Wow! It’s July already and hopefully your gardens are doing well after all the cool rains we had in the month of June. Now all we have to do is make sure that we have an adequate water supply for those dry spells that we know will eventually come — and keep ahead of the weeds and insects. Oh, yes, and be on the lookout for those things that want to harvest the garden before we get the chance, such as woodchucks, deer, and insects. If you would like information on dealing with wildlife in you gardens, visit Wildlife Control Information from Cornell University. For information on insects and weeds, visit Insect Pests & Plant Diseases from UMaine Extension.
Also, if you are seeking help with supplying your gardens watering needs, UMaine Extension has helpful information on doing just that. See Bulletin #2160, Trickle Irrigation: Using and Conserving Water in the Home Garden or stop by your local UMaine Extension county office and ask for a copy. No wonder gardening is such fun; gardening fills each day with a new and interesting challenge!.
July is the time for Rose Chafers and Japanese Beetles, as well as the newest addition to our insect pest alert: the Spotted Wing Drosophila!
Dear Maine Master Gardener,
As many of you discovered when you shopped for plants this spring, many Maine greenhouses and garden centers are not selling garden Impatiens, or have greatly reduced their crops. You probably also noticed the increased availability of other shade plants, like New Guinea Impatiens, coleus, and begonias, because they are not susceptible to a disease that has become very serious in much of the U.S.: impatiens downy mildew.
I’d like to ask for your help in an effort to map the occurrence of impatiens downy mildew in Maine. We know that it occurred in 2012, but we don’t know how widespread it was. Together, we can map it this summer.
This disease is easy to diagnose in a garden. Here is what you’ll see:
- The first symptom is a coating of white spores on the undersides of leaves, especially between the veins.
- As the disease progresses, leaves turn yellow and wilt, and flowers drop early.
- Eventually, most leaves fall off, leaving nearly bare stems sticking up.
- Finally, the stems soften and fall to the ground.
If you’re interested in helping, please send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and answer these questions:
- What symptoms do you see?
- Approximately how many impatient plants are in the planting?
- Is it in a commercial landscape, or in a municipal planting, or in a home garden?
- What town is it in?
- Is it urban, or suburban, or rural?
If you’re not sure about the diagnosis, send me a photo with your information. I’d be happy to respond to let you know if in fact it is impatiens downy mildew.
Thanks for considering this project! It’s a way that we can all work together to identify and understand a gardening problem, in order to plan for future garden success.
To those of you who attended the June 15 work day here at the UMaine Cooperative Extension, Somerset County office. Due to your efforts, we were able to remove the star bed and get a start on the flagpole bed by getting rid of the weeds that had taken over. There’s still plenty of work left to be done and if you are looking for a volunteer project, this project is ongoing and needs you.
Just a reminder, please keep sending in your volunteer hours.
Have a great summer!
Wow, it’s June already! Gardening is now full speed ahead! With soil and weather temperatures warming up, it’s time to plant those warm weather crops you have been holding back on. Be sure to check the soil temperature before planting warm weather crops such as peppers, tomato, eggplant, and melons. They won’t do well with soil temperatures below 60 – 65 degrees.
Welcome to the 2013 growing season! As always, we are looking forward to a very busy season, with continuing initiatives on invasive forest insects and diseases, including a massive survey effort for the emerald ash borer (recently detected in New Hampshire, but not yet known to occur in Maine). In addition, our usual plant clinic diagnostic assistance will be available, along with the regular Condition Reports. To help accomplish all this, we invite you to assist with our mission. We ask you to be vigilant and to report to us any observations on tree insects and diseases of concern to you. We appreciate your willingness, expertise, and commitment to help keep our trees and forests healthy.
Greetings gardeners! The National Gardening Association is a proud sponsor of the Grow it Forward Heirloom Seed Contest. Gardeners from across the U.S. and Canada are coming together to grow over 1,400 heirloom plant varieties as part of a movement to preserve the legacy and diversity of these time-honored plants. To learn more, visit Grow It Forward.
Session 3 – Caring for your Garden
Wednesday June 12, 2013 at 9:00 a.m.
Rain Date: Thursday June 13 at 9:00 a.m.
Session 4 – Extending Your Growing Season
Wednesday: July 17,2013 at 9:00 a.m.
