Garden View: Upcoming garden programs

BY BARBARA STORZ

Are you planning a vegetable garden? Maybe you want to improve your financial picture by selling vegetables? Or, do you want to garden with the grandchildren or volunteer at you child’s school garden?

No matter your goal, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension has an educational program for you.

For potential farmer’s market growers or those who want to be a Small Acreage Horticulture Conference will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. on Aug. 23 at the A&M AgriLife Weslaco campus, 2415 Business 83 on the corner of Business 83 and Highway 1015 south.

Topics to be covered include vegetable market outlook, food safety for direct sales, marketing by taste food demo, vegetable initiative research, grafted tomato research and vegetable pest management. The cost of conference is $15, including lunch and a choice of one vegetable gardening book. To register, call (956) 383-1026.

For home gardeners who need a little help to get started? The Master Gardeners, volunteers for the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, are offering two workshops. The first is from 9 a.m. to noon Aug. 25 and will instruct attendees on how to build a raised garden bed, install drip irrigation and how to make and use compost.

The second workshop is at 9 a.m. Sept. 8 on fall vegetable gardening and topics will include which vegetables are best started by seedlings and which can be direct seeded, fertilization and much more. Both workshops will be held at the Master Gardener Educational Garden in North San Juan and are free. Seating is limited, and call (956) 383-1026 to register.

For garden volunteers who want to learn more to share with the community? The Master Gardener Volunteer Training is a must and a great way to make new friends.

Both Hidalgo and Cameron county offices of Texas A&M AgriLife Extension will train horticulture volunteers every Tuesday, beginning Sept. 11 through Oct. 30. Classes are from 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. Topics include soils and fertility, basics of designing landscapes, utilizing native plants, water conservation in the garden, vegetable and fruit tree gardening, plant pests and diseases and turf grass. Applications for this program will be accepted through August.

An orientation will be held Aug. 14 at the Extension offices to introduce the program and Master Gardeners to prospective class members. Giving 40 hours of volunteer time is necessary to complete the Master Gardener Certification program. For more information, contact the Hidalgo County office of Texas A&M AgriLife Extension at (956) 383-1026.

Barbara Storz is a local horticulturist. You can listen to her gardening show at 7 a.m. Saturdays on 710 KURV Radio or contact her by e-mail at bstorz@rcommunications.com.