When looking to start a garden or improve your current garden it is best to start from the ground and work up.

Local educators from University of Minnesota Extension are excited to bring you the Gardening from the Ground Up webinar series to help you achieve your garden goals. This free webinar series will take place Tuesday-Friday, May 12-15 from 1-2:30 p.m. You must pre-register for this series at z.umn.edu/GardenUp to receive the webinar links.

This webinar series will cover a wide variety of topics that are important for any gardener to understand.

Tuesday: Soil and Soil Testing – Extension educators Katie Drewitz and Robin Trott. This session focuses on soil. We recommend that you get your soil tested once every three years. During this session you will learn how to properly take a soil sample and how to submit that sample to the lab. Then we will walk through how to read the soil test results and what they mean. We will also touch on soil textures which will lead us into our discussion on Wednesday.

Wednesday: Fertilizer and Nutrient Deficiencies – Extension educators Adam Austing and Troy Salzer. Building on the concepts learned on Tuesday we will explore fertilizer and nutrient deficiencies. Plants need nutrients in varying levels. Many times your plants will tell you what it is lacking. We will walk through common deficiencies and how they are likely to show up in your plants. We will also discuss what you can do to correct the problem.

Thursday: Cover Crops – Extension educator Troy Salzer. You may be familiar with the concept of using cover crops on a large field. Did you know that cover crops can also benefit you gardens? We will show you the benefits that cover crops can have on your garden, building on what we learned about fertilizer and nutrient deficiencies. We will also discuss which cover crops may be the best option for you.

Friday: Beneficial Insects — Extension educators Claire LaCanne and Shane Bugeja. Have you ever wondered how to attract (and keep) beneficial insects to your garden or small farm? What are the best ways to promote pollinators on our properties, and how helpful are those mason bee houses? In this session we will also discuss “good bugs” that help keep pest populations low, such as parasitoids and predators. Lastly, we will discuss several new pesticides on the market that are low in toxicity to bees and other non-pest species.

To join us for all or one of these webinars please go to z.umn.edu/GardenUp to register. You only need to register once to receive access to each topic. If you have questions about the webinar series or need assistance with registration, please contact Robin Trott.

Robin Trott is a horticulture educator with University of Minnesota Extension. Contact her at 320-762-3890, or at trot0053@umn.