How to Start Annuals from Seed

Starting annuals from seed can be easy and fun!

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Orange Annuals Add Oopmh!

Sprinkle in bright-flowering annuals and watch your garden pop.


Summertime Joy: Sunflowers

Sunflowers are not only beautiful to the eye; they're also a wonderful addition to your edible garden. 

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Hardy Annuals

A list of hardy annuals; plants that are tolerant of cold climates and capable of reseeding in most gardens. Originally sourced from 

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5 Easiest Annuals to Start from Seed

Here are some of the easiest annuals to start from seed.

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Plant Profile: Annual Salvia

Like watching hummingbirds and other pollinators visit your garden? Plant annual salvia.

Spotted Jewelweed

Plant Profile: Spotted Jewelweed

With nectar-rich flowers, this true annual is a favorite among hummingbirds, butterflies, and other pollinators.


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Planting Perennials in Fall

Find out about the benefits (and a few drawbacks) of planting perennials in the fall.


Amazing Allium Webinar

Learn how to grow this showstopper in your own garden.


Astounding Astilbe Webinar

This remarkable, easy-to-grow perennial will brighten up any shade garden.


Perennial Salvia Cultivars

Easy to grow, low-maintenance and long bloomers, perennial salvia brighten up full- to part-sun spots.


Salivating for Salvia Webinar

Mary Maguire Lerman shares her favorite varieties and reasons why you should weave more salvia into your own garden beds.

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Goldenrod and Asters

Author Rhonda Fleming Haye discusses why these two native perennials are a vital pollinator pairing. 

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Garden Solutions: Perennial Tulips

Check out these options for planting perennial tulips in your garden.

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American Gold Rush Rudbeckia

This Black-Eyed Susan cultivar is a disease-resistant perennial with beautiful blooms in late summer and early fall. A mainstay for northern gardens! 


Astilbe Cultivars

These hardy, long-blooming perennials are a colorful addition to any part- to full-shade garden.


Growing Lilies Webinar

Landscape designer William Dougherty shares his favorite varieties of lilies and tips for growing them.


Raucous Rudbeckia Webinar

There's a reason why so many plant this sunny showstopper.

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Plant to Pick: 'Blackhawks' Big Bluestem

Often called the "monarch of the prairie," this native grass is a wonderful addition to perennial gardens.

Cardinal Flower

Plant Profile: Cardinal Flower

With brilliant red flowers, this native perennial adds a pop of color to late-summer landscapes.

Ornamental Onion

Ornamental Onion Cultivars

Learn about three ornamental onion cultivars that are easy to grow and extend your garden's bloom time.

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Plant Profile: Purple Prairie Clover

Take a closer look at this summer-blooming, perennial plant and its growing conditions.


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5 Perennials That Act Like Shrubs

Consider these northern perennials the next time you are looking for a shrub.


Best Trees and Shrubs for Fall Color

You can have a fantastic fall color display in your yard simply by choosing a variety of trees and shrubs.


Plant Profile: Viburnum

Viburnum is a lovely group of shrubs year-round, but our appreciation for them always soars in fall.

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Iceberg Alley Sageleaf Willow

This small shrub is easy to grow and will brighten any garden with its silvery foliage.

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Plant Profile: Tree Form Hydrangea

Hydrangeas...shrub or tree? Or perhaps both? Learn more about how to grow and maintain this beautiful plant as a tree.  


How to Slash and Plant Shrubs

Shrubs that have been in pots all winter are ready to go in the ground, but they need a little slashing before you plant them.


How to Plant the Right Size Shrub

When planning a landscape, one of the most important considerations is the mature size of shrubs, trees and perennials.


Plant Profile: Magic Magnolias

Magnolias are wonderful small trees or shrubs, which can work as spring-flowering plants for gardens in the southern half of Minnesota, as well as areas along Lake Superior.

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Plant to Pick: Summer Crush Hydrangea macrophylla

With brilliant raspberry-red blooms, consider planting this shrub that can tolerate colder growing zones. 

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Hardy Roses for Northern Gardeners

Despite a popular belief that roses are often challenging to grow, these fourteen roses thrive in northern gardens. 



Plant Profile: Gingko Tree

This tough urban tree can handle salt, makes a perfect boulevard tree and offers stunning fall color and an unusual leaf shape.


Pruning Hydrangeas

The Impatient Gardener demonstrates how to prune panicle and smooth hydrangeas.


Plant Profile: Redbud Tree

It won’t be long before we’ll be seeing the soft pink clouds of bloom that surround the Minnesota-hardy redbuds that are so popular here in the North.

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Plant Profile: Parkland Pillar Birch

This newer birch tree is a great choice for a vertical accent, and also tolerates Zone 3 well. 

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Real vs. Fake and Minnesota's State Tree

The debate to have a real or fake holiday tree goes back to the 1930s.


When and Why You Prune Trees

Pruning is one of those gardening topics that has an air of mystery about it. When to prune trees? Why do you prune trees? 


Best Trees and Shrubs for Fall Color

You can have a fantastic fall color display in your yard simply by choosing a variety of trees and shrubs.


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6 Tips for New Vegetable Gardeners

Just starting out? We can help.

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Handling, Harvesting and Storing Veggies

Find the most effective ways to enjoy homegrown asparagus, beans, cabbage and other crops.

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Why Grow Tomatoes in Containers

Here are a few reasons why you might want to consider growing tomatoes in a container.

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Tips for Growing Garlic

A guide to growing garlic, plus tips on harvesting, storage, and more. 


Grow Lettuce Longer: Tips for Extending the Season

Lettuce is a fast and steady crop to grow and harvest throughout the season. 


How to Grow Horseradish

Check out this comprehensive guide to growing this perennial root vegetable. 

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Plant Profile: Sweet Potato

Though sweet potato plants are known to love heat, learn how it's possible to successfully grow sweet potatoes in colder climates. 

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How to Create Beauty in the Vegetable Garden

My vegetable garden usually has the shabby chic look (or maybe just shabby), but I’ve found that lettuces planted in pots or window boxes can be very attractive, especially those with rose-tipped, ruffly foliage. But a couple of the gardens I visited last summer took vegetable gardening beauty well beyond that.

