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Gardening and Landscaping Conference scheduled for Feb. 24

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Gardening and Landscaping Conference scheduled for Feb. 24

By Lori Dugan

THATCHER, AZ—Eastern Arizona College, in conjunction with the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, and the Graham County Master Gardeners Association, will host the third annual Gila Valley Gardening and Landscaping Conference on Saturday, February 24, from 7:45 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. in the Gherald L. Hoopes Jr. Activities Center.

Admission for the day-long event is $25/person in advance and $30/person at the door. Tickets are available at the U of A Cooperative Extension Office in Solomon and can be reserved by calling 428-2611. The admission price includes a continental breakfast and lunch and entrance into three of the six sessions being offered.

The program will begin with a keynote address by Dr. Ursula Schuck, an extension specialist in ornamental horticulture at the University of Arizona. Following the address, attendees will break into smaller groups for three different sessions.

For the first session, conference-goers will choose to attend either the seminar on “Trees” or the seminar on “Vegetable Gardening.” “Trees” will be taught by Jack Kelly, a Pima County extension agent, who will speak on which species to plant in our area, as well as the best time to plant. “Vegetable Gardening” will be taught by Rob Call, a Cochise County extension agent, who will cover tips and techniques for Graham County homeowners and gardeners.

During the second session, attendees will choose between “Culinary Herbs” and “Irrigation and Desert Soils.” Karen Thomson, a Graham County extension master gardener will discuss the growing and use of culinary herbs, while Graham County extension interim director, Randy Norton will talk about managing desert soils for optimum gardening and landscaping.

The third session will provide a choice between “Weeds and Insects” and “Lawn Maintenance.” “Weeds and Insects” will be taught by Dr. Carl Olson, associate curator of insects at the U of A, and will cover the management of pests in the home, garden, and landscape. “Lawn Maintenance” will be taught by Dr. David Kopec, an extension specialist in turf and pasture, and will cover the selection and care of landscape turf and problem solving.

“The mission of the Graham County Master Gardeners Association,” said Marilyn Weaver, the group’s president, “is to inform the general public on sound horticultural practices in their own landscapes and gardens.”

For more information about the conference or to sign up, call the Extension Office at 428-2611. –30–