Archive for the ‘Webinars’ Category

EMG Blog Learning Notes – Recapping May 2013

Monday, June 10th, 2013

While our plants are growing, so are the many opportunities for interaction across our national gardening extension network.

Below you’ll find a number of inspiring blog posts and resources from a number of contributors across the country.  You’ll also find a number of on-demand Webinars and modules that you can put to use for the 2013 gardening season.

Generosity Through Blooms, Beauty, and Volunteer Service

Flower Philanthropy

Flower Philanthropy in Yarmouth, Maine

This month, gardeners really connected around flowers, gardens, and ways to share them with others.

How the Master Gardener Program Started 40 Years Ago at WSU Extension – Shared widely by Extension Master Gardeners across the country. It’s hard to know if we are more surprised the program is 40 years old already, or if we can’t remember what it was like without a program in every state!

Flower Philantrophy: Sharing a Bounty of Beauty  Mary Webber of Maine shared her story, which sparked conversations here and in Facebook, like this one:

“Mary, What a beautiful story! Your simple act has brought so much pleasure to those lucky enough to be on the receiving end of your generosity and to Master Gardeners who continue find ways to benefit and beatify their communities. Priceless….as they say”

Grandma’s Garden by Lee County Master Gardener (Alabama) was admired by many as we got a preview of their work at their local historical museum site.

An Artistic Way to Enjoy Veggie Gardening – Sent from Brisbane, Australia.  Mary Jean sent us these photos and asks: Were you able to guess the word before the last picture?

Spring Bloom (of Iris) lead to more Spring Blooms of Tree Peonies This month Connie’s photos in North Carolina inspired Shelby’s posts in Virginia, allowing us to pause two Wednesdays in a row to admire these spring bloomers.

National Public Gardens Day – My Gardens – Foy shares an endearing posts about gardens she’s essentially adopted through sweat equity, and a sense of admiration. Do you have a favorite public garden that feels a bit like your own?

Foy at the Longwood Gardens Lily Pool

During May, National Public Gardens Month, Foy remembers time spent at the Longwood Gardens Lily Pool

Garden How-to’s

Garden Journal

My Garden Journal (Photo: Carla Albright)

Garden Journaling Phenology Events Can Help Grow a Garden – This post was a hit on Pinterest , Facebook, and here on the blog, leading us to believe there are many out there journaling in one form or another. Look for future garden journal posts from Carla and others by searching: garden journaling.

Bees 101: Staring our Colony – Experienced as a Master Gardener and beekeeper, Gladys is now sharing the story of her adventures in beekeeping.  Stay tuned, and soon she’ll tell us how she cares for her bee hives.

Seed Saving 102 – What and How to Save Your Favorite Veggies Seeds is a followup to several seed saving posts this spring. Here, John Porter helps gardeners understand which seeds you can save with ease, and which ones will make you earn your keep(ing them)!

Horticulture and Gardening Webinars to Watch ,  Modules to Take

The following Webinars and modules are just a few options available for on-demand learning. View past monthly updates for more on-demand gardening Webinars, modules, courses and other learning opportunities.

 Landscaping to Reduce Insurance Claims (Webinar recording) – Available to view anytime, this Webinar will help you get ahead of damage caused to your home by storm-damaged trees.

Gardening for Pollinators Webinar (Webinar recording) – Want to be a pollinator friendly gardener?  Available now, learn captivating stories and facts about pollinators just in time for National Pollinator Week, June 17-24. 

Online IPM Modules (self-paced module) – Seeing plant problems already or think they may be just around the corner?  Available to take or view at anytime, learn how to start troubleshooting 8 important garden pests or problems in these half-hour, self-paced modules.

Growing Healthy Shade Tree Webinars (Webinar recording) – Designed for Extension Master Gardeners in the North Central States, this shade tree Webinar is divided into multiple parts covering planting, fertilizer, water and preventing abiotic problems.

Tomato IPM Webinar (Webinar recording)  – Learn how to prevent pests on tomatoes from the beginning to the end of the growing season. Variety selection, best planting practices, and cultural information will be covered along with how to recognize leaf spots, early and late blight, and bacterial spot.

