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Garden Retail Employee Training Workshop

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Event date/time: 
Tuesday, April 2, 2019 - 8:30am to 3:15pm
Event location: 
Doubletree Hotel

A program for garden center staff, horticulture retailers, roadside stand employees, master gardeners and others that serve as a front-line resource for home gardeners. The curriculum of this workshop is designed specifically to help garden retail personnel to expand their knowledge base, to more effectively serve customers and inspire ongoing learning in the field.  Participants will learn about the latest research-based approaches, materials, and trends, and be better prepared to meet the challenges of the 2019 gardening season.


The registration fee for this workshop is $60, morning coffee is included.

Walk-in registrations will be accepted on the day of the event, cash or check only.

To register by mail and pay with a CHECK: To register online and pay with a CREDIT CARD:

  Download printable registration form


8:30-9:00 Registration and coffee/tea
9:00 - 10:00 Answering Customer Questions About Plant Health: The Diagnostic Perspective
Dr. Angela Madeiras, Extension Educator and Diagnostician, UMass Extension Plant Diagnostic Lab
Use of information such as signs, symptoms and case history is instrumental in determining the cause and extent of plant-related issues.  Learn about methods employed by plant diagnostician Angela Madeiras to aid in developing your own approach to helping customers identify and solve problems.
10:00 - 10:15 Break
10:15 - 11:00 Effective Selection and Use of Lawn and Garden Fertilizers
Mary Owen, Extension Turf Specialist, UMass Extension
Understanding the characteristics of a fertilizer can be of great help in using that fertilizer most effectively. By paying attention to the elements required on the fertilizer label as well as supplementary information about specific materials, garden center retailers can help their customers make wise purchases and environmentally responsible applications.
11:00 - 12:00 Turf Insect Identification and Management: Choices and Timing
Dr. Olga Kostromytska, Extension Assistant Professor of Turfgrass Entomology, UMass Stockbridge School of Agriculture
A small number of pests cause the majority of insect problems on New England lawns.  This talk will feature identification and life cycle information for the usual suspects, plus materials selection and timing considerations for effective control.
12:00 - 1:00 Lunch (On Your Own)
Bring a lunch or take advantage of multiple options close by.  The Doubletree Hotel will also be offering a lunch option consisting of choice of wrap (Turkey Club, Tuna Salad, Chicken Caesar, or Vegetarian), pasta salad, chips, cookie and beverage for $15 per person payable to the hotel on the day of the event.
1:00 - 2:00 Plant Selection Considerations for Pollinator Habitat
Dr. Mandy Bayer, Extension Assistant Professor of Sustainable Landscape Horticulture, UMass Stockbridge School of Agriculture
Promotion of pollinators is an important part of environmental stewardship, and pollinators rely on plant material for pollen and nectar, habitats, protection, and larval food sources.  Plant material considerations will be discussed to help customers create a pollinator landscape that thrives throughout the year.
2:00 - 3:00 Dealing with the Most Commonly Asked about Weed Problems
Randall Prostak, Extension Weed Specialist, UMass Extension
Common consumer weed inquiries range from management of crabgrass, to eradication of poison ivy, to control of invasive plants like bittersweet and Japanese knotweed.  Randy will provide answers using a variety of weed control strategies and retail products… after this session, you too will be able answer these questions!
3:00 - 3:15 Pesticide Credits Awarded and Adjourn


Three pesticide re-certification contact hours have been approved for this program, valid for licenses in all New England states.


Jason Lanier at 413-545-2965; or Geoffrey Njue at 781-891-0650 x 12;

11 Beaver Street
Milford, MA 01757
11 Beaver Street Milford MA