Seminars/Demos

Seminar
Seminar

Seminars / Demos

Garden Expo is host to a variety of educational seminars and demonstrations. No registration is required; seating is limited. Presentation titles denoted by an asterisk are new for 2019.

Demo stage and seminar room sponsors

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View a printable PDF of the Friday seminar and demo schedule

FRIDAY SATURDAY SUNDAY
Garden Expo Friday Seminars and Demonstrations
Friday, February 8, 2019
12:15 Plant Lust: New Plants to Pine For*
Erin Schanen, The Impatient Gardener
Mendota 1-2
12:15 PM - 1:15 PM

Also scheduled: Sat. 3:30 PM
Session Description
Erin will share some of the best new plants coming to garden centers in 2019 as well as a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into introducing a new plant to gardeners.
Treasures of the Spice Road: Unique Medicinal Characteristics of Spice*
Mary Halstad, Raven & Hawthorn Tree Herbalism LLC
Mendota 5
12:15 PM - 1:15 PM
Session Description
Growing in relatively few parts of the world, spices,apart from herbs were made the ultimate luxury for thousands of years. This was due partly to their cachet as rare and romantic items, but even more so to their profound medicinal properties. Mary will explore spices we now consider common and those which have fallen out of use, with respect to general health and well-being.
High and Dry*
Paul Ganshert, Ganshert Nursery & Landscapes
Mendota 8
12:15 PM - 1:15 PM
Session Description
After the most challenging year of rain in many years, learn how to keep your basement and/or garden safe and dry. Paul will cover grading and drainage. Also, learn about rain garden placement and plants that don't mind wet feet!
Edible Landscaping*
Emily Steinwehe, Emily Plants
Waubesa/Kegonsa
12:15 PM - 1:15 PM

Also scheduled: Sat. 11:45 AM and Sun. 11:45 AM
Session Description
Are you wondering how you can grow more perennial edibles in a beautiful garden? Emily will share her lessons learned from 11+ years of edible landscaping in Madison. Learn about her successes and failures, lower maintenance plants, plant sources and more.
12:30 Anything but the Everyday Daylily*
Carole Hunter, Wisconsin Daylily Society
Mendota 3
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

Also scheduled: Sat. 1:00 PM
Session Description
What most people recognize as the "common" orange daylily was growing wild in Asia during the time of Confucius, and is an ancestor of our modern daylilies. Now, with over 89,000 registered cultivations, in a myriad of sizes, forms and colors, how does one choose?
Awesome Annuals
Mark Dwyer, Rotary Botanical Gardens
Mendota 4
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

Also scheduled: Sat. 2:30 PM
Session Description
In this seminar, we'll examine a wide range of colorful seasonal plants for use in sun and shade, as well as in beds, borders and containers.
Growing and Using Herbs*
Susan Obry,
Mendota 6-7
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
Session Description
Are you looking for an easy way to "spice" up your cooking? Learn about herbs; their uses (cooking and elsewhere); and tips for growing, harvesting and preserving them. Take your dishes from good to flavorful and great!
The Benefits and Ease of Growing Mushrooms in Your Garden*
Lindsey Bender, Field and Forest Products
Monona/Wingra
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
Session Description
Almond Portobello and Wine Cap mushrooms are beautiful, healthy and delicious. Discover how you can easily grow these mushrooms in your garden or landscape to improve soil health, suppress pesky weeds, reduce plant disease and eat like royalty!
1:30 Growing Tomatoes in Wisconsin
Lisa Johnson, UW-Extension Dane County
Mendota 1-2
1:30 PM - 2:30 PM
Session Description
Tomatoes are among the most popular vegetables grown in Wisconsin gardens, but they can also be one of the most challenging due to their susceptibility to diseases. This presentation covers a number of topics to help you have a more plentiful harvest. Topics include choosing varieties, growing tomatoes from seed, proper watering and fertilizing, trellising, mulching, and disease prevention and control, harvesting and storage.
Goose Pond Sanctuary: Monarch Habitat and Conservation
Mark Martin, Madison Audubon Society
Mendota 5
1:30 PM - 2:30 PM
Session Description
Monarchs have experienced a dramatic decline in population in the last 20 years. MAS Goose Pond Sanctuary has been working hard to plant monarch habitats, and you can, too! Learn about monarch ecology, migration, threats and how you can provide what they need in your yard to flourish.
From Chaos to Calm: Creating a Three-Acre Mini-Farm From Scratch*
Jim and Mary Competti, Old World Garden Farms
Mendota 8
1:30 PM - 2:30 PM

