MG4 + day at ISU

Last Tuesday was week 4 of the Master Gardener class. The topic was Landscaping plants and shrubs (an important one for us!).It was a little easier to pay attention this week, because the topic was more applicable. Three hours was still a long time to sit and focus, but it was better than previous weeks.Some things I learned:1.  Nursery plants can be purchased in 3 ways: bare root, balled and burlap, and container.  I finally know what these mean! I hear Dave talking about B&B plants and bare root, but now I kind of know what they are talking about.2. When designing landscaping, there are lots of things to consider.  You want to pick trees that are going to grow into the space, and not plant something that is going to grow too big or take over. I am starting to notice trees and landscaping when I am driving, something I never gave a thought to before.IMG_3509This Saturday we went to Ames for a day of learning at Iowa State.The day went by pretty fast, every 40 minutes they moved us through to different labs and lectures.  We learned how to use a dichotomous key to identify plants, the different plant parts, about soil compaction and aerating, and about how to test the pH level in soils and how this might affect the plants.  All of the information we learned yesterday will help us when answering customer's questions in the spring.  The most beneficial to us was the plant pathogen lab and lecture.  We learned about the most common plant pathogens we find here in Iowa.  It's important to identify the plant you are looking at before you try to identify what might be wrong with it (fungal, bacterial, nutrition deficiency, bugs, etc.)IMG_3508When the day was over, Dave and I both agreed it seemed shorter than some of the 3 hour sessions on Tuesday nights.  The whole day was great and definitely will be beneficial to us as we transition into the nursery.