Plant Profile: Lovely Lemon Balm

This article by Samantha Johnson originally appeared in the September/October 2020 issue of Northern Gardener. As your eyes drift across the garden, you might not immediately notice the bushy herb with the jagged-edged leaves. It’s easy to overlook amongst the sunflowers and the summer squash and the snapdragons. But let’s take a closer look at…

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Plant Profile: Dill

This article was written by Samantha Johnson and appeared in the January/February 2020 issue of the Northern Gardener. Once upon a time, I planted dill in my herb garden and it grew so tall and gorgeous that I couldn’t bear to harvest it. So I just admired it in the garden every day and breathed…

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Better Basils: New Disease Resistant Basil Varieties

This article by Theresa Mieseler originally appeared in the May/June 2020 issue of Northern Gardener. Basil is a pleasure to touch, smell, taste and harvest. It pairs with tomatoes as deliciously as strawberries pair with rhubarb and can even be used in desserts! While northern gardeners love the traditional sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum), basil downy…

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Enjoy Infused Water from Your Garden

We’ve had some super hot days recently. According to the weather folks, 11 days have had temperatures in the 90s, with more in the forecast. After working in the garden on a hot day, I like to enjoy infused water to cool me down. We all know we need to stay hydrated when outside on…

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Plant Profile: Lavender

If you’ve ever seen photos of lavender fields in Oregon or other much more temperate climates that ours, you know how delightful this perennial herb can look. With its deep purple flowers and scented foliage, lavender is a dream plant for many northern gardeners. Now, that’s not to say, it cannot be grown in the…

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Plant Herbs for Pollinators

Once while poking around my vegetable garden, I noticed the parsley was looking sparse. I hadn’t harvested that much, had I? Closer examination showed it wasn’t me, but a very hungry caterpillar who had been chomping on the parsley. Since then, I’ve always planted extra parsley—for the caterpillars and also for other critters who hang…

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A Delicious Basil Recipe

Our Northern Gardener copy editor Julie is a basil fiend. She grows lots of basil and freezes bags and bags of pesto for winter eating. But sometimes, even a noted pesto aficionado wants to do something different with her basil stash. Searching for a new take on her favorite herb, Julie found this basil recipe…

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Book Review and Giveaway: Groundbreaking Food Gardens

Groundbreaking Food Gardens (Storey 2014) by Canada-based blogger and garden writer Niki Jabbour is one of the best books for beginning (and experienced) food gardeners that I have seen in a long while. Subtitled 73 Plans that Will Change the Way You Grow Your Garden, Jabbour’s book plumbs the ideas of dozens of garden designers,…

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An Herbal Compost Tea for Your Plants

Recently, I had a chance to hear University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardener Shari Mayer from Dakota County talk about growing and using herbs. Shari has been a big part of the herb gardens at UMore Park for many years and does a lot of experimenting with herbs at her home. Her talk was filled…

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Growing Patchouli in Your Herb Garden

One of the more unusual herbs shown at the MSHS Educational Display at the Minnesota State Fair is patchouli, a tender perennial that is often used in perfumes and is grown for its fragrant leaves. It is often associated with incenses of the 1960s and its hippie roots. Patchouli (Pogostemon heyneanus) is a member of the…

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