From gardening without space to exploring red wiggler worms, have hands-on fun while learning how to garden the natural way in these free classes at Highlands Neighborhood Center on 800 Edmonds Ave NE in Renton in September and October, 2015. Though there is no cost, please register.
Fall Gardening for Spring Beauty
Wednesday, September 23, 7 – 8:45PM
- Prepare your garden now and save yourself time next year. Lean how to build healthy soils, proper weeding techniques, how to prune and more.
Secrets to Companion Planting
Wednesday, September 30, 7 – 8:45PM
- Discover which plants grow best together to improve your garden’s health rather than competing for resources.
Worms on Wheels for Kids
Saturday, October 10, 10:30AM – 12:30PM
- Explore composting and the importance of worms with Seattle Tilth’s Worms on Wheels!
Vertical Gardening: Up, Up & Out of the Way!
Saturday, October 10, 10:45AM – 12:30PM
- No yard or little space? Find out how to grow vertical gardens with vegetables, fruits and flowers that thrive in our climate and take little soil.
Classes sponsored by the City of Renton and the Local Hazardous Waste Management Program.
Register for these free Natural Yard Care classes:
- Herbs, Herbs & More Herbs – Wednesday, October 22, 7-8:30 p.m. Join Master Gardener Joan Helbacka for a discussion on the many uses of herbs and those that thrive in our area. Course #54582
- Saving Seeds Successfully – Saturday, October 25, 10-11:30 a.m. King County Seed Lending Library director Caitlin Moore will discuss harvesting and cleaning of seeds and how to plant the right veggies, herbs and flowers for your site to achieve the best results. Course #54583
- Bugs: Friend or Foe? – Wednesday, October 29, 7-8:30 p.m. Laura Matter from the Garden Hotline will share tips that will help your garden flourish without reliance on chemicals that not only endanger people and pets but beneficial insects and wildlife! Course #54584
- Food Forests for the Home Garden – Monday, November 3, 7-8:30 p.m. Jessi Bloom of NW Bloom will share basic permaculture and food forest design concepts borrowed from nature that will help you plant and enjoy your edible landscape for years. Course #54585
Sponsored by the City of Renton Solid Waste Utility with funding from Local Hazardous Waste Management Program in King County.
Gardening all winter long; classes in Spanish (Español) & English
No need to toss in the trowel – get inspiration and information at upcoming gardening workshops in Renton with talented local gardeners!
CLASSES ARE FREE! ENTER TO WIN PRIZES!
Refreshments provided and all classes are held at:
Highlands Neighborhood Center
800 Edmonds Ave NE, Renton, WA 98056
7:00 to 8:30 p.m.
To register, please visit cybersignup.org or call 425-430-7391
Naked Lawn Care • Monday, Oct. 21
Grow your lawn au naturel! Join Marianne Binetti, local gardening columnist, author, radio and TV host as she covers techniques to reduce your use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers. Marianne will teach dirt-cheap tricks to save money and grow a lush, green lawn and garden with less mowing and fertilizing. Learn correct watering and feeding practices, and which products to use to make your lawn a safe and natural habitat where children, pets, wildlife and you can live and play. Course #52663
Compost: The Wonder Mulch • Monday, Oct. 28
Healthy soil is the secret to a healthy garden! Susan Thoman of Cedar Grove Compost will teach the many applications and benefits of compost, such as erosion control, plant health, and increased food yield. Learn the fundamentals of starting a home composting system or using your curbside compost bin to recycle kitchen and garden “waste.” Susan will discuss how and when to apply compost to your lawn and garden to benefit your plants, soil, and the friendly critters who help your garden grow. Course #52664
Easy Peasy Edibles • Monday, Nov. 4
Are you hungry? Plant once and enjoy the harvest for years to come. Learn about must-have perennial edibles and sustainable design to grow a low-maintenance edible landscape. Award-winning landscape designer and horticulturist Jessi Bloom is a Timber Press author and owner of N.W. Bloom EcoLogical Landscapes. Tonight Jessi will help you discover new Easy Peasy Edibles to bring diversity to your landscape and your diet. Course #52665
Safe and Healthy Edible Gardening • Monday, Nov. 18
Interested in edible gardening? Be sure that the site, soil, and containers you use are safe for growing food. This workshop, taught by Laura Matter of the Garden Hotline, will teach you how to choose safe materials for building raised beds, determine how healthy your soil is, when to test your soil for toxins, and gauge which sites in your garden are most suited to grow food. The Garden Hotline is a program that offers free advice to gardeners and landscapers, and Laura brings over thirty years of professional horticultural and gardening experience to this evening’s presentation. We hope to see you there! Course #52666
Long term sampling shows levels of several pesticides declining in some of Washington’s salmon-bearing streams
A state Pesticide/Endangered Species Act Task Force has been tracking the effects of pesticides and land use practices on young salmon. Recent study results show that the levels of pesticides in salmon streams have declined in the past decade. This information will help regulators and growers make better decisions to protect wildlife and agriculture.
Some tentative good news for gardeners in the Longfellow Creek in the Green-Duwamish basin: although methiocarb, an insecticide used in commercial greenhouses, may be a problem for bugs in the stream, pesticides used by homeowners on lawns to kill crane fly or weeds (diazinon, diuron, mecoprop (MCPP), triclopyr) were down. Good work Natural Lawn Care folks! Keeping a lawn green and healthy may be helping support salmon too.
From a recent release about the project:
The Surface Water Monitoring program is one of the most intensive pesticide monitoring efforts in the country for streams and other surface waters. The program started in 2003 as a means of measuring how much of the pesticides used in agricultural and urban areas finds its way into surface waters. State and federal agencies use the data to evaluate the effectiveness of existing regulations. Pesticide applicators and farmers use the information as they plan their pest control programs.
Initially, two watershed areas were monitored—one agriculture watershed and one urban. Later, four watershed areas were added to the program. Agricultural areas monitored for the 2009-2011 report include the Lower Skagit-Samish, Lower Yakima, Wenatchee and Entiat watershed areas. Urban areas include the Cedar-Sammamish and the Green-Duwamish watersheds.
From March through September, researchers collect weekly samples and test them for more than 170 different pesticides and related compounds, issuing brief annual reports and a longer, more comprehensive report every three years. This most recent report, “Surface Water Monitoring Program for Pesticides in Salmon-Bearing Streams, 2009-2011 Triennial Report” at http://agr.wa.gov/FP/Pubs/docs/377-SWM2009-11Report.pdf is done jointly by the Washington State Departments of Ecology and Agriculture, is the first which has allowed researchers to see trends in the data for several of the study areas.
In 10 years of monitoring, researchers have analyzed more than 2,600 samples. During the last three years 74 different types of pesticides and their break-down products were detected. Of those pesticides detected, most are present at concentrations that met state or federal water quality standards. Still, 10 pesticides were associated with increasing concentrations over a 5-9 year period, a finding that means WSDA will focus attention on the use of these pesticides to ensure that farmers and pesticide applicators are aware of the trend, and that the pesticides are being applied in a manner that will not negatively impact the environment.
Also a first—researchers used the data from this report to estimate the potential effects of pesticide mixtures—where even though the levels are low, several pesticides in combination could pose a problem. By using toxicity information and the concentrations found in the samples, researchers were able to calculate ‘toxic units’ for each pesticide found in a given sample. By adding these toxic units, researchers could estimate the cumulative effect of these mixtures on aquatic life. The researchers found that when mixtures of pesticide were of concern to aquatic life, it was generally due to a high concentration of a single pesticide in the mixture.