Curious about a wide range of science-based learning opportunities? Check out…

  • eXtension Learn for upcoming and past Webinars on a variety of topics — anything from gardening to finance, backyard poultry to social media, or energy conservation to military families resources).
  • – View already answered questions by Extension horticulture professionals and Master Gardeners from across the country, comment on an answer by logging in with Facebook, Twitter, or Google, or submit a question yourself.

Until Next Month

Until next month, please join us and share your gardening or volunteer experiences with us in the following spaces:

Here – Extension Master Gardener Blog:

-Karen Jeannette

-Editorial Reviewer
Linda Brandon, Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Coordinator
NC Cooperative Extension/Guilford County Center


Gardening for Pollinators Webinar Resources

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

Getting ready for the eXtension Gardening for Pollinators Webinar (that link goes to the recording) has been fun.

Pollinator feeding on echinacea

Pollinator feeding on echinacea

The intent of the Webinar is for gardeners to learn why pollinators are important, who they are, and some basic ways you can support them in your garden– all in time to be prepared for the upcoming National Pollinator Week, June 17-23.

To quote the pollinator partnership website:

Pollinator Week is a week to get the importance of pollinators’ message out to as many people as possible. It’s not too early to start thinking about an event at your school, garden, church, store, etc. Pollinators positively effect all our lives- let’s SAVE them and CELEBRATE them!

Since we opened Webinar registration, we’ve heard from gardeners from 28 states, and along the way they’ve shared some of their favorite pollinator plants and asked about various ‘gardening for pollinator’ resources.

Thus as the Webinar itself is 60 minutes, but the questions and resource list keeps growing, we’d thought we’d share this growing list of resources with you here:

Gardening for Pollinators Webinar Resources

These are resources developed specifically for the eXtension Gardening for Pollinators Webinar, held June 6, 2013.

  • Gardening for Pollinators Pinboard – If you are a visual kind of person, we’ve gathered many of these resources and pollinator plant ideas from this webinar. Click on the individual “pin” or picture and it will take you to the original source or web page.

Finding Pollinator Events,  Plants and People Near You?

Butterfly Garden at Milwaukee County Zoo, Wisconsin

Butterfly Garden at Milwaukee County Zoo, Wisconsin

So what about during National Pollinator Week?  What if you have more questions about gardening for pollinators after the Webinar? The following resources may help.

  • National Pollinator Events – Find or list a pollinator week event that you know of through this link.
  • Pollinator friendly planting guides via the Pollinator Partnership are divided into 32 eco-regions, so there should be one for you. You can also download the Pollinator Partnership app to get plant recommendations via smartphone.
  • Pollinator and Bug Blogs –
    • Catch up continually with insect and pollinator news from our Webinar presenter , Denise Ellsworth’s OSU pollination blog. Here you’ll find snippets of the latest research and pollinator facts.
    • Stop back at the Extension Master Gardener blog to view ‘Pollinators’ blog posts for how gardeners are incorporating pollinators into their gardens.
    • The BugSquad bug from University of California —  another great blog to learn the latest on bees, insects, and pollinators.
  • Looking to contact a person? If you have a question about growing pollinator plants that you can’t find on the open web, you might like to consult a local extension horticulture professional or Extension Master Gardener via one of these methods.
  • Contact your local Cooperative Extension office or website to find resources and people to answer your gardening questions. Many offices support phone hotlines or have host plant clinic workshops certain days of the week or month.
  • Reach your local extension professionals or Extension Master Gardeners through eXtension’s Ask an Expert email based service to get a response.

Additional Resources?

We know this is just the tip of the iceberg, so if you have other pollinator webinar resources you’d like to share,  be sure to leave us a comment on this blog posts.

-Karen Jeannette
on behalf of the Extension Master Gardener Social Media Team

Find or follow us @
Extension Master Gardener Blog:

EMG Blog Learning Notes – Recapping December 2012

Monday, January 7th, 2013

This month was a festive month on the Extension Master Gardener blog.

Getting Caught Up in the Season

Winter Imagination

Winter Imagination Collage

Our EMG Bloggers enthusiastically explored the winter and holiday spirit through many blog posts. Here is what we covered this month.

