Starting Vegetable Seedlings

Starting Vegetable Seedlings online, 11 a.m. to noon, Thursday Feb. 4.

Learn how to germinate vegetable seedlings indoors for your summer garden; basics of selecting seeds appropriate for the season and step-by-step process for growing healthy “starts” ready to plant outside in May. Find the link at extension.arizona.edu/gila or email ckjones@arizona.edu for details

Recent snow may have nudged gardening a bit lower on your To-Do list, but this week it is time to start planning for planting. Gila County Cooperative Extension co-hosts a new weekly online class series with Payson Community Garden’s local green-thumbed leaders and volunteers Thursday Feb. 4.

Payson Community Garden has offered popular classes for years; that’s not new – but having them broadcast online is, says Chris Jones, University of Arizona’s Gila County Cooperative Extension Agent.

“Payson Community Garden does so many things right, and I’ve been honored to be among the presenters for its garden classes over the years. We’re building on that this year – featuring knowledgeable speakers including Glen McCombs of Plant Fair Nursery, an expert on soil and plants that are ideal for Payson and Rim Country gardens. Whether you want to grow your own vegetables and herbs or add the right shrubs and trees to your landscape, he’s a local treasure,” said Jones.

“Payson Community Garden has volunteers who are skilled in so many specific areas and over the next 12 weeks we’ll be hearing from Kenny Evans, Suzan Miller-Hoover, Mary Schulte, Cathy Hicken, Bill Pitterle, Teresa Corrigan, Dan McEwen, Carol Noble, Sandra Herr and Jane Crafter.”

The collaboration is offered free and online by University of Arizona Cooperative Extension Gila County, a continuing and garden-centric weekly webinar series exploring a variety of horticultural and natural resource topics applicable to Gila County.

The easiest way to connect is via convenient ‘click here’ direct hotlinks at extension.arizona.edu/gila, where you can also view previous programs from the past six months such as “Winter Gardening” and “Compost Tea.” Those interested are also invited to join the growing audience for these informative online chats. Cooperative Extension’s website above has an array of links to programs, talks and resources. Links are also conveniently posted each week on Facebook, where you can join Chris Jones and a local network of gardeners and green-thumbed followers at facebook.com/gilaextension. Want to be added to Jones’ email invite list for these gardening and horticulture workshops?

Call Chris at 928-402-8586 or email ckjones@email.arizona.edu

Founded back in 2012, Payson Community Garden (paysoncommunitygardenaz.com) is a shining example of a successful, vibrant community garden. Thursday classes over the next few months will include soil-building and its great benefits, ways to have healthy plants through the garden season, how to keep bugs and disease away, and harvesting at the right time. Presenters will be available for live Q&A chat following each class, too.

Seasonally-appropriate sessions include how to “wake-up” your garden with soil prep, fertilizer, worms and cover crops.

Did you know watering is the number one way gardeners kill their plants? Different plants require just the right amount of water – and applied the right way. Soaker hoses and drip lines work best; spraying water directly from a hose loses much of that precious liquid through evaporation. And did you know that splashing leaves with water under Arizona’s intense summer sun could literally sunburn your plants? Payson Community Garden classes range from planning your garden (“choose a style ranging from three-season to single-row, intensive or trellised); to a “Garden Party - with companion plants and good bugs!”

Join Thursday’s talk at 11 a.m. - find links at extension.arizona.edu/gila and also facebook.com/gilaextension

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