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May 2010 Archives

By popular demand, there will be a second chance to attend this comprehensive educational workshop on environmentally responsible lawn care practices. This session, specifically developed for UMN Extension Master Gardeners, will not be offered again until spring/summer of 2011. So, take advantage of hearing from multiple presenters and receiving an excellent reference manual on managing lawns in this region of the country. Hope to see you there!

What: Summer Turfgrass Management with Reduced Environmental Impacts Workshop
Who: UMN Extension Master Gardeners
When: Thursday, June 17, 2010 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. (Bring your own lunch; morning and afternoon refreshments provided)
Where: Dakota County Extension and Conservation Center, Meeting Rooms 12, 4100 220th Street West , Farmington, MN 55024

Cost: FREE

Registration: Call or email Larisa Jenrich - Phone: 651-480-7732;

Registration deadline is June 14.
Minimum class size of 20 required in order to conduct the class. Maximum class size: 60

Course Description: The 5 ½ hour class is presented by Fortin Consulting staff, University of Minnesota Extension and maintenance professionals working in the industry. You'll take home the latest information and best practices on turfgrass physiology, site assessment, thatch and compaction management, aeration, fertilizer, calibration, weed management, mowing, irrigation and more. You'll also receive a matrix that lists best practices for a variety of conditions and desired results - an extremely handy tool when visiting with the public about lawn care questions.

An optional test is offered at the end of the class to earn the MPCA Level I Certification in Summer Maintenance. Certified individuals will be listed on the MPCA website AND earn 5 1/2 Continuing Education hours in the Master Gardener program.

Acknowledgements: Funding for this program was provided by MPCA through a grant from USEPA, section 319 nonpoint source management fund. The course and the manual for the Summer Turf Maintenance were developed and funded by the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization. Content was created and reviewed through extensive collaboration with local experts.
Thanks to Lynne Hagen, coordinator for Master Gardeners in Anoka County and coordinator for the Arboretum Yard & Garden Phone Line, we have some excellent new online tutorials to help you as volunteers learn the ropes when it comes to retrieving, answering and returning calls on the Arboretum Yard & Garden Line.

If you haven't recently (or ever), please sign up for a shift: MG Online Sign Ups . Anyone in MN can sign up for this statewide volunteer opportunity. Answering questions off the Y&G Line is a great way to hone your diagnostics skills! Here are the new tutorials:

Tutorial 1: How to Answer Questions
Tutorial 2: How to Sign Up
Tutorial 3: How to Retrieve Calls and Record Data

Technical note: You will need Adobe Flashplayer in order to watch and listen to these presentations. Click HERE to download. (It's free.)

Handouts (note the new phone log form):
Instructions for retrieving phone messages.pdf
Phone Log Form.doc
Online Gardening Resources.pdf

You'll find the Online Gardening Resources a handy and helpful list of great references for all your volunteering opportunities

Thanks, Lynne, and thanks to all UMN Extension Master Gardeners for your great volunteer efforts!

Presentation: Growing Herbs.ppt
Handout: Growing Herbs.doc

Thumbnail image for P1080159.JPGJoin us for a day of education at the first annual Master Gardener Summer School 2010!

What will Master Gardener Summer School offer you as a volunteer?

  • Seven (7) Continuing Education Hours. Scroll down for a general agenda..  
  • Networking with other Master Gardeners from MN and surrounding states / provinces
  • Updates on current and critical issues in horticulture by Extension educators and faculty
  • Breakout sessions with hands-on learning activities

Come dressed for the weather as classes will proceed rain or shine with alternative indoor activities in the case of severe weather.

Thumbnail image for P1080105.JPGRegistration & cancellations:
  • Early bird price: $25.00 each. Includes a box lunch, breaks, and class materials and handouts.
  • Late bird price: $35.00 the last three weeks of registration. Registration closes one week prior to event.
  • Cancellations must be received one week prior to the event for refunds to be considered.  All refunds will be assessed an $8 cancellation processing fee.
  • Space is limited, so please register now. Note: Attendees will sign up for the afternoon breakout sessions upon arrival.
  • Bring a friend! If you have a friend who is interested in the Master Gardener Program and horticulture, you are welcome to include them at the $25 price. All sessions will be taught at the Master Gardener level.

