Looking forward to the arrival of spring? Plan to attend the 21st Annual Horticulture Day on Saturday, March 7 at the University of Minnesota Southern Research & Outreach Center in Waseca.

Pre-registration is required by Wednesday, February 25. A program packed with great speakers. Get your registration in early, room is limited. Please feel free to share this information to anyone that may be interested in attending, this event is open to the public.







“Plan Ahead – comments from Jurgen Peters”


“Vegetable Gardening in Practice”




“Introduction to Vermiculture and Vermicomposting for the Sustainable Gardener"




“Saving and Sharing Seeds”


“Beyond the Emerald Ash Borer: Deciduous Trees for Southern Minnesota”


Q & A / door prizes

“Plan Ahead – Comments from Jurgen”

Mr. Jurgen Peters

A wealth of knowledge and years of experience, Jurgen will share general comments along with photos of observations made this previous year. How will the predicated climate change affect us? He will provide suggestions on how to plan ahead and make good decisions when planting trees around your residence. Jurgen will share tips to care for woody plants and trees to prevent damage to property.

“Vegetable Research in Practice”

Dr. Charlie Rohwer

How do you turn general recommendations into specific practices in your garden? We will examine this question using two recent U of M research studies. Extension bulletins and garden centers often encourage use of high-phosphorus fertilizers at transplanting. But does research support it? Can plastic mulch accomplish the same thing as a starter fertilizer? Does the fertilizer need to contain phosphorous? A 2014 tomato study at the SROC aimed to answer these questions. Seed suppliers recommend pinching Brussels sprout plants for high yield of uniform-sized sprouts. When should they be pinched? What does pinching do to sprout size and yield? Does pinching affect phytonutrients? A study performed in Waseca and Grand Rapids was carried out to answer these questions. Results from both projects will be presented.

“Introduction to Vermiculture and Vermicomposting for the Sustainable Gardener"

Mr. Sean Hillsman

Practicing vermiculture for the last 5 years, Hillsman will exhibit how he uses vermicomposting bins with a couple thousand live worms to make a compost tea. Applied topically to plants this “tea” works as a fertilizer and somewhat of an insecticide. He will describe the differences between garden compost and vermicompost, and share a recipe for vermicompost tea along with sharing the benefits.

“Saving and Sharing Seeds”

Ms. Amy Holmgren

In the days before seed catalogs, harvesting seeds for the next year’s garden was essential. Today, saving and sharing seeds plays a critical role in protecting food diversity. Join Seed Savers Exchange to discuss the process of saving seeds from garden fruits and vegetables – tomatoes, squash, peppers, melons, beans, and more - and learn how to participate in our national seed exchange.

“Beyond the Emerald Ash Borer: Deciduous Trees for Southern Minnesota”

Ms. Kathy Zuzek

The emerald ash borer was discovered in Minnesota in 2009 and as of late 2014, ash trees with emerald ash borer infestations have been found in 6 of Minnesota’s 87 counties. This leaves many landowners searching for other tree species to use in their landscapes as replacements. Replacing ash with a diversity of tree species is a smart strategy for dealing with any other future invasive pests. In this presentation we will look at alternative tree species that are recommended for southern Minnesota. No tree is perfect and we will look at the strengths and weaknesses of each species. Selecting a tree species that will grow well on your property is vital to long term tree health so we will also look at what information you should know about your growing site before you select a new tree.