Master gardeners educate, demonstrate horticulture

Submitted Photo Master Gardeners assisted residents of Edgewood Vista and the adjoining Memory Care Unit with preparing and planting seven raised bed gardens.

The NDSU Extension Master Gardeners are gardeners who have a strong interest in horticulture and desire to be a resource for educating and assisting the gardening public. Master Gardeners all take an in-depth multi-hour course on different aspects of horticulture. After the initial training, they are required to attend a minimum amount of in-service training to be current on horticulture information.

A group of Master Gardeners from the north central area are working together to educate and demonstrate current gardening techniques and methods. These Master Gardeners are from Ward, Bottineau, Burke, Mountrail and McLean Counties. They work together to bring horticultural knowledge to the public in north central North Dakota.

The group planted and maintains a pollinator garden in Minot at 1608 E. Burdick Expressway. This garden is showing what plants are beneficial for many different pollination species. Numerous native bees, butterflies, moths and other insects utilize the blooming plants in the garden for their needs. Pollinating insects are crucial to the human food supply by the process of pollination of our food crops.

The public can view the garden at their leisure at any time. They can also tour it with the Master Gardeners present to answer questions during the Minot Symphony Secret Garden Tour on Wednesday, July 10, from 4:30-8:30 p.m.

In 2018 the Master Gardeners conducted a two-part series on Low Impact Gardening. It was focused on making gardening easier for people with physical limitations. A meeting was held in April which showed a number of methods, techniques and tools which make gardening easier. In June the Master Gardeners did a demonstration with a planting of potatoes under straw. The potatoes were placed on the surface of the ground and covered with straw. In spite of it being a drought, the potatoes were watered only twice. The 25-by-50 foot garden was harvested on Oct. 6. It took six Master Gardeners about 45 minutes to uncover, pick, bag, weigh and load 678 pounds of potatoes from the garden. The potatoes were all on the surface of the ground and needed only to have the straw pulled aside and the potatoes picked for harvest. The potatoes were donated to two food pantries in Minot.

In May 2019 the Master Gardeners assisted residents of Edgewood Vista and the adjoining Memory Care Unit with preparing and planting seven raised bed gardens and some large pots. Some raised beds were planted to plants whose colors, smells and textures would be pleasant to be around. The other beds were planted to vegetable varieties which can be harvested and utilized by the residents of both locations. The residents will be able to enjoy watering and gardening as they have before being residents of Edgewood Vista with the assistance of the Master Gardeners.

Anyone who is interested in the Master Gardener program can contact the Extension office in their county for more information on the classes this fall.

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