Helen Muntz entered our snow-covered valley on Jan. 12 with beautiful landscapes and bountiful gardens on her mind as she braved our iced-over roads. As a Utah State University Extension horticulture educator, Muntz has the expertise to aide Morgan residents with all of our horticultural needs.
Muntz has worked for the Cache County extension office for three and a half years and is ready to bring her expertise to Weber and Morgan Counties. She will be spending most Tuesdays in our local extension office and will be working the rest of the time at the Weber Extension office. Her new position will help ease pressure at the Ogden Botanical Center.
Muntz will be in the Morgan Extension office at the courthouse, 48 W. Young Street. She can be contacted by calling the Morgan Office 801-829-3472, or by emailing Helen.Muntz@usu.edu.
Working with community members is very satisfying to Muntz. Working within the Extension system has been fulfilling to her as she has been able to help others become effective in their gardens, as well as work with outstanding colleagues.
“It’s so dynamic!” Muntz said of the ever-changing Extension system. “You can pick what you want to do and go with it! In Extension we get asked just about EVERYTHING (and some things that are not even in our fields of expertise).”
Morgan county citizens can look forward to classes and workshops on gardening, including topics such as extending your growing season, container and raised bed gardening, composting, low water landscaping, and plant propagation.
People can call, email, or come to the office to ask Muntz any gardening or horticulture-related questions. Some examples of topics she has expertise in include insects, disease in plants, plant identification, composting, irrigation requirements, fertilizing, suggestions on what to plant, etc.
She is eager to find out what our communities’ needs are and then plan accordingly. She is tentatively planning free sprinkler system audits this summer where community members can have their own systems evaluated. This has been helpful to Cache County residents and Muntz would like to offer this same service in our county if she can get the help of interns and if it is desired.
“My plans are to meet the needs the best I can,” Muntz explained. She wants to help the community in the best way she can with the resources she has. In the past Muntz has spent a lot of time working with Cache County residents in the three community gardens, one of which she started.
“I love helping people be successful gardeners,” Muntz said. She is pleased with what she has been able to do for others in the past and looks forward to helping us in Morgan in addition to her work in Weber County.
Muntz received her bachelor’s degree in biology at the University of Utah and her Masters of Education (M.Ed.) at Utah State, where she focused on horticulture and extension. During this time, she wrote publications about pesticide use for home owners in order to educate homeowners on safer pest control options. Her education and experience are now great resources to the members of our community.
Practicing what she teaches, the Muntz family of three has a beautifully landscaped backyard. “I make way too many planters in the spring,” Muntz explained. She has consciously chosen native plants and water-wise plants because she feels water conservation is important. Muntz also has added some of her favorite plants that don’t fall into either category. With these plants, she pushes them to find their limits as far as their water needs. While she has enjoyed her home and manicured yard in Logan, she is looking forward to starting fresh somewhere along the Wasatch Front, closer to her new position in USU Extension.
When she is not working on her personal or community gardens and yards, Muntz enjoys art, although the mother of a toddler doesn’t have near as much time as she would like for such endeavors. She has loved to paint since she was old enough to hold a pencil.