Looking to start a garden and want some expert advice? The Dakota County Master Gardeners will conduct a series of educational talks at St. Joseph Church starting May 12.


The first presentation will focus on setting up a garden for success. Master gardener Patti Jeffrey said the initial presentation will cover a broad range of topics that beginner gardeners need to consider. Information will include soil testing, composting, planning garden spaces, planting time, soil temperature, spacing, watering practices and weeding. The presentation will begin at 7 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

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“The presentation will focus on getting started in a successful way,” said Jeffrey.


St. Joseph Church has donated a third of its Matthew 25 Mission Garden space to the Dakota County Master Gardeners for their seed trials. The Matthew 25 Mission Garden provides fresh produce to individuals and families in need. The garden also provides educational opportunities for students at St. Joseph School.


In exchange for use of the land, the master gardeners agreed to do the series of educational programs for the community. Additionally, Jeffrey said the master gardeners provide some of their fresh produce to the 360 Communities Rosemount Family Resource Center and Loaves and Fishes.


This is the second year the church and master gardeners have worked together. Jeffrey said the master gardeners are grateful for the use of the land and glad to be able to provide educational opportunities in the community.


“It’s really worked out well,” said Jeffrey.


For many years the master gardeners ran their seed trials on the UMore Park property. Last year, Dakota Aggregates began gravel mining on part of the property just north of the gardens. Jeffrey said the Dakota County Master Gardeners decided it would be best to move the gardens.


In addition to the agreement with St. Joseph, the master gardeners have an agreement with a Presbyterian church in South St. Paul. Master gardeners will give the same presentations at that church.


A June 9 presentation will focus on attracting pollinators to a garden. Master gardener JoAnn Sabin will share the latest information on attracting and protecting pollinators including which plants to grow and which pesticides to avoid.


On July 14, the presentation will focus on harvesting garden produce including freezing, drying and canning vegetables.


For more information call 651-423-4402 or email StJoesgarden@gmail.com.