Master Gardener Update

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					                                       Master Gardener Update
                                                                                                                        September 2000

Next Meeting                               Prez Sez...                      by Nina Meygesi

Tuesday, September 12,                           Summer's winding down--we've planted, weeded, toured, barbecued,
7:00 p.m. at University                    and exhibited and are now busy harvesting, gathering, canning and freez-
Park Building. Michele                     ing. Now it's time to plan our winter meetings. Please let me know if you
Hébert will talk about                     have any requests or suggestions.
perennial management.                            Our next meeting will be on Tuesday, September 12, at 7:00 p.m., at
Want to volunteer to bring                 University Park Building. Michele Hébert will talk with us about perennial
refreshments? Call Cindy at                management. If you'd like to volunteer to bring refreshments, please call
474-2421.                                  Cindy at 474-2421.
                                                 The Georgeson Botanical Garden classes were accepted well by our
Volunteers are needed to                   community. How about some Master Gardeners volunteering to teach next
help put the fair garden to                year? Any subject related to garden-
bed and to dig potatoes on                 ing--from seeds to jam--will be wel-
September 6, 10:00 a.m.                    comed.
                                                                                                                 A garden is the
Help is also needed to plant
a memorial tree grove on                                                                                              interface
August 30. Call Michele or
                                           Sphagnum moss                                                            between the
Cindy to volunteer at 474-                       Sphagnum moss grows in Alaska
                                           in bogs and below black spruce trees.
                                                                                                                  house and the
                                           Commercially it is used to line fern                                         rest of
                                           baskets and other containers. It hosts a                                 civilization
                                           rare bacterium that can prevent damp-                                Geoffrey Charlesworth
                                           ing off disease of seedlings. According            A Gardener Obsessed (1994)
                                           to the University of California-Davis
      Land Resources Agent                 researchers, the bacteria comes to life
                                           when sphagnum moss is moistened, but remain dormant when the moss is
                                           dry. As these tiny creatures prosper in their microscopic world, they give off
         Michele Hébert                    an antibiotic that inhibits the growth of other microorganisms, including
              Editor                       fungi that cause damping off. This is one reason why sphagnum peat moss
          Cindy Riddle                     makes a good addition to potting soils used for starting seedlings.
         Design & Layout

Inside. . .                                How insects overwinter
                                                 Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario states that insects have two
Bee-friendly gardening ........ 2          antifreeze proteins to help them overwinter. The proteins lower the tem-
A slope can be a gift ............ 2       perature at which water turns to ice, and they change the structure of the ice
September kids' gardening ... 2            crystals that do form so that they are less damaging to the frozen cells. The
Cream of radish leaf soup .... 3           proteins in bugs are 30 to 100 times more effective than fish antifreezes.
Vermiculite warnings .......... 3          Adult and larvae insects survive the winter by using these natural anti-
MG listserv .......................... 4   freezes.
    No endorsement of firms and products mentioned is intended, nor is criticism implied of those not mentioned in the Master Gardener Update.
Master Gardener Update
Page 2                                                                                            Master Gardener Update, September 2000

