Session Four


Not in My Back Yard!

Instructor:  Bonnie Orr, WSU Master Gardener  

Learn how to analyze the health of your garden’s plants, control weeds, outsmart insect predators, deal with critters and avoid thugs and heartaches. Mastering garden dilemmas in your own backyard will make you more knowledgeable and effective as a master gardener in your community.


Soil: What it is and How it Works

Instructor:  James Cassidy, Soil Sciences-Oregon State University    

It’s ALL about soil! You will learn more than you ever thought possible from this lecture.  The reason you are alive, what nutrients are, how soil stores water and nutrients.  The fundamentals that ALL humans on the planet Earth should know!


Do Plants Talk?

Instructor:   Dr. David Crowder, Associate Professor, WSU Dept of Entomology 

Plants face constant attack from pests like herbivores and pathogens. Plants are not undefended, however, and have a variety of chemical and physical defenses to repel attackers. This course will discuss the ways in which plants defend themselves and how growers may be able to promote healthy plants that can protect themselves from stressors. 


Plant & insect Clinic: Helping Clients Figure Out the Problem

Panelists:   JennyGlass, WSU Plant & Insect Diagnostic Lab; Rachel Bomberger, WSU Plant & Insect Diagnostic Lab 

 WSU Plant Diagnosticians will team up to help you improve your plant problem diagnostic skills. The class will highlight the lines of diagnostic questioning that lead to answers, resources available, and ways to engage your clients as vital team members in the diagnostic inquiry. 


Growing Degree Days: Plant Phenology

Instructor: Paula Dinius, WSU Urban Horticulturist 

The accumulation of daily heat values can be used to predict plant phases and insect activity…a much better predictor of life cycle stage than calendar timings. Pest control is most effective in an integrated pest management plan when growing degree days are used together with plant phenology, the visual phase of a plant.


Graft Your Own Designer Fruit Trees

Instructor:  Judi Stewart, WSU Master Gardener and Member North Olympic Fruit Club;  Dr. Roger Eichman, Member North Olympic Fruit Club, Past-President Western Cascade Fruit Society

A top notch grafting class presented by North Olympic Fruit Club members, providing knowledge and techniques to enable you to create fruit trees next spring and summer and in years to come. Basic grafting techniques will be demonstrated, along with videos and time for questions.

Session Five


The Best Plants for Challenging Places

Instructor:    Dan Hinkley, Plantsman/Garden Writer/Horticulturist  

Doing battle with dry shade, poor soil, and overly moist sites can be challenging; however much easier if armed with the knowledge of those plants that tolerate these conditions.  Dan Hinkley will present some of his favorite selections for rigorous garden conditions while complementing his recommendations with tidbits of how to best establish plants in difficult sites.


Soil Test Results in Hand - What Does it all Mean?

Instructor:  James Cassidy, Soil Sciences-Oregon State University    

If you are serious about growing plants, you really need to know your soil type and get a soil test –Test results will allow you to correct for nutrient deficiencies and track your progress over time .  Learn how to take a representative soil sample, where and how to send the sample, what to ask for and how to interpret the results.


Community Gardens and Food Banks

Panelists:  Beth Chisolm, WSU Master Gardener Program Community Gardens Project; Jeannine Polaski, WSU Master Gardener Program Coordinator - Mason County; Jennifer Marquis, WSU Master Gardener Program Statewide Coordinator  

Join in the discussion as our panelists share their experiences and explain the roles that community gardens and food banks can play in fulfilling WSU Extension’s mission. Bring your questions & experiences to share and learn how you can enrich your local WSU Master Gardener program!


"Can I Plant Something Pretty on my Drainfield?”

Instructor:    Bob Simmons, Associate Professor Water Resources-WSU Extension     

There are plenty of great plant options for planting over septic system drainfields.  This presentation provides an overview of how septic systems work and the do’s and don’ts in the drainfield area.  This will include how to go about landscaping on and around the drainfield area, what plants to avoid and which ones work well.


Ten Things an MG should Know about Lawn Care

Instructor:   Dr. Gwen K. Stahnke, Professor Emeritus-WSU Puyallup   

Lawn care practices are involved either directly or indirectly in many of the questions that MGs are asked to answer in clinic.  Our goal is to reduce the potential for negative impacts such as damage to adjacent plantings and the pollution of surface runoff.  Here’s a list of the most important issues to know about.


Leading Through Change: Empowering Volunteers

Instructor:  Jana Ferris, Associate Professor-WSU 

As our programs continue to become aligned with social norms, university regulations, and a changing volunteer population, change is constant. This interactive workshop includes hands-on, skill building activities and resources that attendees can begin using day one…techniques to implement to lead their volunteers through the process of change management.

Plenary Session


Climate Change and the Gardener

Panelists: L. Katherine Baril, JD, MBA, former Director of WSU Jefferson County Extension;  Chad Kruger, Director, WSU- NWREC, CSANR; Joan A. Qazi, Ph.D,  Geography Instructor, Wenatchee Valley College

According to a Yale Survey, the percentage of Americans who are alarmed or concerned about climate change has increased to 60%, but about the same percentage say they rarely or never discuss climate change with family or friends. This presentation will offer tips for how to get these important climate conversations started; how to find common ground; and how to focus on the science not the politics.