Master Gardener class at the library, Indoor Gardening with Houseplants, Nov. 18

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Posted by cwcmastergardeners | Posted in Education | Posted on 23-10-2014

Indoor Gardening with Houseplants

Learn about houseplants and what it takes to be a successful indoor gardener.

Topics covered include plant selection, containers, soil, water, light, fertilizers, and pests.

Tuesday, November 18 from 12:00 Noon to 1:00 PM, Brainerd Public Library
Presented by Crow Wing County Master Gardener Jackie Burkey

Register at the library or by calling 829-5574

novgardening2014

 

Presentations facilitated by certified UMN Extension Crow Wing County Master Gardeners. Master Gardeners are University of Minnesota-trained volunteers whose job is to educate the public about a variety of horticulture subjects using readily-available, up-to-date re-search-based information. The Master Gardener Program educational effort is designed to enhance the public’s quality of life and to promote good stewardship of the environment.

Ask The Master Gardener, October 2014

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Posted by cwcmastergardeners | Posted in Ask the Master Gardener column | Posted on 03-10-2014

CROW WING COUNTY MASTER GARDENER PROGRAM

Ask the Master Gardener
OCTOBER 2014 COLUMN

 

Dear Master Gardener:
Help! The deer are ruining my gardens and it seems worse this year than ever before. They are eating plants right next to my house. Are there any deer-resistant plants or proven repellents?

There seems to be more complaints this year about deer destroying gardens. In late summer
and fall you may see freshly raw places where the bark has been skinned on the trunks of
shrubs or young trees. Bucks remove the velvet from their antlers on young shrubs and trees,
causing open wounds which can kill the plant. Deer usually feed at dusk and dawn and browse
on twigs, foliage and flowers causing damage to gardens. They have no upper incisor teeth,
so they tear off their food and leave behind torn, ragged vegetation. Going out to your garden
in the morning only to discover that your beautiful hostas look like celery stalks sticking out of
the ground is very disheartening. In the summer when food is plentiful you would think that
deer wouldn’t need to feed from our gardens, but our garden plants are kept watered and are
therefore more succulent than plants in the wild, not to mention easier to get at.

The only true “deer-resistant” plant is a plastic one. With that said, you can minimize the
damage they can do by avoiding plants they prefer and planting those they tend to pass up.
Some deer favorites include daylilies, hostas, hydrangeas, lilies, roses, strawberries, sweet
potato vine, tulips, arborvitae and white pine. Deer usually avoid plants that are toxic, have
leaves that are fuzzy, tough and leathery, have spines or bristles, or are aromatic. Perennials
that are reported to be non-preferred plants are: Achillea (yarrow), Aconitum (monkshood),
Alchemilla mollis (lady’s mantle), Allium, Aquilegia (columbine), Astilbe, Baptisia (blue false
indigo), Narcissus (daffodil), Paeonia (peony), Perovskia (Russian sage), Pulmonaria
(lungwort), Salvia, and Stachys (lamb’s ear). Annuals that deer seem to avoid include
ageratum, wax begonia, heliotrope, sweet alyssum, dusty miller, and marigolds. Even plants
they do not like to eat, they will pluck out of the ground, spit it out and leave it to shrivel and
die. Shrubs that are reported to be “deer-resistant” are lilac, nannyberry, juniper, spirea,
Russian cypress and barberry. Winter is the worst time for deer in our cold climate and with
little food available they will eat almost anything they can reach, including prized dwarf
evergreens and the developing buds of deciduous trees and shrubs.

Once deer find your garden in winter, they will return each year throughout their lives, so it is
important to deter them from the outset. In our cold climate shrubs are more vulnerable to deer browsing, so many gardeners put black plastic or nylon netting over their shrubs to protect them. Burlap can be placed around arborvitae, which not only protect them from deer, but also winter burn. Snow fencing around vulnerable and/or prized trees and bushes can be used. Some gardeners put fencing around each garden bed, as deer are usually afraid to jump into small areas where they could get stuck.

There are commercial deer repellents. Some people have success with Milorganite, which is a
granular product composed of heat-dried microbes that have digested the organic material in
wastewater and is manufactured by the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, so you not
only get a possible deer repellent but fertilizer too. Some commercial repellents are in liquid
form and sprayed on. They typically contain a variety of ingredients including, but not limited
to, eggs, garlic, castor oil, the urine of predatory animals, and capsaicin (hot pepper sauce).
Homemade versions have the same main ingredients as their commercial counterparts. If you
are going to use repellents, it is important to apply them regularly, especially after heavy rain or snow. Some gardeners have success with hanging bars of soap from trees, but experiments
conducted by R.K. Swihart and M.R. Conover (1990) showed that only approximately one yard
from the soap will be protected from deer, some damage to plants can happen, and there is no
one brand that repels better than another. If you are interested in reading a book about garden
remedies you may enjoy, The Truth About Garden Remedies What Works, What Doesn’t, and
Why by Jeff Gillman, a former University of Minnesota associate professor in the horticultural
department.

 

Dear Master Gardener:
I need to replace some old and overgrown shrubs in my yard. I would like to plant ones that have berries, some for me and some for birds and other wildlife. What do you suggest?

Even in our cold zone 3 climate there are many to choose among. Here are some listed in
three categories: edible, tall (over 4 feet), and short (under 4 feet). Though we usually try to
include botanical (Latin, official) names, this time, in consideration of numbers and space,
common names will be used.

First are some edible shrubs: Juneberry (sometimes called serviceberry), bearberry,
chokeberry, wintergreen, sandcherry, sumac, gooseberry, rose, raspberry, dewberry,
thimbleberry, buffaloberry, wolfberry, blueberry, viburnum, and snowberry. Though all of them
do bear fruit, not all will be equally suitable for your purposes. Consider height, need for sun or
shade, and soil type. Also, remember that some berries that wildlife enjoy are not as palatable
to humans, and that you may not want your wild friends competing for your favorites. Not all
berries are ready to eat right off the plant, such as sumac and rose hips, which are steeped for
tea, and chokeberries, which must be processed.

Tall shrubs may grow to be eight or ten feet tall, though most can be kept pruned shorter or
come in dwarf varieties. Some attractive tall shrubs are serviceberry, winterberry (berries are
poisonous), elder, buffaloberry, and various viburnums.

Heights of short shrubs need to be carefully considered because some, such as bunchberry
and bearberry, are so short (6 inches) that they are really ground covers. Here are some short
shrubs: sandcherry, currant, rose, bearberry, blackberry, bunchberry, swamp fly honeysuckle,
raspberry, wolfberry, and blueberry.

The internet can give you a great deal of information about individual species. As always,
university-based sites are science-based and likely to be the most accurate.

OCTOBER GARDEN TIPS

  • Plant tulips this month. Clusters of a dozen bulbs or so make greater impact than do bulbs planted in lines.
  • Continue to water trees (especially evergreens), shrubs, perennials and lawns so that they tolerate winter better.
  • Lift and store tender bulbs such as cannas, gladiolas, and dahlias after the first frost.
  • Continue to weed, weed, weed.
  • Mow lawns to a 3-inch height going into winter.
  • Divide and transplant peonies now.
  • Cover strawberries with a thick layer of straw or hay late this month or after several hard frosts.
  • Get your soil tested.
  • Prune trees that bleed or are susceptible to disease such as oak, maple, birch, honey locust, and mountain ash.
  • Clean up fallen apples, apple leaves with spots, and tomatoes that had disease, disposing them off your property. Many diseases and insects overwinter in plant materials.

QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS?
Crow Wing County Master Gardeners are trained and certified volunteers for the University of Minnesota Extension. All information given in this column is based on research and information provided by the University. To ask a question, call the Master Gardener Help Line at 218-824-1000, extension 4040 and leave a message. A Master Gardener will return your call.

UMN Extension Crow Wing County Master Gardeners’ Website
z.umn.edu/crowwingmgs

Find us on Facebook

© 2014, Regents of the University of Minnesota. University of Minnesota Extension is an equal opportunity educator and employer. In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, this publication/material is available in alternative formats upon request. Direct requests to the University of Minnesota Extension at 612-624-1222.

Growing and Using Gourds

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Posted by cwcmastergardeners | Posted in Education | Posted on 02-10-2014

The next free gardening class t the Brainerd Public Library.  This presentation will cover basic information about growing and using gourds successfully.

Presenter: Deb Hoffmann, UMN Extension Master Gardener

Date: Tuesday, October 14

Time: 12 noon – 1:00 pm

Cost: FREE

Register by calling the Brainerd Public Library at 218-829-5574.

BPL_gardening_oct_2014

YOU CAN BE A MASTER GARDENER!

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Posted by cwcmastergardeners | Posted in Education | Posted on 15-09-2014

Are you interested in becoming a certified UMN Extension Master Gardener? If so, applicants are currently being sought by the Crow Wing County Extension office. For more details or if you have questions please contact me at 218-824-1068.

Jackie Froemming

UMN Extension Master Gardener Program

Crow Wing County Coordinator

Monday, Sept. 15, last chance to buy CWC Master Gardener cookbooks!

