What's the difference between a wild plant and a garden crop? MOFGA's organic crop specialist, Caleb Goossen, will speak about seed selection and seed saving, identify the differences between wild plants and modern hybrid cultivars, and the strengths and weaknesses that might influence your decision to grow these wild-to-domestic varieties. MOFGA's landscape coordinator, Jack Kertesz, will share some of his favorite underutilized edible annual and perennial plants to incorporate into a variety of gardens or naturalized into the landscape.
Too often, gardeners rush to buy seeds and seedlings before considering placement, growth habit, and time of harvest. In this class, Ellen Ecker Ogden, author of The New Heirloom Garden, will take you through the process of selecting and growing plants from seed, the reasons to procure seedlings, and where in a garden plants perform best to yield successful, tasty produce, easy growth, and beauty. Discussion will include best varieties for flavor, fragrant and edible flowers, growing in succession, saving your own seed for the following year, and much more. Ellen Ecker Ogden's book will be available for purchase on-site at the Gardenshop at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens.
Most Maine gardeners and general property owners have had to deal with deer venturing out of the wild and into the cultivated landscape. Deer are part of the ecology in Maine, but an increase in their populations, coupled with displacement of their habitat, have caused them to become a nuisance animal in residential garden settings. In this online lecture, landscape designer Cheryl Salatino will discuss design strategies, plant selection, and other deer deterrent and management methods to prevent your plant investments from being grazed upon.
Learn the fundamentals of pruning in this online lecture and demonstration. Enjoy it as a refresher or, if new to it, gain the confidence to know what, how, and when to prune. Whether you’ve attempted to prune in the past with unsuccessful results, or you've been afraid to prune because you're not sure if you'll damage your plants, you’ll leave this lecture far more confident. We'll discuss appropriate tools, timing, goals, and techniques that will assist you in your pruning projects.
Anna Fialkoff, Program Manager at Wild Seed Project, will offer a virtual presentation explaining and featuring native plant selection and gardening practices to support and increase biodiversity whcih lead to beautiful gardens with minimal manual labor.
Perennial polycultures aim to grow useful plants together in a way that minimizes competition and maximizes cooperation. They include functional species to fix nitrogen, to serve as groundcover, and to attract pollinators and other beneficial insects. Perennial crops providing fruit, nuts, and vegetables anchor such designs. This workshop will review best practices for perennial polyculture design, introduce a palette of species suited to Maine, and allow participants to design sample polycultures.
In this online lecture, Shawn Jalbert, nurseryman and plant propagator at Native Haunts, will share the tricks to sowing, growing, and collecting the seeds of our native perennials, plants that thrive in woodlands or any shade-garden setting. He’ll discuss the ecologically responsible and effective ways to grow native plants from seed, resulting in a healthy, green living carpet that can operate as a long-term, cost-effective, and low-maintenance mulch.
This in-depth class for the ecologically minded land steward and gardener will delve into the properties and functions of the living system of soil. A fundamental understanding of soil science is critical in selecting well-adapted native plants or choosing amendments to mimic the natural conditions needed by various native plant communities. Students will gain an understanding of soil texture, chemistry, water-holding capacity, and how these factors influence a plant’s health.
Soil, compost, and mulches are fundamental elements for the garden, but it’s easy to become confused, overwhelmed, or unsure about what’s what. Mark Hutchinson, Soil and Compost Educator at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, will discuss these elements, addressing in-ground and above-ground applications. Mark will provide an overview of proper selection of manufactured soil blends, mulches, and amendments and cover the basics of the soil chemistry and biology that determine the need for specified amendments.
Mark Hutchinson is an Extension Professor with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension with over 20 years of compost experience, including teaching and researching. He currently oversees the University of Maine Compost Research and Education Center at Highmoor Farm in Monmouth, Maine. Mark's research is focused on the use of compost in agronomic systems and the compost process. Mark travels internationally to consult on large-scale composting systems.
In this webinar, Gary Fish, Maine’s State Horticulturist, will introduce and discuss common pests, including noxious to invasive insects, blights, rusts, diseases, and deficiencies. This class is geared toward those who aren’t necessarily scientists, but who thoroughly enjoy gardening and want to learn the symptoms and signs of infestation as well as prevention and management strategies. Students are welcome to e-mail pictures of specific plant concerns in advance of class to the class host, Irene Barber.
Gary Fish is the State Horticulturalist at the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. He is a past coordinator of the Maine YardScaping Partnership and manager of the Pesticide Control Board. He has a B.S. in forest and wildlife management from the University of Maine, College of Forest Resources and has been a licensed professional forester since 1985. An aspiring landscape and nature photographer, he attributes his love of plants to his mother and her beautiful rose and rock gardens.
Climate change is already impacting gardens, but how we garden can also impact climate change for good or for ill. We will look at projected changes to Maine’s climate and those gardening strategies we can employ to adapt to the new “normal.” We will also look at how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from our gardens, from fertilizers to rototilling, and techniques to remove excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it in our soils and in living perennial biomass.
Eric Toensmeier is the author of Paradise Lot, Perennial Vegetables, and The Carbon Farming Solution, and co-author of Edible Forest Gardens. He served as a Senior Fellow for Project Drawdown, for whom he authored the recent publication Farming Our Way Out of the Climate Crisis. Eric’s home garden in Massachusetts is a highly diverse edible landscape on a tenth of an acre.
Ornamental grasses can add so much to a garden setting, whether in meadow restoration or to blend colors or add textural and structural accents to perennial gardens. Join Syretha Brooks, gardener and garden designer, for this interactive slideshow and learn more about the diverse selection of safe, non-native and native grasses to consider for your landscape. Syretha will offer management suggestions and habits for the species presented. Students also have the option to register for a separate ornamental grasses field-study tour happening later in the summer at the Gardens.
Syretha Brooks is a horticulturist and project manager at Pretty Flowers, a landscape and design company based in Brunswick, Maine. A native of Harpswell, Maine, she has a degree in fine arts from Smith College, which has greatly aided in developing her eye for plant designing and curation. Syretha was formerly a horticulturist at New York City’s Wave Hill Gardens before returning to her home state of Maine and working as a horticulturist here at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens for four years.
In this intensive course, learn how to apply ecologically safe gardening practices to existing landscapes and garden beds. Topics will include plant materials for erosion control, different methods of composting and other eco-friendly soil amendment techniques, alternatives to pesticides and herbicides, responsible acquisition of native plant materials, and other low-impact sustainable horticultural practices that support human well-being and nature.
Prepare for a mindful gardening season by beginning or refreshing your understanding of horticulture. This introductory course will cover a wide variety of horticultural topics important for home gardeners to consider when growing and managing plants on any scale. Subjects will range from the theoretical to the practical, beginning with scientific foundations such as plant nomenclature, biology and ecology, pollination, and propagation. Other topics will include applied and artistic practices exploring plant selection, cultivation, and installation of new plants.