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April Monthly Meeting Recap

May 02, 2022

Recap provided by Mindy Johnson

Monthly Meeting Schedule

  • The April RCMG meeting was held on Zoom on Tuesday 4/19/22.

  • There will be NO meeting next month due to the RCMG plant sale on May 21 because of Plant Sale Prep but the Education Committee will share something special with everyone that month.

  • The June RCMG meeting (6/21) will be held in-person/Zoom hybrid meeting using the Rose Banquet Room at the Roseville Oval. You will need to sign up to meet in-person because there will be limited physical seats available. If you sign-up to attend, be sure to be there!

Volunteer Training: Reporting Volunteer and Continuing Education Hours

Darren Lochner discussed reporting Volunteer and Continuing Education Hours. Interns and Master Gardeners need to log hours on the volunteer database on the state website. Darren went over the steps on how to log volunteer shifts, how to edit volunteering information, (drive time counts both to and from events.) He shared the link to the state website to report hours..

The reason we report this information is to record our impact in our local community.

  • Volunteer hours should be reported as soon as the volunteer shift is completed. The person who is the lead for the shift will enter contacts for that shift.

  • Project leaders have a different way of reporting hours. (check the Project Leader Training for details)

Interns and Master Gardeners may take photos of their volunteer experiences. Email photos to Brianna Gohde and Darren Lochner will add them to the photo album for that year. Please note where and when the picture was taken, who was in it, and what was going on at the time. There are some special requirements that need to be fulfilled if we have residents or non-MG participants in the pictures. Check out the RCMG’s 2021 Photo Library for Volunteer Activities.

Feedback from all volunteers is appreciated.

  • What works well when volunteering?

  • What doesn’t work and can be improved upon?

Project Updates (6:30pm-6:45pm)

Youth Projects

  • Watch for SignUpGenius postings or call Ed Shinbach or Susan Cathey about a new project, "Garden Gnomes," our new youth project for farmer’s markets. RCMG volunteers will teach mini- lessons to children and families and there will be information packets for them to take home. There has been lots of interest in this project, but more Lead Volunteers are needed to sign up. Master Gardeners or interns can sign up for the shifts. There will be a table provided, bring your own chair. Garden Gnome SignUp.

  • Ramsey, Hennepin, and Anoka County Master Gardeners are invited to assist with lessons for the Gopher Adventure Camp. The children in the program are ages 6-12 years. Shifts are on Tuesdays, 10 am to 1 pm, all summer beginning June 14 through August 23 excluding July 5. Garden maintenance shifts are also available through the program. Read the details and expectations for volunteers and sign up through SignUpGenius. Volunteers can, and are encouraged to sign up for more than one spot if interested.

  • Ed Shinbach talked about Arts US, a nonprofit located next to Central High School in St. Paul. They have an annual summer camp, and are looking for Master Gardeners, particularly volunteers who are people of color for the children to identify with, to teach gardening lessons.

Other Volunteer Project Opportunities

  • Shoreline Restoration project May 17 to June 7. Cleaning up rain gardens May 4.

  • Capitol Region Watershed District (CRWD) Restoration School Projects – SignUp COMING SOON

  • Compost Sites signups – Liz O’Toole stated that Yard Waste site staff love Master Gardeners because they are informative. The Yard Waste sites are in safe neighborhoods. Bookmarks and flyers on food waste, jumping worms, etc. will be passed out. The volunteers will be advertising for the RCMG plant sale. They will let people know about the Master Gardener program and what we do as volunteers. NOTE: Ramsey County is moving away from green plastic buckets for compost and using heavy duty reusable bags instead. More information will be given to us regarding resources available to RCMG.

  • The South Como Neighborhood was awarded a Lawns to Legumes grant, RCMG volunteers are needed to teach Planting for Pollinators in May. For this and other opportunities contact Julie Ann Wegschied or Susan VonBank and watch for SignUp genius. (Julie: 612-388-3199 and Susan: 651-592-7875. Darren is also looking into partnership opportunities with Metro Blooms.

  • Habitat for Humanity- no spring shifts, but there will be fall shifts. More details available in May.

