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, May 18, 2017

Continuing Ed Event, Thursday, June 22, 2017

On Thursday, June 22 the RPMGA will host two events, a tour of Redtail Ridge Lavender & Herbs, followed by lunch in Oregon and then on to one of four shopping venues.

The Tour - Redtail Ridge Lavender & Herbs is owned by Cheryl Rebazek, Green County MGV and former director of Rotary Gardens.  She has welcomed us for a tour of her lavender farm near Brooklyn, WI. The property is also an Alternative Energy Demonstration Home, operating on electricity from the sun and wind for more than 20 years.  Cheryl will show us how the photovoltaic panels, windmill, solar hot water system, propane, batteries and rainwater collection system all work together to create a comfortable, energy efficient life.

Lunch - Following the tour, we’ll head over to Oregon for lunch at either Firefly Coffee House or BrouxNellie’s Diner.

After lunch - You can choose how much garden shopping you want to do: There are four outstanding nurseries within a ten-minute drive of Oregon, including the Flower Factory (perennials), Stone Wall Nursery: (exotic and dwarf varieties of trees and shrubs), Fitchburg Farms (annuals and perennials) and Kopke’s Fruit of the Bloom (annuals and perennials).

Meeting Time/Place - We will meet at the Janesville Community Gardens, near the Sheriff’s office (Corner of Hwys 14 and 51) at 9:00 a.m.  We’ll have maps and you can safely leave your car if you ride with someone else.

This is an approved MGV education opportunity.  You will receive 1 Continuing Education Unit for every hour of participation in the tour.

Looking for Farmer's Market Volunteers

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Hello, everyone.

RPMGA is going to participate in the Farmer's Markets in Beloit and Janesville this year.  We have two dates for each city.

We'll be doing two 2.5 hour shifts for each day.  Two people will set up and work the first shift, two people will work second shift and tear down.

Dates are:

  • Beloit Farmer's Market, May 27 - Car and Tractor Show, 8 am to 1 pm
  • Janesville Farmer's Market, June 10 - Get to Know Rock County Businesses, 8 am to 1 pm
  • Janesville Farmer's Market, August 12 - Kid's Day at the Market/National Farmer's Market Week, 8 am to 1 pm
  • Beloit Farmer's Market, October 7, 8 am to 1 pm

Beloit Farmer's Market - State and Grand.  Booth will be given to us when we arrive.
Janesville Farmer's market - South Main Street.  Community Booth.  Volunteers ask for location when you arrive.

Volunteers who set up will need to use the following items for the booth.  Many of these items are in our inventory at the Rock County Court house.

For more information on these items contact:
Bev Drew - 290-3666
Deb Grams - 756-0946
Mary Thompson - 322-4800

Items that will make up the booth are:

  • 10'x10' tent
  • 2 tables and 4 chairs
  • RPMGA banner
  • UWEX sign or banner
  • How to become a MGV brochures or handouts
  • Pollinator Hotel materials - tin cans, paper, scissors, rulers, paper straws, glue sticks
  • Pollinator Project handouts 
    • What are solitary bees?
    • How to plant a pollinator garden
    • How to build a pollinator hotel using recycled materials
    • Pollinators 101
    • Lists of pollinator plants
  • Handouts of current diseases or insects based on the USDA Pest Bulletin.
This is an approved MGV project.  You will receive 1 Continuing Education Unit for every hour of participation.  

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Annual Plant and Seed Swap - May 9

Have you had an unexpectedly good crop of pepper seedlings?

Were there more monarda seeds in that packet than you could use in 10 years?

Come share your excess with your fellow master gardeners, and be surprised by some new goodie you’ve never known before!  The event will be held at the Community Garden shed on Tuesday, May 9 from 12:30 to 3:30 pm.

