Using Native Plants in our own Backyard

Using Native Plants in Our Own Backyard
Saturday, March 16/19 – 1:30 – 3:30pm
Canadian Mennonite University,
South Campus
500 Shaftesbury Blvd., Winnipeg, MB

Hosted by Manitoba Master Gardener Association

John P. Morgan – President, Prairie Habitats Inc., will present about why we should consider using native Manitoba plants in our familiar, but often fairly sterile, urban and rural landscapes. Some of the plant’s unique history, importance, folklore, benefits and aesthetics will be examined. Patterning our approach to land use after the ecology of the natural systems that evolved over millennia has economic, social and environmental effects. Integrating native wildflowers, grasses and shrubs successfully into modern landscapes takes knowledge, passion and time. The results, however, can lead us to a better appreciation and stewardship of those same natural processes that sustain our species.

Members: Free Non-members: $5.00
No registration required.

This event is an educational opportunity for Master Gardeners.

Come Grow with Us

“Come Grow With Us”
Seed Starting
Presented by Gardeners Share North
Saturday, March 16 @ 12 noon

Gaynor Family Library Theatre
806 Manitoba Ave., Selkirk, MB

Have you always wanted to start your own seeds so that you are ready for spring planting?
Join Master Gardener Mick Manfield as he explains how to start your own plants from seed, what equipment to buy that will help with successful seed starting, the advantages and disadvantages of certain growing pots and some useful tips and tricks on seed storing and seed viability.
We are pleased to offer a variety of tomato seedlings at this event.

Growing Tomatoes – Part 1 of 2

Lenore Linton, Master Gardener

I have been growing tomatoes for 56 years, but it is only in the last 20 years that I’ve been starting them from seed. For 36 years I bought my starter plants at a local greenhouse. I had my favorites: Big Beef, Better Boy, First Lady, Early Girl and Sweet 100, before that Manitoba. I always had plenty of tomatoes for fresh eating as well as sharing, sauce making and freezing.
When I retired in 1996 I began gardening with a passion. My adventures growing tomatoes started with a package of heirloom seeds. If I remember correctly it was Anna Russian or Early Annie. I was hooked. If I was to grow heirloom tomatoes I needed to grow them from seed as they were not available as starter plants.
One of the first rules I quickly learned was not to be in a rush to plant tomato seeds. The next lesson was the importance of adequate light for the young seedlings. I keep these two lessons in mind as I start my tomatoes. Otherwise you end up with tall spindly plants before planting time. Read More

Gardening with a difference.

by Karen Loewen, Master Gardener and MMGA Board Member at Large

We gardeners welcomed recent snowfalls and enjoyed watching snow bury our gardens. Following the last dry growing season many plants went into dormancy dehydrated, and with temperatures dipping to record lows prior to significant snow cover, the survival of our plants is being tested this winter. We are hoping our precious charges, trees, shrubs and perennials won’t succumb. As well, gardeners ‘pushing the zones’, growing tender plants rated a zone or two warmer than Manitoba’s zone 3 designation, have some additional concerns.

Experts on climate change advise us to expect more extreme weather – hotter, drier summers and colder winters, so adopting gardening practices to mitigate these effects, will increase our chances for success in the garden, and benefit the larger landscape.It’s interesting how our efforts to grow a more plant resilient garden also result in a healthier ecological environment for pollinators and birds. Everyone wins! Let’s not underestimate the collective difference we and our gardens can make.

Following are just a few ways we can garden for that difference:
Read More

Film – Five Seasons the Gardens of Piet Oudolf


MMGA Hosts the Film
Five Seasons-the Gardens of Piet Oudolf
Saturday, February 2, 2018 – 12:30pm

Cinematheque, 100 Arthur Street, Winnipeg, MB

This film about the world’s most celebrated garden designer immerses viewers in Oudolf’s work and takes them inside his creative process, from his beautifully abstract sketches, to his theories on beauty, to the ecological implications of his ideas.
Discussions take place through all four seasons in Piet’s own gardens at Hummelo and on visits to his signature public works in New York, Chicago and the Netherlands.
The film also follows Oudolf as he designs and installs a major new garden at Hauser and Wirth Somerset.

