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Let's talk lawn! With the popularity of no-mow May, bee lawns and other alternatives to traditional Kentucky bluegrass turf, it seems a good time to bring in a lawn expert. James Wolfin of Twin City Seed is a proponent of lower-input lawns and has great information on how to have a good-looking lawn without a lot of work. More about James WolfinTwin City SeedWhat's a Bee Lawn?Lawn Care Tips from the U of MinnesotaNo Mow May campaignThe Benefits of Fine Fescues4 Ways to Remove Turf GrassMary's website Follow Mary on Instagram
No interview today, just some information about the weather — our late spring, what to worry about and what not to worry about, seed germination and soil temperature. It's a shorter episode and I hope it encourages you to remain calm and garden on. Some links for more information: Seed Germination and Soil Temps (with small chart) Seed Germination and Soil Temp (larger chart) How to Build a Cold FrameHow to Build a Low TunnelThe Compressed Season of Northern Minnesota Frost Dates in the Vegetable GardenSpring of 2012 -- warmer is not necessarily betterGrowing Vegetables Under Cover with Niki Jabbour
Listeners may remember Meg Cowden of SeedtoFork.com from a previous episode on early seed starting.  She's back to talk about succession planting and her new book, Plant Grow Harvest Repeat (Timber Press, 2022).  Meg's book is filled with charts, plant lists, solid advice  and inspiration for any gardener who wants to grow an abundant food and fruit garden, with plenty of flowers as well. We talk about the importance of starting seeds over a longer stretch (always be sowing is Meg's mantra), learning garden lessons from the forests and prairies around us, managing soil health and insects, and ways to get the most from our food gardens through interplanting and other techniques. I also confess my absolute failure growing Brassicas, and Meg offers her secrets to growing huge harvests of broccoli, cabbage and more. Check out Grow it, Minnesota on Facebook or Instagram where I will be giving away a copy of Meg's book. More LinksModern Garden GuildFollow Meg on InstagramFollow Mary on InstagramMy Northern Garden webpage
We're talking all about blueberries today and some of the challenges of growing them in the alkaline soil that many Minnesota gardens have. My guest is Melissa Wilsford of Rustic Hills Garden Co., a landscaping firm based in the Twin Cities, that specializes in creating edible landscapes. One of her favorite groundcover plants is the blueberry! To grow blueberries well, you need an acid soil with a pH of 4.5 to 5.5. Melissa talks about how to amend your soil to lower the pH, how to grow blueberries in containers, and even what to grow if you want berries but don't want the extra work of blueberries. It's a great episode! University of Minnesota information on growing blueberries, with cultivar recommendations.More about growing currantsMary's currant jam recipe -- for grown up palates.Melissa's plant sale -- order blueberries now for pickup in May. Follow Melissa on InstagramMary's websiteFollow Mary on Instagram
This episode features podcaster, blogger and author Teresa J. Speight of Cottage in the Court. Her new books (she has two coming out this spring!) are Black Flora: Profiles of Inspiring Black Flower Farmers + Florists   (Bloom Imprint, 2022) and The Urban Garden: 101 Ways to Grow Food and Beauty in the City  (Cool Springs Press, 2022) with co-author Kathy Jentz of Washington Gardener magazine.Teresa is an inspiring gardener and communicator. We talk about her work as a community gardener, the inspiring African-American flower farmers and florists she met while writing her book, hydrangeas and other heritage plants, plus an abundance of tips and ideas for creating beauty in small spaces. Links and MoreFollow Teresa on FacebookTeresa on MediumThe Flower Guy BronMary's websiteFollow Mary on Instagram
Today's guest is Heather Holm, author, speaker and horticulturist, who is an expert on pollinating insects, including bees and wasps. In this episode, we talk about habitat restoration, how home gardeners can bring in more pollinators, why the spring and fall are so important to pollinators and cultivars of native plants. Check out these resources: Heather's books: WASPS: A Guide for Eastern North America (2021)Pollinators of Native Plants (2014)BEES: An Identification and Native Plant Forage GuideCOMING SOON: Common Native Bees of the Eastern United States (a pocket guide)More about the rusty-patch beeWoodmints -- plants Heather loves for shadeMary's Boltonia -- It's big and the bees love it!Mary's Insectary Garden
