CO-Horts Blog

Monday, January 9, 2017

Winter snow brings chance to learn

Mesa County Extension Garden
With the weather that has hit Colorado and a good portion of the nation, gardening may be the furthest thing from our mind.  But winter is a good time for preparation and learning.  Many CSU Extension county offices will soon be starting their Colorado Master Gardener classes.  Though it is too late for you to sign up for the course this year as a volunteer (registration starts in October), many counties offer the different topics as single day options.  So if there is a particular topic you want to learn about such as woody plants and pruning, soils, turf and many others, contact your local office to see if they offer the single day option.  My office, Tri River Area which consists of Mesa, Delta, Montrose and Ouray counties, does offer the single day option taught in Grand Junction.  There is a charge for the day.  Contact Susan Honea in the Tri River Area to reserve your spot at 970-244-1841.  Other offices can be found in this link: select the first letter of your county and scroll down to find the county information.

Besides Master Gardener classes, counties offer or collaborate to bring other great programs.  In my area we have the Food, Farm Forum, the Western Colorado Pest Management Workshop, and several insect talks by Whitney Cranshaw, CSU Entomologist as well as a Soil Health Conference. 

We also collaborate with growers and participate in the Western Horticulture Society event in Grand Junction.  This event starts next Monday January 16th, with a class on FSMA (Food Safety Moderization Act) Produce Safety Rule Training at our local Orchard Mesa Research Station.  Call Donna at 970-434-3264 to pay your fee to attend Monday since there will be lots of handouts.  Then Tuesday there is a tour of farms followed Wednesday and Thursday with classes and an expo.  CSU will have a booth in the expo.  The Monday event is also listed on this website.  For more information go to

The following week is Food Farm Forum in Montrose on January 20-21.  This program focuses on sustainable production, marketing and consumption of local food.   There are 20 breakout sessions in this Forum.  Go to  for more information and registration.

❤On Valentine’s Day, February 14th as a reminder to guys out there, we will be hosting two talks by Whitney Cranshaw, CSU Entomologist, at the Mesa County Fairgrounds.  The first is that morning and focuses on landscape insects and is for Colorado Master Gardeners and tree care providers.  The second is in the afternoon and will focus on Household insects and their control.  This second class is for people that sell household pesticides.  Both classes are free but require registration.  Contact our office at 970-244-1834 to register and for specific class location.

The Western Colorado Pest Management Workshop is an opportunity for pesticide applicators to earn CEUs for their licensing and for others to gain knowledge.  This event is will be held at Two Rivers Convention Center in Grand Junction on February 15-16th with many breakout sessions and specific training.  For more information go to or call our office at 970-244-1834.

Western Colorado Soil Health Conference in Delta Colorado will be held February 23 and 24th. This conference is designed for the unique challenges that our region includes and provides a range of topics from the basics to advanced applications.  For more information go to

On the front range, there are also several great conferences to attend.  There is Progreen Expo, The Premier Rocky Mountain Regional Green Industry Conference February 7-10, 2017  in Denver, CO.  Today, January 9th, is the last day for early registration.  I will be speaking as well as many other CSU Horticulture Agents and staff.  Go to for more information and registration.  There are many classes and exhibits all week long.

And as mentioned in a previous CO-Horts Blog, the Second Annual Landscaping with Colorado Native Plants Conference will be held Saturday, February 11 at the Larimer County Fairgrounds (the Ranch) in Loveland.  I attended this last year and it was great.  To register go to


There is the Colorado Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association 3rd Annual Conference on February 21st.  Register now and join over 300 growers, buyers, input suppliers and ag professionals for this conference.  This conference precedes the Governors Forum on Colorado Agriculture Wednesday, February 22, 2017 at the Renaissance Hotel in Denver.   More details posted as available at

That should give you plenty of options to seek more plant education just in the next two months.  So while it is cold outside, consider attending an event similar to what I have listed within and get your brain prepared for spring.  Keep warm and safe out there.  It’s one big skating rink in Mesa and Delta counties today.

By Susan Carter, CSUE Horticulture Agent, Tri River Area

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