Climate Change Presentation Day


A great informational afternoon yesterday with presentations on Climate Change with Curtis Hull and Tree Loss with Gerry Engel. It was open to the public but also an educational update event for Master Gardeners. Thank you to Curtis Hull and Gerry Engel for all their excellent insight and information they shared!

Climate Change and Tree Loss


Climate Change and Tree Loss
Saturday, January 12, 2019 – 1:00pm

Riverside Seniors Lions Residences – 188 Worthington Ave., Wpg. MB
hosted by the Manitoba Master Gardener Association

There is a lot mentioned in the news these days about climate change, but what does it mean for Manitoba in general and the home gardener in particular? Join us and learn the latest on Climate Change in Manitoba with Curtis Hull from Climate Change Connections, followed by ‘What can the home owner do to plan for/cope with the loss of a tree?’ with Gerry Engel from Trees Winnipeg.

Members: No cost      Non-members: $5.00

Educational Update for Master Gardeners! A great way to receive your hours for education.

About Seeds and Seed Saving (Part 1 of 2)

"A seed knows how to wait...a seed is alive while it waits" Hope Jahren

“A seed knows how to wait…a seed is alive while it waits” Hope Jahren

by Susan LeBlanc, Master Gardener

I was recently asked to give a talk in Swan River, Manitoba on behalf of the Manitoba Master Gardener Association. The following is a recount of the power point presentation.

Millions of years ago neither plant life nor their methods of reproduction were as we know them today. Fast forward through the evolutionary development of flowering plants. Some flowers developed fragrance and many displayed bold, bright eye-catching colours. Insects and other creatures (bats, birds, lizards and lemurs) evolved alongside the flowers and were drawn to these new food sources. Flowers also developed in ways that ensured pollen grains (male) landed on the female area known as the stigma. Migration of pollen down the pollen tube through both the stigma and style into the ovary results in fertilization and the production of seeds. The movement of pollen across flower surfaces by pollinators, or in some plants by wind, inadvertently deposits pollen onto the stigma initiating the process of fertilization. Modern humans can trace their dependence on food production to the evolution of flowering plants and their pollinators. Seventy-five percent of food crops worldwide depend at least partly on pollination. Read More

About Seeds and Seed Saving (Part 2 of 2)

IMG_5742 copy 2by Susan LeBlanc, Master Gardener

To plan seed saving with regular plants in the garden, begin with plants that are self fertile such as tomatoes or beans. Select the best looking, disease-free, true to type plants. If you choose to grow the plants for seed saving separately, rogue, or remove any plants that are inferior or show undesirable characteristics. These rogued plants are still fine to eat, just not good for seed saving.

Records and labels, are very important to the seed saving process. Indeed, to save seed for the likes of the Canadian non-profit “SEEDS OF DIVERSITY” member catalogue, one must absolutely know what the neighbours are growing. To correctly save seeds that are guaranteed true- to- type for the “SEEDS OF DIVERSITY” for member cataloguing or donating at Seedy Saturdays, steps must be taken to restrict the introduction of the pollen of other varieties by insects.

The restriction can be achieved by isolating plant varieties by distance. Some isolation distances are remarkable. Lettuce, for example, requires a distance of 1.6 kilometers and beets 3-8 kilometers.

Luckily the isolation distance for tomatoes is only 5 meters! It is interesting that insects prefer flowers and flowering herbs to vegetable blossoms. To further decrease the introduction of pollen of another variety carried in by insects, plant some of the following: Mignonette, Calamintha, Alyssum, Cosmos, Zinnia and older varieties of Sunflower (new sunflower varieties are almost all pollenless). Read More

Gingerbread Greenhouse

This Gingerbread Greenhouse, and 13 others, was made by one of our very talented members, Lenora Kehler.