Notes from Northern Gardener Blog

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The Donation Garden and Minnesota Green

By Mary Lahr Schier | May 14, 2019

This article by Tom McKusick originally appeared in the May/June 2019 issue of Northern Gardener. Since 2011, the Donation Garden in Long Lake has planted, harvested and delivered fresh vegetables to local food shelves. Growing vegetables on a little less than a tenth of an acre, the garden yielded more than 2,700 pounds of produce…

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Pollinator Packs for Northern Gardeners

By Mary Lahr Schier | May 7, 2019

Since our 150th anniversary in 2016, MSHS has been promoting Pollinator Packs for gardeners interested in attracting bees, butterflies, hummingbirds and other pollinators. The idea for the Pollinator Packs came from volunteer Mary Maguire Lerman, who thought they would be a great way to celebrate the anniversary and encourage more gardeners to care about pollinators.…

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Welcome Garden Season with the May/June Northern Gardener

By Mary Lahr Schier | May 2, 2019

The May/June 2019 issue of Northern Gardener should be on newsstands this week, and from its bright green cover to the special ads at the back, it is full of excitement for the real beginning of the garden season. The cover image is from Michelle Mero Riedel who has an article about 12 less-common annuals…

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Gear Up for Plant Shopping with Our Discount Partners

By Mary Lahr Schier | April 30, 2019

As we get into the biggest plant shopping weeks of the year, MSHS members should double check the list of Discount Partners to ensure they get the best deals possible. We have more than 100 garden centers, nurseries and specialty shops, even wineries, that support MSHS and northern gardeners through the program. Here’s how it…

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A Bouquet of Book Reviews for Spring

By Mary Lahr Schier | April 26, 2019

It’s spring, and along with the daffodils and spring ephemerals, it’s a time when new books of interest to gardeners emerge. Here are four mini book reviews of newer books we like. A Way to Garden (Timber Press, 2019) by Margaret Roach is a revision to the book Roach published more than 20 years ago.…

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Great Plants for Northern Gardens: Day 2—Black Hills Spruce

By Mary Lahr Schier | November 2, 2012 | 1 Comment

Winters in the North can be wimpy or wild, but no matter how severe or mild, winter will be here for a long, long time. That stretch between November and April almost requires that northern gardeners add evergreens to their landscapes to provide color and texture to the winter scene. The list of evergreen options…

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Great Plants for Northern Gardens: Day 1— Peonies

By Mary Lahr Schier | November 1, 2012 | 2 Comments

Many gardeners look forward to November, a time when the northern garden is mostly put to bed and you can relax with a cup of tea and a sense of satisfaction about the season just finished. It’s also a time when your garden from the previous year is fresh in your mind and you can…

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How to Do a Soil Percolation Test

By Mary Lahr Schier | October 24, 2012 | 0 Comments

The November/December issue of Northern Gardener includes Nancy Rose’s article called “A Tale of Two Soils.” Many Minnesotans know Nancy from her years as a horticulturist at the University of Minnesota. A few years ago, she moved to Massachusetts. In her article, she talks about the difference soil makes in what you can grow and…

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How to Do a Soil Texture Test

By Mary Lahr Schier | October 23, 2012 | 0 Comments

Horticulturist Nancy Rose’s article in the November/December issue of Northern Gardener talks about the importance of knowing your soil for more garden success. Here are her instructions for testing the texture of your soil. How to Test Soil Texture While not as precise as a lab test, this is a quick way to determine if…

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Get Your Garden Ready for Winter

By Mary Lahr Schier | October 17, 2012 | 0 Comments

Oh, no! Can the garden season really be coming to a close so soon? This week, we’re having slightly warmer temperatures—and happily, some rain!—but the fall is hard upon us and now is the time to start getting your garden ready for winter. This weekend may be the perfect chance. Here’s some great advice we…

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