Photo Credit: Joe Janak/Victoria County Extension Agent
Helen Boatman welcomed attendees to the first Lunch and Learn with the Masters session last January.
Learn with the masters
Gardening program was initiated to serve the public

January 08, 2009

By Helen Boatman, Victoria County Master Gardener

Edited by Charla Borchers Leon, Victoria County Master Gardene
r
One of the main objectives of the Victoria County Master Gardener Association, as part of Texas AgriLife Extension Service, is to provide educational gardening information to the public. To achieve that objective, we recognized the need to provide training for ourselves before we could train the public. In providing our own training, we decided why not also invite the public? It achieved some success but then led us to form the currently held Lunch and Learn with the Masters program.

MEETING THE EDUCATIONAL OBJECTIVE

To better reach the public, our group initiated the program this past year in the form of free educational, one-hour, monthly noon meetings, on various gardening topics. We coined the program Lunch and Learn with the Masters and it paid rewards again and again. We will be continuing the program, with nearly double the opportunity to pick up new gardening information.

TIME AND PLACE


The sessions will continue to be held at the Dr. Pattie Dodson Public Health Center, 2805 N. Navarro St. in Victoria. Because there is much to do in preparation for a spring garden, we will have two sessions January through April and one meeting a month May through August.

JANUARY SESSIONS BEGIN MONDAY


The first meeting will be Monday. The subject will be "Pruning: Fruits, Ornamentals and Trees." Extension Agent Joe Janak and Master Gardener Charlie Neumeyer will be the presenters. Many people found this subject to be beneficial last year; therefore, we decided to begin our program with it once again.

The topic for the Jan. 26 session will be "Collecting Graftwood and Pruning of Roses." Presenters will be experienced pecan grafter James Rother, former Victoria resident now from Hallettsville, and Master Gardener Jerome Janak. Many people wanted to know more about the graftwood, and have time to collect it in preparation for its use in actually grafting.

Rother will be presenting again on March 23 to complete the grafting session. Jerome Janak will present the second part of this session demonstrating the correct procedure for rose pruning.

FEBRUARY SESSIONS - PREPARING FOR SPRING GARDENING


February sessions will include "Preparation for Spring Vegetable Gardening" by Master Gardener Roy Cook on Feb. 9. This session will provide information on getting garden soil in prime condition so that when seeds and transplants are planted, it will provide a bountiful supply of fresh vegetables.

The Feb. 23, session will be "Types of Vegetables for Spring Gardening" by Master Gardener Gerald Bludau. You will hear about some new varieties for our area.

MARCH TOPICS - WEEDS AND ORNAMENTALS


The March 9, session will be titled "Weed Control" by Master Gardeners Paul and Mary Meredith. Learn how to identify and keep those pests in check.

On March 23, we'll have James Rother back to show you what to do with the materials you collected in January, with his program on "Budding and Grafting Ornamentals."

APRIL TOPICS - COLORFUL LANDSCAPES AND INSECT CONTROL


With the coming of spring, we'll be looking at how to "Color Your Landscape with Annuals and Perennials" by Master Gardener Nancy Kramer on April 13.

Along with the season, we'll have a new batch of insects to identify and control. I will be presenting "Insect Control" on April 27. There are some good insects out there that will help you control the bad ones, our discussion will help you with their identification.

MAY THROUGH AUGUST - ONE SESSION A MONTH


Beginning in May, we will hold only one session a month.

The May 11 program will be on "Rainwater Harvesting" with Master Gardeners Glen and Kathy Chilek, who are rainwater harvesting certified specialists. With the lack of rainfall in recent months, it is important to capture as much as possible when it does rain, primarily for the irrigation of plants in the garden.

On June 8, participants will learn about the "Essentials for Building a Trellis, Arbor and Raised Beds" by Master Gardener Ed Gregurek. Gregurek has constructed most of the structures at the Victoria Educational Gardens.

Then on July 13, Master Gardener Pat Plowman will have a presentation on "Water Gardening." Plowman oversees the water garden at VEG.

Our last session will be on Aug. 10. Master Gardener Monica Pilat will present "Mulching, Composting and Water Conservation." Learn how you can conserve water by mulching and composting and have a healthier and more productive garden.

We hope to see you at our Lunch and Learn with the Masters sessions. Remember, they are free. Come early to get a good seat. Don't forget to bring your lunch and a drink, so you can sit back, eat and hopefully learn something new about gardening. See you then.
Photo Credit: Joe Janak/Victoria County Extension Agent
Nearly 100 participants attended last year's first session on the topic "Pruning the Landscape." Due to its popularity, it will be repeated at this year's first session on Monday from noon to 1 p.m. at the Pattie Dodson Health Center in Victoria. All sessions are free to the public.
2009 LUNCH AND LEARN WITH THE MASTERS SCHEDULE

Presented by Victoria County Master Gardener Association at the Pattie Dodson Health Center, 2805 N. Navarro in Victoria. Free to the public, from noon to 1 p.m.

Bring your lunch and drink.

JANUARY
12 - "Pruning: Fruits, Ornamentals and Trees" - Joe Janak and Charlie Neumeyer

26 - "Collecting graft wood"; "Pruning of Roses" - James Rother and Jerome Janak

FEBRUARY
9 - "Preparation for Spring Vegetable Gardening" - Roy Cook

23 - "Types of Vegetables for Spring Gardening" - Gerald Bludau

MARCH
9 - "Weed Control" - Paul and Mary Meredith

23 - "Budding and Grafting Ornamentals" - James Rother

APRIL
13 - "Color Your Landscape with Annuals and Perennials" - Nancy Kramer

27 - "Insect Control" - Helen Boatman

MAY
11 - "Rainwater Harvesting" - Glen and Kathy Chilek

JUNE
8 - "Essentials for Building a Trellis, Arbor and Raised Beds" - Ed Gregurek

JULY
13 - "Water Gardening" - Pat Plowman

AUGUST
10 - "Mulching, Composting, and Water Conservation" - Monica Pilat