Warm Winter Wishes and Thanks!

Red rose hips with frost crystals
Photo: Pixabay

As Master Gardener activities and the gardening pace slows – we want to take the opportunity to send you warm winter wishes and sincere thanks for your remarkable service as OSU Master Gardeners.  Thank you for your selfless dedication to educating others on how to be good earth stewards and successful gardeners!  YOU are making such a positive difference to so many in our community!  We look forward to seeing you in the New Year, as you continue to share your passion for education and gardening!

Congrats 2018 Master Gardeners!

Amy sporting her shiny, new, Veteran, OSU MG badge!

At our annual Fall Recertification training Veteran Master Gardeners joined in giving a standing ovation, and cheer to our 2018 class of Master Gardeners as Weston introduced them.  Shortly thereafter, they received their OSU Master Gardener Veteran badges, which they have been wearing proudly in the days since.

We extend our sincere congratulations and a hearty welcome to all 2018 Master Gardeners.  We are glad to have you as part of our garden educator community and look forward to seeing you in 2019!

Note: MG badges will be mailed to anyone who was not able to pick up their badge at the Fall Recertification.  Expect the badges to arrive in mid-December.

With Utmost Appreciation!

Susan Albright

Our Fall Recertification training on November 10th, was an opportunity to extend a special certificate of appreciation, to six Master Gardeners for their significant contributions to the Metro Master Gardener Program.  We are grateful for their generous and dedicated service!  Utmost thanks to them all!

Susan Albright – dedicated phone clinic volunteer, served as librarian for the Washington Co. phone clinic, serves as Metro MG liaison representing the Washington Co. Master Gardeners Association and generously volunteers her support to the Program.  Serves as MG Guide.

Helen Dorbolo

Helen Dorbolo – instrumental in organizing and leading Propagation workshops for the Metro MG program the past 4 years. Serves as MG Guide.

Ginger Edwards – King Farmers Market coordinator, developed interactive activities, including insect coloring sheets to educate kids and adults alike who visit the market booth. Serves as MG Guide.

Jim Kronenberg

Jim Kronenberg – Lake Oswego Farmers Market coordinator, dedicated Speakers Guild Presenter, Propagation Workshop instructor and known for his iconic role playing ‘Logan Berry” in the Master Gardener video series.  Serves as MG Guide.

Winnie Mauch – dedicated phone clinic volunteer for both the Washington Co. and Multnomah Co. phone clinics over the past 18 years – has served orienting, and coaching phone clinic volunteers, attending to phone clinic office needs. Serves as MG Guide.

Patti Wroblewski – Lents Farmers Market coordinator, checks in with market volunteers each market day.  Delivers a bag of potting soil, lushly planted with lettuce, to inspire home gardeners that they can grow some vegetables with limited space.

Show You Are “Current” – 2019 MG Sticker

For those who have fulfilled the requirements to maintain their status as an active and “current” Master Gardener you will receive a 2019 Recertification sticker to proudly display on your MG badge.  The sticker is a designation that you are current and up-to-date, having completed all required volunteer service hours, continuing education opportunities, and completed forms.

Stickers will be mailed (by year’s end) to those who have met the annual requirements and did not receive a sticker at Fall Recertification.

For MGs still needing information about how to remain current, please refer to the Volunteer Portal’s How to Maintain Active OSU Master Gardener Status page.

If you have yet to send in your volunteer log sheet and your signed 2018_2019 Conditions of Volunteer Service form – please send them in right away so you too can receive your 2019 Recertification sticker and we will keep you on our ‘active’ Master Gardener roles.

Spread the Word!  2019 MG Training Registration Open!

How do the majority of people learn about Master Gardener training?  From Master Gardeners of course!

Now is your chance to let others know about the rewarding opportunities available serving as a Master Gardener volunteer.  Registration is now open for the 2019 Master Gardener Training!  Share the word with your gardening friends, wanna-be gardeners, and fellow community members.  Direct those interested to our Metro-area Master Gardener website for easy online registration.

Calling All MGs on Nextdoor, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!

If social media is a favorite communication avenue for you, please consider sharing about the Master Gardener training registration on the social media sites on which you participate.  Share posts from our Facebook and Twitter accounts or direct those interested to our website.  We would love to cover all Nextdoor neighborhoods in the metro-area.  If you need more information or would like a promotional photo to post – please contact Marcia McIntyre: marcia.mcintyre@oregonstate.edu

Join-in the Master Gardener Speakers Guild!

Take your role as a garden educator to the next level, by volunteering to be a presenter for the Master Gardener Speakers Guild!

