The Dodge County Master Gardeners Association held their 4rd Annual Garden Photography Contest on Saturday October 12, 2013. Contest judges Dave Edwards, Wayne Brabender, and Eileen Herrling gave up the majority of their day to evaluate and score the 90 photos that were entered in seven different categories.
When the three esteemed judges were finished reviewing the photographs, Eileen Herrling spoke about “Creative Garden Photography.” Herrling is a Nature and Travel Photographer who lives in Appleton, Wisconsin. She judges photo contests and gives photography seminars and classes. Her seminar included many examples of photos and how they could be improved. She also shared simple tips that backyard garden photographers can use to improve their photos, even with point-and-shoot simple digital cameras.
Immediately following the digital photography seminar, each of the judges made comments on the winning photographs which were unveiled during the awards ceremony. Winners included:
(Left to right back row): Wayne Brabender, Dave Edwards, Terri Main, Carol Shirk and Eileen Herrling.
(Left to right front row):Gae Bergmann, Stacey Lucht, and Vikki Fischer-Kuth
First Place: Andy Boschert, Beaver Dam, WI
Second Place: Andy Boschert, Beaver Dam, WI
Third Place: Kyle Main: Juneau, WI
Digitally Enhanced Category:
Honorable Mention: Terri Main, Waupun, WI
Fruit Veggie, and Produce Category:
First Place: Carol Shirk, Mayville, WI
Second Place: Carol Shirk, Mayville, WI
Third Place: Darlene Lodahl, Mayville, WI
Fourth Place: Carol Shirk, Mayville, WI
Fifth Place: Stacey Lucht, Watertown, WI
Critters and Creatures Category:
First Place: Vikki Fischer-Kurth, Beaver Dam, WI
Second Place: Vikki Fischer-Kurth, Beaver Dam, WI
Third Place: Margaret Furdek, Beaver Dam, WI
Fourth Place: Stacey Lucht, Watertown, WI
Fifth Place: Paula Storck, Mayville, WI
Flowers and Foliage Category:
First Place: Gae Bergmann, Fox Lake, WI
Second Place: Gae Bergmann, Fox Lake, WI
Third Place: Stacey Lucht, Watertown, WI
Fourth Place: Margaret Furdek, Beaver Dam, WI
Fifth Place: Gae Bergmann, Fox Lake, WI
Gardens and Landscapes Category:
First Place: Rachel Westover, Beaver Dam, WI
Second Place: Gae Bergmann, Fox Lake, WI
Third Place: Joan Raether, Beaver Dam, WI
Fourth Place: Rachel Westover, Beaver Dam, WI
Fifth Place: Rachel Westover, Beaver Dam, WI
Garden Accents and Oddities Category
First Place: Stacey Lucht, Watertown, WI
Second Place: Rachel Westover, Beaver Dam, WI
Third Place: Margaret Furdek, Beaver Dam, WI
Fourth Place: Vikki Fischer-Kurth, Beaver Dam, WI
Fifth Place: Terri Main, Waupun, WI
Each year the Master Gardeners award a special ribbon and $50 cash prize to the Best of Show Winner. Vikki Fischer-Kurth received this year’s honors for her first-place entry in the Critters and Creatures category.
The Dodge County Master Gardeners Association extends a sincere and special thank you to the three judges, for their tremendous contribution to the success of this event. In addition, they also thank the contestants for submitting their wonderful work.
The Dodge County Master Gardner Association meeting was held at the Administration Building and featured Barb Larson of the Kenosha County UW Extension. Her topic was "Accessible Gardens: Adapting Gardens and Gardeners for Lifelong Activity".
The attendees were divided into groups of four, with two given a task of planting seeds in a pot with a physical limitation. One group had a lack of eyesight with a helper to guide them and the other had only the use of their non-dominant arm. We discussed how we felt in these positions and made aware of the needs of others around us.
Why garden? Physically it builds strengthen and endurance; flexibility and balance; fine and gross motor skills; hand-eye co-ordination. Psychologically it connects to nature and gives sanctuary for stress reduction.
How? Adapt a garden through raised beds, containers, vertical or wall gardens. As a gardener use the right tools and techniques. Before starting check with your doctor, stretch, take frequent breaks and do no more than 30 minutes of activity at a time, use good posture, use ease grip gloves, stash tools in a carpenter apron or box, use sharp tools along with a wheel barrow or cart. Plant low maintenance plants, slow growing perennials, bulbs, herbs, all to attract birds and butterflies. And, last but not least, plant sensory plants for all senses.
The Dodge County Master Gardner Association meeting was held at the Administration Building and featured Jennifer Kazmarek of the M Theresa Gift Shop. Her topic was “Garden Art".
She showed the many ways one can take an old window frame and convert it to a piece of art to be displayed in any season by just changing what is put on the frame, like garlands, grapevines, flowers, even a string of battery lights. It added so much to the display.
The focus of the meeting was taking what you had on hand and how to make it into something beautiful. Other props used were pedestals, flower pots, tree branches, ribbons, moss, centerpieces, sticks, and floral accents; anything to make the display have color, interest, and design.
Many brought their own projects to be revamped to be a seasonal display by just changing colors or adding or taking out something. Projects brought went home looking differently than when they came in!
During the program a video was playing with the many ideas that could be used in the home, garden and landscapes.
The July Dodge County Master Gardener Association meeting held at the Dave & Kathy Laatsch Farm featured a tour of his chicken operation and gardens.
Dave raises purebred bantams (Cochins and Brown Leghorns). We were shown the housing facility and several coops with outdoor runs.
