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Your USDA Hardiness Zone

Featured Articles!

Lawn Care for Minnesota Landscapes
Has grass gotten a bad rap?

Deb Brown, garden writer and retired University of Minnesota Extension horticulturist, thinks maybe so. In a newspaper article a while back, she made some very good arguments for having a yard and garden with at least some turfgrass. Here’s her thinking:

Having a lawn is less work than maintaining a small prairie in a front yard ...

>> read “Lawn Care for Minnesota Landscapes”       #Advice   #Landscaping
Starting Seeds Now

By March, we’ve dog-eared our seed catalogs and sense that the germination of the growing season is upon us. We’ve carefully ordered (or bought at the garden center) the seeds we will nurture from seedling into fruit. Decorated packets that rattle and hiss a bit as we jostle and inspect them, have landed at our doorstep ...

>> read “Starting Seeds Now”    
Sunny and Dry? No Problem!

The key to growing plants that love sunny dry conditions is not Zone hardiness but perfect drainage. Here’s how to create that perfect spot.

>> read “Sunny and Dry? No Problem!”    
Buzz Off, Mosquito

It’s hard to wax poetic over the lowly mosquito—especially with West Nile virus. But mosquitoes deserve to be understood. (Then you can swat them.)

It was a perfect Sunday morning. I had a huge cup of coffee in one hand and the fat Sunday paper in the other. I went outside to sit on the deck and watch the sunrise ...

>> read “Buzz Off, Mosquito”    
Edible Fig
Ficus carica

Though we wouldn’t plant a fig tree (Ficus carica) outdoors with winter coming, we certainly can buy one to grow indoors then plant outside in the spring. With global climate change and the USDA Planting Zone adjustments, some fig varieties will thrive where before they’d likely have died in temperatures below 10 F ...

>> read “Edible Fig”    
Veggies Front & Center

Many gardeners would like to grow fruits and vegetables but do not have a sunny backyard. Why not use the sunny front yard? It is possible to raise edibles in the front garden and still keep your curb appeal.

>> read “Veggies Front & Center”    
Grow a Salsa Garden—Everything but Tortilla Chips

If you are a salsa fan, you can grow an edible garden designed specifically to make this spicy sauce. Tomatoes, tomatillos, hot or sweet peppers, onions, cilantro—you can grow it all ...

>> read “Grow a Salsa Garden—Everything but Tortilla Chips”    
Create a Faux Rock Garden on a Hillside or Berm

Steeply sloped areas don’t have to be ‘trouble spots.’ Hillsides can be turned into gorgeous rock gardens. Here are some tips.

>> read “Create a Faux Rock Garden on a Hillside or Berm”    
Ladybug or Lady Beetle?

The lady beetles of my childhood were affectionately called ladybugs, and my memory colors them red with black spots. However, that idyllic image, secured in legend and lore, is no longer the species most people encounter today. My grandchildren are most familiar with the orange Asian lady beetle, the one that has become a nuisance in most households ...

>> read “Ladybug or Lady Beetle?”    
‘Black Velvet’ Petunia
Petunia x hybrid ‘Black Velvet’

‘Black Velvet’ is the latest petunia to hit garden centers and is sure to be a big hit among gardening enthusiasts this spring. This unique black petunia has great potential in the landscape as it looks spectacular mixed with white, yellow and pink colors. Use other colors of petunias or accent ‘Black Velvet’ with delicate flowers like gaura, ‘Snow Princess’ lobularia or euphorbia.

>> read “‘Black Velvet’ Petunia”       #Hot Plants
Commotion ‘Moxie’ Blanketflower
Gaillardia x grandiflora ‘Moxie’

For years, there was no love lost between me and blanketflowers. Despite their colors, proud garden pennants of my alma mater Iowa State, I just didn’t dig them. So many of the seed strains lack any sort of charm or panache—they melt in the summer, fall apart into a disheveled mess by fall and reseed on top of each other, resembling an unruly mosh pit. Blech ...

>> read “Commotion ‘Moxie’ Blanketflower”       #Hot Plants
What to Prune, When?

The sky is clear. The sun is bright. The weather is ideal for pruning. You’ve found pruners, loppers, pruning saw, gloves, paper trash bags and string. Walking around the yard, you scan your garden, trees and shrubs. You’re puzzled. What DO you prune, and WHEN should you prune it?

>> read “What to Prune, When?”    
 
 
 

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