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Shade Tolerant Vegetables

Got shade? Don't let that stop you from growing your own vegetables.

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Winter Sowing Vegetable Seeds

See how you can use inexpensive mini greenhouses to start vegetables from seed.

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Organic Edibles for Small Spaces Webinar

Join the growing trend—try growing fruits and vegetables on patios and decks, in containers and small plots.

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Vegetables to Plant for a Fall Harvest

Hoping to continue your garden's bounty? Learn about what to vegetables to plant towards the end of the summer for a fall harvest. 


Plant Profile: The Humble Radish

A helpful guide to growing this hardy spring vegetable in your garden. 


Spotlight on Kohlrabi

Read this article and you'll soon be wondering why you haven't yet grown this funky vegetable in your garden.. 

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Great Garden Garlic + Scapes

Meg Cowden discusses all things garlic in your garden in this article from her blog Forks in the Dirt.

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Tips for Growing Veggies (AM950 radio program)

Paul Sobocinski from Land Stweardship Project and Courtney Tchida from MN State Horticulture Society Talk about tips for growing veggies.


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Grow a Rainbow of Tomatoes

Our Community Programs Director, Courtney Tchida, has grown hundreds of varieties in cold-climates. Learn her favorite kinds and growing tips for best flavor.

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Growing Day Neutral Strawberries Webinar

Strawberry plants that produce fruit all summer long? They exist and you can grow them in the Upper Midwest! Learn how.

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Organic Edibles for Small Spaces

Join the growing trend—grow fruits and vegetables on patios and decks, in containers and small plots.

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Apple Tree Pruning Made Easy

Learn how to prune your tree, look for disease and dead limbs and get as many apples as possible.

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Why Grow Tomatoes in Containers?

Mary Schier describes the benefits of growing tomatos in buckets in this short article!

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Growing Fruits in Minnesota

Fruits are perennials, so they require a bit more commitment than vegetables. That said, they can still be well worth the effort.

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Caring for Espalier Fruit Trees

Learn how espalier creates functional, edible art on your landscape.

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How to Grow Pears

Hardy pear trees grow in USDA Hardiness Zones 3 and 4—and they can be even easier to manage than their relative, the apple!

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Pick Your Perfect Minnesota Grown Apple

Use this handy chat to find the best Minnesota grown apple for cooking or eating!


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Preserving Herbs: Ideas and Infusions

From pestos to herb vinegars, here are 4 ways to preserve herbs this winter.

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Disease Resistant Basils

Basil Downy Mildew disease and a desire for something different have led gardeners to search for disease resistant varieties of basil.


Growing Patchouli

One of the more unusual herbs shown at the Minnesota State Fair is patchouli, a tender perennial that is often used in perfumes and is grown for its fragrant leaves.

Lemon Balm

Plant Profile: Lovely Lemon Balm

Learn about this aromatic, easy-to-grow herb and its many uses both in and outside the kitchen.


Plant Profile: Dill

Dill is a wonderful addition to your herb garden; it's easy to grow, beautiful, and a cooking staple. 

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Plant Herbs for Pollinators

Herbs are great plants for butterfly larvae, and they're a favorite of bees and other pollinators as well. 

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Plant Profile: Dill

Dill is a delight to grow because it blesses you in two ways: with its exquisite beauty and its extensive culinary uses. 


Plant Profile: Lavender

With its deep purple flowers and scented foliage, lavender is a dream plant for many northern gardeners.

Anise Hyssop

Plant Profile: Anise Hyssop

This biennial herb is a popular choice among pollinators, birds, and northern gardeners. 

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Plant Spotlight: Wild Ginger

Often found growing in deciduous forests, this ground cover plant is a great companion to other woodland plants.



Spring and Summer Bulbs Webinar

Northern gardening guru Mike Heger shares tips for successfully growing bulbs in your garden.

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Growing Dahlias in Minnesota

Minneapolis pro "Dahlia Del" shares his top tips for growing these garden stunners in a cold-climate.

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Plant Profile: Canna Lilies

Canna Lily is a stunner of a plant! Growing from a rhizome rather than bulb, this plant is an annual in colder climates.


Growing Bulbs, Tubers and Bare Roots

Tips and tricks for storing and planting...

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Growing Summer Bulbs Webinar

Try sprinkling bulbs throughout your garden for splashes of color. Here are some tips for planting and growing healthy bulbs.



Top Picks from the Plant Penthouse

Minneapolis-based plant mama Shayla Owodunni shares her top three houseplant picks and care tips for each.

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5 Easy Houseplants for Beginners

Here are five easy houseplants that are perfect for absolute beginning gardeners—and a bonus list for those slightly more advanced.

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Tips for Moving Houseplants Indoors for Winter

Helpful advice for a smooth transition as houseplants head indoors for the winter.

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10 Safe Houseplants for Cats and Dogs

These common indoor plants are safe for our four-legged friends.


African Violets: Make More Plants

African violets. Could a name sound more magical? Though sometimes pegged as stuffy and old-fashioned, they are enchanting, easy-care bloomers.

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Plant Profile: String of Hearts

This beautiful succulent is a wonderful houseplant known for its heart-shaped leaves and vining stems. 


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Blog for Northern Gardeners

We may be a little biased, but our blog is packed with great ideas and inspiration exclusively for northern gardeners. One of our most-loved resources!

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Forks in the Dirt

Minnesota gardener, educator and farmers market manager Michelle writes about local food she grows, forages, cooks and eats!

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Seed Savers Exchange Blog

Check out the Seed Savers Exchange Blog to learn about their work in heirloom seed preservation, plus more content about seed saving, food sovereignty, and gardening. 

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Minnesota From Scratch

Check out Stephanie Thurow's blog for info on food preservation, recipes, organic gardening, chicken keeping, urban homesteading and so much more.

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Seed to Fork

Plant a garden, feed your soul. Writer Meg Cowden is a self-proclaimed plant enthusiast, eater of vegetables, admirer of insects and restorer of prairies.

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My Northern Garden

Gardening in cold climates isn't easy. But Mary Schier, editor of Northern Gardener magazine, helps us grow alongside her.

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Land Stewardship Project Blog

Explore the Land Stewardship Project Blog to learn more about the politics of local and national food and agricultural systems and LSP's work around fostering an ethical stewardship of land.

