ANNUALS

sunflower

How to Start Annuals from Seed

Starting annuals from seed can be easy and fun!

orange calibrachoa

Orange Annuals Add Oopmh!

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

SUNFLOWER (1)

Summertime Joy: Sunflowers

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

hardy annuals

Hardy Annuals

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

pink zinnia

5 Easiest Annuals to Start from Seed

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

annual salvia

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.

PERENNIALS

Perennials in fall

Planting Perennials in Fall

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

allium

Amazing Allium Webinar

Learn how to grow this showstopper in your own garden.

astilbe

Astounding Astilbe Webinar

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

salvia

Perennial Salvia Cultivars

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

salvia

Salivating for Salvia Webinar

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

Goldenrod and Asters

Goldenrod and Asters

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

perennial tulips

Garden Solutions: Perennial Tulips

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

american gold rush

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

Astilbe Cultivars

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

lilies

Growing Lilies Webinar

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

rudbeckia

Raucous Rudbeckia Webinar

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

Big Bluestem

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.

purple prairie clover

Plant Profile: Purple Prairie Clover

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

SHRUBS

baptisia shrub

5 Perennials That Act Like Shrubs

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

burningbushh2-1024x765

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.

viburnumflower1-300x205

Plant Profile: Viburnum

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

Iceberg Alley Sageleaf

Iceberg Alley Sageleaf Willow

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

tree form hydrangea

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.  

roots-e1429222563746-224x300

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.

right-size-shrubs-300x200

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.

magnolia-bloom-1024x746

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.

summer crush

Plant to Pick: Summer Crush Hydrangea macrophylla

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

hardy roses

Hardy Roses for Northern Gardeners

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

TREES

gingko

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.

hydrangea

Pruning Hydrangeas

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

redbud-1024x543

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.

Untitled design (2)

Plant Profile: Parkland Pillar Birch

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

balsam fir

Real vs. Fake and Minnesota's State Tree

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

prune-in-late-winter2-225x300

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? 

burningbushh2-1024x765

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.

VEGETABLES

veggie gardener

6 Tips for New Vegetable Gardeners

Just starting out? We can help.

cabbage garden

Handling, Harvesting and Storing Veggies

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

tomato container

Why Grow Tomatoes in Containers

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

garlic (2)

Tips for Growing Garlic

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

lettuce

Grow Lettuce Longer: Tips for Extending the Season

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

horseradish

How to Grow Horseradish

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

sweet potato

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. 

apple mint

Shade Tolerant Vegetables

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

winter sowing

Winter Sowing Vegetable Seeds

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

veggie in container

Organic Edibles for Small Spaces Webinar

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

vegetables for fall harvest

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. 

radish

Plant Profile: The Humble Radish

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

kohlrabi

Spotlight on Kohlrabi

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

garlic scapes

Great Garden Garlic + Scapes

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

FRUITS

rainbow of tomatoes homepage slider (1)

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.

strawberry plant

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.

veggie in container

Organic Edibles for Small Spaces

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

apple tree

Apple Tree Pruning Made Easy

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

blueberry plant

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.

espalier for insta (1)

Caring for Espalier Fruit Trees

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

pear tree

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!

HERBS

mint in a pot

Preserving Herbs: Ideas and Infusions

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

better basils

Disease Resistant Basils

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

patchouli-300x201

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.

dill

Plant Profile: Dill

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

herb caterpillar

Plant Herbs for Pollinators

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

photo of dill leaf

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. 

hidcote-lavender-walters

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. 

wild ginger

Plant Spotlight: Wild Ginger

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

BULBS

daffodils

Spring and Summer Bulbs Webinar

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

pink dahlia

Growing Dahlias in Minnesota

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

canna lily pretoria

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.

dahlias

Growing Bulbs, Tubers and Bare Roots

Tips and tricks for storing and planting...

orange dahlias

Growing Summer Bulbs Webinar

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

HOUSEPLANTS

shayla

Top Picks from the Plant Penthouse

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

bromeliads on virtual garden tour

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.

moving houseplants indoors

Tips for Moving Houseplants Indoors for Winter

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

cat and houseplant

10 Safe Houseplants for Cats and Dogs

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

IMG_2702

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.

string of hearts

Plant Profile: String of Hearts

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

BLOGS

ng blog tile for RH

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!

