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  • Author or Editor: Kerrie B. Badertscher x
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Colorado currently has no licensure program for landscaping and many people applying to the Colorado Master Gardener program have indicated a desire to seek entry-level training in order to determine if a second career in horticulture is feasible. Alternatively, some each year who complete this basic training go on into the Green Industry either in basic design and/or maintenance. Colorado State University Cooperative Extension came together with Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado and the Colorado Nursery Association (now CNGA) to create the Rocky Mountain Landscape Design Guide. The purpose of this publication was to inform the general consumer about the landscape design process. A review will be given using this publication with concurrent laboratory activities to Master Gardeners as a continuing education piece.

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Renewed interest in red raspberry production in Colorado has been limited by winter kill of canes. Winter kill in Colorado may be the result of extreme cold temperatures, desiccation, or a combination of the two. We are evaluating winter protection strategies to increase survival and to better understand the winter stress of raspberries. The four (4) cane treatments of red raspberry, Rubus ideaus L. cv. Heritage, used were (1) canes bent and wrapped with plastic; (2) canes bent and mulched with hay and soil; (3) canes upright with anti-desiccant spray; (4) a control of canes upright without protection. Moisture content and electrolyte leakage were evaluated at intervals. Relative moisture loss was greatest in the control as compared to the other treatments. The terminal sections of the canes exhibited greater moisture loss as compared to basal sections in the control with a similar trend in the other treatments. Relative survival as indicated by electrolyte leakage was monitored and will be correlated with moisture loss.

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Since the 1970's, the Colorado Master Gardenersm (MG) program in Boulder County has had volunteer opportunities external to the extension office site. Collaboration occurs with various green industry locations via “clinics”. Volunteers are on location Friday through Sunday, April through mid-July to answer questions for the public at large. Due to the length of time this program had been in place, the staff time and resources committed to it, and budget cutbacks, need for a study of impact and effectiveness of this program was identified. A three-year study was conducted to determine efficacy, pertinence and should this system remain status quo. In year 1, a sampling of the general public was conducted to determine: behavioral change as a result of receiving information (such as a diagnosis); was the information delivered in a timely fashion; satisfaction level; pesticide usage trends; continuance of this program and other data points. In year 2, active MG's in Boulder County were surveyed about participation at various facilities, information about clientele activity, and success rate with clients. Additionally, their comfort level on ability to assist clients plus their perception of the value of clinics to the community were surveyed. Data on diagnostics was correlated with weekly statistics. In year 3, partnering Green Industry collaborators were surveyed to gauge satisfaction with clinic service, timeliness of clinic schedule, and value of clinic service to business, and overall benefits to their staff resources. Reports on each survey will be delivered.

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The Boulder County Jail Garden was conceived to provide inmates at the jail an opportunity for community service time during their sentence. The jail kitchen needed fresh produce, but costs were rising and variety of choices suffered. In 1994 the Boulder County Jail staff contacted the Colorado Master Gardener™ program (MG), Boulder County, to work on a joint project in tending a 1.1-acre food production garden. Net pounds of produce have increased steadily over succeeding years from 6,300 lbs. in 1997 to 19,100 lbs. in 2003. Market value of 2003 crop is $22,700.00. Communities must be willing to have a volunteer group that can commit to long-term time investment in working the garden each year. MG's participate as mentors to inmates. Discussion outlines activities and critical components for a successful program.

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Data supports the success of Colorado Master Gardener sm (MG) of Boulder County outreach beyond the Cooperative Extension office at outlying clinic sites. Initially unique in Colorado, MG plant clinics at area nurseries and garden centers has gained acceptance in other counties of Colorado. Exploration of benefits and investments for programs interested in expanding outreach to the public are discussed to provide a blueprint for clinics start-up. MG clinics are set up to provide answers to questions from the public on Friday through Sundays from April through mid-July. This schedule, coupled with the Monday through Friday MG desk hours, provides seven day per week access to the public during the busiest part of the growing season. Clinics are conveniently located in all county communities at Green Industry locations. Participating businesses consider the clinics a benefit worth investing IN and justification of sites is uniform. Additional single-day clinics have spun off as an addition to fixed clinic schedule. High requirement of staff time, increased sample load and resource investment is offset by the benefits of increased visibility of program in the community leading to increased recruitment of volunteers. Knowledge gained by the public has brought about measurable positive changes in pesticide use and responsible cultural practices. Volunteer retention is favorably affected with increased flexibility of scheduling opportunities and communications. Information on setting up clinic sites, what the sites receive, staff time and services requirements, and refinements as a result of clinic survey will be given.

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The purpose of this study was to gain knowledge about the establishment of drought-tolerant species at high elevations and with no irrigation. Colorado State University Cooperative Extension (CE) had no research-based information about the establishment of no-water gardens, a topic of much relevance in times of drought and for mountain communities with watering restrictions. Research-based information about plant establishment at 7500 feet elevation and above is extremely limited. Test gardens were planted with a standardized planting pallet and in such a way as to be aesthetically pleasing. Each plot was approximately 400 square feet and contained shrubs, perennials, grasses, seeds, and bulbs. A review of the first full year and second growing season will be given along with outreach strategies.

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