Opening Keynote and Session Speaker Linda Chalker-Scott
Dr. Chalker-Scott has a Ph.D. in Horticulture from Oregon State University, and is an ISA-certified arborist and an ASCA consulting arborist. She is the Washington State University Extension Urban Horticulturist and a Professor in the Department of Horticulture. Her research in applied plant and soil sciences yielded published scientific articles and university Extension fact sheets. She is currently the editor for WCISA’s Western Arborist magazine, the Journal of NACAA, and Editor-in-Chief for Compost Science and Utilization. She is also actively involved in enhancing the scientific literacy of her audiences by teaching them how to assess the credibility of information from print and online sources.
Linda is the award-winning author of five books: the horticultural myth-busting The Informed Gardener (2008) and The Informed Gardener Blooms Again (2010) from the University of Washington Press; Sustainable Landscapes and Gardens: Good Science – Practical Application (2009) from GFG Publishing, Inc.; and How Plants Work: The Science Behind the Amazing Things Plants Do from Timber Press (2015). Her latest book is an update of Art Kruckeberg’s Gardening with Native Plants of the Pacific Northwest from UW Press (2019), which has won several national awards since its publication.
In 2018 Linda was featured in a video series – The Science of Gardening – produced by The Great Courses. She also is one of the Garden Professors, a group of academic colleagues who educate and entertain through their blog and Facebook pages. Her educational contributions to science-based information have been recognized by such groups as Garden Communicators International, the National Association of County Agricultural Agents, and the International Society for Arboriculture.
Opening Keynote: Gardening Myths vs Garden Science
Gardeners want the latest plant and soil science information to use in managing landscapes, but how to tell what’s science and what’s pseudoscience? Gardeners can quickly lose credibility, and cause damage to plants and soil, when they end up promoting products and practices that aren’t based on reputable science. This talk will provide some guidelines for evaluating articles, books, and electronic resources objectively. We’ll then use those guidelines to evaluate some products and practices of interest to gardeners everywhere, based on the most current and relevant scientific information available.
Session Topic: Mulches – The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
A well-chosen mulch not only reduces weed invasions, but also reduces management costs by improving water and air movement, moderating soil temperatures, improving soil structure and nutrition, and enhancing beneficial microbes and insects. A poorly chosen mulch will interfere with air and water movement into the soil, injure roots and soil organisms, and can even promote weed growth. The persistence of many mulch myths makes it even harder to decide which mulch is best for your landscape. This talk will deconstruct some common mulch myths and recommend the single best mulch for plant and soil health.