Because jumping worms have become a sad reality of gardening in Rock County, and it’s almost impossible to tell if you’re digging up the worm eggs along with that perennial you need to divide, we’re asking everyone to limit plants for the swap to those grown in potting mix from seeds, cuttings or divisions--any that have never been planted in the ground outside--and houseplants. All kinds of seeds are also welcome.

We’ll talk a little about why jumping worms are such a hazard, and general practices to limit the spread of all kinds of pests. And we’ll share information about what we’ve brought. Please come learn a little even if you don’t have anything to bring. We have free herb and milkweed seeds, plus milkweed seedlings, to give away. You won’t go home empty handed.

The community garden is located just east of the Sheriff’s office in Janesville, near the intersection of Highways 14 and 51. This is an approved MGV Continuing Education program.  You will receive 1 Continuing Education Unit (CEU) per hour of participation.

We had a great day Earth Day at Rotary Botanical Gardens.

Thanks to Deb Grams, Ruth Flescher, Bev Drew, Mary Kay Thompson, and Nancy Moskal for staffing the booth.

According to RBG staff there were between 1500 and 2000 visitors.

We gave away a lot of herb seeds and milkweed seeds and taught a lot of children how to build pollinator hotels using recycled tin can, paper drinking straws and hand-rolled tubes made of pulp paper.

Thanks to Scott Schilling and Ethan Lee of the Janesville Urban Forest Alliance for helping us when needed.  Good tent neighbors.  And thanks to the staff at Rotary for helping us get set up.  

Mary Thompson and Ruth Flescher ready to greet guests.
Guests learning about pollinators.

Mary Thompson teaching a young guest how to build a pollinator hotel.  

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Arbor Day Planting Rain Date

We have set a rain date for the Arbor Day tree planting on Highway F. The event is still scheduled for this Friday at 11 am.  However, IF it rains we'll push the date back to Tuesday, May 2 at 11 am.

Thanks to Deb Grams for thinking of this!


Sunday, April 16, 2017

Grinnell Hall in Beloit is having a Plant Sale Fundraiser on Thursday and Friday, May 11 and 12. Coordinator Paula Schutt would like to have a Master Gardener Volunteer on hand both mornings to educate people on the plants and their care.   Hours will be determined by the MGV's availability.

Paula is working on her newsletter and would like to be able to publish that she does have MGVs coming.  That means she would need commitments by 10 am this Monday.

If you can work please contact Paula either by phone or by email at the number or email address listed below.

This is an approved MGV project and will earn you one Continuing Education Unit (CEU) per hour for your participation.

If you wish to participate contact:
Paula Schutt, Coordinator
Grinnell Hall Senior Center
631 Bluff Street
Beloit, WI 53511

UPDATE:  We have a volunteer for Friday.  We still need a volunteer for Thursday!


Friday, April 7, 2017

Volunteer Opportunity - Earth Day at Rotary Botanical Gardens

RPMGA will be hosting a space at Rotary Botanical Gardens Earth Day Celebration, "Earth Day Around the World."  The event runs from 10 am to 3 pm.on Saturday, April 22.

We'll be making pollinator houses all day long.  We'll have directions to give away on how to make pollinator houses. We'll give away a handout called Pollinators 101.  We will give away herb seeds and information on the importance of pollinators. We'll stamp hand with pictures of pollinators.  We're bringing a diorama that will show the process of composting.

We'll be outside, under a tent.

We're looking for volunteers to help with set-up the morning of the event, and tear-down at the end, at least 2 each.  We also need shift volunteers.  We'll be breaking the day into two 2 1/2 hour shifts, and we'll need 2 volunteers for each shift.  Set-up will be as early at 7 am the morning of the event.  Tear-down will begin a soon as the event closes at 3 pm.

Master Gardener Volunteers will earn one (1) Continuing Education Units (CEUs) per hour for participation.

Contact Mary Kay Thompson at 608-322-4800 if you wish to volunteer.  We need your help!!  Thanks!!

For more information about the event click on the link below.

Earth Day Around the World - at Rotary Botanical Gardens