Dodge County Master Gardener Association

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



Gardening for Gold – November 5, 2022 | 8:15 AM-3:30 PM. Horicon Marsh Education Center, N7725 Hwy 28, Horicon, WI 53032 Gardening for Gold Registration required.



The Dodge County Master Gardener Association program of events is free and open to gardeners of all levels of experience and skill. Participants will also become familiar with the Master Gardener program and meet others with gardening interests.

January 27Project Year in Review by Dodge County Master Gardeners. A review of 2021 projects, complete with photos and discussion.

February 24Phenology: Nature’s Calendar by Carol Shirk. Wisconsin is blessed with four distinct seasons. We see the trees bud and bloom in the spring, leaf out and grow in the summer, turn into blazes of color in the fall, and drop their leaves during the winter. We see geese return in the spring to lay their eggs and raise their chicks through the summer. When fall comes, they head south and we have a goose-less landscape for the winter. These changes give us a front-row seat to practice phenology: the study of seasonal changes and timing. This centuries-old science is of great benefit to gardeners as well as farmers, foresters, naturalists, hunters, birder watchers, and fishermen. Carol Shirk has been a Certified Master Gardener for over 25 years and enjoys learning more each year as well as teaching others about the joys of horticulture.

March 24Planting and Growing a Cut Flower Garden by Michelle Ovan. Come and be inspired to plant your own cutting garden. Learn about the intensive planting technique which will guide you in spacing recommendations. Closely spaced plants require less water and less weeding giving the grower more time to cut and enjoy their flowers. Different tried-and-true cut flower varieties will be discussed in order to design a season’s worth of flowers and foliage. Michelle is the owner of Ovans Peony Farm located in Beaver Dam, WI. She is a member of the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers and is both a graduate of the Floret Cut Flower Grower School and the UW Madison Wisconsin’s Cut Flower Grower School.

April 28Annual 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 26Growing Garlic by Cindy Hollenbeck. Growing your own garlic allows you to experience entirely new flavors from supermarket garlic, most of which is a single bland variety. Garlic varieties vary in flavor from mild and nutty to hot and spicy. Learn about the different varieties of garlic grown in Wisconsin. Topics include planting garlic tips – when and where to plant, harvesting, curing, and storing garlic. Cindy is from Keene Garlic, a family owned and operated garlic farm in Madison, Wisconsin.

June 23Diseases of Landscape Plants by Brian Hudelson. Learn about common diseases of your favorite outdoor plants (including herbaceous plants, woody trees, and shrubs) and their management. Hear first-hand what the prevalent diseases are this growing season. Brian is director of the Plant Disease Diagnostic Clinic located on the UW-Madison campus. The Clinic serves farmers, greenhouse owners, gardeners and homeowners from all over Wisconsin and helps track the ebb and flow of plant diseases across the state. He has a PhD in Plant
Pathology from UW-Madison.

July 28——Tree Identification Information by John Neuman, the Beaver Dam Parks and Forestry Supervisor, will teach basic identification techniques for common trees, how to properly plant trees, make wise selections for trees in landscapes, and general tree care. We will meet at Swan City Park, Beaver Dam at 6:00 pm. gathering at the Center Shelter (behind the band shell). This is a walking meeting, so dress appropriately. John was raised on a local dairy farm, worked in the landscaping/nursery business, in the agricultural machinery
business, and has been a long-time volunteer firefighter.

NOTE: The time of this meeting is different from our regular meeting time and is restricted to members only.

August 25Garden Thugs—Perennials Not to Plant by Lisa Johnson. Have you ever spent hours digging out the plant you paid good money for last year because it is not playing nice with its neighbors? That’s a Garden Thug. Learn about general characteristics of what makes a potential thug, and meet some of the worst offenders in the garden. If you have a garden thug, bring along a photo to share and discuss. Lisa Johnson has a BS in Horticulture from the UW-Madison and a MS in Life Sciences Communication. She spent eight years working in the horticulture industry. She has been the Dane Co. UW-Extension Horticulture Educator since 2004.

September 22 Bats ‘n Humans Need Each Other by Janet Raddatz. Without bats, grocery stores would look different. Swarms of insects would rule the night. Birds, bats daytime counterparts, could never keep up on bug control responsibilities. Bats are one of the best friend’s we humans ever had! Unfortunately, more than half of our American bat species are in severe decline. Learn about the bats that reside in Wisconsin and how they are doing as White Nose Syndrome continues to impact populations. Janet Raddatz, Wisconsin Master Naturalist, will share her knowledge of these special creatures that affect the quality of our life.

October 27Heirloom Biographies by Janell Wehr. Janell will share the back story of some favorite heirloom vegetables, including the famed Beaver Dam pepper. Learn all about what the terms heirloom, open pollinated, hybrid and GMO mean. After receiving her BS in Natural Science and Geoscience, Janell worked as the green goods buyer and greenhouse manager at a retail garden center. In 2019, she started at the UW Extension in Wood County. Janell is currently the Marathon County Horticulture Educator.

November and December—No meetings. Happy Holidays!!

Meetings held at 6:30 pm at The Watermark, 209 S. Center St., Beaver Dam, WI

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

2022 MG Monthly Educational Program Schedule – PDF



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



Loretta Klecker and Luis H. Avila Vette have each been awarded the 2022 Dodge County Master Gardener Association $1,000 Scholarship.

Klecker, a senior at Dodgeland High School, plans to attend Michigan State University in Lansing, Michigan and major in horticulture.  In high school, Klecker was a member of FFA. She participated in Band and school musicals, Academic Decathlon, Mock Trial, and German Club. Outside of school, Klecker participated in the Washington County 4H Wool Spinning Group where she taught classes and gave fiber arts demonstrations at county events. She has been a 10-year member of the Swan City Skaters and works seasonally at Ebert’s Greenhouse Village.

Luis H. Avila Vette, a senior at Watertown High School, plans to attend UW Platteville and major in soil and crop science and agronomy. Vette has been an FFA and 4H member and officer throughout high school. He is in the Youth Apprenticeship Program and is a member of the National Technology Honor Society. Vette works on the family dairy farm and the vegetable garden. In summer, he works at the family produce stand selling vegetables to the public and donating to the Watertown Food Pantry.


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 awards a $1,000 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.

Questions may be directed to:

The deadline for applying for the scholarship is April 1.






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.



  • 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



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



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 Spurge



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 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!



More information on Jumping Worms from Division of Extension HERE.

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