Also scheduled: Sat. 2:15 PM and Sun. 11:45 AM
Session Description
Whether it's planting a garden, raising a few chickens, keeping bees, or tending to a flower-filled yard, people are yearning for a more simple lifestyle—and the opportunity to create a more meaningful, fulfilling, and fun-filled life. In this inspiring talk, Jim and Mary will take you through the story of creating their own little three acre mini-farm from scratch, taking their lives from chaos to calm. From gardening and landscaping to creating everything from a chicken coop to a barn, they show how following your dreams and passions can take you to your happy place.
Self-Watering SIP Container Gardening*
Brandon Buechner, EZ Swap Pots
Waubesa/Kegonsa
1:30 PM - 2:30 PM
Session Description
Self-Watering Sub-irrigated planters are a great solution for those looking to grow with ease. Learn the basics of SIP Gardening and how to set one up.
1:45 Backyard Bug Basics*
Beth Goeppinger, Bong State Recreation Area - WI DNR
Mendota 3
1:45 PM - 2:45 PM
Session Description
Plants and insects have one of the longest partnerships in biological history. Discover the insects that may visit plants in your backyard. Learn the basics of identification, how to control a few pests and how to attract beneficial insects.
TBA
,
Mendota 4
1:45 PM - 2:45 PM
Session Description
Maple Syrup Production for Beginners*
Theresa Baroun, Wisconsin Maple Syrup Producers
Mendota 6-7
1:45 PM - 2:45 PM

Also scheduled: Sun. 12:45 PM
Session Description
Learn how to make maple syrup, as well as information about the nutritional value and history of Wisconsin maple syrup. Free beginner books developed by the WMSPA will be handed out.
Soil Health and Fertility*
Thomas Parslow, Madison Area Food Pantry Gardens Inc.
Monona/Wingra
1:45 PM - 2:45 PM

Also scheduled: Sat. 9:15 AM
Session Description
Learn the basics of soil health and fertility. We will examine the structure and composition of soils along with techniques on maintaining soil health and fertility. Participants will receive instruction and materials on soil testing, sampling and interpreting results.
2:45 Everything You Need to Know About Hydrangeas and Their Best Companion Plants!*
Melinda Myers,
Mendota 1-2
2:45 PM - 3:45 PM

Also scheduled: Sun. 12:45 PM
Session Description
Learn tips for the selection, planting and care of hydrangeas. Plus, Melinda will demystify pruning techniques for various types of hydrangeas. She’ll also provide examples of the best companion plants for hydrangeas to create beautiful plantings in your landscape.
Impacts of the Master Gardener Program*
Mike Maddox, UW-Extension
Mendota 5
2:45 PM - 3:45 PM
Session Description
Master Gardener Program director Mike Maddox will provide an overview of the program and how volunteers use gardening to make a difference in the places we live, learn, work and play.
Time for Tea: Herbal Drinks You Can Grow!*
Erin Presley, Olbrich Botanical Gardens
Mendota 8
2:45 PM - 3:45 PM

