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WSU Master Gardener Volunteer Week

2018 Master Gardener Volunteer Week

Congratulations WSU Master Gardeners!

Governor Jay Inslee proclaimed September 22 – 28, 2019, as Washington State University Master Gardener Volunteer Week. The Governor commended WSU Master Gardeners for being the model of service emulated in all fifty states and numerous foreign countries. The program, founded by WSU, has been in place since 1973. He asked all citizens to join him in this special observance.

Read the Governor’s proclamation.

Vision, Mission and Values

The WSU Master Gardener program has recently reviewed and revised its Vision and Mission and developed values that are important to our program.

  • Our vision describes where we want to be in 10 years.
  • Our mission describes who we are, what we do and the value our work provides to the communities we serve.
  • Our values describe attributes, traits and behaviors that are important to the WSU Master Gardener program.

When considering long term projects, short term goals and daily tasks, use our vision, mission and values statements to guide your decision making. Ask yourself, how does this project help achieve our vision; how does the task I am working on right now align with our vision and mission; how do my behaviors and the things that are important to me align with our program’s values? Be certain that everything you do helps to achieve our vision, maintains our mission and aligns with our values to help lead our program into the next decade.

Read the WSU MG Vision Statement

Fasciation

Fasciated CelosiaSome of the most popular new variations of recent plants are mutations that cause the stem and other plant parts to grow wide and flats. Also, shoots can appear to be composed of several fused parts, flattened, elongated or misshapen flower heads with numerous flowers. This is called fasciation.

Fasciation can occur in just about any kind of plant. Everything from weeds to trees will produce this unusual growth given the right circumstances. Gardeners who love oddball plants have propagated some of these rarities. Grafting or cutting propagation is the usual means by which horticulturists propagate fasciated plants. Fasciation is especially common in cacti and succulents, but willows, cockscomb and foxgloves also frequently show this abnormality. Continue Reading »

Mason Bee Habitat Measurements

See additional resources at the bottom of this post.

From 3/8th inch Plywood – “Cut and Assemble

2 ea 9X8           Sides

1 ea 12X8         Back

1 ea 12X13       Top

1 ea 9X13         Bottom

This “box” will hold “six – ½ gal plastic milk cartons (just cut off the top, making a six inch plastic container)”.  This box will hold about 450 “Roll Your Own” paper Nesting Tubes, enough for about 4000, “Pollinating Bees”.  These Mason Bees pollinate your trees, March-May/June – when nothing else is out to pollinate.  They only live about 100 days, then die, but have laid their eggs for next year’s crop. Continue Reading »

Propagation Notes

Dividing dahlia tubers

Photo Credit: F D Richards

 

 

Spring is a good time to divide established plants, and many herbaceous perennials need to be divided every few years anyway to stay healthy.

Plan to dig on a cool morning, preferably one with cloud cover – not too hard around here.  Continue Reading »

Watch your garden investment grow with trees

Garden investment grown with trees
Trees may not live forever, but they usually outlive the gardener who plants one to leave a lasting heritage. Think carefully about not only the kind of tree you select but also where you put it in the garden.

Along with the hardscape — paths, terraces, fences and garden shelters — trees form the bones of the garden. One of their most important functions is to give scale to a design; they provide the over-story. A mix of trees, shrubs and low plants fosters a plant community that lends richness to our gardens.

Continue Reading »

The Garden in Autumn

Planting fava beans at Shorewood High School Culinary Arts Garden – a Youth Education Garden in Shoreline, Washington.

Gardening is a year-round activity in western Washington. That may be a bane or a blessing, depending on your perspective.  The garden year doesn’t end when we pick the last tomato at the end of summer. This quarterly feature will highlight what’s going on in gardens in King County. Our gardens can be productive year-round, yielding vegetables and herbs well into fall and through the winter. During October, November, and December we harvest remaining summer produce, clean up the yard and garden to prepare for winter, and plant cool-weather and cover crops for winter and spring.

Continue Reading »

Blue Orchard Bees Mason Bees!

Pollination of food crops is essential to society, for without this pollination service, most fruits, nuts and other foods would simply disappear off our dinner tables.  Today, the world depends on a variety of pollinators to perform this task from a variety of sources: Honeybees and a number of other insects – and the hard working Mason Bee. [Originally posted June 2011]

 

Continue Reading »

Will My Tree Blow Over?

It’s not unusual to find an assortment of large trees in residential landscapes throughout our coastal region.  Many of these trees are native to the area and undoubtedly not much thought was given to their eventual size when they were planted. As a result, towering one-hundred foot plus Douglas firs, Western Red Cedars and gigantic big leaf maples along with other tree species often dominate the garden landscape.  With meteorologists predicting a stormy winter, the question is often asked, just how safe are these huge trees?  Is there a chance they could lose major branches or even blow over?
Continue Reading »

Pinyuh Memorial Cactus Bed Dedication July 18

Dedication Plaque at Pinyuh Cactus Bed in Bellevue Demonstration Garden

Dedication Plaque for Pinyuh Cactus Bed

George Pinyuh was the WSU Regional Extension Agent for Urban and Suburban Horticulture for both King and Pierce County from July 1976 until 1994. He was involved in founding the King County Master Gardeners Bellevue Urban Demonstration Garden, better known as “the Demo Garden.” George and Larry Davis designed and planted a small cactus bed on the west slope of the Demo Garden. After George’s death in 2013, Larry, along with others who had worked with George in the Demo Garden, decided to do something meaningful in his memory at the Demo Garden. The George Pinyuh Memorial Cactus Bed at Bellevue Demonstration Garden was dedicated Saturday, July 18, at the site of the garden.

Read more about the history of the George Pinyuh Memorial Cactus Bed.

Worms In Your Raspberries?


This year that little worm may be the larvae for the Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) (aka Cherry Vinegar fly). The fly has been known to the area since 2009, and is common in many areas around the country now. The SWD attacks cherries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, plums, grapes and nectarines. Breeding sites are found where there is overripe or fallen fruit. Fruits become infected near harvest time (that’s blueberries and raspberries now).

Find out more about SWD in the WSU Factsheet FS049E. WSU also has information about damage, monitoring and management in their Orchard Pest Management pages.

See videos for Spotted Wing Drosophila on the Oregon State University site.




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