New Master Gardener Students Get Instruction on Blueberry Management and Pruning

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Dan Eiser held a blueberry management and pruning class for the Master Gardener class last Saturday at the Extension office. He was a wealth of information. Come by and check out the great pruning job.

New MG Students Get Instruction on Seed Planting and Greenhouse Operations

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Master Gardener students were educated on seed planting and greenhouse operations this week during class. Wendel Smith told of the mechanisms and management of the greenhouse while Julia Meade demonstrated seed starting. Seeds are now being started for the plant sale which will be held April 29th.

2016 Middle Tennesse District Fair Booth

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“A County Fair Picnic” is our theme this year for the 2016 Middle District Fair in Lawrenceburg. Our theme is set on a grassy picnic area with three vignettes: one with a wagon and picnic blanket, a bicycle and picnic blanket feast, and the other with the typical fair entries and awards.

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The vintage bicycle, donated by Old School Antiques, was dressed up with a picnic basket and blanket to give it a nostalgic look. Our wagon was dressed up with blanket rolls and products from Pick Tennessee Products. Each picnic blanket vignette on the grass had their own feast. A croquet set is there for its picnickers and a homemade kite flies above the picnic area.

We teamed up with Pick Tennessee Products to display their products and our plants. Thank you, Maria Santini, for connecting us with them. This is the third year we’ve been helping with their booth and we enjoy it so much!

Set up was a real joy. Thank you to our team members, Joyanna & Jill Mathenia, Sandi Pettus, Marie Brenan, Muriel Ross, Jessica Aaron, Leonard & Shirley Lemay, and Eric & Michelle Lewis for making it such a big success!

Photos were taken by Sandi Pettus.

Plant Sale was a Sunny Event

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Even though there was the threat of rain in our forecast, the weather turned out nice and we were able to have a successful plant sale.

Three tents helped create defined spaces for our perennials, annuals and herbs.

We had a nice turnout for our three bee themed presentations: “Life of the Honey Bee”, “Extracting Honey” and “Cooking with Honey”.

Thanks to everyone who helped make our event a big success and all those who supported us. You made us shine!

Here are some of the photos we snapped throughout the day. We will add more as we get them.

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It Might Rain Tomorrow, but our Plant Sale is Still On!

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Tent Plant Sale

Rain or Shine, the sale is still on tomorrow (Saturday) from 7am-5pm!!!  This year we have more than we’ve ever had. Huge selection!!! We’ll have tents to keep you dry and our scheduled speakers will present inside. Come on out and support your local Master Gardeners!!!!

Bees and Bee Friendly Flowers

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Article written by MG, Michelle Lewis

Master gardeners know the importance of honey bees in the ecosystem today. Bees pollinate nearly a third of the nation’s food supply. If you didn’t have them, most crops would fail to develop. Unfortunately, there’s been a decline in honey bee population in the past few years. That’s why it’s vital to support and protect them.

There’s actually an opportunity for you to play a role in all this. Here’s some fodder for your consideration:

  • You plant it and they will come. If you’re raising berries or vegetables, bees are great for multiplying your crop as well as developing larger produce.
  • If you want a bee friendly garden, consider fruit trees like peaches, pears, or apples. For herbs, consider, borage, catmint, echinacea, fennel, lemon balm, mint, monarda (bee balm), oregano, rosemary, sage, salvia, thyme, or verbena. For perennials, consider, allium, anemone, clematis, dahlia, geranium, globe thistle, hollyhock, penstemon, or sedum. For annuals, consider, aster, calundula, clover, dandelion, poppy, sunflower, sweet alyssum, or zinnias.
  • If you love honey or want to be fascinated and amazed, become a beekeeper. You don’t have to have a lot of space to raise bees. Contact your local chapter, Lawrence/Wayne Beekeepers Association or TBA (Tennessee Beekeepers Association) to learn more and register for classes. If you still don’t think it’s for you, support beekeepers by donating to your local chapter.

NOTE: While raising plants, be aware of the use of pesticides. As a general rule, insecticides are more toxic to honey bees than fungicides or herbicides.

UT Extension Beekeeping Publications https://ag.tennessee.edu/EPP/Pages/Bees%20and%20Beekeeping/home.aspx

The Master Gardeners will have a wide-variety of bee friendly flowering plants, herbs, blueberries and tomatoes, so don’t forget to mark your calendars for the upcoming plant sale on Saturday, April 30, between 7am and 5pm (extended hours) at the Extension Office at 2385 Buffalo Road in Lawrenceburg. Stay awhile and learn something new. Scheduled speakers at our event include, “Life of the Honeybee” at 9am, “Extracting Honey” at 10am, and “Cooking with Honey” at 11am. Also, bring the kids, and we’ll help them dig up their own Lamb’s Ear plant to bring home. Speaking engagements and kids’ gardening experiences are always free.

