Help from Minnesota

– Posted in: Garden chores, Recommended Links
1 comment

The latest edition of Yard & Garden Line News, put out by the University of Minnesota Extension Service, is so full of handy information I’m tempted to quote the whole thing.

First, there’s a thought-provoking article on whether or not to wrap young trees to prevent sun scald. As with so many recommended practices in horticulture, this has been dispensed as advice for years without anyone rigorously testing it for effectiveness. It sounds like the jury is still out, but there are plenty of ways you can do it incorrectly, and other things that may be more important to getting your new (and expensive) tree through the winter. And did you know the difference between frost cankers and frost cracks? Neither did I.

And what about those expensive tender perennials you bought for your spectacular container planting? Have you ever read an article about an amazing garden, where the gardener casually remarks, “Oh, I just wintered that over as cuttings.” David C. Zlesak will outline the basic steps for you. The hardest part, I’m thinking, is finding room for what you want to winter over.

Every year, it seems, the fruit flies come in with our tomatoes. We try to use them up in a timely manner, but it only takes one . . . If you want to know the best prevention and eradication methods, Jeffrey Hahn has the lowdown.

The next article was about mold on raspberries, but I don’t grow raspberries, so it didn’t concern me too much. The garden calendar they publish in every issue is always a handy reminder for a cold climate gardener like me. Too many of those kind of calendars are tailored for the average garden, and we all know northern gardens aren’t average.

If you’re a cold climate gardener, you can be notified by email every time a new issue comes out. (Too bad they don’t have an RSS feed.) Not every issue will directly apply to your situation, but all of it is aimed at gardeners in USDA hardiness zones 4 and colder–the climate in Minnesota.

About the Author

Kathy Purdy is a colchicum evangelist, converting unsuspecting gardeners into colchicophiles. She would be delighted to speak to your group about colchicums or other gardening topics. Kathy’s been writing since 4th grade, gardening since high school, and blogging since 2002.

What differentiates a bulb from a perennial plant is that the nourishment for the flower is stored within the bulb itself.…There is something miraculous about the way that a little grenade of dried up tissue can explode into a complete flower.

~Monty Don in The Complete Gardener pp. 142

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Jenn October 4, 2006, 5:29 pm

We lost the top of an expensive and well-loved japanese maple (acer atropurpureum – Bloodgood) to one or both of these. Sigh.

It’s coming back from the base, but we shelled out the dough because we fell in love with its form.

Lessons to learn every day.