Master Gardener Plant Sale May 29

b6a8a-flowersSUNDAY, MAY 29, 10am – 2pm


The UNH Cooperative Extension Strafford County Master Gardeners Association (SCMGA) annual plant sale will take place on Sunday, May 29, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Durham Town Hall parking lot, 8 Newmarket Road (Rt. 108).

A large variety of perennials, annuals, vegetables, herbs and trees will be available to the public at discounted prices. Master gardeners will also be available to answer your gardening and planting questions.

Companion Plantings and Wick Irrigation Workshop April 23

new creation gardenThe Gardens at New Creation will present a twofold workshop on Saturday, April 23 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  The Gardens are located at New Creation Healing Center, 80 Route 125, Kingston.  Ginny Shannon is well known as an herbalist in this area and a Master Gardener. She will share her experience with companion plantings, one of the oldest gardening traditions.

There are several ways to group plants together to maximize space, prevent pest problems, and create biodiversity. Discover the herbs and flowers to add to your vegetable garden. If you have one, or would like to have one,  bring a list of vegetables and a sketch of your garden beds.

Dan Weaver, Master Gardener, will lead a workshop on Wick Irrigation for containers and row plantings.  In this era where water conservation is becoming a basic environmental issue this approach will save as much as 80% of the water needed in your garden.  The other great benefit is to avoid the need for daily watering in the hot summer.  Yes, you can go on that vacation.  Come see how this technique can work for you.  Bring pictures of your garden/deck/other areas to both workshops, and your questions.

For registration and further information, write Dan Weaver, or call at 603-502-6307.  A donation of $5 will help us continue to bring gardening education to the community.

UNH Greenhouse Open House April 1-2

CaptureReady to get out and start planting? Welcome spring with a visit to the University of New Hampshire Macfarlane Research Greenhouses during the annual spring open house Friday and Saturday, April 1 and 2, 2016. This year’s event will provide displays and plenty of information to help grow your garden. The greenhouses will be open from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. both days.

The UNH Plant Diagnostic Lab and Cooperative Extension Plant Health Program will have a display on common diseases and problems of garden and landscape plants. UNH experts and Master Gardeners will be on hand to help get gardens off to a great start.

The UNH Greenhouse Open House is free and open to the general public. On Saturday, April 2, the open house coincides with the Seacoast Home and Garden Show.

Click here for more information.

Six Opportunities for Master Gardeners

Below are requests for programming we have received in the last few weeks! Please contact Ron Christie at 679-9440 or if you have an interest in participating in any of these gardening opportunities:

  1. The Pines of Newmarket, a 55-person assisted living facility, is looking to do a garden series, or at least a container gardening workshop. Contact info: Gail Bukowski, Activities Director, The Pines of Newmarket – Blue Harbor Senior Living

  2. Hampton Public Library is looking for youth programming – anything that will get teens’ hands in dirt, on crops, or touching livestock. They are interested in getting them to think about where their food comes from. The more hands-on, the more interested they will be. You will want to contact Stacy Mazur at

  3. Portsmouth Public Library – from library staff member Sarah B. Cornell:
    “I’m writing to ask for referrals, or even just a bit of advice, on behalf of the Portsmouth Library. We have six raised beds behind our building which we would like to bring back to productivity this year. They were gardened by a summer program the last few years, but I would like to set up a partnership with an organization or a motivated, committed individual who can take over most of the gardening responsibility from early spring preparation to cleanup. I would work out an agreement that works for both partners, but here are a few hopes I have:
    • provide at least two educational programs for the library annually
    • manage the plots for the full growing season, from planning and prep to cleanup
    • recruit and manage workers/volunteers
    • donate produce to food banks and soup kitchens
    • coordinate with library liaison (me) on maintenance and repair costs and arrangements
    Is this something that the Master Gardener Association, or a single Master Gardener, would be interested in? Alternatively, I’d love to hear suggestions of local gardening organizations, service organizations, farmers, schools, community garden groups, etc., who might be interested in taking on this partnership. Feel free to forward my message or send me their contact information. Any thoughts you’d like to share would be welcome! Thanks in advance for your help.”
    Ron’s note: I think this may be one of the areas where we want to put our efforts this summer.  I am thinking that we could build an “urban vegetable garden “ based on raised beds, containers and a small high tunnel. We could even do some dwarfing fruit trees with a wicking watering system. Really show people what a small garden can do.  A 12 x 24 foot area that we measure production so that we can see what we get out of it.  Document the whole thing and set up a blog for it.  Let me know what you think.


  4. Hampton Conservation Commission: Would like to start a soil testing program in Hampton, NH. The Conservation Commission is always looking for ways to educate our residents about the importance of testing their soil and learning the proper amount of fertilizer to apply. As many other communities, Hampton has several water bodies that impairs and one of the major sources of pollution is nitrogen.
    In the last couple of years, they have started a painted rain barrel program. These barrels are donated, painted by junior high students, and then auctioned off at the Garden Club’s annual plant sale. The proceeds from this auction fund another project where the commission offers cost-share grants for rain garden installations. What they are hoping is to have a soil testing information session followed by a “drop-off” and education booth on soils testing at this year’s Plant Sale (May 21 from 9 am to 1 pm). Obviously, this new program is in its planning stages, they are hoping that we might be able to give them some insight on how to make it successful.

  5. Portsmouth Garden Club Grants:  The Portsmouth Garden Club may have something of interest to offer. At this time, the club is offering grants for gardening projects.  They are accepting proposals until March 23 and would love to see more schools apply for these grants.  You can contact Anne Anderson (Young) at


  6. Great Bay Kids’ Company, Exeter: Looking for someone who would like to volunteer a bit of their time this summer to teach summer campers tricks of the trade gardening. This could be a one-time visit or a sequence of visits working with someone who can bring education in to our summer camp program located at the Lincoln Street School in Exeter.