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

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Firewise Landscaping Contest

Once again, there will be a FIREWISE LANDSCAPING CONTEST

The Greater Flagstaff Forests Partnership and the Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network
are hosting a FireWise Landscaping Contest. Join us and prepare your home for wildfire season while creating a beautiful FireWise landscape.

The reception will be May23.
For more information and ideas on how to make your property FireWise,

Hattie Braun
County Director/Horticulture, Coconino County
University of Arizona Cooperative Extension
2304 N. 3rd St.
Flagstaff, AZ  86004
FAX: 928-774-1860

Monday, March 27, 2017

Fruit Trees for Flagstaff/Apple Grafting

Happy Spring!

In the spirit of Johnny Appleseed, I am on a mission create more tiny orchards in Flagstaff backyards, community gardens and schoolyards. I have been frustrated over the years trying to find locally adapted apple varieties that are known to thrive in our high desert climate. I am teamed up with TerraBIRDS and collected scion apple wood from established Flagstaff “rock star” trees this winter. Now we will be hosting a hands on workshop for Master Gardeners and others to graft them onto semi dwarfing rootstock. The project is a partnership between TerraBIRDS and A Wild Farmer Consulting. The goal is to graft apple 150 trees, so we have work to do! The Ponderosa High Greenhouse and Environmental science class will care for the trees at the school nursery. In spring 2018, we will plant grafted trees in Flagstaff community and school gardens with TerraBirds. We will sell the remaining trees to the public at the Flagstaff Farmer’s Market to benefit the Ponderosa High school gardening program and help cover the cost of materials and care. By participating in this workshop you will learn all about apple trees and help us make more trees available to our community.

Apple grafting workshop details:
When: Saturday, April 1
Where: Ponderosa High School 2384 N Steves Blvd, #B
Time: 9am-12pm
Cost: Free
Bring: Grafting knife if you have one or a very sharp knife.

Please email Kate Watters @ if you would like to participate or have any questions.

Kate Watters
Planting words, like seeds, under rock and fallen logs--letting language take root, once again, in the earthen silence of shadow and bone and leaf. 
~ David Abram, The Spell of the Sensuous

Monday, March 20, 2017

Spring Into Seed Starting

Tuesday, April 11 at 6 PM - 8 PM
Coconino County Extension
2304 N. 3rd St., Flagstaff, AZ 86004
Come for a free talk on seed starting. There will be hands-on learning opportunities plus an introduction to the seed library and how to use it. Bring your questions and enthusiasm for gardening!

Seed - the film

Flagstaff Community Film Night featuring: Seed
 Monday, April 10, 630pm-930-pm
Orpheum Theater 
Don’t miss the award-winning SEED: The Untold Story in
Flagstaff on Monday, April 10th at the Orpheum Theatre!

In the last century, 94% of our seed varieties have disappeared. As biotech chemical companies control the majority of our seeds,
farmers, scientists, lawyers, and indigenous seed keepers fight a David and Goliath battle to defend the future of our food. In a harrowing and heartening story, these reluctant heroes rekindle a lost connection to our most treasured resource and revive a
culture connected to seeds.

This exciting evening will also include a feature short film produced by STAR School elementary students, tabling by local food organizations and student groups, and an amazing group of panelists. Panelists will discuss how seed saving, biopiracy, and GMOs affect our local community. Doors open at 5:30 with programming beginning at 6:15.

$1 for each ticket will be donated to the local non-profit organization Flagstaff Foodlink:

SEED comes from the filmmakers behind Queen of the Sun: What Are the Bees Telling Us? and the Real Dirt on Farmer John. The film features Dr. Jane Goodall, Vandana Shiva, Winona LaDuke, and Andrew Kimbrell.

Sponsors of the event include:
Northern Arizona University
Flagstaff Foodlink
Grand Canyon Trust
Museum of Northern Arizona

Flagstaff community Seed Swap

MARCH 24 -4-7pm
Flagstaff Community Seed Swap
Join Flagstaff Foodlink, Coconino County Cooperative Extension, Northern Arizona University SSLUG Garden, Flagstaff Sustainability Program, and the Grow Flagstaff Seed Library at the Coconino County Cooperative Extension office for a community seed swap.

Seeds are a great way to share our local food heritage.

How to participate:
- Bring seeds if you have them (veggies, herbs, flowers, Arizona natives)
- Provide information on seed variety, year collected, location grown, tips from your personal experience.
- Bring envelopes in which to package seeds to take home and a pen to label your seeds.

New to gardening? No seeds to exchange? No problem. Everyone will leave with new seeds in their pocket.

After swapping seeds at the seed exchange, you can visit and signup for the Grow Flagstaff Seed Library located at the extension office.

