How to contact the WSU Master Gardeners
- Plant Clinic, 400 Washington St., Wenatchee, Mondays and Wednesdays, 1 to 4 p.m.
- Farmer’s Market in Wenatchee at Pybus Market, Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Leavenworth, first Thursday of the month, 4 to 8 p.m. at Lion’s Club Park
- Community Education Garden, third Sunday of month, 3 to 5 p.m., 1100 N. Western Ave., Wenatchee
- By Phone: 667-6540, leave a message any time 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to noon Friday, and a Master Gardener will return your call during plant clinic hours.
- E-mail: email@example.com. Send text and close-up photos.
Gardening classes set for Sunday
Join the Chelan County Master Gardeners from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday at the Community Education Garden at 1100 N. Western Ave. on the campus of the WSU Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center for three informative classes on growing and cooking with herbs, propagating roses and gardening with native plants and their close cousins. Enjoy garden tours and, if you have ailing plants, bring samples for the volunteers to take a look at.
The WSU Chelan County Master Gardeners have two goals: Education about gardening and answering home gardeners’ questions. On the third Sunday afternoon of each month this summer, we offer short seminars on a variety of topics at the Community Education Garden at the northwest corner of Springwater and Western avenues in Wenatchee.
It is easy to contact us about garden questions. Keith Thrapp and Linda Sarratt are the lead diagnosticians, and they supervise another dozen or so eager sleuths. Master Gardeners use a variety of materials and resources and base their responses on guidelines set by WSU.
It is most helpful if you bring a plant sample in a sealed plastic bag that includes:
1. A stem with several sets of leaves
2. A bloom and, if possible, a seed pod
3. An insect or bug in a sealed jar. It can be alive, or you can fill the container with rubbing alcohol.
4. A photo of the entire plant
The Master Gardeners at the plant clinic have found questions usually fall into three categories: the Treasure Hunt, Who Dun It and the Smoking Gun.
The Treasure Hunt is usually an ID question — what is this plant? Can you grow this plant here? What is this bug or insect? Is it a good guy or a bad guy? In order to successfully complete the identification, Master Gardeners will ask lots of questions.
Normally, we can’t help you find the name for a plant that came from your sister’s garden in coastal California. However, we can identify both cultivated and native plants of this area.
Individual leaves don’t provide enough information. Wrap the sample in newsprint, and place the sample in a plastic Ziploc bag to keep it fresh. If you drop the material by the office at 400 Washington St. during the week, it will be stored in the refrigerator until Master Gardeners have a chance to examine it.
Who Dun It generally involves some type of plant damage from a disease or an insect. Different chewing insects leave distinctive leaf damage and other traces. It is essential to bring in several leaves with the damage. Even better, capture one of the insects. If the damage is in the lawn, dig out one square foot of the turf down to about 8 inches, so Master Gardeners can look for insects living in the turf or soil.
The Smoking Gun diagnosis involves plant damage caused by cultivation practice. Frequently, we see dead or dying plants that were damaged inadvertently by herbicide over-spray. Another common problem, especially on trees and shrubs is damage from the mower or the weed whip. Often damage from pre-emergent herbicides applied in the spring do not show up until later in the season. Bring in both a healthy plant branch and one that is damaged.
We do not do garden design work, but can provide lists of plants that attract hummingbirds, thrive in the shade, are deer resistant, etc. Except for special circumstances, Master Gardeners do not go out for a site visit of a client’s garden.
Even if your questions don’t fall into one of the three categories, we will be more than happy to talk gardening with you.
A WSU Master Gardeners of Chelan County column appears weekly in the At Home section. Bonnie Orr is one of three columnists featured.