October Workshop: What’s Wrong With My Plant?

What's wrong with my plant 1
The Master Gardeners of Skagit County present “What’s Wrong With My Plant?”, an advanced training workshop on plant diagnostics with David Deardorff and Kathryn Wadsworth. Friday, October 10, from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. at Sakuma Auditorium in Mount Vernon. Reserve your tickets at Brown Paper Tickets.

This workshop includes hands-on exercises identifying plants, plant disorders, pests, and diseases. Attendees are welcome to bring samples for hands-on identification. See the Skagit MG Clinics page for information on packing any samples you might like to bring for diagnosis.

David Deardorff earned his PhD in Botany from the University of Washington, and coordinated plant pathology research when on the faculty at the University of Hawaii. He also co-founded Plants of the Southwest in Santa Fe, New Mexico, one of the first native plant nurseries in the U.S. David has 15 years’ experience training Master Gardeners in plant diagnostics. His book, What’s Wrong With My Plant? with co-author Kathryn Wadsworth, was designed to help Master Gardeners diagnose plant problems.

Kathryn Wadsworth is a writer, film-maker, photographer, and naturalist. She co-owned and operated a tissue culture laboratory and orchid nursery in Hawaii, and has managed ecotours around the world.

Books will be available for purchase at the workshop.

This training counts for six hours of Master Gardener Continuing Education credits. The event is designed primarily for Master Gardeners, but you do not need to be a Master Gardener to attend. Tickets are nonrefundable.

Sakuma Auditorium is located at the WSU-Mount Vernon Research Center, 16650 Washington 536, in Mount Vernon. Snacks will be provided, but please bring your own lunch. Reasonable accommodations will be made for persons with disabilities and special needs who contact the Skagit Master Gardener Coordinator at 360-428-4270, or plantdiagnostics2014 @ gmail.com.


Green Manures: Let’s Look at Legumes

by D.A. Salazar, MG Class of 2009

Young faba beans.

Young faba beans.

We’ve all heard that legumes are “nitrogen fixers”, and can do great things for poor, tired soil. It being the season for planting cover crops (a.k.a. green manures), and as legumes figure large in that capacity, let’s take a look at how legumes work their magic.

First a refresher: Legumes are of the family Fabaceae, also called Leguminosae, and their fruit takes the form of a dry seed or pulse that grows in a pod. Grain legumes include chickpeas, faba beans, lentils, field peas and winter or Austrian field peas. Forage legumes include alfalfa, clovers like red and sweetclover, and the vetches. Legumes are plants high in protein — and proteins are full of nitrogenous amino acids, which means legumes require a high intake of nitrogen.

Also known as “N.”

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September Garden Club Events

The San Juan County Garden Clubs invite you to join them for two talks and a tour this month!Gardeners know all the dirt 3

On Thursday, September 11, the Lopez Island club welcomes Judy Jackson, Field Coordinator for the San Juan County Noxious Weed Control Board, for “Noxious Weeds – Identification, Methods of Control, Prevention, and Removal”. Join the fight against noxious invasives! The talk begins at 10 a.m. at Woodmen Hall on Fisherman Bay Road, Lopez Island.

Next, head on over to Orcas Island for “Spectacular Peonies” with Elisabeth Marshall of Full Bloom Farm on Lummi Island, where she organically raises 80 varieties of peonies and fruits and vegetables. Learn the secret to growing these beautiful blooms. That’s Wednesday, September 17 at 10 a.m., at Orcas Center.

Complete your month of garden club-hopping with an all-day field trip to the WSU-Skagit Valley Display Gardens in Mount Vernon on Saturday, September 20. These gorgeous gardens span 10 acres, and are maintained entirely by volunteers. For details and reservations, visit the San Juan Island Garden Club’s “Excursions” page.

Noxious Weed of the Month: Garlic Mustard

by Kate Yturri, Judy Winer and Gwen Stamm, MG Class of 2013

NOXIOUS Garlic Mustard 1Garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) is a flowering herb that was introduced to North America from Europe as a food and medicinal plant. Although edible for humans, it is not eaten by local wildlife or insects. It is a fast growing, damaging invasive that once established is difficult to eradicate. It is a biennial or winter annual herb that spreads prolifically by seed. It can cross-pollinate or self-pollinate and quickly out competes native vegetation. Garlic mustard grows well under many different conditions and has the ability to produce chemicals that inhibit the growth of other plants and mychorrizal fungi needed for healthy tree seedling survival and tree growth. Garlic mustard is a Class A noxious weed with a limited distribution in Washington, and eradication is required state-wide. It is also on the Washington quarantine or prohibited plants list and is prohibited to transport, buy, sell, offer for sale or to distribute. It has been found overtaking a private garden near Eastsound on Orcas Island.
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Hearing Danger: Predator Chewing Triggers Plant Defenses

News from the University of Missouri-College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources

Plants don’t have ears in the traditional sense, but they can “hear” — or at least detect and respond to sonic vibrations.

Researchers at the University of Missouri found Arabidopsis, a small flowering plant similar to cabbage and mustard, could recognize the munching sounds of an invading caterpillar. Upon hearing the hungry insect, the plant released additional mustard oils, a compound caterpillars find unappetizing.
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A Quick Note on Fall Webworm

from Kris Bayas, Volunteer Coordinator, WSU Extension-San Juan County

We have received several calls about webbing in trees. This is fall webworm, and you can tell the difference between the fall webworm and the tent caterpillar by the way the fall webworm encloses itself in the nest.

Since these caterpillars are feeding on foliage that is just going to drop off soon anyway, we seldom recommend anything other than pruning off infested branches or physically removing the webs/nests.
For information, see the WSU HortSense entry.

Fall webworm can also be an orchard pest. There is a great page on the subject at WSU’s Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center.

            Fall Webworm wiki  Fall Webworm nest gardeningknowhow

Photos Credits: Webworm photo from Wikimedia Commons;
Nest photo from gardeningknowhow.com.

Recipe Files: Peachy Keen

by D.A. Salazar, MG Class of 2009

Vintage Peach
Prunus persica. What a spinsterish name for such a delectible thing. I mean “Prunus”? When did that ever denote luscious juicy sumptuousness? Who ever bit into a peach and thought, “Ahhh, prunus”??

Of course, it’s easy to take the peach for granted: modern peaches come in hundreds of cultivars — a fruit so adaptable we can now look forward to fresh peaches in season all summer long. But la pêche is an ancient and experienced wanderer, inspiring art and culture throughout its history.
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