Rain date: Thursday July 18 at 9:00 a.m.
Session 5 – Using your Harvest
Wednesday August 14, 2013 at 9:00 a.m.
Rain Date: Thursday August 15 at 9:00 a.m.
Session 6 – Putting your garden to bed
Wednesday September 25, 2013 at 9:00 a.m.
Rain Date: Thursday September 26 at 9:00 a.m.
To register for sessions, please call the UMaine Extension Somerset County office at 207.474.9622 or 1.800.287.1495 (in Maine). The course is free.
If you are a person with a disability and will need accommodations to participate in this program, please call Tom Goodspeed at 1.800.287.1495 (in Maine) to discuss your needs. Receiving requests for accommodations at least (10 days) before the program provides a reasonable amount of time to meet the request, however all requests will be accepted.
The Somerset County Master Gardener Volunteers are meeting on June 15 to work on the office landscape. Start time will be at 8:00 a.m. at the UMaine Extension Somerset County office in Skowhegan. If you have gardening tools (shovels, rakes, wheelbarrows, etc.) that you could bring to use, please do. For more information, contact Cheryl Perkins at email@example.com or contact Tom Goodspeed at 1.800.287.1495 (in Maine) or 207.474.9622 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Hope to see you there!
To Lynch Landscaping in Skowhegan for their generous offer to assist the Master Gardeners project in revitalizing the UMaine Extension Somerset County office flowerbeds. Their contribution of compost and topsoil will go a long way to getting the project done. John Lynch is a Master Gardener from the class of 2011. For information on Lynch Landscaping, please visit Lynch Landscaping.
Links to other websites are provided purely for educational purposes. No responsibility is assumed for any content on the linked sites. No endorsement of products or companies is intended, nor is criticism of unnamed products or companies implied.
Flowers are finally beginning to appear in the flower beds and the forsythia are starting to bloom. Planting the vegetable garden can’t be far behind. I know some of you have already started planting things like peas, spinach, and other cold tolerant crops, and then some are still waiting for their soil to warm and dry out enough to be able to plant. If you have questions on gardening, please ask an expert for help.
The Northeast Livestock Exposition
Raised Bed Gardening Series
Northern New England Home, Garden, and Flower Show
Somerset County Soil & Water Conservation District
Discover Gorgeous Gardens!
If you’re a Maine resident, stop by (with ID) for free admission during Maine Days at the Gardens, 9:00-5:00 throughout Memorial Day weekend, May 25-27.
Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens is open daily year-round. The Gardens Gift Shop is now open for the season, and the Kitchen Garden Cafe opens May 1.
Emerald Ash Borer
Farm to School Meeting
2013-2014 New England Small Fruit Management Guide
Forest Hills School Second Grade Receives Grant to Grow!
Mrs. Achey has been active in the 5, 2, 1, 0 (five or more fresh fruits and vegetables, two hours or less of recreational screen time, one or more hour of physical activity, and zero sugary drinks) for over a year, bringing lots of healthy learning activities into her classroom. “Farmer Joe” (Joe Bergeron) has adopted the classroom and the students have enjoyed cooking lessons and lots of fresh produce grown in the library’s window.
To learn more about this project and farmer Joe, visit thelazyjway.com.
A big heart felt Thank You Goes out to Master Gardener Mark Sheriff and Wendy Sheriff, owners of Avalon Acres Farm & Orchard for hosting this years’ Apple Pruning Field Day. This event has become an annual right of spring held at their orchard in St. Albans. This year we had a great turnout for the event with 75 people attending, representing 5 counties (Somerset, Kennebec, Piscataquis, Penobscot, and Waldo). Information was shared on pruning, planting, grafting, and growing, along with a tour of the farm and fresh bake goodies and hot drinks on a very windy, cold, information-filled day. If you’re in the area, stop at Avalon Acres Farm and pick up some farm fresh fruits and vegetables.
Image Description: Farmer Joe with second graders at Forest Hill School
Image Description: Mark Sheriff demonstrating grafting process
Finally April is here! I’m hoping that the old saying, April showers bring the flowers that bloom in May, is going to apply. It would be really nice to see stable weather conditions without the extremes of unseasonable highs and lows. This is the time that gardeners are wondering when will the soil dry and become warm enough to work. Also now is the time most people are starting seeds or transplanting those that they started earlier. The University of Maine Cooperative Extension has many great gardening publications on our website, along with gardening videos, to help you with your up coming gardening adventures.
