The sage advice of a gardener

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If you need advice about growing sage or any other garden plant, call a Routt County master gardener.

Every Thursday morning in June, a group of master gardeners will be available at the Routt County Extension Service Office to answer gardening questions, arrange a visit to your garden or discuss gardening. Call the Extension Office during the week, and staff members will record your question and forward it to a master gardener on Thursday. Better yet, call or stop by the office from 9 a.m. to noon Thursdays.

Master gardeners are certified by Colorado State University after completing a course covering most aspects of home gardening. We add to our knowledge by attending seminars, college classes and regular meetings with other master gardeners. We are charged with providing research-based information about home gardening issues to gardeners in our community. Each master gardener donates her or his time to provide this assistance, making the service available to you at no charge.

There are lots of things we can help you with, but we don't compete with garden centers, nurseries and other gardening professionals. We don't provide landscaping design services, nor are we available for planting, weeding or other hands-on work.

Here are some of the things we can do for you:

Identify plants and trees in your yard and garden.

Identify invasive weeds and invasive ornamentals.

Provide advice about how to grow plants.

Provide advice about how to eliminate weeds and invasive plants.

Diagnose plant and tree problems.

Advise about soil preparation.

Provide advice about such topics as mulching, fertilizing, watering, pest control, xeriscaping and composting.

Show you how and when to prune trees and shrubs.

Discuss transplanting and plant propagation.

Help you identify plants best suited for your garden and environment.

Colorado master gardeners work in partnership with the Green Industries of Colorado, which include the American Society of Landscape Architects, Colorado Nursery Association, Garden Centers of Colorado, Rocky Mountain Regional Turfgrass Association and Wholesale Florists of Colorado.

Our recommendations often deal with what's ideal for plant health. We want to help you make informed decisions about your plants that will lead to a successful experience with your garden. All of us love to garden and want to share our enthusiasm and knowledge with others. Whether you're just starting to build a garden or landscape around your home or have an established garden, master gardeners are happy to help.

To speak with a volunteer master gardener, call the Routt County Extension Service Office at 879-0825 or stop by the office Thursday mornings at 136 Sixth St. in the Routt County Courthouse annex.

Deb Babcock is a master gardener through the Colorado State University Cooperative Extension Service Office in Routt County. Questions? Call 879-0825 or e-mail gardeners@co.routt.co.us.

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