Garden and Country Extension Webinar Series
University of Arizona Gila County Cooperative Extension
University of Arizona Cooperative Extension Gila County presents: Garden and Country Extension Webinar Series
A Zoom webinar (60-minutes or less) featuring a variety of horticultural and natural resource topics relevant to the environmental conditions and residential concerns of Gila County, Arizona.
Contact: Chris Jones, Extension Agent Agriculture and Natural Resources
- January 7, 2021 - Winter Break: No Webinar
- January 14, 2021 - Rabies Outlook in Arizona 2021 Webinar
- January 26, 2021 - Pruning Shade Trees: Live Demonstration Webinar
- January 29, 2021 - Space Mission Earth Webinar
- February 4, 2021 - Starting Vegetable Seedlings Webinar
Past webinars are also posted at the UA Cooperative Extension YouTube Channel.
Opportunities and Barriers for Arizona to Supply Wood Fiber to South Korean Renewable Energy Markets
December 17, 2020
Webinar Overview: Restoration treatment projects in northern Arizona can reduce wildfire risk and restore forest health. But markets for biomass wood fiber from restoration activities in Arizona are highly limited, and finding utilization outlets for the by-products of forest restoration activities are increasingly important. With economically efficient transportation options and strong stable partners, Arizona could supply wood fiber to Asian markets in an economically efficient and sustainable manner. This study evaluated business potential for exporting wood fiber from Arizona to renewable energy markets in South Korea by performing a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) analysis. The South Korean renewable energy market is immature but expanding and showing potential for future growth. The market size, government policy support and potential make shipping Arizona wood fiber to South Korea an attractive option. Per ton wood chip prices in South Korea can be double the price in the U.S. Industry analysts project consumption of six million metric tons of biomass in 2021. Our study shows that logistical hurdles exist with current business infrastructure in northern Arizona. Additionally, the instability of the market and insecurity of South Korean policy are risks that may require mitigation before significant investment in this market.
Winterizing to Keep Your Garden Alive
December 10, 2020
Webinar Overview: Suzan Miller-Hoover from the Payson Community Garden in Arizona discusses how to winterize the garden. Keep your garden alive during the winter. Feeding your gardens’ microbes and worms over the winter will enhance your chances of having an even better harvest next summer. Let’s discuss the essential steps to winterizing your garden, preparing it for the growing season ahead.
Creating Pollinator Habitats and Conservation Partnerships
December 3, 2020
Webinar Overview: Pollinators such as bees, butterflies, moths, hummingbirds, bats and numerous other insect species are vital to the functioning of natural and agricultural ecosystems. It is estimated that managed and wild pollinators help pollinate over 75% of both our flowering plants and cultivated crops. Freeport-McMoRan Incorporated (FMI) maintains a commitment to conserving these critical pollinators through the company’s corporate Pollinator Conservation Initiative. The goal of this initiative is to increase habitat for pollinators, while providing learners of all ages with opportunities to engage in STEM education. FMI Senior Biodiversity Scientist, Ann George discusses the elements required to create a successful pollinator habitat. She will also explore several case studies of how Freeport has leveraged its conservation efforts with partners to promote pollinator-focused education and outreach activities, such as Earth Day celebrations, pollinator workshops and hands-on planting events in the field.
Yellow Bluestem: An Encroaching Invasive Grass
November 19, 2020
Ashley Hall, Rangeland and Animal Science Area Assistant Extension Agent at University of Arizona Cooperative Extension discusses Yellow Bluestem (Bothriochloa ischaemum), a non-native invasive species that negatively affects rangeland habitat in both economic and ecological ways. Yellow Bluestem is a perennial grass introduced to the United States from Europe and Asia in the early 1900s as a way to control erosion and as a forage species. In the past several years, this species has become an emerging invasive in Arizona. Yellow Bluestem has been shown to alter soil function and biota, suppressing the growth of native vegetation. It out-competes native species because it can grow much taller than most native grasses, and creates a sod thick formation by reproducing through underground stems. While this species was introduced in some parts of the U.S. to provide additional forage for grazing species, Yellow Bluestem is less palatable than natives and is not preferred by cattle, equine, or wildlife. Eradication of this species may require intense management efforts if a new population is not eliminated quickly.
