People planting small plant plugs in containers and a group of people smiling after they planted their containers.

Spring Planting Parties


Event Phone: 5073884877

Spring is in sight and it’s time to plant!   GET HANDS-ON AND PLANT This hands-on event in the warmth of our greenhouse allows you to design and plant your own charming annual containers so that your containers are overflowing with flowers right when the temps warm up!   LEARNING SESSIONS During the learning sessions, (more…)

geri vogel sitting in front of fall annuals in the greenhouse wearing a Minnesota hat.

Meet the Annual Plant Grower: Gardener Discussion & QA with Geri

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Try new plants this year and get the info you need to grow the annuals and vegetables you want!

Customers browsing plant plugs to plant for spring planting parties.

Spring Planting Parties 2023

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Event Phone: 507-388-4877

Spring is in sight and it’s time to plant! Design and plant your own charming containers for early spring blooms that last from summer into fall!

Ladies planting their spring containers in drummmers greenhouse and containers growing filled with flowers

Spring Planting Parties

We're sorry, but all tickets sales have ended because the event is expired.

Event Phone: 507-388-4877

Spring is in sight and it’s time to plant! Design and plant your own charming containers for early spring blooms that last from summer into fall!

botanical interests flower seed packets

Easy Fall Planting

Fall is the second-best time to plant – with some saying it’s the best!

We typically have late-summer and fall sales. Check out current plant sales here.

GARLIC

Garlic is one of the easiest to crops to grow. Garlic is planted in the fall late September or early October. They start to grow their roots this fall and then emerge next spring. We recommend adding compost to your planting area two weeks before planting your garlic.

We typically carry 7 different varieties of hardneck garlic that has been proven to do well in MN climate.

Read more about growing and storing garlic or pick up a copy in-store.

LATE-FALL SOWN PERENNIAL SEEDS

Sow perennial plant seeds, that need stratification, after a hard frost – below 25 F. Stratification is the process of seeds being in a cold environment and then breaking dormancy once the weather warms. This ensures that they will not sprout until the following spring.

Be sure to mark the spot you planted. If we have a dry winter and less rain in the spring, make sure to water your seeds in the spring to keep soil moist.

Perennial plants to sow after a hard frost:
  • Blue and Breezy Flax Seeds
  • Forget-Me-Not
  • Hyssop
  • Lavender
  • Russell Lupine Blend
  • Milkweed
  • Penstemon
  • Sundial Lupine Bluebonnet
  • Colorado Blend Yarrow

LATE-FALL SOWN ANNUAL SEEDS

You’ll get earlier blooms and reduce time in the late winter/early spring sowing seeds indoors. The moisture from melting snow will greatly reduce your need to water in the spring.

Tips for sowing annual seed:

Sow the seeds after a killing freeze and before snowfall. You may also sow in late-winter between snow fall. The snow buries the seed and insulates them, helping to retain moisture.

Mix the seed with a bit of sand before sowing. This helps the seed spread evenly and gives you a better visual of where you have sown.

Mark where you planted with labeled garden stakes to avoid damaging emerging flowers.

Annuals plants to sow after a hard frost:
  • Bachelor Buttons
  • California Bluebells
  • Bluebonnet
  • Larkspur
  • Poppy

Info Source: Botanical Interests

FALL-PLANTED FLOWER BULBS

Bulbs are really as easy as dig, drop, and done. When planting, make sure the soil is well-draining (soil doesn’t stay soggy more than a day) and use Bulb Tone to get their roots off to a healthy start before the ground freezes. Amend your soil with compost or top soil if it’s compacted or not well-draining.

If you have a presence of voles, mice, chipmunks, or squirrels we recommend planting them with a granular animal repellent.

LANDSCAPE PLANTS

Fall is a wonderful time to plant in you landscape. The heat of the summer is done and the cooler weather is less stressful for the plants during transplanting. The soil also stays moist longer, there is less disease and pest stressors, and your plants will put more energy into root growth than foliage.

We recommend mulching around your new landscape plants, leaving a couple inches open around the stems to help retain moisture when they are establishing themselves.

PLANT TREES, SHRUBS, AND EVERGREENS

Trees, shrubs, and evergreens can be planted up to 6 weeks before ground freeze (average ground freeze is beginning of Dec.). If the trees or shrubs are dormant by the time of planting, you may not need to water if the soil stays slightly moist. Make sure to mulch 2-3 inches around the root zone and wrap your tree saplings Oct. 31st or as soon as possible after that.

Deeply water your plants until the ground freezes. Only water when the top 2 – 3 inches are dry. It’s usually 5 gallons of water every week to two weeks depending on your soil type, size of the plant, and weather.

PLANT PERENNIALS

You can plant perennials up to 6 weeks before ground freeze (average ground freeze is beginning of Dec.) but sooner the better for transplanting success. Just make sure they are watered until freeze and heavily mulched after ground freeze to protect their roots.

When planting, mix in a slow release fertilizer – like Biotone. When the top couple inches of soil are dry, that’s when you should water. Water deeply so the plant roots reach deeper into the soil and create a more robust root system before winter weather.

