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April 2024 Volunteer News & Updates


Important Upcoming Dates

4/09/24 – April Board Meeting (online only)

4/16/24 – April Monthly Meeting (hybrid)

4/22/24-4/28/24 – RCMG’s Yard & Garden Hotline shifts

4/23/24 – RCMG Project Fair (in-person only)

5/18/24 – RCMG Plant Sale

Test Your Knowledge

Brush up on the following horticulture topics this month to be prepared to answer questions from residents and community members.

  1. When can you treat your lawn to prevent crabgrass?

  2. How can a gardener know when they can start working outside?

  3. How do you interpret a soil analysis report and know which amendments to buy?

  4. Will arborvitae grow back after deer browsing over the winter?

  5. How can Master Gardener volunteers get into the Diagnostic Clinic?


Master Gardener News

SignUp Genius Delivery Errors

Some volunteers are not receiving messages from SignUp Genius, especially those folks using Hotmail, Outlook, Live, and MSN email accounts. If it sounds like you, read on for suggestions on what to do about it.

2024 Directory is LIVE

The 2024 volunteer directory is now available on the RCMG website. Find it on the Quick Links page.

Garden Gloves for Sale—4/16

RCMG’s popular Atlas garden gloves will be available for sale at the April Monthly Meeting. The cost for RCMG volunteers is $5 per pair. Cash, check & credit card accepted. Sizes available: XS, S, M, L and XL.

Badge & Certificate Pick-up


  • 2024 Interns

  • 2023 Graduated Interns

  • 2023 Award Recipients

You can pick up your name badges, stars & certificates at the April meeting on (Tue) 4/16 or Project Fair on (Tue) 4/23 at the Roseville Oval.

Alternate Badge Request

If you would like to use a name badge without the term "Master Gardener" this season, please complete this form. Temporary, sticker versions of the badge design will be available to volunteers serving on specific projects.

RCMG Finance Committee

In February, the board approved this charter as the committee guidelines and appointed Laura Savin as the first committee chair. Read the committee charter.

Coordinator Corner


Board Blurb

The RCMG April Board Meeting covered updates from TBD.


Intern Roadmap

Core Course Goals for April

2024 interns should try to complete the following Core Course modules. This will help you complete the coursework before volunteering starts in earnest in May.

  • Indoor Plants and Propagation

  • Living with Wildlife

  • Plant Diagnostics

  • Community Engagement

Up Next

  • Attend the April meeting to pick up volunteer badges and certificates – (Tue) 4/16

  • Visit the Project Fair on (Tue) 4/23 to learn more about upcoming volunteer activities

  • Register for volunteer activities with your mentor or Team


Volunteer Stories

Meet the Class of 2024

Please welcome the newest RCMG volunteers, including new interns Clare Holte, Tim Johnson, Agata Miszczyk, Christopher Skelly, Chet Slipek, Liz Wahlberg.

UPDATE: Patented Plants Can’t Be Donated

As Master Gardeners, we must do our due diligence to not violate patent law with the plants we sell at our plant sale. In March, the RCMG Board agreed not to sell patented varieties. Find out what this means and how you can find out about your plants.

Book Club Review: Plant Partners—4.8 Stars

The RCMG Book Club read and discussed Plant Partners by Jessica Walliser at the March discussion on 4/02. Copies of this book available through the RCMG Lending Library for volunteers to borrow and read for Continuing Education. Please remember to return books once you complete them.

New Master Gardener Knit Cap

Shoutout to Donna Andersen! She worked with the state leadership team and together they added a new MG-branded item—a knit cap! You can buy this from the online Extension store.

Deicing Salt Damage on Lawns

Maybe we didn’t get much snow this winter but we know it’ll be back. When it does, you’ll want to be ready to know what happens when de-icing salts meet turf. Check out Ellen Tveit’s article on the RCMG Garden Blog.


Volunteer Activities

April Monthly Meeting—4/16

Help out at the next monthly meeting on Tue 4/16. We need volunteers to help with Set-up (in-person), Greeter (in-person), Journalist (either), Time-Keeper (in-person) and Zoom Aide (either). This meeting is hybrid and volunteers may need to attend in-person..

Yard and Garden Phone Line

Answer resident’s garden questions from home by signing up for a shift through the Arboretum’s Yard & Garden hotline. Shifts are reserved for RCMG from Apr 22 through Apr 28 with the next shift happening in early June.

RCMG Plant Sale—Save the Dates!

The sign-ups are coming but please reserve time to help on Thur-Sat (5/16-518). It’s going to take all of us to make the sale a success!

RCMG Plant Sale—Get the Word Out!

New posters, designed by Jayme Neverton and the Marketing & Communications Committee are now available for volunteers to print and distribute. Please help post them at your favorite haunts around town. We will also have copies available at the April Monthly Meeting.

Host A Garden Gate Tour

Open your garden to fellow RCMG volunteers and host a Garden Gate Tour this summer! This is a fun activity for everyone involved. You can get or give gardening advice from your peer Master Gardeners, or just showcase the garden and yard you care for. Tours are scheduled for Thursday evenings (6:30- 8:00 pm) OR Sunday afternoons (4:30-6:00 pm); please express your preference and we'll do our best to accommodate.


Continuing Education Opportunities

Find approved opportunities to learn more on the RCMG website, the State MG Volunteer website, the MN Landscape Arboretum, or through Extension. Check with the program coordinator about other local events and learning opportunities.

Volunteer Training Spotlight: Designing a new project

The Master Gardener Mission is to share research-based horticultural knowledge and practices through project-based volunteer activities. RCMG already has an extensive array of projects but we are always looking for new ways to engage the community. If you have an idea, review the information about how to design a volunteer project (slides) and check out the New Project Proposal Guidelines.

March Education Meeting Recap

Our guest speaker, Professor Joseph Storlien shared Tips and Tools for Sustainable Gardening, and the RCMG Board shared the new No-Patented-Plants decision for plant sale donations, and the financial audit results were shared. Read the recap or watch the recording.

April Member Meeting—4/16

Join us for the April RCMG monthly meeting on Tue 4/16. This month, we’ll hear from our own Lois Ann Helgeson, Twin Cities Rose Club Vice President and Ramsey County Master Gardener, who will talk about Roses for Minnesota Gardens. RSVP today!

RCMG Book Club: Prairie Up—5/28

The next RCMG Book club discusses Prairie Up: An Introduction to Natural Garden Design by Benjamin Vogt on Tuesday 5/28. There are copies of this book available through the RCMG Lending Library, and several copies available through the public library, including ebook and audiobook versions. Sign-up to join the discussion.

Delicate Balance Exhibit

Visit the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory’s Spring 2024 Sunken Garden Show at Como. Since July 2023, they have been planning and collecting plants to bring you a show that transforms the iconic sunken garden room into a forest coming to life in the spring.

Upcoming Garden Conferences

Check out some of these upcoming educational events hosted by fellow Master Gardener Programs. You’ll be supporting their fundraising efforts and learning something cool all at once.

  • Home Landscaping and Garden Fair—4/13 (Anoka County)

  • Let's Get Growing—4/13 (Douglas County)

  • Garden Day—4/13 (Otter Tail–West County)

  • Garden Magic—4/23 (McLeod County)

The Great Minnsect Show—4/20

The Great Minnsect Show is a free family-friendly event for all insect enthusiasts! There will be live bugs, insect food, professional organizations showcasing their work with insects, games, crafts, prizes and more!


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