April is usually the month that gardeners and gardens start getting into full swing! Have fun and have a great gardening season!
While we are waiting for things to dry out, you may want to take in some of the upcoming gardening programs put on by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension or other gardening groups in the area. For more information on what’s going on from the University of Maine and others please visit the links below.
Master Gardener Alumni, Mark Sheriff and Family in collaboration with UMaine Extension, will be hosting an Apple Tree pruning and grafting field day at their Avalon Acres Orchard & Farm in St. Albans, Maine, on Saturday April 6 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Homeowners who are growing apple trees or who are planning on planting apple trees this spring are strongly encouraged to attend. The day will start with information about general planting and management practices for apple trees and then move into the orchard for a pruning and grafting demonstration. To register for this event, please call Tom Goodspeed at the UMaine Extension Somerset County office at 474.9622 or toll free in Maine at 1.800.287.1495. There is no cost to attend this event.
Directions to Avalon Acres Farm: From Newport, take Route 7 West toward Nokomis High School. Turn left on Williams Road. Go past High School, follow to end (5 miles). Turn left on Route 43 toward St. Albans. Go 3 miles, turn right onto Dexter Road. The farm is 1 1/2 miles on left.
From Skowhegan take Route 2 east to Route 23 (Hartland Road) into Hartland. Then turn right onto Route 43 east/ Corinna Road. Turn left onto Dexter Road. Farm is about 1 1/2 miles on left.
Learn more about Avalon Acres Farm & Orchards.
We invite you to experience Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens’ spectacular 250-acre landscape. The gardens and wild spaces are uniquely beautiful and always full of surprises, including 11,000 tulips in the spring!
If you’re a Maine resident, stop by (with ID) for free admission during Maine Days at the Gardens, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. throughout Memorial Day weekend, May 25-27. Check out their calendar for more information and a look at their “GROW” Program.
The mission of Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens is to protect, preserve, and enhance the botanical heritage and natural landscapes of coastal Maine for people of all ages through horticulture, education, and research.
The Somerset County Soil & Water District is now taking orders for their annual Trout Sale! The updated order form for 2013 is available on the Trout Sale section of their website or call 474-8324, ext. 3 with questions or for more information. Deadline for orders is May 10. Pickup day is Wednesday May 14. See order form for prices and more details.
A traditional rite of spring returns with a new name and a new look this year. Scheduled to take place from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., April 5-6 and from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., April 7, the garden show will be held at the Bangor Auditorium and Civic Center. Admission is $5; children under 12 are admitted free. Now known as the “BDN Maine Bangor Garden Show and Spring Fling,” the show will be presented by New England Home Health. Organizers promise there will be something for everyone. For more information visit Bangor Daily News website.
A day-long extravaganza of gardening workshops, food, along with a trade show. Over 30 workshops on topics ranging from permaculture, growing great tomatoes, and managing soil organic matter to increasing curb appeal with native plants. Preregistration is required by visiting the website or calling the UMaine Extension Oxford County office at 743.6329 to request a paper registration brochure.
This half-day workshop on growing fruit trees in Maine will focus on pruning and dealing with diseases and insect pests. It’s open to the general public — anyone who would like to learn more about the cultural requirements of fruit trees. The class will be taught by Renae Moran, UMaine Extension tree fruit specialist. The class will begin in the meeting room behind the barn. If weather permits, we will have a pruning demonstration in the orchard and a tour of the fruit tree research orchard. The workshop is free of charge, but please preregister by calling Renae Moran at 207.933.2100 or e-mail email@example.com. For more information on fruit trees, visit Cooperative Extension’s Tree Fruits website.
Image Description: 2012 Apple Tree Pruning Field Day.
Mainebiz interviewed Kathy Hopkins, a maple syrup educator with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, and Jenny Shrum, a doctoral biology and ecology student at the University of Maine, for the March 18 article “Maine syrup makers brace for widespread variability.” Hopkins spoke about the unusually warm seasons producers have been seeing in the past few years. She said despite the variability of the seasons, syrup production has been booming and state licenses for commercial production have increased. Shrum spoke about her research into how to better define what temperature rises and weather variability will mean for sap flow, as well as possible steps that could safeguard the state’s industry.
