PORT ANGELES — Soil, sun and water … we know the basics of what plants need to grow. But the nutrients in soil are extremely important to thriving plants, particularly nitrogen.
That’s the point that Clallam County Master Gardener Bob Cain will make in “Nitrogen in the Garden,” a Green Thumb Education Series presentation that explains why this nutrient is vital to make your garden grow, from noon to 1 p.m. on Thursday in the county commissioners’ room in the Clallam County Courthouse, 223 E. Fourth St., Port Angeles.
Or, join by Zoom by going to tinyurl.com/SEQnitrogen; meeting ID is 936 2989 8830; passcode is 676224. Or join by phone by calling 253-215-8782.
Nitrogen is a macronutrient, one that is essential to overall plant health. Along with phosphorus and potassium, it is critical for plant development.
“Hopefully, this presentation will give you a better understanding of how complex yet how necessary the soil ecosystem is to our well-being,” Cain said.
Cain will discuss why nitrogen is so important and how different organisms collaborate to produce nitrogen in a usable form for plants. He will also discuss nitrogen fertilizers, both synthetic and organic, outlining the pros and cons of each group, and will touch on alternative methods to supplement nitrogen in garden soil.
“Nitrogen is all around us yet only a very few specialized life-forms can use it directly,” he said. “Most forms of life need nitrogen to produce the amino acids, proteins and genetic material for their everyday needs so there must be a trick in getting it from the air and into our bodies. It’s all part of the nitrogen cycle in nature which we will talk about in detail,” he said.
Cain earned his undergraduate and master’s degrees in biology and chemistry and has a doctorate in chemistry. He has 40 years of experience growing vegetables in Scotland, Ireland, Colorado and Washington state. He is a veteran of the Clallam County Master Gardeners, having joined in 2009.
Cain has written monthly articles on plant disease for the Clallam County Master Gardener Newsletter and is a frequent contributor to gardening columns in the local newspaper. He was celebrated as the 2009 Master Gardener Intern of the Year and 2011 Master Gardener of the Year. He served as the Garden Manager of the Woodcock Demonstration Garden in Sequim for seven years and is a past President and Board member of the Master Gardener Foundation of Clallam County.
Sponsored by WSU Clallam County Master Gardeners, the Green Thumbs Garden Tips education series is offered on the second and fourth Thursday each month through October (in November, December and January, one program is offered). Scheduled presentations are subject to change.
For more information, call 360-565-2679.