 September Kids'                            Bee-friendly gardening
                                                   Bees land among that category of beneficial insects. Though they may
 Gardening                                   evoke fear among some people, they provide a valuable service by pollinat-
                                             ing food crops and flowering plants. Because the bee population has been
                                             reduced due to harmful mites, protecting our helpful bees is a priority. Many
 New Junior
                                             of the pesticides we use in the lawn and garden can harm bees that are
                                             foraging for pollen and nectar.
 (JMG)                                       Here's how to protect them:
 educational materials are         • Select pesticides such as horticultural oils, insecticidal soaps and Bacil-
 available at the Extension     lus thuringiensis (Bt) products that are less harmful to bees. Call the Exten-
 Office.                        sion Office for advice.
                                   • Read the instructions for any spray product to see if there are special
 The program incorporates       precautions with respect to bees.
 community and volunteer           • Apply pesticides after 3 p.m., by which time most bees have returned to
 service within the following their hives.
 eight units:                      • Prevent drift by spraying during calm wind conditions.
                                   • If there are beekeepers nearby, be sure to advise them before applying
 • Plant Growth and Develop- pesticides so that they may protect their hives if necessary.
 • Environmental Horticulture
  and Ecology
 • Fruits and Nuts                          A slope can be a gift
 • Landscape Design             Slopes in the home landscape can be challenging but also a benefit. They
 • Soils and Water              offer a new perspective, provide for drainage, can conceal or display, offer
 • Insects and Diseases         more or less light exposure, and can control circulation.
 • Vegetables and Herbs
 • Life Skills and Career       Design choices
                                1. Plant it. Plant roots (that provide structural strength and draw up excess
 The JMG program has both a          moisture from the soil, plant foliage and debris all help to cover the soil
 youth handbook and a lead           and reduce runoff.
 er/teacher guide for each      2. Retain it. Several low walls are often better on steep slopes than one
 level. The handbook has             high one; anything over 3 feet should be designed by a licensed engineer.
 group and individual activi-        Always build a wall on cut or undisturbed soil, not fill.
 ties. Group activities can be 3. Terrace it. It is often beneficial to break a long slope into several shorter
 done with a school class,           slopes or near level surfaces to visually reduce the steepness.
 JMG club or an after-school    4. Climb it. Steps, stairways, or ramps and the percent of slope can control
 program. Individual activities      the rate of movement through the garden space.
 allow youths to extend their   5. View it. It is easier to see a garden on a slope that is tilted towards the
 learning experiences from the       viewer.
 group site to the home. All of              There are several master gardeners in our community that have successfully
 the activities allow flexibility            worked with slopes. They can be a wonderful source on information and
 in selecting from a bank of                 provide visual examples of what works well. Joan Robson has done an
 activities when participating               outstanding job with terracing, steps and perennials. Janelle McCrackin has
 in the program.                             landscaped a steep site with a combination of perennials and grassy walks.
                                             Judy Murphy has stone retaining wall combined with a sloping lawn. Site
            More on page 3...                visits to a successful garden.
               The University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service programs are available to all, without regard to race, color, age, sex, creed, national origin,
               or disability and in accordance with all applicable federal laws. Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in
               cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Tony Nakazawa, Director, Cooperative Extension Service, University of Alaska Fairbanks.
Master Gardener Update, September 2000                                                                        Page 3
 (Continued from page 2)
                                   Cream of radish leaf soup
Children may                               2T  butter                          1 large russet potato,
                                              1large onion, chopped                    peeled and chopped
participate in JMG                   2 bunches radish leaves, chopped          1/2 cup whipping cream or
three different ways:                         2 garlic cloves, minced                  creme fraiche
                                              4tomatoes, peeled and chopped          • Salt and white pepper to taste
• Become a certified Junior        1-1/2 quartsvegetable water or                    • Sliced radishes for garnish
                                               beef or chicken stock                 • Chopped fresh parsley for
 Master Gardener. This is the
                                       1/4 cup uncooked rice                           garnish
 highest level of program
 participation and includes              Melt butter in heavy saucepan. Add onion and cook until tender but not
 certification in all eight        brown. Add radish leaves; cook until wilted. Add garlic and tomatoes; cook 3
                                   minutes. Add stock, rice and potato; bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer about
 subject units in one level.
                                   40 minutes.
                                         Put through blender or processor in batches. When soup is smooth, return to
• Complete a Golden Ray            pan and heat almost to boiling, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
 Series by selecting option 1            Stir in cream and adjust seasoning to taste. Pour into soup bowls and
 or option 2.                      garnish each serving with radishes and parsley. Yields 8 to 10 servings.
   Option 1: One of the eight
     subject units of the JMG                                                  From "Quick French Cuisine"
     handbook is completed
     as a Golden Ray Series.
   Option 2: Complete a
     thematic unit as a
                                  EPA warns gardeners about
     Golden Ray Series.           handling vermiculite
     These units combine a                                                    from Forest Nursery Notes, July 2000
     variety of activities from                                               submitted by Sarah McClellan, ACE
     all subject units to focus         "The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is warning consumers
     on one topic, such as        not to handle one specific garden product containing vermiculite, and to
     "Creating a Backyard         treat all similar products as if they are contaminated with cancer-causing
     Habitat," "Developing a      asbestos."
     Vegetable Garden" and
     others or a custom-                One vermiculite product called Zonolite which was used for building
     designed unit that you       insulation has been found to contain fibrous actinolite and tremolite which
     create on your own.          are both classified as carcinogens. A vermiculite mine in Libby, MT was
                                  closed because workers exposed to tremolite asbestos fibers developed
• Simply use individual           several fatal diseases. A class-action lawsuit is currently pending against
  activities in the handbooks     the company. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer newspaper reported that the
  to enhance your program.        EPA has found "asbestos in several brands of garden products." Testing
                                  also showed that "using these products caused asbestos fibers to be released
 For information:                 into the air where they could be inhaled."
 call Michele Hébert 474-2423
                                        Zonolite brand attic insulation was sometimes used in growing media
 or Lou McLean 474-2427.
                                  in the past because of its coarse texture. It was never intended to be sold for
                                  that purpose, however, but the Seattle paper found that bags were still for
                                  sale in garden and hardware stores in the Puget Sound area.
                                        Commercial growing media producers have been using a completely
                                  different source of vermiculite for many years that has been shown to be
                                  free of asbestos contaminants.
                                       If you have further questions, Forest Nursery suggests that you
                                  contact Kerry Bierman at The Scotts Company, (614) 719-5604, e-mail:
              Listserv for Master Gardeners
        At the Alaska Master Gardener Conference in Juneau this past May
  the presidents of several MG Associations and several Extension Agents
  met to discuss how to increase communication among Master Gardeners
  across the state. Sarah McClellan has set up the list to help Mater Garden-
  ers increase their ability to communicate.

        AKMG-L, the Alaska Master Gardeners' Statewide listserv, is a
  service of the University of Alaska Fairbanks and Alaska Cooperative
  Extension. The purpose for this e-mail connection is for MASTER GAR-
  DENERS to share gardening information, pose questions, and announce
  gardening events across the state. To subscribe, send a message to:
  In the body of the message write:
  Then send your message. To post messages to the list for all of your fellow
  gardeners to read, send messags to:

                                                                                Penalty For Private Use, $300
                                                                                      Official Business

                                                                           Fairbanks, Alaska 99775-6180
  PERMIT No. G268
                                                                                  PO Box 756180
                                                                           University of Alaska Fairbanks
POSTAGE & FEES PAID                                                   U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
    PRSRT STD                                                              Alaska Cooperative Extension

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