Also scheduled: Sun. 10:15 AM
Session Description
Your garden can offer a wealth of herbal flavors for refreshing summer and warming winter beverages. Olbrich Herb Garden horticulturist Erin Presley will cover the basics of growing, using, and preserving herbs commonly used for beverages, from old standbys like mint tea to fun new ideas like setting up an herbal cocktail station!
How to Gather/Harvest, Process, and Cook Wild Rice*
Maggie Melby, Melby Works
Waubesa/Kegonsa
2:45 PM - 3:45 PM
Session Description
An overview, with information including the necessary equipment needed, permits, and the many (and at times boring) rules and regulations. This seminar will guide you with starting the beautiful process of harvesting, through to the tasty and nutritious result. A sample of the Wild Rice before and afer cooking, will be included.
3:00 Bringing the Mediterranean to the Midwest*
Jason Toth, Chicago Park District - Garfield Park Conservatory
Mendota 3
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Also scheduled: Sat. 3:45 PM and Sun. 2:00 PM
Session Description
The harsh winters of the Midwest shouldn't deter gardeners from enjoying some Mediterranean style in their yards, porches or terraces. This lecture will include an introduction to the aesthetics of Mediterranean gardening; a recommended plant list, including native and cold-hardy European plants; plus the practical and environmental benefits from gardening with drought-tolerant plants.
Bloom or Bust!*
Laurie Robertson and Errin Schlapbach, Ganshert Nursery & Landscapes
Mendota 4
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Also scheduled: Sat. 1:15 PM and Sun. 2:15 PM
Session Description
Let's make our short Wisconsin growing season feel longer, with blooms from March to October! From bulbs and perennials to trees and shrubs, learn from the pros so that you can always have something flowering in your garden.
Straw Bale Gardening
Joel Karsten, Straw Bale Gardens
Mendota 6-7
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Also scheduled: Sat. 4:45 PM and Sun. 10:30 AM
Session Description
Learn the basics of setting up a straw bale garden for growing vegetables, herbs or flowers in our northern climate. Joel will discuss why and how it works, while diving into the biology that makes the concept work so well. Hear some of the mistakes new straw bale gardeners often make and how they can easily be avoided. If traditional gardening is getting too physical for you, learn this method and you will be gardening much later in life. Learn how straw bale gardening is providing a simple, sustainable and practical solution for world hunger.
Diseases of Trees and Shrubs
Brian Hudelson, Plant Disease Diagnostics Clinic
UW-Extension
Monona/Wingra
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Also scheduled: Sun. 2:15 PM
Session Description
Learn about common and emerging diseases that can adversely affect the trees and shrubs in your landscape. This presentation will help you learn how to identify and manage these diseases.
4:00 Raised Row Gardening - Vegetable Gardening Made Easy!*
Jim and Mary Competti, Old World Garden Farms
Mendota 1-2
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Also scheduled: Sat. 10:45 AM and Sun. 2:15 PM
Session Description
Learn how to grow a highly productive vegetable garden—without the hassle of weeding, tilling, hoeing, watering or spraying.
From the Garden: Herbal Medicine Making
Linda Conroy, Moonwise Herbs
Mendota 5
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Also scheduled: Sun. 2:00 PM
Session Description
Learn to grow and harvest medicine from your garden. Also, learn to make salves, oils, lotions, syrups, tinctures and more!
Revitalizing Milwaukee's North Side Via Pocket Parks*
Tim McCollow, City of Milwaukee ECO HOME GR/OWN
Mendota 8
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Session Description
Over the last five years, the City of Milwaukee has been creating healthy new green spaces full of flowers, food and pollinators. More than 30 sites have been completed to date, increasing neighborhood quality of life and fighting climate change.
The NR 40 Invasive Species Rule: What it Means for Your Yard or Business*
Matthew Wallrath, Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources
Waubesa/Kegonsa
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Session Description
Since 2009, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has used a new rule to help prevent the introduction and control the spread of invasive plants and animals in Wisconsin. Learn why and how this is being achieved and what you need to know to keep your plant list legal. Topics will include rule definition; resources for easy compliance; alternatives to regulated plants; the past, current and future status of NR 40; and how people can get involved to inform the next round of species assessment.
4:15 Planning for Your Perfect Outdoor Space
Sean Pratt, Ganshert Nursery & Landscapes
Mendota 3
4:15 PM - 5:15 PM
Session Description
Ever struggle with making the ideas in your head come to life? This presentation will help you take your vision and make it into an executable plan. Topics include site analysis, conceptual layouts and creating a scaled plan.
Discovering the Truth Behind Seven Common Garden Myths*
Joey and Holly Baird, The Wisconsin Vegetable Gardener
Mendota 4
4:15 PM - 5:15 PM

Also scheduled: Sat. 9:30 AM
Session Description
Joey and Holly will discuss seven common garden practices disproven by science that you should stop doing in your garden immediately!
Let's Get Kids Gardening!*
Mark Dwyer, Rotary Botanical Gardens
Mendota 6-7
4:15 PM - 5:15 PM
Session Description
Mark will discuss ways to actively attract and engage children in rewarding and educational gardening projects and activities.
Making More of a Favorite Plant*
Nate Bremer, Solaris Farms/Wisconsin Peony Society
Monona/Wingra
4:15 PM - 5:15 PM
Session Description
Learn how peonies are divided, grafted, grown from seed and multiplied. This seminar will provide easy steps for gardeners to produce more peony plants for themselves and to share with family and friends.
5:15 Localizing Sustainable Agriculture and Growing Your Own Food*
Dan Small, Outdoor Wisconsin
Mendota 1-2
5:15 PM - 6:15 PM

Also scheduled: Sat. 1:00 PM and Sun. 11:30 AM
Session Description
Learn about Dan's experience of producing food with his wife on their 10-acre homestead. Dan will cover what communities and families can do to grow nutrient-dense food, and how agriculture sustains our ecosystems and health.
Magnificent Monarchs
Gae Bergmann,
Mendota 5
5:15 PM - 6:15 PM

