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, February 20, 2015

Flagstaff Garden Starts CSA

The Flagstaff Garden Start CSA shares are going fast! Thanks to all those who have signed up and donated to the scholarship fund. We do have a limited number of shares, so please sign up as soon as possible! If would like to share a share with someone, but don't have anyone to share with, let me know and I will try to connect you with someone in your neighborhood also interested in sharing.

You can submit your registration forms via email, and you can also pay online. Please contact me if you are sending your forms through the mail. FORM

If you are interested in a scholarship, you can request them through the registration form.
We will start sowing on March 7, if you are interested in volunteering this year, please let me know. We need help sowing, thinning, writing lables, making seed packets and transporting to/distributing at Native Plant and Seed.

I have attached the registration and the flyer, please spread the word!

Also, Roots Composting, a local compost company (where we get our compost for our soil mix), has started offering residential compost collection service! They recently partnered with Good Earth Power to compost materials from the 4FRI restoration project and are growing their operation.
For just $10 a month, they will pick up your home compost every week and swap it out with a clean bucket. 
Let them do the dirty work for you! Sign up at 
or contact :
Patrick Pfeifer /Roots Composting Co-Founder  - 630-639-1564
Have a great weekend!
Regan Emmons
Director of Grow Program
P.O. Box 605
Flagstaff, AZ 86002
(mobile) 808-344-0904

36th Annual Native Plant Workshop

2015 KSB Native Plant Workshop
Photo By: Max Licher
Keep Sedona Beautiful would like to invite you to the 36th Annual Native Plant Workshop, March 28 from 8:30 am to 3:00 pm (doors open at 7:45 am) at the West Sedona School, 570 Posse Ground Road. The workshop will offer homeowners, residents, and garden/plant enthusiasts with invaluable information on topics that include saving water with native plants, insects and diseases, managing invasive species and designing landscapes using water features and drought resistant plants.

Admission includes two keynote speakers, two workshops out of seven offered, breakfast savories, lunch and a silent auction with many items donated by the community. All for the low advance ticket price of $25 for KSB members or $35 for the General Public. It's an additional $10 at the door.

For more information and to register, go to or call the KSB office at 928-282-4938.

We hope you will pass this invitation along to your neighbors, home owner's association, friends and colleagues. 

Thanks for keeping Sedona beautiful! 
All the best,

Nancy Spinelli & Susan Murrill
Co-Chairs, Native Plant Workshop

Keep Sedona Beautiful, Inc., acting through the stewardship of its members and volunteers, is committed to protect and sustain the unique scenic beauty and natural environment of the Greater Sedona Area.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

February 2015 Meeting Minutes

Meeting Minutes 2/12/15

Education - Kim Howell-Costion presented “Building Healthy Soils, with Emphasis on Lasagna Gardening”.
Kim spoke a little on "double dug lasagna" gardening technique, the importance of humus and Michael Melendrez' "soil secrets".   Kim is a popular gardening instructor and has developed 15 organic gardening classes for high desert gardening conditions in Northern Arizona. These classes have been offered at Coconino Community College and Northland Pioneer College. Kim also has produced a video on the Double Dug Lasagna gardening techniques that has proven effective for her time and again. She designed and operates a community supported agriculture plant seedling program for participants from her solar greenhouse located near Snowflake, Arizona and is co-owners of Ashokala Gardens.  
Business Meeting – Jim Mast
MG Coordinator Happenings - Hattie Braun
·         Conference
o    The next meeting is March 11th, 1:00pm at the Ext. OFF. 2304 3rd St.
·         Spring Class

    • TH, 1-4:30pm. 2/5 - 5/14/2015, N. AZ Health Care 1000 N Humphreys.
    • Jim Mast will be giving a class on vegetables in a couple of weeks.
·         Home Show
o    April 10, 11, and 12.  Set-up April 9th, tear-down April 12 and 13.  Still need a chair for this project.  This year will be free admission.  We will occupy 8 booths to accommodate talks.  Will not be at the Dome; it will be held at NAU Fieldhouse, located at 1050 S. Knoles Dr.
·         Earth Day
o    Saturday, April 18th at City Hall. – What we normally do for this is answer garden questions and give a garden talk.  Volunteer sign-up sheet available at the table.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Valentine's Day Grape Pruning Workshop

