KENNEWICK -- Fall is in the air.
While it's sad to see the summer come to an end, I must admit that I am tired of watering my flower pots day after day.
Flowering annuals still may be blooming like crazy, but the gardening season is winding down and there are a number of tasks that need to be done to get the garden ready for winter -- such as cleaning up the garden, planting bulbs and dividing perennials.
Fall Garden Fest: Gardeners can learn more about getting the garden ready for winter at Fall Garden Fest on Saturday, Oct. 2. Fall Garden Fest is a daylong program sponsored by WSU Extension and the WSU Master Gardeners.
I'll be talking in the morning about how plants prepare to survive winter cold. Cole Lindsey, a bat expert, will follow me with a discussion about bats, our garden friends. The afternoon program is filled with classes about fall gardening, including outdoor classes where you can learn about dividing perennials, planting fall bulbs, fall container gardens, rose care, ornamental grasses, building bat houses, spiders and more!
Fall Garden Fest is held at Highlands Grange Hall in Grange Park, 1500 S. Union, Kennewick. The cost is $17 for the entire day of classes. It's a great opportunity to learn from area experts about preparing the garden for winter, plus it's fun. You can get a registration brochure by calling the Extension Office at 735-3551.
Composting Workshop: As you clean up your garden this fall, removing dead plants and raking up leaves, you'll need to find a way to get rid of all that plant refuse.
Recycling yard and garden waste through composting is a great way get rid of the waste and use it to build better garden soil. There will be a Composting Workshop from 9:30 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 9. I'll be teaching the basics of starting a compost pile, what to compost and what not to compost, and troubleshooting composting problems.
The Composting Workshop will be held at the Mid-Columbia Library at 1620 S. Union St., Kennewick, and is sponsored by the solid waste divisions from the city of Richland, and Benton and Franklin counties, along with WSU Extension office and the Benton Clean Air Authority.
A free composting bin and book on composting will be given to class participants, as long as the supplies last. The class is free. To register, call the Extension Office at 735-3551.
Hypertufa class: Learn how to make a faux stone planter from Portland cement, peat moss, perlite and water. It's called hypertufa and each class participant will learn to make their own hypertufa planter to take home.
The class will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 9, at Job's Nursery in Pasco and is sponsored by the Benton Franklin Master Gardener Foundation.
There is a $15 class fee that must be paid in advance when registering. Call the Extension Office at 509-735-3551 for more information.
Facebook: You can learn about upcoming gardening classes throughout the year at our "WSU Master Gardeners of Benton & Franklin Counties" Facebook group page. Yes, we are on Facebook!
Check out the pretty calendars that you can print out and enjoy. View our video on spring care of ornamental grasses. Learn about upcoming Garden Tips column topics. Become a fan and keep in touch with all that's going on in the Master Gardener program in Benton and Franklin counties.
* Marianne C. Ophardt is a horticulturist for the Washington State University Benton County Extension Office.