Bumblebee on lavender colored flower.
Photo courtesy of Eddie Rosen

“Bees do have a smell, you know, and if they don’t they should, for their feet are dusted with spices from a million flowers.”

– Ray Bradbury, Dandelion Wine


As summer kicks-off we are happy to be resuming our core community service, educating Oregonians with sound, sustainable gardening guidance at Farmers Markets, via our OSU Master Gardener Helplines (both office and remote), Speakers Guild and community events. Keep an eye out for volunteer opportunities by logging into CERVIS, reading this newsletter, plus email updates from our metro area program.


Annual OSU Master Gardener requirements

As we resume our community service activities we also want to provide a brief review of annual volunteer service and continuing education requirements for Perennial Master Gardeners.

2020 Cohort members please refer to a recent email sent by Marcia McIntyre for your Master Gardener training requirements.

2022 Cohort members please refer to Master Gardener training requirements in CANVAS, in the ‘Modules’ tab, under ‘Volunteer Activities (2022)’.

Perennial Master Gardeners Annual Requirements

To maintain your certification as an active Perennial OSU metro-area Master Gardener, the following are the annual (minimum) volunteer service and continuing education requirement. Master Gardeners are considered current when these criteria are met.

  1. 20 hours of volunteer service in Metro MG approved activities (with at least 10 hours volunteered toward “Program” activities). Other hours can be served with approved “Partner” activities. You can serve all your volunteer hours in “Program” activities, if you prefer.
  2. 10 hours of Continuing Garden Education hours

Reporting Volunteer Service Hours

Record your volunteer service hours using your favorite method spreadsheet, online app, or use the following 2022 Volunteer Log Sheet.  In September, we will supply you with an online link to report your hours.


‘Program’ Volunteer Service Opportunities

MG Helpline ‘In Office’ and ‘Remote

Laptop screen showing two women's faces in Zoom window, plus image of hands holding tomatoes with text.
Remote MG Helpline. Photo courtesy of Connie Kirby.

In May we were excited to kick-off resumption of Master Gardeners volunteering on the Helpline in the Extension offices.  Currently we have volunteers serving in the Clackamas and Washington Extension offices.  Master Gardeners now have a hybrid Helpline system with an opportunity to volunteer both remotely from their homes and the Extension offices.  This is a ‘Program’ volunteer activity.

Perennial Master Gardeners who are interested in volunteering on the Helpline either at an Extension office or remotely from home please contact Marcia McIntyre to schedule a one-hour pre-requisite orientation.

Interested 2020/2022 cohort members please attend Skill Session ‘Answering Gardening Questions’ Session 3 for a review of the online Helpline system and orientation.

Vases of cut flowers, many with blue ribbons hanging on the vases.

Oregon State Fair
If you want a big dose of summer fun, sign-up for the MG Clinic table at the Oregon State Fair, on Sunday August 28.

Give sage (OSU proven) garden advice to fair visitors and take a bit of time, before and after your shift, to grab some shaved ice and check out the fair competitions whether it is honey products, the largest homegrown fruits and veggies, or the best home brew or chocolate layer cake!  You get free-entry into the fair the day you volunteer!  Register on CERVIS. This is a ‘Program’ volunteer activity. Be sure to register for appropriate shifts: Perennial or Intern.

Community BioBlitz
Join the Estacada Library’s Community BioBlitz, on Saturday, August 6, 12pm to 4pm by supporting and guiding participants in using iNaturalist. Help to identifying insects and critters discovered, as participants learn about the biological diversity in Wade Creek Park, adjacent to the library.  If interested in serving as a BioBlitz guide, please contact Marcia McIntyre. This is a ‘Program’ volunteer activity.

Farmers Markets

Person standing behind table, under a canopy, with another person standing on the other side of the table, bent over the table filling out a card.
MG Clinic booth at People’s Farmers Market.
Photo courtesy of Susanne Cavicchi

We are thrilled this year to return to a favorite community service, answering gardening questions at Farmers Markets and community events. Currently Master Gardeners are tabling at the Beaverton, Gresham, Hillsdale, Molalla, People’s Co-Op, and Oregon City farmers markets. Sign up for these ‘Program’ volunteer service opportunities and more on CERVIS.