Untitled design - 2021-05-03T211018.527

Forks in the Dirt

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

seed savers exchange

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. 

seed to fork blog tile for RH (1)

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.

Untitled design - 2021-05-03T210414.523

My Northern Garden

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

land stewardship

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.

BOOKS

a year in flowers

A Year in Flowers

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

uprooted book tile for RH

Uprooted

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

BraidingSweetgrass_PB_Cover_mech_Background_RGB_300

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.

perennial kitchen

The Perennial Kitchen

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

houseplant party book tile for RH

Houseplant Party

Now that's our kind of party!

earth in her hands book tile for RH

The Earth in Her Hands

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

new naturalism

New Naturalism

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

backyard homesteader

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. 

PODCASTS

Grow it, MN!

Grow it, Minnesota!

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

what's killing my kale tile for RH (1)

What's Killing My Kale?

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

seed stories

Seed Stories

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

plantrama tile for RH

Plantrama

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

cultivating place podcast

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.

the daily gardener tile for RH (1)

The Daily Gardener

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

the joe gardener show tile for RH (1)

The joe gardener Show

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

epic gardening

Epic Gardening

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

the gardenangelists tile for RH (1)

The Gardenangelists

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

In Defense of Plants RH

In Defense of Plants

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

DISEASES

better basils

Disease Resistant Basils

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

beacon-impatiens-in-garden-1024x683

Downy Mildew Resistant Impatiens Cultivars

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

Aster yellows vs. Eriophyid mires

Aster Yellows vs. Eriophyid Mites on Coneflower

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

tomatoes-with-blossom-end-rot-300x200

Tomato Diseases

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

cerco3_200px

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.

leaf scorch (1)

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. 

INVASIVE PLANTS

Buckthorn resources

Buckthorn Control Resources

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

Canada Thistle

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.

creeping charlie

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.

NATIVE PLANTS

native plant ID RH (1)

Native Plant ID Resources

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

buckthorn-300x197

Alternatives to Invasive Plants

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

Whorled Milkweed

Northern Natives: Whorled Milkweed

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

native asters

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.    

native plants rain garden

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. 

xerces society pollinator

Pollinator Conservation Resources - Great Lakes Region

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

native plant id webinar

Native Plant Identification Webinar

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

Untitled design - 2021-05-05T142115.222

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.

Wild_Columbine-bloom-300x300

Native Columbine

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

eastern red columbine

Plant Profile: Eastern Red Columbine

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

minnesota wildflowers

Minnesota Wildflowers

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

top 10 native plants

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. 

PESTS

jumping worm

Jumping Worms in MN

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

Rhizotrogus_majalis1-300x232

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-bugwood.org_

Magnolia Scale

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

spider mites

Garden Solution: Spider Mites

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

earth worm webinar

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. 

NG Jumping worms

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.

jumping worm

Invasive Jumping Worms

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

jpadulthabitusview

Japanese Beetle Facts

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

DSC03738-300x225

Three Bad Bugs for Northern Gardeners

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

Squash vine borers

Squash Vine Borers: What to Know

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

Jumping Worms Composting Webinar

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. 

PLANTING FOR POLLINATORS

Untitled design - 2021-05-27T134248.811

Planting a Pollinator Tea Garden

Create a garden that will nourish both pollinators and people.

herb caterpillar

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.

bee-on-bee-lawn-canva-image

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.

hummingbird

Attracting Hummingbirds to Your Garden

Tips and strategies for encouraging hummingbirds into your garden.

plants for hummingbirds

Best Plants for Hummingbirds

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

ground-nesting bees

Gardening for Pollinators: Nesting Habitat and Specialist Bees

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

lawns to legumes

Lawns to Legumes: Your Yard Can BEE the Change

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

arb bee lawn

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.

top 10 native plants

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. 

bee house

How to Build a Bee House

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

Soft Landings

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. 

stem nesting bee resource

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. 

colorful-hummingbird-branch_146066-10

Best Plants for Hummingbirds

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

butterfly-on-ray-flower-300x200

Best Plants for Butterflies

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

bee on allium

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.

native bees

Upper Midwest Citizen Scientist Pollinator Monitoring Guide: Native Bees

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

spotted beebalm

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. 

bee lawn

UMN Bee Lab Flowering Lawns and Land Managers Toolkit

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

planting bee lawn

Planting and Maintaining a Bee Lawn

Helpful tips for transitioning towards a pollinator-friendly lawn. 

lemon queen sunflower

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.

