Spring is in the air, and the mail is overflowing with gardening catalogs, seed supply flyers, and landscaping brochures. Has the gardening “bug” bit you, and are you making plans for the upcoming growing season?

Whether you’re a beginner, or a seasoned gardener, you won’t want to miss the new series of gardening workshops, hosted by the Old Town Public Library. Presented by an impressive roster of local gardening experts, the workshops are designed to help you grow flavorful and healthy food in your own backyard, on a sunny porch, or even in one of the community garden beds behind the Public Safety building.

The series begins on Monday, April 8 at 5:30 p.m., with Professor Eric Gallandt’s overview of gardening basics. He will share techniques for bed preparation, how to fertilize the soil for best results, the benefits of direct seeding, transplanting, managing garden pests, and more.

Professor of Weed Ecology and Management at the University of Maine, Dr. Gallandt’s research program focuses on the dynamics and management of annual weeds in organic farming systems. He and his team have conducted research on the multiple stresses that can be used to suppress weeds at various points in their life histories. This philosophy of using “Many Little Hammers” aims for cumulative effects that result in decreasing weed populations over time.

Dr. Gallandt’s teaching efforts support the University of Maine Sustainable Agriculture Program, including courses on the Principles and Practices of Sustainable Agriculture, Weed Biology and Identification, and Weed ecology and Management. He supervises the UMaine student organic farming enterprise, the “Black Bear Food Guild,” and started UMaine Greens, a student group growing produce for use in campus dining facilities.

Future workshops in the series will include: How to test your soil, and amend it for optimum growing; orientation to buying plants at a nursery; sampling of all the resources the Cooperative Extension has to offer; safely managing pests in your garden; attracting honey bees and other pollinators; introduction to permaculture; how to preserve what you’ve grown; growing microgreens; and more.

See the library’s website (old-town.lib.me.us), and watch the paper, for a detailed listing of upcoming workshop topics, dates, and times.

All of the workshops are free and open to participants of all ages. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn more about gardening, ask questions of the experts, socialize with fellow gardeners, borrow library gardening materials, receive take-away resources, and enjoy light refreshments.

For planning purposes, an RSVP is suggested, but not necessary. To RSVP, or for further details, contact the library at 827-3972, or send an email to [email protected].

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