‘Partner’ Volunteer Service Opportunities

Demonstration/Learning Gardens
Aching to get your hands in the soil and spend time with your fellow Master Gardeners? Our supporting Master Gardener associations are a great place to dig in!  For details about the gardens visit the association websites. Volunteer time at association gardens counts as ‘Partner’ hours.

Clackamas Co. Master Gardener Assocation
Multnomah Co. Master Gardener Association
Washington Co. Master Gardener Association

Hands harvesting greens.
Photo credit: University of Maine

Growing Gardens
Home Gardens Program Garden Mentors
The Growing Gardens Home Gardens Program helps BIPOC and low-income English and Spanish-speaking families learn to grow fresh organic produce at home. Families participate in Growing Garden’s program for 3 years and are provided with raised garden beds, tools, seeds, plant starts, classes, and mentoring. Master Gardeners can serve as Garden Mentors to the Home Garden’s families by providing sustainable gardening guidance and one-on-one support to beginning gardeners, including visiting gardeners for summer consultations. BIPOC volunteers and Bilingual Spanish speakers are needed. This is a ‘Partner’ volunteer activity.  If interested in volunteering contact: Antonio Rodriguez  503-284-8420   Antonio@growing-gardens.org

International Rose Test Garden Tours
Master Gardeners conduct 45-minute tours of the garden.  Master Gardeners will educate the public about best gardening practices, specifically as they relate to roses. This may include IPM, site selection, hardiness zones, winter care, and research based methods for encouraging beautiful gardens. Some history of the International Rose Test Garden and Portland’s designation as the City of Roses will be incorporated into the tour.  Scripts and training are available for all guides. This is a ‘Partner’ volunteer activity. If interested contact Harriet Ottaviano via waparkroses@gmail.com

NOTE: Rose pruning, weeding, maintenance does not count as volunteer service hours.


Continuing Education Opportunities

The following opportunities can be counted as ‘Continuing Garden Education’ hours for Perennial Master Gardeners and can serve as educational enrichment for 2020/2022 cohort trainees.

OSU Master Gardener Growing Oregon Gardens: Level Up Series education for the experienced gardener led by OSU horticulture experts from across the state.  Perennial MGs earn 1-hour continuing education credit. Great educational enrichment for 2020/2022 training cohorts.

Coming up July 12, 12noon, “Best Ecological Ways to Control Pests in Green Spaces”.

Designated Master Gardener Association Speaker/Lecture Series/10-Minute U – Perennial MGs earn one hour recertification credit for each designated ‘continuing education’ Speaker/Lecture Series/10-Minute U, whether in-person, webinar or recording of a past webinar.  Look for designation with listings of association Speaker/Lecture Series.

MG Study Group – Time spent participating in the Study Group sessions earn continuing education credit for Perennial MGs, and educational enrichment for 2020/2022 cohort trainees.  Develop your skills identifying and understanding plant diseases, insects, spiders and more. The group meets twice a month via Zoom. All metro area Master Gardeners welcome.  If interested in attending email: tricountymgstudygroup@gmail.com

Read! OSU Extension Service publications. – Perennial MGs earn continuing education credit reading an OSU Extension publication on home gardening topics and submitting a brief report about what you learned to Marcia McIntyre.


Pacific Northwest Handbooks Online

Black and yellow butterfly, with flowers in the background.

The go-to resource for Master Gardeners diagnosing plant and pest problems are the Pacific Northwest Handbooks, often referred to as PNW’s.  Starting this year Oregon State University is only offering the PNWs online with no print option.  Therefore if you are tabling at a Famers Market or other community tabling event, you will not see those familiar tomes in the clinic supplies.

While at a remote MG clinic table, like a Farmers Market, you can access the PNWs via your smartphone or if you prefer not using your phone to look up information to assist a client, please refer the client to our Master Gardener Helpline.  Each clinic box has a yellow tear-off pad with contact information for the Helpline.

Pacific Northwest Disease Management Handbook
Pacific Northwest Pest Management Handbook

Remember, do not give any chemical recommendations without first referring to the current issue of the PNWs.

If you would like to familiarize yourself with the online version of the PNWs.  Here are two great video tutorials.

