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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Will You Delay Seed Starting This Year?

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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How to Cure Winter Squash

Most Minnesota gardeners have already harvested their winter squash — the goal is to get them out of the fields before there is a hard freeze. But how do you cure winter squash and store it? Squash are a great vegetable to grow, if you have the room for them. They can be planted as…

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It's Not Too Late to Plant Bulbs

The local forecast calls for a wet and cool weekend, but it’s not too late to plant bulbs in Minnesota. Planting bulbs now will give you a great blast of color in the spring, and planting them is not difficult at all, it’s a perfect activity for a fall afternoon. A few tips on planting…

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How to Grow Green Beans

One of the easiest and most rewarding vegetable crops for northern gardeners are green beans. Whether you call them snap, string, shell or dried, green beans grow relatively quickly, require only a bit of care and produce bountiful crops for fresh eating or preserving. Pole vs. Bush Beans Green beans come in two basic growing…

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How to Grow Roses

There have been volumes written on how to grow roses, but for most home gardeners the rules are pretty simple: Choose the right plants for your soil and climate; keep them watered and fed adequately; give them enough air circulation and pruning to stay healthy; watch for pests and enjoy the beauty and fragrance of…

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How to Grow Peonies

Peonies are a classic, old-fashioned flower in northern gardens with a long history in Minnesota. Brand Farms in Faribault had acres of peonies under cultivation in the 1920s, earning the town the nickname the “Peony Capital of the World.” There are still several big peony growers in Minnesota, including Swenson Gardens in Howard Lake, Mn.,…

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How to Grow Lilacs

This is a first in a regular series of articles on the care and maintenance of some of our favorite plants for northern gardens. With their lush blooms and deeply floral fragrance, lilacs are a harbinger of summer in the northern garden. They generally bloom from early to late May at the same time as…

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