Master Gardener training day 1

I am very excited to be embarking on this program! If you aren’t already aware, Master Gardener is half training and half volunteer hours, organized and supported by Oregon State University extension. On every Saturday for the next three months I will be in training. Volunteer hours start during this time and extend after for months.

Today we mostly had orientation, but we also had three hours of instruction about soil and fertilizer. I learned so much!

I’d love to share the resources we were given, most of which are Portland or Northwest specific. has a weekly radio show called Grow PDX. The website explains that it focuses on “horticulture, urban gardening, community food systems and agriculture.”

OSU has compiled a list of recommended varieties that do the best in our climate.

The Natural Resources Conservation Survey has web soil survey information available online. You can find out the composition of soil in different places throughout the nation.

A gardening blog with an emphasis on scientific research, Garden Professors.

And possibly the coolest information? Portland residents can get exotic “Zoo doo” from the Portland Zoo for free! (i.e. manure — which begs the question: why haven’t I seen this on Portlandia?)


Elements of the Nature and Properties of Soil — large, pricey, but worth the read.

Maritime Northwest Gardening Guide — comes highly recommended since it specifically relates to our area.

For information about using gravel mixed in with your soil, check out the book Gravel Garden.

Soil Biology Primer from Soil and Water Conservation Society.