He uses artificial insemination as the Cochins have way too many tail feathers for a natural breeding process. Hatching out about 600 chicks, he uses an intensive culling process to keep the very best. About 400 chicks are raised for sale to 4-Her's and others. Many are used in the state and national shows he attends as well as in the maintenance of his breeding stock.
The use of sawdust for bedding works well to keep the birds dry and healthy. Chickens like red, so red waterers are used to prevent them from picking at each other.
The sawdust/manure mix is composted and put on their garden and worked into the soil, giving a great medium for the many vegetables and flowers grown. Dave starts his own plants in the greenhouse he built.
It was evident he enjoys what he does.
The June 27th meeting featured MGV Chris Jacobs, on "Lawn and Garden Safety"
June is National Safety Month. Chris covered lawn mower safety, dressing appropriate for the job (earplugs, safety glasses, gloves, sunscreen, insect repellent and clothes). Children should not ride on a lawn mower.
Gardening-use the right tool for the job. Keep tools sharp and clean.
Pesticides-identify pest, read labels and wear protective clothing.
Weather-no place is safe outdoors during storms-go indoors.
Have age appropriate activities for children in gardens, keep sharp tools and chemicals away from them. Gardening should be fun.
Pets-be aware of toxic plants and cocoa mulch in landscapes.
NIOSH Fast Fact sheets on protecting yourself from Heat Stress and Poisonous Plants and the National Safety Council sheets on Preventing slips, trips, and falls: Ladder Safety and Ergonomics: Stretch your way to better health were handed out.
The May Dodge County Master Gardener Association meeting featured Judy Stevenson from the Madison Orchid Growers Guild. She spoke on the topic, "Nuts and Bolts of Orchid Blooming".
Some of the things to get orchids to bloom are to place them in a west window, in winter augment with lighting, use coconut fiber to hold moisture, keep a moisture tray under plant, and do not use soft water to water.
To start plants use sphagnum moss or a good orchid mix-bark.
Judy covered specific varieties of orchids and gave many good hints on the watering needs. Water according to medium used and the type of orchid.
Phragmepedum-grow in dish of water.
Puphropedium-water when dry or when pot is light.
Phalaenopsis- water every 7-10 days based on humidity and temperature.
Pseudbulbs-varies according to the type of orchid.
Deciduous orchids-water when they drop leaves. Restart when growth emerges.
Dendrobiuns-extreme diversity, many go through a growth and rest period (water according to type).
Vanda's (need high humidity)-use coconut fiber, repot when roots are growing. Fertilize using 20-20-20, or, the readily available and old standby 30-10-10.
For disease control-sterilize all containers, pruners, etc. (1 teaspoon of alcohol/ gallon of water). You can send diseased plants to diagnostic lab at UW Madison.
For insect Control, use alcohol and cotton swab, if you have mealy bugs, use soap and a tooth brush.
The next meeting will be held June 27th and will be “Lawn and Garden Safety”, conducted by Chris Jacobs.
The March Master Gardener’s meeting on the 28th featured Lisa Wasko DeVetter from the Department of Horticulture at UW – Madison. She spoke on the topic, “Small Fruit Production for the Wisconsin Home Gardener.”
With a four-page handout for everyone present and a power point presentation, Lisa covered multiple facets of her topic. She spoke about the site selection and soil preparation emphasizing drainage, pH and fertility, light, pollination, and planting times. This kind of information is useful for planting any number of fruit crops.
Lisa discussed growing strawberries since it is a crop that is easy to grow in Wisconsin. She emphasized weed management, light and frequent irrigation, spacing of rows and fertilization needs. She provided information about several types of strawberries suited for our region.
On the subject of grapes our speaker introduced the audience to grapevine vocabulary. Words such as cordon, canes, shoots, and spurs are important to know in order to identify when pruning to maintain vegetative and fruiting growth. Lisa spent time in her presentation covering the necessary and somewhat complicated pruning process to insure a quality grape crop.
Raspberries, blueberries, and other minor fruit growth were covered briefly due to time limitations.
For Master Gardeners: There will be a business meeting on April 25thwith a potluck. Master Gardeners will have their annual plant sale on May 18th.
The February Master Gardener’s meeting featured Rich Henderson who spoke on the topic, “Prairie Ecology and History in Wisconsin.”
He introduced the audience to the origins of the Midwest prairie and the plants and animals that constitute the prairie ecosystem and how those various species interact.
Rich is an ecologist for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Bureau of Science Services with 35 years of experience in natural area inventory, assessment, and management of prairie, sedge, meadow, oak savanna, and oak woodland.
The 2013 Master Gardener’s opening meeting began with president, Carol Shirk welcoming everyone and then providing a run-down of the organization’s 2012 meeting topics and future monthly meeting topics.
Mike Staneck was introduced as the new Dodge County Agent. He is replacing David Laatsch.
Our guest speaker, 10-year-old Mason Whitlock, a member of the Astigo Perseverance 4-H Club, gave a talk about his worm culture project. He showed the equipment and resources needed, talked about his role and responsibilities, and let us see the final outcome – a wonderful, fine compost that every gardener would desire. The best Q. & A. of the night:
Q. How did you get started with the worm project?
A. “It was a gift from my dad to my mother.”
Mason not only demonstrated his knowledge of subject, but his speaking ability in front of 30 to 40 people.
The meeting continued with a power point presentation compiled by Carol Shirk of approximately 22 individual and/or small group projects undertaken in the 2012 year. A few additional projects were verbally praised along with four new projects for 2013 and the individuals supervising them.