This talk will cover the above-ground aspects of greenhouse production and how to make it more productive, efficient, and profitable. Jeff Marstaller, greenhouse grower and owner of solar-powered Cozy Acres in North Yarmouth, will share his experience and a variety operations factors to consider, such as location, resources, and business model. He will speak to a spectrum of subtopics including selection, timing and quantities of crops, potted plant production, processes, goals and expectations, and details of plant sales and distribution. Both the beginner and the experienced greenhouse grower will find a valuable chance to network and share knowledge among peers.
Monday, January 25, March 1, and Saturday, May 15 Join landscape designer Larry Weaner as he guides students through the step-by-step process of designing native, ecology-based landscapes for New England. Specifics will include site analysis, species selection and arrangement, and the creation of ecological, process-based management specifications. Techniques to artfully combine all of these considerations will be woven throughout the program.
Growing edibles, especially natives, is a practice gaining traction in New England’s landscape industry. Incorporating native and wild edible plants provides a number of benefits; it adds biodiversity to the landscape, and eating produce straight from the garden deepens a connection to nature. Andy Brand, the Gardens’ Curator of Living Collections, will discuss some of his favorite perennial native edibles, from the woody to the herbaceous, highlighting design applications for both function and beauty.
Global insect declines and three billion fewer birds in North America are a bleak reality check regarding the how poorly our current landscape designs sustain the plants and animals that sustain us. The good news is there are steps we can take. We are nature’s best hope, and Doug Tallamy will discuss simple actions each of us can—and must—take to reverse declining biodiversity.
Wednesdays, February 17, 24, March 10, and 17 Resilient landscape practices are connected to the evolving environment. Incorporating low-maintenance design, resilient landscapes sustain and regenerate under stressful environmental conditions, rather than falling victim to stressors. They are aesthetic, powerhouse systems providing ecological services; as such, they give the landscape professional the opportunity to evolve their business, adapting to the changing environment. Section I of the course focuses on examining and incorporating ecological design and the influential components of water, soils, design lessons from nature, and sustainable structural materials.
Vines, especially edible vines, have been designed into gardens for centuries as canopy, food, and privacy, adding contrast and dimension to any landscape setting. This presentation will discuss new and classic varieties, plus how to manage the grapes, hardy kiwis, strawberries, and hops that work well in Maine landscapes. David Handley, berry fruit specialist at Highmoor Farm, will discuss what's available and appropriate for different applications and review growth habits, flowering times, colors, and what varieties will provide fruit through much of the season.
Renae Moran, a fruit tree specialist at Highmoor Farm for UMaine Cooperative Extension, will discuss a selection of fruit trees for the home landscape, how much space they need, and the basics of espalier training for small spaces. Dwarf cherries, apples, and new peach varieties are just a few of the options to consider, all appropriate for a variety of landscape applications. Join us to learn more about, or to refresh and update, your fruit tree repertoire.
A sustainable and ecologically sound turf system succeeds when it is built on a foundation of sound agronomic practices matched to site characteristics and turf performance objectives. We will consider how factors such as aspect, light, soil condition and health, proximity to environmentally sensitive areas, and degree of turf maturity can inform decisions regarding implementation and timing of key cultural practices. In particular, we will examine the selection and establishment of appropriate turfgrass species and cultivars as an essential component of turf sustainability.
Urban trees are indispensable in making our cities livable. In the past 15 years, researchers in urban forestry have developed methods of quantifying the ecosystem benefits provided by urban trees. In our increasingly paved cities, tree services are essential, as it has become clear that poor practices in tree selection and soil preparation have reduced the potential benefits of planting such trees. As our metropolitan areas are so heterogeneous, not all trees will do well in all sites. However, the most ubiquitous constraint to healthy, urban tree growth is soil compaction and limited accessible soil volume, leading to stunted trees that cannot withstand increasingly hot and dry summers. Fortunately, there are many practices that can overcome these challenges.