Author Acadia Tucker talks about her latest book, Tiny Victory Gardens: Growing Food Without a Yard  (Stone Pier Press, 2021), including how to decide which containers to use, advice for making your own potting soil and even how to grow a consistent supply of salad greens in containers, indoors, in winter. Good stuff!More about Acadia and her gardening books. Why grow tomatoes in containers?Tiny vegetables are a hot trend!Follow Acadia on InstagramFollow Mary on InstagramFollow Grow it, Minnesota on Facebook
Author and soil scientist Lee Reich loves to experiment in the garden, and one of his first experiments as a young gardener was growing figs in Madison, Wis. In his new book, Growing Figs in Cold Climates: A Complete Guide (New Society Publishers, 2021), he offers northern gardeners tips on choosing varieties, pruning and how to get fig trees through the winter.  Listen to how he does it.Growing Figs in Cold ClimatesLee's websiteLee's book reviewed in the New York TimesGrow it, Minnesota episode on growing lemons in cold climatesMary's websiteFollow Mary on Instagram 
Welcome to another season of Grow it, Minnesota!In this episode, author Cathy Rees talks about her new book, Winterland: Create a Beautiful Garden for Every Season  (Princeton Architectural Press, 2021).  She explains what to think about as you design a garden and landscape that will offer beauty and more all year. We talk about the importance of texture, structure and light as well as ways to create habitat and enjoy watching birds and other critters in winter. Helpful Links:Winterland: Create a Beautiful Garden For Every SeasonMore about CathyLight in the Garden Mary's websiteFollow Grow it, Minnesota on InstagramFollow Mary on Instagram
What does it take to grow a delicious apple in cold climates? In this episode, we check in with orchardist Bob Osborne, author of the new book, Hardy Apples: Growing Apples in Cold Climates (Firefly Books, 2022). We talk about what an apple tree needs to grow well, grafting, pests and diseases, pruning and favorite apples for northern gardeners. Bob Osborne is the owner of Corn Hill Nursery in beautiful New Brunswick, Canada.More about BobBob's top apple pick: FrostBiteMary's favorite appleU of Minnesota apple growing tipsVideo on spring apple pruningFollow Mary on InstagramAn interesting story about bees and applesMary's website
With the drought in Minnesota moving from moderate to extreme, gardeners are wondering how to take care of their trees. In this episode, arborist Jake McDougall of Davey Tree Service talks about how to tell if your tree is experiencing drought stress, best ways to water and the value of mulch for keeping moisture on trees.  We touch on a few tree pests and some of Jake's picks for resilient trees in our climate. To Learn More: Climate Hardy Trees for the NorthMore Trees for Climate ChangeEffective Watering Strategies for Northern GardenersMore about Davey Tree ServiceThe Northern Gardener: From Apples to ZinniasFollow Grow it, Minnesota on InstagramFollow Mary on Instagram
David Zlesak, plant breeder and professor at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, is my guest today, talking about the American Rose Trials for Sustainability or A.R.T.S. program. In this program, roses are evaluated all over the country for their ability to thrive without fertilizer, pesticides or fungicides. Regional winners are named each year and there are more than 20 roses that are "Local Artists" for Minnesota. David talks about the program, his favorite roses, tips for planting roses (hint: go deep) and our favorite rose nemisis, the Japanese beetle. If you love roses or think you would like to plant them but worry they are too hard, this is the episode for you. A.R.T.S. Program in Minnesota (Plus Rose List)More Sustainable Roses for the NorthAll Local Artist Roses for the NorthDuluth Rose GardenLyndale Park Rose GardenMary's BlogFollow Mary on InstagramFollow Grow it, Minnesota on Facebook
Learn all about growing herbs indoors from author Susan Betz, whose latest book is Herbal Houseplants: Grow Beautiful Herbs Indoors (Cool Springs Press, 2021). Susan talks about the special needs of indoors plants, understanding why some plants have shorter seasons, the value of sending houseplants outdoors for a summer vacation and more. Susan is an herb expert and a generous gardener. Links and ResourcesHerbal Houseplants bookSusan's websiteFollow Susan on InstagramRichter's HerbsRenee's Gardens HerbsAfrican Power Cress'Mt. Carbide' Lemon Leaf PlectranthusMy Northern GardenThe Northern Gardener: From Apples to ZinniasFollow Mary on Instagram
