Montgomery County Master Gardener Club

The Montgomery County Master Gardeners held their first meeting of the year on January 4th. In addition to Bethard, the new officers for 2023 are: Nancy Bowes, Vice President. Karen Tada, Treasurer. Andria Grady, Outreach. Marie Stocks, her secretary;

Bowes introduced guest speakers Paula and Mark Robinson, owners of Rooster’s Revenge. The Robinsons have lived in Montgomery County for over ten years. Both are active in their communities through business, the arts, special needs, and public service. They build a house on about 4 acres with a 5,000 square foot garden, a greenhouse, and an enclosed porch that they use as an additional greenhouse.

They share an extensive list of all the vegetables they grow, and some of the tomato varieties they enjoy are San Marzano, Better Boy, Beefsteak, and several other heirlooms. Tomatoes and “cocktail-size” Campari are sweet, juicy, and not too sour. Bell peppers are perfect for hot days. The varieties they grow are greenbells, bananas, capsicums, poblanos and ancho chiles. Herbs, mint, stevia, and echinacea are easy to grow. Hard neck garlic is the best here. Asparagus such as Mary Washington and Purple Passion grow well in this climate and take about three years to harvest. Butter crunch is a popular lettuce right now. Malabar spinach (not real spinach) tolerates heat well and makes a lovely indoor plant with beautiful flowers and beautiful fruit.

The Robinsons use several methods for composting, including garden waste. Paula uses Clyde’s Garden Planner to help gardeners plan their planting calendars. Good resources are Seed Savers Exchange and Seed to Seed by Suzanne Ashworth. Thank you Robinsons for sharing your gardening experience with us.

Our business conference includes 2023 administrative updates, committee reports, preliminary budget reviews, educational opportunities, and a report from Tricia Herr, EMG agent at Purdue University. I was. Plans are well underway for a butterfly garden on the 4-H property and a seed library at the Crawfordsville Area Public Library. A volunteer master gardener teaches plant science to students at her Ag Days in her senior year in April. The planning meeting for the Nicholson Garden Project “Growing Together” will be held in December, and we are looking forward to celebrating our 7th year in the garden with our students.

The February meeting will welcome Lafayette Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator Dr. Pat Williams to discuss plant propagation.

A basic training class for new Master Gardeners will begin on February 7th. The format of the class is a hybrid, with his two-hour session taking place virtually on Tuesday evenings. The cost is $180 per person or $280 per couple. If you are interested in attending a class, please contact his local 4-H extension office.

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