Janesville29.7°

All yard work and no play makes a homeowner cranky: Minimal maintenance class covers the basics

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Catherine W. Idzerda
April 29, 2008
— Believe it or not, not everyone wants to spend the weekend doing yardwork.

Sure, they want their homes to have curb appeal, but they’d rather be fishing, playing ball with their kids or relaxing inside air-conditioned homes.


For these folks, minimal maintenance means maximum satisfaction.


Mike Maddox understands, and that’s why he created the “Minimum Maintenance” class at Rotary Botanical Gardens.


At 7 p.m. Thursday, Maddox, UW Extension and garden horticulture editor, will explain how you can have a good-looking yard with the least amount of effort.


“The class is based on the calls I get and watching what people do or don’t do—like ‘why isn’t my grass growing,’” Maddox said.


Questions about weeds, pests, pruning and plant selection also are common.


“The class will be the basic things you need to do for your turf, trees and flower beds,” Maddox said. “It’s for people who say, ‘I want my yard to look nice, but I don’t want to be a gardener.’”


A few topics that will be covered include:


-- The right plant for the right place. Reading the tag attached to plant before you buy it makes all the difference. Seems like obvious advice, but yards all over the county are filled with shrubs for sun planted in the shade, flowers that need moist soil stuck into gravel and trees that can’t tolerate road salt planted in street terraces.


-- When to fertilize and water your lawn for maximum benefit.


-- What mulch works best for your needs.


The best part?


The last section of the class will be devoted to a “free-wheeling” question and answer period with Maddox.


The class is $5 and includes handouts. Participants are invited—but not required—to come at 5 p.m. and help Maddox and others prepare supplies for the grade school gardening program.


IF YOU GO
What: Minimum Maintenance class.
When: 7 p.m. Thursday, May 1. Participants are encouraged, but not required, to come at 5 p.m. to help assemble materials for a grade school garden program.
Where: Rotary Botanical Gardens, 1455 Palmer Drive, Janesville.
Cost: $5. No registration is necessary.
For more information: Contact Mike Maddox at mike.maddox@ces.uwex.edu or by calling (608) 757-5696.

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