Tag Archive | Appleton

Garden Conference Success!!

Brian Hudelson, UW-Wisconsin Extension, brings his extensive knowledge of plant diseases

This past Saturday (April 1), our Master Gardener group (Outagamie County Master Gardener Association) hosted an annual Garden Conference. As always, the Conference was a huge success — even the weather cooperated by sending us a sunny day with temperatures near 60 degrees!

Guest speaker Jim Beard shares information about Straw Bale Gardening

Every year, we sell out our Conference as seats are filled by those eager for Spring, excited to hear from our guest speakers, and interested in visiting with our many vendors! This year was no exception as 200 people filled the room and enjoyed the discussions about Straw Bale Gardening, Plant Diseases, Garden Planning/Photography, Incorporating Edibles into your garden, and fun Garden Tips and Tricks.

Author Stacy Tornio talks about her new book “Plants You Can’t Kill” with OCMGA member Chris Frederickson

Gorgeous varieties of Hostas for sale

Every year, the number of vendors who join us

increases and the variety of products continues to astonish our attendees. This year, we had garden decorations, jewelry, organic herbal soaps, lotions, and scrubs, batik scarves, tree charms, stone-cast garden leaves, wood furniture, live plants, garden tools, and much, much more.

Join us next year!

The Conference is always held at the end of March or early April each year. Make a note to check our website (www.ocmga.net) next year for details!

 

by OCMGA Master Gardener Vicki Schilleman

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Of course you can grow Roses!

I’ve tried and tried to add roses to my garden. I’ve put them in sun, I’ve put them in shade, I’ve planted them all together, I’ve interspersed them with other plants, I’ve tried hybrids, I’ve tried tea-roses — nothing ever grows properly! Several years ago, I was having moderate success buts, after a hard winter, I went out to find that my rose bushes had been eaten to the ground (thorns and all) by very hungry rabbits.

How can you not want that beautiful color and fragrance, though, so I keep trying! For help, though, I’m now turning to the experts for advice.

One of the most beautiful rose gardens in our region is located in what you might call a difficult rose growing area. The Leif Erickson Public Rose Garden in Duluth, MN is a zone 3 or 4. The rose garden features many different varieties, from species rugosa to hybrid tea roses. Hardy rose hedges line walkways, and a planting of hardy shrub roses near the entrance welcomes the 100,000-plus yearly visitors to the garden.

2504-1271616438ho6hBasic rules for growing roses:

  • Select hardy roses
  • Plant in an area that gets plenty of sun — at least six hours of sunlight a day
  • Make sure you’re planting in soil that provides excellent drainage. Roses don’t like wet feet. [Note: a good planting companion is lavender that also doesn’t like wet feet. Refer to our blog post regarding these garden companions here.)
  • Water regularly, especially during hot summer days. Most experts recommend about 1 inch of water per week. When watering, make sure to soak the base of the plant, keeping water away from the leaves.
  • Feed your roses using an all-purpose slow-release fertilizer, or a fertilizer specially designed for roses. Be sure to follow label directions.
  • Roses can thrive in a large container. Be sure to keep the planter evenly moist and fertilize regularly.

Types of roses:

  • Hybrid Teas: showy, most popular
  • Floribunda: shrubby with bloom clusters
  • Grandiflora: tall, ideal for cut flowers
  • Miniature: only 6 to 18 inches
  • Shrub: large and full; some are fragrant
  • Climbing: use with trellises, arbors and walls

Master Gardener Marilyn Davis teaches the “Roses” portion of our training classes for new Master Gardeners each year, and has created a list of cultivars recommended for Wisconsin:

Rose_yellow2

Knock Out Shrub Rose (yellow)

 

  • Hybrid teas:
    • Strike it Rich (yellow bloom) – 5ft high
    • Miss All American Beauty (hot pink) – 4ft high
  • Floribunda
    • Betty Boop (white/red) – 4ft high
    • Ice Berg (white) – 4ft high
    • Honey Perfume (apricot/yellow) – 4ft high
  • Grandiflora
    • Prima Donna (deep pink) – 4ft high
    • Love ( red blend) – 3ft high
    • New Year (tangerine) – 3 to 4ft high
  • Miniature
    • New Beginning (orange/red) – 2ft high
    • Debut (red/white/cream blend) – 2ft high
  • Shrub
    • Knock Out series (yellow) – 3ft high
    • Parkland series (red/pink) – 2ft high
    • Bonica (pink) – 4ft high
    • Austin English (apricot to crimson) – 4ft high
  • Climbing
    • New Dawn (pink) – 18 to 20 ft.
    • Winner Circle (red) – 18 to 20 ft.
    • Autumn Sunset (yellow double) – 8 to 12 ft.
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Miss All American Beauty

To keep roses blooming throughout the growing season remove spent flowers (deadheading). This transfers the plant’s energy back into creating stronger roots and even more blooms. Trim down to the first or second five-leaflet leaf.

 

Appleton Farm Market

by Master Gardener Jill Botvinik

Join us at the Farm Market!

Master Gardeners Eamonn Lenaghan and Jill Botvinik at the OCMGA booth

Master Gardeners Eamonn Lenaghan and Jill Botvinik at the OCMGA booth

Not only do we provide service to the community, but this is a fun opportunity for Outagamie County Master Gardeners to get to know their fellow MGs better. Outagamie County Master Gardeners have been staffing a booth at the Appleton Farm Market for many years. Providing this service to the community has been a tradition in almost every state by Master Gardener groups. This year the OCMGA is continuing the tradition starting June 25 and then on the second and fourth Saturday of each month through September and possibly October.

appleton-farmers-market-logoThe Appleton Farm Market Coordinator has again generously given us space for free in Houdini Plaza with other program type booths. The Saturday Downtown Appleton Farm Market is the third largest outdoor farm market in Wisconsin after Madison and Milwaukee. The Farm Market will open on June 18 and continue each Saturday through October with over 150 vendors.