Woodbury Fire Ecology Report
November 5, 2020
Dr. Mary Lata, Fire Ecologist, USDA Forest Service, Tonto National Forest, discusses her fire ecology report and the impacts and implications the Woodbury Fire has for local land management. The Woodbury Fire (~129,000 acres) was the 5th largest fire in Arizona history as of 2019. The absence of fire in its fire adapted ecosystems allowed live and dead woody fuel to increase and the fuels to become more contiguous. 2019 was an unfortunate one for fire in this area because the invasive grasses in the desert converted hundreds of thousands of acres of Sonoran Desert vegetation that rarely burns into a carpet of highly flammable grasses and shrubs that burned fast and hot. Many of the undesirable fire effects that did occur, did so not because of decisions made in the last few months, or even years, but because of the culmination of human impacts over the last century or so. The Tonto National Forest will need to make some difficult decisions on how to manage the Sonoran Desert in years such as this one when the desert is functionally a grass/shrub system in which fire is frequent rather than a desert ecosystem in which fire is rare. Key management options include: Selective grazing; Selective low severity/low intensity prescribed fire; and Creating and maintaining fire breaks in strategic locations.
Wildfire Mitigation, Preparedness, Response, and Recovery: An Emergency Management Perspective
October 29, 2020
Carl Melford, Gila County Emergency Manager, discusses the role of Emergency Management. Throughout the past 5 years, Gila County has been faced with record breaking wildfire activity. Learn how Gila County Emergency Management works with their Public Safety partners to overcome the challenges that come with Wildfire season. Acquire skills about planning tools such as the Gila County Community Wildfire Protection Plans (CWPP) and how you can help to protect your home and community from the ever evolving threat of wildfire, and the post-fire flooding events that follow.
Innovation at the Gila County Landfill: Compost Pilot Project
October 22, 2020
Kenny Keith, Gila County Landfill and Recycling Manager, discusses a composting pilot project that seeks to fulfill two main goals: to extend the life of the Gila County Landfill at Russell Gulch, in Globe, AZ; and to create an environmentally safe and useful compost. Waste paper, cardboard, tree branches, limbs and brush are mixed with processed sludge from community wastewater to make the compost. The finished compost is tested for coliforms, metals and hazardous waste to assure it is safe and considered Class A quality. Project partners include the Arizona Department of Transportation, Town of Miami and the Gila County Board of Supervisors, as led by District 2 Supervisor Tim R. Humphrey.
Cobre Valley Watershed Partnership Watershed Action Plan
October 15, 2020
Victoria Hermosilla, Cobre Valley Watershed Partnership Coordinator discusses the watershed action plan for Cobre Vally in Arizona: The communities of the Cobre Valley (Globe-Miami, AZ and nearby incorporated areas), share many of the same challenges surrounding water resources: reliable sources of potable water, groundwater contamination, aging water infrastructure, a push for environmental considerations, and trying to not be overlooked in the Arizona General Adjudication. The formation of the watershed partnership seeks to bring together multiple stakeholders from a wide variety of backgrounds to contribute to a Watershed Action Plan with a clear vision, well-defined goals, viable projects, and robust support from the communities in the Cobre Valley. There are already projects being put together by other community engagement groups and committees such as the Pinal Creek Trails Group’s effort to create a demonstration trail on reclaimed mining property, and a master recreation plan for the region. The partnership seeks to be a central hub for ideas and organization in the greater community. The Watershed Action Plan is being developed as the primary document where all information about the region’s background, current conditions, and projects are coalesced for the community and in support of existing government policies. This presentation is to not only share the partnership’s progress, engage the community with ideas and vision.
