Say goodbye to summer with good garden planning

By Mary Fran McClure
WSU Chelan/Douglas County Master Gardener

Master Gardeners mixing up compost.
Composters Mark Kalaas and Norval Fliegel mix debris for more efficient composting. Fliegel is one of three speakers and subjects at the Sept. 17 season finale of the Third Saturday in the Garden series. – Provided photo/Mary Fran McClure
Mary Fran McClure
Mary Fran McClure – WSU Extension Chelan/Douglas County Master Gardener – photo by Don Seabrook, Wenatchee World

As summer glides into fall, this is a heads-up time for gardeners to get in gear while it’s still nice outdoors. Some smart steps taken now will yield many gardening benefits next year.

Pick up ideas and tips from WSU/Chelan-Douglas Master Gardeners at the final Third Saturday in the Garden event this year from 10 a.m. to noon Sept. 17 at the Community Education Garden located at the northwest corner of Western and Springwater avenues in Wenatchee.

Composting, overwintering cannas and geraniums, and fall garden preventative tasks that can limit weed and insect problems will be covered at this free event.

Event chair Marilee Smith-Lorenson explains, “Three timely topics will be presented by well-known local gardeners whose combined Master Gardener experience totals 78 years.”

First, we’ll gather around the composting demonstration area where Norval Fliegel will explain how home gardeners can compost through fall and winter. This area offers several examples of practical composting methods. You’ll see how Fliegel and his hedge trimmer whacks up pieces so fine that they decompose quickly.

In the second talk, I will show how easy it is to overwinter cannas and geraniums. In addition, there are a few other tender perennials that can be stored in a protected spot rather than having to treat them as annuals and throw them in the compost at the end of the season.

Bonnie Orr will guide you through fall garden preventative tasks that provides you a leg up on avoiding weed and insect problems next spring. Valuable advice for all us gardeners.

The plant clinic will again be onsite to help with your individual questions and challenges. The more information you can provide about a problem, including pictures or a bagged plant, the more accurate diagnosticians can be.

Another popular table at these events is the Foundation Sales, offering a great selection of practical garden supplies. Profits support Master Gardener activities.

Thanks to this month’s sponsor, Airport RV, Boat and Self-Storage.

In addition to Smith-Lorenzen, event planners are Laura Holland and Patti Milos.