Favorite Plants and Scenes:

  • Conifers, Which is Your Favorite?  We tried a new crowd sourcing experiment this month.  After Foy shared some interesting conifers (my favorite was ‘Pusch’ spruce), she added a ‘Linky Lists’ link to the bottom of her post so readers could submit a link with a thumbnail image to a webpage on their favorite conifer(s).  The ‘Linky List’ was available to contribute to for about a week, so if you were busy celebrating the holidays you might have missed it.  I gave it a test and linked to my photos of dwarf evergreens from the U of MN Landscape Arboretum.  One other person contributed a favorite conifer,  ‘Whipcord’. You can check the images and links out at the bottom of the post, and look for future blog posts using the ‘Linky List’ tool.

Christmas Cheer Rhododendron

Wordless Wednesday Wreaths

Wordless Wednesday Regional Wreaths

Online Learning and Resources

In the past few months, we’ve tried to maintain a list of online learning opportunities that Extension Master Gardeners or other avid gardeners might like to take or view.  This month’s list includes links to blogs and webinars.

  • Garden Professors Blog Invitation: Spreading the Word About Research-based Gardening Information. This month, “Garden Professor” Jeff Gillman specifically invited Extension Master Gardeners to view and discuss horticulture topics of  interest through the Garden Professors blog and Facebook page.  This invitation also goes out to agents, educators, gardeners, and green industry members, as well, since multiple perspectives and questions stimulate more dialogue and opportunities to learn.
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture People’s Garden Fall 2012 Webinar Series Recordings.  As mentioned in last month’s update, you can now view speakers talking about hot topics and titles such as seed saving, engaging volunteers in the garden, going native, composting and compost use,  and best practices in starting and sustaining a school garden.
  • How Much Does a Vegetable Garden Cost/Save? From Gail Langellotto’s (State Coordinator of the OSU Extension Master Gardener program) blog, this post was widely shared on our Facebook page. As becomes apparent when reading the post,  different gardens have different costs associated with them.  Sylvia, from New Mexico, drove this point home on our Facebook page, as she stated:  “My highest cost, is water, water, water, I try to offset it by collecting rain water, when we get rain.”

Next Month?

Stay tuned for more January posts.….And please let us know (either in the comments section or by email: if you or your EMG program have a story, learning experience,  or opportunity to share with other Extension Master Gardeners,  or simply join us at:

Extension Master Gardener Blog:

-Karen Jeannette
eXtension Consumer Horticulture Coordinator

-Editorial Reviewer
Linda Brandon, Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Coordinator
NC Cooperative Extension/Guilford County Center

Intro to Houseplants Online Course Starts in January 2013

Friday, November 16th, 2012




Houseplants (Source: Flickr, FD Richards)

Iowa State University is offering an eight week online course called Introduction to Houseplants, starting in January 2012!

While winter is waging in the northern half of the United States, you could be inside learning more about lush and tropical houseplants. While this course is aimed at houseplant beginners, even if you are accomplished in the arts of indoor plant care, you may be interested in this class.

What will Intro to Houseplants cover and can I get continuing education credits?

This course is especially ideal for Extension Master Gardeners (or EMGs) because most states will accept this training for your continuing education credits (check with your coordinator to be sure). Most states offer up to three hours of training related to houseplants in their core training.

This class will discuss the science of houseplants for eight hours in addition to the class activities, specifically we’ll focus on:

  • irrigation
  • substrates
  • light
  • fertility
  • temperature and humidity
  • common houseplant problems
  • houseplant propagation
  • houseplant identification.

One example of an activity will include a plant propagation project after the propagation lecture. You will learn about the techniques and then do it yourself!

Interaction with instructor and other students across the U.S!

Introductions to houseplants will be delivered via Blackboard Learn, an online training program that can be accessed anywhere you have internet. Class discussions and at home activities will round out the lecture and video instruction portion of the course.

Intro to Houseplants

Intro to Houseplants (click to enlarge image)

Students will also have an opportunity to interact with each other from all across the United States. One of the first assignments is to post a picture of you with one of your houseplants (one can even be borrowed, if need be). Then you would describe the plant including its common and scientific names as well as an unusual or interesting fact about the plant. Other students in the class can add tidbits of information that they know about the plant too.

