Area residents are invited to join University of Nevada Cooperative Extension master gardeners as they explore the Becoming a Desert Gardener series during October.
The first session, “Don’t Kill That Ugly Bug — Beneficial Insects for Your Yard,” is scheduled for Oct. 8. Paula Garrett will discuss some of the great things bugs do in a yard, including pollinating fruits and vegetables, and eating other (harmful) insects. She also will demonstrate how to provide habitats for beneficial insects with items such as bee boxes.
Garrett is a research scientist with University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where she works with the arboretum and Barrick Museum. Her love of nature and bugs started early on with caterpillars in her backyard. She has been a master gardener volunteer since 2007.
“Palms of Las Vegas” will be presented Oct. 15 by Vicki Yuen. She will provide tips on how to identify and care for the palms commonly found in the valley.
Yuen moved to Las Vegas in 2001 and completed the master gardener training in 2003. She is a volunteer waterer and docent at the Las Vegas Springs Preserve. Before moving to the valley, she lived in Hong Kong for several years.
Kathie Slaughter will present “Fruit and Nut Trees That Grow Best in Southern Nevada” on Oct. 22. She will discuss which varieties grow best in the desert and tree care issues such as pruning, fertilizing, spraying, watering and thinning of fruit. In addition, participants will learn which trees need a cross pollinator to do well (that means you need two trees).
A master gardener since 1999, Slaughter has lived in Las Vegas for 33 years. She grew up in Southern California in an orange grove. She now volunteers at the master gardeners’ experimental orchard and has fruit and nut trees in her own yard.
“Ornamental Grasses: Graceful, Glistening and Gorgeous” will be presented Oct. 29 by Jean Engelmann. Her presentation will include information about the various types and characteristics of ornamental grasses, planting and maintenance, plus lots of pictures. Ornamental grasses come in a variety of colors from copper to blue.
Engelmann lived in Minnesota until her family moved to Henderson in 1989. She became a master gardener in 1993 and regularly volunteers on the help line, as a docent at the Gardens at the Las Vegas Springs Preserve and a speaker on several gardening topics.
All classes will be held from 7-8 p.m. at the Lifelong Learning Center, 8050 Paradise Road, located just off the Windmill Lane exit from the Las Vegas Beltway.
To register for one or more sessions, call the master gardeners help line at 257-5555. For additional information about the master gardeners program or the desert gardener series, contact Ann Edmunds, program coordinator, at email@example.com or 257-5587.