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

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Flagstaff Home & Garden Show Speaker Schedule

2016 Flagstaff Home & Garden Show Presentations
April 8-10, 2016, NAU Field House
Friday, April 8

11:00 AM
Matt Laessig
Kevin Ordean
Composting on the Home & Community Scale
Learn about how to compost in your backyard and community, the pro's and con's of different methods, what material works best, what tools you need, and strategies for getting started.
Jackie Clark
Self-Watering Containers
Self-watering containers are a great way to supply plants with needed water while saving water. In this presentation you will learn the principles of building two types of self-watering planters.
1:00 PM
Jim Mast
Just Tomatoes
Proven tips and techniques for growing tomatoes in Flagstaff
2:00 PM
Hattie Braun
Landscape Trees for Northern Arizona
This talk will introduce the trees best suited for high elevation landscapes.
3:00 PM
Hattie Braun
Fruit Trees for Northern Arizona
How to select, plant and grow apples, pear, plums and cherries in the high country.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

37th Annual Native Plant Workshop

Sedona Area.

Native Plant Workshop

NPW-Web-Banner-2016 v2

Keynote Speakers:
Dena Greenwood:  "The Ecological Interrelationships between Insects and Birds in Your Garden
Jeff Schalau:  Native and Drought-Adapted Trees: Best Practices for Success
Workshop Presenters:
1.   Sue Smith:  Wildflowers in the Home Landscape  
2.   Shaun Symond:  Selecting and Planting Native Plants with Demonstration (Maximum of 20:  rain or shine!)
3.   Chris Anderson:  Creating Landscapes That Water Themselves
4.   Kevin Harding:  Walkabout Identifying Native Plants and Their Uses (Maximum of 15:  rain or shine!)
5.   Max Licher Have No Fear of Grass! - An Introduction to the Importance, Beauty & Amazing Diversity of Grasses
6.   Hattie Braun:  Landscape for Life: A New Approach to Sustainable Home Landscaping

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Milkweed for Monarch

Milkweeds for Monarchs is now accepting Master Gardener applications for their project. The project has space for only 7 MGs living at 7,000 feet to participate but they hope to expand next year.  If you are interested in growing 7 species of milkweed native to Arizona and collecting data for the project, please apply. The application and project information can be found at our new website
Please respond ASAP.
Hattie Braun
Assistant in Extension
Master Gardener Program Coordinator
University of Arizona
Coconino County Cooperative Extension
2304 N. 3rd St.
Flagstaff, AZ  86004
Phone: 928-774-1868 x 170

Friday, March 11, 2016

CMGA Monthly Meeting Minutes

Coconino Master Gardener Meeting Minutes
Thursday, March 10 – 6:30pm
Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church
1601 N. San Francisco

Welcome and announcements – Jim Mast
·         Facebook page is up – thanks to Tammy Valdovino
·         Jackie passed a clipboard with Home Show volunteer sign-ups on it

Introduction of Speakers – Loni Shapiro

Education:  Tips for Starting Seeds – Stephen Scott/Terroir Seeds

Refreshments provided by Loni Shapiro, Betty Marcus and Laurel Grubbs

Business Meeting – Jim Mast
·         Volunteer Support – Crys Wells
o   February:  28 reporting 121 volunteer hours, 50.75 education hours
o   Year to date:  299.25 volunteer hours and 90.25 education hours
·         MG Coordinator Happenings - Hattie Braun
o   Both the Page and the Flagstaff master gardener classes are going well
o   In 2017 there will be an advanced master gardener class offered in Clarkdale in place of a full conference
·         Home show April 8 – 10, 2016 – Loni Shapiro and Jackie Clark
o    Loni has lined up 15 speakers
o   Jackie still has volunteer slots to fill
·         Financial report – Sue Madden
o   Cash on hand            $8,786.74
o   Paypal                                $58.17
o   Total                             $8,844.91