Author and blogger Jen McGuinness talks about her new book, Micro Food Gardening (Cool Spring Press, 2021). The book includes information on how to grow food in containers, indoors or out, and it features 30 micro food gardening projects, from a cake stand for growing strawberries to how to grow basil in a muffin pan! Jen is known all over the internet as Frau Zinnie. You can follow her blog or check out her photos on Instagram. To Learn More: Small varieties Jen recommends: Little Prince eggplantCayanetta F1 pepperHahms Gelge Micro Dwarf tomatoMicro Tom tomatoPurple Lady bok choyMary's blogMary's bookFollow Mary on Instagram
Longtime Minnesota plantsman and author Mike Heger joined me to talk about bulbs, particularly those that grow well in the summer. Mike covered the basics of bulbs and talked about planting and caring for bulbs that grow well in a northern climate. He even mentioned a few favorite bulb cultivars.To Learn MoreMSHS Summer Bulb Sale (order by April 16, 2021)Growing Perennials in Cold ClimatesMike's Favorite Rabbit RepellentMore about Martagon LiliesPlanting and Care Tips for Summer BulbsGrowing Gladiolus in MinnesotaGrowing Dahlias in Minnesota Mary's BlogThe Northern Gardener: From Apples to Zinnias
Maddie Poling of Sacred Space Gardens joins me to talk about rain gardens: why they are important, how and where to install one, which plants to choose for sun and shade and more. Maddie's company provides sustainable garden services to commercial and residential customers, including designing and installing rain gardens. To Learn More . . . Maddie's Videos on Rain GardeningRain Garden Alliance Favorite Minnesota Native Plant NurseryPlant List for Rain Gardens of All TypesMy Northern Garden blogThe Northern Gardener bookNorthern Gardener magazine
Amy Kainz—known as Milkweed and Daisies on Instagram—is a Central Minnesota gardener who started growing flowers from seeds to save money. Amy offers great tips on starting seeds indoors and out to expand your garden and how beginning gardeners should approach the process. Her one-half acre garden is a Certified Monarch Way Station, too. How to Become a Certified Monarch WaystationPrairie Moon Nursery (Amy's and Mary's favorite source for native plants)Botanical Interests Seeds (Amy's go-to seed source)Cold Stratification of Seeds 7 Easy Annuals to Grow from SeedTips for Creating a Monarch-Friendly GardenA Short Essay on PansiesMary's InstagramMary's BlogNorthern Gardener magazine
Community gardener, blogger and local food activist Michelle Bruhn of Forks in the Dirt joins Mary for a conversation about companion planting. Michelle is teaching an online class on the topic later this month. You can also enter a book giveaway of Jessica Walliser's new book, Plant Partners, by commenting on the Grow it, Minnesota Facebook page or Instagram page. Check out the links below for more information on companion planting. To Learn MoreMichelle’s Favorite Cover CropPerennial Plants and Pollinators for the Vegetable GardenMore About the Three-Sisters GardenCompanion Planting Class, March 15Forks in the DirtFollow Michelle on InstagramFrom My Northern GardenHow Some Plants Add Nitrogen to the SoilBringing Insects into the Vegetable Garden (video)Mary's Book
Sowing seeds using the winter sowing method has been one of the most popular trends in gardening over the past decade. Master gardener and professional photographer Michelle Mero Riedel walks us through the hows and whys of winter sowing, which she uses for perennial plants, and spring sowing, a similar method she uses for herbs, annual flowers and vegetables. To Learn MoreMichelle's Upcoming Class at Marine Mills Folk SchoolRiedel Photo Michelle's GardenWinter Sowing HandoutMary's BlogFollow Mary on InstagramNorthern Gardener magazineThe Northern Gardener bookBlog Post on How to Winter Sow Native Plants
Herbalist and author Matthew Alfs joins Mary for a discussion of his new book, Edible and Medicinal Wild Plants of the Midwest, Third Edition (Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2020. We discuss plants Minnesota gardeners may be familiar with as weeds or garden plants and their edible and medicinal properties. Disclaimer: Ingestion of any wild plant requires care in identification, selection and processing. Some plants may be toxic. Please take all reasonable care and consult a physician or other health care provider before using wild plants medicinally. To Learn MoreMatthew's bookMatthew's virtual book talkWho was Euell Gibbons?Stalking the Wild AspargusMary's blogMary's bookFollow Grow it, Minnesota on InstagramFollow Mary on InstagramMore about stinging nettlesMore about anise hyssop
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