MN Bumble Bees

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. 

SOIL AMENDMENT

BULKCEDAR

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-system-copy

Compost for Beginners

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

IMG_4797-300x200

Tips for Making Better Compost

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

weedless-cover-225x300

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. 

vermi-compost

Vermi-composting Webinar

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

R41c4271badc3e5cd4f644856a1ee5b9d

What is a Soil Amendment?

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

comfrey-199x300

An Herbal Compost Tea for Your Plants

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

R51f6dcdb24342f077e7bcf2b2f32a017

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 GARDENING

Coral_KnockOut_Blooms_0031

Sustainable Roses for Northern Gardeners

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

raingardennearporch

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!

a8a57b-20140203-winter-garden2

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.
heatwave

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." 
download

Rainscaping for Water Efficiency

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

98713729b32a86c2fa6ded27788dd048

Sustainable Hardscaping for an Earth-Wise Garden

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

55f0f92240a61faf62649ba5d8b21625

To Lawn or Not to Lawn, that is the Question

More gardeners are choosing to forgo lawns in favor of more environmentally-friendly options.
watering strategies (1)

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. 
backyard food forests rh

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. 

TOUGH GROWING LOCATIONS

hydroponic

Hydroponic Gardening Webinar

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

raised-beds-300x130

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.

chard-1-683x1024

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. 

WEEDS

garlic mustard

Getting Rid of Garlic Mustard

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

canada-thistle-invasion-

Canada Thistle

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

weedless-cover-231x300

Have You Tried Weedless Gardening?

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

weeds

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

b-swallow-wortflower

Minnesota Noxious Weeds List

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

MONTH-BY-MONTH GARDENING

Untitled design - 2021-05-11T154035.066

January

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

Untitled design - 2021-05-11T151558.984

March

The ground is finally starting to thaw ...

Untitled design - 2021-05-11T152714.063

May

The garden's finally heating up ...

Untitled design - 2021-05-11T152224.055

July

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

apple tree

September

That summer heat is fading into fall ...

Untitled design - 2021-05-11T153427.120

November

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. 

Untitled design - 2021-05-11T151743.148

February

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

Untitled design - 2021-05-11T151419.077

April

Early spring to-dos ...

Untitled design - 2021-05-11T152343.065

June

Summer's setting in ...

veggie gardener

August

Weed, water and harvest ...

Untitled design - 2021-05-11T152106.090

October

Leaves, pumpkins and winding down ...

Untitled design - 2021-05-11T151927.068

December

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!

GETTING STARTED

Untitled design - 2021-05-11T160646.335

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.

basic garden terms

Basic Garden Terms Explained

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

hardiness zone (1)

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.

HARVESTING & PRESERVING

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.

IMG_6808

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! 

tomato-harvest-summer

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.

yellow-pear-tomato-jam-300x178

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.

PLANTING & CARE

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!

roots-e1429222563746-224x300

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. 

SOWING & SAVING SEEDS

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.

2013SSECatalog_cover_free-231x300

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.

SeedStart

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. 

seed-catalogs

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!

tomato-seedlngs-300x189

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!

seedling-stretched-300x162

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.

COMMUNITY GARDENS

seed library

Seed Library List

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

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. 

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.

hardiness zone (1)

Find Your Hardiness Zone

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

PRESENTERS

Untitled design - 2021-05-11T161626.108

Speaker Roster

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

GARDEN CLUBS AND PLANT SOCIETIES

MSHS_Districts-888x1024

Garden Clubs

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

MSHS_Districts-888x1024

Master Gardeners

More coming soon!

MSHS_Districts-888x1024

Plant Societies

More coming soon!

J007c

Minnesota Dahlia Society

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

R21afa2fa631b9141412ec73bbe6a9aff

Iris Society of Minnesota

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

IMG_2702

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. 

Blueberry-Hill-Washington-County-1024x683

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.

OIP

American Hemerocallis Society

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

R324eb84fa6bd31f64f77c9a7414b5d79

Minnesota Hosta Society

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

ges-table-stfr-avsm-show_orig

Twin Cities Gesneriad Society

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

Butterflys_Sparkle_Fairy_9019A

African Violet Society of Minnesota

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

Pseudonarcissus-1W-Y

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 GARDENS

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.

SGSO

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! 

MINNESOTA PLANTS

Plants with Minnesota roots webinar

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