MEQUON - It doesn’t matter if that it hasn’t been above 30 degrees more than a handful of days in the last month. According to Mequon natives Joey and Holly Baird, it’s never too soon to start planning for gardening season.
The dynamic duo responsible for producing more than 800 gardening how-to videos on their web site, The Wisconsin Vegetable Gardener, takes to the stage this weekend for a fifth time at the 24th annual Wisconsin Public Television Garden Expo in Madison.
“It’s really about bringing gardening to life for people and helping prepare them with some of what has and hasn’t worked for us versus what they could find on the internet,” Holly explained. In the past, the pair has drawn crowds of more than 500 people over their two days on stage.
“What’s most exciting for us is to see some of the same faces coming back to see us each year,” she said. This year’s presentation, “Growing Potatoes in Containers and the Ground,” will feature basic information, troubleshooting and tips.
“We really want it to be inclusive for anyone’s planting situation,” Holly said. “Highlights will include the importance of using nutrient-rich, loose soil and certified seeds.”
The event runs Friday, Feb. 10, through Sunday, Feb. 12, at the Alliant Center in Madison.
This year’s event features the newest innovations in gardening and landscaping — with information and advice spread among lush green plants, colorful flowers, vibrant designs of spring, and the delicious bounties from home gardens and fresh delicacies from Wisconsin farms.
Visitors are invited to explore the third-annual Garden Expo Farmers Market in the Exhibition Hall Atrium 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 12. The Farmers Market will feature farmers, food artisans and local food retailers. Products available at this year’s market include pickles and preserves, artisan cheeses, honey, olive oil, chocolate, coffee, and handcrafted salami and cured meats.
Highlights from this year’s event include hundreds of exhibitor booths selling seeds, plants, books, tools, lawn equipment and other exciting merchandise for gardens — and yards — of all sizes.
Visitors may also participate in any number of almost 150 free educational seminars and demonstrations on topics such as growing Mexican vegetables, color theory in garden design, square foot gardening, growing peonies from seed, crevice gardens and passive hydroponics.
The expos first-ever aquascaping competition will challenge participants to create a small aquarium display on site throughout the weekend.
“There is really something for everyone to enjoy,” Holly said. “Hopefully we’ll see you there.”