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Darrell Blackwelder: Plenty of activities for spring gardeners

Cooperative Extension is planning a number of events and activities this spring. Below is a list with descriptions of events and activities that may be of interest.
Small Fruits Workshop: Thursday, March 6, at the Agricultural Center on Old Concord Road in Salisbury. N.C. State University Extension Small fruits specialists Bill Cline and Connie Fisk, along with extension agents Mary Helen Ferguson and Amy-Lynn Albertson will be presenting cultural information on blueberry, bramble and grape production.
This is a multi-county workshop designed primarily for those contemplating pick-your-own operations or those interested in producing fresh market fruit for farmer’s markets, however, the workshop is open to the general public. The workshop at the Agricultural Center is 9 a.m. to noon and will resume at 1:30 p.m. with an optional blueberry on-farm pruning demonstration.
Rain barrel sales: North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service is selling rain barrels. The barrels are heavy duty, commercial grade polyethylene with a brass spigot, stainless steel screen and overflow valves. These barrels are designed to collect rain water from gutters to irrigate shrubs and other plant materials during extended periods of drought. Costs: $90 for an 80- gallon barrel; $80for a 60-gallon barrel. Deadline to order rain barrels is March 5, with pick-up tentatively scheduled for March 13 at the Ag Center on Old Concord Road in Salisbury.Crepe Myrtle Pruning Workshop: Cooperative Extension will conduct workshop on pruning crepe myrtles March 15, a Saturday, 10 a.m. at the Agricultural Center in Salisbury. The workshop may move to other locations to look at other examples of how to prune crepe myrtles.
Commercial Pesticide Workshop: Cooperative Extension is sponsoring a workshop, “Pesticide Update for Commercial Landscape Contractors” Thursday, March 20, a Thursday, 9 a.m. at the Agricultural Center in Salisbury. This meeting has been approved for two hours recertification credits for the following subclasses: (O)Ag Pest-Plant, (N) Demonstration & Research, (L) Ornamental and Turf, (D) Dealer. This workshop is designed for commercial pesticide applicators in the lawn maintenance industry. Space is limited, so it is important to reserve your space.Salisbury-Rowan Farmer’s Market: Officially opens April 19, a Saturday, at 7 a.m. at the corner of Bank and Main streets in Downtown Salisbury. Those interested in participating can find more information the market at www.salisburyrowanfarmersmarket.com. The market needs your input to plan for 2008. Please go to this site complete the online questionnaire.
Contact Cooperative Extension for more information about these and other activities at 704-216-8970 or e-mail Darrell_Blackwelder @ncsu.edu.
Darrell Blackwelder is an agricultural agent in charge of horticulture with the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service in Rowan County. For archived garden columns or other information, visit the Rowan County Master Gardener Web site at www.rowanmaster gardener .com, e-mail Darrell_ Blackwelder@ncsu. edu; or call 704-216-8970.

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