Photos taken by MG, Marie Brenan

Bee Present at the Master Gardener Plant Sale

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Beeing present at the Master Gardener Plant Sale could win you one of these three adorable bee skeps! Sign up at our Cooking with Honey booth. The drawing will bee after the 11am class. You must bee present to win. It will bee fun and you get to sample our luscious honey dessert. Hope to see you April 30 at the Lawrence County Extension Office!

A Rose is Not Just a Rose

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Photos: A pretty mix of roses. The yellow rose is the “Julia Child” and the pink and coral are the, “Carefree Celebration”.

Photos taken by MG, Marie Brenan
Article written by MG, Michelle Lewis

Roses are always a sell-out at the Master Gardener Plant Sale. It’s no wonder why. They’re such a classic in the American Garden.

Did you know that the rose is actually considered an herb? They’ve been used in culinary, cosmetic and herbal applications for centuries. The fruits, known as hips, are high in vitamin C and quite delicious.

Did you know that rose essential oil is the most expensive of the extract oils? To produce one ounce, it takes about 60,000 roses and ten thousand pounds of rose blossoms to produce 16 oz (or 1 lb).

The rose (Rosaceae) family is very large, and many are surprised to learn that includes apple, apricot, crabapple, hawthorn, peach, pear, raspberry, strawberry, and serviceberry.

When planting your garden this spring, choose roses for their beauty, but don’t forget their cosmetic and herbal benefits. With a little extra care, they will give you years of enjoyment.

We will have “Carefree Celebration” and “Julia Child” roses, as well as a variety of other plants, natives and vines at the Master Gardener Plant Sale on Saturday, April 30, between 7am and 5pm (we’ve extended our hours) at the Extension office at 2385 Buffalo Road in Lawrenceburg. Come early for the best selection.

Tomatoes & Herbs at the Plant Sale April 30

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Wendel Smith inspecting Tomato plants
Wendel Smith, a UT-TSU Horticulture Agent, inspects some of the dozens of varieties of tomato and pepper plants that will be available for sale. Smith states, “Though they are small now in a few weeks they will be nice, healthy, stocky plants ready for your garden.”

Photos taken by MG, Marie Brenan
Article written by MG, Michelle Lewis

As we break into Spring, look for two of our best sellers at the Master Gardener Plant Sale, tomatoes and herbs. What’s not to love about them? They’re easy to grow and pair well in recipes.

Did you know there are two type of tomatoes plants, determinate or indeterminate? The determinate plant grows to a set height and then stops growing. The fruits get ripe all at once and then the plant dies shortly after. Determinates do well in pots. The indeterminate plant grows until frost and sets fruit throughout the season. Make sure you look up the tomato name before you purchase them so you get what you expect.

Tomatoes are not too fond of cold weather, so when it warms up to around 70 degrees and doesn’t get below 50 degrees at night, you can grow them outside in a pot or in the ground.

After you plant your tomatoes, support them with a 5’ to 7’ stake or cage.

Herbs are so easy to grow. Most of them tend to be drought tolerant. However, the greatest thing is that bugs hate them and bees and butterflies love them. The only herb that may get some chomping is the basil. Basil is an annual, but most herbs are perennials and come back in the spring, so eventually, you can have a carefree garden that you don’t have to fuss too much about.

Think cilantro is hard to grow? In spite of its delicate appearance, it’s a hardier herb than you think. Cilantros like partial sun. Try keeping them trimmed by giving them a haircut once a week and don’t allow them to flower until the end of August. After that, let them reseed themselves or break up the seeds and throw them on the ground and you’ll have cilantro the following spring. If you leave the plants and don’t pull them up, they’ll grow during the winter (just not as full as Spring or Summer)

TN Extension Links:
Tomatoes for the Home Garden
Salsa Gardening

We will have tomatoes (traditional and heirlooms), a wide-variety of herbs, peppers, flowers and other plants, so don’t forget to mark your calendars for our upcoming plant sale on Saturday, April 30 between 7am and 5pm (we’ve extended our hours) at the Extension office at 2385 Buffalo Road in Lawrenceburg.

Getting Ready for the Master Gardener Plant Sale – Repotting Herbs

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#1 - Kelly Hogan, left 12, helps her mother, Master Gardener Liz Hogan, repot Bee Balm at the Master Gardener greenhouses recently. They and several other Master Gardeners were getting herbs prepared for the April 30th plant sale at the UT Extension Office on Buffalo Rd. /Marie Brennan
#1 – Kelly Hogan, left (age 12), helps her mother, Master Gardener Liz Hogan, repot bee balm at the Master Gardener greenhouses recently. They and several other Master Gardeners were getting herbs prepared for the April 30th plant sale at the UT Extension Office on Buffalo Rd. /Marie Brennan
#2 – Master Gardener Dorothy Booth repots lemon verbena, one of the dozens of herbs that will be for sale at the Master Gardener plant sale on April 30th./ Marie Brennan

22 different herbs are available with different varieties of several of them. From basil to winter savory and chamomile to stevia, many herbs will be available for sale including, of course, parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme!