Master Gardeners on the road in August

Early August will be a busy time for the Chisago County Master Gardeners.

National Night Out, a time for neighborhoods to celebrate their communities, is Aug. 4 across the country. Each area is responsible for its own program that usually includes music, food and displays, and it’s all free. This year for National Night Out in Taylors Falls, Chisago County Master Gardeners will have a table set up in the elementary school gym to answer yard and garden questions. We will also have lots of educational material to hand out.

Jerry Vitalis
Jerry Vitalis

One of the most popular events we participate in every year is the Almelund Threshing Show. This year it will be held Aug. 7-9 at the Threshing Grounds, east of the town of Almelund. I have an event notebook where I can look back on the many questions we’ve answered in the past, and it helps me anticipate what type of things we’ll get questions on this year. The thing that has the most influence on those questions is always the weather.

Every year there are lots of questions about growing tomatoes, Japanese beetles and potato bugs. So if you have any of these concerns, be sure to come ask us about them. Crabgrass and Creeping Charlie are also popular topics and with all the rain we’ve gotten so far this year, there’s a bumper crop of both out there to deal with.

The Emerald Ash Borer continues to be a concern, but a new warrior in the battle has emerged that is helping in the fight. It’s a non-stinging wasp that captures the beetle and brings it back to its underground nest to feed its young. The Spotted Winged Drosophila fruit fly is being reported more and more as it attacks soft fruits like raspberries, blueberries and strawberries. For gardeners that grow those crops, you really need to learn more about how to detect and control them.

There will be lots of questions about trees in stress, and there are always a lot of questions we need to ask the grower to determine just what the problem is. If you need to talk to us about tree problems, it always helps to have a picture with you. Use your phone to take the picture to make it more convenient.

With all the rain so far, flowering plants are stunning this year, however, the weeds are having a banner year, too.

Being asked over 500 questions during the three-day event, we are grateful that we can answer most of them. But if we can’t, we have the resources to find the answers and will contact you at a later time to give you the advice you need.

Our pioneer home at the Threshing Show is located on the east end of the grounds, just behind the Old Court House building and right next to the barber shop.  Please stop by and visit us as we look forward to seeing you.

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