Keith Dekker tends to a plant table at a Master Gardener spring plant sale. Photo by Sandy Cortez

Get it Growing: Connect with local Master Gardeners

Master Gardener websites

For information about any of the programs listed in the column of for general Master Gardener information, there are two informative websites:

• WSU Extension Master Gardening: extension.wsu.edu/clallam/mg

• Master Gardener Foundation of Clallam County (MGFCC): clallammgf.org

Plant clinics

Plant clinics are opportunities for Master Gardeners to work with home gardeners to find answers to a variety of gardening questions including plant identification, insect problems, pest management, disease control and more.

Please provide as much information as possible to the plant clinic when submitting a question. Include photographs, growing conditions, time-lines, watering techniques, chemical exposure and as much detail as possible.

A Master Gardener will research your question and contact you. Once your problem has been identified Master Gardeners will work with you to develop a management strategy according to recommendations from WSU Extension.

Because of COVID-19 restrictions, in-person clinics are on hold. Email your questions to the plant clinic at mgplantclinicclallam@gmail.com.

The “Get it Growing” column is back, offering another year of gardening articles. Published each Wednesday, March through October, the goal is to provide inspiration and evidence-based information to the public about sustainable home gardening practices.

Each article is researched, written and edited by a team of Clallam County Master Gardener volunteers.

Each Master Gardener trainee goes through Washington State University training that is based on scientific research and taught by experts in the field. After completing training, volunteers give 100 hours of service to become a certified Master Gardener. Advanced training and continuing education are yearly requirements for continued certification.

This year, “Get it Growing” column writers hope to offer new insight and ideas, starting with articles about ferns and fungicides in March, followed by bugs (bad and good), interesting plants, gardening techniques and more.

A new feature for 2021 will be one monthly article that is dedicated to answering a recent plant clinic question(s). If one gardener is asking, many more probably want to know (see “Plant Clinic” sidebar for more information).

In addition to this column, Clallam County MG volunteers have a myriad of ways to reach out to the community.

Opportunities among us

Master Gardener Plant Clinics are designed to answer questions from home gardeners, provide science based advice and solve plant and insect mysteries. The weekly in-person Plant Clinics that were held in Sequim and Port Angeles have been temporarily replaced with email requests (see sidebar). Though the format has changed, the dedication has not.

When volunteers cannot come up with an answer to a question, they have access to state-wide WSU diagnostic services.

In the past, our MG volunteers have held workshops and lectures covering gardening topics in regularly scheduled series. These presentations have temporarily moved online with live Zoom sessions, where participants can engage and ask questions.

An added benefit is the recorded presentations are then made available to view at your convenience, on the WSU Extension website at extension.wsu.edu/clallam/mg. Select the “Gardening Resources” tab and you will see a highlighted link for the recorded Green Thumb presentations.

Master Gardeners maintain the 2.4-acre Woodcock Demonstration Garden, located at 2711 Woodcock Road in Sequim, where the public can get gardening ideas and see what grows well in our climate. The garden is divided into specific areas of interest that include various types of vegetable beds, an orchard, herb gardens and a plethora of ornamental plantings.

Open to the public year round, it is a wonderful spot to wander and appreciate the beauty of each season.

The Spring Plant Sale at the demonstration garden has always been an important fund raiser and community favorite. This year the spring sale will be online, with hopeful plans to offer an onsite

Fall Plant Sale. Information can be found on the MGFCC website (the two important MG websites are listed separately) or stop by the Woodcock Demonstration Garden on a Thursday morning workday and visit with the crew.

The 5th Street Community Garden, located at 318 E. Fifth St., Port Angeles, is another gardening site with an area maintained by Master Gardeners and used for outreach activities. Information on walks and activities at this garden can be found, again, online at either website.

At both gardens, visitors are welcome but are required to follow all COVID-19 precautions, including wearing masks and social distancing.

Community involvement is a key goal of the program. Master Gardeners are proud of their long-standing partnership with Soroptimist International of Sequim providing presentations for their Annual Garden Show. This year’s show will be a virtual event with an online auction in March 2021, followed by presentations throughout the month of May. Check it out on their website: sequimgardenshow.com.

The popular Youth Enrichment Program which, with the help of Herbie, the bean seed puppet, has been presented for 25 years to all second-grade classes throughout Clallam County, will be on hold this year. This favorite activity for both students and the

Master Gardener volunteers will be back, better than ever, for a safe 2022 school year!

Master Gardeners are people who love to garden, want to learn, and enjoy sharing their knowledge with others. We are all looking forward to a post COVID time when we can once again join in person for some hands on learning.

Until then, keep an eye on this “Get it Growing” column, visit our gardens, view our Zoom presentations and keep the plant clinic questions coming.

Laurel Moulton is the Clallam County Master Gardener Program Coordinator and a WSU Master Gardener. Susan Kalmar is a WSU Master Gardener and Editor of the weekly “Get it Growing” column.

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