Marching into spring! Well, here we go! March 20th is, by the calendar, the official start of spring. We’ll have to wait to see what Mother Nature has to say about that! Mother Nature always seems to be the deciding factor when it comes to what and when we gardeners do. Hopefully, we will have one of those rare springs where the weather is ideal and we can get into the garden to implement all our long awaited plans.
So You Want to Farm in Maine is a farm business course for people who want to start a profitable farm or expand their farm hobby to a profitable business. This course will be offered in a series of eight webinars, from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., starting Thursday, March 7. Classes will be held on the Internet live and with an archived version that will be available shortly after the live session.
Topics will include selecting and evaluating a farm enterprise, writing a business plan, record keeping, market research, and much more. Cost of the webinar is free. Course texts can be purchased through the UMaine Extension publications online store:
For more information or to request a disability accommodation, call 564.3301 or 1.800.287.1491 (in Maine), or contact:
Donna Coffin, Extension Educator
165 East Main St.
207.564.3301 or 1.800.287.1491 (in Maine)
Master Gardener Alumni Mark Sheriff and family, in collaboration with UMaine Extension, will be hosting an apple tree pruning and grafting field day at Avalon Acres in St. Albans (234 Dexter Road) on Saturday, April 6 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Homeowners who are growing apple trees or who are planning on planting apple trees this spring are encouraged to attend. Please wear appropriate clothing and footwear, as we will be walking on uneven terrain. Registration is not required but would be appreciated so that we will have enough handouts. There is no charge for this program.
For more information and/or to let us know that you plan to attend, please contact Tom Goodspeed at the UMaine Extension Somerset County office at 474.9622 or toll free in Maine at 1.800.287.1945.
Directions to Avalon Acres Farm: From Newport, takes Rt. 7 West toward Nokomis High School. Turn left on Williams Road. Go past the high school, follow to end (5 miles). Turn left on Rt. 43 toward St. Albans. Go 3 miles, turn right onto Dexter Road. The farm is 1 ½ miles on left. Form Skowhegan, take Rt. 2 east to Rt. 150 (Hartland Road) into Hartland. Take right onto Rt. 23 to Dexter Road. Turn left onto Dexter Road. Farm is about 1 ½ miles on left.
Avena Botanicals herbalist and owner Deb Soule is hosting four talks about herbs to honor and raise funds in memory of Russell Libby. The speakers are donating their time, and all proceeds go directly to the Russell Libby Memorial Fund. Classes are by donation only, with suggested donations of $5 to $500. Pre-registration is encouraged but not required. For information and registration, call Avena Botanicals at 207.594.0694. For more information on upcoming events, see Maine Organic Farmers & Gardeners Association.
The date for the 20th Annual Maine Garden Day is April 6 at Lewiston High School. This event is a day filled with gardening workshops, educational displays, and a trade show. To register for this event, visit 20th Annual Maine Garden Day.
Join Maine’s maple producers to celebrate Maine Maple Sunday on March 24. This is the day when sugar makers around the state open the doors of their sugar-houses for the public to join them in their rites of spring: making maple syrup.
Most sugar-houses offer free tasting and live demonstrations of how syrup is produced from tap to table. Many offer a variety of other treats and activities, including syrup on pancakes or ice cream, sugar bush tours, sleigh or wagon rides, live music, and lots more. For more information and a map of sugar-house locations, please visit Maine Maple Producers.
Image Description: Apple pruning field day
So You Want to Farm in Maine is a farm business course for people who want to start a profitable farm or expand their farm hobby into a profitable business. This course will be offered in eight (8) evening webinars, from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., starting Thursday, March 7. Classes will be held on the Internet, live and with an archived version that will be available shortly after the live session.
Topics will include selecting and evaluating a farm enterprise, writing a business plan, record keeping, market research, and much more. The webinar is free. Course texts can be purchased from the UMaine Extension Publications Store.
