November 2020
Simple Ways to Protect Plants from Winter Injury
Weather conditions for the past two years have favored all sorts of winter injury to landscapes; this year may be no different. Droughty summers and autumns followed by long winters filled with wide temperature fluctuations can wreak havoc with plants and soil. But fear not! Here are some simple ways to help your plants come out of this winter unscathed.
Benefits of Leaf Mulching
We advocate mulching leaves that have fallen on your grass lawns, rather than blowing them off the lawn. Mulching the leaves on your lawn has many advantages: It reduces noise and greenhouse gases, because it reduces the use of leaf blowers; in an added bonus, it also enhances the health of your yard by creating valuable compost, which enriches the topsoil.

Leaf mulching avoids the spreading dust and contaminants into the air and saves you time and money. The benefits of leaf mulching are numerous - learn more!
We've got your Garlic and Butternut Squash!

1/2 lb. Seed/Culinary Garlic - $13
High quality, Certified Organic, locally grown, variety of German White, porcelain hardneck seed garlic from Fraser's Garlic Farm located in Churchville, NY. This is an exclusive offer in limited supply since most of the seed garlic on the market is sold out! Each planted clove will grow into a garlic bulb. After harvest the following year, set aside 2-3 bulbs for planting, ensuring high quality garlic production each year.

Butternut Squash - $2 each
Butternut squash is in-season and nutritious - just what you wanted for Thanksgiving! Locally grown at J & W Farms located in LeRoy, NY. There are many different ways to use butternut squash and it can also be stored all winter.

Want a bit of each? 
Small Combo Package - 
  • 1/4 lb Garlic & 1 Butternut Squash - $10
Large Combo Package -
  • 1/2 lb Garlic & 2 Butternut Squash - $16
Master Forest Owner Volunteer Program
The Master Forest Owner program provides private woodland owners of New York State with the information and encouragement necessary to manage their forest holdings wisely.

Over 140 experienced and highly motivated volunteer MFOs are available statewide, ready to assist neighbor woodland owners with the information needed to start managing their woodlands, through free site visits to landowners properties.

All MFOs are graduates of a 4-day training program, where they learn about sawtimber and wildlife management, woodland economics, and ecology. The MFOs continue to receive information updates, attend refresher classes and maintain contact with natural resource managers from private, public, and academic organizations.

Why is this Program Necessary?
Over 14 million acres of woodland in NY State are privately owned by approximately 700,000 nonindustrial woodland owners. That’s over 3/4 of New York’s total woodland area! It is estimated that less than 1/4 of the state’s private forest holdings are purposefully managed despite the educational programs and technical services available. In order to reap the benefits of this vital resource, sound stewardship is necessary. Stewardship objectives involve management practices that ensure ecologically sound forest productivity. Woodlands represent an important commodity that, if wisely managed, can generate a variety of economic, ecological, and aesthetic values to woodland owners and their communities, generation after generation.

(You do not need to be a woodland owner to be a volunteer, but must have an interest in woodlands and volunteering to help others)
Growing Amaryllis
Amaryllis are popular flowering bulbs grown indoors during the winter months. Learn how easy it is to plant an amaryllis bulb and how to care for it as it grows.

Their spectacular, trumpet-shaped blooms can be 8 to 10 inches across and are produced atop an 18- to 30-inch-tall flower stalk. Flower colors include red, pink, orange, salmon, white, and bicolors. Single-flowering, double flowering, and miniature amaryllis varieties (cultivars) are available. Two to six flowers (the average is four) are produced on each flower stalk. 
Although their flowers resemble lilies, the amaryllis belongs to the Amaryllidaceae family. Its genus is Hippeastrum. Amaryllis are native to tropical and subtropical areas of the Americas. Both the bulb and the plant are poisonous. 

Richard Jauron
Iowa State University Extension and Outreach
Pickling Your Paperwhites
The paperwhite narcissus is a popular bulb for indoor forcing in the winter months. Unlike most other daffodils, paperwhites (Narcissus tazetta) do not require a cold period. They are simply planted in pots with soil, or even more commonly, in dishes or bowls with gravel, marbles or other decorative material. With a little water, they rapidly form roots, grow leaves and shoots. The white, fragrant flowers usually open up within 2-3 weeks of planting.

A common problem with paperwhites, however, is that they often grow too tall and flop over. Recent research conducted by the Flowerbulb Research Program at Cornell University has found a simple and effective way to reduce stem and leaf growth of paperwhites. The “secret” is using dilute solutions of alcohol. Properly used, the result is paperwhites that are 1/3 to ½ shorter, with equal sized flowers that last as long as normal. 
Sustainable Holidays - Tips from the DEC
The holiday season with its accompanying buying, wrapping and celebrating substantially increases the amount of waste and electricity we generate. From wasteful purchases to disposable dinnerware and high electricity bills, the holiday season takes a toll on the environment.

