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Sherry Sheng: 'When classes were offered in person, fast pacing left little time for exchanges with the audience.'

Sherry Sheng of the Clackamas County Master Gardeners sees a new series of webinars focusing on various gardening topics as a good opportunity for online interaction and learning.

"When classes were offered in person, fast pacing left little time for exchanges with the audience," Sheng said. "Noon-Time Chat breaks the mold and provides ample opportunity for questions and discussions."

Classes beginning at noon include:

• Tuesday, March 16: Enthusiasts of edible gardening are encouraged to attend "Early-Season Vegetables" to learn about variety selection, soil preparation, planting techniques, and proper watering, fertilizing, and disease and pest management.

• Wednesday, March 17: "Growing Pretty & Delicious Containers" provides options if you are short of space. Learn to incorporate decorative vegetables, herbs and edible flowers in your landscape design to please both your eye and palate. The class will offer numerous examples of how to apply the design formula of "thriller, filler, spiller" in an edible container and suggests numerous candidates that may play each role. It also covers practical considerations such as pot selection and preparation, and container media, watering and fertilizing.

• Tuesday, March 23: "Raised Bed Gardening" reveals another method for growing vegetables or flowers, whether starting from scratch or trying to improve yields. This class will review the pros and cons of gardening in a raised bed, material choices, how to make a bed without frames, and tips for construction and maintenance.

COURTESY PHOTO - Will Hughes represents all of the Master Gardeners who reported individually the donations that they made to food pantries in Clackamas County, which totaled to 5,000 pounds of produce in 2020.• Wednesday, March 24: Slugs and snails have tormented gardeners for generations. Many methods have been developed to control these slimy pests; some work better, while others are a waste of time and money. "Managing Slugs & Snails" aims to arm you with the knowledge of the habits and lifecycle of these worthy opponents so you can take appropriate action at the right time. "You will learn about a variety of deterrents and the most effective approach for reducing their damages to your plants," Sheng said.

• Wednesday, March 31: Tomatoes, the most popular vegetable for home gardeners in the U.S., begins with selecting among thousands of varieties for a long season of harvest and starting seeds.

For a complete schedule and registration, visit cmastergardeners.org.COURTESY PHOTO: OSU EXTENSION - This year Master Gardeners are offering free online courses for home gardeners who normally have to pay for the classes.


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