Coconino County Cooperateve Extension
2304 N. 3rd St., Flagstaff, AZ 86004

Arizona Milkweeds for Monarchs project

This just came in for the Arizona Milkweeds for Monarchs project. They are looking for volunteers again this year. Hattie

Dear Coconino Master Gardeners:

Hello fellow gardeners! Spring is here and our greenhouse is overflowing with milkweeds. As many of you know, a small all-volunteer group formed the AZ Milkweeds for Monarchs project. Please check out our web site:

For the second year, we are looking for some volunteers to test the suitability of growing 6-10 species of milkweeds at various locations in central and northern Arizona. We provide milkweed plants free of charge for gardeners willing to grow milkweeds and collect data on their performance twice during the 2017 growing season. Go to our website for details and complete the application process. We expect to have plants at the appropriate planting time depending on your location.

Cheers! Emelia, Emily, Rich and Mike
AZ Milkweeds for Monarchs

Hattie Braun
County Director/Horticulture, Coconino County
University of Arizona Cooperative Extension
2304 N. 3rd St.
Flagstaff, AZ  86004
FAX: 928-774-1860

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Plant Conservation Alliance

From the local chapter of the Native Plant Society:
Hello PCA Cooperators,
We are trying something new - a monthly newsletter to keep you informed about what's going on at the PCA. Let us know what you think!

 The National Native Seed Conference was a great success! It was held in Washington DC from February 13-16th, and had nearly 350 participants from 41 states and 11 countries. Attendees included seed producers, land managers,researchers, and agency employees. Highlights included the introduction of the "Botany Bill" (see more below) on Valentine's Day, excellent presentations (including on plant blindness – now posted on our website), formation of tasks forces to implement the Native Seed Strategy, and an evening reception at the US Botanic Garden. We look forward to future conferences!
On March 8th we heard an excellent presentation from Dr. Jennifer M. Cruse-Sanders, Director of the State Botanical Garden of Georgia as part of the bi-monthly PCA meeting. She included success stories of collaborations to conserve plants, including reintroducing Rhus michauxii in Virginia. The next meeting will be May 10, 2017 from 2-4pm EST.
 Support for the "Botany Bill" (H.R. 1054) is building! We are looking for co-sponsors in the House of Representatives. You can now use at the AIBS Legislative Action Center to contact your representative about the billhere. We are also gathering endorsers! The over 60 endorsing organizations currently include Georgia Native Plant Society, the New England Wild Flower Society, and BFI Native Seeds. If your organization would like to endorse the bill, please email us. And thanks to the many of you who have already endorsed the bill! Get more information on the bill, and regular updates, on the NFCC website.

  Finally, we are making a list of conferences and local events where the PCA could increase the visibility of the National Seed Strategy. If your organization sponsors conferences, or usually attends local conferences, please email us to let us know what they are!

 Thanks for all the work you do for native plant conservation,

   - Evelyn Williams, Andrea Kramer, and Kay Havens at the Chicago Botanic Garden, which chairs the PCA Non-Federal Cooperators Committee
Chicago Botanic Garden | 1000 Lake Cook RoadGlencoe, IL 60022

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Coconino Master Gardener Meeting Agenda
Thursday, March 09, 2017 – 6:30pm
Viola’s Flower Garden
7085 S. State Route 89A

6:30pm – 6:40pm     Welcome – Sherline Alexander
6:40pm – 6:45pm     Introduction of Speaker – Sherline Alexander
6:45pm – 7:35pm     Education: Tom Weinert:  Soil Texture and the Winter Greenhouse
15 minute break (refreshments)
7:45pm – 8:00pm     Raffle Prize Drawing – $1 each or 6 for $5 - Must be present to win
8:00pm – 8:25pm     Business Meeting – Sherline Alexander
     Financial report – Molly Larsen
     Committee Reports:
     Volunteer Support – Crys Wells
     Fundraising – Cindy Krznarich or Sherline Alexander
     Continuing Education – Gilli Thomas
          May – Richard Hofstetter – Insects in Your Garden
          June – Judy Springer – Unique and Unusual Herbs to Grow at High Elevation
          July – Stephen Scott, Terroir Seeds – Using Cover Crops Including Raised Beds    
          August – Cindy Krznarich – Preserving Your Harvest
     MG Projects – Jackee Alston
     Historian – Tammy Valdovino
     Community Markets – Andrea Guerrette
8:25pm – 8:30pm     Gardening Questions?      
Next meeting:           April 13:  Ward Davis on ‘Water and Your Vegetable Garden’
Educational and Volunteer Opportunities from the blog (

Friday, March 3, 2017

Arboretum at Flagstaff Happenings!

Winter Workshops! 

Willow Bend and the Arboretum have partnered for a 3-part Winter Workshop series to keep you learning and growing through the winter season! Join us at the Willow Bend Environmental Education Center for interactive, educational workshops with the staff from the Arboretum. Save the dates and sign up on the Willow Bend website. Free for Arboretum Members!

Saturday, March 25th 10am-12pm  Pruning with Christi Sorrell 
Group Garden Days!

Help staff prepare gardens & plants for spring. Join us starting in March in the greenhouse and gardens from 10am-2pm each of the following days: 3/10, 3/14,
3/15,3/16 and 3/31.
We'll supply tools and direction, please bring layers, a hat, water bottle and lunch. Meet at the blue-roofed
Hort Greenhouse.
 Join us Saturdays in 
April on 4/8 and 4/22 from 10-2.

Contact Shannon for more info or to rsvp.