It’s Spring in the Teaching Garden!

It’s a great time of year. Bulbs, native spring wildflowers and various trees and shrubs are all blooming! Here are some of the highlights over the past three to four weeks. Bulbs: We have a couple of late-season daffodils still blooming. ‘Palmares’ is a member of Division 11 of the Narcissus genus. That division has […]

Return to Winter (Briefly)

If you are feeling a bit of weather whiplash, you are not alone. Some plants have leafed out or are blooming a few weeks earlier than usual due to the record-breaking warm weather in February and early March. Now, Mother Nature as she often does, is doing a bit of a course correction and we […]

It’s Time to Start Seeds – Check Out Our Seed Starting Workshop!

The 3rd-4th week in March is a great time to start seeds in the southern half of the state. We are holding a seed starting workshop this Saturday at the Dane County Extension office. This in-person event begins with a lecture on seed starting techniques and principles followed by a hands-on session in the Dane County Extension Teaching Garden Greenhouse where attendees can practice planting seeds and will take home some seeds in packs that they have planted. There are still spaces left if you’d like to come.

Check Your Ash Trees for Signs of Emerald Ash Borer This Winter

Woodpecker flecking on ash bark Photo credit Lisa Johnson Woodpecker Flecking on Ash Photo credit Wisconsin DNR Even before humans are able to detect signs of emerald ash borer in ash trees, woodpeckers know the larvae are there, feeding just under the tree’s bark. Woodpecker damage, called “flecking,” occurs when birds peck away the top […]

New Tree Planting Handout

One of the tools we have for climate resilience and mitigating the effects of urban heat islands in cities is planting more large-scale trees. This new two-sided publication from Dane County Extension Horticulture and the Tree Canopy Collaborative illustrates the steps in planting a tree, whether it is in a pot, bare root or has […]

Forcing Flower Bulbs

You may have received or purchased some flower bulbs over the holidays. For forcing, you need to know whether you have a precooled or non-pre-cooled bulb. Or maybe you have an amaryllis bulb, which needs no cooling due to its tropical origins. Amaryllis bulbs produce large showy blooms on a sturdy stalk. The common name […]

Protecting Trees and Shrubs from Critter Damage in Winter

Before the ground freezes too far down, it is a good time to put protective fencing around trees and shrubs that may experience damage from deer, rabbit, vole, or mouse feeding over winter. Fruit trees, crabapples, burning bush, shrub hibiscus, Fothergilla, young witch hazel, low-growing junipers and arborvitae are among the plants most commonly damaged, […]

It’s Garlic Planting Time

The month of October or even the beginning of November is the best time for planting garlic in the southern part of Wisconsin. The second or third week of October is the usual planting time in northern Wisconsin. We used to plant late in the fall to avoid having cloves sprout. However, new research shows […]

Plants With Great Fall Color

The autumn of 2022 was one of those amazing years for fall color. 2023 has been fairly good as well, which I was not expecting, given the severe drought that can cause woody plants to defoliate earlier than usual. But in 2022, even some woody plants that I don’t normally see great fall color on looked […]

Testing Seed Viability

Seed starting time is coming! Do you know if your seeds are viable? Here are some tips to keep in mind. Fresh seed germinates best. Seed packets are labeled with the date they are best used by. Though seeds are usually viable longer than that date, some species lose viability faster, and germination decreases for […]

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