Green Thumb Gardening Early Spring Series

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Event Information


March 9th - April 27th, 2021


6:30pm - 8:30pm




Lisa Johnson




The Green Thumb Gardening series will give you the practical knowledge to keep your home garden thriving! University of Wisconsin Extension educators and local horticulture experts will provide in-depth and accessible information for everyone from the novice to the experienced gardener. In 2020-2021, our class offerings have been expanded, including a Fall, Winter, Early Spring, Mid-summer and Late Summer series of classes.

For the safety of all participants, classes will be held online. Blended (in-person/online) classes may be available later in the year as conditions permit. Optional outdoor lab sessions for some classes in Spring (e.g. shrub pruning class) and Summer will be held in the Dane County Extension Teaching Garden . Separate registration for labs will be needed as space will be limited due to the need for social distancing. Facemasks will be required for these in-person events. Class registrations are open now.

Early Spring Series 2021 online Tuesdays 6:30-8:30

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*Fruit Tree Pruning March 9 (Optional Outdoor lab will be Saturday March 13 from 10-noon Dane County Extension Teaching Garden, registration required, space is limited) Learn proper pruning and training techniques for apple, pear, cherry, and plum trees. March, while the trees are still dormant, is a great month for pruning. There will also be an optional hands-on pruning lab at the Teaching Garden mini-orchard (located at the Dane County Extension Teaching Garden ). The lab will be Saturday March 13 from 10-noon. (Speaker Lisa Johnson)

*Shade and Ornamental Tree Pruning and Tree Planting March 16 Trees are an investment in the environment. Learn how to properly prune for good structure, which creates a safe and strong tree that remains an asset for many years. We will review the 3-cut method and making decisions on what to cut and how much to cut. We will also cover proper planting of trees. Many trees are not planted properly, and it often affects their health and longevity. (Speaker Lisa Johnson)

*Shrub Pruning March 23 (Optional Outdoor Hands on Lab Sessions Dane County Extension Teaching Garden March 18 1-3:30 pm, March 20, 9:30-noon or March 23 3-5 pm registration required, space is limited) It is important to prune shrubs periodically, not just to control height and width, but for better flowering, fruiting and overall health. Different shrubs need different pruning techniques and they should be pruned at different times of the year. We will cover proper pruning techniques for different types of deciduous shrubs. You will receive an electronic copy of a chart that covers timing and techniques for pruning many deciduous shrubs. Optional hands-on labs at the Dane County Extension Teaching Garden be held outdoors March 18 1-3:30 pm, March 20, 9:30-noon and March 23 3-5 pm (any of the three dates are fine, multiple dates were needed to accommodate social distancing). (Speaker Lisa Johnson)

*Soils, Soil Testing and Fertilizers April 6 Good soils are vital to growing healthy plants. This class will present information on the physical and chemical structure of soils and introduce techniques for improving the soil you have. We will also cover information about soil testing and test results. There will be a short activity on understanding and selecting fertilizer products, both organic and traditional, as well. (Speaker Lisa Johnson)

Wisconsin Spring Wildflowers April 20 This class will focus on spring ephemerals and non-ephemeral perennials in woodland settings, but also cover some spring-blooming prairie forbs as well. Information about how these plants propagate, and how they are used by pollinators will also be covered. (Speaker Lisa Johnson)

*Plant Propagation Without Seeds April 27: Learn how to propagate plants in the garden and home. We will review techniques to propagate plants via seed, cuttings, divisions, offsets, and bulbs. You will receive a chart for techniques to propagate many common houseplants and some perennial garden plants. We will briefly touch on tissue culture and woody plant propagation as well. (Speaker Lisa Johnson)

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