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!

Monday, March 16, 2015

CMGA Monthly Talk for March

Nichole Gregory
Photo by Tammy Valdovino
The CMGA would like to thank Nichole Gregory for giving her time for  a wonderful talk on Starting Seeds on Thursday. Nicole has been a resident of Flagstaff for the last 7 years. She took the MG Class in 2012 and has been avidly growing seedlings each spring ever since.  She spent the hour showing photos of her garden and seed starting. Indoors/outdoors/ and a combination were covered. She talked about all the needs for seedlings in detail - light, water, good soil, air, and fertilizer. One tip I learned about light is that it needs to be al around the plant not just on one side in a sunny window. This can best be accomplished by an overhead light (preferably florescent) and possibly using mirrors if you don't have this.

The best part of the talk for me was all the many aspects she covered on doing it sustainably. One tip was using a trays that are just seed flats from the nursery, or cardboard box tops for paper boxes (from the office) covered with a plastic trash bag, and secured with tape, so they are able to hold water. Then the cardboard rolls (toilet paper or paper towels), egg cartons, or paper cups are just lined up inside, filled with dirt and labeled. To water, pour the water into the tray and allow the plants to soak it up from the bottom

Toilet paper roll with a paper towel on
on the bottom held in place with a
Photos by Nichole Gregory

Last month, Kim Costian talked about soil and although she didn't discuss this, she is also a strong believer in watering seedlings from the bottom. Less problems with overwatering and less water is used. Nichole puts these little tubes directly in the ground when ready to transplant, as they will break down on their own. The less the roots are disturbed the better when transplanting.

One practical tip I learned was using a bit of garlic or chamomile in the water you use to start seeds. It is anti bacterial and may help prevent some of the dampening off by sterilizing the seed and medium. Another reminder about water was tepid - avoid cold or hot water and let it sit for 24 hours to decrease the chlorine content. Over watering and unsterile soil can also contribute to dampening off.

If you have any specific questions or problems you can contact her at

1 comment:

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