For those already getting that gardening itch, University of Nevada, Reno Extension is ready to help you dive in. This Friday and Saturday, Extension’s Master Gardeners will be offering seed swaps in Reno, Sparks and Gardnerville for local gardeners looking to swap some of their seeds with fellow gardeners. Then, on Feb. 13, Extension kicks off its “Gardening in Nevada: The Bartley Ranch Series” weekly workshops in Reno to help both new and experienced gardeners hone their gardening skills.
For the seed swaps, local gardeners can feel free to bring in labeled seeds to share with others. The Master Gardener seed swaps include:
- In Reno-Sparks, Friday, Jan. 26, 3 – 6 p.m., at the Duncan Trainer Library, 1650 Carville Drive, Reno; and Saturday, Jan. 27, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., at the Sparks Library, 1125 12th St., Sparks. Master Gardeners will be available to answer questions on gardening, seed starting and more. Contact Extension Washoe County Master Gardener Coordinator Rachel McClure with questions.
- In Gardnerville, Saturday, Jan. 27, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., at the Douglas County Community & Senior Center, 1329 Waterloo Lane, Gardnerville. In addition to seeds, local gardeners can bring in clean planting pots and healthy houseplants to share. Contact Extension Douglas County Master Gardener Coordinator Jessica Gardner with questions.
Gardening in Nevada workshops
Led by Extension and their certified Master Gardeners and offered in partnership with Washoe County Regional Parks and Open Space, these classes are free and run 6 – 8 p.m., every Tuesday, Feb. 13 – March 26, at Bartley Ranch Regional Park, 6000 Bartley Ranch Road in Reno.
“From patio and balcony spaces to those with small or large yards, these classes are great for anyone who wants to learn from experienced Master Gardeners, who live, grow and harvest in our northern Nevada area,” Rachel McClure, Master Gardener coordinator for Extension in Washoe County, said.
All classes are taught by certified Extension Master Gardener volunteers. Classes are free, but the Master Gardeners ask those attending to consider bringing a canned food item for the Food Bank of Northern Nevada and to register online for each class they plan to attend. Classes include:
- Feb. 13: Fruit Tree Selection – Michael Janik will discuss fruit tree needs during all seasons in northern Nevada, including soil, chill hours, watering and pest control. He will list suggested fruit varieties he has grown and varieties he is growing now to determine suitability for our climate.
- Feb. 20: Vertebrate Pests – Melody Hefner will share knowledge on management of a variety of local vertebrate pests, including mice, ground squirrels, rabbits and more. Learn strategies to control these pests and prevent future infestations.
- Feb. 27: Gardening in Small Spaces – Liz Morrow will introduce ideas and methods for gardening in small spaces to enable gardeners to enjoy a variety of plants, both edible or ornamental, whether living in a condominium or apartment, traveling in an RV, or living in other spaces with limited growing areas.
- March 5: Shade Gardening – Anna Anderson and Leslie Edgington will discuss shade plants, some of which are the first to break through the soil in late winter and early spring, and then continue to grow and bloom until the first hard freeze. They will also discuss the plant blooms, which attract pollinators and hummingbirds.
- March 12: Turf Alternatives – Carol Lister, Jill Strawder-Bubala and Karen Seaward will discuss how to let go of your grass. They will talk about why it might be time for lawn lovers to make a switch, and will explore the best times and ways to tackle removing lawns, as well as options of what to plant in place of grass.
- March 19: Totally Tomatoes – Beth Heggeness and Deborah Whitehouse will about tomatoes, from pests to zest, including selection, growing seedlings, planting and feeding.
- March 26: Successful Vegetable Gardening – Randy Robison will give information on how to have the most successful vegetable gardens, including information on amending the soil to help plants thrive, the importance of crop rotation, strategies to increase yields, companion planting benefits and how to discourage unwanted pests.
Those with questions about the Gardening in Nevada workshops should contact McClure. Persons planning to attend a session who may need special accommodations or assistance should contact Paul Lessick, civil rights and compliance coordinator, at 702-257-5577 at least five days prior to the scheduled event with their needs or for more information.
Those with gardening questions may also contact the Master Gardeners at 775-784-4848, or visit the Master Gardener help desk at the Extension office in Reno at 4955 Energy Way, 10 a.m. – 2 pm., Tuesdays – Thursdays.