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Science and the Environment

Potting Shed University Offers Free Advice for Gardeners

Potting Shed University is a series of 12 classes offered Monday nights through May 21st.  Master Gardener Cathy Staats says the series is a no-pressure, casual, stop by on your way home from work program…

"For the very very inexperienced gardener all the way to the very seasoned gardener.  We tried to come up with a list of topics that would interest people and be things that were really things they needed to know right now as well as as the 12 weeks will progress."

Tonight’s (3/12) class is “Safe Use of Chemicals in the Garden.”  Staats says, even though the subject sounds dry, it’s a popular one…

"Patrick Byars will be talking about how to read labels, you know, when you're in the store, 'what in the world am I looking for, you know, maybe I don't even really know what I'm looking for," so what to buy in the store for what purpose and learning how to read the label, how to protect yourself so that, number one, you don't hurt yourself with the chemical and not hurting your lawn or plants in your garden and then, 'where do I store these chemicals, you know, what's a safe way to put these chemicals up because they're expensive and I may want to use them again later in the year?'"

Other topics in the series are “Gardening With Your Chickens,” Low Water Plants:  Beat the Heat!” “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Composting,” “Vegetable Planting Calendar Q & A” and more.

Staats encourages anyone, whether you have a lot of outdoor space or a little, to attend the classes and learn about gardening…

"Whether it's one pot or one acre we just hope everyone gets involved in gardening because, you know, even if you start very very small you'll never regret it.  Gardening is such a great pasttime, and it's just so, you know, good for, I believe it's good for us emotionally and mentally, and you can eat what you grow or just enjoy the flowers that you're growing."

Potting Shed University classes are held Monday nights at 6 at the Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center at Nathanael Greene-Close Memorial Park.  Admission is free, and no registration is needed.  For more information, visit