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St. Paul Gardening

Independent garden educator and longtime St Paul resident Stephanie Hankerson brings 25+ years experience leading garden and sustainability programs in public and private spaces. Her work spans Twin Cities neighborhoods, community gardens, parks and urban farms.


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A Year in Flowers

Cultivating a cutting garden? Or, want to create homegrown arrangements? Grab this helpful guide.

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A beautifully written garden memoir, this a wonderful read for an experienced gardener or anyone who loves plants and the environment.


Braiding Sweetgrass

Robin Wall Kimmerer encourages readers to consider the ways that our lives and language weave through the natural world through sharing narratives from her Potawatomi ancestors.

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The Perennial Kitchen

Beth Cooley explores how perennial foods are vital both to the health of humans and the planet in her newest cookbook. 

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Root Cellaring: Natural Cold Storage of Fruits and Vegetables

Explains how to choose vegetable and fruit varieties that will store best, individual requirements for nearly 100 home garden crops, how to use root cellars in the country, in the city, and in any environment, how to build root cellars, indoors and out, big and small, plain and fancy, and gives case histories.

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Small-Scale Homesteading: A Sustainable Guide to Gardening, Keeping Chickens, Maple Sugaring, Preserving the Harvest, and More

With over thirty-five years of combined experience, homesteaders Stephanie Thurow and Michelle Bruhn have taught thousands of people across the globe how to garden, preserve food, tend backyard chickens, cook from scratch, and care for their families with natural homemade alternatives. Now, their homesteading knowledge and instruction can be found in one place with Small-Scale Homesteading.

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Gardening By Cuisine

Patti Moreno walks readers through what and how to plant in order to create gardens for specific cuisines, from a simple herb plot to an Asian stir fry garden, a tomato sauce garden or a Native American three-sisters garden.

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Best Books for Beginning Vegetable Gardeners

There are dozens of gardening guides out there, but here are three kinds of books beginners (or an experts) might want to keep in their library.

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Hydroponic Gardening, The Very Easy Way

Larry Cipolla offers a “proven indoor and outdoor system for year-round gardening.” 

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Three Books for Beginning Veg Gardeners in the North

A few years ago (gosh, it was 10!), I did a list of best books for beginning gardeners, with a focus on vegetable gardening. Those books are still good options, but several more recent books are really worth adding to your collection. And, any of them would make a wonderful gift for a young gardener just starting out.

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The Fruit Gardener’s Bible

The Fruit Gardener’s Bible is a detailed overview of how to grow a large variety of fruits. After covering the basics of soil, sun and site, the authors start with the easiest fruits to grow—raspberries and strawberries—and move on from there.

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Houseplant Party

Now that's our kind of party!

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The Earth in Her Hands

Jennifer Jewell shines a light on the work of 75 women in horticulture and gardening.

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New Naturalism

Horticulturist Kelly D. Norris shares ideas and inspiration for a "nature-forward" approach to home garden design. 

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The Backyard Homesteader

Written by Alison Candlin, this new release offers tremendous practical advice and guidance towards growing a garden that helps provide self-resiliency. 

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Freeze Fresh: The Ultimate Guide to Preserving 55 Fruits and Vegetables for Maximum Flavor and Versatility

Capturing the peak flavor of freshly harvested produce and preserving it for year-round eating is easier than ever with Freeze Fresh, the ultimate guide to freezing and enjoying more than 55 popular fruits and vegetables. Author Crystal Schmidt shares her time-tested preparation techniques that ensure color, texture, and flavor are retained in the freezer.

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Indoor Kitchen Gardening

Minnesotan Elizabeth Millard has the right attitude. In the book’s introduction, Millard co-owner of Bossy Acres, a vegetable farm now operating in Bruno, MN., says that growing food indoors is “about creating a sense of play and nourishment.” She promises that the book will deliver “easy growing practices so indoor kitchen gardening feels more like a fun journey than a daunting task.”

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The Northern Heartland Kitchen (Review and Recipe)

Beth Dooley marches through the seasons, creating recipes and meals with ingredients most likely to be local in markets in the North. 

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Vertical Vegetables

Amy Andrychowicz walks gardeners through the basics of why to grow up rather than out and which plants do best in elevated planters and on trellises and other growing apparatuses. She discusses the best materials for different types of structures and how to maintain plants, such as beans, indeterminate tomatoes, heavy squashes and peas.

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Postage Stamp Vegetable Garden

Karen Newcomb packs a lot into 217 pages on growing ornamental edibles in keeping with her philosophy of packing a lot into small gardens. She includes options for planning, prepping and planting a garden, be it a container up to a 10-foot-by-10-foot bed, and offers 11 sample postage stamp garden layouts.

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The Wildlife-Friendly Vegetable Gardener

Tammi Hartung offers gardeners a philosophy toward wildlife and a variety of methods for giving creatures what they want while still growing enough food for yourself.


Grow it, MN!

Grow it, Minnesota!

Mary Lahr Schier, editor of Northern Gardener magazine, helps cold-climate gardeners grow veggies. fruits flowers and more.

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What's Killing My Kale?

Get research-based solutions to pest issues affecting fruit and vegetable crops from the University of Minnesota Extension.

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Seed Stories

Discover a unique garden seed variety each episode with interviews, history, seed saving techniques and more.

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Science, art and dinner—it's all in your backyard.

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Cultivating Place: Conversations on Natural History and the Human Impulse to Garden

This North State Public Radio production delves into conversations that explore the complexities of gardening and its potential as an avenue for creating positive change in the world.

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The Daily Gardener

Listen. Garden. Repeat. Jennifer Ebeling digs into botanical history, great gardening reads and unearthed words.

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The joe gardener Show

In this podcast devoted to organic gardening, grow with Joe Lamp'l, host of PBS' Growing a Greener World.

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Epic Gardening

Daily gardening tips and advice from Kevin Espiritu, an urban gardener, hydroponics enthusiast and all-around plant lover.

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The Gardenangelists

Passionate gardeners and authors Carol Michel and Dee Nash chat about flowers, veggies and all the best dirt on gardening.

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In Defense of Plants

Ecologist and podcaster Matt Candeias shares his favorite stories about plants and his obsession with the botanical world.


