What to Plant in October

what to plant in october

In October, many gardeners’ thoughts turn to clean-up and buttoning down for winter. But don’t scrub your trowel just yet—many plants thrive when planted in the fall, even in the North, and our weather for the first 10 days of the month looks lovely. Here are a few to add to your shopping list to…

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BOGO Perennials

bogo perennials

The intensely seasonal nature of the greenhouse and nursery industry in our region means that many gardeners only shop for plants in spring and early summer. Planting early in the season lengthens the amount of time a northern gardener can enjoy a plant that year, so it makes sense that most of us don’t buy…

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Five Unexpected Fall Flowers for Northern Gardens

turtlehead

Some plants reliably look good in a northern fall garden. Asters, goldenrods, sedums, maybe a Russian sage and some grasses. Add a hydrangea with big blousy blooms and you’ve got a great fall garden in Minnesota. But what if you want something a little different, something with unexpected fall flowers and color? Hardy hibiscus Here…

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Growing Lavender in the North

Like a broken record, I’m always repeating this mantra for gardening success—the right plant for the right place. Re-creating native conditions for any plant is the key to seeing it thrive. Yet the heart wants what it wants. And, so it goes for growing lavender in a cold climate. There aren’t any sun-baked coastal hillsides…

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Planting Perennials in Fall

Fall blooming plants, such as sedum, do well when planted in the fall. Fall is a great time to plant spring-blooming bulbs, tress, shrubs and, yes, perennials. While many people choose spring for planting perennials, there are some real advantages to fall planting, especially if you do it in September. Here are five reasons to…

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Goldenrod and Asters

Salt and pepper. Batman and Robin. Spaghetti and meatballs. Rhythm and blues. Goldenrod and asters. What? Allow me some alliteration when I say goldenrod and asters are a perfect pairing of powerhouse plants for pollinators. Robin Wall Kimmerer, author of Braiding Sweetgrass (Milkweed Editions, 2013), writes of applying to be a botany major. Hoping to…

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Plant Profile: Cardinal Flower

  Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis) gets its name from the brilliant red flowers that grow in an elongated cluster atop the stems, midsummer through early fall. The tubular flowers are two-lipped, with the three lobes of the lower lip appearing more prominent than the two lobes of the upper lip. White- and rose-colored forms can…

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Ornamental Onion Cultivars

The genus Allium (commonly known as onion) consists of several species that many northern gardeners know well, most commonly chives which have been used for eons in cooking. But, in recent years, there has been an explosion of ornamental onion cultivars. If you are looking for perennials that truly are easy to grow, this plant…

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Northern Natives: Whorled Milkweed

Most gardeners are aware that monarch butterflies benefit when we plant milkweed in our gardens. All species in the Asclepias genus are host plants for monarchs—they lay their eggs on the plants and the hatched caterpillars then feed on the milkweed. Many are familiar with common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca), butterflyweed (A. tuberosa) and swamp milkweed…

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Plant Spotlight: Wild Ginger

Wild ginger (Asarum canadense) is a plant of many surprises—also many names. It is commonly called woodland ginger, Canada ginger, snakeroot, colic root, coltsfoot, namepin and sturgeon potato. In the garden or the wild it seems unassuming, but take a closer look: Its fuzzy, bright green foliage emerges in pairs of folded leaves in early to…

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