Growing event offers information about gardening and landscaping

Susan Carter
Susan Carter

Phil Castle, The Business Times

An upcoming event offering information about gardening and landscaping will draw in part on the expertise of local businesses that provide products and services in those areas.

Government agencies and clubs also are expected to participate in what’s billed as a demonstration day.

“It’s a great place to get gardening and landscape information,” said Susan Carter, a horticulture agent with the Colorado State University Extension Tri River Area operation based in Grand Junction.

The demonstration day is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 19 at the CSU Extension office located on the Mesa County Fairgrounds at 2775 U.S. Highway 50. There’ll be no charge for attendance or booth spaces.

More information is available online at http://tra.extension.coloradostate.edu/.

The demonstration day will be the second of its kind and follows what was previously the Landscapes West conference, Carter said.

The event will feature gardening and landscaping demonstrations by nurseries, landscaping companies and others. Participants in the Master Gardener Program will be available to answer questions. Free testing will be offered to assess the level of salt in soil samples, Carter said.

The event also will offer tours of the gardens set up around the office. That includes a 3,500-square-foot demonstration garden designed and built by the Chinle Cactus & Succulent Society that showcases cacti and other cold- and drought-hardy plants. Other gardens feature plants that are native to the area or thrive in local conditions.

Carter works with nurseries, landscaping companies and commercial fruit and vegetable growers in a region that includes Mesa as well as Delta, Montrose and Ouray counties. It’s an area that includes a total of about 160,000 irrigated acres in production.

The area horticultural industry has started to recover, Carter said, from the effects of retirements and competition from larger retailers. The income from community supported agriculture and farmers’ markets has helped vegetable and fruit growers, she added.

The industry is important for many reasons, Carter said, including the knowledge local businesses offer about what plants grow best in the area.

And a good portion of that knowledge will be available at the demonstration day in May, she added.