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Jackson County Master Gardeners

January in the Garden

By Beet 2023 01 January

The air is brisk and temperatures are just plain cold. Plants are dormant – sleeping for the winter and awaiting the warmer temperatures that spring will bring. Hopefully, we will get lots of precipitation during the coming months for our plants to thrive and survive the summer.

With that said, our gardens still need to be cared for so that they will do well in the spring and summer.

The Jackson County Master Gardener Association has a great resource for gardeners to use. It is the Garden Guide for the Rogue Valley – Year-Round & Month by Month book.  This great reference book for gardeners is mainly about the growing of vegetables, berries, and melons.

In this article, I will briefly refer to what we should be working on during the month of January based on the information in this book and articles on the OSU website.

January is the time to

  • Plan what you want to plant in spring – if you haven’t done it already. What seeds do you want to order? Do you want to try some new or different vegetables and/or berries?
  • Take the time to browse seed catalogues or websites – but don’t take too long or you might not be able to receive the seeds you want to try. Find plants that are good for growing in our area during both cool and warm weather. Garden Guide for the Rogue Valley – Year Round & Month by Month (Revised 2017).  Pages 52-58 (Crops to Grow in Cool Seasons) (Crops to Grow in Warm Seasons) (Berries); pages 58-69 (Planting Tips for Specific Crops); and page 87 (Month of January).
  • Plants which you plant as seeds to transplant later are
    • Cabbage
    • Lettuce
    • Parsley
  • Plants which you can plant as seed outside
    • Peas (if there are the right soil conditions)
  • Time to prune your grapes





The Garden Guide for the Rogue Valley – Year-Round & Month by Month book contains a wealth of gardening information. You can purchase it at our local Grange Co-op or at the OSU Extension office for $21.00.


Happy Gardening and Stay Warm

Garden For Life

Fundraising Working Group

By Beet 2023 01 January

Jackson County Master Gardener program is a non-profit group. This, however, does not mean we do not want to raise money and have a small profit to keep the bills paid and our JCMGA programs funded.

There are several sections of the Fundraising Working Group. One section is Grant Writing. The other sections include the Go Fund Me drive, the Grange Co-Op rewards program, the Garden Guide for the Rogue Valley: Year ‘Round & Month by Month sales, the 50/50 money drive at special events and the Bottle and Can return. (Pick up bags for the bottles and cans in the entry of the Extension.)

We have done several yard sales on campus in the past. These proved to be somewhat successful but are extremely labor-intensive to justify going forward. In November, we had a Holiday Bazaar and Native Plant Sale. Many items, including wreaths, swags, gnomes, Christmas stockings and tree ornaments were made over several months by enthusiastic members.

Going forward, the plan is to have a Fall Festival fair on campus selling Christmas items and native and Practicum plants.

Ours is a FUN group, which is the first three letters of FUNdraising. We are a group where laughter and brainstorming are abundant.

We meet at 1:00 pm on the 3rd Friday of each month at the OSU Extension. We are always looking for volunteers and ideas. Please contact chairperson Sandy Hammond at 541-826-5296 or email

Easy Fundraising for JCMGA

By Beet 2023 01 January

This is the third in a series of articles on how JCMGA can be financially supported with little or no personal expense. This month, we are going to concentrate on returning redeemable bottles and cans through

Bottle Drop.

Bottle Drop Give is the bottle and can drive that never ends for Oregon nonprofits like JCMGA. Supporters (that’s YOU!) fill blue plastic bags with their empty deposit containers and drop them off at 1179 Stowe Ave, Medford, OR 97501, just off N. Ross Lane.  Bottle Drop is open 8am – 6pm daily if you want to take them inside the building. Much more convenient, though, is the small door on the side of the building. The label on the bag can be waved in front of the scanner next to the door to make it open. Drop your full bag inside and JCMGA will receive 10¢ for each container returned. To date, JCMGA has been earning about $200/month with this fundraiser.

The required blue bags are available on the table in the lobby of the OSU Extension. The printed label on the

front of each bag identifies it as creditable to JCMGA. Please fill the bags as full as possible because JCMGA

has to pay for each bag whether it is full or not.

Water bottles. Soda cans. Beer bottles. Sports drink bottles. Fruit juice bottles. These are just a few of the containers accepted by Bottle Drop. Most beverages have an Oregon refund value. There are too many

beverages on the market to list them all individually.

