2021 Extension Master Gardener Conference
The Virtual 2021 Extension Master Gardener Conference can be counted as continuing education hours for Oklahoma Master Gardener Volunteers.
Thursday, June 24
6:30 - 7:30 pm: Keynote address - Wits End: A Collector's Garden, Troy Marden
7:30 - 8:15 pm: Problem Plants to Watch for in Oklahoma, Dwayne Elmore
Friday, June 25
8:30 - 9:15 am: Prairie Plants that Make a Difference, Dwight Thomas
9:15 - 10:00 am: Using Row Covers to Manage Squash Bugs in Oklahoma Cucurbit Production, Eric Rebek
10:10 - 10:55 am: Don't Get Caught with your Plants Down, Jen Olson
10:55 - 11:40 am: The Future of our Food is in the Soil, Adam Cobb
12:30 - 1:15 pm: Variety Trials and Other Such Nonsense, Lynn Brandenberger
1:15 - 2:00 pm: Who Broke My Nitrogen and Why Does it Need Fixing? Casey Hentges
2:00 - 3:00 pm: Great Gardens of the World: Finding Inspiration Abroad, Troy Marden
Topic and Speaker Information
- Wits End: A Collector's Garden - Troy Marden, Keynote
Troy will present the story of the design and development of his personal garden over the past 13 years, as he has married a collector's passion for accumulating plants with a designer's eye for bold and interesting combinations. In addition to his personal design philosophy, this talk also focuses on plants that have performed well in the heat and humidity of his Tennessee garden and he feels would translate equally well to gardens in Oklahoma.
- Problem Plants to Watch for in Oklahoma, Dwayne Elmore
Invasive plants are an increasing concern in Oklahoma. They can displace native plants and wildlife, choke waterways, compete with agricultural products, and cost landowners time and money. Some of these plants originated as ornamentals and continue to be used in gardens. Learn which plants to avoid and what to do if you locate them.
Dwayne Elmore is a Professor, Wildlife Extension Specialist, and Bollenbach Chair in Wildlife Biology in the Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management at Oklahoma State University. Specific areas of interest include wildlife habitat relationships, fire ecology, and thermal ecology. He works with various stakeholder groups including private landowners, The Nature Conservancy, the Natural Resource Conservation Service, Farm Service Agency, Bureau of Land Management, and the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation to provide technical assistance on land management issues.
- Prairie Plants that Make a Difference, Dwight Thomas
In Dwight’s presentation, he will identify several common tallgrass prairie plants and discuss how those plants fit into the tallgrass prairie and how they are necessary for sustaining the tallgrass prairie ecosystem. He will use his photographs of the tallgrass prairie to illustrate the tallgrass prairie and the specific plants that he includes in the discussion. One example of an important tallgrass prairie plant that he will include is passionflower, Passiflora incarnarta.
Dwight Thomas is a retired biologist. He grew up on a farm in southwestern Oklahoma and graduated from Carter High School, Carter, Oklahoma. He is still a non-working part-owner of that farm that has been in the family since about 1895 when that corner of Oklahoma was old Greer County, Texas. His undergraduate education was at OSU with a BS Degree in Natural Sciences. He taught high school sciences for several years and then entered graduate school at OU. Dwight earned MS and PhD Degrees from OU in Botany. Dwight has taught sciences at the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Haskell Indian College for several years, and worked with the U.S. Department of the Interior, Office of Surface Mining as a Biologist. While working in Tulsa, he also taught as an Adjunct Instructor at Northeastern State University, teaching ecology and earth science.
After retiring, he has been involved in a variety of volunteer activities, with the primary volunteer activity as a Docent with The Nature Conservancy at the Joseph H. Williams Tallgrass Prairie Preserve. There he has served as an interpreter at the Visitor Center, led field trips, wrote monthly articles on prairie ecology and prairie botany for the Docent’s on-line journal and a collection of far-ranging friends. He is currently working on article number 105. His other volunteer activities have been with Meals-on-Wheels, Habitat for Humanity, Oxley Nature Center, and the Chancel Choir at Boston Avenue UMC in Tulsa.
