WVU Extension Service Holds Fridays in the Garden Workshops | News, Sports, Jobs


VIENNA — Spring and the annual Fridays in the Garden educational series sponsored by the Master Gardeners of Wood County, a program of the West Virginia University Extension Service, will soon be here.

Sessions for the series’ eighth year will be held at noon on Fridays in February at the South Parkersburg Baptist Church at 1655 Blizzard Drive. The meeting room is on the lower level and is accessed through the rear entrance.

Gardening enthusiasts, experts and beginners are welcome. The series is free and open to the public. Door prizes such as packets of seeds and herbs will be given out.

“Since the start of the pandemic, the popularity of gardening has grown, so we are excited about the Fridays in the Garden series,” said WVU Extension Service agricultural officer JJ Barrett.

Wellness and stress reduction are more important than ever, he said.

“Research has proven the benefits of gardening, including the development of healthy eating habits, reduced stress, increased physical activity and a more positive outlook on life,” said Barrett.

In addition to Barrett, other master gardeners will be present at each session to answer gardening questions.

Fridays in the Garden are an opportunity for gardening enthusiasts to share knowledge, learn and adopt new skills, said Wood County Master Gardener Robin Clark. Beyond the educational value, it’s fun to interact with people with similar interests, Clark said.

Topics for 2022 include:

* “Feeding Winter Birds in the Yard” on February 4 with Barrett. Looking for free seeds to get started in a vegetable garden? WVU Family Nutrition Specialist Kristen McCartney will present all the details of this exciting program.

* On February 11, Dave Hawkins of Mother Earth Foods will talk about “Medicinal herbs for the garden.” Bees, in addition to other native bees and insects, play a crucial role in pollinating flowers, vegetables, and fruit trees. Barrett will teach “Build Your Pollinator Garden”.

* On February 18, Mike Murphy of Murphy Farms will discuss good varieties of vegetables for the vegetable garden at “Varieties that work.” Many Mid-Ohio Valley residents love the vegetable garden, but don’t have the space. “Container Gardening” will be the subject of Barrett’s presentation.

* The February 25 workshop is about hostas, always a great addition to any home landscape with their attractive foliage and beautiful flowers. Master Gardener Tony Playtis will present “All About Hostas” for tips on growing this plant. Everyone loves a fresh, ripe tomato from the summer garden. Barrett will present information on “Tips for tasty tomatoes and peppers.”

Master gardeners are extension service volunteers trained in small-scale food production, horticulture and gardening.

They share their knowledge with the community, undertake community gardening projects such as the Wood County Library Arboretum, Armstrong Garden in Williamstown, Edison Arboretum and several community gardens.

“The Master Gardener program is a great way to improve your gardening knowledge not only for personal use, but to help (the) community” said Joyce McDougal, president of the Wood County Master Gardeners.

For more information on Fridays in the Garden, contact Barrett at 304-424-1960 or [email protected]

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