Image Description: small red barn
February is the time when gardeners will be finalizing plans for their 2013 gardens and ordering seeds if they haven’t already done so. If you’re planning on starting onions or leeks from seed, you should be starting them soon. For other seedlings, follow the packet directions on when to start each variety indoors. Here at the UMaine Extension Somerset County office, things are picking up with gardening questions already coming in. We are also getting ready for the Master Gardener Class of 2013 that will be starting on March 4th and it looks like we are going to have a good group.
The Association of Official Seed Certifying Agencies (AOSCA) has put an organic seed finder on their website. The purpose is to bring together organic seed vendors and persons looking for organic seeds. They have a very diverse listing of field crop, fruits, and vegetable seeds, along with other organic seeds. To view the seed finder, go to the AOSCA website.
If you are working with a group or organization for your Master Gardener project, the following may be of interest to you. This year, projects may apply for up to $500 towards their Master Gardener Volunteer project. Applications are due March 1, 2013. The MGDB will review applications shortly after March 1 to make their decisions, so please be aware of the deadline. For an application, please contact Tom Goodspeed or Kathy Hopkins at the UMaine Extension Somerset County office. Phone: 207-474-9622 or 1-800-287-1495.
The public can support Master Gardener Volunteer projects by ordering a set of highbush blueberry plants, consisting of three young plants, two varieties per pack, for $35.95, and/or a pack of 10 asparagus crowns ready for planting in the spring for $15. Plants must be ordered by April 30 and will be available for pick up at UMaine Extension offices and at Highmoor Farm in Monmouth on Saturday, May 18th.
Purchasers will receive expert advice on growing blueberries and asparagus. “This is more than a plant sale. It is an educational experience with positive results,” says Richard Brzozowski, UMaine Extension educator in Cumberland County.
For more information, or to place an order, go to the Master Gardeners “Grow It Right! Benefit Plant Sale website.
Master Gardener Alumni Mark Sheriff and family, in collaboration with UMaine Extension, will be hosting an apple tree pruning and grafting field day at Avalon Acres in St. Albans (234 Dexter Rd.) on Saturday April 6th from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Homeowners who are growing apple trees or who are planning on planting apple trees this spring are encouraged to attend. Please wear appropriate footwear as we will be walking on uneven terrain. Registration is not required, but would be appreciated so that we will have enough handouts. There is no charge for this program.
For more information and/or to let us know you plan on attending, please contact Tom Goodspeed at the UMaine Extension Somerset County office at 474-9622 or toll free in Maine at 1-800-287-1945.
The University of Maine Cooperative in Somerset County is pleased to again offer its popular Master Gardener program in the Spring and Fall of 2013. This year the course will be run in a split session format with the first session starting on March 4 through May 6. The second session will begin on September 9 and continue until October 7. The course will feature an online manual that requires a reliable internet connection. Please contact the extension office if you do not have reliable internet access. Participants in the Master Gardener program will receive fifteen 3-hour training sessions on gardening. The 2013 program will focus on ornamental horticulture, ecological landscaping, and volunteerism. The program will be held on Monday mornings from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., beginning March 4 at the UMaine Extension Somerset County office on Norridgewock Avenue in Skowhegan. For more information or to request an application, please call the UMaine Extension Somerset County office at 474-9622 or 1-800-287-1495 (toll free in Maine). Applications are due on February 15, 2013.
The school will be held on Tuesday, March 12 at Seasons Conference Center in Portland and on Wednesday, March 13 at the Bangor Motor Inn.
- Storage Crops and Post Harvest Considerations
- Determining Your Storage Needs and Designing a Solution
- Produce Cooling and Storage by Design at Laughingstock Farm
- Storing Vegetables at Checkerberry Farm
- Marketing Winter Crops at Six River Farm
- Spotted Wing Drosophila Quiz
- A Virtual Visit to Jordan’s Farm
- Marketing to Your Community at Jordan’s Farm
- Should Strawberries be on Your Menu?
- Using Compost: The Good, Bad and Ugly
- New Pest Update: Spotted Wing Drosophila, Stink Bugs, Cutworms, Borers, and Moths
More information is posted on the Highmoor Farm website.
Please, register by February 25. The cost is $35.00 and includes lunch. Participants may receive 1 Pesticide Applicator recertification credit, and Certified Crop Advisors may earn 5 recertification credits.
