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July 2012 Archives

Master Gardeners have been discussing whether geraniums are toxic to Japanese beetles P1150490.JPGand if so, is there a benefit to interplanting geraniums around plants that the beetles prefer (such as roses or grapes).

I asked our expert, Extension entomologist, Jeff Hahn:
"This is a real phenomenon; when JB feed on geraniums (Pelargonium spp.) they consume a toxin that well intoxicates them. This does not kill them but they are paralyzed for hours but eventually recover.  Interestingly, they don't apparently learn from this as they will commonly go back and feed on geranium again. There is research that shows that interplanting geraniums does not protect other plants.  In fact the research showed that there were more JB on roses when geraniums were present."

For more info on Japanese beetles:
Brace for Impact: Japanese Beetles are Coming
Japanese Beetle Management in Minnesota
Some Questions about Japanese Beetles
Companion Planting for Protecting Roses from JB.pdf

The 2012 Upper Midwest Master Gardener Conference, July 19-21, was a great success! More than five hundred people participate as attendees, instructors and vendors, and the MN Landscape Arboretum was the perfect venue!

A special thank you to the Master Gardener volunteers who served on the planning committee and to our conference co-chairs, Diana Rankin (Kanabec Cty) and Pam Hartley (Anoka Cty). The conference was a success because of the planning committee's effort, creative ideas, and innovation! Thank you as well to the 80 U of M Extension Master Gardeners who volunteered to help during the conference.

Here are links to the handouts and presentations from the conference. I will add more as I receive them.


Frelich - Presentation Invasive Earthworms.pdf
Hahn - Handout Watch out for those insects.pdf
Heger - Echinacea 7_21_12.pdf
Heger - Shady Natives 7_20_12.pdf
Herzfeld - Presentation IPM for MGs.pdf
Malone - Presentation Herbs In Your Life.pdf
Moe - Presentation Raingardens.pdf
Riddle - Driftwatch-Organic-Purdue.pdf
Riddle - Minimizing GMO Contamination.pdf
Riddle - Organic Certification for Vegetables.pdf
Riddle - Organic Ecology brochure.pdf
Riddle - SWROC High Tunnels Year Two.pdf
Riddle - What is Organic Food.pdf
Riddle - Why Eat Organic.pdf
Riddle - MN Guide to Organic Certification Updated 03-2011.pdf
Rosen - Presentation Building Healthy Soil.pdf
Schneider - Presentation The MLA Future Plans.pdf
Vidmar - Nature as Healer.pdf
Whittenbaugh - Presentation Gardening out of your Comfort Zone.pdf
Whittenbaugh - Presentation Gardening with Conifers.pdf


Grabowski - Hahn - Diagnosis-1.pdf
Grabowski - Growing Healthy Vegetables.pdf
* If you would like Michelle's PPT, contact her directly at

SSPX3472.jpgMississippi Watershed Management Organization (MWMO) & Fortin Consulting would like to offer you and your employees the opportunity to attend our FREE Turfgrass Maintenance with Reduced Environmental Impacts training on Wednesday, August 29th, 2012 from 8:30 am - 2:30 pm at MWMO's office (address is in brochure - link below).  Lunch will be included.

This training offers information about best practices for managing turfgrass (mowing, seeding, fertilizer and weed control, and more). These practices will help you save money, time, and the environment. Also, an optional test is offered at the end of the workshop to earn Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) Level I Certification in Turfgrass Maintenance Best Practices. Certified individuals are listed on the MPCA website.

Below you will find our brochure with more information about the training along with the registration form.  To register, please return the form via email or mail.  Class is limited to 40 people so sign up fast!

Turfgrass Maintenance Brochure.pdf
Sara Freeman, Fortin Consulting, Inc.
215 Hamel Road, Hamel, MN 55340
763-478-3606  763-478-3612 fax

Save the Date! Lycopersicon esculentum Virginia Sweets fruit2.JPG
August 14, 2012
Online webinar for all North Central Master Gardeners.
11:30AM- 1:00 PM

Tomato IPM for Gardeners, a 90 minute webinar will feature Michelle Grabowski, Extension Plant Pathologist, University of Minnesota; Dr. Rhoda Burrows, Plant Pathology Professor, South Dakota State University; Stephanie Porter, Plant Diagnostic Outreach Specialist, University of Illinois,  and Dr. Mary Meyer, Extension Horticulturist as Moderator.

Lycopersicon esculentum Sugary foliage fruit1  AAS05 sem.jpgMaster Gardeners will learn how to manage tomato pests, especially diseases throughout the season, from variety selection to planting and garden cleanup. Extension Educators and MG Coordinators are encouraged to use this webinar for a MG meeting and training in county offices. Register now, priority will be given to group registrations, although individuals may also register and participate in the webinar.

 For more information and the webinar registration form, see: This webinar is no longer available
. The whole webinar will be recorded and available shortly after the actual webinar, so if you are unavailable on the 14th, shortly after the event you will be able to see it on your own time.  
For 35 years, Minnesota citizens have been learning and teaching about horticulture as P1180345.JPGMaster Gardener volunteers. Since the first class in 1977, Master Gardeners have conservatively contributed over 1.7 million hours in Minnesota communities, teaching research-based University horticulture and sharing their passions for gardening and the environment. 

Governor Dayton has proclaimed July 19th as a day of recognition of U of M Extension Master Gardener volunteers and to celebrate their positive affect on our lives as Minnesotans. From community gardens and school classrooms to partnerships and faculty research, The Master Gardeners in our communities have helped improve people's lives and helped citizens see how they can be good stewards of the earth by following best practices in horticulture in their own backyards.

To read the proclamation: University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Day-1.pdf

On July 19th, take a minute to thank the Master Gardeners in your community, your school, and in your life for their help in learning how to apply the research happening at your University in your own backyard. 

Thank you, Master Gardeners, for all you have done as volunteers, and for all you continue to do!

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