Also scheduled: Sat. 9:30 AM
Session Description
This presentation is an overview of the iconic monarch butterflies, their amazing life cycle and how to raise them successfully.
Bee-utiful Design*
Katey Pratt, Olbrich Botanical Gardens
Mendota 8
5:15 PM - 6:15 PM
Session Description
What does your garden look like from a bee's perspective? In this presentation, you will learn basic bee garden design and understand how bees see flowers. Katey will discuss interesting facts about a few particular bee species, including Bombus affinis aka the endangered Rusty Patched Bumble Bee. Learn about Olbrich Botanical Gardens and our environmentally friendly practices that make the gardens a haven for bees.This lecture will leave you buzzing with excitement!
Growing Food with Hydroponics*
Patrick Schmidt, Paradigm Gardens
Waubesa/Kegonsa
5:15 PM - 6:15 PM
Session Description
Learn all about different hydroponic methods and the benefits of hydroponic gardening. It's easier than you think.
5:30 How to Start Native Plants from Seed*
Kaitlyn O'Connor, Prairie Moon Nursery
Mendota 3
5:30 PM - 6:30 PM

Also scheduled: Sun. 10:15 AM
Session Description
The most challenging aspect of growing native plants is starting from seed. Learn the tricks of the trade so you can grow your own native garden for a fraction of the cost.
Growing Seedless Table Grapes in Your Backyard*
Amaya Atucha, UW-Extension
Mendota 4
5:30 PM - 6:30 PM
Session Description
This seminar will cover the basics on choosing cultivars, building a trellis system, training vines, pruning and nutrition needs for table grapes. Recommended for homeowners and beginner grape growers.
Garbage Into Gold: Composting Tips and Techniques*
Susan Obry,
Mendota 6-7
5:30 PM - 6:30 PM

Also scheduled: Sat. 11:45 AM
Session Description
This seminar will present basic and advanced techniques, uses and the tools that will turn your "garbage into gold." Learn to make your composting efforts efficient and effective.
Growing Garlic in Wisconsin
Noel Valdes, CobraHead LLC
Monona/Wingra
5:30 PM - 6:30 PM
Session Description
Garlic is a healthy and essential cooking ingredient. It's easy to grow, but best yields require good timing. Learn how to grow, harvest and store garlic.
6:30 What's New for Perennials?*
Nancy Nedveck, The Flower Factory
Mendota 1-2
6:30 PM - 7:30 PM
Session Description
See new varieties for 2019. Suppliers keep improving perennials and finding new ones from all over the world for gardeners to enjoy right here in the midwest.
Wildlife Damage Management: Tips, Tools and Techniques
Jamie Nack, UW-Madison Dept. of Forest and Wildlife Ecology
Mendota 5
6:30 PM - 7:30 PM
Session Description
While attracting wildlife to your backyard can provide great satisfaction and enjoyment, sometimes wildlife can become a nuisance—or even cause property damage. Participants will learn the keys to a successful wildlife damage management program.
Making the Most of a Small Space
Tim Stenzel, Avant Gardening & Landscaping Inc.
Mendota 8
6:30 PM - 7:30 PM

Also scheduled: Sat. 1:15 PM
Session Description
Small spaces benefit from thoughtful organization and attention to detail. Explore some design strategies, hardscaping tricks and plant selections to help you get the most out of your small garden or patio space.
Kids and Gardening*
Amy Freidag, UW-Madison
Waubesa/Kegonsa
6:30 PM - 7:30 PM

Also scheduled: Sat. 4:45 PM
Session Description
Do you want to help guide the next generation of gardeners? Learn ways to authentically garden with young children and why it is important to engage them in nature.
Seminar and demonstration topics and times are subject to change. For updated seminar/demonstration information go to wigardenexpo.com.
12:30 Sensational Succulents*
Michelle Cox, The Landscape Connection
Demo Stage A
12:30 PM - 1:15 PM

Also scheduled: Sat. 3:30 PM
Session Description
Indoors, outdoors, in-ground or in a container: succulents are easy, versatile and sensational. Learn the basics and start growing some today.
Build an "April Greenhouse" for Under $100, That Heats Itself!*
Joel Karsten, Straw Bale Gardens
Demo Stage B
12:30 PM - 1:15 PM

Also scheduled: Sat. 11:30 AM and Sun. 12:30 PM
Session Description
Learn to build a 7 ft. x 9 ft. and 6 ft. tall "April Greenhouse" to start 360 plants. You will walk away after this demo feeling confident enough to build your own amazing greenhouse. Bring your camera/phone to take pictures. You will receive a material list with items you can purchase at your local store. See how this simple greenhouse will save every gardener hundreds on spring bedding plants, transplants and flowers. You'll also discover how it will add a beautiful architectural element to your garden during the summer growing season! Based on Straw Bale Gardening.
1:30 Pruning Primer
Mike Maddox, UW-Extension
Demo Stage A
1:30 PM - 2:15 PM

