Get your garden growing at the Spring Gardening Extravaganza

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Extension Office • 2503 Rice Lake Road • Duluth, MN 55811 • (218) 733-2870

307 First Street S., Suite 105 • Virginia, MN 55792 • (218) 749-7120

Patty Swedberg
Extension Administrator




March 26, 2018

CONTACT: Patty Swedberg

St. Louis County Extension Administrator

(218) 733-2879

Flowers, fruits and veggies - Spring Gardening Extravaganza has growing tips for all

A variety of expert growers offering advice on a variety of gardening topics, including producing fruits and vegetables and sustainable flower gardening and pollinator plants  that's what attendees will get at the 2018 Spring Gardening Extravaganza. The annual gardening program is Saturday, April 14, at First United Methodist (Coppertop) Church, 230 E. Skyline Parkway in Duluth from 9 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.


The keynote speaker will be Dr. David Zlesak, Associate Professor in Horticulture from the University of Wisconsin, River Falls presenting on cutting edge roses and landscape plants. Dr. Zlesak is a noted rose breeder who has been instrumental in implementing the Earth-Kind rose project. He also successfully introduced the Above and Beyond shrub rose. Former St. Louis County master gardener Julie Overom also will speak. Overum will soon introduce a new disease resistant shrub rose, “Cherry Frost”.


Meanwhile, a panel of growers will share insights on the essentials of growing fruits and vegetables in the Northland. Douglas “Farmer Doug” Hoffbauer; Gary Rantala, formerly of Embarrass Greenhouse; and Deb Erickson Byrns from Byrns’ Greenhouse in Zim all have received the Farm Family of the Year Award in their distinguished careers, and will be speakers at the program.


Additional breakout sessions include: grafting apple trees and shrubs, propagating roses, starting plants from seed, vermiculture (worm) composting, honeyberries, asparagus, raspberries, and update on spotted winged drosophilia, native pollinator plants, designing perennial gardeners, and creating color with annuals and perennial flowers.


Additional speakers include: Tom Kasper, noted horticulturist and proprietor, Bending Birches Greenhouses; Beth Wiemken, MN State Fair winner in onions; Dan Schutte, conservationist and proprietor of Shoreview Natives; Catherine Ahlgren, Rosarian and St. Louis County Master Gardener, Emeritus; Bob Olen, St. Louis County Horticulturist and Educator; Kendall Dykhuis,

St. Louis County Agronomist and Educator; and Jan Hibbs, local gardening enthusiast.


The program fee is $35 per person, which covers handout materials, 2018 Fruit and Vegetable Variety lists for Northern MN  and refreshments.


This program is presented by St. Louis County Extension and University of Minnesota-St. Louis County Master Gardeners. To register or learn more about the program, call the St. Louis County Extension Office at (218) 733-2870 or visit