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Everything I do would make most Master Gardeners scream cause I am a maximum zone pusher . 40+ years of gardening and living on the farm puts me way past basic Master Gardener status ;) Down with status quo gardening and upward / onward with indiviualistic , creative propagation that leans toward conservation !! ;) Rock On !!
I let some things go to seed and come up at will. The whole garden never gets tilled at once. I till the rows and plant my seeds, we eat the lettuce or whatever that is growing in the pathways, paths get tilled or hoed when they get weedy. If something useful volunteers I leave it unless it is really in the way, then sometimes I move it (got 50 nice potatoe plants that way last year). Irrigation is done by gravity flow flooding in small ditches fed with the darndest bunch of old pipes and hoses and patched together junk, but it works. Maybe I will get around to taking some pictures this year, you'd all enjoy a good laugh!
Okay guys, quit pickin on Master Gardners! ;) I'm taking that course right now which is really hilarious since I do lots of things I shouldn't do. What can I say? I hate authority. A sample of things I shouldn't do but do anyway:
1. Push the zone to the limit and beyond.
2. Top watering
3. Ignore crop spacing guidelines
4. Ignore suggested crop varieties
Have no fear, Byron! I've been gardening for 30+ years.
BTW, the Master Gardening course is hard and I mean HARD. I've been reading pages of the stuff today and I may as well be reading Greek. I've never heard of half the stuff before. It's a very humbling experience I can assure you. I feel like I'm back in college in an advanced biology, botany, and chemistry class. Yuk!
As for me. Last year I wandered out with a few kettles of boiling water for some of my paths. There's quite a few dogs and children around. It dried quickly and was quite safe. Only for a few spots mind! It worked too. I like a lot of self-seeders. Lots of colour and less work.
I hate conformity!!!! I love the surprises that nature throws me. There is very little rain here. When I water, the darndest things come up next to my nursery plants.If I dont know what it is .I let it go. You have heard of raised beds. I do as the indians did. I plant deep holes and plant in below ground level beds. They are protected from the harsh winds. And late summer afternoon sun. I use absolutley no poison. I plant enough so that the animals and I can co-exist. I leave a messy area of overgrown dead plants for foriage and nesting for the animals and birds. I water as little as possible. I have to . I cant afford to pay a $200 water bill.Once established my plants have to adapt. I let my cuttings fall where they will (depending on the time of year.) Free mulch. The humidity is well below 30% so the cuttings dry out quickly.
Actually I am a recent graduate from my local Master Gardener Program. And I still have my volunteer work ahead of me. But I have to tell you, most all of the Master Gardener's I know, don't actually follow the strict hard lines of the course. But if we work the phones or some sort of thing related to the Master Gardener program then we 'have' to go 'by the book'. I mean we really aren't supposed to recommend something that is 'not in the book'. It's something that is highly stressed to us, that we 'must not, if at all possible' say that the books say this but I actually do this instead. That's like Taboo or something.
But don't diss us newbies to the Master Gardener Program, it's actually surprising how little we know, but we learn from you all, and we share what we learned from our courses.
Did any of that make sense? Oh well I believe I'm called a Master Gardener Intern, until I complete my volunteer hours. Sooo...
Hey Rae, I am an "intern" too! I graduated in October. I have some volunteer hours under my belt, not much. We will be working on a garden for the handicapped children at a state school. I am looking forward to it! Not a one of us in our group are stuff shirts! We all break the rules of gardening and push the zone! It really was a great program. I learned how much I didn't know! Lisa
So nice to see I'm not alone...I am officially enrolled in the Master Gardening course too. The one for spring was full so I have to wait for fall. I only have about 5 classes left for my Horticulture degree so I'm assuming that the terms etc will at least be familiar and not totally "Greek", but really looking forward to what I'll learn.
I took Fall classes too. In our area it was the first Master Gardener class ever, before last year everyone had to travel somewhere else to take the class. But now our county and the one next to us have a class, hopefully they will do it again this year.
We are planning several projects to do. Probably more than enough to finish our volunteer time.
I have to admit that I've got a very nice group of folks in my MG class and I'm really learning lots of things I didn't know. I'm clueless about turf, etc. I'm even looking forward to my volunteer experience. One thing I know I'll be volunteering for this summer is hatching baby chickens. My children are really excited about that one!!! Just curious about something Rae and Lisa...did you have frequent quizzes during the MG course? We are.
no, no quizzes at all! Just a stomach ache once when I ate to much eggplant capanata(sp?) one of the ladies made. Boy was it good too! We all used to bring food and eat during the break. Down here we can't even have a Master Gardener's class without food...seems like that is all we do! LOL! Lisa