Posts by Mary Lahr Schier

Interact Theater and Community Gardens are Growing Together

This article by Brenda Harvieux originally appeared in the November/December 2018 issue of Northern Gardener. When speaking to the artists at the Interact Center for the Visual and Performing Arts in St. Paul, it’s clear that they are dedicated their art and having the opportunity to create art has changed their lives profoundly. A professional…

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Last-Minute Fall Lawn Care Tips

As we creep into November, most gardeners are rushing to finish any last-minute tasks they have not completed — including buttoning up the lawn for the year. This late in the year, you really only have two things to deal with in terms of your fall lawn care. By the end of October, according to…

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Bird Gardening and More in the Latest Northern Gardener

The November/December 2018 issue of Northern Gardener is on newsstands today, and it’s the magazine with the stunning photo of the black-capped chickadee sitting in an evergreen on the cover. This is a meaty issue, with lots of information to ponder throughout the winter. Our cover story is by gardener, blogger and Master Naturalist Beth…

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Let’s Talk Pumpkins!

With Halloween just around the corner, you may be wondering about the link between the pumpkins scaring the neighborhood kids and the ones in the can you’ll be using to make pumpkin pie in less than a month. Can you use the Jack-o-Lantern to make the pie? Short answer: Yes, but you might not want…

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Why Aren’t the Ginkgo Leaves Yellow This Year?

Ginkgo trees can be stunning in fall. The broad, fan-shaped ginkgo leaves turn a brilliant yellow that is particularly striking at sunrise and sunset. Then, the leaves all drop quickly — sometimes in one day — and the show is over. Something different is happening this year — the leaves are dropping and many are…

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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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