Fall 2022 Green Thumb Gardening Series – Classes have ended for 2022

Please email Lisa Johnson at Johnson.Lisa@countyofdane.com if you’re interested in 2023 classes.

Monday, September 12th: Soils, Soil Testing and Fertilizers
Good soils are vital to growing healthy plants. This class will review physical and chemical structure of soils, pH, organic matter and techniques for improving the soil you have. We will also cover soil testing and test results and address selecting fertilizer products (both organic and traditional,) reading labels and calculating application rates.

Monday, September 19th: Plant Propagation
We will discuss techniques to propagate plants via seed, cuttings, divisions, offsets, and bulbs. You will receive a chart of techniques to propagate many common houseplants and some perennial garden plants. We will briefly touch on tissue culture and woody plant propagation as well.

Wednesday, September 28th: Houseplants
This talk is the consumer’s guide to buying, growing and enjoying healthy houseplants.  You will leave this talk with information on selecting, watering, siting plants in your home, potting and repotting houseplants, fertilizing and how to identify and manage pests and diseases.

Monday, October 3rd: Intro to Insects (PJ Liesch)
Insects are an extremely diverse and critically important group of animals. In this class, PJ Liesch, Director of the UW-Madison Insect Diagnostic Lab will discuss the basic anatomy, physiology, and ecology of these creatures and take a brief look at the main groups of insects. This will help you in identifying insects in your garden, knowing beneficial predator insects from plant-eaters, identifying and supporting pollinators and understanding management techniques. (Speaker PJ Liesch).

Thursday, October 6thShade and Ornamental Tree Planting and Pruning
Learn how to properly plant trees and provide good after-care. Many trees are not planted properly, and this affects their health and longevity. Learn proper pruning techniques to create a safe and strong structure so your tree remains an asset for many years. We will review the 3-cut method and making decisions on where and what to cut and how much to cut.

Thursday, October 20th 6-9 pm: Fundamentals of Plant Disease (Brian Hudelson)
Brian Hudelson, Director of the Plant Disease Diagnostics Clinic (https://pddc.wisc.edu/) will speak about common diseases of vegetables and their management. You will get tips and strategies for preventing disease as well and digital copies of a number of fact sheets on various common vegetable diseases. (note this class runs an extra hour long: it will NOT by recorded)

Monday, October 24th: Lawns and Turf Management (Doug Soldat)
Lawn Care: Dr. Doug Soldat of the UW-Madison Department of Soil Science will discuss various facets of lawn care, including learning about grass species, seed selection and sowing, watering, fertilizing, aerating and mowing.

Tuesday, November 1st: Planning/Techniques for the Organic Vegetable Garden (Guest Speaker: Claire Strader)
Organic and Small Farm Outreach Specialist Claire Strader will get you ready for organic vegetable gardening with strategies and tips for advanced as well as newer gardeners. She will cover crop selection, creating in-ground beds, timing of crops, crop spacing, building productive soils, using cover crops, and more. You will leave with at least four electronic handouts full of great information.

Thursday Nov. 3, 6-8 pm: Weed ID and Management
We will talk about using various techniques to manage weeds in the garden and landscape and spend some time reviewing a rogue’s gallery of common weeds, both grassy and broadleaf types. You will get an electronic copy of a handout that walks you through a taxonomic key for identifying grasses as well as other resources. We encourage you to send in photos of weeds from your yard ahead of time. (Speaker Lisa Johnson)

Monday, November 7th: Vegetable Garden Crop Management, Pests and Diseases
This class reviews common vegetable families and how to grow the crops within them. Crop rotation, best management practices and typical diseases and insects you might encounter will be briefly addressed.

Thursday, November 10th: Tree Fruits
Learn proper planting, pruning and training techniques for several types of fruit trees. The class covers selection, planting, fertilization, watering, staking and some common insects and diseases. You will receive electronic copies of publications from the UW-Madison Dept. Learning Store.

Monday, November 14th: Wildlife in the Garden (David Drake)
Learn how to attract desirable wildlife to your yard while discouraging and repelling species that like to feed on your plants. Dr. David Drake of the UW-Madison Wildlife Ecology Department will present an engaging look at wildlife in garden situations and also cover some local research projects and resources on urban wildlife.

Thursday, Nov. 17: Invasive Plant Management
This class will mostly consist of invasive plant ID and management by cultural and chemical means. Invasive plant species are non-native, able to out-compete native species in natural ecosystems such as woodlands, and have no natural enemies. This differentiates them from weeds that primarily invade disturbed areas like gardens and roadsides. We will review the DNR NR40 list of restricted and prohibited invasive species for Wisconsin and explain the categories of regulated plants. (Speaker Lisa Johnson)

Monday, November 21st: Intro to Growing Berries
Learn about planting, fertilizing, pruning and overwintering these different types of fruit crops. Variety recommendations, insect/disease management and some troubleshooting will be included as well. You will receive electronic copies of Learning Store publications as well as learning about other handy online resources. (Speaker Lisa Johnson)

Monday, November 28th: Perennials
Learn about how to select shade and sun perennials for your garden as well as general care, propagation and maintenance. Find out about herbaceous perennial plants (native and non-native) that will thrive in light, medium and deep shade. We will also discuss plants that tolerate dry shade and wet shade as well as ones that need lots of sun. (Speaker Lisa Johnson)

Monday, December 5th: Annuals
Learn about growing healthy annuals for pots, windowboxes and bedding situations. We will cover species characteristics and selection, siting, growing in containers vs bedding situations, watering, and fertilizing. We will also address designing with annuals in-ground and in containers. (Speaker Lisa Johnson, TBA speaker)

Thursday, Dec. 8: Native Plants and Pollinators
This session will focus on groups of insect pollinators and how you can attract and support them by growing various native and nativar plants. We will also cover a number of recommended native plants for sun and shade and their growth and maintenance needs. (Speaker Lisa Johnson)

You can register for classes as a package for a slight discount, or choose selected classes for a slightly higher cost. In cases of financial need, a limited number of scholarships are available. Contact Lisa Johnson at Johnson.lisa@countyofdane.com for more information.