Monday, January 24, 2011

More MG goodness

Two Fridays ago, our OSU Master Gardener units were on soils, compost and fertilizers. As I have in each unit presented, I learned an unbelievable amount about components, properties, benefits, problems and ways they can be addressed. The sessions were taught by Claudia Groth, (a.k.a. Doctor Dirt on KEX radio), a Master Gardener and a consultant to the horticulture industry. She was dynamic, humorous and a wealth of information (Did you know there was an Oregon State Soil? It's Jory, and it's found in the foothills around the Willamette Valley.)

Claudia brought examples of many soil components and amendments to share. She talked about soil biology, the relatively new field of soil microbes and the way microbes work to nourish plants and fight pathogens.

I always knew I shouldn't walk on wet garden beds, but now I really understand what happens when soil is compacted. I learned how soils hold water, about soil pH, and what loam really is.

In the fertilizer unit, Claudia taught us how they work, the differences between organic and synthetic fertilizers, and why you might want to use one vs. the other. She taught us to read and understand fertilizer labels, application instructions, and explained what agencies regulate fertilizer ingredients. True to form, I took seven pages of notes to supplement the day's PowerPoint handouts.

This could all be tedious, difficult stuff to absorb, but with instructors of the caliber of Claudia Groth in the MG program, each unit becomes accessible and fascinating. I'm loving my Science Fridays!


  1. I'm a little jealous. Partly because the class itself sounds cool, partly because of the free time you have to take a class!

  2. So glad you're enjoying it and learning so much!

  3. That sounds like a lot to take in...but also just fascinating stuff!

  4. So true about the personality of the instructor making all the difference.

  5. Wow! That looks like so much fun. I don't mind class settings if I'm learning something I'm passionate about. I think I would like to take the MG program. But for now, I'll just follow your progress and learn from you! Thanks for posting all your "MG Goodness"!


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