Last chance to plant


Tue. Sep. 11, 2018

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  Last chance to plant

The kids are back in school, the sweatshirts are out of storage and we’re gearing up for Fall. 

French lilac Fall leaves up close

I love this time of year. The crisp air, great sleeping weather, the color changes of leaves… and the last opportunity to plant some trees, shrubs and perennials!

This area had a lousy looking evergreen in 2012, it has continually evolved as I discover it’s potential! Let’s give
 … [Continue reading]

Stone fruits for cooler climates


Mon. Sep. 10, 2018

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  Stone fruits for cooler climates

The plums in zone 4b have been abundant this year!  A friend of mine was handing out bagfuls last weekend to any takers….  including the dogs!

bag o plums

Plums are one of the hardiest stone fruits for cooler climates but that doesn’t mean we can’t grow apricots and peaches in zone 4, you just have to plant the appropriate cultivar!  The University of MN Extension has a ton of information on  … [Continue reading]

Fall foliage 2018


Fri. Sep. 7, 2018

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  Fall foliage 2018

Weather plays a large role in what our Fall colors look like.  In particular, we get more vibrant reds when we have warm, sunny autumn days and cool nights.  Yellows and oranges tend to stay pretty consistent from year to year but all colors will be duller if we have a warm wet period during the Fall.

Maple outside my door 9-4-17

For the best color we need a warm wet Spring, a drought  … [Continue reading]

Fall plant picks – Assorted varieties


Thu. Sep. 6, 2018

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  Fall plant picks – Assorted varieties

As we work our way into Fall there are some plants that we all associate with that time of year.  I talked about some Fall picks last week, but there are more!   From nurseries to grocery stores, you’ll find annual mums.  I’ve even see GAS stations selling them.  Hmmm, best bet is your local nursery!

Mums at Eco Gardens Northfield, MN

But what about perennials. Smooth Blue Aster is a true  … [Continue reading]

Sedum aka Uncle Charlie plant


Wed. Sep. 5, 2018

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  Sedum aka Uncle Charlie plant

My sister and I called Sedum, “Uncle Charlie plant” for years.  Years ago, and I’m talking DECADES ago, he gave my mom a few slices of his ‘Autumn Joy’ sedum, who gave my sister some, who gave me some and to this day, some of them still survive in other peoples landscapes.  Remnants of “Uncle Charlie Plant” are scattered from northern Illinois to northern Minnesota!

Painted Ladies butterflies ‘Autumn Joy’ sedum 9-17
 … [Continue reading]

Lawn renovation


Tue. Sep. 4, 2018

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  Lawn renovation

Lawn time!

Our lawns are in prime growth period right now, the cooler temps and, usually, more frequent rainfall create this growth spurt.

From a home I lived in in 2006, lawn after much renovation

It’s the second best time to dethatch and aerate your lawn. Thatch is that brownish looking layer of dead tissue between the green grass and the soil. If left alone, thatch can eventually kill your lawn. Renting a mechanical dethatcher  … [Continue reading]

Labor Day…. and laboring plants that outperform!


Mon. Sep. 3, 2018

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  Labor Day…. and laboring plants that outperform!

Happy Labor day, a holiday to pay tribute to the contributions American workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.  That, according to the Dept. of Labor.

As for worker plants, well, let me tell you who to salute and, possibly select, for your own gardens.  Topping the list is echinacea aka coneflower.  I have a few varieties that deliver over and over in heat, in  … [Continue reading]

Annuals for Fall


Fri. Aug. 31, 2018

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  Annuals for Fall

I think I echo many when I say, “this has been an odd year for the garden”.  However… we are approaching Fall.  The time of year when the air is generally crisper… today is not one of those (as I write this last Sunday)….  the humidity is yucky!  (scientific terms here on Garden Bite).  Anyhoo, our petunias are pooped and it’s time to move on…

This actually doesn’t look too bad in late August
 … [Continue reading]

Bad tasting bulbs – they’re a good thing


Thu. Aug. 30, 2018

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  Bad tasting bulbs- they’re a good thing

Why would bad tasting bulbs be a good thing?  Because deer, squirrels and other rodents list them as last choice on the buffet called your garden!  Colorblends President Tim Schipper is a 3rd generation bulbsman out of Connecticut and he shared a list of bulbs that are a feast for our eyes but not on the squirrels menu.

  • daffodils
  • snow drops
  • snow flakes
Daffodil ‘3D’
Snowdrops
Snowflakes – the flower
 … [Continue reading]