Ann Wright: August activities with master gardeners |

Ann Wright: August activities with master gardeners

A beautiful shot of Burnie Falls, here in one of California's state parks, showcasing our diverse foliage.
Photo by Ann Wright |

California is known for its beauty.

While traveling in July from Pt. Reyes on the coast through several unique forests in northern California, the word “diverse” came to mind, especially with regard to the varying climates, the distinct plants and the overall beauty of so many places in this region.

We live in a diverse area — which can be a challenge to gardeners. But our county is rich in opportunities to learn more about the diversity in this region. The Nevada County Master Gardeners have taken a little time off for July, and are back in August with a diverse lineup of activities to help our community learn more about gardening in this region.

Starting August 9-13, Master Gardeners will again have a booth at the Nevada County Fair in the AgSperience area of the fairgrounds. Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer questions about home gardening, we’ll have special activities for “Little Sprouts” and we plan to offer a variety of workshops during the fair. Times may be subject to change, but topics included in the workshop lineup include:

• Tool maintenance and sharpening (Wednesday 12:30 p.m.)

• Gardening with California native plants (Wednesday 1:30 p.m.)

• Challenges of gardening in Nevada County (Thursday 10:30 a.m.)

• Growing tomatoes in rock and clay (Thursday 12:30 p.m.)

• Raising Monarchs — from caterpillars into butterflies (Thursday 1:30 p.m.) and raising Monarchs safely (Sunday 10:30 a.m.)

• The fascination of wildflowers (Friday 10:30 a.m.)

• Salvias — foothill garden winners (Friday 12:30 p.m.)

• Container gardening (Friday 1:30 p.m.)

• Building apartments for mason bees (Saturday 10:30 am)

• Compost is the gardener’s best friend (Saturday 12:30 p.m.)

• Landscaping under the oaks (Saturday 1:30 p.m.)

Bring the children to let the creative juices flow to decorate ready-to-paint wooden flowers. Join us between 11 a.m. and noon each day of the fair at our booth and let the painting begin.

On Aug. 19, from 10 a.m. to noon, Master Gardeners will present a regular full workshop on composting, “Compost: A Gardener’s best Friend” which will offer an in-depth look at how to compost in many situations, and in ways that suit your level of energy. Workshop goals include:

• Inspire participants to maximize use of raw materials found in the yard at home — whether it is from wood chips to pine needles, kitchen waste and lawn trimmings to yard waste and manure.

• Increase creative ways to use mulch, and to improve the cold compost pile.

• Motivate participants to increase hot composting to produce more and higher quality compost.

• Visit a fresh hot compost pile and join the fun in guessing the actual temperature.

On Aug. 26, join us for the workshop, “How to Grow Cool Season Crops”. This workshop highlights the cold-hardy vegetables that do well in our area, how to start and care for a winter garden, and alternatives for frost protection.

Both workshops will be held from 10 a.m. to noon at the Demonstration Garden on the NID business grounds, 1036 W. Main St. in Grass Valley. Our workshops are free of charge.

For more information about these and other events, go to or call the hotline at 530-273-0919.

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