Ask a Master Gardener: Veggie Garden Clean Up

final tomato harvest

Hello and happy pumpkin spice season to those of you who celebrate! (I definitely do.) This summer went by quickly, but what could be better than pumpkins, hooded sweatshirts and fall colors? How about potato leek soup with frost-kissed leeks from the garden, or an entire stalk of brussels sprouts? I hope you’re savoring harvest…

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Bee Lawns and Beyond

bee on clover

A lush carpet of green extends in all directions at calf-height, covering what used to be a boring lawn space with a vibrant community of blooms supporting a bounty of buzzing bees, butterflies and other beautiful bugs. This is a bee lawn, a space where people and pollinators play together. The first time I installed…

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Ask a Master Gardener: Finding Neonicotinoid-Free Plants

monarch on tithonia

Hello from South Minneapolis, where we have finally gotten some rain and slight relief to our drought conditions. This month’s Ask the Master Gardener question is about neonicotinoids, a class of pesticides commonly used in the nursery industry as well as home gardens. Question: Where can I buy neonicotinoid-free plants for my yard and garden?…

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How to Build a Rain Garden

rain garden

Rain gardens collect and filter stormwater runoff from impermeable surfaces such as building rooftops and parking lots. These surfaces often contain pollutants and debris like chemicals from cars, pet waste, grass clippings, road salt, and other nutrient-heavy sediment that rainfall washes away. We can prevent these foreign particles from washing into nearby waterways by redirecting…

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Helping Endangered Monarchs

monarch on sage

Photons of light race away from the surface of Sol at 186,000 miles per second. Penetrating the atmosphere, infrared light rays reach terra firma, bouncing off a milkweed plant and directly into thousands of compound ommatidia inside the eyes of a passing monarch butterfly, the plant having no choice but to broadcast the results of…

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A Seed of an Idea

Julia Brokaw, a Como Park neighbor and University of Minnesota Ph.D. student in the Cariveau Native Bee Lab, helped germinate over 1,000 prairie plants from seed and donate them to community projects. And that was just in 2022. The seedlings will be part of the Lawns to Legumes project with the Saint Paullinators of South…

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August Garden To Dos

I normally adopt a dry farmer’s attitude—I get plants established and then let the rain do the rest. But not this year. Keeping up with watering needs has been a challenge. There was a span of a couple of days where I watered, it rained, I watered some more and by the end of the…

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Planting for Pollinators

Planting for pollinators… the concept was just a blip on the radar a few years ago. Now it’s a nationwide trend, only growing in popularity. When we think about pollinator conservation, we often look at restoring large swaths of habitat by adding native prairie plants—the vibrant collections of flowers and native grasses insects rely on…

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Celebrating National Pollinator Week

celebrating pollinator week

Planting for pollinator habitat as our climate changes is so important—we have the opportunity to adapt our cultivated environments to make room for more native pollinators. Researchers are learning more every day about how these essential creatures survive and thrive. During this National Pollinator Week, we’re shining a bright spotlight on this important work and…

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7 Plants to Attract Bumble Bees to the Garden

bumblebee on coneflower

Honey bees get a lot of attention and credit as hardworking pollinators, and we all understand the benefits of keeping a hive or two of honey bees near the garden. But amidst all the buzz about honey bees, we sometimes overlook the contributions of the humble bumble bee to the success of our gardens. There’s…

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