The Ashland/Bayfield County Master Gardeners are hosting two virtual programs “Unsung Heroes of Nature” on February 11 from 6:30-8 pm and “How to Attract Pollinators to Your Home Gardens” on March 11 from 6:30-8 pm. You can find out more about each program and registration information by clicking on the links below. A program link and password will be provided the day before the program by Sarah DeGraff, UW-Extension Bayfield County.
Living here in northern Wisconsin, and being a gardener, I wanted to break the barriers to gardening that our harsh winters create. This year, I am experimenting with hydroponics. Hydroponics, in its simplest form, is growing plants by supplying all necessary nutrients in the plants’ water supply rather than through the soil.
Plants need water, nutrients, light, air, and structural support for the roots.
There are two types of hydroponic systems: active and passive. I have had a passive system when our Master Gardener Kids in the Garden program repurposed plastic bottles that had a “wicking” material to draw up the liquid nutrients for the roots to access by simply suspending the plants in the inverted bottle top and placing the container in a sunny window. That works well in Summer, but not at all in Winter. There is simply not enough natural light for the plant to grow, given our shorter winter daylight hours.
The University of Minnesota Extension service has published Gardening with Native Grasses in Cold Climates online and is offering free access! What a great way to while away these long winter months!
Here is a link that will take you directly to the first chapter Introduction to Grasses. Notice the Contents drop down on the left of the title banner, click on the word Contents to link to these chapters:
Post by Pam Davies, MGV
I want to share a helpful book that a friend recently shared with me.
Raising Butterflies in the Garden ~ author Brenda Dziedzic
A little about Brenda Dziedzic. She is an award winning Master Gardener and an expert on the subject of raising butterfly and moth species. Her memberships include the Southeast Michigan Butterfly Association, Monarch Watch and the North American Butterfly Association.
I appreciated all the tips she shares on how to attract butterflies to your backyard. And why it is important to plant both nectar and host plants.
She also shares how to create your own butterfly nursery.
Black Swallowtail have been visiting and living in our garden for the past two seasons.
I was so happy to learn from Brenda, how to help our Black Swallowtail survive and flourish during the seasons by planting host plants and nectar plants.
Brenda goes into detail with the following butterfly and moth families..
Whites and Sulphurs
As the winter months are fast approaching and we soon will be looking at seed catalogs. We can start to plan our gardens around attracting our favorite butterflies.
Some people may feel they need to have a large garden to attract butterfly. Hey, no worries, butterfly enjoy small gardens and container gardeners too.
If you are a container gardener, Brenda gives tips for the container gardener on attracting butterfly.
If you like butterflies, you will enjoy this book.
Carla TePaske ~ NCMGV
Late Summer is here and Autumn is knocking on the door.
Flowers from our gardens are starting to slow down and we are seeing signs of Autumn.
We can still make lovely bouquets using a little creativity.
Dried grasses, broom corn and flowers work well.
Add feathers, pinecones, acorns and dried leaves.
"The goldenrod is yellow.
The corn is turning brown.
The trees in apple orchards with fruit are bending down."
Helen Hunt Jackson
If you garden organically, you know that weeds can be a real problem. In this video, Kevin Schoessow breaks down all of the types of organic mulches that we use in the Teaching & Display Garden. He explains the pros and cons of several types of mulch and how to properly apply them. Give this a watch--you'll gain a new understanding of the whole mulching process!
It's a new installment in our Kids in the Garden Series! Master Gardener Volunteer Linda Anderson teaches all about the life and life cycle of the magnificent Monarch butterfly.
Really, this isn't just for kids. From her seat in the beautiful Teaching & Display Garden, Linda explains everything we need to know about what Monarch butterflies do for us and how we can protect them.
University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension, Spooner Agricultural Research Station and North Country Master Gardener Volunteers will be holding their 22nd Annual Twilight Garden Tour using a virtual format in 2020. UW-Madison Extension Master Gardener Volunteers will be presenting a tour of the specialized garden beds that they have been tending this summer via recorded videos. These YouTube videos will be released on August 25, 2020 and a live Speaker Symposium via Zoom Meetings will be held from 5:30 to 7 PM (Registration required for the live Zoom Speaker Symposium.)
Speakers will be:
Jason Fischbach, Food and Energy Woody Crops Specialist with UW-Madison Division of Extension and Agriculture Educator for Bayfield and Ashland County, who will give an update on plant development, processing and marketing for the up-and-coming hazelnut industry.
Solveig Hanson, Ph.D. candidate in Horticulture-Plant Breeding Plant Genetics at UW-Madison, will present information on the development of new beet varieties without the characteristic earthy flavor.
Julie Dawson, Associate Professor in the Department of Horticulture at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the state Extension specialist for Urban and Regional Food Systems, will speak on how the Seed to Kitchen Collaborative research project is evaluating new vegetables with a focus on flavor, fresh-market quality and agronomic performance for smaller-scaled farms and urban gardeners.
The three speakers will present via Zoom Meetings. Zoom is a free platform that can be accessed by a computer, mobile device, or audio only with your telephone. Register now. As in the past, there is no charge for this educational event.
The Teaching & Display Garden is an official All-America Selections (AAS) display garden featuring both flowers and vegetables and has been awarded multiple awards in the National Landscape Design contest sponsored by AAS. The garden also includes organic vegetable gardening, a children’s garden, container gardening, displays of table and wine grapes and fruit trees and a Monarch and Pollinator Sanctuary perennial garden.
While this year’s garden tour will be held virtually, the Teaching and Display Gardens are open for self-guided tours during daylight hours as long as posted social distancing guidelines are followed. The garden is located on Orchard Lane, 1 mile east of Spooner on Highway 70.
For more information please contact Kevin Schoessow at 715-635-3506 or 1-800-528-1914, online at http://spooner.ars.wisc.edu or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/spoonerag.
UW-Extension provides equal opportunity in employment and programming including Title IX and ADA requirements. Please call our toll-free number if you have any special needs or require special accommodations.
Kevin Schoessow, University of Wisconsin Extension Area Agriculture Development Educator forBurnett, Sawyer and Washburn Counties spent well over an hour observing a Bombus (Bumble Bee) nest in the compost bin at the Spooner Agricultural Research Station. He used an upturned bucket to make for a nice observation seat in front of the nest entry. They pretty much ignored him as he sat there. Here are his observations:
"If I stand over the opening to the top of the bin and look down on the pile of grass and then tap the edge of the bin with my foot, the hive comes to life. The buzzing sound is almost deafening, and its amazing how bees almost magically appear from under the grass. It’s like they are sentinel laying in wait just beneath the surface. In a matter of seconds there are close to a dozen crawling and flying above the grass and I have been chased away on more than one occasion. Hopefully all this attention doesn’t interfere with their business. Based on what I am seeing/hearing we have a very healthy nest."
Now is the time to observe bumble bees at their busiest. There are a number of resources to learn more about these important pollinators.
The Spooner Agricultural Research Station Teaching and Display Gardens are open for self-guided tours during all daylight hours. Please follow the social distancing guidelines that are posted.
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|North Country MGV||
Diversity in the garden