Remember all those posts we’ve had in the past about last frost date. You know, this one, this one and this one. Here’s the thing to remember. Mother Nature doesn’t read this blog. Sometimes, she throws a bit of a curve. Over the next five nights, we will be getting temperatures very close to freezing.…

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There’s no denying this has been a cold, late spring. Last week, I talked with a very knowledgeable and experienced gardener who told me that she thought we were at least two weeks behind the “typical” Minnesota spring. (Typical is in quotes for obvious reasons, if you’ve lived in Minnesota long!) So, what is blooming…

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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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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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As this long and snowy winter finally eases its grip, many gardeners are wondering how much they should adjust their vegetable planting schedule. By some reports, we are a good three weeks behind the usual weather and planting for Minnesota. Of course, many gardeners have already started seeds under lights in hopes of getting them…

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This book review first appeared in the November/December 2017 issue of Northern Gardener magazine. Facing another Minnesota winter, it’s comforting to know that it could be worse. We could be gardening in Alaska, right? But Brenda Adams’ delightful new book, Cool Plants for Cold Climates, A Garden Designer’s Perspective (University of Alaska Press, 2017) makes gardening…

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The fall season seems to be growing longer in Minnesota the past few years, with some parts of the Twin Cities not experiencing frost until late in October. (There’s a 50 percent chance the first frost in Minneapolis will be before Oct. 5.) Still, by the time you get to November, the garden is spent,…

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Fall is a great time for planting, though as we get past mid-October, the question is how late in fall can you plant? Many years ago, I had an entire landscape installed in the first week of November! When I asked the landscaper about whether late fall planting was a good idea, he assured me…

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To cut back perennials or not to cut back perennials, that is the question many gardeners ask themselves in fall. We have been fortunate this autumn that the weather has been unusually warm in Minnesota, which is giving many plants a last shot at blooming. (Many of my daylilies re-bloomed in September and October and…

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A blog reader recently asked if seed starters should delay their seed starting this year because of the long, cold winter. In Minnesota, we’ve had the worst winter in terms of the “misery index” since 1978-79, and I know many parts of the East Coast and northern tier states have suffered just as much. Does…

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