Downed trees – was it a strong wind or did it start long ago?


Thu. Sep. 20, 2018

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  Downed trees – was it a strong wind or did it start long ago?

100 year old White Pine photo by Glenn Switzer

The above photo was taken a couple of blocks from my house this week.  It was blown up by lightning.  A show that I was enjoying with amazement, until I found out this happened!  Then I was supremely grateful that no one was injured, her home is fine, her car not so much! … [Continue reading]

Spicebush


Wed. Sep. 19, 2018

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

Fall is here with the celebration of the autumnal equinox coming on Saturday!  I love this time of year for many reasons including the fact that it’s a good time to plant trees and shrubs.  If you’d like to try something with a bit of splash and spice, think Spicebush.

Northern Spicebush by Monrovia Fall color
Spicebush

This is a multi-season interest plant that flowers before the leaves show up.  The citrus yellow blooms are aromatic  … [Continue reading]

Planting garlic


Tue. Sep. 18, 2018

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  Planting garlic

I am a garlic lover!  I could ward off vampires… and, perhaps, a loved one…

For zone 4 folks, the beginning of October is a good time to plant garlic.  If you live in Zone 3 then a couple of weeks earlier is sufficient.

Garlic ‘Early Italian’ – softneck

There are a LOT of varieties of garlic but the best type is called a ‘Hardneck’ variety.  They tolerate our climate conditions much better than the  … [Continue reading]

Monarch butterflies and migration


Mon. Sep. 17, 2018

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  Monarch butterflies and migration

The annual Monarch migration is beginning. And for much of the summer I saw plenty of posts on social media of folks raising Monarchs at home.  It’s amazing!  (Special thanks to my neighbor, Connie Erickson, for her devotion to these beautiful little masterpieces)

Monarchs emerging, photo by Connie Erickson

Nearby, a college arboretum released hundreds of Monarchs.

Monarchs 2018 Carleton Arboretum

While their numbers are still well below what we’d like to see,  … [Continue reading]

Salt tolerant plants


Fri. Sep. 14, 2018

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  Salt tolerant plants

I’m sorry but we’re going to talk about winter. I’m not trying to rush you, just prepare you! Prepare you for all that gunk the salt trunks will heave onto your landscape and to tell you there’s help!

Kinda says it all…

Of course, it’s not just the salt trucks but the passing cars that season your yard. In fact, fast moving cars can throw road spray up to 60 feet! Holy cow, slower  … [Continue reading]

Low-mow/no-mow grass


Thu. Sep. 13, 2018

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  Low-mow/No-mow grass

I talked last week about lawn renovation and fall lawn care so you know that now is a good time to plant seed.  And speaking of seed…

Prairie Moon Nursery offers a blend of fine-leaved fescue grasses as a responsible alternative to an energy-intensive conventional turf lawn. I’m not getting paid to talk about Eco-Grass, but want to share with you this option for a low mow, no mow grass.  

Eco Grass

It’s also  … [Continue reading]

Mighty tiny evergreens


Wed. Sep. 12, 2018

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  Mighty tiny evergreens

Yesterday I talked planting practices this time of year, today let’s talk mighty tiny evergreens!  

Alberta Spruce ‘Tiny Tower’ by Monrovia

My new Northern Gardener magazine came with an article by Susannah Shmurak, who happens to live in the same town I do!  She also blogs at healthygreensavvy.com.  Her article is titled “Small but Mighty evergreens” and includes some darling little beauties for smaller landscapes.  

While there’s been much talk, and with good  … [Continue reading]

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 this
 … [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]