On Thursday January 12 2023 the Rideau 1000 Islands Master Gardeners launch the fourth season of Ask a Master Gardener with a focus on biodiversity, climate resilience, edibles, and seasonal gardening.

In April 2020, after pandemic lockdown, the Rideau 1000 Island Master Gardeners were the first Master Gardener group in North America to transition from in-person presentations and advice clinics to an interactive online weekly “show” loosely modelled after the lunchtime CBC phone-in with Ed Lawrence. Each week we feature a presentation by a Master Gardener or a local gardening expert, followed with a Q&A on any gardening question.

In 2023, under the umbrella theme of “The Year of the Biodiverse Garden,” weekly presentations and virtual garden tours fall under the rotating themes of:

  • the edible garden
  • the seasonal garden
  • the biodiverse garden
  • the climate resilient garden

“Ask a Master Gardener has provided answers to questions I didn’t know I had and helped improve my garden, both indoors and out. Every session has something for everyone and I am excited for another season. My advice…attend!”

Cindy Dunning, participant

Join us Thursday afternoons at 1PM for Ask a Master Gardener. Here is the schedule for the first 3 months:

  • January 12 – Gardening catalogues & gardening books for winter garden dreaming
  • January 19 – Gardening journals for climate resilience
  • January 26 – Don’t just plant milkweed- why diverse plant material is critical
  • February 2 – Susie’s favourite vegetables. 
  • February 9 – Starting vegetables and summer annuals from seed
  • February 16 – Keystone trees in the landscape
  • February 23 – Biodiverse (bee) lawns
  • March 2 – Growing onions, leeks, shallots
  • March 9 – Pruning and training fruit trees
  • March 16 -The climate resilient garden begins with the soil
  • March 23 – Rethinking pests

Plus more throughout the year.

“Gardening now takes so much less time and produces more because I’m using the methods taught through this series. The interaction between healthy soil, attraction of beneficial insects and birds and use of native plants has paid off in abundance. I look forward to the weekly webinars and the question and answer time that can be about any gardening question and not necessarily about the topic that is presented. When we apply the wisdom that they share, we not only benefit, but the environments does as well.” – Cindy Dunning, participant

Karen Lahey, participant

Ask a Master Gardener connects people interested in transitioning from monoculture lawns to climate friendly, biodiverse yards. Sign up for the series on Eventbrite or by subscribing to our newsletter.

“Ask a Master Gardener is a wonderful way to connect with other gardeners of all abilities and levels of expertise! Each meeting features a presentation and an open Q&A session. You’ll find advice and inspiration, and you’ll learn how to boost your garden’s biodiversity and climate resilience.”

Anna Soper, participant

Ask a Master Gardener is run by Rideau 1000 Islands Master Gardeners at no cost, though donations are gratefully accepted. Rideau 1000 Islands Master Gardeners are volunteers with horticultural expertise who share a love of gardening, a desire for learning, and a will to promote regenerative, climate resilient gardening practices.

Contact: Astrid Muschalla or Joyce Hostyn at Mgrticoordinator@gmail.com

While the Rideau 1000 Islands Master Gardeners serves the geographic area of Frontenac County, including Kingston, Gananoque, Napanee, Brockville, Lansdowne, Mallorytown, Rockport, Wolfe Island, Howe Island and the surrounding areas, people join from across Ontario and from as far away as California.