How to Plant a Tree
October 8, 2020
Webinar Overview: Fall is the perfect time to plant a tree Arizona: There is time for the roots to get established before winter sets and then the tree can acclimatize over the winter and be ready to grow and spread its roots in spring. Jan Groth will demonstrate best management practices for planting a containerized tree. She will discuss what to look for when buying a containerized plant, how to prepare the hole for planting, how to handle the plant when taking it out of the container and putting it into the ground, and direction for mulch and fertilizer. This webinar is perfect for first timers, new residents and anyone who wants to be confident they are planting the right way.
Bark Beetles in Arizona: Signs, Symptoms, and Identification of Native and Non-native Bark Beetles
October 1, 2020
Webinar Overview: Arizona' Forest Health Specialist Aly McAlexander presents a general overview of the bark beetles found in Arizona. We discuss both native and nonnative bark beetles found in Arizona; as well as go over the signs and symptoms associated with these beetles. By the end of the presentation, attendees will be able to more accurately identify bark beetle infestations and determine which beetle is the culprit. We will also review management options and discuss the new Healthy Forests Cost Share Program the Department of Forestry and Fire Management is offering to private landowners.
Payson’s New Fire Adapted Community Town Code
September 17, 2020
Webinar Overview: The newly adopted Fire Adapted Community Town Code addresses the vegetation on all properties within town limits, including land owned by the town. The adoption of the town code shows how serious Payson takes the dangers of wildfire and how the Town Council and Mayor are committed to address this threat to the Town’s safety. Payson's Fuel Manager Kevin McCully discusses what the code entails and how residents can participate.
How to Grow a Winter Vegetable Garden
Webinar Overview: Horticulturist and avid organic gardener Kim Stone will explain and demonstrate his techniques for small scale vegetable gardening during the cooler months of the year at 3500’ elevation. A cool season garden is more productive, easier to grow, and requires far less water than a summer garden. He will discuss soil mixes, raised beds, plant and seed selection, fertilization, irrigation, and protecting plants from cold and varmints.
Septic Tank Health: Take care of your septic tank!
Webinar Overview: Many homes in Gila County and rural areas use a septic tank. In the first part of the webinar Jake Garrett, PE, provides a brief history of use of septic tanks in Gila County and Arizona, and the environmental importance of septic tanks. Starting at 23:24 minutes, the discussion shifts to practical use and care of a septic tank followed by a useful question and answer session with the audience. You will learn how to care for your septic tank: if you keep your tank happy, you will be happy too!
Greenstripping and Grazing for Cheatgrass
Webinar Overview: Millions of hectares in western North America have been negatively impacted by cheatgrass invasion. Post-wildfire restoration generally involves spreading limited resources over extensive areas, and this approach often fails to meet restoration objectives. We investigated an alternative approach that may be able to weaken cheatgrass-fire feedbacks, protect remnant and restored sites, and reduce further invasion by focusing restoration resources in small, spatially strategic locations. We tested multiple methods for creating native greenstrips (fuelbreaks made of native plants), subjected experimental greenstrips to targeted grazing treatments, and monitored seedling densities over two years. At a highly invaded Great Basin site, we found that planting and grazing treatments had strong effects on seedling densities. Plots planted with a doubled seed rate had 50% more seedlings than those planted with an average seed rate. Ungrazed plots had 40% and 90% more seedlings than spring- and fall-grazed plots, respectively. However, results were primarily driven by one planted species (Elymus trachycaulus) which was both highly successful and susceptible to grazing. At a minimally invaded Colorado Plateau site, planted seedling densities were much lower (1-2 per m2) and planting techniques had weaker effects, though seed rate was still an important driver of results. At this site, targeted spring grazing tended to enhance seeded species densities and reduce cheatgrass biomass. Early results suggest that high rate native grass seedings and short-duration spring grazing should be further evaluated as potential tools for addressing cheatgrass invasion, though results may strongly depend on ecosystem context.
