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MASTER GARDENERS START OFF 2011 WITH TWO PROGRAMS

MASTER GARDENERS START OFF 2011 WITH TWO PROGRAMS
 

 FOUR-PART LAWN CARE COURSE

As spring approaches, many people will have questions about what should be done to have a nice lawn in 2011 and still maintain a healthy environment and a reasonably intact wallet.   A four-part course, The Basics of Successful Lawn Care, will be offered at the Mercer County Extension office for professionals in the lawn care industry and for homeowners who care for their own lawns or hire maintenance companies.

The classes will be held on Wednesday evenings, Feb 2, 9, 16 and 23 from 7:00 to 8:30 PM. Pesticide re-certification credits are being offered. The charge will be $12.00 per class or $40 for all four to cover the cost of printed handouts.

Lecturer Barbara J. Bromley, Mercer County Horticulturist, has divided the course into four parts. Each session stands alone, but there will be many references to material learned in earlier classes. Part 1 is Management Strategies and Selection of Grasses. This will cover determining lawn maintenance levels, characteristics of cool and warm season grasses grown in New Jersey, and understanding the basic grass requirements of light, water, and soil. Part 2 is Basic Maintenance Strategies. This includes mowing, edging, soil testing, fertilizing, liming, and watering. Part 3 is Pest Control and troubleshooting. This class will cover the identification and control of insects, diseases, and weeds. Part 4 is Lawn Renovation and Establishment. Included in this class is how to renovate a damaged lawn or establish a new lawn on bare soil by seeding or sodding. Also included will be environmental factors that damage turf.

NJDEP Pesticide Recertification Credits available for certified pest control operators are 2 credits each for category 3B and PP2 for classes 1, 2 and 4. There will be 3 credits for category 3B and PP2 for Class 3. Total credits for all 4 classes: 09.


 NATIVE PLANTS FOR BUTTERFLY GARDENS

The Master Gardeners of Mercer County will host a program, “Native Plants for Butterfly Gardens” on Thursday, February 3, from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. The program will be held at Rutgers Cooperative Extension, 930 Spruce Street, Lawrence, adjacent to the Trenton Farmers Market.

Butterflies have adapted over centuries to be dependent on specific native plants for caterpillar food. Similarly, adult butterflies depend on native plants for an abundant supply of nectar. Learn from Master Gardener and butterfly expert Teresa Knipper which plants are best for attracting butterflies to your garden and how native plants are well-suited to the local climate. To benefit the Master Gardeners of Mercer County educational programs, a donation of $3.00 is suggested. To pre-register for this program, call (609) 989-6830.

For a full outline of a course, to have questions answered, or to pre-register (strongly advised) call Rutgers Cooperative Extension at (609) 989-6830 or visit the office from 8:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. at 930 Spruce Street in Lawrence, adjacent to the Trenton Farmer’s Market. All classes will be held at the Extension office. There is ample parking.