Coconino Master Gardener Association

Another beauty from Cindy Murray. Swallowtail butterfly on phlox.

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!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Master Gardener Meeting Minutes 5/9/2013

Master Gardener Meeting Minutes 5/9/2013
Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church
1601 N. San Francisco

Grants for approved master gardener projects – Deadline May 31, application is available on the blog under Master Gardener Association Documents and Forms.

Submit your photographs for the 2014 Master Gardener Calendar!  Submit 4x6 inches prints. The theme for the calendar is Flagstaff- a horticultural perspective:  Garden-related photographs of things that grow in and around Flagstaff. Pictures may also include places and things that represent Flagstaff such as the mountains in the background or the trains, etc.  The deadline for receiving photos is May 15. As an incentive, those who submit a photograph that is used in the calendar will receive a free calendar.

Farming your Front Yard - Julie McDonald

Julie McDonald gave a lively talk about growing vegetables in your front yard.  She started thinking about growing vegetables in her front yard after a foreign visitor asked why people had so much grass in front of their house when they could be growing food.  Another trigger was watching a garden show that showed how to kill grass without chemicals.  The show used newspapers but Julie soon realized that newspapers easily blow away in Flagstaff’s winds so she tried cardboard boxes and found they worked much better so her front yard gardening began.  Her front yard is now full of vegetables like squash, chard, beans and asparagus mixed with flowers like daffodils and gladiolas.  It is quite beautiful and productive.  For more information, get her book, “Farm Your Front Yard”.

Many thanks to Irene Matthews for the wonderful refreshments.
Business Meeting – Debi Stalvey

MGA Plant and Garden Related Items Sale, June 2, 10-3, 2200 E. Cedar Ave.

Volunteers are needed to help with the sale.  We have three volunteers so far but need more for the day of and to help with the planning. Please contact Debi Stalvey, to offer assistance.

Arboretum and Plant Sale: July 13, 10-4

Volunteers are needed to staff the Master Gardener table at the sale.  We will be answering gardening questions like at the community markets. Contact Ann Eagan,, or sign-up at the June or July Master Gardener meeting.

T-shirts fundraiser

Sherry Markel embroiders garden designs on t-shirts, towels, tote bags and more! You choose the design and she will do it for you.  She donates $5 of every purchase to the Master Gardener Association.  She sold about twenty t-shirts at the meeting.  She will be displaying her designs at future meetings as well.

Financial report – Linda Guarino/Crys Wells

A lot of memberships were accepted at the meeting. The current balance of the Association checking account is $2297. Linda warned that the amount will decrease as the master gardener grants are distributed.
MG Program Happenings (class) – Hattie Braun

Four students in the master gardener class attended the meeting!
Committee Reports:

Continuing Education – Jim Mast

The education committee has booked speakers for the Master Gardener meetings through February 2014, with the exception of November.  Jan Busco will talk about native plants in your garden in June, July will be on entering vegetables and flowers in the county fair and August is Todd Cislo on season extenders.  Some suggestions for the November program included the use of decorations in the garden, what fruits can be grown in Flagstaff, and forest health.  Jim also thanked Julie Holmes for her work on the committee.

Community Markets – Sherline Alexander

The community markets will be starting soon and volunteers are needed to staff the Master Gardener table. For the Sunday market, we will be staffing at least the first three Sundays and the last three Sundays. Sunday markets are from 8 a.m.- noon.  The Sunday market runs May 29-Oct. 13 and takes place at the Flagstaff City Hall parking lot.  The Wednesday market is June 26-September 11, runs 4-7 p.m.  and is located in the St. Pius Church parking lot at the corner of Cedar Ave. and 4th St. We will be staffing the booth every other week starting June 26.  Sherline is looking to get one experienced master gardener paired with a less experienced one to staff each market. The community markets are fun, a great way to meet people and get your volunteer hours in!  Contact Sherline,, if you are interested in volunteering.
Volunteer Support – Crys Wells
In April, there were 504 volunteer hours and 79.75 education hours.  For the year so far: 922.25 volunteer hours and 311.25 education hours.

Other Business

The city is updating the Regional Plan and are seeking input from the public.  There are sections that are of interest to gardeners so please take a look at the plan and comment on it.  The plan can be found at

Gardening Questions?

Q: Does anyone have any ideas on how to get people to stop putting salt on the roads? There are a lot of trees dying because of it.

A.    Both the Arizona Department of Transportation and the city have been using salt, mainly because of budget cuts.  They had been using a chemical that generally was less damaging but it cost more.  The city council may be discussing it. Someone else suggested looking at the Flagstaff Regional Plan, speaking at public meetings and contacting city council members.

Q. What should you plant after cabbage has been planted?

A. You should always rotate all of your vegetables so that you are not planting vegetables from the same family in the same place.  Good plants to follow cabbage would be beans or peas or perhaps root vegetables.

Q. This is a question received at the Earth Day booth.  How do you make your soil more acidic? The questioner wanted to plant blueberries. She was also using chicken manure for her garden and had some problems with growing plants in general.

A. Essentially, no matter how much you amend your soil you cannot adjust our very alkaline soils to be acidic enough for blueberries.  Plant them in containers with an appropriately acidic potting mix.  Susan Nyoka and the students at the SSLUG garden on the NAU campus are experimenting with planting blueberries in containers.  On using chicken manure, several people wondered if the manure used was too fresh.

Next meeting:                                     June 13, 2013 Jan Busco - Growing Natives in Your Garden

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