Looking for garden-related activities to attend this time of year? The Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay has something to interest gardeners of all ages. A schedule of planned events for 2013 is now listed on Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens website. This year’s theme of “Trees, Timbers and Traditions” encompasses the many facets of trees and their multitude of uses. Look for the simple tree icon that will mark theme-related programs, events, exhibits, and activities.
Kathy and I wish to say thank you to all of you who attended the Master Gardener potluck dinner held on January the 28. We are in hopes of making this an annual event. We had approximately 16 people in attendance with some great homemade dishes for dinner. We gave out 1-year pins to all those in attendance who had reached their 20 hours of volunteer time, need for re-certification as Master Gardeners, and new name tags for those who were in the 2012 class that had completed their 40 hours of volunteering. A presentation on pollinators was given by Master Gardener & Somerset County Bee Keeper President Samantha Burns. A good time was had by all!
Below are seven of our Master Gardeners who earned their re-certification and were in attendance to receive pins for volunteer efforts in 2012. Thank you all!
Image Description: Master Gardener Volunteers
DOVER-FOXCROFT: Enjoy the spring tradition and learn to safely tap maple trees and make maple syrup in your backyard from Kathy Hopkins in the next workshop in the YOU CAN series to be held, Thursday, February 28th from 1:0 0 pm to 3:00 pm at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Piscataquis County Office at 165 East Main St., Dover-Foxcroft, ME 04426.
Even though times are tough, YOU CAN sustain your family! The Piscataquis Valley Adult Education Cooperative and the University of Maine Cooperative Extension have put together a series of workshops that will give you the skills to get started in self-sufficiency.
The cost of this workshop is $5 and you can register through PVAEC, 48 Morton Ave., Suite M, Dover-Foxcroft, ME 04426 or call 564-6525 or register online at http://bit.ly/pyoucan.
Kathy Hopkins is the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Educator in Somerset County for 20 years. Her area of expertise includes sustainable agriculture, home horticulture and natural resources. She currently serves as a statewide resource for the Maine maple syrup industry. She coordinates maple trainings, workshops and has prepared a fact sheet on maple syrup production for backyard producers as well as a quality control manual for commercial industry.
For more information or to request a disability accommodation, call 564-3301 or in Maine 1-800-287-1491.
About University of Maine Cooperative Extension:
As a trusted resource for almost 100 years, University of Maine Cooperative Extension has supported UMaine’s land and sea grant public education role by conducting community-driven, research-based programs in every Maine county.
UMaine Extension helps support, sustain and grow the food-based economy. It is the only entity in our state that touches every aspect of the Maine Food System, where policy, research, production, processing, commerce, nutrition, and food security and safety are integral and interrelated. UMaine Extension also conducts the most successful out-of-school youth educational program in Maine through 4-H.
Image Description: buckets on maple trees collect sap
Hi, Everyone, and Happy New Year! The year 2013 holds tons of promise for those of us who are to thumbing through the stacks of new seed catalogs that have found their way into our mailboxes. At this time of year my garden always looks the best with the least amount of effort, as I look at the pictures in the seed catalog and decide where on my garden plan I can put my new selections for my 2013 garden. It is only after having my better half check out the plan that I am brought back to reality and the fact that we don’t really have the space to grow an extra 20 tomato plants or another 30 feet for the latest onions. Oh! Where am I going to put another variety of sweet corn? It’s fun to dream. But after the dreaming is done, the real planning begins. If this is going to be your first garden, you may be wondering where to start. The following items may hold some answers to your questions.
Choosing the right varieties of vegetables to grow is an important part of successful gardening. Decide on vegetables that you enjoy eating and then on how much space you can devote to each. For information on which vegetables grow in Maine, check out Vegetable Varieties for Maine Gardens.
If you’re having trouble understanding the soil test you received back from your sample you sent in, then visit the Maine Soil Testing Service website and check out “Interpreting Soil Test Results for Gardens & Grounds.”
If you haven’t done a soil test yet, Bulletin #2286 Testing Your Soil will explain the benefits of testing your soil. Now through March 31, 2013 you can have your soil tested at a reduced price of $12.00 for the basic test!
Learn what to do in Bulletin #2751, Starting Seeds at Home.
If you recently decided to scale back your garden or just want to try something new, raised beds may be an option you should look into. You may also want to try making a square foot garden. In combination, both methods have many advantages and more information can be found in Bulletin #2761, Gardening in Small Spaces.
The Maine Forest Service has posted their latest conditions report. They have issued an alert on the invasive geometrid winter moth (Operophtera brumata), which has been found in the two coastal Maine communities of Harpswell and Vinalhaven. In addition, reports have come in of moths in flight in Cape Elizabeth on December 2-3. Please send reports of moths flying: in unusual numbers, in other communities, in December or January. If you can also catch some of the moths, put them in a zip-lock bag and mail them to:
Charlene Donahue Forest Entomologist
Insect & Disease Laboratory
168 State House Station -50 Hospital St.
David T. Handley, UMaine Extension Vegetable and Small Fruit Specialist, and the folks at Highmoor Farm have released the Spotted Wing Drosophila 2012 Season Summary for Maine Berry Growers. This pest should be of concern to all who grow soft fruits in Maine.
From Maine to Mumbai, Kitchen Gardeners International (KGI) works with a wide variety of partner groups that share an interest in and commitment to helping more people grow more of their own healthy food. These groups include school gardens, community gardens, garden clubs, organic farming associations, food pantries, churches, and other groups interested in achieving greater levels of health and food security in their communities via kitchen gardens. A message from KGI:
Thanks to a windfall of generosity on the part of garden companies, we find ourselves up to our ears in seeds and supplies looking for a good home. We are currently accepting grant applications via a new program called “Sow it forward!” to insure that they fall into worthy hands. As part of this program, we’re offering grants of seeds, supplies, online garden planners, books, small grants, and solidarity to nonprofit causes launching new garden projects or scaling up existing programs. At KGI, we see seeds and kitchen gardens as the gifts that keep giving and as part of the partnership; grantees will be asked to “sow forward” their grants within their communities so that others might share the benefits of healthy, homegrown foods. For more information or to apply, please go to the Kitchen Gardeners International.
If you’re handy, like watching wildlife, and would like something relaxing to do this winter while at the same time providing a home for wildlife, then the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife website has some very easy plans for the homeowner to build items to entice birds and such to their yards. For the plans, visit Living with Wildlife.
UMaine Extension and the Maine Poultry Growers Association are inviting Maine poultry keepers to submit photos and descriptions of their poultry coops for consideration in the contest. For details on the contest, see Statewide Photo Contest Will Highlight the Finest Poultry Coops.
The 72nd Agricultural Trade Show will be held at the Augusta Civic Center on January 8-10, 2013. Admission is FREE! This show provides an atmosphere to walk through, observe, and educate the public about different areas of agriculture.
Tuesday, January 8, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Wednesday, January 9, 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Thursday, January 10, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
For more information, visit the 2013 Maine Agricultural Trade Show website.
If you’re always interested in learning about gardening, but can’t get out to take a class or course, this webinar series may be just what you’re looking for. The USDA promotes growing healthy food, people, and communities. It encourages USDA employees and communities to plant gardens because the simple act of planting a garden can make a neighborhood a healthier place to live, work, and play, while addressing issues such as hunger and the environment. USDA is excited to offer their Fall Webinar Series for a second time. This year’s sessions will provide practical gardening advice on such topics as seed saving, gardening with native plants, composting, volunteers, and school gardens. For more information, please visit The Peoples Garden Initiative.
If you’ve thought about how much fun it would be to raise your own bees for their honey or to pollinate your flower garden, fruit trees, and vegetable gardens, but just didn’t know how to get started, then this event is for you!
Tuesday evenings from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (registration will take place between 6:00 and 6:30 on February 19), starting February 19 to March 19 with a (snow date of March 26).
Where: Somerset County Extension Office, 7 County Drive, Skowhegan, ME 04976
Cost: The course fee is $40 per person/couple and includes a 1 year membership with the Somerset Beekeepers, as well as the course manual, Beekeeping Basics.
Preregistration is preferred so that adequate course materials may be provided. A postponement notice will be announced by 3:00 p.m. on the day of the session if needed.
Instructor: Samantha Burns
Contact: Questions about the course may be addressed to Samantha Burns, firstname.lastname@example.org or 207-696-4906.