How to search the handbooks. 

How to find general articles in the handbooks.  


Here Comes the Sun! Take Precautions!

Yellow flowers, with blue skies and clouds in the background.
Sunshine” by rkramer62 is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Here comes the sun, and with it the potential for searing temperatures and we want to make sure that you take care of yourself at Master Gardener volunteer events.

When taking part in metro area OSU Master Gardener or supporting Master Gardener association outdoor volunteer service activities, please take steps to protect yourself from the extreme heat. 

Heat illness is a serious medical condition resulting from the body’s inability to cope with a particular heat load and can progress quickly from mild symptoms to a serious and life-threatening illness.

Please be sure to take regular breaks in the shade if your volunteer shift is in the sun.

Bring enough cool water so that you have access to 32 ounces per hour during your shift.

Learn how to recognize signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. 

Be aware of how your body is coping with heat. If you develop any heat-related illness, excuse yourself from the shift and take care of yourself. Ask for help from another person if needed.

Please keep an eye on your fellow volunteers and watch for any signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke and take the appropriate action to assist them if you recognize symptoms.

Please contact Weston Miller (metro area OSU MG program manager) to report any heat-related illness.


Fall Recertification Returns!

Save the dates and stay tuned for our virtual ‘Fall Recertification’ when we will host 4 webinars highlighting information to support you in your role as an OSU Master Gardener educator.  Each webinar will count towards continuing education.  Save the date and stay tuned!

  • Wednesday, November 2, 6:30pm
  • Thursday, November 3, 6:30pm
  • Wednesday, November 9, 6:30pm
  • Thursday, November 10, 6:30pm

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

Are we going to see another “Heat Dome” this year? 
Hope not!…but be prepared!  Check out the resources below.

Brown leaves on a plant due to injury caused by a heatwave.
2021 Heatwave Damage – Kym Pokorny, Oregon State University

***Great Publication/book to add to your library: Abiotic Disorders of Landscape Plants; A Diagnostic Guide, Publication #3420, (University of California ANR) ISBN 1-879906-58-9.  Learn the difference between sunburn injury, sunscald injury, thermal/high temperature injury and high light injury.

Brown crinkled leaves of a blackberry plant and discolored, withered blackberries, all damage due to heatwave.
2021 Heatwave damage on blackberries
Bernadine Strik, Oregon State University

What Can We Learn from the ‘Pacific Northwest Heat Dome’ of 2021? (Nicole Bell, WSU) https://bit.ly/3MklELi

June 2021 heat impacts on trees explained. (Glen Ahrens, OSU) https://bit.ly/3sFx9oJ

What is a ‘heat dome’. (NOAA) https://bit.ly/3sFIhlx

How to care for heat-damaged plants. (Heather Stoven, OSU via Kym Pokorny, OSU) https://bit.ly/3PrUzrJ

Tips for gardening in extreme heat. (Erica Chernoh, OSU via Kym Pokorny, OSU) https://bit.ly/3Lh4TPP

Heat wave in the garden: how to identify and prevent heat stress in plants. (Nicole Sanchez, OSU) https://bit.ly/38yerZx

Environmental injury: Sunscald and Sunburn on Trees https://bit.ly/3wiAtbz

Rhododendron -Sunburn. PNW Disease Handbook https://bit.ly/3yEdwkX

Rhododendron -Leaf Scorch. PNW Disease Handbook https://bit.ly/38C6yCa

Brown leaf scorch on leaves of Rhododendron plant.
Leaf scorch on Rhododendron
Jay Pscheidt, Oregon State University

The Myth of Hot-Weather Watering “Watering plants on a hot sunny day will scorch their leaves”, (Dr. Linda Chalker-Scott, WSU) https://bit.ly/3wjNp0V

And/or search online:

1. Add “site:edu” to the search word or phrase, but omit the quotes.

2. If you search for sunburn, try “sunburn +plants site:edu” (omit the quote marks).  (Doing so will help limit the number of references to sunburned people!)

