website (www.unce.unr.edu) or our “UNCE Master Gardener Program” Facebook fan page.

By providing plenty of educational opportunities this growing season, and through our UNCE Master Gardener volunteers, who are available year-round to answer your questions in our office or over the phone, UNCE provides the tools you need to get your garden growing in 2011 and beyond.

Courses for Professionals:

Plant Industry Training
Date/Time: Topic:
2/1, 8:30-11:30 a.m. Practical Botany
2/2, 8:30-11:30 a.m. Soil and Fertilizer Management
2/8, 8:30-11:30 a.m. Lawns and Irrigation Management
2/9, 8:30-11:30 a.m. Weed Law and Identification
2/15, 8:30-11:30 a.m. Woody Landscape Plants
2/16, 8:30-11:30 a.m. Container Plant Management
2/22, 8:30-11:30 a.m. Plant Insect and Diseases
2/23, 8:30-11:30 a.m. Simple Landscape Design


Courses for the Avid Gardener:

Gardening in Nevada: Barley Ranch
Date/Time: Topic:
2/1, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Training and Pruning Fruit Trees
2/8, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Is my Yard Earth-Friendly?
2/15, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Drought-Tolerant Plants for Northern Nevada
2/22, 6:30-8:30 p.m. The Ins and Outs of House Plants
3/1, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Selecting and Caring for Fruit Trees
3/8, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Building a Healthy Soil
3/15, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Sustainable Gardening in Nevada:Low-Water Use Landscaping
3/22, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Roses for Reno
3/29, 6:30-8:30 p.m. The Keys to Successful Vegetable Gardening


Nevada Landscaping that Works
Date/Time: Topic:
2/8, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Is my Yard Earth-Friendly?
3/8, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Building a Healthy Soil
4/12, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Harvest Free Water for Your Plants
5/10, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Bloom Where You’re Planted
6/14, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Gain the Upper Hand on Weeds
7/12, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Trees and Turf – Can They Coexist?
8/9, 6:30-8:30 p.m. How Much Irrigation Water Do I Need to Use?
9/13, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Saving Seed for Next Year
10/11, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Composting:  Garden Gold
11/8, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Helping Your Landscape Survive Winter


Andrews, A. 2011, New Gardening and Landscaping Classes for a New Year, Reno Gazette-Journal

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