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Disease Resistant Basils

Basil Downy Mildew disease and a desire for something different have led gardeners to search for disease resistant varieties of basil.


Downy Mildew Resistant Impatiens Cultivars

Before, nothing could keep impatiens downy mildew at bay - now, it’s time to plant impatiens again.

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Aster Yellows vs. Eriophyid Mites on Coneflower

Learn about these two common plant issues and which could be impacting your garden.


Tomato Diseases

Blossom end rot and early blight made an appearance in 2013...


What's Wrong with My Plant?

Diagnose problems in the yard and garden caused by insects, diseases and nonliving factors using the University of Minnesota's Plant Pathogen Tool.

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What to Do About Scorched Plants

Discovering that your plants have crispy, browning edges? Find out more about potential causes of leaf scorch and what you can do. 


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Buckthorn Control Resources

A handout from our Buckthorn Control Made Easy webinar provides a list of helpful resources for managing this invasive plant.

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Canada Thistle

A "Prohibited Noxious Weed" in MN, Canada Thistle presents many challenges to the health of the region's prairies, wetlands, savannas and other habitats.

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Oriental Bittersweet Control

A resource for controlling oriental bittersweet.

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How to Deal with Creeping Charlie

This article explores different perspectives on creeping Charlie and how you can approach the presence of this plant in your garden.

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Buckthorn Stump & Seedling Management

This handy pamphlet has information on Buckthorn Stump and Seedling Management.

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Herbicide Treatment for Buckthorn

Consider suspending cut-stump treatment of buckthorn from the beginning of spring ground thaw until buckthorn is fully leafed out, approximately April to July.


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Native Plant ID Resources

Xerces Society's Karin Jokela shares her favorite websites, apps and books for identifying native plants.


Alternatives to Invasive Plants

Here are some alternatives to invasive plants, including some popular garden plants that are threatening native areas. 

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Northern Natives: Whorled Milkweed

This Milkweed species is an important host plant for many pollinators, blooming later in the season and in drought conditions. 

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Native Aster Species for Northern Gardeners

Garden designer Benjamin Vogt takes a deeper look at the wide array of Aster varieties and their many benefits in your garden.    

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Native Plant Landscaping for Wetlands and Rain Gardens Webinar

In this MSHS webinar, ecological restoration specialist Cheryl Culbreth discusses native plants that thrive in wet conditions. 

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Pollinator Conservation Resources - Great Lakes Region

Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation provides region-specific resources about planning, creating, maintaining, and restoring pollinator habitat.

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What You Plant Matters

Deep Roots KC is a Kansas based organization dedicated to encouraging the appreciation, conservation, and use of native plants in the heartland through educating, collaborating, and facilitating the planting of regenerative native landscapes that are essential for a healthy planet.


Landscaping with Native Plants

Learn about landscaping with native plants from ecological restoration specialist Cheryl Culbreth.

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Native Plant Identification Webinar

In this webinar, pollinator conservation planner Karin Jokela shares handy tools and resources to help identify native plants.

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Learn about Native Plants

Explore the benefits and different varieties of natives. Also, find which species grow best in various conditions, from dry prairies to wet meadows to shallow water.


Native Columbine

Delicate, dangling blooms of red petals with yellow stamens often turn up in the most unexpected places. 

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Plant Profile: Eastern Red Columbine

Learn more about this versatile native plant and its growing conditions.

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Minnesota Wildflowers

This website offers an extensive field guide to native and non-native wild plants that grow in Minnesota. 

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Top 10 Native Pollinator Plants

Brought to you by Birds, Bees, & Butterflies - Bemidji, check out this list of top native plants that are super foods for pollinators in Minnesota. 

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Native Plant Landscaping for Wetlands & Rain Gardens

Resources for native plant landscaping for wetlands and rain gardens.


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Jumping Worms in MN

Here's what we know so far, with links to additional resources.


The European Chafer Beetle in MN

A new and potentially very destructive lawn pest has been discovered for the first time in Minnesota. 


Magnolia Scale

This insect has been around for years and can be devastating to magnolias. Here's what you need to know.

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Garden Solution: Spider Mites

A helpful guide on how to navigate and manage spider mites in your garden.

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Invasive Jumping Worms Lecture - PBS Wisconsin

In this PBS Wisconsin University Place Lecture, Brad Herrick, an ecologist at the UW-Madison Arboretum, presents on the basic biology and identification of earthworms. 

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A New Invader: Jumping Worms

"Jumping worms can destroy soil and forests, and gardeners are on the front lines." Written by Gail Hudson, this story is featured in the January/February 2022 issue of the Northern Gardener magazine.

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Invasive Jumping Worms

Impacts and prevention explained by Dr. Lee Frelich, Director of the Center for Forest Ecology at the UMN.


Japanese Beetle Facts

Japanese beetles can be a significant landscape pest and difficult to tolerate, particularly when they first become abundant in an area. 


Three Bad Bugs for Northern Gardeners

Three insects University of Minnesota entomologist Jeff Hahn thinks northern gardeners should watch out for...

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Squash Vine Borers: What to Know

Tips on how to protect your plants from these insects and prevent an infestation.

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Jumping Worms and Compost Facilities Webinar

Hosted by the Minnesota Composting Council, this webinar discusses strategies for preventing the spread of jumping worms at compost and mulch sites. 

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Grubs vs. Nematodes: Showdown in the Soil

This resource explains the relationship between grubs and nematodes and provides some tips for getting rid of grubs.


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Planting a Pollinator Tea Garden

Create a garden that will nourish both pollinators and people.

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Plant Herbs for Pollinators

It’s a good idea to plant herbs for pollinators, because so many herbs are useful plants for the larvae of butterflies and useful moths.


What Is A Bee Lawn?

We’re seeing more interest in “bee lawns,” including support from the state of Minnesota to encourage lawns that are good for pollinators and the planet.


Attracting Hummingbirds to Your Garden

Tips and strategies for encouraging hummingbirds into your garden.

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Best Plants for Hummingbirds

Here's what to plant if you're looking to attract hummingbirds. 

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Gardening for Pollinators: Nesting Habitat and Specialist Bees

A handy guide of resources compiled by Julia Brokaw about gardening to support bee habitat. 