Rule of Thumb: Generally, if you can pour it and drink it, it’s covered unless it’s one of the specifically excluded beverages (distilled spirits, wine, dairy milk, plant‐based milk, infant formula, and liquid meal replacements) or if it’s in a carton, foil pouch, drink box, or metal container that requires a tool to be opened.

Included, but only if they are glass, metal, or plastic bottles or cans in the following sizes:

Beverages in sizes 3 liters or less:

  • Soda (carbonated/sparkling beverages) * Beer and other malt beverages
  • Water * Kombucha

Beverages in sizes from 4 ounces up to and including 1.5 liters:

  • Hard Seltzer
  • Coffee/tea (even if they contain milk)
  • Energy and sports drinks
  • Fruit and vegetable juice (does not have to be 100%)
  • Smoothies and shakes
  • Aloe vera juice
  • Coconut water
  • Non‐alcohol wine
  • Drinking vinegar
  • Hard cider if 8.5% ABV or less
  • Marijuana beverages
  • Muscle Milk
  • Protein shakes (unless marketed as a liquid meal replacement)
  • Ready‐to‐drink cocktail mixers, like margarita mix or bloody Mary mix
  • Thank you for your contribution!   

Berries Videos Available

By Beet 2022 12 December


We had many wonderful speakers at our Winter Dreams Summer Gardens 2022!

Two of our presenters, Sherry Sheng and Jane Collier, are also presenters at the Clackamas 10-Minute University™ concerning gardening issues. They have many wonderful practical gardening videos.

Jane Collier’s presentation at our Winter Dreams Summer Gardens 2022 was about growing blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, along with other berries. During her talk, she mentioned several videos.

Sherry and Jane have graciously allowed us to post these videos on the JCMGA website.

You can locate them on the JCMGA website. Click on the “In the Community” tab at the top of the screen.  Click on “In the Garden Videos.” Scroll down to the bottom of the page.

How to Record My JCMGA Recertification Hours for OSU

By Beet 2022 12 December

Recording your recertification hours is a very important part of being a Master Gardener.  Our organization is based on gardening education and volunteers’ hours.  In addition to providing documentation for your recertification, these hours are needed to provide funding for Oregon Master Gardeners.

This task may seem daunting at the beginning, but the more you do it the easier it becomes.

Currently we are required to have

  • 20 hours of approved volunteer service. Half of these hours must be in the category of direct or indirect education efforts – which are detailed on the OSU Extension website.
  • 10 hours of approved continuing education.
  • These 30 hours (minimum) are to be earned from November 1st to October 31st.


The steps are easy to follow as long as you take your time –

  • Login into the JCMGA website
  • Login into the JCMGA Member Portal
  • On the right-hand side you will find a side bar with Member Links – click on Report Your Hours

This takes you to the OSU Master Gardener Volunteer Reporting System (VRS)

  • This page has lots of good information on it. Take time to check out the following –
    • New Categories List – located on the right
    • Videos on “How to Report Hours” – located at the bottom
    • VRS Information Fact Sheet – located at the bottom
    • FYI – JCMGA does use VRS for reporting our hours
  • If this is your first time reporting your recertification hours, you will need to click on the link Enrollment in VRS – located at the top left – and follow the directions.
  • If you have recorded your recertification hours before, you should put in your email address and password. You have the option to have the program remember your password.
    • At the beginning of each reporting period, there is an additional step that needs to be completed before logging in. Below your password box, there will be a document to read concerning the conduct expected of all Master Gardeners. Once you have read the document, check the box and continue to log in.
  • Click on the Report My Hours link – located in the left-hand side bar – about midway down.
  • After entering your data, click on “Insert record” to finalize your submission. You can edit your hours at a later date if you need to do so.


People keep track of their hours in a variety of ways before they input them into the OSU Volunteer Reporting System.

  • Many people use a calendar or log to keep track of them.
  • Some people officially report their hours weekly, monthly, etc.
  • You can enter your hours for each individual event, or you can “bundle” them. By bundle, we mean you can take the number of volunteer hours – as long as they are the same coding – for a month or longer.  You would need to explain it in the description box.


If at any time you have questions about this process, please feel free to contact Barbara Low, Sandy Hansen or Jane Moyer.

                                                     Have a wonderful year gardening!