Lavender Agritourism in Arizona: Bringing New Life To A Pioneer Farm
August 20, 2020
Webinar Overview: In 2015, Terry Gorton and Rick Vesci purchased the Hunt Family farm in Pine, Arizona. They began the restoration of the old farmhouse as true as they could to pioneers John and Annie Belle (including the Lavender Kitchen where we use Annie Belles old kitchen to teach heritage food techniques and food preservation classes along with our culinary Lavender classes). With historic water rights, they asked, “What won’t Elk eat?” They came to the realization that lavender was the answer. Terry and Rick didn’t know much about lavender back then but, now, they are in love with Lavender or as Olivia calls it, “Lovender” and the Elk pretty much stay away. The lavender grows higher every season. They enjoy getting to meet clients like you: our fellow “Lovender” friends enjoying this beautiful mountain valley that Rosetta first called home more than a century ago.
Container Gardening Too!
August 13, 2020
Webinar Overview: Jan Groth picks up where Bill Cook, UA horticulture program coordinator from Greenlee County, presented about the basics of container gardening ... container types, soils, watering, fertilizing, etc.. In "Container Gardening, Too!" Jan covers plants for containers, maintenance, galvanized trough gardening hints, special additions to your container gardens, and more. Container gardening is a blast and has endless possibilities! Jan Groth is the Master Gardener Instructor and Coordinator for Cochise County Cooperative Extension at UArizona Sierra Vista. She is known as one of the most passionate plant lovers in her area. Jan is also the curator for the Discovery Gardens at UA Sierra Vista, which is Cochise County's first educational botanical demonstration garden which opened to the public in October, 2017. In case you missed Bill's presentation, you can watch the recording here.
Restoration approaches to manage buffelgrass and other invasives
August 6, 2020
Webinar Overview: Dr. Elise Gornish is a Cooperative Extension Specialist in Ecological Restoration at the University of Arizona. Her research largely focuses on identifying strategies for successful restoration in arid land systems and integration of restoration approaches into weed management. In this presentation, Dr Gornish discusses strategies associated with ecological restoration to remove existing weeds and resist invasion from weeds in the future.
When the Smoke Clears—The Road to Recovery Following Large-Scale Wildfire
July 30, 2020
Webinar Overview: Carol Ekarius is CEO of Coalitions & Collaboratives (COCO), a nonprofit that supports place-based groups working in the natural resource realm, and in the emergency response realm to natural disasters. She will discuss some of the first-steps toward recovery, such as anticipating flood conditions and debris flows, working collaboratively on response by forming a recovery committee, figuring out how to pay for it, and thinking about long-term recovery. Carol has extensive experience around wildland fire recovery, working with federal agencies, state agencies, local governments, and community members on fires across the West over the last 20 years. COCO sponsored the first national conference on post-fire recovery in 2019, After the Flames. COCO hosts a post-fire resource page as listed below.
July 23, 2020
Webinar Overview: Container gardening enables you to grow plants where they otherwise wouldn’t. Containers can sit on stairs, hang, be moved as the season progresses, come indoors for the winter or can be handicap accessible. The only limit is your ingenuity and imagination. Bill will discuss container requirements, along with the pro’s and con’s of the many container materials. He will describe potting soil characteristics, such as container material, size, location and intended purpose. This presentation also includes: 1) Different options to mix your own soil and how to produce a better soil at a better cost; 2) Watering: How much, how often and how to manage water quality issues, such as hard water; and 3) Fertilizers and long term soil maintenance.
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Bugs in the Garden
July 16, 2020
Webinar Overview: This is a presentation to help gardeners recognize beneficial and non-beneficial insects and bugs in the garden. Suzan Miller-Hoover will discuss organic ways to deter and eliminate the bad bugs and to encourage beneficial ones. Lots of pictures of bugs! Suzan has been gardening for many years in her backyard. She joined the Payson Community Garden three years ago and learned how much she didn't know. As a staff member of the garden, she is happy to share what she has learned.
