Coconino Master Gardener Association

Currently, warblers of several species are migrating through Flagstaff towards Canada and beyond. The Yellow Warblers, like this little guy are often an exception. They frequently choose to remain in Flagstaff throughout the summer. All of the warblers are busily searching the innermost branches of shrubs and trees for insects.
Photo by Cindy Murray.

Welcome to the Coconino County Master Gardeners' Association Blog. The mission of the Coconino Master Gardener Program is to support the University of Arizona by providing researched-based information on environmentally responsible gardening and landscaping to the public. The program creates a corps of well-informed volunteers, and delivers quality horticultural education programs adapted to our regional high elevation environment. The mission of the association is to provide support for those volunteers and Master Gardener graduates, continuing education, and opportunities to participate in community programs that increase the visibility and participation in the Master Gardener Program.
On this site you will find gardening news, links, a calendar for local events, volunteer opportunities, book reviews, agenda/minutes for our association monthly meetings, and association documents and contacts.
The Coconino County Master Gardener Association was founded in 2009 by a small group of master gardeners with the help of Hattie Braun the Director of the MG Program. After several small meetings it was opened to all master gardeners on May 21st, 2009. Meetings are held monthly on the 2rd Thursday of each month from 6:30pm - 8:30pm. We meet at the Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church (1601 N. San Francisco). The agenda usually includes continuing education and a short business meeting. Watch this blog for the agenda and minutes for all meetings. Contacts for the association (officers and committee chairs) are listed at the bottom of this blog.

Reporting Master Gardener Hours

All master gardener trainees and certified master gardeners need to report their hours.
Beginning in 2010 certified master gardeners need to have 6 Education hours and 12 Volunteer hours in order to maintain certification.The on line reporting system allows you to report Education or Volunteer hours.
If you have any questions or concerns about the new reporting system, please contact Crys Wells or Hattie Braun. Their contacts are listed at the bottom of the blog under
Link to reporting

Ideas for hours------
--Attend monthly meetings
--Work on an association committee
--Work at an informational booth for the Master Gardeners
--Be a speaker about gardening topics at a variety of venues

--Host a garden tour
--Work at the home show
--Work at a MG site (Olivia White Hospice, the Arboretum, Riordan Mansion, or school gardens (many others)). Check out the Assoc. Doc. & Forms under Volunteer Sites.
--Work in the Extension office
--Write an article for the newspaper column -Gardening Excetera
-Volunteer with the Seed Library
Be creative! There are many ways to fulfill your hours. Just remember for volunteering it needs to be a non-profit endeavor or an approved for profit site.

Change in Contact Information

Have you moved or changed your e-mail address, but would still like to be contacted about high elevation gardening information from the Extension? The Coconino County Extension Master Gardener Program has a site that will let you change your information on-line.

Click here to change your contact information!

Event Calendar

Friday, October 12, 2012

Northern AZ Native Plant Society Happenings

Hi, Everyone, 
Here is the final information about the last AZNPS talk and walk of 2012.  Please note that the walk is on SATURDAYnot Sunday, and it will start 1 1/2 hours earlier than usual.   
Tuesday, October 16 Laura Moser, Botanist & Invasive Plant Specialist and Pesticide-use Coordinator, Coconino National Forest,will be giving a talk on some of the invasive species introduced to the Verde Valley, the impacts they have on our native species and watershed health and what the Forest Service and the Verde Watershed Restoration Coalition is doing.  This meeting will be in Room 328 of the Biology Building at NAU at 7:00 pm.
Saturday, October 20 Laura Moser will be guiding a hike to the Sycamore Creek confluence with the Verde River and the Packard Ranch, a historic ranch at this site.  The hike will focus on identifying non-native species in this area and applying a quick risk-rating system to determine their potential invasiveness.  The area can still be warm at this time of year so bring plenty of water, sack lunch, hat, sunscreen, and sturdy walking shoes. 
We will be meeting in Flagstaff at 8:30 in the AZ Credit Union parking lot on Beaver St. and Butler Ave, OR  at 10:00 at the Sycamore Rd. just past the Tuzigoot Bridge near ClarkdaleThis secondary meeting location is to meet up with other AZNPS members from Verde Valley and perhaps Prescott.  There is a pull off on Sycamore Canyon Road just after you turn off of Tuzigoot road. Depending on how many of us there are, we'll then carpool or take our own vehicles down a graded, although sometimes bumpy, dirt road for approximately 10 miles to the Sycamore Canyon trailhead.