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

Mycorrhizae! Myco-what?? (Jim Downer, Gardenprofessors.com) https://bit.ly/36h3XfU

Measuring the weather in your garden. (Linda Chalker-Scott, Gardenprofessors.com)https://bit.ly/3KSxWtF


Japanese Beetle information:

Illustration of Japanese Beetle with a red circle and a slash over the illustration.
Image: Oregon Department of Agriculture

Japanese Beetle Eradication project (Oregon Department of Agriculture)- Maps, look-a- likes, response plan, pesticide info, etc. https://bit.ly/3KPmqzk

Japanese Beetle PDX website: https://bit.ly/3rtu22N

Effective Management Remains Elusive for Beetle That Eats Almost Anything. (David Coyle, Entomologytoday.org) https://bit.ly/3OePjHd


Popup yard sprinklers spraying water on grass with ornamental flowers in the back ground.
Photo: Lynn Ketchum, Oregon State University

Publications and videos of ‘Gardening Lawn, and Landscape’ resources from OSU. https://bit.ly/3M7s3Jf

Peer Reviewed, free download publications from WSU:

Manage Water by Adjusting Lawn Sprinkler Run Time: Instructions for the Columbia Basin of Washington State. (Andrew McGuire, WSU) https://bit.ly/3OfW1fX

Growing Rhubarb in Home Gardens. (Linda Chalker-Scott, WSU https://bit.ly/3EleOSt

Environmental Injury: Sunscald and Sunburn on Trees. (Marianne Ophardt & Rita Hummel, WSU) https://bit.ly/3xtxxtV

Winter Burn on Evergreens. (Marianne Ophardt & Rita Hummel, WSU) https://bit.ly/3vjv8PD

Protecting Water Resources: Planting and Caring for Home Wetlands and Other Riparian Areas. (Linda Chalker-Scott, WSU) https://bit.ly/3xvukd7

The Efficacy and Environmental Consequences of Kelp-Based Garden Products. (Linda Chalker-Scott, WSU) https://bit.ly/3vh3lzo

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

Western bumble bee on yellow flower
Western Bumblebee Photo: Stephen Ausmus, Agriculture Research Service, USDA

The ABCs of plants for Bees! (Abi Saeed, Gardenprofessors.com) https://bit.ly/3tiYmyx

Surfing the “green wave.”  Is it spring yet where you are? How can you tell? (Pam Knox, Gardenprofessors.org) https://bit.ly/3wbT9dy

An Introduction to growing under lights. (By Miri Talabac, UMD) https://bit.ly/3qaAnzo


VIDEOS from NPIC (National Pesticide Information Center, OSU)

Bacillus thuringiensis:   https://bit.ly/3Ji4EDT

Spinosad:  https://bit.ly/3CW6mIY

What does it mean when food is organic?:  https://bit.ly/3ivh2oB


Dorsal view of Giant Asian Hornet
Giant Asian Hornet, Oregon Department of Agriculture

How to make irresistible traps for Asian giant hornets using sex.  “Traps placed near nests in China attracted thousands of males.” (Erin Garcia de Jesús, Sciencenews.org) https://bit.ly/3MYPndF


Insects on a Plane: How Eusocial Ants, Bees, and Wasps Deal With Viruses. (Melissa Mayer, entomologytoday.org) https://bit.ly/3Jhfhqt


Mosquito on skin.
Mosquito, National Pesticide Information Center, OSU

Mosquitoes may be attracted to certain colours. (Cassandra Edmunds, theconversation.com) https://bit.ly/3wdbaIo

Hidden Diversity: When One Wasp Species is Actually 16. (Entomology today) https://bit.ly/3th6teR

Can words describe the fragrance of the very breath of spring? 

Neltje Blanchan


Favorite Master Gardener Activities Resume

2 Master Gardeners helping a client. One Master Gardener pointing to page in brochure.

We are excited to be resuming favorite Master Gardener volunteer opportunities in the next few months.  Please look for announcements in the coming weeks and months as we resume our in-person helplines, Farmers Markets and Master Gardener tabling at community events. We will send out notification when these events are open for registration.



Master Gardener Helplines to Open

Three people in office, with thumbs up

We are happy to announce we are opening the metro area Master Gardener office helplines in the coming months.  The resumption will be staggered across the 3 counties, as we train volunteers to use our new online helpline system.

The online helpline system is the same system we have been using to serve the public remotely the past two years.

