by Cathy Bylinowski, Horticulture Instructor, University of Missouri Extension
Hello Gardeners! Perhaps some of the leaves have been raked up and other garden chores have been completed. Hopefully now you can set aside some time for rest and recharging during the winter days ahead.
It has been a challenging year. Gardening provides a special kind of relaxation. It also provides the benefits of exercise, visually attractive plants and landscapes, and nutritious berries, fruit, herbs, and vegetables. Reading up on gardening ideas for 2021 is a good way to get ready for spring.
University of Missouri Extension is a good source of reliable gardening information and provides a great deal of information for free on the website- https://extension.missouri.edu/
You can build your own profile and account based on your interests or you can start exploring the website by using the search bar in the upper right corner or by clicking on the blue “Find Your Interest” bar on the left side of the webpage.
Another way to gain gardening information is to read the free, monthly online newsletter called The Garden Spade. It is a collection of articles, pictures, and lists of garden activities appropriate to the season, put together by MU Extension Field Specialists in Horticulture.
The December edition has articles on winter blooming house plants, winter crafts, and many other garden-related winter features. Here is a link to subscribe to the MU Extension Garden Spade newsletter- https://tinyurl.com/yybrjrx3
If you are interested in growing vegetables and fruit for profit, you might be interested in a new commercial horticulture newsletter. To register for the biweekly MU Extension Commercial Horticulture video newsletter, go to this link- https://tinyurl.com/yxlk2wja
MU Extension Field Specialists in Horticulture are still conducting free Horticulture Town Halls during the winter once a month. To register for the MU Extension Horticulture Town Hall, go to- https://ipm.missouri.edu/townhalls/
For Horticulture Town Hall video snippets (consider subscribing to this MU channel) go to- https://www.youtube.com/user/MUIPM
MU Extension provides another free, monthly newsletter via the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) page called Missouri Environment and Garden. Here is a subscription link which also includes links to past issues- https://ipm.missouri.edu/MEG/
If you would like to explore more horticulture topics in depth and have an interest in volunteering, consider enrolling in Extension Master Gardener Training. Missouri Extension Master Gardeners’ motto is “helping others learn to grow”. After twelve or more training sessions on a wide range of horticulture topics, graduates agree to volunteer at demonstration gardens, with children’s gardening projects, public education, and other Extension Master Gardener volunteer activities. It is also possible to enroll in training for personal enrichment if you are not able to volunteer.
This year, due to COVID 19 precautions, MU Extension- Jackson County offered Extension Master Gardener Training live on an online platform called Zoom. For more information on Extension Master Gardener Training in 2021 please contact our office at 816-482-5850. We have not made a final decision on how it will be offered in 2021 yet- in-person, virtually, or a combination of both, but we can add your name to a list to be contacted in the spring.
Extension Master Gardener Training is also facilitated online twice a year by University of Missouri Horticulture faculty on campus. Here is a link for more information about that option:
Both Extension Master Gardener
Training options offer a reduced fee for those who volunteer after training. A limited number of scholarships are also available. For people living outside of Jackson County, MO, we suggest you contact your local county MU Extension office for more information on Extension Master Gardener Training and the volunteer program in your area.
Here is link to help you find your county’s MU Extension office- https://extension.missouri.edu/locations
Relax when you can and enjoy the winter season. Please feel free to contact me if you have any gardening questions, questions about the resources listed above, or questions about Extension Master Gardener Training. Happy Holidays!
Cathy Bylinowski, Horticulture Instructor, email@example.com, University of Missouri Extension, 816-482-5850.