Dodge County Master Gardener Association

Contact the Dodge County Master Gardener Association at: or like them on Facebook.

Mailing address: DCMG, PO Box 27, Beaver Dam, WI 53916

Calendar of Events and Learning Opportunities From Wisconsin Horticulture and the Division of Extension

Dodge County Master Gardener Events & Meetings


Meetings start at 6:30 pm at Moraine Park, 700 Gould St., Beaver Dam, WI – Room K307. Please use the K entrance.

January 26—Project Year in Review by Dodge County Master Gardeners. A review of 2022
projects, complete with photos and discussion.

February 23CANCELLED DUE TO INCLEMENT WEATHER AND RESCHEDULED FOR MARCH 23RD. Cold Climate Grape Growing by Will Fulwider.

March 23—Cold Climate Grape Growing by Will Fulwider. An overview of grape growing
for the home gardener, including variety and site selection, training and pruning, common pests
and diseases, management, and harvest considerations. Will Fulwider is the Regional Crop and
Soils Educator for Dane and Dodge County Extension. He works with farmers across the two
counties on field and forage crop production. Prior to joining Extension, Will helped manage a
vineyard in Dane County and worked on educational programming for grape growers in Napa.

April 27—Annual Business Meeting (members only). Association business, including
presentation of certification cards, updates on all projects and new this year: a meal will be
provided as appreciation to our volunteers.

May 25—Horticulture Therapy by Mike Maddox. “Gardening is my therapy” is often said by
enthusiastic gardeners as we understand how plants assist with our own self-care. However, with
some well thought out steps and focused efforts, gardening can be used as a modality to improve
health and well-being. This program introduces participants to key elements of horticultural
therapy and the benefits it provides. Mike Maddox is a horticultural therapist-registered with
over 20 years of gardening experience and educational programs with communities.

June 22—Invasive Plants: In and Beyond Your Yard by Mark Renz. Invasive plants in
landscaped settings can contribute to negative impacts far beyond our yards. Learn about new
invasive plants to look for, strategies for managing invasive plants, and Landscape Alternatives
resources that help you choose non-invasive plants for your yard. Mark Renz is a professor and
extension weed specialist with the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Renz researches and
extends information about the biology and management of invasive plants. He has over 20 years
of experience with management of invasive plants throughout the United States.

July 27—Service Meeting by Dodge County Master Gardener Volunteers. A project will be
selected from either existing projects or one that is new for 2023. All members will meet to lend
a helping hand for an organization such as a school, library, service organization, or community
garden and we will work together for approximately an hour. We will also have a meal and a
time of fellowship as we gather together for a time to encourage one another and our recipient.
NOTE: The time of this meeting may be different from our regular meeting time.

August 24—Season Extenders by Johanna Oosterwyk. Wisconsin weather can be fickle and the
growing season is never long enough. Learn about some tools and tips to take control of the
growing environment. Start your plants earlier, keep them thriving later and get more out of
your garden all season long. Johanna Oosterwyk is the manager of the DC Smith Instructional
Greenhouse at UW-Madison. She teaches classes in greenhouse management and plant care for
the Department of Horticulture.

September 28—Pruning Trees and Shrubs by Tim Eilbes. Pruning is probably one of the most
confusing landscape tasks for homeowners. Many people aren’t sure what to do or when to do it.
However, proper pruning is essential for maintaining attractive and healthy trees and shrubs.
The practice of pruning can be simplified through an understanding of the basic principles and
techniques. Come learn the why, the when, and the types of pruning, including the removal cut,
the reduction cut, the heading cut, and removal of dead material. Tim Eilbes is the co-owner of
K & B Trees, Lawns and Landscaping serving the greater Dodge County community. Tim has a
bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture from UW-Madison and is a state registered
Landscape Architect who has been in the green industry for 19 years. He has 3 (busy) children
with his wife Tammy.

October 26—Winter Sowing: a Simple Way to Sow Seeds Outdoors by Becky Gutzman.
Looking for a way to start your own seedlings without fussing with lights, watering, and
transplanting? Winter sowing is a great way to start seeds, working with nature to sprout them at
the right time, and grow them in natural light. It’s also a fun project to get some gardening done
in the winter. Becky is a Columbia County Master Gardener and will share her experiences in
winter sowing, including what containers to use and how to prepare them, how the process
works, and tips for successful sowing and transplanting into the garden.

November and December—No meetings. Happy Holidays!!

Contact us at: or like us on Facebook.

Contact Dodge County Master Gardener Association at: or like us on Facebook.

2023 MG Monthly Educational Program Schedule – PDF

Ask A Gardening Question


The Dodge County Master Gardener Association and Extension Dodge County work together to help answer your garden questions! Clients may send inquiries year round via email to Wisconsin Horticulture at UW-Madison Division of Extension ASK A GARDENING QUESTION or call Extension Dodge County at 920-386-3790.

Samples of plant or insect problems can be dropped off at the Dodge County Administration Building, 127 E Oak Street, Juneau. Clients are asked to email clear, good quality digital photos to help with the identification of your specific plant or insect concerns.