P1080089.JPGMaster Gardener Summer School 2010: Locations

Saturday, June 5 - Early bird price closes May 5. Registration closes Friday, May 29
9 am - 4:30 pm
Alexandria Tech College
1601 Jefferson Street
Alexandria, MN 56308
(320) 762-0221

Friday, July 16 - Early bird price closes June 16. Registration closes Friday, July 9
9 am - 4:30 pm
MN Landscape Arboretum
3675 Arboretum Drive
Chaska, MN 55318-9613

Saturday, August 14 - Early bird price closes July 14. Registration closes Saturday, August 7
9 am - 4:30 pm
Rochester Community & Technical College - Heintz Center
1926 Collegeview Drive SE
Rochester, MN 55904


8:00 - 9:00 am  Check-in and sign up for afternoon breakout sessions

9:00 am - noon General session & Updates on Current Topics
1. Bob Mugaas: The New and Smart Lawn Care
2. Jeff Hahn: Update on the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB)

10:45 - 11:00 am Break

3. Kathy Zuzek: Beyond the Emerald Ash Borer - Replacement Trees for Ash
4. Michelle Grabowski: Introduced Plant Pathogens

Noon - 1:30 pm Box Lunch & Poster Session

1:30 - 4:30 pm Breakout Sessions
1:30 - 2:45 pm Breakout Session I
2:45 - 3:15 pm Break
3:15 - 4:30 pm Breakout Session II

Each of the following will be taught during Session I (1:30 - 2:45 pm) and Session II (3:15 - 4:30). Students can choose two sessions:

   1. Jeff Hahn & Michelle Grabowski: Vegetable Pest Management
   2. Kathy Zuzek: Pruning Trees and Shrubs
   3. Bob Mugaas: Turfgrass Identification and Management
   4. Guest educator(s) and additional topics

Orchid grower? Plant Path an area of interest? Read on from Scientific American, online journal.

The Other Orchid Thief: Virus Ravages the Popular Flower ShowIMGA0011.jpg
For hobbyists like Colette Theriault, a photographer who lives in Ontario, orchids are an addiction. Theriault bought her first Phalaenopsis in 1999 and nurtured it for three years before it bloomed its first pink flowers. The success led to more, until she had 25 orchids crowding her windowsills. In March she discovered yellow spots on the leaves of her collection--a telltale sign of a virus, like those plaguing the orchid industry. Theriault is now fighting a losing battle to save the first orchid she ever bought. Read More ....

GUBanner for specific class.jpg
Welcome to GARDEN U - classes for the home gardener taught by University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardener volunteers. A combination of classroom and hands-on techniques, these classes will set you on the right path to a healthy garden. Join us and get your hands dirty!

Class location: Plant Growth Facility Building and the Horticultural Science Display & Trial Garden 1538 Gortner Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55108

Class fee: $20 per person; limit 20 people per class. Checks or cash only, please.

To register: Call or email the Master Gardener State Office: 612‐625‐4211;

2010 Class Schedule

Pruning 101
Thursday, May 20, 2010
6:30 ‐ 8:30 pm Instructor: Susan Oven, UMN Extension Master Gardener - Ramsey County
Learn how to prune your trees, shrubs, and perennials to maximize their beauty, productivity, and health. Discussion will include pruning techniques, timing and rationale plus "in the garden" hands‐on practice. Bring work gloves and wear clothing appropriate for working in the garden.

Care and Maintenance of Perennials

Tuesday, May 25, 2010
6:30 ‐ 8:30 pm Instructors: Joe Baltrukonis and Jennifer Porwit, Master Gardeners - Ramsey County
Learn how to make the most of your perennial garden through proper care and maintenance. Discussion will include guidelines for planting, mulching, watering, fertilizing plus "in the garden" practice on dividing anddeadheading. Students will be able to take home some of the plants divided in the garden. Wear work gloves and clothing appropriate to working for the garden.

The Edible Landscape Part 1: Planning, planting, and selecting plants for a vegetable garden
Thursday, June 3, 2010
6:30 ‐ 8:30 pm Instructor: Carol Logie, UMN Extension Master Gardener - Hennepin County
Learn how to establish your very own vegetable garden to supply plants for your table and for your enjoyment. Discussion will include guidelines for planning, selecting, planting and initial caring of plants plus "in the garden" practice at getting a garden started. Visit the "Veggies By The Yard" planting project. Students will be able to take home a plant or seeds to get their garden started. Wear clothing appropriate for working in the garden.

The Edible Landscape Part 2: Care and maintenance of vegetable garden
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
6:30 ‐ 8:30 pm Instructors: Carol Logie and Julie Benbow, UMN Extension Master Gardeners - Hennepin County
Learn how to make the most of your vegetable garden through proper care and maintenance. Discussion will include guidelines for watering, soil amendments, fertilizing, plant rotation, pest and disease control, and harvesting plus "in the garden" observations and practice in an established vegetable garden. Visit the "Veggies By The Yard" planting project and taste test some of the UMN edibles! Wear clothing appropriate for working in the garden.

Growing Herbs
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
6:30 ‐ 8:30 pm Instructor: Mary Montagne, UMN Extension Master Gardener - Ramsey County
Learn how to create your very own herb garden. Discussion will include guidelines for planning, selecting, planting and caring of plants plus "in the garden" practice in establishing an actual herb garden. Students will be able to take home a plant to get their garden started. Wear clothing appropriate for working in the garden.