The Metro MG program receives dozens of requests every year for garden presentations to community groups.  We have a small, but mighty, group of MGs who answer the call and present throughout the 3 counties – but requests greatly exceed what these dedicated MGs can handle.  Therefore, we are looking for additional MGs to share their research-based gardening know-how.  We will supply support materials, and those interested can shadow experienced presenters.  Volunteers can also take advantage of a new 2019 workshop that will focus on strengthening presentation skills.  Volunteers can select how many presentations a year they would like to make and the topics they feel most comfortable presenting. Please consider joining in this fun, valuable volunteer activity!

Presentations are needed on a variety of subjects:

  • Beginning gardening
  • Vegetable gardening
  • Fruit trees
  • Pruning
  • Composting
  • Container Gardening
  • IPM for the Home Gardener
  • Small Fruits
  • Perennials
  • Planting
  • Soil
  • Beneficial insects
  • Pollinator gardens
  • Tomatoes
  • Small space gardening
  • Native plants
  • Seed starting
  • Propagation
  • What’s your garden passion that you are willing to share?

Would you like to be part of this vital community outreach?  If so, contact Marcia McIntyre, marcia.mcintyre@oregonstate.edu

2019 Master Gardener Training Is Just Around the Corner!

Weston and Claudia set to instruct in 2019.

Join us in 2019 for Master Gardener training.  We will be holding 7 weeks of training classes starting the first week in February running through March.  So mark your calendars.  Each AM or PM session attended counts as 3 hours continuing garden education credit for 2019.

The training sites and days are:

Tuesdays, February 5 – March 19, 9AM to 4PM
Hillsboro United Methodist Church,
168 NE 8th Avenue, Hillsboro

Thursdays, February 7 – March 21, 9AM to 4PM
Museum of the Oregon Territory,
Museum of the Oregon Territory 3rd floor- 211 Tumwater Drive, Oregon City

Fridays, February 8 – March 22, 9AM to 4PM
Multnomah County Headquarters,
Multnomah County Headquarters -501 SE Hawthorne Blvd., Portland

2019 Master Gardener training will include perennial favorite instructors: Jen Aron, Margaret Bayne, Chip Bubl, Jane Collier, Claudia Groth, Monica Maggio, Weston Miller and Jean R. Natter.  In addition, we welcome 3 new instructors, metro-area Master Gardener Sally Campbell, and OSU Extension’s Heather Stoven, and Rachel Suits.  Look for the detailed training schedule in the January 2019 MG newsletter.

December MG Advanced Training Webinars

Be sure to catch the final MG Advanced Training Webinar for 2018 on Monday December 17, at 11am PT. Kaci Buhl (OSU Extension) will present on Weed Management in the Garden & Landscape: Understanding Herbicides. Kaci is a dynamic educator who will share her expertise.

Details and pre-registration here: https://learn.extension.org/events/3501

Remember, if you are unable to participate in the webinar live – all webinars are posted for viewing a few days after the scheduled date.  Webinars count as 1 hour continuing garden education credit.

You can find all past webinar links here: http://blogs.oregonstate.edu/ediblegardens/2018/09/24/the-complete-2018-mg-webinar-series/

Tree-ific Timely Tips

Find some great timely tips on Christmas tree care in this article from OSU Extension Service’s Public Service Communications Specialist, Kym Pokorny.

Photo: Oregon State University

Treat your Christmas tree to vodka?  Only if you want to waste it!

OSU MG Oregon Zoo Volunteers Appreciated!

2018 Oregon Zoo MG Volunteers

Our Oregon Zoo Education Center MG volunteers enjoyed a lovely appreciation night hosted by Metro in thanks for their volunteer service this season.  A light dinner, door prizes, and free entrance to Zoo Lights was the enjoyed by those who attended. Thanks to all who volunteered this season at the Zoo.

Special thanks to Shawn Van Doren and Rob Kappa for serving as coordinators.

If you are interested in volunteering at the Zoo Education Center in 2019, be sure to watch for updates in the newsletter.

Congrats to the Class of 2018 Master Gardeners!
Here’s just a few 2018 Master Gardeners donning their OSU Master Gardener badges.




Kasey’s new Veteran MG badge



OSU Extension Service – Citizen Science Program

Oregon Season Trackers

Master Gardeners are you interested in honing your observation skills to be a part of this important citizen science network? Dedicate 20 minutes per week to tracking phenology and rainfall; help us build our knowledge base. We are seeking participants for a Spring 2019 OST training including two hours of self-paced online learning followed by an in-person skill-building session to be held at the Clackamas County Extension office annex (200 Warner-Milne Rd, Oregon City OR) on February 19, 2019 from 6-8 pm. The training fee is $40 per household and includes the program-approved rain gauge to set up in your site. Register online at http://bit.ly/ORSeasonTrackerTraining or contact Jean Bremer (503-655-8631, jean.bremer@oregonstate.edu).

