Our Mission:

The Rock Prairie Master Gardener Association, located in Rock County, Wisconsin, is the 42nd association of the Wisconsin Master Gardener Program.

This blog is used to distribute timely information to association members regarding volunteer opportunities, MGV highlights, and other social tid bits.

Horticulture related information is to be directed to the Horticulture Educator or the Plant Health Advisors.

This blog is not for garden related questions.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Help Us Choose - Results of brainstorming session

We need your help.  We're trying to plan events for RPMGA for 2018. At a brainstorming session Thursday, January 4, we developed a list of possibilities. Now we need to narrow that down to the ones we're most interested in.

So please look over the information below and send Ruth Flescher back a note listing the ones that most intrigue you (in order of most to least interested would be helpful).

If you have additional ideas, those are also welcome!

Thanks for your help!

Ruth Flescher


Tour Ideas
Daylily hybridizer and farm - Bill and Mary Powell hybridize and sell daylilies from their Epiphany Farm (off Hwy 106, East of Fort Atkinson).
Pasque Flower Preserve in the Kettle Moraine—One of the best sites to see one of our earliest spring flowers. Other wildflowers that may be blooming at the same time: Shooting stars, prairie smoke, kittentails, puccoon, pussy toes and several species of buttercups.
Nature at the Confluence, 306 Dickup St, So. Beloit, Ill. Tour their gardens and learn about their urban ecology plan.
RPMGA members private gardens (2-3)
CSA Options
Tour Regenerative Roots LLC in Jefferson - organic vegs (on a permaculture model) and Cultivating the Commons (grows vegetables for seed) near Fort Atkinson
Behind the scenes tour of the RECAP CSA project out at the Community Garden in Janesville
Michael Fields Agricultural Institute near East Troy - This organization offers hands-on education on sustainable agricultural—everything from soil basics to managing insects to marketing, much of which also applies to horticulture. If you want a look-see before deciding if you’d like this, the website is
The Angel Museum in Beloit (gardens)
Wirkus Nursery outside Clinton, WI
Tour Agrecol Native Seed and Plant Nursery - which grows native plants for many of the local prairie restoration specialty companies and conservation groups. Near Evansville.
Madison: Field day and vegetable tasting at the UW’s West Madison Ag Research Station
Allen Centennial Garden and DC Smith Greenhouse are part of the UW Family Garden Day (May 5)

Program Ideas

Beekeeping (at RECAP/Community Garden or another location)
Tool Care by Paul Haen of The Sharp Edge – rescuing damaged tools, plus a sharpening option.
Making and using seed screens (to clean trash from seeds you want to save)
The Art of Planning and Planting Flower Gardens (a talk by Mark Dwyer)
Making pollinator mixes for specific purposes (bee mix, beneficial insect mix, butterfly mix, bird mix)
Soils—Testing the effects compost could have on your own home soil
Help create a video on testing the difference mulch makes on growing plants
Hands-On class on Germination Testing
Companion planting
Making and using wildflower seed bombs (seeds mixed with clay that can be tossed out in appropriate locations to plant more native plants)
IPM for average folks/Home fruit trees - Hoping to invite Dennis Norton who is nurseryman at Royal Oak Farm Orchard in Harvard, Ill.
Weeds: ID at various growth stages, discussion of MGV’s weed control methods, uses of weeds such as fodder and food. Weeds you might keep and why.
Insect houses 2: Shelter boxes (vs. nursery boxes), using your houses, creating environments to support pollinators and beneficial insects
Contact Ruth Flescher with choices, comments and suggestions to We're looking forward to your input.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Know someone who'd like to train to be a MGV? Rock & Walworth Counties booking now!

Level 1 students learning to identify
 insects. Standing at rear is Master Gardener
Outreach Specialist Susan Mahr. 
Photo Mary Thompson 2012.
If you know someone who'd like to train to become a Master Gardener Volunteer, classes are booking now for residents of Rock and Walworth County.

Visit the website below to get all the information you'll need!!

Walworth and Rock County Master Gardener Training 2018

Wisconsin's Master Gardener Program Director Mike Maddox and University Services Associate Amy Freidig will be teaching the courses in Whitewater.

Director Maddox  is open to the idea that current MGVs could do retakes of Level 1 if they wish, however, those who have retaken classes as drop-in students in the past will find a different set of expectations.

"I'm open to the idea and my only request is that if anyone wants to retake the class, they will need to commit to the entirety due to the way it will be taught.  I predict "drop ins" with a flipped classroom would be disruptive and it wouldn't be enjoyable for them.  Please let me know by mid-January if you know of anyone who would like to retake it," Maddox concluded.