Photo credit: Anita Barker
How to make and use compost tea webinar
July 09, 2020
Webinar Overview: Compost tea is one of those often misused, misunderstood terms that gardeners throw around from time to time. The old method of making it has limited benefits and may end up harming your plants more than helping. So it’s time to learn what ACTIVELY AERATED COMPOST TEA is all about. In my presentation you will learn about what equipment to use, how to make it yourself for very little money, how to “brew” compost tea, what to do with it once you have it and what it does for your plants. Do your plants a favor and give them a shot of the beneficial microbes that deliver first class plants in your garden.
Solar Energy: Off-grid uses and rooftop options
June 25, 2020
Webinar Overview: Solar energy systems can help Arizona individuals, families, and businesses achieve energy conservation goals beyond the adoption of energy-efficient appliances and LED bulbs. This presentation describes solar photovoltaic (PV) system components and their use in different types of solar PV systems. The benefits and limitations of each system will be discussed, as well as steps to determine how to size a stand-alone solar PV system.
June 18, 2020
Webinar Overview: Hazardous fuels are a major problem on wildlands throughout the West. Foresters traditionally pile and burn material from fuels reduction projects, but air quality restrictions and longer fire seasons have made open pile burning much more difficult over the past 30 years. Biochar kilns are an innovative approach to hazardous fuel reduction. Containing fuel inside a metal box can allow burning under restricted smoke dispersal conditions. It also allows burning in relatively close proximity to heavy fuels, structures, and within Stream Management Zones. Burning in containers minimizes soil damage, and soil conditions can improve by using the biochar produced on-site. This is an accessible and durable approach to carbon sequestration.
Biochar Introduction and Uses
June 11, 2020
Webinar Overview: Biochar is the same as charcoal, made from the incomplete combustion of wood or other biomass products. Biochar made from green waste can be good for the climate and environment. Since burning wood does not add fossil carbon to the atmosphere, making and using biochar is considered a carbon-negative process. Adding biochar to soil can store carbon for many generations and help lower CO2 gas emissions. Biochar can initially add salts and raise pH in semi-arid soils and is not ideally suited to most Southwest soils. Nonetheless, adding biochar to semi-desert soils can make plants more drought resistant, reduce plant nutrient losses, and when mixed with compost can improve soil structure.
Biology of Red Brome Grass
June 4, 2020
Webinar Overview: This year is predicted to be another potentially active fire season in certain parts of the state, such as Gila County, with conditions very similar to what Arizona saw last year. Two wet winters produced dense stands of red brome (Bromus madritensis spp. rubens) in some areas. This exotic annual grass helped fuel the Woodbury fire in June 2019 in Tonto Basin. It became widespread in the Cobre Valley area too this year. Join plant ecologist Cindy Salo to learn more about this invasive grass: where it is from, how it got to Arizona, how it behaves in the Sonoran Desert, and how we might best live with it.
Ready, Set, Go! - Fire Preparedness
May 28, 2020
Webinar Overview: The Ready, Set, Go! Program provides information for residents and property owners on how they can successfully be prepared in the event of a wildland fire. Kevin McCully will discuss our area’s threat for wildland fire and describe more about the wildland urban interface (WUI), an area which is not only limited to forest vegetation. Fire season is an increasing threat and a year-round reality. As a seasonal resident or property owner, it is important to educate yourself and prepare. The Ready, Set, Go! Program gives you simple, easy-to-follow tips to increase your safety and that of your family.
Making Compost - The Traditional Method
May 21, 2020
Webinar Overview: A healthy, living soil is essential for sustainable agriculture. Making compost at home is an important step toward that goal. The raw materials for compost are locally available, and the finished product is better than chemical fertilizers which contain little or none of the nutrients (beyond nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium) that plants require. Composting basics are easily mastered by any backyard gardener.