As the instructor, I will be available to answer any additional questions – publicly, via discussion threads, or individually.

Having worked with EMGs at both the county and state levels, I especially welcome interaction with enthusiastic volunteers. This course can also go towards an online degree, depending on your goals.

For more information regarding Introduction to Houseplants through Iowa State University, see

{UPDATE since the original blog posting: If you are an Extension Master Gardener, you may take the course for non-credit for $150.00.  For non-credit registration, go to this link:

If you need more information or if you would like to know how to apply for credit, contact}

You will find the relevant registration details and course fee information on that page. Depending on your avenue of taking the course, Iowa State University tuition charges may apply.

The Power of Pollinators – Spreading the Buzz with Three Educational Modules

Monday, June 25th, 2012


As National Pollinator Week 2012 comes to a close, the Extension Master Gardener blog detailed how EMG’s observe Pollinator Week through both the week and the past year.  As Master Gardeners, we all love to cultivate our gardening knowledge — therefore the Power of Pollinators training modules created by The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, University of Wisconsin-Madison and The Ohio State University is the best conclusion to a week dedicated to pollinators.

Access Three Pollinator Educational Modules at eXtension Campus

Each Power of Pollinator module has a train the trainer approach to help spread the word about pollinators. This set of three modules covers:

  1. Why Pollinators Matter
  2. Bee Biology and Identification
  3. Gardening for Pollinators

You can easily access all three modules through the eXtension Campus website,

First, set up an account using the “Create an account” link on the left side of the page. It’s free, easy and secure.

Once you have that account created (you will receive an e-mail with confirmation and a password), log into the eXtension Campus site, scroll through the available course categories and select , “Yard and Garden”. Then select “The Power of Pollinators”.

See the Intro to the Power of Pollinators video for a quick overview of what you’ll find in the educational modules:

As we end the celebration of National Pollinator Week 2012 on the EMG blog,  we look to see the daily benefit of pollinators in our gardens. To assist others learn about pollinator benefits and gardening for pollinators, check out these three modules and begin to get the latest knowledge to identify and care for them throughout the entire year.

Terri James, Extension Assistant-Urban Gardening
University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension

Fire Ant Control Offers Training Opportunity

Friday, May 4th, 2012

Master Gardeners are used to fielding a wide variety of questions. I worked our Home Garden Helpline several weeks ago and almost all of the questions I answered were related to fire ants. My fellow Master Gardener was happy to let me answer all these questions. As we were finishing our shift, she confided that she just didn’t feel confident in answering questions on fire ants and other insects.

I expect the she is not the only Master Gardener who worries that her knowledge on fire ants isn’t comprehensive enough to answer consumer questions. But there is an excellent opportunity to learn more about managing imported fire ants.

May 10 Online Seminar: Fire Ant Control Made Easy

An online seminar, Fire Ant Control Made Easy, will be Thursday, May 10 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. EDT (10 to 11 a.m. CDT or 8 to 9 a.m. PDT). The webinar is brought to you by the Imported Fire Ant eXtension Community of Practice.

Killing fire ants is actually easier than you think—if you understand how they live. This seminar will help you learn how to use integrated pest management tactics that are as economical and environmentally friendly as possible. You’ll also learn about fire ant biological control agents such as the Pseudacteon phorid flies. Phorid flies are also known as decapitating flies.

It’s very simple to participate in the webinar. Follow this link and log in as “guest.”  If you have specific questions that you want answered to during the webinar, post them to the Imported Fire Ant eXtension Facebook page .

The Imported Fire Ant Community of Practice also has gathered some great information and resources in one place for Master Gardeners. You can find that information here. You can also find more information on fire ants at or on Facebook (Fire Ant Info), Twitter (FireAntInfo), and YouTube (eXfireants).

Emerald Ash Borer University: Providing Webinars and Information on Invasive Forest Pests

Monday, February 28th, 2011

Guest post provided by Robin Usborne, Michigan State University; Amy Stone, The Ohio State University Extension; and Jodie Ellis, Purdue University

What’s “Bugging” You?

EAB University logo

EAB University, offering free webinars, and information on invasive forest pests

Sometimes they hide in wood packing material from shipping ports all over the world. Other times they hitch a ride in a load of firewood going to a campground or summer cottage. But once they’re here, the trees are never safe.