DIVIDING PERENNIALS

Dividing perennials (PDF List of perennials and dividing time):
These cooler days are perfect for dividing perennials. Divide or move perennials if they are crowded or not performing well in their original spot.

A good rule of thumb to follow:
“Blooms late-summer/fall, divide them in spring. Blooms spring, divide in the fall.”

REDUCE WINTER DAMAGE

If you have issues with rabbits or deer around, get a hard plastic mesh tree guard. You’ll be happy you did because if animals chew around the entire tree diameter, it’ll cut off nutrients to the tree, which will cause the plant to die. Shrubs and evergreens can also experience animal damage from hungry animals so use a granular or spray animal repellent or fencing.

Here is an extra note about evergreens. It’s very important evergreens have adequate water before ground freeze or you may experience browning of needles the next spring. Evergreens do better when planted early fall instead of late fall to help them take up moisture before freezing. They slowly lose water from their needles over winter and if they are in an area of high winds and/or bright, all day sun, it dries them out quicker.

Read more about evergreen and tree winter protection.

SOWING TURF GRASS

Mid-August through mid-September is an ideal time to start new grass from seed. We carry high quality seed from Ramy Seeds in Mankato. If it seems daunting to keep the soil moist to sprout grass this time of year or it’s too late, you can wait until late fall – after we have our first frosts – to sow seeds that will sprout in the spring when the weather warms and spring rains help keep the seed moist.

PLANT COVER CROPS AFTER HARVEST

Cover crops are also an option if you are done with your garden space until next spring or before you plant garlic in late Sept. or Oct. It’s best to start growing cover crops as soon as you can but many crops will grow into late fall. Plant a quick growing crop like peas, oats, radishes, or buckwheat.

A cover crop is used to slow erosion from wind and rain, improve soil health, smother weeds, help control pests and diseases, break up compacted soil, and increase biodiversity. Using a cover crop can reduce the amount of compost you need to prepare your garden soil for next year.

Read our post about Living Soil which covers best practices for healthier soil and head over to the University of MN Extension article with a cover crops selector tool to choose a cover crop for your soil goals. For example: If you fertilize with liquid fertilizers you probably have excess nitrogen in your soil or if you grew peas ( nitrogen fixers) in an area then you’d choose a cover crop that adds other nutrients.

fall annuals make and take

Fall Annual Container Make & Take

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Event Phone: 507-388-4877

Come in to create a beautiful container for late summer and fall!

lettuce

Seed Starting

Smell the soil and see the plants grow new leaves! You can experience new life by starting seeds, also known as sowing, indoors this winter! Each plant packet will tell you when to sow the seeds but most will be started late winter through early spring.

Reasons to start your own plants from seed:

  1. Save money over the long run – The initial investment into growing gear may be seem like a lot but you can use trays, pots, lights, etc for multiple years.
  2. If you have a plant that dies, it’s ok! Sow extra seeds so you can avoid total loss. That one plant loss will be a low-cost loss than an already grown starter plant. If all else fails, we have starter plants to make sure you grow what you want to!
  3. Seeds will last longer than the packet expiration date. There may be lower germination rate so plant one or two extra seeds per hole.
  4. You can grow a lot of plants and a diverse variety! Garden centers, like us, grow a lot of different varieties but we can’t grow them all.

Next, we will cover seed packet info to take note of, supplies you will need to start seeds indoors, caring for seedlings, and hardening off seedlings.

Bonus info about sowing seeds outdoors in the winter is included! It is a must-see if you want to sow perennial plants.

Important seed packet info to get to know the plants you are growing:

  • The best time to plant ( Weeks before or after frost) The last frost date for Southern MN is projected as May 1- May 15th. See examples in the next section of sowing times before transplanting outdoors.
  • Indoor or direct sowing recommendations
  • How deep to plant the seeds
  • Days to germination gives an idea of how long it takes the seed to sprout
  • Days to maturity = the number of days from planting to harvest
  • Seedling thinning & spacing directions
  • Check if it’s perennial (must be zone 4 to be S.MN hardy) or annual (only grows one season)

Start seeds indoors or directly sow them in the garden or planter?

Use the “date to maturity” as a guide for your produce. This will let you know about the time you should be harvesting and if you will need to sow in the winter. Some plants have a LONG growing season and should be started indoors around Feb/Mar to reach maturity. ( ex. peppers, celery, tomatoes, cole crops, lemongrass, and rosemary)

Some plants have sensitive roots and mature fast enough in our climate to be directly sown. Examples are corn, cucumbers, potatoes, carrots, sunflowers, nasturtium, beans, radishes, peas, dill, and radishes.

**Hardy perennials may require cold stratification or scarification for proper germination. Read more about starting seeds outdoors in the winter, which is needed for zone 4 and 5 perennial seeds.

What type of growing medium is best?

AVOID using soil from your yard/garden if possible! It is an easy way to introduce unwanted pests and disease problems for little seedlings. *Most at-home compost piles do not get hot enough to kill harmful pathogens.

