Denton master gardeners say fall is the best time to garden in North Texas. It’s not too hot and there are fewer bugs.
For over a decade, the Denton County Master Gardener Association (DCMGA) has held a free Fall Garden Fest in October. The tradition to teach sustainable gardening will continue this year but online.
Fall Garden Fest project manager Sharrie Ely said the festival is attended by at least 300 people per year. The volunteer program even expanded this year’s speakers, three from North Texas and one from Oklahoma.
“We are getting registrations from people that aren’t from North Texas but still garden in the same zone as North Texas, so that’s exciting,” Ely said.
The organization, an umbrella of the Texas A&M AgriLife extension service, has about 280 Denton County Master Gardeners. Each participant attends 70 hours of instruction and volunteers 70 hours back to the community. Every year, the master gardeners go on a Garden Tour to showcase different gardens in the county and how to solve gardening problems for visitors on the tour. The tour, usually scheduled for early October, was canceled this year.
Ely said the COVID-19 pandemic, like many educational and volunteer groups, has halted the community camaraderie. Many of DCMGA’s projects were put on hold too.
“We are a very social group,” Ely said. “We enjoy each other’s company as gardeners. When you have an interest and you find your tribe and that’s what you enjoy talking about, you enjoy meeting with those folks and being able to share what’s going on in your home and in your garden. We miss that fellowship.”
Still, the program will have a day to celebrate fall gardening on Oct. 3. At each session, there will be a live Q&A and free giveaways.
There will be four speakers at the Fall Garden Fest, including Dr. Hennen Cummings, an associate professor at Tarleton State University. Cummings’ talk will be on What Your North Texas Turf Needs during the fall and winter season. Next, Dee Nash, a professional garden writer, speaker and podcast host, will discuss Beautiful and Productive Vegetable Gardens. Nash’s blog is called Red Dirt Ramblings. It’s won the Gardens Writers Association’s Gold Award for Best Electronic Writing in 2014.
Tarrant County Master Gardener Toni Moorehead will discuss Fall/Winter Tips & To-Do’s for North Central Texas Gardens. She’ll also give tips on design and plant choices for the fall and winter. To finish off the day, the conservation education coordinator for the Tarrant Reginal Water District and Tarrant County Master Gardener Betsy Marsh will speak on Gardens that Give Back: Lovely, Low-Water, Life-Giving Landscapes.
If you miss the sessions, videos will be uploaded the following week on DCMGA’s website.
Got a tip? Email Mia Estrada at [email protected]. You can follow her on Twitter @miaaestrada.
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