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.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Continuing Ed Opportunities - Seed Starting Presentations

Additional Dates for Seed Starting Presentations

If you wanted to attend the Hedberg Public Library talk on "Starting Seeds for Your Garden" but didn't make it that night, you still have several opportunities to catch it. The program will be repeated at several other area libraries in the coming weeks:
  • Whitewater Public Library, Tuesday, March 20 at 6:00 p.m.
  • Clinton Public Library, Saturday, April 7 at 10:30 a.m.
  • Edgerton Public Library, Saturday, March 17, 10:30 a.m. 
We realized after scheduling the Edgerton talk that it's the same day as Rotary Garden's Spring Symposium. If you're going to the symposium and can't make either of the other dates, JATV recorded the program at Hedberg, and it will soon be available for viewing. We'll let you know when that will be.

These classes are approved continuing education opportunities.  You can earn one (1) Continuing Education Unit (CEU) per hour of participation.

Hope to see you at one of these events!! 

Seedlings showing their first sets of leaves.
Planting a seed into a cell, using the
eraser end of a pencil as a dibble.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

RPMGA Master Gardener Update - March, 2018

Snowdrop flowers look particularly delightful when viewed close up
Galanthus nivalis or Common Snowdrop.  A native of Europe it blooms from late February to late March

Hello, everyone:

It's sweatshirt weather in Janesville, but it's not spring quite yet.

According to The National Gardening Association this is what we can expect - 

For spring, there is an 80% chance that you will be past the danger of a hard 24° freeze on March 27, but very light surprise frosts of 36° can still hit until around April 27. Do you like to live on the edge? You have a 50% chance of being past 32° frost by April 23.

The March RPMGA Master Gardener Update Newsletter is available by clicking this link:
Master Gardener Update, March, 2018.  Enjoy!!


Long Range Program Calendar for RPMGA - 2018-2019

Based on the feedback you have provided, we put together a set of educational opportunities that stretch into next year.

We normally meet on the first Thursday of the month at 5:30 p.m., but occasionally circumstances dictate a change. If an exact date, time or location are shown for an event, they’re definite. If not, watch the blog and or newsletter for the specifics as that month approaches.


  • March 15—Mark Dwyer, The Art of Planning and Planting Flower Gardens. Hort Center at Rotary Botanical Gardens from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m.
  • April 5 — Paul Haen, Restoring Damaged Tools. In addition, Paul will sharpen one tool per RPMGA member for free and additional tools at his regular rate. Craig Center, Rock County Fairgrounds, 5:30-7:00 p.m. 
  • Late April or Early May — Tour of the Pasque Flower Preserve with a guide familiar with the wildflowers. Date will depend on bloom time of pasque flowers.
  • June 7—Weed Identification—The 10 worst offenders, plus a chance for you to dig up and bring in whatever weed is stumping you. Together, we’ll identify what it is and how to control it.
  • July—Tour of members home gardens or gardens where they volunteer. The good, the bad, the ugly—we’re not looking for perfection, we’d like a learning experience. 
  • August—Tour Michael Fields Institute for Agricultural Education in East Troy, WI
  • September—Tour Nature at the Confluence site in South Beloit, including their gardens
  • October—Tour Regenerative Roots CSA (permaculture based) and Cultivating the Commons (seed farm) near Jefferson, WI
  • November 1 — Recognition Potluck
  • December 6—Horticultural gifts: making insect houses and/or wildflower seed bombs
  • January 10—Soils
  • Feb 7— Companion planting
  • March — Home Fruit Trees/IPM for Average Folks.
  • April —Tour Agrecol Native Plant Nursery
Suggestion:  Print this off and post it somewhere prominently so you can refer to it each month!  

These are all approved Continuing Education opportunities that will earn you 1 Continuing Education Unit (CEU) per hour of participation.


March Continuing Ed. - Special Guest Mark Dwyer offers - The Art of Planning and Planting Flower Gardens

Mark Dwyer
Mark Dwyer is the Director of Horticulture at Rotary Gardens in Janesville.  He's long been a friend and benefactor to the many Master Gardener Volunteers who spend so many hours working at the gardens.  He is much in demand as a speaker and educator and has graciously offered to give us some advice on The Art of Planning and Planting Flower Gardens.  On March 15 he will offer us advice honed through years of experience with the flower gardens at RBG.  He has generously  offered the use of the RBG Horticulture Center for the program.  We will meet there at 5:30 that evening.

When asked what we could expect from the program he explained:
"Combining colorful flowers is just one part of the equation for creating beautiful and functional flower compositions.  Understanding the nuances of the site is important as is an extended understanding of all the transitional attributes of each "ingredient" in your compositions.  Utilizing colorful images, we'll chat about how we approach the planning and planting of flower beds and borders at the gardens and will have time for questions and discussion."

Because of his tightly packed schedule we were fortunate to be able to have Mark commit to this presentation, and were glad to work around his schedule to make it happen.  Thank you so much Mark!

This is an approved Continuing Education presentation.  Attendees will earn 1 Continuing Education Unit (CEU) per hour.

Hope to see you there!  


Saturday, February 10, 2018

February Meeting Rescheduled!! Hope to see you there!!

Hello, everyone!

Our February meeting has been rescheduled to Thursday, February 15 at the Rock County Courthouse, 5:30 pm in the ETN-A conference room on the second floor.  Come in the front door of the courthouse, go up the stairs to the second floor, follow the corridor to the end, go through the door and turn right to the ETN-A conference room. 

We'll be cleaning and packaging prairie/pollinator seeds that were harvested last fall. 

This is a small room which doubles as a materials and/or inventory storage room for UWEX programs so it may be a bit crowded, but it was a last minute reservation due to the reschedule.

Hope to see you there!


Thursday, February 8, 2018

Monday, January 29, 2018


Hello everyone:

In the past you have been used to receiving a newsletter prepared by Kim at the UWEX office.  Since Kim is no longer with the office we have taken on the responsibility of creating the monthly newsletters and will continue to do so until further notice.  The format may look a little different, but we will strive to do what we can to give you good information on events, classes, and educational opportunities in and around Rock County.  Like the previous newsletters you will be able to reach them by clicking on a link.  Ruth Flescher put in a lot of hard work and did a great job of pulling together the February newsletter.  

In future we will be looking for articles, book reviews and lots of other kinds of garden related topics.  If you have information you'd like to see included in the newsletters, let Ruth or Mary Kay Thompson know.  All submissions will need to meet Master Gardener guidelines.

Click on this link to see our first shot at the Master Gardener Update for RPMGA.

UPDATE - RPMGA February Meeting: Prairie Seed Processing

On a bright sunny day last fall, several MGVs went out to the prairie at Rotary Gardens and—with permission—gathered seedheads from almost twenty varieties of native plants. It’s time to clean the seeds from the waste material so that we can have the seeds to use in our ongoing Pollinator Project.

Date: Thursday, February 8
Time: 5:30-7:00 p.m.
Location: Rock County Courthouse, Room ETN-B (Continue down the hall past the Extension office and INTO the stairwell at the end. ETN-B is on the left.)
Come lend a hand and help us decide the best way to use these seeds. All you need to bring is yourself, and you’ll earn up to an hour and a half of volunteer time.
Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are awarded at a rate of 1 per hour when you are involved in an approved educational project or program.