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Posted by cwcmastergardeners | Posted in Cookbook | Posted on 14-09-2014

58 copies remain available for sale on MONDAY (9/15/2014) at the County Extension Office in Brainerd. The cost is $10…..once they are gone, they are GONE.

If you wonder what the cookbooks look like, please feel free to stop by the office to check them out……..250 recipes (most of them encouraging the use of local produce) + info on herbs + info on edible flowers + gardening tips.

Crow Wing County Extension office is open from noon to 5 p.m. on Monday. First come – first served.

322 Laurel Street, Land Services Building, Suite 22.

 

You can be a Master Gardener!

Are you interested in becoming a certified UMN Extension Master Gardener? If so, applicants are currently being sought by the Crow Wing County Extension office. For more details or if you have questions please contact me at 218-824-1068 or at froem022@umn.edu.

See more at: http://cwcmastergardeners.areavoices.com/2014/09/03/you-can-be-a-master-gardener/#sthash.22kM75Ow.dpuf

YOU CAN BE A MASTER GARDENER!!

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Posted by cwcmastergardeners | Posted in Education | Posted on 03-09-2014

Are you interested in becoming a certified UMN Extension Master Gardener? If so, applicants are currently being sought by the Crow Wing County Extension office. For more details or if you have questions please contact me at 218-824-1068 or at.

Jackie Froemming

UMN Extension Master Gardener Program

Crow Wing County Coordinator

The next free gardening class at the at the Brainerd Public Library…

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Posted by cwcmastergardeners | Posted in Presentations | Posted on 14-08-2014

Daylilies: The Perfect Perennials

Are your daylilies diploid or tetraploid? Are they rebloomers? With more than 70,000 cultivars (“hybrids”) registered with the American Hemerocallis Society (AHS) it’s hard to grow just a few. Come and learn about the best daylilies for your garden! The following topics will be covered during this presentation – general information, basic anatomy, selecting, planting, dividing, landscaping, diseases, pests and resources.

Presenter: Jackie Froemming, Extension Educator
Date: Tuesday, September 9
Time: 12 noon – 1:00 pm
Cost: FREE
Register by calling the Brainerd Public Library at 218-829-5574

Another great class at the Brainerd Public Library…August 12

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Posted by cwcmastergardeners | Posted in Presentations | Posted on 11-08-2014

“Colorful Pots All Season Long”

You don’t have to plant all your pots by Memorial Day. Those who love to accent their patios, decks, front-door entryways, and even their gardens should attend this class to learn how to select, arrange and care for the plants that will perform colorfully all summer long, and those that will survive the cooler …fall weather, as well.

Presenter: Julie Kloster, Extension Master Gardener
Date: Tuesday, August 12
Time: 12 noon – 1:00 pm
Cost: FREE
Register by calling the Brainerd Public Library at 218-829-5574.

Ask the Master Gardener – August 2014

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Posted by cwcmastergardeners | Posted in Ask the Master Gardener column | Posted on 28-07-2014

University of Minnesota Extension

CROW WING COUNTY MASTER GARDENER PROGRAM
Ask the Master Gardener
AUGUST 2014 COLUMN

Dear Master Gardener,
There is a shady area in my lawn where grass won’t grow and I would like to replace it with a ground cover of some sort. On a list of ground covers I saw wintergreen, which I love, listed. Would it be a good choice for this area?

The short answer is “probably”. Hardiness is not the issue because wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens) is hardy in USDA zone 3. It does, however, require part to deep shade and acidic soil that is moist and rich in organic matter. It has glossy, evergreen leaves that release the wintergreen scent when crushed; small, egg-shaped, white flowers in summer; and striking, edible, red berries in the fall. It grows from rhizomes that creep along underground, sending up short six-inch stems at intervals, slowly expanding its territory. Birds like it and it has lovely, burgundy fall color. It may not be readily available in local nurseries but it can be purchased from catalogs or—if you have it growing wild in your woods—it can be propagated from cuttings in the summer or from rooted suckers in the spring. People who like wintergreen-flavored chewing gum, toothpaste and candy are often unaware that their fresh, minty taste comes from oils from this hardy, beautiful, low-growing shrub. Native Americans used wintergreen medicinally because it has some mild analgesic and fever-reducing qualities, but most of us just enjoy its flavor.

Dear Master Gardener,
I was visiting a friend out east and noticed she has purple loosestrife in her garden. Isn’t it invasive and illegal? Is yellow loosestrife also invasive and illegal?

Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife) is a species native to Europe and has been commonly grown in perennial gardens. In nature, purple loosestrife lives where soils are wet or have shallow standing water. It has no natural enemies and is very aggressive and will choke out native vegetation. Because purple loosestrife is dangerous when planted near water, it is illegal to grow any of these plants anywhere in Minnesota. It was designated a noxious weed in 1987 and since then the sale and transport of this plant has been illegal. According to Minnesota statutes it is the responsibility of the occupant or owner of privately owned land or the person in charge of public land to control or destroy noxious weeds to prevent their spread.

Lysimachia (loosestrife) is not illegal in Minnesota and is a tough, easy to grow perennial with attractive foliage and showy flowers. Most loosestrifes spread rapidly and are considered “aggressive plants”. If you plant the species that spreads rapidly in your perennial garden, you may want to restrict its spread with a physical barrier or be willing to divide them on a regular basis. They thrive in rich, moist soils and grow well in full sun to light shade. Lysimachia ciliate (Fringed Loosestrife) is native to northeastern United States and is an elegant plant with a willowy appearance and small yellow flowers that blooms in mid summer. Two cultivars ‘Firecracker’ and ‘Purpurea’ have chocolate purple colored foliage. This species spreads slowly. Lysimachia clethroides (Gooseneck Loosestrife) is a species that produces uniquely shaped, arching white flowers and blooms in mid to late summer. Place it carefully because it is invasive.
Dear Master Gardener,
The bats are driving us batty. They hang at night near our covered entryway and we wake up to piles of droppings and streaks of urine on our cedar siding. Is there anything we can do to stop them?

There are seven species of bats in Minnesota. They are actually gentle, beneficial creatures, but sometimes they become a nuisance. Bats come out at night, fly around, eat lots of insects and may rest under the eave of a porch. They are simply in need of a short-term roost. Bats will often stain the sides of a building with their droppings as they are flying in and out at night. Bat droppings are dark in color, greasy, and may have insect body parts inside. According to the Minnesota DNR, ultrasonic devices are not effective in repelling bats and there are no chemicals registered in Minnesota for use on bats. Attempts to poison bats, or exclude them using inappropriate methods can actually increase human contact, as sick or homeless bats may disperse through the neighborhood thereby increasing chance encounters with people or pets. Light sometimes will deter bats, so you could light the area at night to try to discourage bats from resting in your entryway. You could also provide an alternate roost site for the bats by putting up a bat house. Encouraging bats to stay around your yard will help control the insect population.

AUGUST GARDEN TIPS
• August can be hot and dry. Help Mother Nature out and give trees several deep waterings this month. They will enter winter stronger when well-hydrated.
• Stop fertilizing roses and other shrubs. Fertilizer encourages new growth that is more susceptible to winter injury than old wood.
• Dig up and divide irises and other spring-blooming perennials. Keep them well-watered.
• Keep weeding. Remove them before they set seed, which will produce a multitude of new weeds next spring.
• This is a good month to begin a new lawn, either by seeding or sodding.
• Remove and destroy tomato leaves with yellow or brown spots. These symptoms are caused by septoria leaf spot and early blight.

QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS?
Crow Wing County Master Gardeners are trained and certified volunteers for the University of Minnesota Extension. All information given in this column is based on research and information provided by the University. To ask a question, call the Master Gardener Help Line at 218-824-1000, extension 4040 and leave a message. A Master Gardener will return your call.

UMN Extension Crow Wing County Master Gardeners’ Website
z.umn.edu/crowwingmgs

Find us on Facebook

 

Cookbook on sale at Crow Wing County Fair, July 29 – August 2

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Posted by cwcmastergardeners | Posted in Cookbook | Posted on 17-07-2014

Cookbook for sale at the”Ask a Master Gardener” booth located in the Horticulture Building.

The Gardener's Table  The recently published The Gardener’s Table is a compilation of Crow Wing County Master Gardeners’ favorite 250 recipes, including Kale Chips, Zucchini Bisque, Spicy Beet Compote, French Sorrel Soup, Marinated Tomatoes, Summer Radish Salad and Rhubarb Gingered Jam.  The cookbook also includes information about growing and using herbs, as well as edible flowers.  Over fifty gardening tips are also included.

A limited number of cookbooks will be available at the “Ask a Master Gardener” booth to be located in the central portion of the Horticulture Building during the Crow Wing County Fair which will run from July 29 through August 2. The cost is $10 per copy.  If paying with a check, please make it out to “CWC Master Gardeners“.  Funds raised with the sale of these cookbooks will enable Crow Wing County Master Gardeners to provide grants, scholarships, and educational opportunities to the individuals that they serve through their various projects.