- Using Row Covers to Manage Squash Bugs in Oklahoma Cucurbit Production, Eric Rebek
This presentation will provide information about using floating row covers to prevent squash bugs from gaining access to squash and other cucurbits. Emphasis will be placed on timing of row cover removal to allow pollinator access as well as the use of different row cover materials for optimum production. Research results from two years of field trials will be shared with the audience to highlight pros and cons of using row covers in Oklahoma.
Dr. Eric J. Rebek is a professor and extension entomologist at Oklahoma State University, Dept. of Entomology and Plant Pathology in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Eric earned his B.S. (1996) and M.S. (1999) in Entomology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his Ph.D. (2004) in Entomology from Purdue University. Before arriving at OSU in 2007, he worked at Michigan State University as a post-doctoral research associate and had responsibilities in research, teaching, and extension. Eric currently holds a 90% extension/10% teaching appointment with an emphasis on arthropod pests of turfgrass, ornamentals, vegetables, and small fruits. His research efforts support his extension program and focus on integrated pest management (IPM) strategies for horticultural crops.
- Don't Get Caught with Your Plants Down, Jen Olson
Jennifer (Jen) Olson has a B.S. in Biology from Lebanon Valley College and a M.S. in Plant and Soil Sciences from the University of Delaware. She served as the Plant Disease Specialist at Maryland Department of Agriculture for three years. Jen is the current Plant Disease Diagnostician/Associate Extension Specialist and Lab Director for the Plant Disease and Insect Diagnostic Laboratory at Oklahoma State University. She's been in the Oklahoma diagnostic lab for over 12 years and has specialized in plant disease diagnostics since 2000.
- The Future of our Food isi n the Soil, Adam Cobb
Adam explores how we can effectively build soil health by understanding mycorrhizal fungi and managing microbe-sensitive gardens.
Adam first became involved in food production by spending three months working and traveling across New Zealand as a farm volunteer in 2008. His 12 years at OSU convinced him that soil ecology is critical for addressing current and emerging food production issues. Adam is currently a NIFA Postdoctoral Fellow, focusing on developing practices that utilize beneficial soil microbes to regenerate soils, reduce food production costs, and protect our environment.
- Variety Trials and Other Such Nonsense, Lynn Brandenberger
Lynn will address recent vegetable variety trials, recent cultural trials, where to find the results, and where to find fact sheets related to vegetables.
Lynn Brandenberger has served the commercial vegetable industry in Oklahoma since 2001. His efforts have included both research and on-farm demonstration work on a wide range of topics concentrated on the cultural management of horticultural food crops, specifically vegetables. His research and demonstration work are targeted on improving soil quality, trialing for improved vegetable varieties, and identifying-refining new weed control technologies. Along with these efforts Dr. Brandenberger is a team member of the OSU Food Safety group. His efforts include food safety research and serving as an instructor for the Produce Safety Alliance course that covers fresh produce safety in relation to the Food Safety Modernization Act. Further information regarding his research and extension program can be found at: https://agriculture.okstate.edu/departments-programs/hla/research-extension/vegetables/trial-report.html.
- Who Broke My Nitrogen and Why Does it Need Fixing? Casey Hentges
Nitrogen is a critical component in the garden, and you probably heard the saying “fixing nitrogen”, but what does this really mean? We will take a brief look at the discovery of Nitrogen and its influence on plants, how legumes have developed symbiotic relationships with microbes, and why this is so important to our world.
Casey Hentges (sounds like Finches) has served as the host for the Oklahoma Gardening television show that airs weekly on OETA for the past 5 years. Before joining forces with the OKG team, she served as the director of horticulture at the Myriad Botanical Gardens in Oklahoma City. In addition, she has been a commercial landscape manager in Dallas and has served as the Canadian County horticulture/4-H youth development educator for the Oklahoma State Cooperative Extension Service for five years. Casey earned her bachelor’s degree in horticulture at OSU and her master’s degree in public horticulture management at the University of Delaware in the Longwood Graduate Program.
- Great Gardens of the World: Finding Inspiration Abroad, Troy Marden, Closing Address
Troy has been lucky enough to visit gardens across the United States and around the world, from northern Canada to the southern tip of Africa and from the Netherlands to New Zealand. No matter where he is, he always comes away with new plants to add to his "must have" list, new design ideas, and new gardening techniques that he can adapt to his own garden when he returns home. This virtual tour will showcase some of his favorite gardens and what he has learned from them in his many travels.