Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

March 15, 2012
Learn to garden effectively at weekend expo

It’s time to garden. Well, almost. But it is time to make your plans and get ready for it. Do you wonder sometimes if there is a better way out there to grow a garden, or if some new techniques might make the job easier?

If so, you are not alone. The recent recession and the accompanying increase in food prices caused a resurgence of interest in gardening. Many people who have never grown a garden have decided to try their hand at it and many others who have let the practice slip have dug through the garage to find their shovels and hoes to get back to the earth.

Flower gardens are just as popular as vegetable gardens. Creating a lovely colorful garden in your little corner of the world is very satisfying. It is a place you can go to enjoy some peace and serenity if you choose, and it makes your place a little more attractive.

There could be some gardening tips you don’t yet know and now is a great time to learn from the experts at the Tooele County Advanced Master Gardeners Spring Gardening Expo on March 17 at 10 a.m. at the Tooele County Extension Office, 151 N. Main Street in Tooele. The expo features a series of hour-long presentations on garden planning and planting. For $5 to cover the cost of handouts and about four hours, you can learn the how-tos of gardening from some garden experts.

If growing food is your area of focus, you can find some help in choosing and growing vegetables or herbs. It is hard to beat the flavor of freshly harvested home-grown garden vegetables. That trip from the garden to the table is brief and the rewards for brevity are sweeter flavor, better texture and a great look. Tooele Master Gardener Louise Hulet will teach a class on growing vegetables at 10 a.m.

At that same time, Janeen Pond, a master gardener from Stansbury Park, will show you how to grow your own herbs. Fresh herbs have always been an asset in good cooking, and growing your own can save you a good deal of cash. You can find a few fresh herbs at the grocery store and you can certainly find plenty of dried and preserved ones on their spice racks. Both can be pretty pricy. You can grow your own for tasty eating and add some attractive plants to put interest into your garden at the same time.

At 11 a.m., Pat Jesse, a master gardener from Stansbury Park, will share her expertise on the ins and outs of caring for roses. The rose lives up to its reputation as the queen of flowers and they are popular garden plants throughout Tooele County. Get help in choosing them, putting them into the ground and caring for them to keep them at their best so you can enjoy them throughout the growing season.

If you live in a home with a small yard or simply choose to have a small garden, square foot gardening might be just the thing for you. Erda resident Jay Cooper will teach classes on square foot gardening — an intensive method of growing a good crop of vegetables in a small area. The method involves preparing a small area of soil and allocating small sections for various plants of your choosing and then taking proper care in order to increase yields.

There is nothing quite like a bed of annuals to create a colorful flowerbed. Annual flowers must be replaced yearly, with renewed expense to do it, but that isn’t all bad. Annuals lend themselves to change. What you did last year ended last year and you have the option to change everything for a brand new look. You also have the ability to control difficult weeds and prepare the soil between crops.

At noon, Holly Christley, a master gardener from Erda, will give tips on growing annual flower beds and on how to find new and exciting annuals so that you don’t have a garden that is just the same old thing every year.

Wayne Lowry, a master gardener from Tooele, has been growing ample tomato crops as he tinkers in his backyard garden for many years. That garden he tinkers in has been so much fun that for a number of years it expanded beyond the bounds of his backyard. Come to Growing Tomatoes 101 at noon to find out about some of the best varieties for our area and how to take care of them for optimum performance.

At 1 p.m. everyone can meet together to listen to the keynote speaker, Steve Eyring of Suncatcher Greenhouses. He will explain ways to plant early and grow later. His equipment and methods of growing help gardeners of various skill levels start their gardens earlier and enjoy them long after the usual growing season.

Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. Saturday morning. For more information, call 227-2409.

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