If you or someone you know would be a new student start your search for information by visiting the website above.

If potential retakers would want a new manual it would be $40.  Otherwise there would be no additional charge for those retaking the class.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

January 4, 2018 - Brainstorming Session at Hedberg

On Thursday, January 4 RPMGA will hold an open meeting for all members in the conference room by the Ground Floor coffee shop at Hedberg Public Library.

The meeting will begin at 5:30pm.  It will be an open format  - a brainstorming session - where all comers can present ideas and suggestions for programs, field trips, classes, or projects.

Bring yourself and your ideas!!  Looking forward to seeing everyone there.  

Hedberg is located at 316 S. Main St., Janesville.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Volunteer Opportunity - Maintain Informational Bulletin Board at Community Gardens

Part of this year's achievements is the new bulletin board at the Community Gardens that was built using funds donated by the Ekena Fund to the RPMGA for educational purposes.  This project was conceived, designed and implemented by MGV Deb Grams.

The bulletin board was built by RECAP volunteers and is complete but for a few minor touches.  It will be completely ready for use during the 2018 growing season.

We are looking for a volunteer or volunteers who would be willing to post plant health and disease information to the board weekly once the growing season begins.  One of the information sources will be the DATCP Wisconsin Pest Bulletin.  Others would be specific disease or insect information fact sheets published by the UWEX.  

DATCP Wisconsin Pest Bulletin

Samples of fact sheets for vegetables, flowers, shrubs and trees.

Late Blight

Powdery Mildew

Japanese Beetle

Vine Borer

All hours involved in keeping the bulletin board up to date will be Continuing Education Units (CEUs) - one (1) unit per hour.  Anyone interested in this volunteer opportunity please contact Deb Grams at 608-346-0595.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Pot Luck Dinner, Thursday, Nov. 9

Remember, Thursday night, 5:30 pm in the Courthouse Conference Center on the second floor of the Rock County Courthouse we'll be having our annual pot luck and member recognition dinner.

RPMGA will provide pulled pork and sliced turkey, buns, coffee, bottled water, plates, napkins and silverware. 

Bring a dish to pass, family and friends. 

Hope to see you there!!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Annual dinner, November 9

The year is winding down and soon it will be time for our annual potluck dinner.

This year's event will be held at the Courthouse Conference Center on the second floor of the Rock County Courthouse.  Dinner will be at 5:30 pm, but come a little early to schmooze.  We're hoping to have hours tallied in time for the event, but at present don't know if that will be available.  (Update:  The hours will be available in time for the dinner.)

Turkey Chili
Bring family and friends and a dish to pass. 

RPMGA will provide: Shredded Pork BBQ, buns, coffee, water, plates, cups, utensils, and napkins. 
Squash, pecans and cranberries
Please RSVP to Kim Mork at the office (608-757-5696) by November 6.  Let her know what kind of dish you'll be bringing and how many people will be coming with you so we can calculate the amount of meat we'll need to provide.  (Update: originally this post asked you to respond by email or phone.  Kim would rather you call and NOT contact her by email.  Sorry for any inconvenience.)

Important note:  There are individuals in our group who are gluten or lactose intolerant so if you will be bringing a hot dish please provide a recipe card or a note that lists all ingredients.
Gluten free cornmeal
Walnut quick bread
Orange cranberry Brussels
Turkey eggroll in a bowl

Gluten free veggie lasagna
Gluten free porcupines

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Rain, rain, go away - Reschedule of Saturday's Program

Due to circumstances beyond our control - the forecast for Saturday is rain, rain and more rain - we are moving our program up to Tuesday, October 17 at 5:30 p.m. 

Since this is an outdoor presentation we didn't feel it would be fair to have participants standing in the rain while we explained the four demonstration pollinator gardens we constructed this year.

Parsley plants are part of the herb pollinator garden at the
Rock County Fairgrounds. 

We're excited to be able to present our gardens: an herb pollinator garden at the Rock County Fairgrounds; two mixed floral pollinator gardens in the RECAP gardens at the Community Gardens; and a perennial garden on the grounds at Hedberg Public Library.  We were lucky to have dedicated teams of MGVs who were willing to give of their time and effort to create these gardens.  We hope you'll not only enjoy them but be inspired to begin pollinator gardens of your own.

Image result for Parsley blossoms
Parsley blossoms:  This is what we can expect from the parsley plants this
coming growing season.  Parsley is a biennial that blooms in its second year. 

If you have any questions about this event please contact the office at 608-757-5696 and leave a message for us.

Hope to see you Tuesday!!