Winter Dreams Summer Gardens 2022

By Beet 2022 12 December

By Colet Allen, Susan Koenig, and Barbara Low


Our Winter Dreams Summer Gardens 2022 was a great success! We wanted to make sure to thank everyone involved to make this event an actuality. It genuinely took a village to accomplish all that was involved.

The Winter Dreams Summer Garden 2022 team gives a big thank you to the Winter Dreams Summer Gardens 2021 team for leaving such a good road map for us to follow. The records that were left gave us a great starting point and allowed us to get right to work. After reviewing what was in Dropbox, we had a good idea of what was going to be needed by us to make the Winter Dreams Summer Gardens 2022 event happen, maybe not seamlessly but close to it.

The three of us were able to look at the compilation of information and determine what the path for development was going to be. We created a timeline for accomplishing each major step from start to finish. Once this was done, we each used our strengths to fit ourselves into the slots that would best meet our personal wants and at the same time, figure out what the project would need, equally balance the workload, and end up with a quality product.

Division of labor between the three team members was one of the joys of this project. We worked well together, kept each other informed on all matters and enjoyed the process. We started early in the year so that there was plenty of time to plan and determine if there was some new energy and ideas that we could bring to this year’s symposium.

One of the new things we wanted to address was to make sure we documented our process as we went along. We each agreed that it was important that we documented our process along with the forms we created to accomplish our tasks. Our plan was that once the Symposium was complete and after a little time to decompress, we would review the process and determine what remains to be documented. Our goal is to review, develop what is missing, and download a completed process to Dropbox by mid-January.

At the suggestion of one of our Master Gardeners who is also a Licensed Landscaper (Thank you, Sherri Morgan), we sought accreditation and to determine if JCMGA could get our presentations certified by the Oregon State Landscaper Contractors Board (LCB) for their required continuing education hours. We worked with the State Board and were able to get all sixteen of our offerings certified. We only had four landscapers who took advantage of that opportunity this year. Next year, we will do a statewide outreach now that we know what the state is looking for and are confident that JCMGA can offer this service at a very reasonable rate. Working with this group of people in Salem was a real pleasure. They were responsive to phone calls/emails and worked with us to make sure we understood exactly what was needed to ensure we gave them the correct information to expedite the process. They were a joy to work with.

In addition to the traditional methods for getting the word out, we wanted to explore a few new ones. Besides appealing to the Licensed Landscapers, we worked with Medford Parks and Recreation. We put a quarter-page advertisement in their Fall booklet that went out in early September to 44,000 homes.

As a non-profit organization, we were able to use the QuestionPro Survey program this year. By sending out a survey we are trying to determine what is working and what is not. Please fill it out so that we can improve. It will probably take a couple of years to gather enough information to help make needed changes, but we appreciate and welcome your feedback.

Thanks to our Communications Working Group for following our schedule for PSAs, Facebook postings, Mailchimps, and other forms of advertising. We also had some help from OMGA, Josephine County Master Gardeners, OSU Extension and the OSU Task Force. A big thank you to all.

We were very happy with our wonderful presenters and pleased with the turnout for this year’s Winter Dreams Summer Gardens Symposium. We were able to provide a wide variety of relevant gardening topics with very qualified presenters. We tried to cover topics that we felt were important, including climate change, fire-resistant gardening, native plants, etc.

We learned a few lessons along the way. Our plan is to build on that knowledge and continue to develop a high-quality educational event for our gardening community.

What are we recommending for next year? We have a list of several speakers we want to ask back for other areas of their expertise and some new ones that we did not have room for this year.

We would also like to hear from you, the reader, and find out who you would recommend and what other subjects you would like to learn about.

Please give us information concerning what you liked and what we could improve on. Critical review is valuable, and we appreciate the feedback.  Feel free to contact us at

Easy Fundraising for JCMGA

By Beet 2022 12 December

This is the second in a series of articles on how JCMGA can be financially supported with little or no personal expense. This month, we are going to concentrate on purchases at the Grange     Co-op.

Are you a member of the Grange?  If you are, you may not know that you need to spend over $500 in a year to receive any rewards.

However, if we group our rewards, JCMGA can save a lot of money.  When you buy something at the Grange, tell the cashier you would like to credit your purchase to the Jackson Co. Master Gardeners.

