Garden Extravaganza Conference cultivates smart gardening practices for all

Garden enthusiasts can learn about smart gardening practices and more at the Garden Extravaganza Conference, April 11, 2015 in Marquette, Michigan.

Learn about smart gardening practices and more at the 2015 Garden Extravaganza Conference in Marquette. Photo credit: The_April,
Learn about smart gardening practices and more at the 2015 Garden Extravaganza Conference in Marquette. Photo credit: The_April,

Are you anxious for more signs of spring? Thinking of ways to attract pollinators or use companion plants? Want to learn how to use more sustainable or “smart” practices in your garden? Then you should plan to attend this year’s eighth annual Garden Extravaganza Conference Saturday, April 11, 2015 in Marquette, Michigan, at the NMU Don H. Bottum University Center. Hosted by the Marquette Beautification and Restoration Committee, and now in partnership with Michigan State University Extension’s Smart Gardening Initiative, the Garden Extravaganza Conference is open for any garden enthusiast.

Plan to spend the entire day enjoying garden seminars, networking with other gardeners, browsing the garden-related vendors, gathering Smart Gardening tip sheets and eating a catered lunch. As the keynote speaker, I will be giving a seminar on “Cultivate Smart Gardening Practices.” I will highlight sustainable practices that home gardeners can use in their yards and gardens. Gardeners will learn how “smart soils,” “smart plants,” “smart lawns” and the latest smart gardening topic, “smart vegetables,” are helping gardeners throughout Michigan rely on less inputs.

I will also present a seminar on “How to Build Smart Soils in Your Garden.” This seminar will identify how gardeners can increase the life and, therefore, health of the soil. Effective composting practices will also be highlighted.

Other seminar presenters will bring “smart” into their presentations as well. Enjoy the harvests of your gardening labor when you learn how to create spring rolls for any season with Sarah Monte from the Marquette Food Coop. Learn more about companion planting from Jeff Heidtman, who will identify ways to use certain plants together to improve your gardens. Discover ways to excite and interest the next generation of gardeners from members of the group Grandparents Teach, Too. Learn about activities that make use of the five senses with plants and animals to interest any child you may know in gardening.

Smart water use will also be presented by Teri Grout, Alger County Conservation District. Learn to make the most efficient use of this valuable resource and how the gardening practices you have affect our natural environment. Another smart topic of pollinators will be presented by Rene Leow, Marquette Conservation District. She will identify different pollinators and discuss what smart gardeners can do to help strengthen pollinators.

Registration is from 8-9 a.m. in the Atrium. On-site registration is available, but it costs an additional $10 versus pre-registration for $50. Go to the Marquette Beautification and Restoration Committee’s website to register or contact 906-226-9904 or for more information.

For more information on a wide variety of Smart Gardening topics, visit the Gardening in Michigan website at or contact MSU’s toll-free garden hotline at 1-888-678-3464.

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