2015 Elkhart County 4-H Fair features nine Master Gardener Talks

0

By: Geoff Lesar
glesar@flavor574.com

Angelle Barbazon/The Elkhart Truth

This year’s Elkhart County 4-H Fair will continue its more than 15-year tradition of educating the area’s gardeners.

The 2015 Master Gardener Talks, featuring nine free discussions, begin Friday, July 24, in the west end of the fairgrounds’ Ag Hall

Prospective Master Gardeners working toward their certifications through Purdue Extension Elkhart County will lead the series as part of the program’s mandatory 45-hour volunteer requirement. Seminars will highlight what organizer Jeff Burbrink believes are popular topics among green thumbs.

“I’d say the last four or five years there have been a lot more people asking questions about raised beds. It’s been something, particularly if people garden on some of the heavier soils, you see more interest in that,” said Burbrink, an educator within the Purdue Extension Elkhart County Master Gardener program. “Just raising it 2 to 3 inches can make a big difference in terms of how quickly that area can dry off compared to the soil around it.”

Burbink said interest in raised beds is particularly relevant this year for gardeners battling uncharacteristically soggy conditions in the region.

”As much water as we’ve had, having a raised bed can help those plants keep their feet a little bit dryer, and therefore they’ll probably be a bit more healthy,” he said.

Classes July 24 and 25 will explore the best ways to sustain a functioning compost pile, including maintaining temperature of the pile, tips on what items to add and how to eliminate the unwanted odors of decaying organic matter.

“If things are cooking the way they should in a pile — you know, 140 to 160 degrees, and consistently staying there for a while with the materials decomposing — how can you get that fire back up again?” Burbrink said as he introduced one of the planned discussion questions.

Two pest and disease control discussions will cover chemical-free care and prevention methods. 

“The focus of that is going to be more or less doing things as organic as you can. I’m trying to stay away from pesticides and that sort of thing,” Burbrink said.

All classes will be at the west end of Ag Hall nearest to the main gate of the fairgrounds.

 

Friday, July 24

  • 1 p.m. — What is Compost and its Benefit?
  • 2:30 p.m. — What’s Going on in a Compost Pile?
  • 4 p.m. — How to Make Compost and Troubleshoot Piles

Saturday, July 25

  • 1 p.m. — What is Compost and its Benefit?
  • 4 p.m — How to Make Compost and Troubleshoot Piles

Monday, July 27

  • 1 p.m. — Planning and Planting Your Vegetable Garden
  • 2:30 p.m. — Raised Bed Gardening
  • 4 p.m. — Controlling Pests and Diseases

Tuesday, July 28

  • 1 p.m. — Planning and Planting Your Vegetable Garden
  • 2:30 p.m. — Raised Bed Gardening
  • 4 p.m. — Controlling Pests and Diseases

Thursday, July 30

  • 1 p.m. — Planting Perennials
  • 2:30 p.m. — Selection of Perennials
  • 4 p.m. — Controlling Pests and Diseases in Perennials

Friday, July 31

  • 1 p.m — Planting Perennials
  • 2:30 p.m. — Selection of Perennials
  • 4 p.m. — Controlling Pests and Diseases in Perennials
(Visited 4 times, 1 visits today)