An orientation on the new helpline system is a prerequisite to volunteering in the office. Look for upcoming announcements to register for an orientation.


Update Your CERVIS Profile

Sign-up for upcoming volunteer shifts at Farmers Markets, Helplines, and special volunteer opportunities will be on CERVIS.  In order to be ready to sign-up, when the time comes, please visit CERVIS and update your profile, including your mailing address and phone numbers.


Welcome 2022 Cohort

Five people holding up their soil covered hands, palms up.
MG trainees at Soils Workshop, with Master Gardener instructor Claudia Groth

We would like to extend a warm welcome to our 140 trainees from Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties.

We are excited to have you join our program of committed garden educators. Your online training is winding down, and soon you will be out in the community actively practicing and sharing your newfound knowledge

Possibilities will abound with a wide range of volunteer opportunities. We hope you will dig in, have fun, and share your passion for gardening with fellow MGs and the gardening public.  This is an opportunity to further your garden education and  gain confidence in teaching others how to sustainably and successfully garden.

A big shout out of thanks to all the Master Gardener associations and volunteers who have developed and are leading the instruction of hands-on workshops to the 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.


Education/Demonstration Gardens

Person kneeling near planting bed, planting seeds

Currently our supporting Master Gardener associations are a great place 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.

Clackamas Co. Master Gardener Assocation
Multnomah Co. Master Gardener Association
Washington Co. Master Gardener Association



Get Ready!  It’s Plant Sale Season!

Person leaning over planter of flowers. Person looking over the shoulder of the person leaning over the planter.

Spring is in the air, along with an excited buzz as our supporting associations in Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties resume fundraising activities this spring.

Two favorite plant sales are back! 

The iconic Clackamas County Master Gardener Association’s Spring Garden Fair kicks off at the Clackamas County Fair Grounds and Event Center, April 30 and May 1.

The Multnomah County Master Gardener Association’s Incredible Edibles Plant Sale, a celebration of growing your own food, resumes on Saturday, May 7th, in NE Portland, (NE 16th and Hancock Street).

You will also find a wide array of great gardening tools and books at the Washington County Master Gardener Association’s ‘Gifts for Gardeners’ booth at both the Spring Garden Fair and the Incredible Edibles Plant Sale.

Be sure to mark your calendars to join in the fun volunteering and/or shopping to your heart’s content!



Weston Shares Gardening Guidance

Your OSU Community Horticulturist and Master Gardener instructor, Weston Miller, has had several appearances on local and national radio programs, sharing a wealth of guidance and insight for gardeners. Take a listen…

National Public Radio, Science Friday: Weston was the guest expert to field questions from across the nation.

Oregon Public Broadcasting, Think Out Loud: discussion about climate change affecting home gardens.  

Jefferson Public Radio, The Jefferson Exchange, Weston discusses changes in where plants are grown and how well.


Growing Oregon Gardeners: Level Up Series

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!

Can’t make a date or missed a webinar.  Don’t despair!  Recordings are made available for all webinars following the live broadcast.

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.  






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) https://bit.ly/3HVDhij

PUBLICATION: Managing Moss in Lawns in Western Oregon. (Brooke Edmunds, Alec Kowalewski, OSU) (View or download a pdf.) https://bit.ly/3LOd2Np

Practical Lawn Care for Western Oregon. (Doug Vonderberg, Alec Kowalewski, OSU) https://bit.ly/34Kd202

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: https://bit.ly/3GZbTPq

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, Anthropocenemagazine.org) https://bit.ly/33t3ciA

The world’s most unwanted plants help trees make more fruit. (Angela Nicoletti, Florida International University https://bit.ly/3gM38gL

Big leaf maple trees. Patrick Breen, OSU

Video & article: First-of-its-kind estimate of the total number of tree species. (Purdue University) https://bit.ly/3uTfU5u

The Gardens of Chernobyl 30 years after the disaster. (Jim Downer, gardenprofessors.com) https://bit.ly/3oRBPGj

Unearthly Plant Photos by Tom Leighton Highlight Nighttime Chemical Processes. (Anna Marks, thisiscolossal.com) https://bit.ly/365cMsH

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 Greenberg.pbs.org) https://to.pbs.org/3GMJdc1