The three reasons most people stop at our booth are:

  • Looking for help with horticultural problems
  • Interested in learning about Master Gardeners and their activities
  • Want to share their experiences with fellow gardeners

Volunteers at the 2015 booth have come up with a number of great ideas to increase traffic and draw in the public. These ideas range from having freebies like seed packs or fruit to dressing up the booth with plants to having a monthly theme. Ideas are always welcome.

In 2015 we staffed our booth once per month and in 2016 we are going back to twice per month. We had a wonderful group of volunteers in 2015 who I hope will return in 2016. Some were veterans and many were from the class of 2015. We will also be recruiting from this year’s class. One of the keys to success will be recruiting plenty of volunteers to be part of our team. This is a very fun and rewarding way to provide service to the community and earn service hours.

Ice Storm Mitigation

dennis-macdonald-tree-branches-after-an-ice-stormWinter is far from over and it seems like we get at least one or more days of freezing rain in late winter. The freezing rain will cause ice to build up on the branches of trees and shrubs, and you might wonder if there’s anything you can do to help mitigate potential damage in your garden.

Usually, it’s best to just leave everything alone as a coating of ice for a day or two rarely hurts a plant. Branches may sag a bit, but then the ice melts or cracks off and all is well.

If, however, the ice is quite heavy and more ice is due, you can reduce the weight, and therefore the risk of damage, by carefully removing some of the ice. Use a soft broom and gently tap the branches, cracking the ice so it falls off. You don’t have to worry about removing all of it — just enough to lessen the weight on the branches. Be careful not to hit the branches too hard or you may end up damaging the bark or breaking off the buds. Also, use caution with large trees or shrubs so you don’t drop ice or branches on your head!

Creating the Tropics at Home

Master Gardener Tom Brinkman

Master Gardener Tom Brinkman

We’re always so thrilled when our members are spotlighted for their achievements or creativity. Recently, our resident house plant expert, Tom Brinkman, and his wife Sue were spotlighted by the Post-Crescent newspaper in an article that invites us to enjoy the tropics. This is especially inviting given the fact that we’re in Wisconsin — in February — where it snows a lot. Tom and Sue not only have a beautiful outdoor garden in the summer, they also have a huge greenhouse where hundreds of plants enjoy tropical weather even in our cold winter climate. As one of the instructors of our annual Master Gardener classes, students love the week where they get to visit Tom’s home and learn about the care of his amazing array of plants (including an astonishing number of bromeliads).

To read about Tom’s garden, follow the link to the article in the Post-Crescent, which was written by another of our members — David Calle.

http://www.postcrescent.com/story/opinion/columnists/2016/01/29/taste-tropics-neenah/79453518/

Did Your Christmas Cactus Bloom?

Cactus_de_noël_revMany of us have Christmas Cactus plants that we’ve nurtured since they were small, or maybe inherited from a close friend or relative so there are sentiments when the plant blooms. What if it doesn’t bloom, though? Don’t immediately assume that there’s something wrong or get rid of the plant!

Dan Mahr from the University of Wisconsin-Madison has written an extensive and authoritative article on these seasonal bloomers that will help you understand the background of this beloved plant, as well as provide great information on its care. Did you know that these plants are, indeed, true cacti related to the giant saguaros in Arizona but they come from Brazil? Did you know that there are over 100 cultivars that have been developed with flowers ranging from deep red to pure white?

Sit back with a cup of tea and read up on this delightful seasonal bloomer!

http://wimastergardener.org/?q=HolidayCactus

Why are some leaves red and others yellow?

autumn-2The colors of fall are breathtaking — especially when different varieties of trees and other foliage are grouped together on a hillside lit by bright sunlight. However, it occurs to me to wonder why some leaves turn yellow or orange, and others turn red or brown. Thank you to our friends at Nationals Geographic for this explanation:

Autumn leaves of trees in North America often turn red. But in Europe the leaves mostly go yellow. Scientists think that the regional difference can be explained by the geographic orientation of each continent’s mountains. A new theory provided by Simcha Lev-Yadun of the Department of Science Education-Biology at the University of Haifa-Oranim in Israel and Jarmo Holopainen of the University of Kuopio in Finland proposes taking a step 35 million years back to solve the color mystery, says a news statement by the University of Haifa.

“According to the theory provided by Prof. Lev-Yadun and Prof. Holopainen, until 35 million years ago, large areas of the globe were covered with evergreen jungles or forests composed of tropical trees,” the university said.

“Trees also began an evolutionary process of producing red deciduous leaves in order to ward off insects.”

“During this phase, a series of ice ages and dry spells transpired and many tree species evolved to become deciduous. Many of these trees also began an evolutionary process of producing red deciduous leaves in order to ward off insects.”

Scientists have determined that leaves turn yellow when the green pigment, chlorophyll, recedes prior to the onset of winter, as trees prepare to shed their leaves for the cold weather. Leaves that turn red are the result of trees producing anthocyanin, a red pigment, which some scientists think is an evolutionary response that deters insects from laying their eggs in the trees.

To read the entire National Geographic article, click here to visit the website.

Whatever the reason, this is arguably the most beautiful time of year in cold-climate areas where the transition takes place — especially with small children who express such delight and wonder at the beautiful leaves.

Written by Vicki