Images of plants.

DIG IN!! Extension Master Gardeners

Tuesdays 6 - 7 p.m. ET
Jan. 10, Feb. 7, March 14,
April 4, May 9, June 20,
August 1, Sept. 12, Oct. 10
and Nov. 14

Online via Zoom

Cost: Free but you must pre-register one time to join for the entire series


Join MSU Extension Horticulture staff for this year-long series of 1-hour presentations. Each online session will feature an educational Smart Gardening topic, discussion and sharing that will help you stay connected while exploring new topics. Register once for the entire series and attend the topics of your choosing or view via the recording links provided to you after each session.   

TOPICS featured:
January 10
: Birds and Berries: Best Native Trees and Shrubs to Attract Birds to your Garden - Presenter: Dr. Jen Owen, MSU Extension Associate Professor of Fisheries and Wildlife
Dr. Owen presents her research on the feeding habits of migratory birds with the Michigan State Bird Observatory and Corey Marsh Ecological Research Center. Learn which fruit-bearing trees and shrubs you can plant in your home garden to attract birds, as well as other ways to make backyards bird-friendly.  

February 7: Spotted Lanternfly and How not to Advance Invasives - Presenter: Dr. David Lowenstein, MSU Extension Consumer Horticulture Educator
Trade, travel, and tourism enhance our quality of life and also make it easier and quicker for accidental introductions of plants and insects. Learn the common pathways non-native species can arrive and what factors determine if they will co-exist or compete in existing communities. While there are too many invasive species to cover in one hour, this presentation will highlight two diseases impacting beeches, spotted lanternfly, and Asian jumping worm.

March 14: A Journey Across the Continent:  Where do Your Annuals Come From? - Presenter: Jaden Gimondo, MSU Extension Greenhouse and Floriculture Educator
Did you know that many of your annual spring flowers begin their lives in South America?  Join greenhouse and floriculture expert Jaden Gimondo as she takes us on a plant-based journey from the southern hemisphere to your own backyard.

April 4: The Do's and Don'ts of Trapping Insects - Presenter: Mike Rienke, MSU Extension Viticulture Specialist
Come along on an insect trapping journey with Mike Reinke, MSUE's newest Educator on the fruit team. Mike has years of Extension experience working with vegetable and fruit growers to make responsible decisions when dealing with pests and diseases, as well as years of industry experience in insect monitoring, pheromone-based insect management, and insect behavior in agricultural systems.

May 9: Invasives that you won't be MISIN (Michigan Invasive Species Network) - Presenter: Barslund Judd, MSU Extension Consumer Horticulture Educator
Join Consumer Horticulture Educator Barslund Judd as he navigates responsible gardening and dealing with invasive plants in the landscape. We will talk about common invasive plants and restricted and prohibited species. We will also discuss how to report invasive plants when found and where to get reliable information on their control and removal. 

June 20: We(eds) are What We Eat! - Presenter: Erin Hill, MSU Extension Plant & Pest Diagnostician, Weed Specialist
The definition of what plant species constitute weeds is not universally accepted. Many of the plants that we commonly call weeds were initially brought here for other purposes. This presentation will explore our love-hate relationship with some common species and focus on the old saying, “if you can’t beat them, eat them!”

August 1: Inviting Native Plants into your Garden Design - Presenter: Rebecca Finneran MSU Extension Senior Horticulture Educator, Curator MSU Extension Grand Ideas Garden
Native plants in the landscape can be stalwart performers that have proven the test of time, but some can be garden thugs or “temperamental over-performers.”  Learning how to plug in neat-natives and nearly-natives into your garden design will strengthen your garden’s ability to attract pollinators and beneficial insects while enjoying them throughout the season.

September 12: Waterfront Garden Design - Presenter: Erick Elgin, MSU Extension Water Quality Educator
Join Erick in a look at some creative way to capture the beauty of a shoreline garden while protecting the health and wellbeing of your body of water. Learn which plants are allowed at the water’s edge and how to create upland beautiful vistas from every view point.  

Octber 10: Creepy Insects and Cool Pollinators - Presenter: Dr. Nate Walton, MSU Extension Horticulture Educator 
Take a peek into the secret lives of some of our creepiest (and coolest) Michigan insects. Learn about some of the bizarre bugs that you may not have known about and some that you maybe wish you didn’t. Management and/or conservation options will be discussed where applicable. If you’re feeling squeamish about creepy insects, remember, it’s a Zoom meeting, so you can always just turn off the video! 

November 14: Garden Gifts, Tools and Books - Presenter: Lindsey Kerr and MSU Extension Consumer Horticulture Educator and Colleagues
Gear up for the gift-giving season with ideas from the MSU Consumer Horticulture Team. Join Lindsey Kerr and her colleagues to roll out their favorites. Cool books, garden tools, and gadgets—get great ideas for gift giving to gardening friends…and what to add to your wish list!

Cost: FREE! All certified EMGs and Trainees must register one time and have access to the entire series. Attend the topics of your choosing or view via recording links which will be provided to registrants after each webinar. Please do not share the recording links with non-registrants and/or non-EMGs.

Education Hours - Each session will count as 1 EMG Continuing Education hour.    

How to Connect: The day prior to each event, registrants will receive an email message which will contain the virtual event link and Zoom instructions. (Be sure to check your Inbox and Spam folders for this email.)

Technology Requirements: Below are recommendation for the optimal interactive online learning experience:
   *  A computer, laptop or tablet with the latest version of your browser
   *  A reliable, internet connection - broadband wired or wireless (3G or 4G/LTE)
   *  Webcam or HD webcam - built-in or USP plug-in
   *  Speakers and a microphone - built-in or USB plug-in

First time Zoom users: Never used Zoom before? No worries. Registrants will be emailed an overview of how to get started, complete with screen shots. Plus, there’s a help line to contact if you encounter any difficulties.

Registration for 2023 DIG IN!! Extension Master Gardeners is open.

Registration closes at 11:59 p.m. ET on November 13, 2023.

There are 714 openings available.


Michigan State University is committed to providing equal opportunity for participation in all programs, services and activities. Accommodations for persons with disabilities may be requested by contacting the event contact two weeks prior to the start of the event. Requests received after this date will be honored whenever possible.

Contact Information

For more information, contact Deb Gulick at