More on this topic: How Little We Know About Monarchs… (Kathy Keatley Garvey, University of California) https://bit.ly/354AIMA

Discovery of ancient plant fossils in Washington points to paleobotanic mystery. (University of Kansas) https://bit.ly/3gMccSH

Just for fun!  Idaho Potato Commission Releases French Fry Scented Perfume. (newson6.com) https://bit.ly/36m2vsx

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

Critters digging up your lawn and garden?  Here are some resources on voles, moles and gophers:

Pruning saw (upper left), a long‑handled pruning shears (center), and hand shears (bottom).
Pruning tools – OSU

Moles, voles and gophers dig the garden. (Dana Sanchez, OSU) https://bit.ly/33iM2Uu

Meadow Voles and Pocket Gophers: Management in Lawns, Gardens, and Croplands. (Gunn et al,
OSU) https://bit.ly/3zZYi8r

People and Plants-“…a look at the German botanist Adam Lonicer.” (Sylvia Thompson-Hacker, Gardenprofessors.com) https://bit.ly/3fiQs0k

VIDEO: Pruning Fruit Trees. (OSU Clackamas County MG, Clackamas County TV via Youtube) https://bit.ly/33wpEXt

In a New Study, Spring Forest Bees Get Their Due. (Leslie Mertz, Ph.D, Entomologytoday.org) https://bit.ly/3Grheil

Back-Seat Driver: The Parasite That Makes Bees Drop Off Its Babies. (Page Embry, Entomologytoday) https://bit.ly/3nky37w

Do Pollinators Prefer Dense Flower Patches? Sometimes Yes, Sometimes No. (Andrew Porterfield, Entomologytoday.org) https://bit.ly/3GDxDkx

Moss in lawn – OSU

VIDEO: Managing Moss in Lawns. (Alec Kowalewski, OSU) https://bit.ly/3I4mrO5

Where Giant Honey Bees Rest Their Wings During Annual Migration. (Ed Ricciuti, Entomologytoday.org) https://bit.ly/3GqcZ75

This Insect Has The Only Mechanical Gears Ever Found in Nature.  “The small hopping insect Issus coleoptratus uses toothed gears on its joints to precisely synchronize the kicks of its hind legs as it jumps forward.” (Joseph Stromberg, smithsonianmag.com) https://bit.ly/3qvaSJX

VIDEO: Watch roots from different plants compete for prime real estate underground.  Mathematical modeling and greenhouse studies show complex interactions keep roots productive. (Elizabeth Pennisi, Science.org) https://bit.ly/3GmNK5C

Frost covered buds on branch of a tree or shrub.

“The February sunshine steeps your boughs and tints the buds and swells the leaves within.”

William Cullen Bryant


OSU Master Gardeners Impact Our Communities

Last month we highlighted the steadfast commitment of metro area Master Gardeners to serve the community and build their knowledge and skills as we navigated through another year of challenges.  

Now read those highlights in the 2021 OSU Master Gardener Impact Report, and see the resolute spirit the OSU Master Gardener Program has throughout the state, to grow knowledge and grow reach, all in the midst of challenging times.

2022 OSU Master Gardener Impact Report


Growing Oregon Gardeners: Level Up Series Launches for 2022

Sunflower behind promotional text for Growing Oregon Gardeners: Level Up Series. With OSU Extension Service logo.

It’s a new year and a new slate of free online learning webinars with Growing Oregon Gardeners: Level Up Series. 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 class for you!


Metro area Master Gardener, Dennis Brown, kicks off the series on Tuesday, February 8, 12noon
Presenting: ‘The Science and Practice of Seed Starting: Secrets to success when growing by seed’


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.  


OSU Master Gardener Program’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity Task Force

Screen shot of 32 faces participating in JEDI task force webinar meeting.

The first cohort of the statewide OSU Master Gardener Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity (DEI) Task Force was launched last year.  The Task Force includes over two dozen Master Gardener volunteers from around the state and seven Master Gardener program staff and faculty.  

Read about the professional training and work of the Task Force Group in the 2022 OSU Master Gardener Impact Report  which includes testimonials from Task Force Members.


