Master Gardeners


The Dodge County Master Gardener Association and Extension Dodge County announce the opening of the Ask a Master Gardener Helpline. The Helpline is open during the growing season:  May 6, 2021 – September 2, 2021.  Clients can send inquiries via email or call 920-386-3790.  Samples of plant or insect problems can be dropped off at the Dodge County Administration Building, 127 E Oak Street, Juneau.  Due to Covid restrictions, the walk-in helpline option is not being offered again this year. Clients are asked to email clear, good quality digital photos to help with the identification of your specific plant or insect concerns.

Master Gardener Volunteers can assist gardeners 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.

The Dodge County Master Gardeners normally meet on the fourth Thursday of the month and host educational programs on a wide variety of horticultural topics. Until further notice, monthly meetings are not in person due to Covid restrictions.  Master Gardeners assist UW-Madison, Division of Extension staff in sharing horticultural information with the public. They work on a wide array of projects in the Dodge County area by providing gardening support and education to community organizations like nursing homes, schools, historical societies, and parks.


Little Free Library

Little Free LibraryTake 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!





The Dodge County Master Gardener Association meetings for 2020 are held at the Administration Building in Juneau on the 4th Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m. and are free and open to the public. Gardeners of all stages of expertise are invited!  Come and bring a friend.

2021 Master Gardener Monthly Educational Program Schedule




The Dodge County Master Gardener Association will award a $1000 scholarship to a high school senior who is planning a career in some area of horticulture.

The recipient must live in Dodge County and be a graduating senior 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, Dodgeland High School, Horicon High School, Hustisford High School, Lomira High School, Mayville High School, Randolph High School, Watertown High School, Waupun High School, Lakeside Lutheran High School, and Central Wisconsin Christian School. Or please see the scholarship link below.

Questions may be directed to:

The deadline for applying for the scholarship is April 1, 2021.

2021 Scholarship Application Link


Dodge County Administration Building Education Display Garden

The new Dodge County Master Gardener Educational Garden sign!

2020 was a challenging year for maintaining the educational gardens due to Covid-19 protocols. The Dodge County Master Gardener volunteers were unable to do any gardening until early July. By then, the weeds had a head start and there was considerable pruning that needed to be done. Unfortunately, none of the plant markers were put in place this year due to restricted access.

Despite the late start and restrictions, the garden was beautiful this summer. Established in 2013 and 2014, these gardens continue to change and evolve each year. Last year, some of the hostas needed to be divided and spread out a bit; next spring, more will be divided. This summer, the Montana bachelor button (Centaurea montana) and Meadow sage (Salvia) were divided and moved forward in the garden because the plants in front of them had gotten large enough to conceal them. The Threadleaf coreopsis (Coreopsis verticillata ‘Grandiflora’) also was divided and moved to an additional location in the garden.

One of the characteristics of the cupplant (Silphium Perfoliatum) is its ability to prolifically self-seed. It had done so in grand style and many small ones had to be removed. In the fall, one of the large bunches was dug out to try and keep in under control. As many native plants, this one has a very healthy root system, so the removal increased the volunteer’s muscle power.

The newly planted (2019) Wine and Roses Weigela (weigela florida) made a nice addition to the west side gardens. These gardens, lining the sidewalk, were a flourish of color all summer long with the variety of plants blooming at different times. The Japanese beetles were particularly fond of the Purple Palace Coral Bells (Heuchera micrantha), but once the beetles left the damage was easily trimmed away.

Iris Borer

Dogwood Sawfly

Unfortunately, the gardens on the east side were found to have iris borer. Therefore, all of the bearded iris were removed. In addition, a dogwood sawfly infestation made it necessary to cut down the dogwood early in the season. Be sure to check out the gardens in 2021 for some exciting new additions to replace them.

A new sign was installed to reflect the fact that UW-Madison is now has oversight of the Master Gardener program,

All plants are labeled with a plant marker and information about each plant can be found here.

Dodge County Highway Department Education Display Garden

Creeping Spurge

Because of Covid-19 restrictions, the Dodge County Master Gardener Volunteers were unable to maintain the garden until early July. The first work session involved considerable weeding, pruning, and thinning. Established in 2014, this garden is designed for a hot, dry environment. Two of the plants, Creeping spurge (Euphorbia myrsinites) and stringy sedum (Sedum sarmentosum) do well under these conditions, but are quite aggressive. They had spread so much that they were threatening to take over the entire space. So, much of the first work sessions involved getting those two thugs under control.

The newly planted (2019) Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia) was a beautiful bloomer and attracted huge numbers of pollinators all season. The Adam’s Needle Yucca (Yucca filamentosa) was once again a star with stellar blooms in June and July.

Daylilys at the Highway Department

Pests were essentially unnoticed in this garden. A new sign was installed to reflect the fact that UW-Madison is now has oversight of the Master Gardener program.

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



Dodge County Bethesda Pollinator Education Display Garden

Bethesda Garden

This garden also suffered from neglect until early July due to Covid-19 restrictions. Once the volunteers were able to work, it was recovered quickly. Established in 2016, this is the “youngest” garden. It suffers from salt damage each year because snow from the nearby parking lot gets piled on it each winter. Half of the garden does well, but the half near the parking lot struggles. So, plans are underway to replace the lost plants with some that are more salt-tolerant, such as New England aster (Aster novae-angliae), common yarrow (Achillea millefolium), and/or Autumn Joy sedum (Sedum‘Herbstfreude’).

Unfortunately, this garden was also infected with iris borer. Therefore, all bearded iris were removed. In addition, the mulberry tree that grows along the edge of the garden got a significant trim. This will open up the space, making it easier for volunteers to work and making sunlight more available to the plants. A new sign was installed to reflect the fact that UW-Madison is now has oversight of the Master Gardener program.

