Support quality local journalism. Become a subscriber.

Didn't get a chance to finish your story? Purchase a day pass digital subscription and you'll receive unlimited online access for one day (24 hours). You will have immediate access upon completion of your purchase.

Just in time for the summer growing season, the Master Gardener Program with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is planning three hour-long educational webcasts.

Beginning in June, gardeners and plant enthusiasts will be able to learn about pollinators, perennial plant combinations and answers to frequently asked questions.

“The free webcasts are open to anybody who is interested in learning more about these topics. They’re not just for Master Gardener volunteers,” said Susan DeBlieck, Master Gardener program coordinator with ISU Extension and Outreach. The topics pertain to experienced and beginning gardeners and provide insight into timely issues. Participating Master Gardener volunteers will gain three continuing education hours.

Jessie Lowry, director of conservation and research at Blank Park Zoo, in Des Moines, said her session will touch on the importance of pollinators, why they’ve declined, and what Iowans can do to help.

“We’ll talk about what makes a good pollinator garden and we’ll highlight the migration and the lifecycle of the monarch butterfly,” Lowry said.

The three one-hour webcasts will be shown at the Fayette County Extension office located at 218 South Main Street in Fayette. To register or for more information, contact Deb Kahler at dkahler@iastate.edu, or 563-425-3331.

Webcast topics will include:

June 12, 1 p.m. Give Your Garden Wings. Jessie Lowry, director of conservation and research at Blank Park Zoo, will share pollinator garden best practices. Participants will learn what to plant and will get to explore the monarch butterfly migration.

July 9, 7:30 p.m. Gardening FAQ. From vegetables to flowers, explore the in-depth answers to frequently asked gardening questions with Aaron Steil, assistant director at Reiman Gardens.

Sept. 10, 7:30 p.m. Ecology Plus Diversity. Explore how to create plant communities that mimic nature with Grant Thompson, assistant professor of horticulture at Iowa State.