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25th season of Prairie Yard and Garden airs on Pioneer Public Television

Posted by Melissa Weber on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2012


The 25th season of Prairie Yard and Garden (PY&G) airs Thursday evenings at 7:30 p.m. on Pioneer Public Television.

Larry Zilliox, former University of Minnesota Extension educator from Alexandria, Minnesota, hosts the popular program—one of Minnesota’s top resources for gardening information.

On March 1, PY&G will showcase artistic expression in the garden usually reserved for the colorful plants or the landscape design which they are grown. Area artisans also create unique works of art that are placed inside these landscapes to complement the horticultural canvas. Minnesota artists Jenny Nellis, Morris professor emeritus, and Dan Allenspach, share their work and discuss the inspiration that goes into creating an artistic piece that will be shared in a garden space.

On March 8, PY&G explores the upper Midwest, often overlooked as a successful area for growing high-quality fruits. There are many varieties of fruits that are winter hardy, with some developed in Minnesota. Pete Moe, director of operations with the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum and the University of Minnesota Horticultural Research Center in Victoria, Minn., shares varieties that perform well in colder climates.

On March 15, PY&G showcases growing quality grapes for the wine industry is an arduous process. Selecting varieties that perform well, while surviving the cold winter climate, is challenging but much more attainable with several cold hardy introductions. Florian Ledermann, owner of Cedar Rose Wild Vinyard, discusses his methods for growing quality grapes for commercial wine making.

On March 22, PY&G visits Bruce Wenner of Alexandria. He shares his entire yard with pedestrians who walks and rides along a popular walking and bike path.

On March 29, PY&G explores UMore Park, a University of Minnesota Display and Trial garden located in Rosemount. The park is fast becoming a destination for gardening enthusiasts and researchers. Barbara Stendahl, Minnesota Extension Service Master Gardener emeritus, gives a tour of the different aspects of the park and its current programs.

On April 5, PY&G discusses growing turf grass with owner of the Geneva Golf Club in Alexandria, Gary Thompson. He will explain the process used to create a golf course among the fields, wetlands and pastures in west central Minnesota and how his staff maintains its turf grass for an entire golf season.

The final episode of the season will air on April 12. PY&G meets with Mark Lewis of Pelican Lake near Ashby. When his lakeshore started deteriorating in to the lake he decided to integrate a natural area between his lake cabin and lakeshore that features native plantings and a rigid support structure to deter further soil erosion, while creating a colorful and maintenance-free landscape design.

Each season, PY&G travels the state to confer with researchers, gardening and nursery professionals, educators, and ordinary backyard gardeners about their expertise in horticulture, landscaping, and a variety of gardening topics in a sometimes difficult and frustrating growing region. The series is produced on campus by Roger Boleman, director of Instructional and Media Technologies with Michael Cihak, assistant director of marketing communication and design, who is the production coordinator, editor, and videographer.

The longevity and success of the program characterizes a unique alliance between the University of Minnesota, Morris and Pioneer Public Television, KWCM Appleton. Pioneer Public Television, a Public Broadcasting System (PBS) affiliate, serves more than 375,000 households across Minnesota, South Dakota, and Iowa.