If you’ve thought about taking on new gardening projects this year but are not sure where to start, gardening classes can offer you just the right boost — you can learn from the experts and walk away with ideas for your own garden.
Here’s a lineup of classes offered this year (2015) by Valley Nursery.
Orchard Fruits with Sam Rader
Saturday, Feb. 7, 9:30 – 10:30 a.m.; Sunday, Feb. 15, 1- 2 p.m.
The class will cover sunlight, soil, water and fertilizer requirements of fruit trees. Sam will also discuss recommended fruit varieties, pollination requirements and various fruit tree disease and insect problems.
Fruit Tree Pruning with Sam Rader
Sunday, Feb. 8, 1-2 p.m.; Saturday, Feb. 14, 9:30-10:30 a.m.; Sunday, Feb. 15, 3-4 p.m.
Learn when, why and how to prune fruit trees for increased fruit production and plant size control.
Mason Bees with Sam Rader
Sunday, Feb. 8, 3-4 p.m.
Learn how easy it is to raise these gentle bees and how they will help pollinate your fruit trees. These solitary and interesting bees are active early in the season when the weather is still cool. Sam will give you the information you need to properly hang the bee houses as well as when to put them out.
Sunday, Feb. 2, 1-2 p.m.; Sunday, March 1, 1-2 p.m.
Draw from Brad’s lifetime of growing small fruits in the Northwest. Learn about variety selection, placement, maintenance and harvest. Topics will include strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, grapes, kiwi and more.
Japanese Maple Pruning with Eric
Saturday, March 7, 10-11 a.m.
Come learn the proper way to prune Japanese maples. Eric will discuss the do’s and don’ts, care and pruning, different types of maple, soil and good companion plants.
Basic Gardening with Pam Sinclair
Sunday, March 8, 10-11 a.m.; Saturday, April 18, 9-10 a.m.
For new homeowners, new gardeners or experienced gardeners new to our area, this is an overview of gardening conditions unique to Puget Sound and presentation of basic gardening practices and terms.
The Importance of Soils in the Garden with Pam Sinclair
Saturday, March 14, 9-10 a.m.; Saturday, April 11, 9-10 a.m.
Learn how to determine what kind of soil you have and how to improve it for maximum performance. Drainage, pH testing and amendments will be discussed.
How to Plant — The Green Side Up with Pam Sinclair
Saturday, March 14, 11 a.m.-noon
Approved/accepted planting methods for B & B, bare root or container trees and shrubs. Amend or not? Stake or not? Watering guidelines? These will all be discussed.
Sunday, March 15, 1-2 p.m.; Sunday, April 19, 3-4 p.m.; Sunday, April 26, 1-2 p.m.
Mainly geared for the beginning to somewhat experienced gardener, but there may be something for the experts too. Learn how to get started in the ground, raised beds or containers. Topics will include location, soil, variety selection and harvesting.
Basic Lawn Care with Pam Sinclair
Saturday, April 4, 10-11 a.m.; Sunday, April 18, 11 a.m.-noon
Steps involved in planting new lawn or rejuvenating an existing lawn. Timing, soil prep, watering and ongoing lawn maintenance will be discussed.
Understanding Fertilizers with Pam Sinclair
Saturday, April 11, 11 a.m.-noon; Sunday, April 12, 10-11 a.m.
Organic versus nonorganic; what is a fertilizer; what, when and how to use them. Amendments versus “fertilizers” will also be addressed in this ever-evolving topic.
Sunday, April 19, 1-2 p.m.; Sunday, April 26, 3-4 p.m.
Growing tomatoes in the Northwest can be challenging and never a guarantee. Learn how to stack the odds in your favor with variety selection, training, watering, etc. Also included will be learning how to construct a simple but effective tomato hut.
‘Green Thumb’ Plants with Pam Sinclair
Saturday, April 25, 9-10 a.m.
An overview of dependable, popular, hardy and easy-to-grow plants for any situation will be discussed, along with low-maintenance gardening.
How to Deal with Weeds and Invasive Plants with Pam Sinclair
Saturday, April 25, 11 a.m.-noon
A discussion of common weeds and invasive plants as well as how to remove and control them while minimizing environmental impact.