Hi all,
You missed a fun class in Camp Verde. Gardens for Humanity sponsored a Grape Pruning Workshop at Clear Creek vineyard and winery in the Verde valley on Valentine's Day. We met at the vineyard at 10am and learned from the owner how the vineyard began.  Ignacio Mesa has over 8 different varieties of grapes, good soil, great water source, and many animals to help keep the vineyards healthy (dogs,cats, chickens, geese) and protected from the critters. We learned about pruning and care of the grapevines from an owner that knows how to cut down on work and conserve precious resources. We ended the lecture with pruning of some of his grapevines. I had to leave at noon but they continued with a wine tasting.

Row 20 of the Clear Creek Vineyards
already pruned.
Pre-pruning grapevines under

This is the next event for Gardens for Humanity:

Bring your Gardening Questions… We’ll Sprout The Answers!March 14 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm   $8   

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Kim Costian's Healthy Soil Secrets

On Thursday at our meeting our speaker, Kim Costian, came all the way from Snowflake to talk about creating "Healthy Soil" using lasagna gardening and Soil Secret products. We had one of our largest audiences for Kim who has always been popular with local gardeners. In addition to maintaining her own large garden (Ashokola) and greenhouse, she and her husband (Joseph) recently travelled to Guatamala to bring organic gardening, and water conservation ideas to the people there. Kim will  be teaching again at Northland Pioneer College. She will be teaching a gardening certificate program for the community college. With the changes in her workload the CSA she has long done for gardeners in her area, is on hold this year.

Kim not only brought "Soil Secret" products to demonstrate but donated some for our monthly raffle. I am attaching a link to information about the products that she provided.  I have scanned the first page of the document. If you want more info go to the Soil Secret web site. LINK . Each year they do a series of talks at their nursery in Los Lunas, New Mexico. Check it out!
Several of our local nurseries now carry these products.

Thanks again to Kim for the fun and informative talk.

Loni Shapiro
Education Chair CMGA

Saturday, February 7, 2015

CMGA February Meeting Agenda

Master Gardener Meeting Agenda 2/12/15
Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church
1601 N. San Francisco
6:30pm – 6:35pm               Welcome –Jim Mast
Announcements                  Meeting Raffle – $1 each or 6 for $5 - Must be present to win
·         Drawing will be held after refreshments and before the business meeting  
6:35pm – 6:40pm               Introduction of speaker Loni Shapiro
6:40pm- 7:45pm                 Continuing Education - Kim Howell-Costion - Building Healthy Soils, with
                                               Emphasis on Lasagna Gardening
15 minute break
7:45pm-8:00pm                  Refreshments provided by Carol Chicce and Leslie Penick
       and Raffle Prize Drawing 
8:00pm - 8:25pm                Business Meeting – Jim Mast
MG Coordinator Happenings - Hattie Braun
·         Conference
o    Meeting next Wednesday the 11th at 1pm at the extension office.
·         Spring Class
o    TH, 1-4:30pm. 2/5 - 5/14/2015, N. AZ Health Care 1000 N Humphreys.
·         Home Show
o    April 10, 11, and 12.  Set-up April 9th, tear-down April 12 and 13.
·         Earth Day
o    Saturday, April 18th at City Hall

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Native Plant Society Post

Greetings, Native Plant Lovers,
You might be interested in checking out Project BudBurst at  Project BudBurst is a national organization of citizen scientists monitoring plants as the seasons change, and you can participate in the fun.  Now is a good time to get involved because beginning observations, such as the first leaves or first flowers, will start very soon.   

The section "Stories Plants Tell:  The Science of Phenology" explains a lot.  You can follow Project Burst on Facebook and Twitter, too.

Thank you to Debbie Crisp, Coconino National Forest Botanist, for sharing this information with us. 
Posted by
Dorothy Lamm