Fair Questions for Master Gardeners

Denver Master Gardeners answer questions from the audience during the “Ask a Master Gardener” session at the Denver County Fair on July 13. The panel included (from left to right) Jodi Torpey, Daniel Neufeld and Elizabeth Neufeld. (Photo by John Pendleton)

Almost 20,000 people attended the Denver County Fair from July 13-15 to enjoy typical fair food and fun.

At the Demo Stage, Denver County Master Gardeners had the chance to answer questions from other gardeners during three “Ask a Master Gardener” panels.

This year was the first time Master Gardener volunteers were put to the test in a panel format. On Friday, I was part of the panel with apprentice master gardeners Elizabeth and Daniel Neufeld. It was fun to take turns answering questions from our CSU Extension Master Gardener training, supplemented with connecting to the CSU Extension website for fact sheets and other information using the fair’s fast Wi-Fi.

Fairgoers stopped by to sit, listen, ask questions and chat about their gardening experiences during the hour-long panel. Some of the discussion topics included:

Why can’t I get my twice-blooming daylilies and irises to bloom more than once a season?
Why aren’t there more young people interested in gardening?
How can a beginning gardener get started?
How can I grow bigger potatoes?
Does a corn cob in the planting hole help retain water?
Is it too late in the season to plant a vegetable garden?
What’s the best way to get rid of bindweed?
What are ways to deal with tree suckers every year?
How can I grow bigger tomato plants?

In addition to questions from the audience, the panel talked about the importance of soil testing, how to access CSU Extension resources online, ways to deal with Japanese beetles, and resources to prepare ahead for Emerald Ash Borer.

Gardeners were especially interested to hear about Elizabeth and Daniel’s project to turn their hell strip into a beautiful low-water xeriscape.

Master Gardeners also participated in panels on Saturday and Sunday. If you were on (or at) one of these other panels, please share some of the questions gardeners asked during your session.

By Jodi Torpey
A Denver Master Gardener

 

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