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Lawns to Legumes: Your Yard Can BEE the Change

Learn about the Lawns to Legumes pilot program and how you can get involved.

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Help Pollinators by Planting a Bee-Friendly Lawn

In this article, Mary Meyer and Michelle Wisdom discuss the Bee Lawn Demonstration at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.

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Top 10 Native Pollinator Plants

Brought to you by Birds, Bees, & Butterflies - Bemidji, check out this list of top native plants that are super foods for pollinators in Minnesota. 

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How to Build a Bee House

Learn how you can build this shelter and help attract mason and leaf-cutter bees.

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Soft Landings: Critical Habitat for Pollinators

This article by Heather Holm centers around the importance of soft landings, native plantings for pollinators under keystone trees. 

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How to Create Habitat for Stem-nesting Bees

A helpful guide from the UMN Bee Lab on what steps you can take to support stem-nesting bees. 

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Landscaping with Pollinators

Check out this helpful resource guide to landscaping with pollinators!


Best Plants for Hummingbirds

MSHS Pollinator Paks contain many pollinator-friendly plants - here are the ones hummingbirds love!


Best Plants for Butterflies

Here are Heather Holm's recommendations for best plants for butterflies for different sun and soil conditions.

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Pollinator Paks™

Look for Pollinator Paks™ at garden centers and nurseries late May through September. Each pack includes six plants, ready to drop in the ground and known to attract pollinators.

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Upper Midwest Citizen Scientist Pollinator Monitoring Guide: Native Bees

A guide from the Xerces Society on how to monitor native bees in pollinator habitats.

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Plant Profile: Monarda Punctata

Also known as Spotted Bee Balm, this plant is a pollinator magnet!

Pollinator Conservation and Climate Change

Pollinator Conservation and Climate Change

Check out these resources about gardening to support pollinators amidst the challenges of a changing climate. 

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UMN Bee Lab Flowering Lawns and Land Managers Toolkit

Interested in the benefits of a flowering lawn? Take a look at these resources.

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Planting and Maintaining a Bee Lawn

Helpful tips for transitioning towards a pollinator-friendly lawn. 

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Annual Flowers That Attract Pollinators

9 annual flowers that attracted the most pollinators in a study that looked at more than 30 annual flowers. Brought to you by the UMN Extension.

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Guide to Minnesota Bumble Bees: Female and Male

Learn all about Minnesota's bumble bees in this UMN Extension guide.

plants pollinators love

Plants Pollinators Love

A down-to-business, no-frills list of favorite plants for pollinators. 

Gardening with Native Grasses

Gardening with Native Grasses in Cold Climates and a Guide to the Butterflies They Support

Download this book, written by Diane M. Narem and Mary Hockenberry Meyer of the University of Minnesota, to learn about the benefits of native grasses in the Upper Midwest.

bee lawn

Bee Friendly Lawns

Learn how to protect your pollinators by creating a bee friendly lawn! Pamphlet created by Bee Safe Minneapolis.



How to Get The Most Out of Your Mulch

There are proven benefits to using mulch in the garden, but it’s important to choose the appropriate type.


Compost for Beginners

Compost makes a lot of sense once you’ve been gardening awhile, but can be confusing to new gardeners.


Tips for Making Better Compost

Probably the most common advice given for improving your garden’s performance is to add compost.


Best Books for Building Soil

To build better soil, the basic rule is add compost. For a more detailed discussion, check out these books.

building healthy soil resource sheet

Resources for Building Healthy Soil

From book recommendations to educational resources and more, this document offers an expansive list of resources tied to supporting soil health. 

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How to Read Soil Test Results

Most horticulturists recommend a soil test as the first step in planning a garden because it helps you decide what additions, if any, you need to make to the soil.


Vermi-composting Webinar

Curious to learn how you can build high-quality compost yourself? Watch this MSHS webinar presented by Nick Schneider! 


What is a Soil Amendment?

A soil amendment is anything added to soil to improve its abilities, including water retention and absorption.


An Herbal Compost Tea for Your Plants

University of Minnesota Master Gardener Shari Mayer discusses using herbs to create a potent compost tea. 


How-To: Soil Percolation Test

Northern Gardener's Nancy Rose talks about the difference soil makes in what you can grow and how you approach gardening.

Teacher Training

How-To: Soil Texture Test

Horticulturist Nancy Rose talks about the importance of knowing your soil for more garden success. 



Sustainable Roses for Northern Gardeners

Randy Nelson and David Zlesak report on roses that are particularly adapted to different climates. 


Plant Solutions for Soggy Sites

Wondering what to do with the cranberry bog in your backyard? Try these design tips for moisture loving plants instead!


82 Realistically Sustainable Gardening Tips

Go beyond organic with these creative, real-world ideas for more sustainable gardening.
Rain barrel

Rain Barrel Basics: Why, How to Set One Up, and Winterizing

Learn about how to conserve and reuse water in your garden through this guide on rain barrels.

Tips for Heatwave Gardening

Along with the challenges of growing in cold climates, northern gardeners must also navigate extreme heat. Learn about strategies for heatwave gardening. 
bee lawn

What is a Bee Lawn?

There are numerous benefits to growing a bee-friendly lawn. What is a bee lawn, exactly? Click here to find out more. 
abundant lawns

Abundant Lawns, Landscapes, and Gardens Webinar

Learn how to grow a healthy, thick lawn, luscious gardens, and thriving trees and shrubs in this presentation by Russ Henry and Chesney Engquist, owners of Minnehaha Falls Landscaping.
food forest RH

How to Create a Food Forest

Russ Henry of Minnehaha Falls Landscaping outlines in this article the eight "intertwined layers in a well-planned food forest." 
green mulch wild ones RH

How to Create "Green Mulch" in Your Yard

Great tips from Wild Ones Twin Cities on how to incorporate native vegetation into your garden as a mulch.
rain garden

Rain Gardens: Solving Drainage and Water Quality Issues

Rain gardens are a simple, elegant
solution to solving drainage issues on
properties and water quality issues
state-wide. Learn more about the benefits and considerations for starting your own rain garden in this resource from Minnehaha Landscaping!

