Tuesday, February 10, 2015

2015 Greenhouse Seeding List

by Carol Kagan, Master Gardener

When planning your seed purchase or what you want to plant, look over the list below to see what we plan to offer this year at our Greenhouse Sales, May 9 and 16 from 9 am to 1 pm, near the barn across from the Extension Office, 181 Franklin Farm Road.

Note: Plant availability depends on seed germination. Some varieties may have limited supplies so plan to come early on May 9.

This year, as part of the Master Gardener Monarch and Milkweed project we plan to have milkweed plants available, again, dependent on germination. On February 2nd the Greenhouse Team spent two hours preparing milkweed seeds for planting by stratifying the seeds to be chilled before seeding.

Following suggestions from last year's customers, we will be offering a catalog with descriptions and information about these plants, available at cost, prior to the sales. Look for more information about where and when it may be available.

Click on the list photo for a full size display.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Preschoolers Get Early Start on Growing Season

By Carol Kagan

On Saturday, led by Master Gardener Rebecca Keller, twelve young gardeners gathered with their fathers, mothers or grandparents for a Family-Friendly workshop to make mini-greenhouses for milkweed and sunflower seeds to start growing outdoors now.

The youngsters first learned about how a seed becomes a plant and then nestled lima bean seeds among damp cotton balls in a zip lock bag to germinate at home. Roots and leaves should soon appear and give them a real-life view of what they saw on their handout.

Keller showed pictures of Monarch butterflies and talked about how they need to have milkweed plants to lay their eggs.

She then guided them, and their grown-up assistants, in making two mini-greenhouses using recycled gallon plastic bottles.

During the process the children measured and marked the soil line on the bottle,
gleefully scooped the dampened soilless growing mix inside
and carefully added both milkweed and sunflower seeds.

Labels were added and the bottles were taped shut with duct tape, the most popular color among those offered was pink.
The little greenhouses will be put outside in a sunny spot and watered if there isn’t enough snow or rain.

Keller’s assistant, Master Gardener Cathy Campbell, told them the scientific name for the milkweed they planted - Asclepias tuberosa (Ass-KLEE-pee-us  too-bur-O-suh) – and had them practice a few times in hopes they would still remember when they got home.

The workshop ended with grown-ups carrying out armfuls of the plastic bottles. Workshop evaluations completed by the parents indicated this was a successful workshop and there were requests for more tailored to this age group.
More Family Friendly Workshops
The next Family Friendly Workshop on the schedule is Container Gardening on May 2, just in time to come and plant a pot with beautiful flowers for Mother's Day.
Two more Family Friendly programs are
Bug ID: What's Buggin' You? on June 13
and Cornhusk Wreaths and Dolls on October 17.
For information about or registration for any of our classes or workshops, please call 717-263-9226.
Also, visit the MG Facebook page for a current listing of classes and workshops as well as upcoming events. Of special note are the annual plant sales in May.

Friday, February 6, 2015

4-H Strawberry Plant Sale

Support Franklin County 4-H clubs in a very tasty way. Order these high quality plants at very reasonable prices. No strawberry bed? At $7 for 25 we bet you can have two nice STRAWBERRY POTS to greet visitors at a sunny spot or provide a few sweet bites after dinner.

4-H will be taking orders for high quality strawberry plants. Proceeds from the Strawberry Plant Sale will assist Franklin County 4-H youth through scholarships for district and state events. These plants come from virus indexed, tissue cultured mother plants. 

Plants come in bundles of 25; each bundle contains a single variety. The cost per bundle is $7.00. Orders and payment are due by Wednesday, March 18, 2015. See the strawberry order form below. You may contact Lori Clopper with any questions 717-263-9226 or lac19@psu.edu.

Did you know Franklin County 4-H has over 22 4-H clubs? Some clubs are for those as young as 5 years old. Check these sheets for more information. From sewing, gardening & crafting to horses, tractors and seeing-eye puppies, there's something for everyone.
Visit the 4-H Franklin County Facebook Page to learn more about their programs.