  • Read the RCMG Newsletter for volunteer opportunities, continuing education, Arboretum events. Master Gardener Days June 3 and June 4.

Darren Lochner's Coordinator Updates (6:45pm-7pm)

Darren Lochner presented 2021 recognition awards for RCMG volunteers that included major milestones, hours volunteered, and other significant achievements. The award recognition recap is available on

Key Dates

  • May 10 – next RCMG Board Meeting

  • May 21 – RCMG Plant Sale

  • June 3 & June 4 – Master Gardener Days at the Arboretum

Guest Lecture (7-7:45pm)

Sue Ellen Campbell from the Education Committee introduced Laura VanRiper from the Department of Natural Resources (MN DNR). The topic is Jumping Worms, a relatively new invasive species in Minnesota, also known as snake worms or Alabama jumpers. They are earthworms native to Asia. They turn soil into a coffee ground type texture that is not good for plants to grow in. They are very active and have snakelike movement, and vigorous jumping motions.

Jumping worms have been in Minnesota since 2006. Laura discussed how to identify jumping worms and where to report them if present in your garden. She recommended “Earthworms of the Great Lakes,” a book for identification. She also talked about jumping worm prevention, issues with yard waste sites, plant sale guidance, management, regulations, categories, and research.

She recommended using to track jumping worm reports and other invasive species in Minnesota.

Contact or to report jumping worms

Questions asked during the Guest Lecture

  • If I brought a big barrel of compost last spring and left in unheated garage for last year, am I safe to think I'm not bringing jumping worms into my garden if I spread compost this spring?

  • Do other earthworm species have that same annual lifecycle, overwintering as cocoons and hatching in spring?

  • Should I ask landscapers to clean their equipment before coming onto my property?

  • Can jumping worms survive in cedar mulch?

  • Is there a “sheep dip” to kill all cocoons from plant roots when we dig the plants up to sell at plant sales? In tissue culture, scientists can disinfect the tissue completely.

  • Can winter temps get cold enough here to kill the cocoons?

  • I use the White Bear Township yard waste site and have talked several times with the manager about JW. He insists that their compost piles routinely reach 190 degrees, thereby killing all cocoons or worms. They also turn the large piles frequently, always checking the temperature. Does this sound correct? Can people be confident that the compost they get at this site is free of JW?

  • If you suspect a neighbor has jumping worms, how can you prevent them from spreading to your yard? Is there a way to contain them?

  • Can jumping worms live in clay soil?

  • Do these worms destroy the soil where they are native? If not, why not?

  • Is it inevitable that they will be everywhere?

  • If I do have jumping worms in my garden, is my only action to protect my garden is to keep amending the soil the worms damage?

  • If we have jumping worms how do we sanitize? Lysol, soap/water?

  • Is there a risk of jumping worms showing up in bags of mulch? I sent a note about this to Scotts last year, but never received a reply.

  • If we rinse off the eggs, etc. is there danger from the used water in the sewers?

  • When you rinse off the plant roots to avoid transferring jumping worms/casts, what do you do with the waste water?

  • If Jumping worm cocoons are the size of a poppy seed, how can we guarantee washing will remove all cocoons from roots?

  • Do JW eat coco bean mulch or rice hull mulch?

  • Do JW eat pine needle mulch?

  • What animals eat jumping worms?

Other relevant links provided:

RCMG Business Meeting (7:45-8pm)

Communications Committee

Stacy Sola said we want everyone to advertise the RCMG plant sale by hanging posters wherever they are allowed to be posted in the community and share ad posts on Instagram and Facebook with friends and families as well. Or spread plant sale info by word of mouth.

Education Committee

Sue Ellen Campbell said that due to the plant sale in May, there will be no monthly RCMG meeting. Instead, volunteers will receive an email to view a Mary Myers video on bee lawns.

Plant Sale Committee

Brianna Gohde stated that volunteers can still sign up for Jennifer’s tomato tours. Please be sure that if you sign up for a tour, you show up. We need a few dozen gardeners to adopt seedlings to care for for the RCMG plant sale,

There are plant sale volunteer opportunities on SignUp Genius coming up for the week of the sale. There is an RSVP link on the plant sale page, people will get a reminder of the sale.


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