Also scheduled: Sun. 10:30 AM
Session Description
A few simple hand tools and a little bit of knowledge are all you need to keep shrubs in good form.
Using Green Infrastructure: A Cost-Effective, Resilient, and Attractive Approach to Managing Wet Weather Impacts*
Linda Reid and Harlan Groll, Stormwater Solutions Engineering LLC
Demo Stage B
1:30 PM - 2:15 PM

Also scheduled: Sat. 4:30 PM
Session Description
Learn the whys and hows of using small-scale green infrastructure to meet your storm water management needs and beautify your property. We'll share information about rainfall integration solutions that manage roof runoff at your downspout, including rain barrels and rain gardens. We'll also discuss the infiltration benefits of soil amendments, storm water trees and other green infrastructure solutions.
2:30 Garden to Table Meals*
Brianne Gohlke and Andrew Wood, UW-Health
Demo Stage A
2:30 PM - 3:15 PM

Also scheduled: Sat. 11:30 AM
Session Description
Learn new ways to use those garden-fresh vegetables and herbs you've worked so hard to grow.
Growing and Baking With Ancient Grains in Wisconsin
David Meuer, Meuer Farm LLC; and Shawn Rediske, Waterhouse Foods, Meuer Farm LLC
Demo Stage B
2:30 PM - 3:15 PM

Also scheduled: Sat. 9:30 AM
Session Description
Ancient grains are making a comeback. David Meuer will discuss how Meuer Farm grows, harvests and stone mills whole grain flours on their farm. Learn how whole grains can help improve your diet. Shawn Rediske from Waterhouse Foods will explain how ancient grains can help you discover new flavors, textures and healthfulness while baking. All you need is a little science and technique. Shawn will also discuss selecting the ancient grain that's right for you, modifying your favorite bread and pastry recipes to include ancient grains. Recipes will be provided.
3:30 How to Care for and Design with Air Plants*
Michelle Glaser, Red Shed Garden & Gifts
Demo Stage A
3:30 PM - 4:15 PM

Also scheduled: Sat. 2:30 PM and Sun. 1:30 PM
Session Description
Easy Flavored Vinegars*
Joe Theisen,
Demo Stage B
3:30 PM - 4:15 PM
Session Description
Joe will demonstrate how you can make a variety of flavored vinegars, including jalapeno pepper, onion and different varieties of basil. Learn how these vinegars can be used to add flavor to sauces and dressings.
4:30 Plants for the Shrub Border*
Stephanie Rawlins
, McKay Nursery Co.
Demo Stage A
4:30 PM - 5:15 PM

Also scheduled: Sat. 4:30 PM
Session Description
Tips for a Healthy Home and Garden with Essential Oils
Starla Batzko, Starla's Seasonings & Mixes
Demo Stage B
4:30 PM - 5:15 PM
Session Description
Keep your home toxin free and your garden growing abundantly without chemicals, thanks to these useful tips for using essential oils. Includes free handouts with recipes.
5:30 Aquascaping for the Aesthetically Challenged*
Ben VanDinther, Water Colors Aquarium Gallery, representing Madison Area Aquatic Hobbyists
Demo Stage A
5:30 PM - 6:15 PM
Session Description
Learn to harmonize hardscape elements and plants based on proportions and ratios.
Simple Ways to Grow Mushrooms at Home*
Laura Kahles, Field and Forest Products
Demo Stage B
5:30 PM - 6:15 PM

Also scheduled: Sun. 2:30 PM
Session Description
Mushrooms don't just grow in the forests. These fascinating organisms can be planted in toilet paper rolls, egg cartons, flower pots and more! Mushrooms can be grown in the house, right on the kitchen table if desired. Best of all, it's easy.
6:30 Food Preservation Inspiration*
Becky Gutzman,
Demo Stage A
6:30 PM - 7:15 PM
Session Description
New equipment, new recipes and new ideas are making food preservation more popular than ever. Join Food Preservation Educator Becky Gutzman for updates on methods and tips for success that will inspire you to head for the kitchen!
How to Grow Giant Pumpkins
John Barlow and Mike Schmit, Wisconsin Giant Pumpkin Growers
Demo Stage B
6:30 PM - 7:15 PM

Also scheduled: Sun. 11:30 AM
Session Description
How do you get pumpkins to grow so big? John and Mike will discuss steps from preparing the seed to harvesting Wisconsin pumpkins as big as 2,283 pounds.
Seminar and demonstration topics and times are subject to change. For updated seminar/demonstration information go to wigardenexpo.com.

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