Spring 2022 Green Thumb Series – Online or In-person

Classes are on Wednesdays from 9:00 am to 11:00 am; see descriptions below.

Click here to register for in-person classes!
Click here to register for online classes!

March 9:
Plant Anatomy, Plant Taxonomy and Secrets of Scientific Names    

Plant anatomy addresses plant structures, how they function and helpful vocabulary for understanding how plants grow. Plant taxonomy explains the mysteries of scientific names, reviews plant naming rules, how plants are organized into families and why that helps us understand their needs. There will be a short game activity (with prizes!) to review the vocabulary.

March 16: Shrub pruning

We will cover proper pruning techniques for different types of deciduous and evergreen shrubs. You will get an electronic copy of a chart covering timing and techniques for pruning many deciduous shrubs that you can use in your own garden. A lab in the Teaching Garden will allow you to practice pruning different types of shrubs.

March 23: Shade 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.

March 30: 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. A propagation activity is included.

April 6: Organic Vegetable Garden Planning & Techniques

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.

April 13: Vegetable Garden Plant Families, Insects, 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. A practice session on crop rotation and insect scouting is included.

April 20: Fundamentals of Plant Disease

Dr. Brian Hudelson of the Plant Disease Diagnostics Clinic will present information about disease-causing organisms (fungi, bacteria, viruses, phytoplasmas and nematodes) and the symptoms they cause, environmental factors that favor disease development, and ways to avoid and manage disease. He will cover plant disorders caused by factors such as nutrient imbalances, pesticides, environmental pollutants and adverse environmental conditions as well.

April 27: Fruit Trees

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.

May 4: 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. There will be short activities on understanding and selecting fertilizer products(both organic and traditional,) reading labels and calculating application rates as well as interpreting soil test results.

May 18: Growing Strawberries, Raspberries, & Blueberries

Learn about planting, fertilizing, pruning and overwintering these three 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)

May 25: Introduction to Insects in the Garden

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). A lab session in the Teaching Garden will follow.

Click here to register for in-person classes!
Click here to register for online classes!

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.