Local Master Gardener Volunteers assist Dodge County gardeners via the Wisconsin Horticulture ‘Ask a Gardening Question’ portal with identifying flowering and non-flowering plants, trees and shrubs, vegetables insects or plant diseases.  Volunteers also help with general gardening practices, information needed to make and keep gardens healthy, growing and beautiful.


Archived Questions & Answers

Master Gardener Association Scholarship


Congratulations to the 2022 recipients! 

L to R: Luis H. Avila Vette, Watertown High School; DCMG President Linda Allen; Loretta Klecker, Dodgeland High School

The Dodge County Master Gardener Association will award a $1,000 scholarship to a graduating high school senior who is planning a career in some area of horticulture.

The recipient must live in Dodge County and be a graduating from any public high school, parochial high school, or home school.

The student must have applied to a two or four year accredited college or technical school that has a program leading to a degree or certification in a horticulture or related area.  Careers may include, but are not limited to, horticulture, plant science, soil science, agriculture, environmental science, landscaping, forestry, science education.

Application forms are available in the guidance offices of Dodge County and area high schools.  They include Beaver Dam High School, Columbus High School, Dodgeland High School, Hartford High School, Horicon High School, Hustisford High School, Lomira High School, Mayville High School, Oconomowoc High School, Randolph High School, Waterloo High School, Watertown High School, Waupun High School, Lakeside Lutheran High School, and Central Wisconsin Christian School.


Interested individuals can also obtain an application by email from

The deadline for applying for the scholarship is April 1.


Master Gardener Volunteer Training


Wisconsin Master Gardener Program

The University of Wisconsin-Madison Extension Master Gardener Program supports a network of individuals, known as Master Gardeners, dedicated to horticulture education, service, and lifelong learning. Through University research-based horticulture training, Master Gardeners are equipped to address needs and opportunities in their community and throughout the state.

Training is required to become a Master Gardener. Individuals wanting to become a Wisconsin Master Gardener should participate in a learning opportunity from the Wisconsin Extension Horticulture Program such as a county-based in-person course (limited availability) or sign up for our statewide online course Growing and Caring for Plants in Wisconsin: Foundations in Gardening (formerly called Foundations in Horticulture in Wisconsin – Growing and Caring for Plants) and then must complete the online Master Gardener Onboarding course.

Growing and Caring for Plants in Wisconsin: Foundations in Gardening

The Growing and Caring for Plants in Wisconsin: Foundations in Gardening course teaches participants university research-based methods to successfully grow their plants and manage common pests. This course  introduces a decision-making framework that focuses on understanding how plants grow, why pests and problems happen, and how to keep plant problems from happening. It emphasizes using brain power, common sense, and elbow grease rather than the spray bottle on plants grown inside and out.

To give participants the best information on improving their gardening skills, this twelve-part virtual course includes online videos, readings, interactive quizzes, and scheduled live Q&A webinars with UW Madison horticulture experts. This course, offered annually, is designed to be self-paced so participants can fit it into their schedules. The Wisconsin Extension Master Gardener Program supports Growing and Caring for Plants in Wisconsin: Foundations in Gardening as the primary source of horticultural knowledge required for the Master Gardener program.

Master Gardener Program Onboarding

Participating in the Master Gardener Program Onboarding course fulfills the requirements of joining the Extension Master Gardener Program in Wisconsin.

MG Onboarding course participants:

  1. Receive an orientation to the Wisconsin Extension Master Gardener Program, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension
  2. Learn the program requirements to be a Wisconsin Extension Master Gardener
  3. Demonstrate basic knowledge of horticulture with the open book entrance exam

Learn More/Join the Mailing List

To learn more about the Growing and Caring for Plants in Wisconsin: Foundations in Gardening course please visit Wisconsin Horticulture Division of Extension.

For questions about the Master Gardener Program, see UW-Madison Division of Extension Master Gardener Program.

If you are interested in receiving information about the Master Gardener Program and course, Growing and Caring for Plants in Wisconsin: Foundations in Gardening please subscribe HERE.

For specific information about the Dodge County Master Gardener Association, contact 

For more information about Extension programming, please contact Extension Dodge County at 920-386-3790.

Know More About the Program


  • All-volunteer organization.
  • An outreach arm of Dodge County UW-Extension (UWEX).
  • MG’s are trained volunteers who aid UWEX by helping people in the community better understand horticulture and their environment.
  • Membership is open to the public.
  • The goal of the program is to train enthusiastic volunteers so they can, in turn, provide research-based information on a wide variety of horticultural topics to the general public in their communities.
  • Training Requirements for Certified Master Gardener Volunteers (MGV):
    • Complete a 36-hour horticultural educational training offered by UW-Extension.
    •  Fulfill volunteer hour commitment.

Get Involved

  • As a Certified Master Gardener Volunteer.
  • Become a “Friend of the Master Gardeners” for only $7/year.
  • Attend Monthly Educational Meetings.
    • Fourth Thursday of the month from January through October.
    • The meetings are open to the public and free of charge.

Community Service and Outreach

  • The Dodge County Master Gardeners provide approximately 2800 hours of education, community service and outreach annually.
  • Their volunteer efforts directly and indirectly touch the lives of all Dodge County citizens as they work at nursing homes, historical societies, schools, parks, and youth programs.