Applications Being Accepted for 2022 JEDI Task Force Members

Excerpt from the OSU Extension Service Master Gardener Program News

Applications for the second cohort of Master Gardener JEDI Task Force Members are now being accepted. Click here to submit your application. Applications will be accepted through February 28, 2022. We are specifically seeking applications from Master Gardener volunteers, across the state of Oregon, who are

  1. committed to advancing Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity with in the Master Gardener program.
  2. wanting to deepen their own understanding of inequities, historical racism, and colonialism within horticulture, Land Grant Institutions, and Oregon.
  3. able to make a 12 month commitment (April 2022 – March 2023), of 4-6 hours per month, for Task Force work.
  4. willing to be a bridge between the Task Force, and their local Master Gardener group, to ensure that the work that we do on the Task Force is brought back to county Master Gardener Programs.

JEDI stands for Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity. Sometimes, we call ourselves the DEI Task Force. Sometimes, we call ourselves the JEDI Task Force, because frankly, the word ‘JEDI’ is both more representative of what we are trying to do, and is also more fun to say.

You can learn a bit more about the aims and structure of the JEDI Task Force, by visiting this post, from May 2021. Service on the Task Force can be counted towards your volunteer service requirement or recertification requirement.’


Hands holding another pair of hands which are cupping a small plant surrounded by soil.

Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve. […] You only need a heart full of grace.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


New Year’s Greetings and Gratitude

With another year of challenges in our rear-view mirror, we extend our utmost gratitude for the on-going support and service of metro area OSU Master Gardeners.  You have remained strong in your commitment to serving your community and expanding and strengthening your knowledge through continuing garden education. 

In 2021, metro area Master Gardeners took part in over 3,000 hours of continuing garden education opportunities.  With Oregonian’s steady demand for gardening guidance, metro area Master Gardeners answered nearly 6,000 questions via our remote helpline, virtual community events and OSU’s ‘Ask Extension’.  Once again, you dug deep into your community and home gardens, and our supporting county association gardens, by growing and donating nearly 12,200 lbs. of produce to area food pantries.  Despite the challenges of 2021, metro area Master Gardeners volunteered over 15,000 hours in service to your community!  Kudos to one and all! 

2022 Master Gardener Training
We are entering the coming year with excitement as we get ready to welcome a new Master Gardener training class. Our 2022 Master Gardener training will be a combination of online modules, webinars and outdoor hands-on workshops. Training will commence mid-February. Look to meet and welcome new trainees at Master Gardener events in the spring and summer of 2022.

OSU Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service Events

Movie and Discussion: The Ants and the Grasshopper, and a climate change discussion for gardeners with Vivek Shandas

Gardeners in Oregon saw what climate change looks like last summer: widespread leaf scorch and leaf drop from trees, bees at risk from heat stress, and plants succumbing to a record-breaking “heat dome”. Dr. Vivek Shandas saw it too, and on the hottest day of the year he set out with his son to measure air and ground temperatures in some of Portland’s most vulnerable communities. His research on climate adaptation and climate justice shows that how people fare during extreme heatwaves is in large part dictated by where they live. Halfway around the globe, Anita Chitaya lives with climate change in Malawai, as a farmer and community activist. She traveled to America to speak with farmers, growers, community organizers, and politicians about climate change and how we can work together to reduce its rapid trajectory. 

Join the OSU Master Gardener Program for the 40th anniversary of OSU’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service.  Gather virtually to reflect upon environmental justice as a component to achieving social justice.  We will watch the documentary that chronicles Anita Chitaya’s story, “The Ants and the Grasshopper”. Afterward, stay for a live discussion with Dr. Vivek Shandas about climate change effects on vulnerable communities, the intersection of climate change and social justice, and what role gardeners can play to promote healthier living environments for all.


‘The Ants and the Grasshopper’ Film Screening and Post Film Discussion
When: Monday, January 17, 2022, 6pm movie, 7:15 pm discussion
Where: Online, via Kinema


About the movie, The Ants and the Grasshopper : How do you change someone’s mind about the most important thing in the world? Anita Chitaya has a gift: she can change farmers’ minds about what to grow, she can change what people love to eat, and she can even persuade men to fight for gender equality. Now, to save her home in Malawi from extreme weather, she faces her greatest challenge: persuading Americans that climate change is real.

