About This Newsletter

Welcome to our newsletter dedicated to gardening enthusiasts in Nevada! Here, the Master Gardener Volunteers of Washoe County are committed to fostering a community of gardening knowledge and education. Through this publication, we aim to provide research-based horticulture insights for our readers. Each quarter, we offer a wealth of information covering various aspects of gardening, from upcoming garden events to advice on topics ranging from pest control to sustainable gardening practices. Join us as we explore the science and artistry of gardening together!

A Note From the Editors

Washoe County Master Gardener Coordinator

Yellow butterfly on pink and white flowers among green grass.

What's Happening This Summer?

2024 Philadelphia Flower Show

Photos and article by Keri Wilkins

An Adventure in Cutting Tool Maintenance

Photos & article by Rod Haulenbeek

Bread and Butter (Refrigerator Pickles)

Adapted by Doreen Spires

Beneficial Predators in the Garden

Photos & article by Becky Colwell

For These Bees, Nevada Is Home

Article by Chris Doolittle
Photos by Becky Colwell

What’s the Stink About Stink Bugs?

Photos and article by Becky Colwell

A Monument to an Insect

Photos & article by Liz Morrow

The original boll weevil memorial statue,
erected in 1919. The woman initially held a fountain
above her head. It was replaced with the weevil 30 years later.

Who Is This?

Photos and article by Becky Colwell

Unusual creepy-crawly in my entryway,
having eight legs and claws that resemble a scorpion. 

I recently found this unusual looking creepy-crawly in my entryway. I hurried  to grab my camera and took a picture, then captured the creature in my bug container to release outside. I rarely kill an arthropod, as 99 percent are beneficial, and the other 1 percent are food for someone else. Research is what Master Gardeners do, so I did some. I could see that it had eight legs, so arachnid. The pincer-like claws led me to think scorpion, but it had no tail. After more in-depth research on scorpions, I found out it is a pseudoscorpion

Pseudoscorpions are very small arachnids. They have eight legs, a flat, pear-shaped body, and pincer-like pedipalps that resemble those of scorpions. The body color can be yellowish tan to dark brown. Adults can live for two to three years. Chelifer cancroides is the species most commonly found in homes.

 Observe the flat, pear-shaped body and pincer-like
pedipalps of this pseudoscorpion before being released outside.

Due to their small size (less than one-fifth of an inch, or three-eighths with pedipalps fully extended) and secretive nature, they are rarely seen, but they can be found in many environments. In homes they may be spotted in old books, where they eat booklice, or in bathroom sinks or tubs. Outside we would rarely see one, but they are busy feasting on many other small arthropods, including caterpillars, flies, ants, and beetle larvae.

Although pseudoscorpions pose no danger to homeowners, their presence may indicate  a high level of humidity or a good food source. Pesticides are not recommended for control; if you spot one, just take it outside.

Jacobs, Steve, Senior Extension Associate, Penn State Extension, “Pseudoscorpions”. Reviewed January 2013, Updated June 2023.

Master Gardener Photos


Photo of green plants growing from the ground.

Bleeding hearts. Springtime in Reno.
Photo by Shari Elena Quinn


Photo of a blue flower pot with pansy flowers growing inside.

Fringed tulip species at Crystal Hermitage Tulip Watch.
Photo by Tricia Howarth

Unusual shaped petals of a tulip lily species at Crystal Hermitage Tulip Watch.
Photo by Tricia Howarth

Adult lady beetle & larva eating white flies on fernbush.
Photo by Becky Colwell

Brown elfin on gro low sumac.
Photo by Becky Colwell

Jumping spider waiting for a meal on gro low sumac.
Photo by Becky Colwell

Queen bumble bee visiting vinca minor flowers.
Photo by Becky Colwell.


Person wearing a blue hat and smiling with hands with dirt in front of face.


We have so much to be thankful for. The University of Nevada, Reno Extension Master Gardener Program is full of amazing volunteers who are committed to finding and providing scientifically based, university researched horticultural information for people in our community. We do a lot! We get to work with and volunteer with amazing people here in Washoe County.

We couldn’t do what we do, without the help and support of our community, our university and Extension partners and the amazing dedication of our Master Gardener Volunteers. Within our program we have some extra special volunteers known as Leads. They are the lead volunteers of various programs and activities. Leads are Master Gardeners that dedicate extra time to organize, plan, and execute tasks related to their project or activity. They do this by dedicating extra time to the program to lead and mentor our other Master Gardener volunteers to give them the resources and confidence to provide education to our community. They make a huge difference in our community and especially to the Master Gardener Program.

