Smart Gardening Workshop features four sessions at the Community College of Beaver County in Center Township.
Penn State Extension Master Gardeners of Beaver County presents its annual Smart Gardening Workshop March 9 at Community College of Beaver County Learning Resource Center in Center Township.
This year’s program includes four sessions to appeal to all gardeners interested in flowers and herbs; pest identification and management; and garden soil improvement.
Natalie Buriak gets her enjoyment out of colors, placement and textures from her background in art spanning more than 30 years in graphic design, advertising and illustration.
She loves the idea of having a large garden canvas on which to play with colors. Her presentation on “Iris, Color for All Seasons” will show gardeners that the iris family has a broader scope of flowers to enjoy than the standard and well-known German bearded iris. She will show how irises can be useful for many purposes in many garden situations, colors and times of year.
Annette Iannetti graduated from Penn State with a degree in horticulture. She works as a grower at Iannetti’s Garden Center in Burgettstown where she represents the third generation in the business.
Her workshop session will demonstrate how herbs are very useful, but often underutilized, plants. Whether used in the flower garden, vegetable garden or as a landscape enhancement, these multifunctional plants enhance the appearance and richness of the garden environment by attracting beneficial insects and pollinators.
Iannetti will discuss planting, growing, harvesting and preserving herbs. She will also discuss how gardeners can use herbs in enhancing the bioculture of their gardens.
Michael Skvarla, director of the insect identification laboratory at Penn State, will educate about invasive woodland pests. His duties at the lab include identifying insects and other arthropods submitted by the public; writing and maintaining entomology fact sheets; and conducting original research.
Skvarla, who grew up in the Pittsburgh area, completed his master’s and doctoral work at the University of Arkansas, where he studied insect biodiversity in the Ozark Highlands. He will discuss recent control efforts for emerald ash borer and other established pests, as well as overview spotted lanternfly and other pests that pose grave threats on the horizon.
Bert Sesler will instruct on maximizing soil potential. During the growing season, Sesler can be heard on “The Penn State Master Gardener” radio show on WMBS (590-AM, Uniontown) and “Extension Today” on WANB (1210-AM, Waynesburg).
His home gardens are filled with edibles like garlic, onions, tomatoes, peppers, grapevines, apple trees, blueberries, red raspberries, carrots, lettuce and strawberries.
Sesler believes gardening is a great enjoyment in life and recognizing how to improve garden soil can easily expand yield and quality of most home gardens. Participants will learn how to identify types of soil, physical properties of soil, importance of water and air space, soil nutrient content, pH adjustments, fertilization, proper drainage and tips on composting as a valuable soil amendment.
The Smart Gardening Workshop runs from 8:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. and includes a continental breakfast and box lunch. Cost is $55. There will also be a silent auction and gardeners’ marketplace featuring many gardening items and gift certificates.
Registration link is https://extension.psu.edu/smart-gardening or call 1-877-345-0691.
Virginia Majewski is Master Gardener Coordinator for Penn State Extension — Beaver County.
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