About Dr. Vivek Shandas: Vivek Shandas is a Professor in the College of Urban and Public Affairs at Portland State University. His work focuses on developing strategies for addressing the implications of climate change on cities. His teaching and research examine the intersection of exposure to climate-induced events, governance processes, and planning mechanisms. As the Founder and Director of the Sustaining Urban Places Research (SUPR) laboratory at PSU, he brings a policy-relevant approach to research, including the evaluation of environmental stressors on human health, developing of indicators and tools to improve decision making, and the construction of frameworks to guide the growth of urban regions. Over the past several years, research from the SUPR Lab has appeared in the Smithsonian Magazine, National Public Radio, Washington Post, Minnesota Public Broadcasting, NY Times, Qatar Times, and several other national and international media.

About this event: The OSU Extension Master Gardener program is sponsoring this event as one small part of OSU’s 40th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Celebration. This event is open to all gardeners, including Master Gardener volunteers, and is intended to provide an opportunity to reflect on Dr. King’s legacy, and our programmatic commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as climate change. 

How to access this event: Tickets are free but require registration. Once you register at Kinema you’ll be provided sign-in information from Kinema. You must view the movie and discussion through Kinema at the time this event is scheduled.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service – Ways to Serve from Home

  • In 2022, commit to exploring how gardeners can align to combat climate change. Here are some practical ideas for steps gardeners can take, from OSU horticulturist Brooke Edmunds
  • Commit to learning how those most vulnerable to climate change intersect with that reality, and the need for environmental justice. Determine what role you can take to elevate and support the voices of impacted communities.
  • Support our OSU Extension Food Hero and Grow This! program, by signing up to provide guidance and advice to participants of the Grow This! Oregon Garden Challenge. Find details in our December newsletter.
  • Make seed tape or mason bee houses to donate to your local community garden or school garden. Scroll down in this newsletter to see the ‘How do I create seed tape’ video from fellow Master Gardener, Dennis Brown
  • Make your vegetable garden plan to include growing fresh veggies and herbs for donation to your local food pantry
  • If your Master Gardener Association hosts an annual plant sale, include plant donations to local organizations who support under-served community members. Donate garden tools and seeds to organizations who support a community garden or support gardeners in under-served communities.

Metro area Master Gardener Recognized for Service

OSU Master Gardener, Rhonda Frick-Wright

Last month, at OSU staff’s annual Extension Service Conference, metro area Master Gardener, Rhonda Frick-Wright was presented with the OSU Extension Association ‘Ask Extension’ Volunteer of the Year award in recognition of her service answering questions via Ask Extension.  Sandy Reichhuber, OSU Extension co-coordinator for Ask Extension, presented the award and stated “Not only does Rhonda know what she is talking about, she answers questions in a graceful easy-to-understand and knowledgeable way.”

Of course, we in the metro area Master Gardener program know Rhonda as a valued, generous volunteer and we are delighted that Rhonda was given a celebratory shout-out for her service educating Oregonians.

Congratulations and utmost thanks Rhonda for your committed service!


Pre-order OSU Master Gardener’s New Book

In our December Newsletter we shared the exciting news…fellow OSU Master Gardener, Elizabeth Price, has written a book ‘Native and Ornamental Conifers of the Pacific NW’ that OSU Press will be publishing in the spring of 2022. 

More good news! You can now pre-order Elizabeth’s book!  Use Promo Code SP22 when you order online, for 20% off and free shipping (offer expires May 15, 2022). 

The book is an outcome of the outstanding conifer ID workshops  Elizabeth has led over the past 10 years for the metro area MG Study Group. It will serve as such a valuable resource for anyone wanting to expand their knowledge of conifers in the Pacific NW. 


Master Gardener holding up seed tape

New Year – Garden Plans – DIY Projects

As we embrace winter, our thoughts move towards gardening plans and ‘hope of spring’. If this year’s gardening plans include starting your own plants by seed, here are some great DIY project videos presented by fellow OSU Master Gardener, Dennis Brown.

How Do I Create Seed Tape?

How Do I Make Pots to Start Seeds?

How Do I Create a Set-up for Garden Transplants?