by Melinda Myers
Our lakes and waterways make Wisconsin a special place to live. If you are lucky enough to live on or near one of these bodies of water, it is easy to appreciate your role in protecting them. But even those living in spaces, large or small, away from them have an impact on our waterways’ health and beauty.
Avoid aggressive and invasive plants whether gardening along a shoreline, managing a water feature, growing a rain garden, or tending a more traditional landscape space. Not only will you help the environment, but you will reduce your workload trying to manage plants that can take over the landscape and those that invade and damage our natural spaces.
If you like daisies, this variety of perennial Shasta Daisy will wow you. A 2021 All-American Selections winner, the Sweet Daisy Birdy with 5-inch blooms of feathery pure white petals and golden centers, blooms earlier that other varieties and is a pollinator favorite. Use this medium height (18-24 inches) plant in planter containers, or in the garden as tall background or a garden highlight. Sturdy stems and contrasting dark green foliage make for a great cut flower as well!
The Sweet Daisy Birdy is available only as plants as yet. It is low maintenance, zone 3 hearty and is cold and heat tolerant. Plant in full sun, in well drained soil. Water as needed.
Article by Pam Davies MGV
Photo Credit: All-America Selections
The American Hosta Growers Associate 2021 Hosta of the Year is "Rainbow's End." "Rainbow's End" is a small plant (11" tall by 21" wide at maturity) that grows in mounds with pale purple flowers on red scapes in late summer. The leaves are variegated thick green with yellow centered that become white in the summer.
Judged by Association growers and gardeners, the criteria for selecting the Hosta of the Year includes suitability to all regions , availability and an affordable retail price of about $15.00.
The AHGA is a trade organization for growers that fosters interest in Hosta culture through marketing and education. Membership is restricted to growers and nurseries that specialize in developing, propagating and selling hostas. Growers must be certified and inspected by their Sate Agriculture Department.
Gardeners interested in Hostas should consider joining the American Hosta Society. Links for AHS and AHGA are listed below.
Article by Pam Davies, UW-Extension Master Gardener Volunteer
I LOVE Toads. I have always loved toads. My first memory of a toad encounter was as a toddler, I of course reached over to pick up this unique never before seen creature and it promptly peed on me. I giggled. My mother explained, as she gently put the toad back on the ground, when toads are scared they pee on the intruder as a mechanism to ward off the enemy. Keep in mind I was around 4 years old and I kept thinking about that all day – “How Cool IS that – PEE on someone that scares you!” Now, I knew enough even at that young age, that I should NOT DO that! BUT, the concept kept me delighted ALL day and for several days afterward.
Yes, a Hardy Hibiscus is capable of surviving temperatures as low as minus 30 degrees. [Not to be confused with a Shrub or Tropical Hibiscus plant (native to Asia), the Hardy Hibiscus are hybrids, primarily traced back to the native North America species Hibiscus moscheutos.
Hardy Hibiscus comes in shades of white, pink, red and yellow, with different eye patterns and streaking through the petals. Its leaf color also varies from green to bronze and near-black.
Growing naturally in wetlands and along riverbanks throughout the Midwest and East Coast—even into Texas and Florida, this water-tolerant characteristic makes them perfect for areas of the garden that periodically flood or in rain gardens. The Hardy Hibiscus needs full sun and consistent watering. If in too much shade, its branches stretch and flop, while buds, flower performance and foliage colors decrease. If it loses its lowest leaves or aborts buds, you may need to up the water.
Characteristically, the Hardy Hibiscus dies back to the ground each year and breaks dormancy later in the spring—even the end of May, depending on the year. Consider planting it with spring-blooming bulbs which will be out of bloom when the Hibiscus is ready to emerge.
When planting a Hibiscus, be sure to give it plenty of space to grow. A mature plant can get 5-6′ wide and grow quickly during the year. If you take a week’s summer vacation, you’re likely to come back to a plant twice the size you left it!
Submitted by: Vickie Gee-Treft, UW-Extension Master Gardener Volunteer
Credit to https://ngb.org/year-of-the-hardy-hibiscus/
COVID-19 has claimed the North Country Master Gardener Volunteer Association’s annual Plant Sale.
The 2020-2021 calendar years have created challenges for our organization. The North Country Master Gardener Association will not be hosting the Annual 2021 Plant Sale this May highlighting heirloom tomatoes, a variety of peppers, and native plants. However, there will be opportunities to participate in several outdoor and online horticultural programs throughout the gardening season to help support the local gardening community.
We want to thank all our supporters for their understanding during these challenging times.
Our Meet Me in the Garden series will be conducted outdoors at the Spooner Agriculture Research Station’s Teaching and Display Gardens in soon-to-be announced dates. These programs have something to offer both beginner and experienced gardeners.
More information is available about volunteering with the University of Wisconsin Master Gardener Volunteer program at https://mastergardener.extension.wisc.edu/ The program’s purpose is to help provide information about gardening and natural resources to the public. Information on local programs and contact information are available at www.northcountryMGV.org
Keep safe, stay healthy and remember to buy Wisconsin horticultural products in support of our Wisconsin gardeners.
Roseann Meixelsperger, President
North Country Master Gardener Volunteers
The Wisconsin Master Gardener Program is celebrating Master Gardener Volunteer Week April 5-9, 2021. Master Gardener Volunteers are an important part of University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension in helping fulfill its mission of researched-based horticulture outreach and education. Trained and certified volunteers help to improve the lives of residents and communities across the state. Through hours of community service volunteers assist Extension by answering diagnostic questions, educating the public on horticultural topics, growing and donating food to local pantries, beautifying community spaces, conducting workshops, and more, these volunteers work tirelessly to make Wisconsin an incredible place to live.
Locally Master Gardener Volunteers contribute hundreds of volunteer hours each year in communities across Burnett, Sawyer and Washburn Counties. According the Kevin Schoessow, Extension Agriculture Development Educator, for Burnett, Sawyer and Washburn Counties, “These efforts would not be possible without dedicated volunteers and the support of county Extension offices. Master Gardener Volunteers are the true example of selfless giving and deserve our THANKS” To learn more about how MGV are making a difference in Burnett, Sawyer and Washburn Counties visit the North Country Master Gardener website at https://www.northcountrymgv.org/ Find out more information about the Master Gardener Program at https://mastergardener.extension.wisc.edu/
Pepper Pot-a-peño (F1) is a 2021 All-America Selections Winner in the vegetable category. As the name says, this plant is ideal for growing in pots and would look beautiful in a hanging pot in the garden or patio so long as it gets full sun for optimal foliage and fruiting. Pot-a-peña is a warm weather annual for our region.
The beautiful bushy foliage is dark green and grows to a height of 12 to 15 inches in a compact mound. Fruit shape is conical and pointed about 3 to 4 inches in length. Fruit color starts out green and matures to red. Harvest green or red as desired. This is a jalapeño so it will be spicy when harvested green and sweeter though still spicy when harvested red. You can expect from 35 to 40 peppers from a typical plant.
It is recommended that seeds are started indoors at least 6-7 weeks before planting. For optimal germination temp should be above 70°F. Up potting is recommended in 3 to 4 weeks. Transplant outdoors when night time temps will be over 45°F and no threat of frost. For green fruit expect 45 to 50 days to harvest, 60 to 65 days for red fruit.
Seeds are currently sold out at Park Seed https://parkseed.com/pot-a-peno-pepper-seeds/p/52445-PK-P1/
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Diversity in the garden