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




The Gardening for Gold Fall Symposium committee met recently and made the very difficult decision to cancel our 2020 event.  The venue we use, Horicon Marsh Education Center, is still closed with no indication of when they might open.  As Master Gardener Volunteers, we are still under a no-contact restriction for any volunteer activity with no idea when that might be lifted either.

We plan to have a bigger and better event in 2021 and are already working on the details.  Most of the sponsors and speakers that we had lined up for 2020 are already on board for 2021.  We are looking forward to reconnecting with you next year, so keep Saturday, November 6, 2021 marked for a wonderful, fun-filled horticultural event in Dodge County.


For veteran gardeners or novices.

If you are a veteran gardener or a novice, and would like to learn more about gardening and landscaping, consider participating in the next Master Gardener Volunteer Level 1 Training Program.

Dodge County UW-Extension will offer a 14-week Level 1 Master Gardener Volunteer Training from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. on Tuesday evenings beginning February 4, 2020 and concluding in early May. Training will be held at the Dodge County Administration Building, 127 East Oak Street in Juneau. Participants are required to attend a mandatory orientation meeting on Tuesday, January 21, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. at the Administration Building. This program is only offered in Dodge County every other year.

The program cost is $150 and includes training, a comprehensive set of UW-Extension horticulture publications, and a one year membership to the local and state organization. The training is open to the general public and participants must be at least 18 years of age. Registration will be on a first come, first served basis and class size is limited to 25 participants. Registration deadline for the class is Friday, January 17, 2020. Acceptance into the class will be contingent upon passing a background check. For more information, call the Dodge County UW-Extension Office at 920-386-3790.

This Dodge County program is not solely internet-based, but rather features a variety of hand’s on labs plus University of Wisconsin specialists and other guest speakers with expertise and knowledge on a wide range of different topics each week including: preparing soils for optimum plant growth, plant propagation, backyard wildlife, landscaping, insect identification & control, annuals & perennials, fruits & vegetables, native prairies, turf grass management, plant diseases, and weed control. Participants are expected to come to class prepared by reading the manual and watching the on-line lecture series. If participants do not have access to a computer, they can make arrangements to use one at the Extension Office.

Successfully completing the training program is the first step to becoming a Certified Master Gardener Volunteer and a member of the Dodge County and Wisconsin Master Gardener Associations. Participants must also complete 24 hours of community service by October of the year after their training. In exchange for training, participants share their time and knowledge in approved education projects in their local area.

Community service work can easily be accomplished through working on local community projects, providing educational assistance and training, or serving with other Master Gardeners at the local Help Line. Dodge County Certified Master Gardener Volunteers work at local public gardens, nursing homes, community beautification and education projects, home show exhibits, county fair displays and much more!

For more information about the Dodge County Master Gardener Volunteer Level 1 Training Program please contact the Dodge County UW-Extension office at 920-386-3790.

The Level 1 Training Registration Form has more information and a clip out section to mail in with payment for class.



Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Dodge County Fair was cancelled.  Therefore, the Dodge County Master Gardener Association will not be available in that venue to answer questions.  However, volunteers are still available to help Dodge County residents through the Ask A Master Gardener Help Line.  Gardening has seen an upswing this year and we are fielding a number of questions from first-time gardeners as well as veteran gardeners.

Insect issues, plant identification, tree decline, vegetable issues, disease problems, and wildlife management have all been addressed as of mid-June.  So, although we will not be at the Dodge County Fair with our usual booth, we are still here, ready and willing to help.

We are looking forward to being back at the 2021 Dodge County Fair and seeing residents again face-to-face, renewing old acquaintances and making new friends.


  • 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.
    • Meetings begin at 6:30 pm and are typically held in the Auditorium Room of the Administration Building located at 127 E. Oak Street in Juneau.  We do, on occasion, have a change of night or venue.
    • 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


Left to right, top to bottom: Secretary-Debra Steinich; President-Linda Allen;  Member at Large-Rhonda Ritchie; Treasurer-Donna Klawitter; Vice President-Nikki Poetter.


Back row:

Rosie Sullivan, Carol Shirk, John Schellinger, Terry Zimmerlee, Linda Allen, Jean Ramer, Liz Haas, Becky Goodrich, Jan Erstad, Ben Hagman, Chris Jacobs, Helen Weisensel

Second row:

Faith Zoellick,  Gae Bergman, Joan Loomis, Dennis Loomis, Marianne Zastrow, Debbie Steinich, Kay Voelker, Diane Hemling, Lynn Stanton, Susan Uttech, Jann Seegert

Front row:

Renee Schmitt, Tina Hopp, Cherie Witkowski, Ginny Robbeloth, Nikki Poetter, Donna Klawitter

Missing from Photo:

Linda Ernsberger, Dawn Shillalies, Dennis Knuth, Joann Leair, Caryl Watterson, Judy Hagman, Sheri Hicken, Rhonda Ritchie, Cheryl Uttech


What could be more 2020 than an ongoing invasion of jumping worms?

Dodge County Master Gardener Association no longer holds their very popular plant sale in order to help stop the spread of jumping worms.  Please be responsible gardeners and do your part to stop the spread of these invasives by becoming educated. 

These earthworms are wriggling their way across the United States, voraciously devouring protective forest leaf litter and leaving behind bare, denuded soil. They displace other earthworms, centipedes, salamanders and ground-nesting birds, and disrupt forest food chains. They can invade more than five hectares in a single year, changing soil chemistry and microbial communities as they go, new research shows. And they don’t even need mates to reproduce.

Invasive jumping worms damage U.S. soil and threaten forests

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