The Ottumwa Courier

News in brief

January 21, 2014

Get your garden, yard ready for Spring

OSKALOOSA — The Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Master Gardeners of Mahaska County are offering several classes for beginning gardeners to gain the knowledge and skills to become successful gardeners. The classes are designed for beginners; however, any interested gardener is encouraged to attend.

Classes will be held Tuesday evenings at 6:30 p.m. at the Mahaska County Extension Office, 212 North I St., Oskaloosa Participants may attend one, two or all three classes. Cost for each class is $5 or $10 for all three. Registration is due one week prior to the class.

Dates and topics for the classes are: Feb. 11, flowers; Feb. 18, vegetables; and Feb. 25, garden tools.

Homeowners have trees or plant trees in their landscape and often are unsure about the proper pruning of them as they grow. Mahaska County Master Gardeners and Trees Forever will host an opportunity to learn about tree pruning. Ben Hoskinson, the Mahaska County Integrated Vegetation Roadside Manager (IRVM) will demonstrate tree pruning methods on Monday, Feb. 24 at 5:15 p.m.

Attendees are encouraged to bring their pruning tools and will have an opportunity to utilize the skills learned on trees planted at the site. Anyone interested in learning about tree pruning is welcome to attend this demonstration. Attendees are also encouraged to dress for working outside in the weather.

Finally, come learn about growing heirloom tomatoes at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 4 at the Mahaska County Extension Office. Susan Gilland, Monroe County Master Gardener, will be the presenter. Anyone who is interested is welcome to attend.

Gilland has grown heirloom tomatoes since 1999. During these years, she has grown more than 100 different varieties.

For more information about these or other horticulture programs, call the MCEO at 641-673-5841 or email Suzette Striegel, Mahaska County Extension horticulturist, at

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