Rainscaping for Water Efficiency

Gardeners employing a variety of techniques to keep rainwater on their properties protect local watersheds.


Sustainable Hardscaping for an Earth-Wise Garden

Consider the more stony parts of a garden, such as pathways, fences, and outdoor furniture.


To Lawn or Not to Lawn, that is the Question

More gardeners are choosing to forgo lawns in favor of more environmentally-friendly options.
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Effective Watering Strategies for Northern Gardeners

Effective watering strategies are foundational to a successful northern garden. Learn when, how much, and how to water. 
eco friendly yard

Creating an Eco-Friendly Yard

A comprehensive guide of tips, resources, and plant recommendations to transform your yard.   
right plant right place

Plant Selection: Right Plant, Right Place, Right Purpose!

Learn from Extension educator Julie Weisenhorn about sustainable plant selection and what factors to consider when choosing plants to grow. 
Kevin Espiritu RH

How Can We Make the Most of Our Edible Gardens? Growing Tips from Kevin Espiritu

Youtube star Kevin Espiritu shares his top 5 tips for increasing your garden's yield in this SUNSET article. 
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Backyard Food Forests Webinar

Learn how to transform your yard into an abundant food forest in this MSHS webinar, hosted by Russ Henry of Minnehaha Falls Landscaping. 
living mulch presentation RH

Living Mulch: Using Native Plants to Replace Traditional Mulch

What's Living Mulch? Great question! Find out more in this presentation by Kaitlyn O’Connor, Plant Ecologist at ISG Inc.



Hydroponic Gardening Webinar

Hydroponic expert Larry Cipolla outlines easy ways to grow a variety of vegetables without soil in this MSHS webinar. 


Pots vs. Raised Beds vs. Traditional Beds

Should you plant their garden in the ground, or in raised beds, or even in pots? Each of these choices has advantages—and disadvantages.

rug garden map

Rug Gardens: Big Harvests, Little Spaces

Join the discussion about what it would take to grow food for two from a 9-by-12 foot plot—what they called a “rug garden.”

perennials in containers

Growing Perennials in Containers

Learn about some options for how to grow perennials in containers in northern gardens. 

geraniums indoors

Overwintering Tropical Plants

In northern gardens, many tropical plants need special care to survive the colder months. Learn more about why and how to overwinter. 

elevated garden bed

Building a Raised Bed with Legs

There are several reasons to consider adding elevated garden beds into your garden. And you can build one yourself!

growing organic edibles in small spaces

Growing Organic Edibles in Small Spaces Webinar

Think creatively about the many ways and places you can grow fruits and vegetables! Watch this MSHS webinar to learn more. 

rain garden rh

Rain Gardens Slow Water/Add Beauty to Landscape

Learn about how rain gardens crucially support resilient urban landscapes in this Minnesota Farm Guide article. 

low tunnel

How to Build a Low Tunnel

Low tunnels are a great investment to extend your season, especially in locations with unpredictable springs.

native plants for shady spots webinar

Landscaping for Shade with Native Plants Webinar

Watch this MSHS Webinar to learn from Cheryl Culbreth, an Ecological Restoration Specialist, as she shares her favorite native plants for shady spots.


Shade Tolerant Vegetables to Try

There are shade tolerant vegetables, especially if you have partial shade or dappled shade.

Here's another gate -- this one in Duluth. The gardener has covered the arbor with grapes.

Extreme Gardening: Duluth

“Extreme Gardening" offers suggestions for gardening in extreme weather, such as heat, humidity, cold, drought and flood — and, of course, snow, which we have dealt with so much.

cold frame

Add a Cold Frame to Extend the Season

Hoping to extend the growing season of your garden? Learn how a cold frame can make it possible to continue growing greens, root vegetables, and more as winter approaches. 

First frost

Strategies for the First Frost and Beyond

What does the first frost mean for your garden? Gain some insight on how to navigate and prepare for this transition into winter.  

raised bed

Building Raised Bed Gardens: 2 Basic Options

Building a raised bed doesn't have to a difficult. Read this article to learn how to build a basic box. 

hellstrip garden rh

Hellstrip Gardening

Jen Ehlert provides helpful advice for establishing and maintaining successful boulevard gardens in this resource. 

hellstrip gardening rh

Hellstrip Gardening Webinar

Enjoy this hour-long webinar by presenter Jen Ehlert on boulevard garden design and maintenance. 


garlic mustard

Getting Rid of Garlic Mustard

Cheryl Culbreth, founder of Landscape Restoration, Inc. shares resources for battling this noxious weed.


Canada Thistle

Laura Schwarz discusses invasive species removal with Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense).


Have You Tried Weedless Gardening?

Lee Reich's primer on weedless gardening for Northern Gardener.


Identifying Weeds

This UMN Extension diagnostic tool will help you identify and manage common weeds.

Ground-ivy (Glechoma hederacea) is an invasive edible species in the mint family that is native to Europe and southwestern Asia and was introduced into the United States before the late 1600’s, probably for medical purposes.  It is also known as gill-over-the-ground, creeping charlie, alehoof, tunhoof, catsfoot, field balm, run-away-robin, Lizzie-Run-Up-The-Hedge, Herbe St. Jean, or creeping jenny.

How To Deal With Creeping Charlie

Laura Schwarz weighs in about Creeping Charlie, formally known as Glechoma hederacea


Minnesota Noxious Weeds List

Noxious weeds - annual, biennial, or perennial plants that have the potential to threaten human or animal health.


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Even in the dead of winter in the Upper Midwest, here are some garden-related chores you can tackle ...

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The ground is finally starting to thaw ...

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The garden's finally heating up ...

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Kick back and reap what you've sown ...

apple tree


That summer heat is fading into fall ...

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Brace yourselves—another winter's coming ...

fall into winter

Fall into Winter

Compiled by the Ramsey County Master Gardeners, these resources provide extensive information on everything garden-related during September-February. 

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Show your garden some love during the Valentine's season ...

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Early spring to-dos ...

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Summer's setting in ...

veggie gardener


Weed, water and harvest ...

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Leaves, pumpkins and winding down ...

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And just like that, it's winter again ...

spring into summer rh

Spring into Summer Webinar

Join Ramsey County Master Gardeners and learn how to wake up your garden!


