University of Minnesota Extension
Menu Menu

Extension > Garden > Master Gardener > Over the Backyard Fence | News from the Master Gardener director > Archives > February 2012 Archives

February 2012 Archives

From the Mankato Free Press - February 14, 2012

From seeds to seedlings

Once you have planted your seeds, it is time to play the waiting game. Seeds all have various germination times depending on the individual plants. But many gardeners can't help but check their seedlings daily, even getting a little impatient for those little, green specks to peek through the soil. Read more here ...
The MN Landscape Arboretum Learning Center is promoting "Plant an Eat Yourself Healthy P1090831.JPGDemonstration Garden in your neighborhood" as a way to advocate for a health-giving diet. Designed by Director of Education, Tim Kenny, and Educator Randy Gage, this is a program Master Gardeners can encourage in community garden plots all over the state by including the signage designed and offered by the Aboretum. Details and pictures of the signs available for purchase can be seen here.

Kenny and Gage recommend planting edible demonstration gardens in high-traffic areas where many people will see them - e.g., schools, community gardens, clinics, businesses, bus stops, playgrounds, and places of worship - anywhere people congregate. Be creative!

The program focuses around using your garden and signs to teach visitors how easy it is to plant and grow an Eat Yourself Healthy Demonstration Garden.

Five Simple Steps to a Healthy Garden

Step 1. Choose a garden site with high traffic
Step 2. Plant the five crops
Step 3. Post interpretive signs
Step 4. Talk to people about it!
Step 5. Share your results on this page

P1150517.JPGSpread the word - share your plans!

Your garden can be registered on the MN Landscape Arboretum website to help share your success story with others. If you or your community organization has plans to grow a garden (in any form), we'd like to know. Send us info, and we will post your community/neighborhood/organization's garden name - and designs, if you have them -  on this page. Later this spring or summer, when your crops start growing, we will post the location and pictures of your garden so others can visit, admire and learn.

Hydrangea Endless Summer Flower2.jpgCold-hardy fruits? Pest-resistant crops? Cancer-preventing vegetables? Which plants have had the greatest impact on how we live today? The Arboretum wants to know. Nominations are being taken through April 15 for "10 Plants That Changed Minnesota: Growing Solutions to How the World Lives Today," a new initiative to build awareness of the crucial role plants play in nourishing and sustaining life on Earth. Click here to add your favorites to the list!

For Master Gardener Interns (active folks you can watch it too!):
Here is a how-to video for you to watch about how to update your contact info and listserve settings.
mg interns updating contact info 021612_Screen_Stream.avi

Saturday, March 10, 2012P1070828.JPG
Registration starts at 8:30 am
Educational program: 9 am - 3 pm

U of M Southern Research and Outreach Center
Highway 14 & Co. Rd. 57 (west edge of Waseca, across from Loon Lake)
Cost: $25 per person / $15 for spouse or partner - SPACE IS LIMITED

Best New Woody Plants, Perennials and Annuals for 2012 : A Smorgasbord of Fun New Plants - Debbie Lonnee, Bailey Nurseries, Inc. 

Basics of Growing Tree Fruits
Tree and Shrub Pruning

Peter Moe, Associate Department Director, MN Landscape Arboretum
Soils, Fertilizers and Composts: What you Should Know and What Might Surprise You!
Thomas Halbach, Extension Professor, U of M, Dept. of Soil, Water & Climate
NEW! Photo Contest & Exhibit

Amateur photographers are invited to enter their favorite photos in a "People's Choice Photo Fest". Categories and contest rules are described in the flyer found on the Web site at:
Door prize drawings

This event counts toward continuing education hours for UMN Extension Master Gardeners
Reserve your space by sending $25 ($15 for spouse attending) along with your name and address to: Deanne Nelson, UM Southern Research & Outreach Center, 35838 120th Street, Waseca, MN 56093
Registration fee covers lunch and handouts. Please specify if you prefer a vegetarian lunch.

Questions or need more information? Call the SROC at 507-835-3620.
Mark your calendars Master Gardeners!

