The Leaflet

~ February 2024 ~

The days are getting slightly longer and a little warm. Spring will be here before we know it.

I am excited to get our greenhouse in order this weekend and then start some seeds. We always have a great group of volunteers who are exited to pitch in and help get things going. I have no doubt we will be a success setting everything up and growing. There will be lots of wonderful plants for the plant sale this May.

The annual plant sale will be at Highland Rim AgResearch & Education Center on May 11. Be sure to read The Leaflet for updates and information. Hope to see you there!

There is always thyme for gardening!

Shawn Herman, President



February 22, 2024

7:00 p.m.

(Social time:

6:30-7:00 p.m.)

Highland Rim AgResearch and EduCenter



Seed Starting


Sandy Williams


 The Robertson County Master Gardener Association meets the fourth Thursday of every month

Holtkamp Greenhouse Tour

by Becky Juanes

The Holtkamp Greenhouses, located in Nashville, are the largest suppliers of African violets and many other houseplants in the Southeast. The family has been in the business for over 100 years and relocated from Europe to Nashville in the early 1900s. The facility is huge, covering 9 acres with extensive growing, shipping, storage and research buildings. They currently have a tissue culture program that they feel will revolutionize the growing industry. Reinhold, our tour guide and present patriarch, is a wonderful historian and storyteller (and he fosters dogs!). His wife and children are very involved as well, a true family business. As with all gardening adventures, I came away with many great ideas for our future projects, to be discussed later.

My one big takeaway was their cure for powdery mildew: To one gallon of water, add 1 ounce of citric acid, then test the pH. (The amounts are approximate as all water starts at its own pH.) The ideal range is apx. 2.5 to 2.9. Using a very fine misting spray bottle, spray lightly on the leaves. The acidic pH will burst and kill the powdery mildew spores and the light mist will not hurt the plants. For heavy involvement, a repeat treatment may be necessary. Considering this is the family business and they have been in it for multi generations, I trust that this will work.

We had the opportunity to buy plants at the end of the tour, so I have a lovely reminder of a delightful and informative outing. I would fully endorse making this a MG field trip destination!


by Kathy Doss

Our website has a brand new look, making it easier than ever to find the information you need.


Discover current gardening events prominently displayed on the homepage, with links to all the details you need. Explore upcoming workshops, plant sales, and community events relevant to Middle Tennessee gardeners.


Learn about the Master Gardener program, its mission, and how you can become a certified expert yourself. Find contact information, program description, and the steps to embark on your horticultural journey.


Delve into descriptions of our annual events, see stunning photos of our gardens, and access a wealth of gardening resources. Browse our newsletter archive for expert tips and inspirational stories.


Members can log in to access a dedicated section featuring announcements, club documents, an event calendar, and a link to conveniently log volunteer hours.


Find it at! Enjoy!

Chilly Seeds

by Stacey Haag

Certified Master Gardener Becky Juanes gave a presentation on Winter Sowing during RCMGA's January meeting. Recycling old milk jugs and drink bottles, Becky demonstrated how you can create mini greenhouses to get a jumpstart on your spring planting during the cold winter months.

She shared that her greatest success has been with seeds that prefer cold stratification, the process of exposing seeds to cold and moist conditions to encourage germination. Attendees who had also tried this method discussed their successes and failures with different seeds varieties.

Becky made available a publication from the University of Missouri Extension, entitled Winter Sowing Seeds, which can be found here.

She also provided these additional resources for those who would like more information about winter sowing:

A Step-By-Step Guide from Rethink Rural

Winter Sowing from University of Maryland Extension

Historical Predictions from The Old Farmer's Almanac

Winter Sowing Guide from Permies

Thank you to all who brought goodies, gifts, and good cheer to the January meeting to celebrate Miss Dorothy's 91st birthday!

Upcoming Events

February 10 - March 10: Orchids at Cheekwood

Cheekwood Gardens

March 16: Tennessee Tree Day

Robertson County UT Extension Office, Springfield

April 13: The Herb Society of Nashville's Plant Sale

Nashville Fairgrounds, Expo 3


Contact Us



Shawn Herman

(615) 948-4376

[email protected]


Vice President:

Nola Hastings

(714) 296-2740

[email protected]



Holly Brooks

(760) 861-4833

[email protected]



Sandy Williams

(615) 969-7656

[email protected]


Master Gardener Coordinator:

Bob Ary

(615) 384-7936

[email protected]

Instagram Administrator:

Kathy Doss

(615) 636-5410

[email protected]



Kathy Doss

(615) 636-5410

[email protected]


Facebook Administrator:

Shawn Herman

(615) 948-4376

[email protected]


The Leaflet Editor:

Stacey Haag

(615) 389-4663

[email protected]

Robertson County Master Gardener Association
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