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Dig in!

New to northern gardening? High five! Let us help you find your zone, prep your soil and get started ...

plant tag

How to Read a Plant Tag

A walk-through of how to read and understand all of the information you might find on a plant tag. 

essential tools

Let's Grow Stuff: Essential Tools

As part of the PBS Wisconsin "Let's Grow Stuff" series, this introductory gardening video focuses on the essential tools for getting started in the garden. 

tick resource

Lyme Disease Awareness and Prevention

Helpful tips for Minnesotans on managing tick bites and preventing Lyme disease.  

garden planning

Garden Planning Handout

Everything you need to know when you're getting started with garden planning for the season.


How To Water Your New Plants

It is no secret that proper watering is THE BEST thing you can do to ensure the long-term health and beauty of your new plants. But what does ‘proper’ watering mean? Continue reading to learn the in’s and out’s of proper watering!

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Food Safety Fact Sheets

University of Minnesota Extension developed these fact sheets related to Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule

basic garden terms

Basic Garden Terms Explained

A helpful, easy-to-read guide to garden terminology 101.

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Find Your Hardiness Zone

Determining the hardiness zone of where you're gardening is key. Read here to find out!

zone 4 guide

Zone 4 Planting Guide

Check out this handy Northern Gardener Guide to planting in Zone 4 created by MSHS. 

Tick webinar RH

What Every Minnesotan Should Know About Tick-Borne Diseases Webinar

In this MSHS webinar, Dr. Maloney provides information about Lyme and other tick borne diseases, as well as strategies to prevent tick bites.

tree planting

How To Plant A Tree

It’s never fun to watch a tree die. It is especially painful when it’s a tree you recently purchased and planted. Watch this video with Jay Maier, General Manager of Sargent’s and ISA Board Certified Master Arborist, to learn how to properly plant a tree.

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Ask a Gardening Question

Have a gardening question? Get research-based answers from local Master Gardener volunteers. 

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Introduction to Mushroom Cultivation

Learn how to cultivate mushrooms in this free webinar.


tomato rainbow

Is It Ripe Yet?

Knowing when to pick vegetables for peak taste and texture is a skill many gardeners develop after years of trial and error. Generally, however, vegetables fall into two categories.


Preserving Herbs

As we get to the end of the gardening season, herbs become more precious than ever. What’s your favorite way to preserve herbs for the winter?

Yellow Patty Pan summer squash harvest

Savoring Summer Squash

You’re busily attempting to keep up with the watering and weeding that midsummer necessitates; and all the while, you’re eyeing the ever-growing number of summer squash populating your plants...

storing winter squash

How to Store Squash for Winter

When stored properly, winter squash can keep for weeks or months. Read for handy harvest and storage tips! 

food preserving

National Center for Home Food Preservation

The National Center for Home Food Preservation is a trusted source for current research-based recommendations for most methods of home food preservation.


When To Harvest Vegetables

Generally speaking, picking early and often is the best way to harvest vegetables for maximum production. However, there are crop-specific approaches to harvesting.


Preserving the Harvest from Your Vegetable Garden

You have several options preserving the harvest to enjoy next winter when its home-grown taste will be so appreciated!

Citrullus Crimson Suits

Is My Melon Ready?

You may be looking at the wild vines in your vegetable garden and wondering if your melon is ripe yet. Here’s how to tell.

u of m extension preserving

Preserving and Preparing Food Safely, U of M Extension

The University of Minnesota Extension has a great blog on preserving and preparing food safely. The blog includes tips and tricks, videos, recipes, information on in person classes and so much more!

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When to Harvest Vegetables and Fruit for Best Flavor

When are vegetables and fruit at the peak of flavor? See our Harvest Guide to know when produce is ready to harvest. It’s all about recognizing the signs that tell you when your crops are ripe. We’ll cover when to harvest potatoes, zucchini and squash, garlic, onions, corn, and more!


summer bulb bouquet

Summer Bulbs: Planting and Care

Summer bulbs are the show-offs of the garden. They’re big, they’re bright, they’re colorful, some are even a little bit loud—and that’s what we love about them!


Roughing Up Roots for Summer Planting

Whatever plant you buy, it has been sitting in its pot a long, long time. Now is a time when a gardener needs to get rough.

plants for cutting garden

Plants for a Cutting Garden

Author Susie Morris offers her plant recommendations for a stunning cut flower garden.

tulip bulbs in bloom

Top 3 Tips for Fall Bulb Planting

If you have a new garden, fall bulb planting is a great way to add to the spring beauty of your garden before your shrubs and perennials come into their own.

Betula platyphylla

Fall Planting: How Late Can You Go?

Fall is a great time for planting, though as we get past mid-October, the question is how late in fall can you plant?

grow cut flower garden

Grow a Cut Flower Garden

Grow your own flowers for a season of beautiful bouquets! With these helpful tips, you'll be growing your own arrangements in no time. 


growing natives from seed

Growing Natives from Seed Webinar

In this MSHS Webinar, David Woods, conservation program director for Urban Roots, shares how you can propagate seeds for planting.

winter sowing

Winter and Spring Sowing

How to get started and hints to keep growing.


Our Favorite Seed Sources for Vegetable Gardens

If you’ve tried to start your own vegetable seeds, you’ll find a lot of choices —both for varieties as well as places to buy them. Here are some catalogs that we like.


How to Make Seed-Starting Mix

Gardeners who start a lot of plants from seed or want to control all the elements of their seed starting may want to make their own seed starting mix.

soil temperature

Using Soil Temperature to Decide When to Plant

Consider using soil temperature as a tool to help decide when to plant in your garden. 

collecting seed

Collecting Seed

Ready to jump into seed collection? Take a look at these tips from our MN SEED project pros on how to responsibly collect seed. 

vegetables and perennials for winter sowing

Vegetables and Perennials for Winter Sowing

Created by Michelle Mero Riedel, this list is a great resource to reference when choosing vegetables and perennials for winter and spring sowing. 

seed starting - spanish

Seminario Web de Inicio de Semillas

Courtney Tchida, Director de programas comunitarios. Traducido y presentado en Español por: Milena Nunez Garcia, U of MN Extension SNAP-Ed Educator. 


