This summer marks the 16th year that the Spooner Ag Research Station, UW-Extension and the North Country Master Gardener Volunteers have teamed up to provide the region's premier outdoor gardening educational event. This year's activities will start at 4 p.m., with guest speakers, displays and demonstrations available until dusk.
The guest speakers this year are Brian Hudelson, PJ Liesch, and Brian Smith.
Hudelson is the director of the Plant Disease Diagnostic Clinic on the UW-Madison campus and is a regular guest on Wisconsin Public radio's popular call in show 'On Garden Talk'.
Liesch is an entomologist at the UW-Madison Department of Entomology Insect Diagnostic Lab and is extremely knowledgably on both good and bad garden critter.
Smith is a UW-Extension Fruit and Vegetable specialist from UW-River Falls who recently developed and released the new 'Black Ice' plum variety. He will discuss topics related to both fruit and vegetables with emphasis on winter hardiness issues in fruit. Participates are asked to bring their garden questions and plant, insect or disease specimens with them.
Master Gardener Volunteers will have several displays and demonstrations including composting, vermicomposting, container gardening, many uses of herbs, rain barrels and others.
The popular hay wagon rides around portions of the Station property to view the crops and sheep research facilities will be available. These short tours will be scheduled throughout the evening and will be lead by Phil Holman, manager of the Spooner Ag Research Station.
There will be tasting of tomatoes and other ripe produce, fresh salsa, grilled vegetables and pepper roasting.
The Spooner Ag Research Station Teaching & Display Garden is an official All-America Selections (AAS) display garden and was awarded a second-place finish in a National Landscape Design contest sponsored by AAS in 2013. In 2014, MGV have their sights on a first place award in this year's national landscape design contest. The AAS display includes both award winning flowers and vegetables and incorporates creative uses of containers in this year's display.
The adaptive garden display includes displays of raised beds, containers and vertical structures to demonstrate ways to garden in small spaces and assist gardeners with limited mobility. There are several themed vegetable garden beds in addition to over 40 varieties of heirloom tomatoes.
As in the past there is no charge for this educational event. The event will run until dusk.
The tour will be held at the Teaching and Display Gardens located on Orchard Lane, just east of Spooner on Highway 70. Watch for Garden Tour signs. For more information contact Kevin Schoessow at 715-635-3506 or 1-800-528-1914, or online at http://ars.wisc.edu/spooner/garden.php.