Grow Your Own Vegetables Class offered

Are you eager for spring?  Winter is a good time to start planning your vegetable garden whether you want to grow a small or large amount of vegetables. The University of Minnesota Extension Pine County Master Gardeners will present a Community Education class on “Growing Your Own Vegetables” at two locations.  The first class will be on Tuesday, February 20th at 6 p.m. at East Central High School Room 203. The second will be the next night, Wednesday, February 21st at 6 p.m. at Pine City Elementary School.

Master Gardeners Jon Hjelm, Lauren Meister and Kim Metz will cover your gardening options; variety selection; spacing; crop rotation; gardening in a small space; improving the soil and more.  Whether planning your first garden or your fiftieth, a good plan and some different methods will increase your success and perhaps save you time and work.

For more information and to register for the February 20th class contact East Central Community Education at

Or you can call 320-245-2216 ext. 6414

For the February 21st class information contact Pine City Community Education at

Or you can call 320-629-4030.

Pine County Horticulture Day, March 24

Whether you are new to gardening or have been gardening all your life, there will be something for everyone at the 16th Annual Pine County Master Gardener Horticulture Day on Saturday, March 24th.  The day begins with registration, coffee and exhibits at 8 a.m. and runs to 2 p.m. at the Pine City High School.

“Minnesota Forests are Changing with the Climate” will be the keynote presentation by Lee Frelich, Researcher and Director of the University of Minnesota Center for Forest Ecology and Institute of the Environment

There will be two rounds of breakout sessions on the following topics.

“Growing Healthy Vegetables” by Michelle Grabowski, University of Minnesota Extension Plant Pathologist

“Beyond Basics: How to Get the Most from Your Perennial Garden” by Kate Netwal, U of M Extension Master Gardener, Hennepin County

“Pruning Trees and Shrubs” by Donna Tatting, U of M Extension Master Gardener, Chisago County

“Growing Blueberries in East Central Minnesota” by Diane Patras, U of M Extension Master Gardener, Chisago County Master Gardener

The registration fee includes the educational sessions, morning refreshments, lunch, handouts, door prizes and time to visit with exhibitors featuring garden items, plants and bulbs.  Bring your gardening questions for the “Ask a Master Gardener” table and visit with experienced Pine County Master Gardeners.

Register by March 20th for $21 to save money and to be entered in a Grand Prize Drawing.  Print a Horticulture Day Registration form from the Pine County Extension office home page at and click onto “Pine County Horticulture Day”. After March 20, the fee is $25. Or, request a form by calling 1-800-657-3813 Ext. #4 or call 1-320-591-1651. Forms are also available from the Extension office at the Pine County Courthouse at 635 Northridge Dr. in Pine City, and at the Flower Box in Pine City; Beaver Meadows Garden Center south of Hinckley; Brown’s Greens & Beans in Sandstone and Village Floral in Grantsburg, Wisconsin.

Become a Master Gardener



To become a Master Gardener, you first must enroll and be accepted in the Pine County Extension program.  Contact the University of Minnesota’s Pine County Extension Office at (320) 591-1650 or (800) 657-3813.

Upon acceptance, you then take the Master Gardener Core Course held online Jan. 12 to May 7, 2010 (registration deadline is Dec. 29); or face-to-face in Pine City* Jan. 26 to Feb. 20, 2010, 6:00 P.M. to 9:00 P.M. Tuesdays and Thursdays; 9:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. Saturdays at the Pine County Courthouse, 635 Northridge Drive NW (registration deadline is Jan. 5, 2010).

*Class will meet in the County Commissioners Room on Tuesdays, and in the Jury Assembly Room on Thursdays and Saturdays.

The master gardener program aims to train volunteers to help other people with horticulture questions and education. The cost for training is $200 for classroom or $250 for online registration.
No refunds for volunteers or ProHort students after Jan. 15, 2010. Students taking the course for University credit follow normal University deadlines for withdrawing from classes.

Master Gardeners are required to volunteer 50 hours the first year and 25 hours annually thereafter.  Active volunteers are also asked to participate in continuing education of 5-12 hours per year, depending on the county in which they volunteer.

Besides Pine City, additional classes are being offered in Mankato and at the University of Minnesota – St. Paul campus.