University of Minnesota Extension
Menu Menu

Extension > Garden > Master Gardener > Over the Backyard Fence | News from the Master Gardener director > Archives > November 2009 Archives

November 2009 Archives

MG Weekly Nov 23 2009

| Leave a comment
New Blog Template!
Check out the fancy new UMN blog template called UThink. I like to think of it as " U think???" Please make a note of this different web address in your bookmarks, favorites, etc. All of the content from my WordPress blog has been migrated over to this new site.

Reminder: Get your hours in by Dec. 31

Volunteer and continuing ed hours are due online by Dec. 31. Any hours not online by then will not be counted. If you need help, please contact your county coordinator, volunteer coordinator, or a fellow MG to help you. The state office does not have the capacity to enter hours, so please work together on this. Thank you!

What's happening in the state office?
Dave, Bridget and I continue to work with the State Advisory Board, county coordinators and volunteers to develop new tools for you, better processes, and better communication amongst everyone. Sometimes it works, sometimes it needs .... tweaking.We are fortunate to have great support from our EFANS and CFANS staff (Extension and our college).

Here are some of projects we are working on at this time that may interest you:

  • Improvements to the online reporting tools - drop-down menus, better descriptions, demographics. Due: Jan 1, 2010

  • New website design - more comprehensive, a better resources for volunteers, more publicity about volunteer activities and people, more dynamic. Goal: Jan 15, 2010

  • Core course 2010 - editing booklets, updating website, scheduling. First class session  (online) Jan 11, 2010

  • MG Summer School 2010 - new education day for MGs; 3 locations; summer 2010. Watch for details!

  • Tutoring MGs on how to enter hours - Bridget has been busy on the phone and by email, walking people through the process.

  • Traveling and talking - Dave has been traveling to areas of MN to work with MGs on new infrastructure to help groups operate smoothly - even without county support.

  • New MG flyer for recruitment - rewriting, re-designing. Goal: Feb 2010

  • New MG banner design. Goal: Feb 2010

New: Creating a Period Garden Gunda Luss, garden designer and Master Gardener in Hennepin Cty, has a new website that includes her presentation entitled Creating a Period Garden. Gunda presented this at our 2008 annual state conference in Hutchinson. In addition to being an excellent designer, Gunda is also an accomplished artist (I loved to correct her landscape designs! They were works of art!). I think you will all enjoy this site. Gunda also has her presentation available for download and encourages her fellow Master Gardeners to feel free to make this presentation as part of their volunteer hours (me too!) Thank you, Gunda, for this wonderful resource and for sharing it with all of us!

Interested in Apples?

Who isn't? Here are some great websites our department head, Emily Hoover, gave me to help you with your questions on apples:
Fruit Production for the Home Gardner: Pome Fruits
The Virginia Fruit Website: Apples IPM

While some of the selections listed here are not appropriate for MN, the insect and maintenance info is great!


| Leave a comment
P1020836From Julie: Everyone staying healthy? Wish I had. You may have wondered what happened to the blog last week. I was out sick - not H1N1, but I'm guessing a close relative. Am on the mend and blogging again. - JW From Bridget: Having trouble logging in to the website?You might have the wrong web address. As you enter your hours for 2009, be sure that you have the correct web address. Last January, our web address for reporting hours changed slightly. Annual Gypsy Moth Review to be held in Minneapolis October 27- 29, 2009 The Minnesota Department of Agriculture and the National Gypsy Moth Management Board invite you to attend and participate in the 2009 Annual Gypsy Moth Review meeting to be held in Minneapolis, MN .  The Program Committee has lined up a variety of knowledgeable speakers to talk about gypsy moth, program management, and other invasive forest insects.  For more information, click here: Conference website.

| Leave a comment
Having Trouble Logging in to the Master Gardener State Website? You may have the wrong web address. Last January, our web address for reporting hours changed slightly during a software update.  The new address is: Be sure to make a new bookmark or Favorite with this address. From Jeff Hahn: Annual Gypsy Moth Review to be held in Minneapolis The Minnesota Department of Agriculture and the National Gypsy Moth Management Board invite you to attend and participate in the/ /2009 Annual Gypsy Moth Review/ /meeting to be held in Minneapolis, Minnesota on Tuesday, October 27 through Thursday, October 29, 2009.  The Program Committee has lined up a variety of knowledgeable speakers to talk about gypsy moth, program management, and other invasive forest insects.

| Leave a comment
Apples at the Arb Watch this video clip on the Star Tribune website: Tasting Apples is Like Tasting Wine.  (Numm! Makes me want a Honeycrisp right now!)

Extension Educator, Patrick Weicherding

| Leave a comment

MG Weekly Update Nov 9 2009

| 1 Comment

DaveMOn the Road with David Moen, our State Program Manager - November 16-18, 2009 Our own state program manager, David Moen, will be visiting the following towns Nov. 16 & 17. He will update Master Gardeners on the state program itself, infrastructure changes, MG "Summer School",  and online continuing education opportunities. Each meeting will also be followed by a Q&A session with Master Gardeners.  All Master Gardeners are welcome to attend any of the following discussion sessions:

Monday, November 16 1 p.m. - 3 p.m.  Fergus Falls, MN Ottertail County Extension Office, 505 So Court St., Fergus Falls Otter Tail, Clay and MG from any surrounding counties.

