150 Tips: Growing Roses in the North

In a 1916 article on roses, Martin Frydholm of Albert Lea promised rose gardeners “work and lots of it,” if they wanted to grow tea roses in the North. Over the 150 years that MSHS has been publishing gardening articles, advice on growing roses has changed a lot. But one thing has remained the same:…

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Native Plant List from Eloise Butler

In 1912, Eloise Butler encouraged members of the Minnesota State Horticultural Society to plant more native trees, shrubs and perennial flowers. She offered a long list, suggesting that there were native options for just about any garden. Here are the trees and shrubs she loved. The full article is available from the Minnesota Reflections archives.…

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150 Tips: Peonies for the North

Brand Peonies, Minnesota’s first peony breeding operation, opened in Faribault, MN, in 1868, just two years after the founding of MSHS. Peonies have been a part of Minnesota gardens and horticultural history every since! The state is still home base for several peony specialty nurseries and breeding operations because out climate is perfect for peonies.…

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How to Build a Compost Pile

For a successful compost pile that will heat up and decompose materials within a few months, make sure it is at least 3-feet by 3-feet by 3-feet in size. Here’s how to build it: 1. Start the pile with a base of small twigs or chopped brush set on top of the soil. This will…

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150 Tips: All About Tomatoes

Everything about tomatoes speaks of summer—their tart flavor, juicy texture, ripe, red color—oh, the joy! But before northern gardeners get to the first big, fat slice of tomato, they must plant, prune, water and care for their tomatoes. Over its 150 years of publishing garden information, tomatoes have been a frequent—sometimes controversial—topic. Here are some…

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150 Tips: Planting Annuals and Containers

As the weather warms up, it’s impossible for northern gardeners not to be excited for color, color and more color. That usually means planting annuals and containers with annual flowers. Over our 150 years of publishing gardening information, we’ve discovered some great tips for getting the most from your annuals and containers. Annual Ideas Purchase…

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150 Tips: Spring Lawn Care

A lawn, said Leon Snyder in a 1953 issue of Minnesota Horticulturist, is “like the canvas on which an artist paints his picture—a pleasant background for the flower and shrub border, and the cool shade of lawn trees.” Lawn care routines have varied a lot over the 150 years that the Minnesota State Horticultural Society…

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150 Tips: Growing Summer Bulbs

When is the best time to plant summer bulbs? While some horticulturists say you can plant them in September, most gardeners plant them in early spring. Plant bulbs as soon as the ground can be worked. Given how delicate bulb flowers look, you may think they need a lot of babying. Nope. Summer bulbs, such…

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150 Tips: Jump Starting the Vegetable Season

Indoor seed sowing, greenhouses, cold frames, hot beds—you name it, northern gardeners have tried it to extend the season for vegetables and other plants. Today, gardeners typically use LED or flourescent lights to start seeds indoors, then move them to cold frames outdoors or low tunnels, temporary frames covered in plastic to create a cozy…

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150 Tips: Early Spring Pruning

Pruning has been a perennial topic in hort society publication over the years. Tips abound, but one of the most frequently given tips is to prune fruit trees in spring. The ideal time for pruning fruit trees is when they are still dormant in late winter or early spring. Prune for young trees for shape.…

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