Shop locally, make your own gifts, and reduce waste to reduce your environmental impact this holiday season. Keep in mind, the best way to have a sustainable holiday is to simplify. When you simplify the holidays you often reduce your costs, stress and waste.
An Award Winning Podcast: A Way to Garden
A'horticultural how-to and woo-woo' by Margaret Roach, Head Gardener. Margaret's weekly public-radio show, from Robin Hood Radio in Sharon, CT, the smallest NPR station in the nation. Listen live at 8:30 AM EDT Mondays, to the replay Saturday morning, or stream the podcast anytime. LISTEN OR SUBSCRIBE FREE: Get the iTunes version; find it on the Stitcher app; or on Spotify, or your favorite podcast app. Browse the archive, including illustrated transcripts of each show.

"I fit right in, since Robin Hood Radio’s other motto is: 'Slightly Off, But Very Good.' The New York Times called them 'NPR’s minnow,' in fact. The show is available free as a podcast and was named a top podcast by Fionnuala Fallon of 'The Irish Times' in January 2020. 'Garden writer Margaret Roach is a household name in America, where her long-running, award-winning public-radio podcast A Way to Garden has achieved cult status,' she wrote. Celebrating 10 years on the air in 2020, the show was named a 'top-5' garden show by 'The Guardian' in 2013, alongside some pretty amazing others, mostly from the BBC."

Margaret Roach, A Way to Garden
Upcoming Zoom Events
Registration Required
Be on the lookout for your confirmation email with the Zoom link to access the class!
Basics of Organic Composting
Saturday, November 14, 10 AM - 11 AM
Hosted by Parma Public Library
Register Here (FREE)
A great garden starts with great soil! One way to maintain good health and high nutrient content of your soil is by adding garden compost. Composting is more than recycling garden waste or kitchen scraps – it’s a way of creating a healthy environment for all organisms. Participants will learn good composting practices to help drive sustainability and production in their garden.

Presented by MG, Sue Nolan.
Gifts from the Kitchen: Food Preservation Workshop
Wednesday, November 18, 1 PM - 2 PM
Hosted by Central Library of Rochester & Monroe County
Register Here (FREE)
Michele will demonstrate how to make Grainy Mustard and Dried Garden Herbs with Salt. She will also discuss which jars are best for home gifts and provide recipes. This workshop promises to be highly interactive!

Presented by Master Food Preserver, Michele Connors.
Herb Gardening
Wednesday, November 18, 7:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Hosted by Chili Public Library
Register Here (FREE)
Herbs can transform ordinary meals into something special. Incorporating herbs into your garden design adds color, fragrances, and interest to your landscape. Participants will learn the benefits of herb growing from their beauty and use in cooking, to their medicinal uses and healing properties. 

Presented by MG, Lois Breen.
Olmsted and Rochester Parks
Wednesday, December 9, 7:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Hosted by Chili Public Library
Register Here (FREE)
This talk will be an introduction to the life and accomplishments of Frederick Law Olmsted, a pioneer of the modern urban park. We will explore Olmsted’s early life, the history of urban parks, and the major projects of Olmsted’s firm such as Central Park and the Rochester (now Monroe County) park system. 

Presented by MG, Bob Beabout.
Speakers Bureau - Book a Master Gardener Presentation
Master Gardeners are able to present horticultural lectures for your club or organization. We are also willing to present in nursing home facilities and will format the presentation to abilities.

Presentations are 45 minutes in length and conclude with an additional 15 minute question and answer period.Please note – some presentations have limited availability throughout the year. All presentations have a speaking charge of $50, payable to Cornell Cooperative Extension of Monroe County.

Gardening Helpline at Your Service
When plant, insect and wildlife problems happen in the garden, who can home gardeners call? A team of trained Master Gardeners are available to help answer gardening and pest questions, and solve problems using current research-based information.

By calling the helpline, you’ll find yourself in contact with someone who will help identify the cause of your problem, or give an answer to your question using Cornell’s experience and research knowledge. If the issue is addressed in one of our many factsheets, it will be sent to you for your reference.

Contact us: (585) 753-2555 or

Gardening Helpline Hours:
April – October: Monday - Friday, 9 AM - 12 PM       
November – March: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 9 AM - 12 PM
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Gardening Helpline: 📞 (585) 753-2555