Seed Catalogs 101

seed catalogs

The snow squeaks under your boots as you trudge through the drifts to the mailbox. It’s only December, but you’re already growing weary of the winter weather, the frigid temps, and the endlessly gray skies. Spring seems far away. But what’s this? Tucked inside your mailbox, underneath a stack of bills, is a beacon of…

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Ask a Master Gardener: When to Plant Amaryllis Bulbs?

Happy Halloween! I admit, I shuddered a bit to see Target being transformed into a Christmas wonderland this week, but at the same time, it was a good reminder: time to plant amaryllises! This edition of Ask a Master Gardener attempts to demystify what is admittedly a fairly easy process—it just requires some planning. Q:…

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Tips and Tricks for Collecting Native Seeds 

collecting native seeds

Native plant seeds are drying and ready for collecting! First things first, always get permission from those who manage or own the site or garden. People are often happy to share seeds, but always best to ask first. This is especially true on public land, such as parks. Find the park manager or ranger to…

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Saving and Storing Dahlia Tubers

saving and storing dahlias

  Since dahlias are native to Mexico, it’s not surprising that they can’t survive our winters here. What makes them so popular with northern gardeners, however, is the fact that they grow from tubers, which we can dig up and store inside during the winter. This makes them “perennial” in some respects, because we can…

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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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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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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


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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When Is It Too Late to Plant?

We got a question over on another blog post about whether it was too late to plant now. Despite our gloomy, cold, snowy (ugh!) October, it is not really too late to plant most trees, perennials and shrubs until the ground is frozen. As I explained on an earlier blog post, I once had an…

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Fall Decor Ideas

It’s been a warm autumn, but with frost having hit most of the state and leaves turning (and falling!) rapidly, we cannot deny that fall is upon us. It’s not too late to bring on the pumpkins, mums and ornamental cabbage! There are many delightful ideas for fall decor and some of them are very…

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