West Central Research and Outreach Center - Morris, MN

West Central Research and Outreach Center
46352 State Hwy 329
Morris, MN 56267
Map to the WCROC (Google Map)

Phone: 320-589-1711
Fax: 320-589-4870

Horticulture Night

Join Us for Horticulture Night in July

This annual event provides tours of the University of Minnesota's Horticultural Gardens. Activities includes demonstration on various gardening topics, gardening technique demonstrations, children's activities, Farm tours, a picnic dinner and much more.

Area businesses, nurseries and gardening organizations will also be on hand to display their products and services.

Horticulture Night is a free event; all are welcome to attend. 

July 24, 2014 from 5-9pm


Schedule of Events:

6:30 pm     Keynote Speaker, Bobby Jensen from KARE 11's Grow with KARE.  Bobby Jensen is a well-known Minnesota garden and landscape professional.  His presentation, "Low Maintenance Landscaping for Maximum Curb Appeal" will be held in the large tent located at the west of the Garden near the Pomme de Terre Overlook.  No other demonstrations are scheduled during the keynote presentation time.

North Tent Presentations

5:00 & 8:15 pm     How Healthy is your Vegetable Garden?  Dr. Vince Fritz is a Professor of Horticultural Science and Extension Specialist at the U of MN.  He will present a unique concept to vegetable gardening that will improve the chemopreventive benefit from the vegetables we grow and consume.  His area of research for the past several years has focused on screening vegetable varieties for their production of cancer fighting compounds and discovering ways we can modify the environment that will enhance the concentrations of these compounds.

5:45 & 7:30 pm     The Pros and Cons of Mulching  Julie Weisenhorn is an Associate Extension Professor with the U of MN Department of Horticultural Science.  Learn what types of mulch are best to use in and around your garden and landscape.

Center Tent Presentations

5:00 & 7:30 pm     Minnesota's Challenge for Apple Trees  Dr. Jim Luby is a Professor in the Department of Horticultural Science at the U of MN.  The primary goal of his research is to develop, evaluation and introduce fruit cultivars ideal for Minnesota growing conditions.  His presentation will cover some of the season's challenge's to successfully growing apple trees in Minnesota.

5:45 & 8:15 pm     Organic Foods: Only the Facts  Mary Jo Forbord is a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist as well as the Morris Healthy Eating Coordinator at the University of Minnesota, Morris.  People are buying more organic food than ever before, with organic sales projected to jump another 12% in 2014.  What's driving the trend?  Are organic foods tastier, more healthful and better for the environment?  Come and hear the research-based evidence and see if you can taste the difference.

South Tent Presentations

5:00 & 7:30 pm     Shady Characters: Perennials for the Shade  Join Jodie Ramsay and Julie Schroer from Jean's The Right Plant Place.  Shady areas can be challenging, especially if you are looking to have color all season.  Most perennials that grow successfully in partial to deep shade do not bloom for a long period of time, so shade gardeners frequently turn to different leaf colors and textures to add variety to a shady garden.  They will show you some of their favorite perennials for the shade and discuss possible color combinations.

5:45 & 8:15 pm     Grilling up your Harvest (a cooking demonstration) Tony Nemmers, General Manager of University of Minnesota, Morris, Dining Services, will offer different ways of preparing and grilling up your vegetable harvest.

Other Presentations and Tours

5:00 & 8:15 pm     The Critical Importance of Pollinators  Steve Ellis is a local beekeeper, and one of 1,300 beekeepers across the United States who migrate to California each year for fruit pollination.  But with new environmental threat to honeybees, our nations food supply is at risk.  Lean what we can do to help.  (Located in the West Tent)

5:15 & 7:30 pm     Annual Flowers Tour   In this tour, Mary Meyer, U of MN Professor and Extension Horticulturist, will look at what's new and showy in annual flowers.  See old favorites with new twists, both for containers and in ground.  Care and site considerations will be covered.  (Meet at the Flag Pole)

5:15 & 7:30 pm     Low Tunnel Strawberry Tour   To October and Beyond: Extending the Strawberry Season in the Midwest.  In this tour, U of MN graduate student, Andy Petran, will guide participants through organic strawberry fields and explain how new genetics can be combined with novel production techniques to drastically extend the growing season for local production of strawberries.  Tours run 1 hour in length.  Transportation provided.

5:15 & 7:30 pm     Farm Tours, on hay racks

7:15 pm               Tri-State Band Performance

Ongoing 5-8 pm    Cow Milking Demonstrations, following by a sampling of ice cream and fresh strawberries

Ongoing 5-8 pm    Hands-on activities for children   


The Horticulture Night schedule is available to print here (PDF)


 WCROC-hort night-photo