How to Collect Sneezeweed Seeds

Learn how to collect Sneezeweed seeds in this short video by Courtney Tchida!

Rattlesnake Master

How to Collect Rattlesnake Master Seeds

Learn how to collect Rattlesnake Master seeds in this short video by Courtney Tchida!

common milkweed

How to Collect Common Milkweed Seeds

Learn how to collect Common Milkweed seeds in this short video by Courtney Tchida!

obedient plant

How to Collect Obedient Plant Seeds

Learn how to collect Obedient Plant seeds in this short video by Courtney Tchida!


Seed Shopping Tips for Budget-Conscious Gardeners

The snow looks gray and gross, the sun hasn’t been out in weeks, and April seems a long way off. Time for some seed shopping!


When To Start Tomato Seeds?

Yes, the thermometer out my window reads 10 degrees F; today is a good day to start tomatoes from seed. Read to find out why!


Seeds vs. Starter Plants

How do you figure out which seeds to start indoors and which starter plants to buy from the garden center?


winter sowing milk jugs

Winter Sowing Step-by-Step Instructions

A straight-forward and easy-to-follow guide to sowing seeds outdoors during the winter. 

seed saving tools

Seed Saving Tools

A comprehensive list of tools, guides, and resources on seed saving. 

guide to seed collecting

Guide to Seed Collecting

Check out these quick and simple steps to learning about seed collecting. 

soil germination

Soil Germination Conditions

This resource provides a table of the soil temperature ranges that are optimal for germination of different plants.

Winter Sowing How to Transplant RH

Winter Sowing: How to Transplant Video

In this short video, learn how to transplant seedlings from your winter sowing containers.

sideoats Grama

How to Collect Sideoats Grama Seeds

Learn how to collect Sideoats Grama seeds in this short video by Courtney Tchida!

Golden Alexander

How to Collect Golden Alexander Seeds

Learn how to collect Golden Alexander seeds in this short video by Courtney Tchida!

blue wild indigo

How to Collect Blue Wild Indigo Seeds

Learn how to collect Blue Wild Indigo seeds in this short video by Courtney Tchida!

anise hyssop

How to Collect Anise Hyssop Seeds

Learn how to collect Anise Hyssop seeds in this short video by Courtney Tchida!


seed library

Seed Library List

Check out this MN SEED project resource to find out about seed libraries in your local community! 

Garden Clubs Map

Local Gardening Clubs Map

Want to connect with plant lovers near you? Use this map to find local garden clubs, plant societies or master gardener groups near you.

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Sign up for Community Garden Listserv

This online group is for the community of growers in the Twin Cities Metro Area to share timely information, seek advice from other gardeners, and learn about resources available to gardeners.

urban ventures farm nutrition

Urban Ventures Farm and Nutrition Growing Guide

Take a look at this expansive growing guide created by Urban Ventures centered around growing nutritious foods and building a healthy community.

Community Gardens map

Local Community Gardens Map

Learn more about the community gardens in your neighborhood and how you can be involved!

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Find a Pantry to Donate Food

We not only provide listings of pantries, but we also provide information on: food closets, food banks, soup kitchens, congregate meal locations, food boxes, vouchers, etc.


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Speaker Roster

Find experts in a wide range of gardening and environmental topics for your next garden club meeting or special event.


Garden Clubs Map

Garden Clubs

Want to grow as a gardener? Find a club or society near you and join a community of northern gardeners.


Master Gardeners

More coming soon!


Plant Societies

More coming soon!


Minnesota Dahlia Society

An all-volunteer organization, MDS promotes the growing, showing and enjoyment of dahlias. Affiliated with the American Dahlia Society.


Iris Society of Minnesota

A statewide nonprofit affiliated with the American Iris Society, this group aims to broaden interest and share information about irises.


North Star African Violet Council Twin Cities

Learn about growing, showing, hybridizing and appreciating African violets and gesneriads.

Yellow Easter Lily

North Star Lily Society

Educating members in the culture of lilies and promoting the genus Lilium. They share knowledge in the Upper Midwest, specifically Minnesota. 


Minnesota Native Plant Society

A nonprofit organization dedicated to the conservation and appreciation of Minnesota’s native plants and plant communities through education and public awareness.


American Hemerocallis Society

Organized for educational and scientific purposes, AHS promotes, encourages and fosters public interest in and development of the genus Hemerocallis.


Minnesota Hosta Society

This nonprofit, educational society promotes knowledge of, and interest in the shade-loving perennial. Find activities for members.


Twin Cities Gesneriad Society

This international nonprofit society focuses on habitat preservation, species conservation and propagation of plants of the Gesneriad family.


African Violet Society of Minnesota

Based in Scandia, MN, this educational nonprofit focuses on growing and caring for African violets.


Daffodil Society of Minnesota

Funded, in part, through a grant from the National Science Foundation through the Science Museum of MN's Community Partnerships Serving Science Program.


school garden border

School Gardens: Fences & Borders

In this guide created by Kirsten Saylor, you'll find creative ideas on how to establish a sense of place within school gardens through garden bordering.

Nutrition resources

Nutrition Curriculum Resources for School Gardens

Great resources to help you tailor your nutrition curriculum.

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Food Safety for School Gardens manual

Food safety is an important part of a sustainable, well-run garden, and supports the use of fresh, healthful garden-grown produce within the cafeteria, classroom and the community. Download this handy pdf on on planning and managing a garden with a focus on food safety!

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Youth Education Resources for Ages 5-11

Download our educational resources for students in elementary school. Lessons cover how dirt works, the role of pollinators, how nature filters water, and more! Each lesson plan comes with a free teacher's guide and video.


School Garden Support Organization Network

Learn more about how school gardens can receive ongoing support and guidance from this online community.

youth garden lessons

Youth Lessons and Activities for Gardening

Check out these resources for garden lesson inspiration! 

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Minneapolis Public Schools - School Gardens

Starting a school garden has endless benefits - from providing hands-on learning activities, to increasing food literacy, to growing fresh food for your lunchroom. Explore these resources, links, and guides in order to learn about the steps to garden with your school.


Plants with Minnesota roots webinar

Dig into the stories and history behind a long list of plants with deep MN connections.