The Tulare County Library and the University of California Tulare/Kings Master Gardeners will welcome spring at the Visalia Garden Festival on March 19, from 9am to 1pm on the south lawn of the Visalia Branch Library at 200 W. Oak Avenue.
March 18 will be a “Preview Day” from 12 noon to 2pm, featuring the Master Gardeners’ information/diagnosis/FAQ booth inside the Visalia Branch Library.
For the main Festival event on Saturday, the UC Master Gardeners staff the informational booths on a wide variety of subjects. One area covers edible gardening, where experts offer advice about vegetable gardens, citrus trees, and other fruit trees. This booth also includes details about planting, fertilizing and integrated pest management. A second area covers landscape maintenance, with discussions on drought tolerant landscape design, turf choices, irrigation systems, and general yard maintenance issues. A third booth contains information on ornamentals, including succulents, annual, and perennial plants. This area focuses on California natives and drought tolerant selections. The fourth booth, on landscape pillars, features experts offering advice and information on tree, shrub and vine selection suitable to the Central Valley’s climate and drought situation. The City of Visalia’s Natural Resource Conservation Division representative offers information on low-water use landscapes and other water conservation practices.
There will be a scavenger hunt during the Festival. Kids can visit the different booths and ask questions of the Master Gardeners to get the scavenger answers. They can learn about the gardening world and win a cool prize upon completion of the hunt.
In conjunction with the Garden Festival, the Visalia Friends of the Tulare County Library hosts their “Spring Cleaning” Book Sale, scheduled from 9am to 2pm inside the library. The sale features a variety of books, including fiction, mystery, history, biography, art, and cookbooks, with prices starting at $.50 each. Special sets and coffee table books are priced at $5 each. In addition to this selection, the Friends gathered gardening related books for this joint event. Proceeds from the Friends of the Tulare County Library sale benefit the Tulare County Library Summer Reading Programs at all our branches.
Master Gardeners are members of communities trained by the University of California Cooperative Extension in different aspects of plant science. These volunteers completed a 17-week training program and passed the certifying exam. To remain certified, they complete annual educational and volunteer requirements. Founded in 1972 in Washington State, These programs have spread to over 45 states and 4 Canadian provinces, with more than 45,000 volunteers. In California, Sacramento and Riverside led the way with pilot programs in 1980 with many of those original graduates still active today. Programs now thrive in more than 50 counties across the state and are a significant resource of gardening information. They are the official “formal volunteers” of the University of California Cooperative Extension.
All Visalia Garden Festival events are free. No registration is required. For more information, contact Tulare County Library’s Visalia Branch at 713-2703,