Homeowners in the High Plains — indeed anywhere in Texas — will have the opportunity to learn more about caring for their trees, ornamental plants and other landscape plants during a five-day online Texas High Plains Horticulture Program Feb. 1-5.
“This will not be the traditional crop educational program,” said Ken Obasa, Ph.D., Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service plant pathologist and director of the Texas High Plains Plant Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, Amarillo. “We want to address the ornamental plants, trees and turfgrass issues that homeowners see here in the High Plains.”
The entire program is free, but those planning to attend must preregister to get the online link. Once registered, the link will provide the individual the ability to attend one or every session throughout the week.
Meeting the needs of homeowners
Obasa said when he joined AgriLife Extension and came to Amarillo, his job description centered on row crops and small grains.
“Nothing prepared me for all the other crops that came with the job – ornamental plants, trees, etc.,” he said. “I want to be able to serve the homeowners who are sending me tree samples and roses from their gardens to be tested, so I’ve pulled together AgriLife Extension expertise from across the state to answer many of their questions.
“We want to be able to help homeowners whether they are in Ochiltree or Sherman county or anywhere in the High Plains, or if they are arborists here in Amarillo. We want to introduce them to AgriLife Extension and the agency’s statewide resources and experts,” Obasa said.
He said the necessity of offering this online due to COVID restrictions is really a good thing, because providing the information online will allow a much greater reach in that people who would not have been able to drive to Amarillo can still participate and get the needed information.
Session times, topics, AgriLife Extension experts
Feb. 1 – 3-6:30 p.m.
– Plant Diseases – Introduction to General Understanding – Obasa.
– Common Tree Problems and Solutions on the Texas High Plains – Dave Appel, Ph.D., tree pathologist, Bryan-College Station.
Feb. 2 – 3-6:30 p.m.
– Diagnosis and Remediation of Turfgrass Diseases in the Texas Panhandle – Young-Ki Jo, Ph.D., turfgrass pathologist, Bryan-College Station.
– Nematodes in Your Garden: The Good and The Bad – Cecilia Monclova-Santana, Ph.D., plant pathologist, Lubbock.
Feb. 3 – 3-7 p.m.
– Love Your Lawn Again – Chrissie Segars, Ph.D., turfgrass agronomist, Dallas.
– Pesticide Toxicity and “Less Toxic” Pesticides – Pat Porter, Ph.D., entomologist, Lubbock.
Feb. 4 – 3-6:30 p.m.
– Major Viruses Infecting Fruit and Vegetable Crops in Texas and Their Management – Olufemi Alabi, Ph.D., plant virologist, Weslaco.
– Bad Plant Health – How to Recognize Problems in the Landscape – Kevin Ong, Ph.D., plant pathologist and director of the Texas Plant Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, Bryan-College Station.
Feb. 5 – 3-6 p.m.
– Soil Fertility for Texas Panhandle Gardeners – Jourdan Bell, Ph.D., agronomist, Amarillo.
– Weed and Fertilizer Management for Residential Areas – Kevin Heflin, Ph.D., program specialist-agronomy, Amarillo.