Saturday Session Descriptions

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Session I - 10:15-11:30 a.m.

Session II - 2-3:15 p.m.

Session III - 3:30-4:30 p.m.  

Session I - 10:15-11:30 a.m.

Out of Chaos, Orders…A Hands-On Insect Identification Workshop 
Dr. Duke Elsner, MSU Extension 

In this hands-on workshop, learn everything you never wanted to know about insects! Get an overview of Insect identification including why insect identification is so hard, what level of ID is needed and the basic skills needed to identify insects. Learn more about taxonomy and systematics, including common and scientific names, higher classifcations and how to use this information to your advantage. You will also learn the key features of insects, arthropods, and arachnids used for identification and how to easily recognize the most common classes. During the workshop, you will work with live or preserved specimens of insects, spiders and mites. Learn tips on handling specimens and using a hand lens will be included.Participants are encouraged to bring their favorite insect identification references.       

Digging into Your Soil
Dr. Dean Baas, MSU Extension

Soil health is getting considerable attention these days. Learn how to evaluate basic soil health without expensive testing.  Basics of soil health with be covered. The smell test, squeeze test, slake test, tighty whitey test and more will be demonstrated.  Bring a sample and try these tests to dig into your own soil.

Ask the Doctor….Vegetable Town Forum
Dr. Ron Goldy, MSU Extension

This workshop provides you with the opportunity to ask and discuss your more difficult vegetable gardening questions. The topics will be whatever you have on your mind. Ron will lead a “Stump-the-chump” town hall-type format where he will do his best to address all of your “beyond the beginner” questions. Everyone attending this interactive, audience participating session is guaranteed to learn something they can use.

Cacti and Succulents for Michigan Gardens 

Bill Hendricks, Klyn Nursery

While it may surprise some gardeners, many cacti and succulents are hardy and can be used in the garden year round. Others accent the garden in containers or planted in the garden for the season. Join Bill to find out how to use hardy and nonhardy succulents in the garden.

Tritten’s Tool Time
Bob Tritten, MSU Extension

Proper pruning starts with selecting the right tools and keeping them sharp. A sharp pruning tool makes cleaner cuts that heal more efficiently, resulting in a healthier plant better able to fight disease, insect infestation, and natural stresses with strength and vigor. Join Bob Tritten to learn how to select the right tools for the task and the proper tools and techniques to keep them sharp.

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Session II - 2-3:15 p.m.

The Plant Doctor: Diagnosing Plant Problems - This session will be repeated
Dr. Dave Roberts, MSU

Plants may be affected by various pests, diseases, and environmental and human-induced factors. Often, these causes of plant problems can produce symptoms on plants that can mimic one another. Hence, the diagnosis of plant problems can be quite challenging if not downright difficult. An accurate diagnosis is vital if we are to properly implement management procedures. During this hands-on session, actual samples of plant problems will be displayed; tips will be provided that may help us diagnose and distinguish between various plant issues.

Plant Propagation: Feeding your Passion Without Breaking the Bank
Janet Draper, Smithsonian Institute

Janet is a self-proclaimed plant geek, who loves propagation. In this hands-on workshop, she will focus on multiplying your favorite herbaceous perennials and indoor plants and guide you through the process of asexual propagation. She will provide an overview of various asexual propagation techniques and the science behind them. Once you learn the techniques, get your hands dirty by propagating plants by rooted cuttings, layering, and underground structures. If you have a favorite pest-free indoor plant or herbaceous perennial, feel free to bring it along for the session.

New and Noteworthy Perennials 
Barb Balgoyen, Walters Gardens, Inc.

Renowned plant breeders and developers search every corner of the world for exponentially better perennials that fill the diverse niches of our Michigan landscapes. Barb Balgoyen of Walter’s Gardens has been helping gardeners select the best plants for 30 years to fill our gardens with exceptional plants that are reliable and beautiful.

Biological calendars:  Using growing degree-days and plant phenology to predict pest activity in a changing climate
Dr. Dan Herms, Ohio State University 

The phenology of insects is tied to weather, and there is evidence that insect pests are emerging earlier as the climate warms.  Growing degree-days and plant phenological events such as blooming time and can be used to track the growing season and predict insect development.  The flowering sequence of plants tracks degree-day accumulation and provides a user-friendly biological calendar for scheduling pest management activities that is accurate regardless of year-to-year variation in weather.

Building a Bee Hotel 
Julia Brokaw, MSU 

Julia will discuss and display steps for how to build and maintain bee hotels for stem-nesting bees (with an emphasis on post-installation maintenance) for use in home gardens, parks, and small farms.

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Session III - 3:30-4:30 p.m.  

The Plant Doctor: Diagnosing Plant Problems - This session will be repeated 
Dr. Dave Roberts, MSU 

Plants may be affected by various pests, diseases, and environmental and human-induced factors. Often, these causes of plant problems can produce symptoms on plants that can mimic one another. Hence, the diagnosis of plant problems can be quite challenging if not downright difficult. An accurate diagnosis is vital if we are to properly implement management procedures. During this hands-on session, actual samples of plant problems will be displayed; tips will be provided that may help us diagnose and distinguish between various plant issues.

When it Rains…. 
Paul Gross, MSU Extension

In this workshop, soil structure, soil health, residue and cover will be investigated using a rainfall simulator. See and learn how some common practices such as tillage are not the best idea and some uncommon practices such as residue and cover crops are. This demonstration is always insightful as you let rainfall tell you what is really happening in and on the soil.

Dwarf Conifers…an Investment in Garden Treasures 
Bill Hendricks, Klyn Nursery 

The tremendous diversity in conifers available today is overwhelming. Join conifer connoisseur, Bill Hendricks, as he shares the subtle differences of many dwarf cultivars and how to incorporate them into the landscape.

Growing More!!! 
Will Jaquinde, MSU Extension 

Whether you’re a novice or seasoned vegetable gardener, Will Jaquinde will help you increase your vegetable garden’s productivity. Learn how to improve soil health and weed control using cover crops, intensive cropping systems, and organic and plastic (colored) mulches. Also hear how you can to stretch your vegetable garden to three seasons with floating row covers and affordable structures.  

Creating Great Gardens from the Ground Up
Christina Curell, MSU Extension, and Joel Clifton, Morgan Composting

While “Soil” is not considered sexy, as it’s out of site….out of mind. Healthy gardens begin with healthy soils. And what helps make soils healthy….compost!!! Join Christina Curell, MSU Soil Team member, and Joel Clifton, Morgan Composting, as they dig deep into this topic. Learn how to improve your lawn and garden through compost and composted manures. Find out about the beneficial impact on soil microorganisms, the nutrient value of compost, how much to apply for your garden, how compost is produced commercially, products for commercial and home gardeners and many other tidbits to make your garden better from the ground up.


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