Monday, October 12, 2009

Garden News

Heather Glass harvests her garden, September 2009, Putnam photo
Annual South Idaho Garden SymposiumTeaches “Going Green”
by Marlene Fritz, University of Idaho

TWIN FALLS, Idaho—Do you want to “go green” in your garden next year—or are you already experimenting with environmentally “soft” techniques and need tips on maximizing their impacts? On Nov. 14, University of Idaho Extension will host its fourth annual South Idaho Garden Symposium, “Going Green in the Garden,” at the College of Southern Idaho’s Herrett Center for Arts and Science. Cost is $25 until Nov. 6 and $30 at the door, space permitting.

“Although a lot of people don’t know what ‘green’ means, it’s not really new in the garden,” said Jo Ann Robbins, University of Idaho Extension educator in Jerome County. “It’s one step beyond traditional low-maintenance, low-input gardens towards an increased focus on water protection, sustainability and self-cycling.” Interest in green gardening is building along with Americans’ inclination to save more and forgo unnecessary expenses, Robbins said.

“People are looking at their lifestyle differently, and a green garden tends to be economical as well as attractive.” Organized by the Magic Valley and Mini-Cassia Master Gardener Associations, the program includes presentations by University of Idaho Extension faculty in horticulture, entomology and plant pathology as well as local nursery and landscape professionals.

Participants will learn how to:
· Apply the concepts of a green garden and become better stewards
· Control garden problems organically with commercially available soft garden chemicals
· Use beneficial insects,and best management practices to create insect-friendly yards
· Use good cultural and management practices—including the newest biological controls
· Use irrigation equipment efficiently and effectively
· Complete their green gardens with new and old favorite native plants

The event includes a silent auction, door prizes and seed exchange. It begins with registration at 8 a.m., breaks at noon for a sandwich-and-salad buffet and concludes at 3:30 p.m. For more information, contact Shari Wright at (208) 320-3975, Kathie Stewart at (208) 735-5396 or Gene Holm at (208) 436-8989. To download a registration form, go to and click on Upcoming Events for Gardening.

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