  • Late 1970’s – The MG program began in Wisconsin through UW-Extension.
  • 1992 – Local MG groups formed the Wisconsin Master Gardener Association (WIMGA).
  • 2004 – Local MGV’s organized the Dodge County Master Gardeners Association.

Learn More

Meet the Dodge County Master Gardeners


Back row: Left to Right – Carol Shirk: President, Linda Allen: Secretary, Nikki Poetter: Vice President

Front row: Left to Right – Donna Klawitter: Treasurer, Chris Jacobs: Member at Large

2022 Members

Education Gardens

Dodge County Administration Building Education Display Garden

Established in 2013 and 2014, this garden continues to evolve and change each year. 2021 continued to be a challenging year for maintaining the educational garden due to Covid-19 protocols. In early spring, the Dodge County Master Gardener volunteers pruned ornamental grasses, hydrangea arborescens, and “Black Lace” elderberry shrubs. Plant identification markers were sorted and repaired. Red mulch cedar was applied to beds to retain moisture and to help control weeds. In addition, the Threadleaf coreopsis (Coreopsis verticillate ‘Grandflora’) was divided and moved to an additional location in the garden. A new pink astilbe plant was added to the side garden area near the daylilies. During the summer, the Montana bachelor button (Centaurea montana) had issues with leaf powdery mildew. Highly effected areas were pruned and properly disposed. The plant was then treated with an organic fungicide spray. The Japanese beetles were numerous on the hostas and the Purple Palace Coral Bells (Heuchera micrantha). Damaged leaves were removed. The Wine and Roses Weigela (Weigela florida) planted in 2019 continue to flourish in the west side gardens. Also, many cup plant seedlings were removed due to the ability of the cup plant (Silphium perfoliatum) to self-seed. In the fall, proper fall clean-up was done by Dodge County Master Gardeners and cup plants were pruned to the ground. Unseasonably warm weather in October provided late flower blossoms for pollinators.

All plants are identified with a plant marker and more information on the individual plants can be found at this LINK.

Dodge County Highway Department Education Display Garden

Due to its southern exposure, this garden is designed for a hot, dry environment and was established in 2014. The garden hosts a variety of plant colors and textures. Two of the plants, creeping spurge (Euphorbia myrsinites) and stringy sedum (Sedum sarmentosum) do well under these growing conditions. As aggressive growers, these plants require heavy pruning to maintain proper spacing in the garden. In early spring, plant identification markers and the Educational Master Gardening sign were installed. The Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia) planted in 2019 on the edge of border has continued to spread and attract pollinators into late fall. The Adam’s Needle Yucca (Yucca filamentosa) blossoms were once again a highlight in June and July. The garden had no pests or leaf mildew issues.

All plants are identified with a plant marker and more information on the individual plants can be found at this LINK.

Creeping Surge

Dodge County AbleLight (formerly Bethesda) Thrift Store Pollinator Education Display Garden

AbleLight Thrift Store Educational Garden

Established in 2016, this garden is well maintained but continues to suffer from salt damage each year due to snow and salt plowed from the parking lot. Due to its southern exposure, this garden is designed for a hot, dry environment and was established in 2014. The garden hosts a variety of plant colors and textures.  Two of the plants, creeping spurge (Euphorbia myrsinites) and stringy sedum (Sedum sarmentosum) do well under these growing conditions.  As aggressive growers, these plants require heavy pruning to maintain proper spacing in the garden.   In early spring, plant identification markers and the Educational Master Gardening sign were installed.  Several new perennials were planted this year and include Cup Plant (Silphium Perfoliotum), Denim ‘n Lace Russian Sage (Perovskia Atriplicifolia), and Autumn Joy Sedum (Sedum).

All plants are identified with a plant marker and more information on the individual plants can be found at this LINK.

Questions can be directed to

Dodge County John Hustis Museum Educational Garden

In 2021, our newest garden was started at the John Hustis Museum in collaboration with the Hustisford Historical Society. Instrumental in the settlement of Hustisford, John Hustis built a
Greek Revival style home in 1851 which has been restored by the Hustisford Historical Society. Master Gardener volunteers worked this year to begin reestablishing the gardens surrounding the house. Work began in the spring with removing volunteer trees, weeds, and invasive orange lilies on the south side of the property. Overgrown shrub roses were thinned for a better growth environment. The soil was then prepared for a pollinator garden. Shrubs and various perennials and annuals were planted to provide a healthy environment for pollinators. Monarch butterflies and caterpillars were observed on both the butterfly weed and whorled milkweed. More detailed information on the garden plants will be provided this coming year.

All plants are identified with a plant marker and more information on the individual plants can be found at this LINK.

Little Free Library

Little Free Library

Take a book ~ return a book

The DCMGA supports a “Little Free Library” in the east garden. The library will be stocked with garden books for adults and children early spring through fall. It is near a bench where patrons can sit and read while enjoying the gardens. Please feel free to take a book, read it, and return it so we can keep the library going!

Jumping Worms

More information on Jumping Worms from Division of Extension HERE.

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