Water education programs “grow” with Farmer’s Market partnership


Mansfield Water Utilities has partnered with Mansfield Farmer’s Market to host the “Get Growing Mansfield” gardening classes every third Saturday at the market, located at 703 E. Broad St., just east of Walnut Creek Drive.

Classes begin at 10 a.m. and typically last an hour. Mansfield Water Utilities is on site with the H2Oasis Hydration Station and plenty of wonderful raffle items related to gardening. Look for the Garden Tent next to the snow cone stand. Mansfield resident, Mary Elizabeth Phillips is teaching the classes which cover a variety of topics green thumbs and brown thumbs alike should enjoy.

“We rewrote our education plan last summer and one of our goals is to increase public engagement with our classes and programs,” said Arianne Shipley, public education specialist for Mansfield Water Utilities. “We understand everyone is busy and so we are focusing our efforts at meeting people where they already are. Partnerships like this one are exactly what we are looking for.”

The topic for May 20 is soil health and composting which will take a comprehensive look at the micro and macro world of your soil. Participants will find out how to determine what type of soil they have, and how to improve it for the health of their plants and garden ecosystem. You can also find out the composting methods and best-practices for turning your kitchen/yard waste into a rich garden addition.

Check out the remainder of the schedule:

June 17 – Plant Selection and Planting Techniques: Learn what gardeners mean when they talk about “right plant, right place.” We will discuss recommended plant varieties for our area (with a take home list!), talk about determining the microclimates on your property, observe samples of plants for root health and compare/contrast the best methods for planting potted plants, seedlings and seeds.

July 22 – Pests and Pest Control: We will examine garden pests ranging from weeds to diseases and insects and then explore how to control them with minimal damage to the environment. Participants will each take home a list of organic formulas for pest-control success.

Aug. 19 – Home Harvest: This one is all about growing food at home – including planting dates, best varieties and edible landscaping. Bonus for this session: a survey of wild edibles that are readily found in our area.

Sept. 23 – Watering, Nutrients and Pruning: Class participants will learn how much water to use, best watering practices to conserve this precious resource (and save money) and proper mulching and pruning techniques. We will also discuss plant nutrient deficiencies – recognizing the symptoms and suggested organic amendments.

Oct. 21 – Garden and Landscape Design: Your property is your canvas, so how do you create a masterpiece with plants and other elements? Specifics on designing for wildlife, bees, butterflies, energy savings and privacy/noise control.




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