March CMGA Monthly Lecture

For those who were unable to attend we had a great garden talk at our monthly meeting. Stephen and Cindy Scott the owners of Terroir Seeds came and provided "Tips for Seed Starting".  I have heard several talk about this topic but learned many new ideas last night.  Stephen covered the importance of knowing your frost date in deciding to plant seeds. He provided a link ( to check out your specific date.
Other topics covered were General Tips, Seed Germanination (moisture, temperature, light), Seedling Transplanting,, Seed Starting Mixes, Season Extenders, and some good tomato seeds for our short season. He added some brief remarks about seed saving, which varies according to what you are looking for (early or late season). One thing that I learned that I had not heard before was "seed orientation". If you look at a pumpkin seed there is the part that attached to the plant which is kind of flat. For speedier germination place that part down in the soil, because it is where the roots come out. It will most likely grow anyway but take longer if you put it flat on the soil. What a concept!
Terroir has 2 other links that you can print. One is a Seed Germanination Guide ( and the other is a Garden Journal  ( which everyone should keep for improving your garden each year. If you want to link to their web site the address is Stephen does a bi-monthly news letter that has tips for growing, info about new seeds, and some recipes for the crops you grow. If you go to the site he can add your email to the newsletter.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Tamarisk Coalition Educational River Float - New Mexico

Raft the Rio with us on April 30th! 
Sign up Today for Tamarisk Coalition's Fun and Informative Float Trip in New Mexico
Join us and hand-picked local river experts for an informative, fun float down the Rio Grande! 
We'll float a beautiful section of the river, starting from a private ranch at the south end of Algodones and ending at the north end of Corrales (View map).  During this 9.5 mile day trip, we'll stop to tour restoration sites, have lunch, and talk with our river experts.  
Raft the Rio speakers and topics include:  
  • Adrian Oglesby, Director of the Utton Center, will be talking about water law and how it interacts with restoration work;
  • Ondrea Hummel, Ecologist with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, will overview restoration techniques and the endangered species in the area;
  • Audrey Kruse, Bosque Ecosystem Monitoring Program's Education Coordinator, will talk about the tamarisk beetle and the Bosque School's monitoring efforts;
  • Steve Harris, Executive Director of Rio Grande Restoration and Far Flung Adventures, will discuss management issues on the Rio Grande; and
  • Todd Caplan, Restoration Program Director and Senior Vegetation Ecologist with GeoSystems Analysis, Inc., will discuss river-floodplain habitat restoration
CLICK HERE to register and reserve your spot on a kayak, canoe, stand-up paddle board, or raft... and don't forget to share this with a friend!  
Your support will help ongoing river restoration projects once damaged by invasive, non-native plants. This trip will be guided (and is sponsored) by Quiet Waters Paddling Adventures and Far Flung Adventures. Tickets are $95 for non-members, $80 for members - cost includes float, lunch, and drinks.  Registration ENDS April 15, 2016.  
For more information, contact Cara at

Friday, March 4, 2016

Organic Seed Alliance Seed Internship Program

New Seed Internship Program Announced!
Organic Seed Alliance (OSA) and the Multinational Exchange for Sustainable Agriculture (MESA) recently launched a new Seed Internship Program -- the first of its kind in the U.S. The program matches individuals who want to learn about seed production with experienced growers. The six-month farm trainings combine hands-on education, farm-based independent study, and classroom and online learning.

Will you help us train more seed producers by sharing this announcement with your farming members, colleagues, and friends?

National Fish and Wildlife Grants for Monarch Butterfly Conservation

The Monarch Butterfly Conservation Fund focuses on three priority conservation needs to restore the monarch butterfly to a more robust and healthy population:

  • Habitat restoration to plant native milkweed for caterpillars and nectar plants for adults in both large, contiguous areas as well as in smaller patches, especially in edge habitat along the butterfly's migration route.
  • Increasing organizational capacity and coordination among organizations, states, and regions engaged in monarch conservation and monitoring, science coordination, milkweed seed blend production and distribution, and monarch programming to ensure efficiency and the use and sharing of best practices.
  • Native seed production and distribution to increase production and availability of seeds and plants essential to habitat restoration
For more info on the application see this web site:

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Volunteering at Deaver Herbarium

Deaver herbarium mounting session to resume in January
We are looking for dedicated volunteers to help mount pressed specimens for the permanent collection.
No experience necessary, training will be provided. No reply needed, just show up and join a fun group.
Work sessions will take place every first and third Thursday of the month at 1:30 to 3:30pm in the Deaver herbarium in the Biological Sciences Bldg on 617 S, Beaver Street. The herbarium is located in room 314 on the south side of the third floor.
Parking near the NAU campus is very difficult, but the Mountain Line #10 bus stops right in front of the building.
The dates for March are the 3rd and 17th. Please come!
April would be on the 7th and 21st..
For more information visit the Deaver website or contact session organizers Gisela Kluwin ( or Vera Markgraf  (