The words in bold are vitally important! The cashier needs to know you are asking for a credit, not a charge.  And, because there are Master Gardener chapters and Granges in Josephine Co., Klamath Co., and Curry Co. as well as Jackson Co., asking to have your purchase credited to “Master Gardeners,” rather than Jackson Co. Master Gardeners, may give the rewards to another chapter.

They may also ask for a name to go with the credit.  Names on our account are Marcie Katz, Doug Kirby, and Jane Moyer.

Following these simple steps can contribute hundreds of dollars to JCMGA per year with no expense to any of us.

Jackson County Master Gardeners Announcements – November 2022

By Beet 2022 11 November


Jackson County Master Gardener™ Association 

Holiday Plant Sale


Date: Saturday, November 12, 2022        

Time: 9:00 am—3:00 pm

Where: SOREC (OSU Extension) Parking Lot, 569 Hanley Rd in Central Point.

Find holiday season plant gifts and landscape plants from a selection of Master Gardener-grown native and ornamental plants. Shop for floral treasures, then explore items for sale during the Holiday Gala in the SOREC Auditorium. Garden for Life!

Pay with: Cash, check, or credit card.

For more information: Email Lynn Kunstman or call (541) 227-1358.





Jackson County Master Gardener™ Association 

Holiday Gala 

Date: Saturday, November 12, 2022

Time: 9:00 am—3:00 pm

Where: SOREC (OSU Extension) Auditorium, 569 Hanley Rd in Central Point.

Jackson County Master Gardeners host a merry holiday season celebration for the whole family. Shop for decorations, wreaths, ornaments, and snowmen and women. Find the perfect gift for each friend and family member. Come share the cheer of the season, then step into the Native Nursery area off the parking lot for live Master Gardener-grown native and ornamental plants.

Free Admission.

Pay with: Cash, check, or credit card.

For more information: Email or call (541) 227-1358.



If you know anyone who would be interested in becoming a Master Gardener Volunteer, registration for 2023 OSU Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Training in Jackson County will be open later this Fall!    Please call the OSU Extension office at 541.776.7371 and leave your name, phone number, and email.  We will contact you when registration is open.


Winter Dreams Summer Gardens 2022 Off to a Great Start!

By Beet 2022 11 November


Thank you to all who attended our first two days of this exciting event on October 28 and 29.

Our committee has worked diligently to provide quality presentations/presenters on a wide range of gardening topics.

During the first two days, we have had presentations dealing with the Rogue Valley climate and the expected changes which will affect the way we garden; working with fruit trees; growing herbs; taking care of our soil; having biodiversity in our garden; and regenerative agriculture.

There is still time to register for this event and attend the last two days of presentations on November 4 and 5.

  • Register by November 2 to attend the Zoom classes.
  • Register by November 5 to only be able to view the recordings.
  • A Mailchimp will be emailed to you with a Zoom link to the classes for the following day.
  • A list of the 15 presentation recordings’ URL links will be emailed to you the week of November 7th.

All but one of the entire 16 presentations will be recorded and available to view up to the end of December.

Participants will receive an Evaluation Survey through email on November 7th. We are asking you to take a few minutes to complete the survey. Your responses will help us to improve this event and get your input on what you would like to have included for next year’s Winter Dreams Summer Gardens 2023. Your responses to our survey are very important to us.


Questions? Email:



Community Outreach Working Group

By Beet 2022 11 November

The Community Outreach Working Group strives to promote a love of gardening and to educate gardeners about best practices via several initiatives. We give financial support to community gardens and to school gardens; have a weekly call-in show on Jefferson Public Radio; and offer a native plants garden tour on JCMGA’s website, for example.

But it is mainly via the Speakers Bureau that we strive to reach out into the community with gardening education programs and it is the Speakers Bureau where we have the greatest need for volunteers.

Volunteer speakers may make presentations at garden clubs and other in-person locations; on the SOREC campus in the Demonstration Gardens; on Zoom via the public library; or through classes offered by SOU’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI).

Training is provided for new volunteers who have a chance to “shadow” experienced speakers until they feel comfortable making presentations on their own. Volunteers select the topics they wish to talk about and may choose to present in person, on Zoom or both.

If interested in volunteering for the Speakers Bureau, contact Colet Allen at or phone 425-941-7637. For other information about the COWG, contact chair Ronnie Budge at