Deer resistant plants

Fri. Jul. 18, 2014

Click below to listen to my Garden Bite radio show:  Deer resistant plants

While I admire the brown-eyed beauty of the white tail deer, I do NOT admire their munching on my plants!

These 2 delightful deer were on their way to my Hosta Cafe.  There are deer “resistant” plants.  Notice I said “resistant” not “proof”!

Well, short of not feeding them, there are some plants that deer don’t particularly care for.  They include:

  • Columbine
  • Coneflower
  • Sage
  • Yarrow
  • Lily of the Valley
  • Lenten Rose
  • Bleeding Heart
  • Foxglove
  • Heliopsis
  • Beebalm aka
 … [Continue reading]

New plant labeling to protect pollinators

Thu. Jul. 17, 2014



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Tuesday, July 15, 2014


New plant labeling law is in effect to protect pollinators


ST. PAUL, Minn. – A new plant labeling law is now in effect in Minnesota to protect pollinators, such as honeybees, from expose to toxic levels of insecticides. The new law become effective July 1 and requires that plants advertised as “beneficial to pollinators” must be free of detectable levels of certain systemic insecticides.


The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) will enforce the law. MDA Director of Plant Protection Geir Friisoe says  … [Continue reading]

Blossom end rot

Thu. Jul. 17, 2014

Click below to listen to my Garden Bite radio show:  Blossom end rot

I had one red tomato so far…  yup, I ate it!  😉  It wasn’t quite ripe but still tastier than any store bought!

Homegrown tomatoes are the BEST!  But blossom end rot is not!

A calcium deficiency will bring about blossom end rot.  Uneven watering is one of the biggest culprits.  There are foliar sprays but they only help BEFORE the tomato has blossom end rot, and, as you’ll see from the University of Minnesota, there’s disagreement  … [Continue reading]

Cover crops and groundcovers

Wed. Jul. 16, 2014

Click below to listen to my Garden Bite radio show:  Cover crops and groundcovers

Your lettuce is probably looking limp now.  This heat is ridiculous and it’s taking it’s toll on our cooler climate veggies.  Well then, perhaps you should take advantage of that bare spot and plant buckwheat!

Buckwheat is a fast growing crop that will enrich your soil. When tilled in, the buckwheat adds organic matter and makes soil nutrients, like phosphorus and calcium, more accessible to fall crops.  Buckwheat’s dense foliage also blocks out sun to weed  … [Continue reading]

A second season

Tue. Jul. 15, 2014

Click below to listen to my Garden Bite radio show:  A Second Season

If you’re still hankering for some lettuce, more beets, some carrots or kale – you can plant a second season.  We’ve got about 10 more weeks of growing.  Maybe more, maybe less.  Check on the days to maturity of certain vegetables that you might want to give a second planting too.

The seeds will sprout quicker with the soil so warm.  You will want to keep the seeds moist but not wet!  Once you’re vegetable seeds get  … [Continue reading]

Water saving tips

Mon. Jul. 14, 2014

Click below to listen to my Garden Bite radio show:  Water saving tips

Over watering is one of the most destructive things we do to our plants.  If they go limp, we automatically reach for the hose.  Many times, that’s a mistake.   PLEASE NOTE:  we don’t normally endure days of over 100 degree temps without moisture.  Plants as a general rule, need an inch of water a week.  Supplement if you have to. MOST plants don’t like sitting in water, unless they’re water plants!  Think about you sitting in a  … [Continue reading]

Small trees for the landscape

Fri. Jul. 11, 2014

Click below to listen to my Garden Bite radio show:  small trees for the landscape

I spied a great article in the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum newsletter.  There’s a beautiful tree with a rather ugly name, Bladdernut.  It’s a native forest-edge species that has great fall color and brown bladders (which are the fruit) filled with seed.  The tree is suckering so it can be a multi-trunked shrub or pruned as a small tree that grows to 15 tall.  It can be as wide as 15’.  The creamy white droopy flowers  … [Continue reading]

Urban chicken farming

Thu. Jul. 10, 2014

Click below to listen to my Garden Bite radio show:  Urban chicken farming

From beekeeping to urban chicken farming.  It’s becoming more and more popular as people realize the benefits and cities are relaxing their restrictions.  That doesn’t mean you can just go ahead and build a coop and bring in a rooster!

Aimee McAdams, Minneapolis chicken farmer with her Barred Rock

Check your city ordinances, but likely you’ll have to get a certain percentage of your neighbors to give your their permission.  If you’re really serious about raising backyard chickens, take a class.  The University of Minnesota Extension  … [Continue reading]

Attracting bees

Wed. Jul. 9, 2014

Click below to listen to my Garden Bite radio show:  Attracting bees

While the arguments as to exactly what the reasons are rage on, let’s you and I talk about planting flowers to attract bees and to learn that we don’t have to be afraid of them.  If you’re allergic, then take the appropriate precautions.

Some flower suggestions include bee balm aka Monarda.  I just bought ‘Jacob’s Cline’ which is a very pretty red that is disease resistant.  It is suggested to plant native species for the best bee attractors.   … [Continue reading]

BEES 2014

Tue. Jul. 8, 2014

Click below to listen to my Garden Bite radio show:  Bees 2014

Bees are our survival.  And they’re in the news again.  The Star Tribune just wrote a large piece on the demise of the bee and the ramifications.  Bees pollinate our fruits, vegetables and nuts as well as flowers to continue to bring beauty  into our environment and provide nourishment for them.

They provide one of the 2 best all natural preserved foods in the world.  Honey!  The other is Maple syrup.

Lots of folks are becoming interested in  … [Continue reading]