One such Master Gardener Lead Volunteer is Martha. Martha is one of our very first Leads here in Washoe County. She stepped up to be the Lead for the Master Gardener Teaching and Demonstration Garden located in the Community Garden at Rancho San Rafael Regional Park. Let’s take a minute to get to know Martha from a recent interview:

Interview with Martha McRae Master Gardener Lead Teaching & Demonstration Gardens:

  1.  What sparked your interest in gardening?
    1.  I’m old, I remember the victory gardens from WW2 as something my family did, and I have gardened all my life. 
  2. What is your gardening passion?
    1.  I removed a lot of my lawn and put in a xeric scape, before I became a Master Gardener. I think more people in the community could use alternative ways to garden in the desert. It is important given the water situation we have in the west. 
  3.  How has the Master Gardener Program scientifically helped you in your garden?
    1.  I did a lot of research before I became a Master Gardener; the main thing is a better understanding of insects and systematic use of pesticides. Many people think MIB (more is better) and it is not. 
  4.  What makes you smile about the Master Gardener Program?
    1.  The people I work with consistently. They are very supportive of our efforts!  They make me smile, I am usually grumpy, they make me smile. 
  5. Share a meaningful Master Gardener volunteer experience. 
    1.  After parties at Rancho, it helps us cool down after a hard day in the garden before we go to our hot cars and allows us to connect and work on relationships 
  6. One word to describe the Master Gardener Program.
    1.  Informative
  7. The Master Gardener program could not function without the help of MG Leads. What inspired you to become a Lead?
    1.  Sometimes you really love doing something so much you want to step up and help other people get excited about it. To get people excited about it you must be invested in it yourself. 
  8. Describe the program you Lead and how it impacts the community.
    1.  The program is the Teaching and Demonstration Gardens that are in a Community Garden at a reginal park. There are community garden beds, we serve as help to identify issues, planting compatibility and so on. It is also a public park where we show different types of gardening, and we also grow food to donate to the Reno Sparks Gospel Mission. That is one of the reasons why some of the folks work so hard in our garden, because it is serving folks less fortunate in our community. We have the teaching aspect of the garden, with casual conversations and formal teaching events. 
  9. What has been your greatest challenge as a Lead?
    1.  I don’t get the same group of people showing up every week, every time a new person comes on board there is a new orientation process. People tend to look to me for all the answers and direction and it takes a while before people are comfortable working independently. This slows the process down, but my hope is that they all come back the following year. 
  10.  What has been your greatest joy as a Lead?
    1.  I think at the end of the season, seeing all we have been able to accomplish as a team. A great sense of accomplishment for food insecurity and I am always hopeful the people will be able to implement the things they learn. 
  11. What would like to see next for your program?
    1.  The budget is always a big deal.  I wish we had more funding to buy supplies. Things like chicken wire and shade cloth that would last several seasons.  Irrigation is always an issue as well. We also would really like an events board, like they have at campgrounds, so we could post educational information like what weeds are growing, what insects are in the garden, what gardening techniques we are using and upcoming educational talks. 
  12. If someone is thinking about becoming a Master Gardener, what would you tell them?
    1.  I would advise them not to be working full-time.  Part-time is fine, but it would be a challenge to do everything if you are working full-time to meet your recertification requirements. There is so much they could miss.  Also, they should look inward and know if they just want the learning or if they want to work with the public. Volunteering and giving back to the community is what we do. 

Martha is in the second year of being a Lead at the Master Gardener Teaching and Demonstration Gardens.  This season Master Gardener Chris Dolittle has joined her as co-lead to help the program and activities grow and be more effective.  We couldn’t do what we do without them.  

The Master Gardener Program is so grateful to you both!

Questions or comments?
Reach out to us!



Help Desk Hours: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Thursdays
Phone: 775-784-4848
Email: mastergardeners@unce.unr.edu

Rachel McClure Master Gardener Coordinator
Phone: 775-336-0274
Email:  rmcclure@unr.edu 

McClure, R., Colwell, B., Doolittle, C. 2024, Washoe County Master Gardener Newsletter (2024-06), Extension, University of Nevada, Reno, Newsletters

Learn more about the author(s)


Also of Interest:

lettuce seedlings
Northern Area (Reno) Planting Schedule
Find out when to plant vegetables with the Extension Master Gardener's planting guide for the Reno area!
Brinkerhoff, K. 2023, Extension | University of Nevada, Reno
Crop field rows
Northern Area (Reno) Planting Schedule
Find out when to plant vegetables with the Extension Master Gardener's planting guide for the Reno area!
Brinkerhoff, K. 2023, Extension, University of Nevada, Reno