Posts by Mary Lahr Schier

When Is It Too Late to Plant?

We got a question over on another blog post about whether it was too late to plant now. Despite our gloomy, cold, snowy (ugh!) October, it is not really too late to plant most trees, perennials and shrubs until the ground is frozen. As I explained on an earlier blog post, I once had an…

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Steele County’s One-Step Garden

This article by Brenda Harvieux originally appeared in the September/October issue of Northern Gardener. One of the goals of the Hy-Vee One Step Grant Program is growing community gardens to provide food and teach about nutrition. The proceeds from sales of One Step Russet Potatoes help fund community garden projects, such as the Master Gardeners…

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Leaving Perennials Standing: Pros and Cons

perennial not cut down

As fall plods on and more plants start to brown or whither, the urge to “clean up just a little” is strong, and for many gardeners the question of whether to cut back perennials or leave them standing is one they consider every year.  There is a lot of ground between those who clean every…

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Building Healthy Soil: There’s a Lot to Learn

Healthy soil is the key to solving many environmental problems we face today. Healthy soils clean and hold water, prevent runoff from rain and snow, re-mediate pollution, sequester carbon to reduce global warming, and grow resilient plants that are healthy for all the creatures that need them. No wonder we gardeners love to sink our…

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Avoiding Trouble with Critters and Fall-Planted Bulbs

It’s a rite of the season — every year, we northern gardeners plant bulbs in fall. It’s a sign of hope, a joyful ritual and a satisfying chore. But then spring comes and your beautifully planned swaths of color look like splotches on the landscape. What happened? Most likely, your luscious fall-planted bulbs provided a…

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Preserving Herbs: Ideas and Infusions

As we get to the end of the gardening season, herbs become more precious than ever. By now, many basil plants will have been nipped by frost and what was not harvested for pesto is looking brown and a little gross. The great thing about pesto is that it freezes beautifully, and can be stored…

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Understanding Frosts, Freezes and Hard Freezes

The weather folks were invoking the “F” word the other night — frost, which may hit the Twin Cities Friday night. The rest of the state will have variations on frosts, freezes and hard freezes. For northern gardeners, understanding the differences between these three events and what you should do in order to keep your…

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Stevens Square Community Garden

This article by Brenda Harvieux originally appeared in the September/October issue of Northern Gardener. In Minneapolis, the Stevens Square Community Organization (SSCO) manages the North and South LaSalle Community Gardens, which were started in 1997 and surround The Coyle apartment building at 1801 LaSalle Avenue. “Most of the plants we receive from Minnesota Green are…

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Plant Profile: Popcorn Plant

Smells are powerful, and the scent of popcorn plant (Senna didymobotrya) will bring you right back to the movie theaters of your childhood. This plant, which is also called cassia, smells so much like buttered popcorn that you’ll swear it is a relative of corn. It’s not, though. Popcorn plant is a member of the…

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Houseplant How-to: A Little TLC Goes a Long Way

Houseplants have so many benefits, especially for those of us living in northern climates. They reduce carbon dioxide levels, increase humidity in our dry winter homes, remove dust, and boost mood and overall health. Plus they are fun to care for and add vibrancy to any home, which is one reason so many millennials are…

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