When: July 19-21, 2012
Where: MN Landscape Arboretum
Who: Master Gardeners from MN, WI, IA and IL

The conference website is hosted by Hennepin County.
Check out the FaceBook site for the Conference too! Remember to Like it!
Hotel information and registration will be online by March 1.

Every two years, the Upper Midwest Master Gardener Conference is hosted by WI, IL, IA or MN. In 2012, it's our turn here in Minnesota and we are excited and proud to be hosting the conference at the world-renowned Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.

The class sessions are diverse and exciting, and focused around research in the Midwest! Some are classroom-based, some hands-on, some a little of both. Just a sampling of topic includes phytonutrients, climate change, organic growing, Earthkind trials, apple breeding, prairie plants,plant photography, therapeutic horticulture, garden myths, vegetable diseases, woody plant disease research, garden writing, insects, water conservations, monarchs, native plants, leadership skill building, sketching, native plants for shade, ornamental grasses - the list goes on! Click to check out the full schedule!

The conference will also feature a vendor fair, a silent auction with proceeds going toward the JMG program in Minnesota, the famous Minnesota buffet with speaker Ed Schneider, Arboretum director, and book signings by the speakers / authors. Not to mention what could be better for Master Gardeners than spending 2 1/2 days at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum!

Full conference registration: $165
Single day - Thursday or Friday: $75
Half day - Saturday: $35
Shop the Vendor Fair early & enjoy Minnesota wines & appetizers - Wednesday evening: $15
Minnesota Buffet & Presentation - Thursday evening: $35

Thank you to the many creative UMN Extension Master Gardeners who are working hard to make this a conference to remember!

P1150203.JPGBack by popular demand!
Cornell Online class 'Organic Gardening'
March 12- May 4th, 2012.

The course covers one topic during each of the 8 weeks, including vegetables, fruits, flowers and ornamentals, and lawns. With a strong foundation in soil health and its impact on plant health, we then explore tried-and-true and cutting-edge techniques for all different kinds of garden plants - annuals and perennials, food plants and ornamentals.

The class is entirely online, we do not meet in person. You log in at your convenience. We have daily discussion boards, quizzes, readings, and some activities to do at home. This course is non-credit only, and takes between 1 and 4 hours a week according to your interest, experience, and availability.

For more details and registration info:
Wild Ones 2012 Design With Nature Conference
Saturday, February 25, 2012
8:00 am to 4:00 pm
Plymouth Creek Center
14800 34th Avenue, Plymouth, MN

Pollinator11.JPGTending the Delicate Balance
An intimate relationship exists between the plant and animal world - one cannot survive without the other. A tree will not bear fruit without help from pollinators, a butterfly will not take flight without nutrients from its larval host plant and a nesting songbird will not have food for her young without an abundance of nearby larvae. This circle of life is only possible when our ecosystem is healthy. Pressures from forces such as global warming and loss of habitat are interupting this delicate balance.

Wild Ones 2012 Design With Nature Conference will address these pressures and explore opportunities the scientific community is considering to save certain species. Native plants and how we manage our landscapes play a key role, adding both diversity and natural beauty to the world around us.

Admission is $60 per person, includes morning snack, buffet lunch and afternoon dessert. Discounted admission for members, non-members and students available through February 10, 2012. Registration closes February 20, 2012, or when all seats are sold, whichever comes first.

For additional information and to register, visit, email or call 612-293-3833.

Immerse yourself in 3 Days of Learning to Grow...Capsicum habanero fruit1.JPG

Growing to Learn Spring Expo 2012
On March 9-11, at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, you will be able to celebrate our food heritage and support biodiversity by learning how to grow, buy, and (the best part) eat heirloom plants. During Spring Expo 2012, you will have a chance to meet and talk with with Shannon Carmody and David Cavagnaro of the nationally acclaimed Seed Savers Exchange. On Saturday and Sunday, you will be able to meet and talk with nationally respected Timber Press authors and get down-to-earth gardening advice from leading University of Minnesota horticulture experts.

For details:

UMN Extension Master Gardener volunteers may count educational sessions as continuing education hours.

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