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2020 Hands-On Gardening Program in Catawba County

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Turnips can provide you with a steady supply of greens and a delicious root.

There’s no doubt about it – you and the world will be healthier, happier, and more resilient if you garden. People (including kids) that grow veggies eat more veggies. Gardening reduces stress hormones, increases activity, increases a sense of community, and just makes life better. This year we have an ambitious goal and we need your help.

Our Extension Master Gardener℠ program of Catawba County’s objective for the year is to motivate and assist the development of 50 new produce gardens in 2020! Sign up to be one of the 50 new gardens in 2020 and we will help you take your garden to the next level. We can help you take soil samples, develop a fertility plan, identify and manage pests, take tissue samples for fertility recommendations, reduce post-harvest losses and more!

Our garden programs in 2020 will work to develop and enhance demonstrations of fruit, vegetable, herb, and mushroom production at the Civitan Garden, Parable Garden, Newton Library Garden, and the Cooperative Extension Demo Garden. We are going to get dirty, learn with our hands, grow some food, and grow some community. Its gonna be awesome – plain and simple! If you want to become a certified Hands-On Gardener there are 2 requirements:

  • Attend at least 10 hands-on workshops or practice sessions in the year
  • Complete at least 10 hours of volunteer work in one of the designated community gardens mentioned in the previous paragraph

Here are the planned activities so far:

harvested blueberries

Blueberries can be planted and pruned in February or early March.

March – Potato, cool-season veggies, small fruit, and asparagus planting/maintenance and weed identification (TBA).

March 3, 10 a.m. to noon, Blueberry Pruning workshop and hands-on practice. We will prune various bushes. This event will take place at 121 25th Ave. NW, Hickory  2860. This is free and open to the public.

March 11, 10 a.m. to noon, Blueberry and Muscadine Pruning workshop and hands-on practice. We will prune various bushes and vines. This event will take place at 3526 Joe Johnson Rd, Catawba NC  28609. This is free and open to the public.

March 11, 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., at the Jim Land Residence, 25 Reidland Road, Taylorsville, NC – outside fruit tree pruning demonstration. This is a free and open to the public demo with NC State fruit tree specialist Dr. Mike Parker. Register by contacting Julie Campell at or 828-632-4451

March 11, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Alexander County Extension Center, 151 West Main Ave., Taylorsville, NC – inside fruit tree presentation with NC State fruit tree specialist Dr. Mike Parker. Register by contacting Julie Campell at or 828-632-4451

March 12, 6 to 7 p.m., Patrick Beaver Memorial Library – Presentation on Veggie Gardening for Beginners – free and open to the public with no limit!

March 26, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., Civitan Garden. Weed identification will be the focus but we will also talk about the garden and some of the upcoming projects that you can get involved with. The garden is located at 460 17th Ave NE, Hickory.

April – Summer garden veggies planting/maintenance and weed identification(TBA).

May – Mushroom logs and bed production; summer garden veggies planting/maintenance and weed identification (TBA).

May 15 – Garden Tour with Master Gardener Tad Adams. – This will be re-scheduled

cucumber flower

Cucumber flowers can be male or female. Male flowers come first and don’t bear fruit. Can you tell which sex this flower is?

June – Riverbend and Baker’s Mt Park tree and plant ID (TBA).

July – Farm tours (TBA).

August – Fall garden planting/maintenance and weed identification (TBA).

September – Marvelous Mushrooms foray and taste testing; cover crop planting;

planting/maintenance and weed identification (TBA).

October – Cover crop planting; strawberry and garlic planting/maintenance and weed identification (TBA).