Growing Together: Offering something for everyone, area gardening programs are sure to spark spring fever

A variety of blossoms fills this flower bed. Forum file photo

I, for one, am going to revel in spring with reckless abandon this year.

My daydreaming about warm-weather gardening has eased this winter’s insanity, and thankfully upcoming gardening events are sure to coax Mother Nature to quit her winter ways.

Five cities around the region are hosting different one-day educational gardening events, conveniently scheduled on Saturdays, and everyone’s invited. Several of these information-packed gardening days are celebrating more than 30 years running, and the sizable audiences prove their popularity. Besides informative sessions, each has a vendor show, featuring garden-related products.

On a personal note, I’m among the program presenters at events in Carrington, N.D., and Perham, Fergus Falls and Alexandria in Minnesota, and I always enjoy visiting with readers. Here is more information the upcoming regional programs.

Gardening Plus Day

Carrington, N.D.


When: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 9

Where: North Dakota State University's Carrington Research Extension Center, 3 miles north of Carrington on U.S. Highway 281

Info: Registration at 9 a.m. Admission is $20 and includes lunch and all programs. Programs: Hydrangeas and Other Flowering Shrubs, Pollinator Gardens, Gardening with Less Work, Seeds to Bloom, Succulent Dish Gardens, Annuals and Perennials: Hot New Varieties and Old Favorites. Sponsored by Carrington Garden Club.

Horticulture Day

Perham, Minn.

When: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 16

Where: Prairie Wind Middle School, 480 Coney St. W.

Info: Registration 8 to 9 a.m. Admission is $30, which includes lunch and choice of five program sessions. Program choices: Vegetables, Native Plants, Hydrangeas, Native Perennials, Bird Feeding, Pruning, Houseplants, Color Through the Season, Herbs, Crafting with Mother Nature, Succulents, Shrubs, Bulbs, Lessons Learned, Root Crops, Trees, Beekeeping, Mushrooms, Hostas, All-America Selections, Fermentation, Coleus, Landscaping, Container Gardening, Annuals, Renovating the Garden, Grafting, Strawberries and Raspberries, Roses, Weed Management, Youth Session. Sponsored by University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardeners of East Otter Tail County. For more information, contact Kelsey at 218-385-5420.

Garden Day

Fergus Falls, Minn.


When: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 30

Where: Kennedy Secondary School, 601 Randolph Ave.

Info: Registration 7:30 to 9 a.m. $30 admission includes lunch, keynote speaker and choice of 4 sessions. Program choices: Pruning, Shoreline Restoration, Native Landscaping, Composting, Controlling Buckthorn, Monarchs, Growing Mums, Roses, Drip Irrigation, Tomato Grafting, Succulents, Cold-hardy Fruit, Honeyberries, Vines, Vertical Gardening, Tomatoes, Seed Saving, Vegetable Gardening Basics, Tomato Diseases, Trees and Shrubs, Hydrangeas, Humane Critter Control, Hostas, Overwintering Tropicals, Mushrooms, Patio Vegetable Gardening, Hostas, Using Holidays as When-to Guides, Improving Existing Landscapes, Shade Gardening, New Annuals and Perennials, Stone Balancing, Grafting, Apples, Container Gardens, Miniature Landscaping. Keynote speaker: Stan Tekiela, “Uncommon Facts about Common Birds.” Sponsored by University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardeners of West Otter Tail County. For more information, call 218-998-8760.

Gardening Saturday

Grand Forks, N.D.

When: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 6

Where: Alerus Center, 1200 42nd St. S.

Info: Pre-registration required. Admission $45 if registered by March 20, $55 after. Closes April 3. Register at Fee includes lunch, two keynote programs and choice of three other sessions. Program choices: Growing Cacti, Propagation by Cuttings, Orchids, Peonies, Shed Construction, One-day Water Features, Turf and Tree Diseases, Adding Enjoyment to Garden, New Plants, Plant Problems, Tomato and Potato Problems, Easy Organic Gardening. Keynote speaker: Jan Coppola Bills, “How to Garden with Comfort, Ease, and Simplicity.” Sponsored by NDSU Extension and Grand Forks Horticultural Society. For more information, call 701-780-8229.

Let’s Get Growing

Alexandria, Minn.


When: 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. April 6

Where: Discovery Middle School, 510 McKay Ave. N.

Info: Registration 8 to 8:45 a.m. Admission $30 if pre-registered by March 27 at, or $35 at the door, includes lunch, keynote speaker and choice of 4 sessions. Program Choices: Backyard Chickens, Begonias, Common Garden and Soil Myths, Drip Irrigation, Exciting Tree and Shrub Varieties, Lilies, Milkweed and Monarchs, Outdoor Cooking, Shade Plants, Easy Ways to Improve Your Landscape, Fruit, No-Till Gardens, Peonies, Hydroponic Gardening, Growing Vegetables in Containers, Landscaping with Native Flowers and Grasses, Dutch Ovens, Sun Perennials, Extend Season with Plastic Mulch, Growing Garlic, Strawberries, Summer Bulbs, Landscaping for Birds, Ornamental Grasses, Seed Saving, Nuisance Wildlife, Apples, Ferns, Lawn Care, Honeybees, Annuals, Great Tomato Race, Vegetables for Beginners. Keynote speaker: Carrie Larson “New and Exciting Annuals for 2019.” Sponsored by University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardeners of Douglas County. For more information, call 320-762-3890.

Don Kinzler, a lifelong gardener, worked as an NDSU Extension horticulturist and owned Kinzler’s Greenhouse in Fargo. Readers can reach him at

What To Read Next
Get Local


Must Reads