Crocus in bloom with dew drops

“A light exists in spring, not present in the year, at any other period, when March is scarcely here.”

-Emily Dickinson

Springing back to in-person volunteer service!

With spring quickly approaching we are incredibly excited to be able to start a gradual resumption of our in person, Master Gardener volunteer activities. Please look for announcements in the coming months as we resume our in-person helplines, Speaker’s Guild and Master Gardener tabling at community events.

In addition, if you are aching to get your hands in the soil and spend time with your fellow Master Gardeners, be sure to visit all of our supporting Master Gardener association webpages for details about their education/demonstration gardens.

Welcome to 2022 Cohort

Last month, with eager anticipation and excitement, we launched our 2022 OSU Master Gardener training Cohort for the metro area. We are pleased to welcome 140 trainees from Multnomah, Clackamas, and Washington counties. This year the training is a combination of online modules and remote webinar ‘Q and A’ sessions. In addition, trainees have the opportunity to participate in hands-on training workshops. A big shout out of thanks to all the Master Gardener associations and volunteers who have developed and are leading the instruction of these workshops to the new Master Gardener trainees. You have created a stellar line-up of educational offerings to support trainees in their journey to serve the community as garden educators!

Perennial Master Gardeners, as you start volunteering in-person this spring and summer, be sure to extend a warm welcome to both our 2020 and 2022 Cohort members as you meet them at events.

Growing Oregon Gardeners: Level Up Series Launches for 2022

The Growing Oregon Gardeners: Level Up Series offers Master Gardener continuing education opportunities (1 hour), focusing on an array of subjects. Whether you want to learn better irrigation techniques, understand if clearing leaves in the fall is really good for garden insects or not, or if you get excited for all things roses, there’s a webinar for you!

This year’s schedule: 

Presenters for this year’s schedule include OSU faculty, as well as national research experts, authors and industry leaders. View the website for full descriptions of the 2022 workshops and presenters.  

The closed-captioned webinars are broadcast via Zoom and streamed via our Facebook page the second Tuesday of the month, at noon, February through November 2022. This series is open to the public and OSU Extension Master Gardener volunteers receive 1 Continuing Education Credit for each class. All webinars are recorded and will be available to view on our website within two weeks of airdate. 

Growing Oregon Gardeners: Level Up Series is produced by a team of horticultural faculty and staff of the OSU Extension Master Gardener program. The series launched in 2021, engaging thousands of gardeners live, online and through recordings on the OSU Extension website. The program received the 2021 Oregon State University Extension Association (OSUEA) Search for Excellence award.  

March is Women’s History Month: A message from fellow Master Gardener, Celina Ratliff.

In recognition of Women’s History Month, metro area OSU Master Gardener and state-wide OSU Master Gardener DEI Task Force member, Celina Ratliff, has compiled and shared a variety of inspiring, informative resources highlighting gardening and landscape accomplishments of women. See her letter to fellow Master Gardeners and her list of recommendations in the most recent OSU Extension Master Gardener News blog.

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

A Note from Margaret:  Please considering joining us for our twice-monthly Zoom meetings; the first and third Mondays, from 1-3 pm!

Tri-county Master Gardener STUDY GROUP

  • The MG Study Group is a self-organizing collection of seasoned and new MGs (and everything in between) who love to learn!
  • We serve all three counties via our Zoom meetings: Clackamas, Multnomah & Washington.
  • We meet twice a month to develop our skills in identifying and understanding insects, spiders, and plant diseases and disorders, etc.
  • Meetings are based on group participation.
  • All interested OSU MGs and interns are welcome. (We are not open to the general public)
  • Attendance is not required; join us when we can!
  • On first Mondays we generally conduct an informal show-and-tell session, where MGs share samples of insects, spiders, plants for identification and/or diagnosis by the group. This is a great deal of fun and no advance work is required except for collecting a sample. (If you don’t have a sample-no problem! Join us anyway).
  • The third Monday is a more formal session based on a Study Guide you receive about a week ahead.  Study Guides are developed voluntarily by attendees about subjects that are of interest to them and to share with the group.  Upcoming Study Guide session topics for 2022Bullies in the Garden-Invasive and Overly Enthusiastic Plants, Summer Heat Woes, Downy Mildew, Pruning, Blackberries, Best Garden Practices, and a Group Diagnostic practice.
Moss in lawn. Brain McDonald, OSU

VIDEO:  Managing Moss in Lawns. (Alex Kowalewski, OSU via youtube)

PUBLICATION: Managing Moss in Lawns in Western Oregon. (Brooke Edmunds, Alec Kowalewski, OSU) (View or download a pdf.)

Practical Lawn Care for Western Oregon. (Doug Vonderberg, Alec Kowalewski, OSU)

Great information about dogs and lawns: Dog Spots! No, not dalmatians but dead spots in the lawn. With the low rainfall and lack of irrigation pet owners may be seeing dog injury to their lawns. Urine damage can be mistaken for symptoms of several patch-type diseases. Samples of the dead grass placed in a plastic bag will release ammonia, which can be detected by smell. Other chemical injury such as fertilizer spills or salt spills can cause similar symptoms but do not release an ammonia odor. Female dogs are usually more damaging as they urinate on the ground, in the same spot and tend to empty their bladders more completely than males. And FYI, yes, this is research-based info!” (PNW Plant Disease Management on Facebook) More information:

Spruce cones could scrub carbon emissions as effectively as costly chemicals.  A new material to capture carbon dioxide comes from a surprising green source: spruce cones.” (Prachi Patel,

The world’s most unwanted plants help trees make more fruit. (Angela Nicoletti, Florida International University

Big leaf maple trees. Patrick Breen, OSU

Video & article: First-of-its-kind estimate of the total number of tree species. (Purdue University)

The Gardens of Chernobyl 30 years after the disaster. (Jim Downer,

Unearthly Plant Photos by Tom Leighton Highlight Nighttime Chemical Processes. (Anna Marks,

Western Monarch Butterfly. Lynn Ketchum. OSU

Western monarch populations grew over 100-fold in 2021. Why?  The beloved butterflies had fallen to critical levels in recent years. Experts weigh in on what might be causing their remarkable return.” (Alissa

More on this topic: How Little We Know About Monarchs… (Kathy Keatley Garvey, University of California)

Discovery of ancient plant fossils in Washington points to paleobotanic mystery. (University of Kansas)

Just for fun!  Idaho Potato Commission Releases French Fry Scented Perfume. (