Soils 101
Thursday, July 22, 2010
6:30 ‐ 8:30 pm
Instructor: Rochelle Robideau, UMN Extension Master Gardener - Ramsey County
Soil is the foundation of all gardens. Learn how to maximize the beauty, productivity and health of your garden by assuring the best possible results from your plants throughout the growing season. Discussion will include soil compositions, nutrients, amendments and sampling plus visit the U of M's Soil Test Laboratory to learn how soils are analyzed and what the results mean for your garden from university soil experts.
MGC2010.jpgCheck it out! UMN Printing Services is proud to announce winning three awards in the National 2010 In-Print Competition sponsored by IPMA and In-Plant Graphics Magazine.  A gold award was received for the Extension 2010 Gardening Calendar in the offset calendar category, silver for the Printing Services 2010 Calendar in the digital print category, and silver for the Athletics Department Men's Basketball Season Tickets  in the combined offset/digital print category. Congrats to all involved! Proceeds from the sale of the calendar fund consumer horticulture programs including the Gardening Information website, publications, the Master Gardener Program, and research projects.
I've added quite a few new photos to my Flickr account - especially those from the Arboretum on April 29 (my birthday). Just click on the white arrow in the photo to the right under the heading My Flickr and watch the slide show.

On the 29th, the crabs were phenomenal as were the tulips. Azaleas were just starting to bloom, and the redbuds were awesome.

Happy springtime!

Master Gardener Joe Baltruknois wrote the following
handout on Edible Landscapes: Eat YourFragaria vesca fruit1.JPG Landscape . It has great ideas and tips for developing a landscape that combines edible plants with ornamental plants. Check it out: EatYourLandscape.pdf
The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) Regulatory Review for April 26, 2010, is now available by clicking361.jpg on the MDA Plant Protection website
HORT 1061:  The Sustainable Lawnturf.jpg
This 3-credit online course is being offered in both summer and fall semester 2010.  Summer session starts May 17 and runs until August 20.  Fall semester begins September 7 and ends December 15.  The course has weekly assignments and several opportunities for students to interact via message boards, wikis, etc.  For registration information, please see

This course qualifies for 48 hours of continuing education for Master Gardeners.

Millions of acres across the United States are devoted to turfgrass. Parks, athletic fields, golf courses, and other turf areas play an important role in environmental quality. So do home lawns. Many homeowners have little knowledge about fertilizer and pesticide use, irrigation, and mowing. Although the impact of an individual homeowner may be small, the effect of millions of acres of home lawns can be significant. This course will focus on sustainable turfgrass management for the home lawn. 

The course content will focus on environmentally responsible turfgrass management.  The course will begin with an overview of basic horticultural principles and then focus on turfgrass-specific topics. Audio programs will provide information you'll need to complete laboratory, essay, and forum assignments of the course.

You will learn how to identify common turfgrasses and then how to properly manage a home lawn in a sustainable way. The course will be presented entirely online and make extensive use of online discussion forums, wikis, and an interactive Flash tool.

You will discuss important topics of turfgrass science, such as fertilizer runoff, pesticide use, and genetically modified turf. This course will also equip you with the knowledge and tools necessary to maintain quality turf areas with reduced inputs, thereby reducing potential risk to the environment.

Course Objectives
After completing this course, you should be able to
•    identify at least three cool-season turfgrass species;
•    list major turfgrass weeds;
•    identify at least two major turfgrass diseases;
•    list the steps necessary for seeding a lawn;
•    discuss turfgrass fertilization options;
•    list the environmental benefits of a lawn;
•    list potential negative consequences of a high-input lawn; and
•    communicate the concepts of sustainable home lawns. 
Each year the Minnesota State Horticultural Society recognizes individuals and organizationsBeta vulgaris Bright Lights 1998 AAS Swiss Chard stems1.JPG who have made outstanding contributions to horticulture and greening efforts in public gardens, community projects and through exemplary community achievements.  Individuals, projects and activities of neighborhood groups, governmental organizations, garden clubs and communities that have meritoriously contributed to gardening and rejuvenating communities through plants are honored each year.  

This year, UMN Extension Master Gardeners - Hennepin County  received an award from the MSHS for their work in the Urban Gardener program at Sabathani Community Center Community Garden, Minneapolis,

They aren't visible from the street, but just north of Minneapolis' Sabathani Community Center, garden plots will soon be bursting with vegetables. Launched in 2007, the program aims to build community, help families stretch their food dollars through vegetable gardens and offers
information about nutrition and healthy eating. Most of the programs plants and seeds are donated, many from the MSHS Minnesota Green program.  Maureen Adelman, with the St. Paul Garden Club, presented the award.

Congratulations to our fellow volunteers in Hennepin County!
Thumbnail image for GNOME.jpgTake heed, Master Gardeners! Watch out for gnomes - an invasive species according to Utah State U. Watch and learn:
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