By Robin Young
The Archuleta County Colorado Master Gardeners (CMGs) are hosting a diagnostics day at the East Side Market on Saturday, June 20.
Please bring your plant samples and gardening questions to the Colorado State University (CSU) Extension booth, where the CMGs will help to diagnose pests and disease, and answer your gardening questions. They will be selling mostly tomato plants, but there are a few basil, pepperoncini and Mexican tarragon plants, too.
The plant sales will help to fund the pollinator garden the 2020 CMG apprentices are designing. It will be a beautiful demonstration garden for people to see how to attract and assist pollinators.
The CMGs will also be handing out free seed in honor of Victory Gardening. This is a perfect time to get warm-season plants going. The free seed is a mix of veggies and flowers. The vegetable seed includes varieties of beans, arugula, radishes, cucumbers, squash and melons; and for the flowers, there are marigold, calendula, cosmos, nasturtiums and more. Warm-season seed takes a little longer to mature, so plant where you can extend your season with row covers, high tunnels or greenhouse.
Along with the free seed are copies of the Colorado Gardener. Colorado’s premier experienced gardeners contribute to this is a quarterly publication and the Extension office supplies them for free to the public.
Be on the lookout for more CMG diagnostic days this summer at the Pagosa Farmers Market. The Pagosa Farmers Market will be back on June 27 at the East Side Market location.
The CMG program is offered through CSU Extension. This program is offered in Archuleta County in even years, with the next offered in 2022. The CMG program is 12 weeks long with a curriculum that covers soils, botany, tree and lawn care, entomology, noxious weeds, mountain gardening and more. There are two tracks you can take: the first is the apprenticeship level where you receive the coursework and volunteer opportunities to educate the public on gardening. The certificate course is where you get all the educational benefits without the volunteering. Please contact Robin Young at the Extension office to learn more about this and other Extension programs.