Sounds a bit like a horror movie, but invasive forest pests like the emerald ash borer (EAB) can wreak havoc on North American woodlands and urban forests. As the pest invasion continues across the U.S. and Canada, communication and outreach is vital to combat the onslaught, but in these days of slashed travel budgets and increased conference expenses, it takes some creative thinking to get this information to those who want it.

EAB University – Free Webinars and Invasive Forest Pest Information

That’s where Emerald Ash Borer University comes in. EAB University is a series of free webinars that bring information on the latest issues surrounding EAB and other invasive forest pests to anyone needing the information. The webinars are given by scientists and experts in the field, and anyone with a computer with Internet access can view them. EAB University was developed by Michigan State University, Purdue University and the Ohio State University communications specialists who have been dealing with the invasive pest since it was discovered in North America in 2002, and is funded by the USDA Forest Service, Forest Health and Economics Division. Webinars are much like a presentation given at a conference, but the conference room encompasses the world. Participants are able to comment and ask questions via a “chat” function during the webinar, and the presenters provide contact information for anyone needing additional information.

EAB University was launched in 2010, and quickly became a hit. More than 1,200 people registered for the sessions, and those who weren’t able to “attend” the live webinars were able to watch the recorded sessions, which are archived on the website.

New this year –  expanded curriculum covers more invasive forest pests

This year, EAB University has expanded the curriculum to include webinars on other wood-boring pests and diseases, such as hemlock wooly adelgid, thousand cankers, Asian longhorned beetle and viburnum leaf beetle.

Extension educators, arborists and tree care specialists have offered EAB University webinars as part of their education and outreach meeting schedules. Continuing education credits are available for many of the live webinars. These sessions are the next best thing to having the experts in person.

Visit Emerald Ash Borer University on the website. You can watch an archived webinar, or mark your calendar for an upcoming session of interest. These webinars bring experts from around the country right to your computer, anytime and anywhere. Thanks for your
interest in keeping those bad bugs at bay!

Webinars as Master Gardener Continuing Education

Monday, July 12th, 2010

In an effort to continually educate Master Gardeners in a state with many rural communities, Iowa State University Extension and the Iowa Master Gardener program are trying something new this year. A three part Summer Webinar Series: Gardening Green 2010 highlights a few current sustainable gardening topics: green roofs, organic gardening, and rain gardens. We hope this monthly series will reinforce basic horticultural principles in these popular contexts.

Webcasting is no longer novel to the Master Gardener volunteers across Iowa – the core Master Gardener training uses webcasting to deliver training to county Extension Offices. But inviting the public to the county extension office for a two hour live webinar with Master Gardeners is new. Since approximately 20% of the audience members from the first webinar were not currently Master Gardeners, this series is also turning into a recruitment opportunity for the Master Gardener program. Nearly half of them expressed an interest in becoming a Master Gardener in the future.

Succulents on the roof of a birdhouse intrigued Master Gardeners

The first webinar was on green roofs, which literally means a vegetated roof surface. A five minute introductory video, Green roofs 101, covered the fundamentals and history of green roofs. Based on comments after the session, one of the highlights for viewers was the pictorial illustration of how a small household pergola was renovated to become a green roof. The program ended with a small birdhouse green roof project, shown in the image provided. Many audience members across Iowa said nearly the same thing about the first webinar, “This was far more interesting than what I expected.”

July 21, 2010 Free Webinar: Late Blight Control in Your Organic Garden

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

Extension Master Gardeners and home gardeners can learn how they play an important role in controlling the spread of late blight, a serious disease of tomato and potato crops worldwide. July 21 at 6PM Eastern Time (5PM Central, 4PM Mountain, 3PM Pacific), eOrganic presenters Dr. Sally Miller of Ohio State University and Dr. Meg McGrath of Cornell University are offering a free Webinar to learn about the late blight disease cycle, how to scout and diagnose the disease, how to control the disease in your garden, and the important role of home gardeners in controlling the spread of late blight.

Gardeners who would like to attend this Webinar on organic control of late blight can reserve your space now. Space is limited. Please REGISTER @: