Master Gardener Class – February 13

February 14th, 2014 1:56 PM

Hi All,

Thank you all for coming to class yesterday and going home in the beginnings of light snow which quickly changed later to heavy. I hope everyone got home safe and sound, and for those of you who stayed home you made the right choice.

Here is the Herb Planting Medium Recipe from Amy Witt:
  • 2 parts sterilized potting soil
  • 1 part coarse sand or perlite
  • 1 teaspoon of lime per 5″ pot

Winter Greens Field Trip – February 20 Class

Meet at the farm at 9:00 AM, please commute with fellow MGs who live nearby if you can.

Location: Winter Cherry Farm – 205 River Road, Biddeford Maine. The farm is down a dirt drive, park down by the barn or along the driveway if there is room. Dress for the Outdoors.

Brent Peters of Winter Cherry Farm has been growing winter greens on his small farm for the past 5 years. He now has 7 small moveable greenhouse which he uses to grow winter greens and then rotates them to a spring and then summer location for other crops. Each house moves (crop rotates) 3 times a year. These are low tech inexpensive designs that are sure to spark your interest. Cooperative Extension has a bender for bending electrical conduit pipe which can be used to make your own design.


Winter Greens Moveable Greenhouse Is a design we made for our workshop at Laudholm Farm last Fall. Take a look and remember you can borrow our bender and some advice if you decide to build one. 

A Garden For All Seasons - Article written by Maine’s Eliot Coleman in 2000, covers all the basics for planting, maintaining and feasting on winter greens


Quiz 3 – Herbs and Botany Part I (word)

Quiz 3 – Herbs and Botany Part I (pdf)


Master Gardener Class – February 6

February 7th, 2014 11:50 AM

Good job yesterday getting through the two weeks of soils classes and readings. Now it’s on to Botany and Herbs Next Week!

Homework for Next Week

Web Soil Survey

Use this website: Web Soil Survey

This is a bit of a challenge task as it web-based, please have fun with it and do the best you can!

Choose any area you wish to learn about – your home and garden, a nearby farm or any other land.

  • Initiate the survey by going to the address line and type in the address of your farm or a farm you would like to know more about. Hint: If the town is a subset of another town like Lyman is of Alfred, you may have to type in Alfred to get the farm located.
  • Click “View” after you type in the address and that will take you to a big map.
  • Use the 5-sided tool called AOI (area of interest) at the top of the web page. Click carefully, one click at a time to outline the field(s) you wish to know more about. If you make a mistake, which is easy to do, use the arrow key to go back – it takes a few seconds.
  • Now you should get a map with an area of blue lines drawn around the field(s) you highlighted.
  • Next click on the tab called Soil Data Explorer. You will get a map with codes for the soil type(s) on the map.
  • Now click on the tab called Shopping Cart (Free). Then hit Check Out and then Get Now. This will generate a multiple page document.

Once you generate a report that show’s the soil types for the area you are researching, please view this table where you can get more information on each soil classification:

York County Soil and Cropland Interpretations

You may wish to save this as a PDF file. Then you could save it to your computer and share the report via e-mail or any way you choose.

Have fun with it, and if you get stuck, feel free to give me or Sue a call and we can work on it with you.

Readings for this week


Visit this Penn State Herb link  and this Herb Society Beginners Herb Guide (PDF) you don’t have to read about every herb, but browse these two links and familiarize yourself with herbs that interest you.


In your manual’s Botany Chapter please review the sections on:

How Plants Grow: This section is extensive, you are not expected to read it all this week. Please review each section quickly to familiarize yourself with the resources there, then go back and read the sections that interest you most.

Also familiarize yourself with this UConn Plant Data Base – try searching by both Latin and Common names. Look up some of your favorite ornamental trees, shrubs or vines.

Please review this fact sheet: How Plants are Named


Quiz 2 – (word)

Quiz 2 – (pdf)

See you Thursday morning for our class on Botany Part I and Growing Herbs in Maine!


Master Gardener Class – January 30, 2014

January 31st, 2014 1:57 PM

Hi All,

I thought we had a great class yesterday and that we are off to a good start on soils.  Next week (February 6) we will continue with our soils learning and focus on Nutrients for Plant Growth, Cover Cropping, Soil Testing and the Web Soil Survey to learn about soils close to you. We will also spend the last section of our class on Home Composting.

Homework – Readings For This Week

Please re-read:

Chapter 2, Organic Matter: What It Is And Why It Is So Important (Pages 9-21) in Building Soils for better Crops

Soil and Plant Nutrition a Gardeners Perspective

Measurement Conversion Chart and pH Preference Table (pdf)

Measurement Conversion Chart and pH Preference Table (pdf)

New readings for this week

Using Green Manures – MOFGA Fact Sheet

How Compost Happens 

Home Composting 


Quiz 1 (Orientation, Seed Starting, Soils I., Worm Compost). (word)

Quiz 1 (Orientation, Seed Starting, Soils I., Worm Compost). (pdf)

Master Gardener Class – January 23, 2014

January 24th, 2014 3:12 PM

Welcome Master Gardener Class of 2014!

It was a pleasure to meet you all in our first class yesterday and to hear from you about your knowledge and passion for programs and sharing information.

I am sorry that we ran a bit short on time with the seed starting presentation. I plan to begin next weeks class with questions and to go over the seed starting chart and how to make newspaper pots before we start our soils part I class and worm composting. 

Here is a YouTube Video on building the stand I did a few years back:

Plans for Building the Wood Seed Starting Stand (word)

Plans for Building the Wood Seed Starting Stand (pdf)

PVC Seed Starting Stand (word)

PVC Seed Starting Stand (pdf)

Homework and Manual

Each week I will post the readings for the upcoming class. Much of this will come from the online manual. Here is a link to it, you may wish to bookmark this page:

Master Gardener Online Manual

Soils Homework:

Please read Chapter 1 Healthy Soils and Chapter 2, Organic Matter: What It Is And Why It Is So Important in Building Soils for better Crops

Familiarize yourself with the Soils Chapter of your Online Manual and in particular review:

Soil and Plant Nutrition a Gardeners Perspective

Soil Organic Matter

Measurement Conversion Chart and pH Preference Table (pdf)

Worm Compost Readings

A couple of worm composting fact sheets to review in advance of our next class:

Composting with Worms (Word)
Composting with Worm (PDF)
Worm Composting (Word)
Worm Composting (PDF)

That’s enough for week 1, see you Thursday!

Free Money Sense Newsletter and Save Money website

August 23rd, 2013 4:03 PM

Money Sense is the University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s free newsletter is for individuals and families who are interested in knowing ways to save more and spend less. Eash issue contains information, tips, tools and suggestions on how to reduce your debt and make better spending choices.

The newsletter is mailed to you electronically every two months. If you do not have email, we can mail it to you. You can check out past issues at

If you would like to be added to the mailing list, contact us at 207-582-3739 or 800-287-0274 or email  If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Jane Conroy at

We invite you to check out other money-saving resources at our Save Money, Spend Less website at Here you’ll find advice on money management topics from holiday shopping tips, to saving money on food, planning a home budget, and more.

Late Blight Alert and Resources

July 10th, 2012 1:07 PM

Late Blight Resources: University of Maine Cooperative Extension Late Blight Resources 

Late Blight in Maine

Late blight has just been reported in potato plantings in coastal Maine (Woolwich) and an outbreak was reported in Penobscot County says Dr. Jim Dill, UMaine Extension Pest Management Specialist. Conditions for the development of late blight have been very good in Maine and growers should be on the alert to catch any early symptoms on their plants and be ready to apply appropriate control measures. Typical symptoms will be water-soaked lesions on the leaves with fine, white cottony mycelium on the undersides. Infections on the stems appear as dark, almost black lesions. For photos of the symptoms, go to UMaine Extension IPM Photo Gallery - Late Blight 

Late blight spores can travel over 40 miles under the right conditions (wet and warm) and the spread can be very fast. We are encouraging all growers to carefully and regularly inspect their plants for this disease. Please report any suspicious symptoms to the UMaine Extension Pest Management Office at 207-581-3883 or 1-800-287-0279 (in Maine) or e-mail

Samples can be sent to:
Pest Management Office
491 College Avenue
Orono, ME 04473-0279

Samples should be sent in a sealed plastic bag with a dry paper towel to keep them fresh. For the latest control options available for late blight on tomatoes, check out the University of New Hampshire Extension’s fungicide table (PDF).

Future of Farming in Maine

March 20th, 2012 1:06 PM

What will agriculture look like in Maine by 2025?  Are Maine farmers optimistic about the future? What changes are happening on farms to adjust to changing weather and energy prices? 

University of Maine Cooperative Extension researchers, led by Extension’s John Jemison, asked 199 Maine farmers these questions and many more during 15 focus group sessions held during 2011. The answers are enlightening and indicate what’s currently working well, what needs to change, and what the future looks like for farming in Maine.  See a two-page summary of the findings:

Assessing Maine’s Agricultural Future – 2025