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Spring Gardening Extravaganza

April 14, 2018, 9 am to 1:15 pm

First United Methodist Church (Coppertop) 

Cost:  $35 includes program, refreshments, 2018 Fruit and Vegetable Variety lists for Northern MN and handouts from the presentations. Some breakouts have an additional $5 materials fee.

To register online click here. To register via mail click here for a registration form.

This year's program:
  • Keynote speaker, Dr. David Zlesak, Assoc. Professor in Horticulture from the University of Wisconsin, River Falls. Keynote Presentation: “Cutting Edge Roses and Landscape Plants.” Dr. Zlesak is a noted rose breeder who has been instrumental in implementing the Earth-Kind rose project which is identifying rose cultivars that are widely adapted and can be grown in an environmentally responsible way. He also successfully introduced the “Above and Beyond” shrub rose and was the 2017 Teacher of the Year at the River Falls campus.
  • Local rose breeder and former St. Louis County Master Gardener, Julie Overom who will soon introduce a new disease resistant shrub rose, “Cherry Frost”.
  • A panel of noted fruit, vegetable and greenhouse growers will also share their insights on “The Essentials of Growing Fruits and Vegetables in the Northland. This includes, Douglas “Farmer Doug" Hoffbauer, Gary Rantala, formerly of Embarrass Greenhouse, and Deb Erickson Byrns of Byrns' Greenhouse, Zim. All three speakers have received the Farm Family of the Year Award in their distinguished careers.
  • Ten additional workshops and breakout sessions including:  Grafting apple trees and shrubs, propagating roses, starting veggies from seed, honeyberries, asparagus, raspberries/ update on the Spotted Winged Drosophila, native pollinator plants, designing with perennials, a colorful flower gardens, and adopting a pollinator park garden
Additional featured speakers will include:
  • Tom Kasper, noted horticulturist and proprietor, Bending Birches greenhouse
  • 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
  • Jan Hops, local gardening enthusiast

This program is presented by the St. Louis County Extension and University of Minnesota/St. Louis County Extension Master Gardeners.  


Gardens in the North

April 23, 2018, 12:30 - 4:30 pm

Embarrass Town Hall - 7503 Levander Road 

Cost:  $23 includes program, refreshments, 2017 Fruit Variety list for Northern MN and handouts from the presentations.
The program includes:
  • How to Plant, Grow and Care for the New Hydrangeas
    • Bob Olen, Horticulturist and Educator
  • Essentials of Garden Success:  Soil Fertility, Disease and Insect Control
    • Kendall Dykhuis, Agriculturist and Educator
  • Apple Varieties, Production and Pruning
    • Bob Olen
  • Colorful Pollinator Plants for the Garden
    • Deb Erickson, Byrns Greenhouse Owner & Operator
  • What's Trending
    • Discussion, Questions & Answers

For more information or to register, call the Extension Office in Virginia at (218) 749-7120 or visit


Educational Programs and Resources

Extension Master Gardener Program 

The University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardener Program trains volunteers to educate and inform people in their communities about horticulture. More information about the program is available at the Extension Master Gardener website.

The Master Gardener Program in St. Louis County is open to all adult St. Louis County residents. Positions in the program are available on a limited basis. We maintain a list of residents that are interested in becoming a Master Gardener. When we open up the application process we will notify all those on the list. If you are interested in becoming a Master Gardener, please contact the Extension office at 218-733-2870.

Upon acceptance into the program, you must then complete the HORT 1003 Master Gardener Core Course/Horticulture for the Home Garden course through the University of Minnesota. The course is available online in late winter/early spring.

Horticulture Programs

Our horticulture offerings include spring workshops on gardening and landscape materials, commercial workshops on greenhouse production, small fruit production, vegetable production and nursery production, applied research on vegetable and small fruit varieties, and family education projects on home gardening as a means of improving diets.

Tune in to KDAL 610 radio on Tuesday mornings from 8:00 to 9:00 am to hear Bob Olen of Extension talk about what you need to know to make your garden successful. Listeners are encouraged to call in with their questions.

For more gardening advice tune in to Great Gardening on PBS North to watch Bob Olen and Tom Kasper answer viewer questions live and share their garden expertise. You can find the show schedule here.

To see a list of available gardening publications, please go to our Books and Publications page.

Gardening and Horticulture Mailing List

If so, please fill out and submit the form below. You will be notified of upcoming St. Louis County Extension gardening and horticulture programs and events. Please note that your information is kept within Extension and will not be shared with any other agency or business.

* Required
Garden Classes and Events Soil Testing Master Gardeners Variety Lists

Watch here for more information regarding registration for upcoming programs.


Have you missed an event?

We often have program materials available for purchase following events. Call our office for more details. Currently available:
Garden Fest Cookbooks $5.00 each

Spring Gardening Extravaganza Resource Books 2013-2017 editions are $10.00 


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