Contact info for  Laura Moser:
Posted by Dorothy Lamm - Hope to see you. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

CMGA Meeting Minutes 10/11/12

Master Gardener Meeting Minutes 10/11/2012
Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church
1601 N. San Francisco

6:30pm-6:40pm                Welcome – Agenda - Debi Stalvey
                                          Brief review of agenda for the evening
                                          Introduction of speaker

6:40pm-7:45pm                Continuing Education
                                          Northern Arizona Native, Invasive and Ornamental Grasses
                                          Jan Busco
Grasses don’t have petals and they are wind pollinated. Jan talked about Grasses, Sedges, and Rushes native to the Flagstaff area. She brought many samples so that the audience could begin to identify grasses, which is more difficult than flowers.  Grasses are beneficial for holding soil, food for animals, breaking up soil, holding down dust, and soaking up excess water. Some tricks to help with identification were that grasses come with two edges and have nodes, sedges have edges (3), and rushes are round. Annuals have short roots and can easily be pulled out of the ground; perennials have deeper and more complicated roots. Grasses can be sod or grow in bunches. Grasses can be cool or warm season and Jan covered several of each.
Cool Season/Spring to early summer – Mutton Grass (similar to Kentucky Bluegrass), June Grass (shines), Indian Rice Grass (very draught tolerant), AZ Fescue (cooler places, needlelike bunch grass). Identification is easier with timing/succession – Mutton Grass first.
Warm Season/Monsoon to autumn – Blue Grama (turf grass), Side Oats Grama (one side inflorescence), Deer Grass/Spike Muhly and Mt. Muhly (bunch grasses with a spike), Pinedrop Seed (red color in stem), other drop seeds (black, Alkali sacaton, sand), Purple 3-awn, Little bluestem (red in the fall). Jan also discussed sedges which do well in shade, and invasive such as cheatgrass which does not do well in shade and pampas grasses which can colonize.
Growing is easy from seed. It is similar to planting wildflowers. Just loosen soil with a rake, mix seed with a little soil or sand and spread, tamp down and water until seed established.
Jim Mast presented Jan with a calendar and some liquid fertilizer from the conference.
7:45pm-8:00pm                Refreshments
Thanks to the conference committee for bringing leftover cookies and lemonade.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Highlands Garden Conference

For all those who did not attend you missed a great show by our local master gardeners. This was the 12th Annual Highlands Garden Conference and Coconino County was the host. The speakers were excellent, the food tasty, and the venue comfortable. The crowd numbered 200 and all enjoyed socializing and taking in the many vendors who had come to share there wares or information. Special thanks to Hattie Braun and Ann Eagan for coordinating this conference.
To me one of the best parts of these conferences is connecting with old friends and gardeners from Coconino, Yavapai, Gila, and Navajo counties.
The keynotes were especially good this year. David Salman, the owner of High Country Gardens/Santa Fe Nursery opened the show with a talk on attracting bees to your garden. It was interesting, as usuual useful, and packed with lots of information on bees and what to grow to attract them. If you are interested in a list of bee attracting plants and what vegetables/fruit trees need pollinators check out this web site  My choice for the breakout session following was Frank Branham our local chef and owner of the Cottage Place. He did a great job connecting gardening to cooking. Because of costs at the Community Market he has begun growing some of his own food at home (tomatoes, squash, etc.). He also made a delicious Squash Soup for tasting, shared other tips/recipes, and sold his 1st book. If you are interested in cooking classes or his book contact the After lunch there was another keynote by noted author and radio personality, Charlie Nardozzi, on growing food among your other plants. He reviewed a long list of edible shrubs/trees/vines/and plants, while entertaining all who came. He also did a breakout session on growing/cooking  an Italian garden. For more info about him check out his web site The afternoon also brought 2 choices for breakout sessions. My choices were Patty West from NAU, on foraging (gathering and preparing native plants). She often does foraging walks in Coconino and Yavapai counties. She talked about precautions, let us sample a few, and covered  how to prepare some foods such as Prickly Pear buds. For more info on foraging you can contact Patty West at The second session I attended was Todd Cislo on Extreme Gardening. He gardens in the Banana Belt of Flagstaff, but had many tips that will work even in Baderville.  It was a great session on winter vegetable gardening. He talked about how to build a simple row cover and gave us a list of vegetables recommended locally. There were many other sessions available that I missed (3 for each breakout), so I will have to share notes with other gardeners.
Overall for the price ($75) it was a steal. Watch the fall gardening calendars in 2013 for the next conference which will be in Gila County.

Loni Shapiro
Co-secretary CMGA