URI to offer two options for fall gardening workshops

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Six weekly sessions in Providence or all-day program in Kingston

KINGSTON, R.I. – September 2, 2008 – For those interested in expanding their gardening knowledge and skills this fall, the University of Rhode Island is offering two workshop options designed to fit into the hectic schedules and the varied locations of the state’s gardeners.

URI’s annual Fall Gardening School, a series of six weekly workshops, will run on consecutive Monday evenings from Sept. 22 through Oct. 27 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Roger Williams Park Botanical Center in Providence.

“This course is designed to address many of the challenges facing both new and experienced gardeners, ranging from selecting hardy, disease-resistant plants to dealing with weeds, diseases and insect pests,” said Rosanne Sherry, the coordinator of the URI Master Gardener program who is organizing the workshops. “This is a convenient option for those living in the northern part of the state who may find it difficult to drive to URI’s Kingston campus.”

Participants will learn about soils and fertilizers, the basics of vegetable gardening, organic and chemical pest controls, perennials, and a special Saturday class on houseplant care that will include a guided walk led by trained URI Master Gardener docents through the Botanical Center’s two conservatories.

Those who prefer to cram a six-week course into one day will want to enroll in the URI GreenShare Garden School, a full day of workshops at the URI Outreach Center in Kingston on Saturday, Sept. 27. This event diverts from URI’s traditional GreenShare Field Day to instead offer eight workshops and garden tours in four time slots throughout the day.

“This new event is designed to help gardeners keep their thumbs green and the environment healthy while also enjoying many of the best exhibits and activities from the old GreenShare Field Day,” said Sejal Lanterman, who heads up the URI Master Composter program and is coordinating GreenShare Garden School.

Workshop topics include Bullet Proof Roses, Growing Hydrangeas, Composting 101, Landscape Design for an Eco-Friendly Garden, and Low-Impact Landscaping. Participants can also have their soil tested, weeds identified, and get all their gardening questions answered by URI Master Gardeners.

The fee for the six-week Fall Garden School in Providence is $120, and the registration deadline is September 15. The cost of the one-day GreenShare Garden School in Kingston is $20 for the full day and $10 for half day, with an additional $5 charged for registration on the day of the event. Additional information about both programs can be found at www.uri.edu/cels/ceoc or by calling 401-874-2900.