garden class

Planting season is a few months away, but now is the season for planning how to improve your garden plot and what and when to plant come May.

Glen McCombs, owner of Plant Fair Nursery in Star Valley, has more than a green thumb — he may very well have gardening genes.

“I’m a fourth-generation nurseryman,” he says, “My great grandfather, Jeremiah McCombs, started a nursery in Ontario, Canada in 1890.”

Glen has worked in the nursery business all his life, except for four years in the armed services. Thanks to years of experience at Tip Top Nursery in Phoenix and people he came to know in the industry, Glen says he was able to increase significantly the plant palate offered in Payson when he opened his store in 1983.

Thursday, Feb. 11 he’s the featured speaker with a presentation on how to “Wake Up Your Garden,” the next installment in the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension Gila County’s weekly webinar series, online and free each Thursday from 11a.m. to noon. Zoom link for the session is arizona.zoom.us/j/81260447708 and guests are welcome to log in up to 10 minutes prior to the webinar. An easier 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.”

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.

During the webinar McCombs will provide a brief welcome to the Payson Community Garden. He will focus on “waking up” your garden from winter and preparing it for spring and summer gardening. He will discuss organic fertilizer, soil preparation, worms, cover crops and crop rotation. Be sure to take advantage of the Q&A chat session to ask him any specific questions about gardening.

Throughout the month Cooperative Extension’s popular online class series teams up with Payson Community Garden volunteers. Payson Community Garden has offered classes for years; that’s not new — but having them broadcast online is, says Jones, University of Arizona’s Gila County Cooperative Extension agent.

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.

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