By Margaret Bayne, OSU Extension Staff-retired, OSU Master Gardener

December 2018

Photo: OSU

Just say ‘no’ to bad gardening practices.  Learn what ‘not to do’ from OSU experts. (Kym Pokorny, OSU) https://bit.ly/2Dij9IQ

Are plants conscious?  “We tend to think of plants as passive organisms, the backdrop for looking at more interesting animals roaming around in the foreground. But the world of plants is by no means docile, it is simply working on a separate time scale and in a different medium, and we’re only just starting to decipher it.” (Josh Davis, iflscience.com) https://bit.ly/2pQZjwr

Red meat allergy associated with tick bites could also be passed on by tiny mites.After a series of strange medical cases, researchers discovered that bites from the lone star tick can induce a severe and persistent allergy to red meat. In the six or so years since this was identified, it has been determined that bites from multiple other tick species can also cause it. Now, evidence indicates that bites from another type of small, parasitic arachnid known as a “chigger” may do the same.”(iflscience.com) https://bit.ly/2zLQokc

New Ohio State app helps users identify, prevent and control Bed Bugs. (Ohio State U) https://bit.ly/2DhsHUi

Large cells for tiny leavesScientists identify protein that controls leaf growth and shape. (Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, sciencedaily.com) https://bit.ly/2PqLQdS

Freeze versus frost: A primer on how cold affects plants. (Beth Botts, Chicagotribune.com) https://trib.in/2DnkbmG

Interpreting soil testing analysis of compost.  While this publication is written for commercial growers, it has great general information on soil tests. (EM 9217, Dan M. Sullivan, Andy I. Bary, Robert O. Miller, and Linda J. Brewer, OSU) https://bit.ly/2JZYlat

Study finds fungi, not plant matter, responsible for most carbon sequestration in northern forests. (Bob Yirka, phys.org) https://bit.ly/2qJnzB7

Insecticidal soap vs dish detergents.  (Note: MGs do not recommend home remedies) (Matt Borden, Facebook.com) https://bit.ly/2PUiB2E

Native vs. nonnative – can’t we all just get along? Probably the most contentious gardening topic dealt with online is the native vs. nonnative plant debate. Here is an expert’s take on the topic. (Dr. Linda Chalker-Scott, WSU) https://bit.ly/2K255EP

The myth of curative Kelp: “Seaweed extracts reduce disease, improve production, and increase stress resistance in landscape plants.”  Learn the true facts. (Dr. Linda Chalker-Scott, WSU) https://bit.ly/2Tb9Rnm

Photo: T. Smith, University of Mass. Amhearst

Bagged potting mixes and garden soils for home gardeners-what’s in them?  “There are many types of bagged potting mixes and garden soils available. Some are intended to be used in the ground to supplement or fill areas for gardens. Other products are intended for plants growing in containers and pots. It is important to read the label before purchasing to learn the intended use for the product.” (Tina Smith and Dr. Douglas Cox, UMassAmherst) https://bit.ly/2qHiCso

Become familiar with the pests in your area. Don’t let pests surprise you! Become educated. Become prepared. (NPIC, OSU) https://bit.ly/2QDL4qv

The butterflies that hear with their wings.A petite group called the satyrines uses swollen veins to channel sound into tiny ears.” (Ed Yong, Theatlantic.com) https://bit.ly/2ECJ9kh

What are short day and long day plants? (Ann Marie VanDerZanden, OSU) https://bit.ly/2z37vP9

Test tube trees’: An insurance policy against extinction? (Helen Briggs, BBC News) https://bbc.in/2B31aEy

New, detailed snapshots capture photosynthesis at room temperature- Scientists use SLAC’s X-ray laser to watch water-splitting reaction-. Watch the video! (Stanford University) https://stanford.io/2OFsnRn

Negative gravitropism demonstration showing how mustard shoots react to change in pot position.  “Gravitropism is growth or movement response to gravity, observed in plants and fungus.” Watch the video. (Gphase, Youtube.com) https://bit.ly/2PUiPa0

Plants find ways to survive no matter the terrain. (Royal Holloway U) https://bit.ly/2OF5L3D

Cacao analysis dates domesticated chocolate trees back 3,600 years. (Eric Sorensen, WSU) https://bit.ly/2DkZrMp

The world’s largest organism, Pando (an Aspen), is dying. (Trevor Nace, Forbes.com) https://bit.ly/2PvvzEI

Moss rapidly detects, tracks air pollutants in real time. (ACS.org) https://bit.ly/2RSSBSu

Adelgid. Photo: Connecticut Agricultural Research Station


Meet the invasive insect that is changing an entire forest bird community. (GrrlScientist, Forbes.com) https://bit.ly/2RUUwpL




PDF 2018 December Horticultural Updates