Saturday Educational Sessions

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Three sessions were held on Saturday, June 18. Click on the session link below to drop down to the corresponding class descriptions.

Session 1

Session 2

Session 3

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Session 1

Building the Foundation: Soil Health and Biology

Joe Boggs, The Ohio State University (OSU) - Download the Presentation  Download the handout

Soil is the foundation for growing plants, so it stands to reason that soil problems ultimately lead directly to plant problems. This is particularly true of urban soils, which are often severely damaged during home construction or by well-intended changes made by homeowners. Learn from Joe Boggs, OSU Assistant Professor, how to recognize and fix soil problems during this engaging and entertaining presentation which focuses on soil concepts including the important role of “biologicals.

Landscape Design and Planning Tips to Green Your Garden

Chuck Martin, The Dow Gardens -  Download the Presentation Download the handout 

Is your garden lackluster? Are you struggling with unhealthy plants? Join Chuck Martin, Senior Horticulturist from The Dow Gardens, on a mission to “green your garden.” Chuck will teach you how proper design and environmental conditions can be incorporated in a stylish and sustainable fashion. Learn more about the three most important aspects to an environmentally responsible landscape: personal preference, plant selection and location. Through the creation of a healthy landscape, you will be empowered to create a healthy and sustainable environment for your garden.

Michigan Bees: Honey, Native, Wild, Invasive or Wannabees

Jason Gibbs, MSU - Download the Presentation

Michigan is home to a diverse fauna of wild bees that are remarkably different from the managed honey bee. Discover the diversity of Michigan’s wild bees and the many biological strategies employed by our local bees. Dr. Jason Gibbs will teach participants how to recognize, appreciate, and conserve the 450 species of wild bees in Michigan.

Not Your Grandma’s Annuals!

Pamela Bennett, The Ohio State University - Download the Presentation  Download the handout 

Deadheading – what’s that? Many of our newer annuals don’t require deadheading or other time-consuming tasks yet provide top-notch performance throughout the season. Learn from Pam Bennett, Associate Professor with OSU Extension, as she examines which annuals are the easiest to maintain in today’s gardens during this fast-paced, colorful review of ornamental field trials.

Take Your Vegetable Garden to a Higher Level

Rebecca Krans, MSU Extension - Download the Presentation

Whether you’re a green thumb or greenhorn vegetable gardener, Rebecca Krans will help you dig into vegetable gardening strategies to increase productivity, sustainability, and expand the growing season. Learn how to improve soil health and weed control using cover crops, intensive cropping systems, use of organic and plastic (colored) mulches, how and when to use floating row covers and stretching your vegetable garden to three seasons with affordable cloches, mini tunnels and cold frames. See demonstrations of actual season extenders and learn tips on construction and how to use them. Be a lucky session participant who will win one free giveaway!!

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Session 2

Cultivating the Recipe:  Herbal Landscapes Inside and Out

Jessica Wright, Michigan 4-H Children’s Garden - Download the Presentation 

Step outside the traditional herb garden with MSU horticulturist, Jessica Wright, and discover how to select and grow the best cultivars of culinary herbs for your favorite recipes. Hear inspirational ideas on how to incorporate these eatable beauties into your garden landscapes this growing season.

Landscape Design and Planning Tips to Green Your Garden

Chuck Martin, Dow Gardens -  Download the Presentation Download the handout 

Is your garden lackluster? Are you struggling with unhealthy plants? Join Chuck Martin, Senior Horticulturist from Dow Gardens, on a mission to “green your garden.” Chuck will teach you how proper design and environmental conditions can be incorporated in a stylish and sustainable fashion. Learn more about the three most important aspects to an environmentally responsible landscape: personal preference, plant selection and location. Through the creation of a healthy landscape, you will be empowered to create a healthy and sustainable environment for your garden.

New Plants and Passing the Muster

Greg Michalak, C. Raker & Sons, Inc.- Download the Presentation

Journey alongside a new plant variety from plant breeder to plant trials and ultimately to market and your garden! Discover the rigorous steps, evaluations and scrutiny a new variety undergoes to reach the market and what happens as it becomes commercially available. Greg will also share information on the Raker Trial Gardens which offers an unmatched experience for all plant lovers.

What’s Left Behind…The Diagnostic Clues

Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University - Download the presentation

Sharpen your diagnostic skills by studying clues left behind by pests in the garden. Whether it’s learning insect scatology (the study of scat) and recognizing honeydew, frass, eggs and shed skins of specific insects, or patterns from certain types of chewing damage, this session will arm you with a greater arsenal of detective skills when sleuthing plant problems in the garden. Join Dr. Whitney Cranshaw in this unique session that will benefit any Extension Master Gardener.

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Session 3

Apple Tree Walls and Unusual Small Fruit for Michigan

Mark Longstroth, MSU Extension

In this session Mark Longstronth, MSUE fruit specialist, will provide session participants with several strategies for packing multiple fruit varieties into small spaces in your landscape or garden. Explore variety selection, training systems and new fruit crops. Learn more about garden-sized columnar apple trees, developed from a genetic mutation for upright growth with little, if any branching; dwarfing apple rootstocks and ‘spindle’ training systems using dwarf trees. Longstroth will also cover novel fruit including Aronia, honeyberries (Haskaps), saskatoons, and Brazelberries and discuss whether these fruits are worth using in Michigan gardens as ornamentals and or as edible fruit. He will also cover small-scale strategies for managing SWD (spotted wing drosophila), a serious pest in berries that all Extension Master Gardeners should be familiar with.

Dramatic Container Combinations for Every Season

Paul Zammit, Toronto Botanical Garden - Download the Presentation Download the Handout 

Join Paul for an energetic presentation on the steps to create eye catching and lasting planters. Just as outdoor landscapes change throughout the year, seasonal transformations can, and should be reflected in dramatic container arrangements. Paul will highlight his favorite and must-have choice plants, combinations and planter accents for every changing season.

Growing Great Kids Through Gardening

Dixie Sandborn, MSU Extension

Children can thrive when involved with gardening and the benefits of science-based learning in the garden is astonishing! During this session, you’ll discover ways to engage children in novel, “hands-on” learning experiences that promote a love of gardening, develop an appreciation for the environment, and cultivate the mind through the new Junior Master Gardening Curriculum Learn, Grow, Eat & Go. You’ll also learn more about the resources available through the Junior Master Gardening program and how children’s lives can be improved through gardening.

Smart Gardening for Pollinators

Abi Saeed, MSU Extension - Download the Presentation 

Smart gardeners know that bees, along with beneficial insects and spiders, do their fair share of work in the garden. Through the implementation of smart gardening techniques, pollinators can be encouraged to take up residence in your garden. In this session, you’ll learn more about pollinators, the plight they are facing and how you can help! Take a virtual tour through the garden to learn about the major groups of Michigan pollinators, discover the habitats that help them thrive and the beautiful array of plants that are the most attractive to bees.

Not Your Grandma’s Annuals!

Pamela Bennett, The Ohio State University Download the Presentation  Download the handout 

Deadheading – what’s that? Many of our newer annuals don’t require deadheading or other time-consuming tasks yet provide top-notch performance throughout the season. Learn from Pam Bennett, Associate Professor with OSU Extension, as she examines which annuals are the easiest to maintain in today’s gardens during this fast-paced, colorful review of ornamental field trials.

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