It's time for the Clackamas County Master Gardeners' Fall into Gardening event. Doors open at 8:30 a.m. Oct. 6 at the Milwaukie Center.

SUBMITTED PHOTO  - Get expert garden advice at the Fall into Gardening event taking place Oct. 6, hosted by Clackamas County Master Gardeners.

Clackamas County Master Gardeners invite the public to a morning of stimulating gardening classes and demonstrations at their annual Fall into Gardening event. The event will take place Saturday, Oct. 6, at the Milwaukie Center, 5440 SE Kellogg Creek Drive, Milwaukie.

Fall into Gardening offers the latest gardening know-how through classes, demonstrations, educational displays and soil pH testing service. Guest speaker for this year's event is OSU Professor Gail Langellotto, speaking on "What Gardeners Should Know about Native Pollinators."

Classes begin at 9 a.m. but doors will open at 8:30 a.m. for early birds who wish to get help from Master Gardener diagnosticians. They identify mystery plants, diseases or pests with help from a statement from the client; photos or specimens are essential tools to help figure out the problem. Expect answers, including recommended remedial actions, in a couple of hours that same morning.

For the full event schedule, go to

The award-winning 10-Minute University will headline the event. These classes offer essential gardening know-how that has been proven by research to help home gardeners succeed. This trademarked OSU program began in 2006 as 10-minute classes, but has grown to the current 25-minute format at the urging of tens of thousands of users who provided written feedback. Classes at Fall into Gardening touch on planting, drought gardening of vegetables, pests and diseases, and a system for fall cleanup in the perennial bed.

Savvy gardeners know fall is the best time to plant. Before planting anything new, get the 'real dirt' on effective practices proven to help plants establish and thrive. "New Research on Planting Techniques" shares steps for soil and plant preparation and covers how to work with clay, what is the right size and shape planting hole, how to amend soil, and what to do with those circling roots before planting.

Want to lower your water bill? Vegetable gardeners will find an exciting new world of possibilities from "Successful Vegetable Gardening in Times of Drought." Drawing lessons from current OSU research on dry farming, the talk provides home gardeners new strategies for immediate adoption. Topics such as drought-tolerant vegetable varieties, how to determine the ideal planting time, and how to improve soil to increase water retention and reduce loss of moisture are examples of these strategies.

Master Gardeners are trained to identify diseases and pests in the garden. "Fall and Winter Diseases and Pests in the Home Garden" seeks to transfer some of that knowledge. The class offers tools to correctly identify the problem and solutions that are effective and sustainable.

Putting the garden to bed in the fall often leads to the question of what should be cut down and what to leave standing. "Fall Cleanup in the Perennial Bed" provides a sensible and intuitive system for decision and action.

Fall is the ideal time to test soil pH. Soil pH affects availability of soil nutrients for plant growth and is especially important to success in growing vegetables and blueberries. If adjustments are needed, amendments can work over winter to jump start spring planting. Each client may submit up to four soil samples. Take samples from different areas of the garden such as lawn, vegetable patch, rose garden and perennial bed, for customized analysis and recommendation. Consult the "Testing Soil pH" 10-Minute University handout at for step-by-step instructions.

Master Gardeners are trained volunteers, educated through Oregon State University Extension Service, to offer the local community reliable, relevant and reachable gardening information.

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