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Urban Horticultur Field Day August 18th At West Madison AG Research Station

Whether your interests run to heirloom varieties or the latest cultivars, you”ll find plants and techniques to improve your garden at Urban Horticulture Field Day, Saturday, Aug. 18 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the West Madison Agricultural Research Station.

The 2000-2001 hardiness trials include eight cultivars of heaths and heathers, 29 chrysanthemum cultivars, 20 shrub rose cultivars, and a variety of ornamental grasses. Annual trials include coreopsis, snapdragons, cosmos, clematis, statice, gazania and many more.

The station”s vegetable trial gardens include the new “Fooled You” sweet pepper and “Purple Passion” asparagus. The pumpkin patch holds more than 20 varieties, and more than 40 tomato varieties (including an assortment of heirloom tomatoes) will be on display. Visitors will also find red, white and black currants, 10 grape cultivars, and four cultivars of serviceberries, lingonberries, and mulberries.

Sweet-corn taste-tasting will begin at noon, and a variety of melons, tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers will also be available for tasting.

UW-Madison horticulturist Helen Harrison and Extension horticulture specialist Bob Tomesh will give guided tours of the annual and vegetable trials. UW-Madison soil scientist Leslie Cooperband and horticulturist John Stier have established a demonstration trial that shows the effects of several composts on vegetable and new turfgrass growth and development.

At 11:30 a.m., Columbia County extension specialist Laura Paine will discuss gardening with heirloom varieties. At 1 p.m., plant pathologist Brian Judelson will talk about diseases of vegetable crops, and at 2 p.m. Bob Tomesh will review maintenance of grape vines. Guided tours will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. In addition, the Alphabet Cow and Dottie Moo, fiberglass bovine luminaries from Cows on Parade, are visiting from Chicago.

The field day is sponsored by station staff, researchers at the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, and UW-Extension staff. The West Madison station is at 8502 Mineral Point Road, about a mile west of the Beltline.