5 p.m. - 7 p.m. Detroit Lakes, MN Location: Becker County MG meeting at the Lakes Group Home Meeting Rm., 847 Hwy 10 E, Detroit Lakes Becker County MG and MG from any surrounding counties

Tuesday, November 17 10:30 -noon       Bemidji, MN Bemidji Public Library, 509 America Ave. NW, Bemidji Beltrami, Clearwater, Lake of the Woods, and MG from any surrounding counties. _____________________________________________________________________________________________ A great way to keep up on horticulture news is just a click away: Yard & Garden e-Newsletter

New Email Message at the Arboretum The staff at the Arboretum receive emails with horticulture questions throughout the year. In the past, the staff sent standard email response that was OK, but we thought it could be better. I wanted to share it with you because YOU might actually find this information helpful!This is the new standard email response from the Arboretum staff for horticulture questions:

Thank you for contacting the MN Landscape Arboretum. To serve you better, a number of online resources are available for immediate assistance:

  • A one-stop shop for all your gardening questions, go to UMN Extension Gardening Information at
  • Sources for seeds and plants, go to MN Landscape Arboretum Plant Information Online at
  • For expert assistance from University of Minnesota Master Gardeners:
  • -  in person: Saturdays and Sundays, 11 a.m.- 3 p.m. at the Arboretum
  • -  by email, visit
  • -  by phone, call the Arboretum Yard & Garden Help Desk at 952-443-1426

Click here for county Extension and Master Gardener help lines:

ALERT: New Hours at the Arboretum Yard & Garden Desk for Master Gardeners Throughout the year, Master Gardeners answer horticulture questions at the Arboretum Yard&Garden Desk. During the months of October - March, Master Gardeners can volunteer on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 am - 3 pm. Note that Saturday is a time change from the original 10 am - 2 pm. We chose to change this in order to make the time slots the same, lessening confusion by the public and to be more consistent for the front desk staff at the Arb. We chose the later time, 11 am - 3 pm, so as to cause less conflict with church services on Sunday.

ALERT: UMN Yard & Garden Phone Line to be Discontinued The Yard & Garden Phone Line (UMN - NOT the Arboretum line) will be discontinued as of Dec. 1, 2009. Use of this system has dwindled as we re-direct people to the Arboretum phone line, the web, eXtension's Ask A Master Gardener, and Master Gardener hotlines and events.  It is also old technology / software and the company that supported it has long been out of business. We have been limping it along until we felt we had an option for people, especially those without Master Gardener hotlines. That option is the Arboretum phone line: 952-443-1426.  Callers to the old UMN Yard & Garden line will be re-directed to the Arboretum line, eXtension Ask A Master Gardener, and Gardening Information where they can click on "County Y&G Lines" and fine a phone number for their specific county, if available.

MG Weekly Update Nov 2 2009

P1060701I have yet to visit a botanic garden I didn't like! I visited MOBOT, the Missouri Botanical Garden, in October. Even with an autumnal chill in the air, I enjoyed myself immensely and took a lot of photos (see my Flickr site).  I am a fan of art+plants and found Dale Chiluly's Walla Wallas floating on the pond to be especially peaceful. Being the fan of Carl Linnaeus that I am, I was pleased to visit the Linnean, a historical and recently refurbed greenhouse complete with a bust of Linnaeus gracing its doorway. BTW, my link to Linnaeus above is a YouTube video and it looks to me that Linnaeus is examining purple loosestrife .... what do you think? Enjoy!


MN State Master Gardener Conference? Not in 2010. Our state conference attendance has been dropping over recent years for a variety of reasons, so I have decided we are going to try something new in 2010 and possibly adopt it for future years.  Read on ...... UMN Extension Master Gardener Summer School 2010 A main reason for holding a state conference has been to provide Master Gardeners with a venue for continuing education and connecting with each other. However, I recognize that this is not always feasible for some volunteers. So our UMN Extension Educators have devised Master Gardener Summer School (MGSS) - a one day event to be held in regions NOT hosting core course where Master Gardeners can come together for a day of continuing education in a variety of areas - pathology, entomology, landscape design, turf, etc. MGSS will be informative, affordable and provide classroom and hands-on education for Master Gardeners during the summer (when we can actually be outside!). Three sessions will be held - locations, dates and details will be announced in early 2010 on this blog. So in lieu of our own state conference, I am encouraging everyone to rally the troops and attend the Upper Midwest Master Gardener Conference - Sept 16-18, 2010 - Rockford, IL. Hosted by the Illinois Master Gardener Program at the Clock Tower Resort in Rockford, IL. Watch for more details will be available in late 2009 or early 2010.I'll be driving down and possibly including a detour to the Chicago Botanic Garden. Do I hear caravan? Minnesota is scheduled to host the 2012 Upper Midwest Master Gardener Conference - and we are going to need some help! Planning will start in 2010. If you are interested in being on the planning committee, shoot me an email at HORT 1003 Master Gardener Core Course / Horticulture for the Home and Garden Registration is now active online.  You can access links to the registration on the Master Gardener website.  Note that there are specific links for Master Gardener interns, for ProHort students and for University credit students. The class website will be available Jan. 1. The course packet is included in course fee for Master Gardener interns and ProHort students.  It is recommended for University credit students to purchase the course packet. The packet may be purchased through the U of M Bookstore. Interns and ProHort students taking the class will receive the packet in the mail. Students taking the class online for University credit must purchase the packet through the U of M bookstore. Additional course booklets will be available for purchase for active Master Gardeners through the U of M bookstore as well. Active Master Gardeners will be able to audit the online class as well and / or face-to-face classes in St. Paul, Pine City and Mankato (providing space is available - interns, ProHort students and University credit students get first dibbs on the seats.) The November issue of UMN Extension Yard & Garden News is now available. Catch up on the latest in horticulture news from our Extension Educators and other featured authors.

  • © 2014 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved.
  • The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer. Privacy