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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MN SEED Project Update

MN SEED Project

The MN SEED Project is growing almost as quickly as the hundreds of seeds its participants are sowing. A joint venture among the hort society, Como Community Seed Library and garden educator, Stephanie Hankerson, this community science project connects local Minnesota gardeners with seeds from native plants. A hallmark of the program? The many free…

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Growing Peanuts in the North? Yep, You Can.

One of the joys of growing your own food is the perennial opportunity to push the growing season and try new things, even those that aren’t typically grown here. Peanuts fit this category perfectly and, as you’ll soon learn, demonstrate that more is possible in northern gardens than conventional wisdom has taught us. If I…

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Three Ways to Determine When to Plant

With our erratic springs—70 one day, 30 the next—it’s often a challenge to figure out when to plant your vegetables or ornamental plants. Most experienced gardeners use a variety of ways to determine when to plant their crops. Here are three we’ve tried: By Frost Free Dates. Most seed packets will include a recommended seed…

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Seed Shopping Tips for Budget-Conscious Gardeners

We have reached the tough part of winter. The snow looks gray and gross, the sun hasn’t been out in weeks, the ice ruts in the alley are here to stay and April seems a long way off. Time for some seed shopping! Ordering seeds whether using a catalog or just perusing websites is a…

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When Can We Plant Vegetable Seeds?

As this long and snowy winter finally eases its grip, many gardeners are wondering how much they should adjust their vegetable planting schedule. By some reports, we are a good three weeks behind the usual weather and planting for Minnesota. Of course, many gardeners have already started seeds under lights in hopes of getting them…

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Seed Starting: When to Start What?

About this time of year, the itch to start seed starting hits. Those late winter snowstorms send gardeners into their basements to find their lights and flats and double check their stash of seeds to make sure they have all they want. Some gardeners can’t wait even this long, and for them there is winter…

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New Vegetable Varieties for 2017 Shrinking

Judging by the new vegetable varieties being offered this year, gardens are shrinking. More varieties are being marketed for patios, pots and raised beds. Everything from tiny eggplant to mini-squash and patio peas are in the catalogs for vegetable gardeners to consider this year. Here are new varieties (or at least newish) that look especially…

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Growing Lettuce for Early Eats

Growing lettuce is one of the best ways to get a super early harvest from your vegetable garden. Lettuce germinates quickly and reliably indoors under lights. You can also plant lettuce seeds directly in your garden or in a cold frame, but you may have to wait a bit for germination since lettuce requires a…

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Seed Starting Season Begins!

While some gardeners start seeds for long-germinating plants, such as onions, as early as late January or early February, now is the best time for Minnesota gardeners to begin their seed starting efforts. For plants, such as lettuces and other greens, seeds started now can be planted out in the garden in three or four…

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