Recommended for seeds – Seed Starting Mix. It is a fine textured, soilless medium that is sometimes heat sterilized. It contains no nutrients and is intended for germination only.

When potting up seedlings into containers – Standard Potting Mix. Any potting mix will do! Some may contain nutrients to start feeding your plants but if you have them planted in containers you will have to supplement the soil with fertilizers as they get bigger.

Supplies needed to start seeds indoors:

Plug tray, soil pellets or seed starting potting soil, open flat, humidity dome, pots, watering can, heat mat, fertilizer, grow light, and a fan.

Let’s dig into each of these materials and why you need them.

Plug Trays – Provides a controlled environment for proper germination

When choosing a size of plug tray, ask yourself how many plants you want to grow. Some plug trays come with smaller plugs and can fit more plants and vice versa. The smaller the plug, the sooner you will need to pot up into larger plug trays or pots.

Soil Pellets

Usually, these pellets are made of coco coir. To expand the pellets, soak them in water and place the seed in the soil.

Open Flats

With drainage holes: Fill with seeding mix and scatter seeds. Divide and up-pot or plant outside when they are ready.

Without drainage holes: Use under plug trays to catch the water/soil.

Humidity Dome – Keeps moisture in and helps germination of seeds.

condensation inside a dome with a tray of plants inside.

Fits over most plug trays and open flats. A short dome is for seed starting, and a tall dome is for propagating cuttings. Domes will need to be taken off after the seedlings are a couple of inches tall.

Pots – Plastic, Coco Coir, Biodegradable options

Use various sizes to start seeds if desired. Pots are good for when you need to divide plants in plug trays and up-pot. Choose the right-sized pot when up-potting! Too big and it may not dry out fast enough, causing root rot.

Watering Can/Spray Bottle – For keeping the soil moist and not disturbing the soil around seedlings.

Heat Mat – Most homes are not warm enough for proper germination

Raises soil temp 10-20 degrees above room temperature which will speed up the germination process and reduce chances of seeds rotting. The heat mat does not need to be on once all the seedlings have sprouted.

Lights & Timer – Supplemental light is essential to growing happy seedlings indoors!

Plants need strong light so supplemental light prevents weak and leggy plants. Get full spectrum/daylight bulbs. There are T8 & T5 fluorescent, Standard Bulbs, and LED options.

Use a timer to make life easier! 14 hrs. of light per day is the standard after seeds germinate.

There is no need to have a light on before seedlings emerge unless the seed packet says “light germinated”.

Fans

A light breeze helps grow strong plant stems. The movement of the stem will strengthen it. It will also help prevent fungal diseases from too much humidity.

Fertilizer

Seedlings do not need nutrients right away. Wait until they have a few sets of true leaves before adding fertilizers.

A half-strength, balanced fertilizer works well for most plants. We recommend looking up proper fertilization for specific plants grown.

Caring for seedlings:

Proper watering is essential. Keep soil evenly moist until germination.

Allow tap water to sit out overnight to dechlorinate when possible. Avoid using soft water.

Know your plant’s specific watering and fertilization needs by reading their packet or researching online.

Find a routine and water early in the day if possible.

After germination, allow the soil to dry slightly between watering. This encourages root growth! Avoid “loving your plants to death”, aka overwatering.

Hardening Off – Allows your plants time to adjust to light, temperature, and environmental changes

Start putting your potted plants in the shade on a calm day, for an hour or two. Slowly increase time by 1 to 2 hours outside and sun exposure over several days. It usually takes 7-14 days to fully acclimate. Reduce sun exposure again if you see signs of sun-scorched foliage. Make sure you check the soil moisture once or twice a day, depending on pot size.

We carry grow lights, seed starting kits, seedling potting soil, fertilizer, and seeds. Later in the spring, we will have vegetables and herbs that we have grown for you to purchase if you don’t get to start your seedlings.

Ladies planting their spring containers in drummmers greenhouse and containers growing filled with flowers

Spring Planting Parties

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Event Phone: 507-388-4877

Learn to succeed with annual flowers and then pot up your ideas.

annual yellow sunbelievables and annual plant container

Annual Flower & Plant Care

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Event Phone: 507-388-4877

Get detailed care instructions for multiple varieties of annual flowers and plants!

2018 Best of Bunch Spring Planting Party Winner

Spring Planting Parties 2019!

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Event Phone: 507-388-4877

Learn to succeed with annual flowers and then pot up your ideas.

SPRING PLANTING PARTY 3.10.18 MORNING

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Event Phone: 507-388-4877

Learn to succeed with annual flowers and then pot up your ideas.

KIDS PLANTING PARTY 3.24.18

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Event Phone: 507-388-4877

Kids may pot up annual flowers for Mother’s Day gifts.

SPRING PLANTING PARTY 3.14.18

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Event Phone: 507-388-4877

Learn to succeed with annual flowers and then pot up your ideas.

Choosing & Caring for Annuals

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Event Phone: 507-388-4877

Discover the basics of growing and caring for annuals.

KIDS PLANTING PARTY 3.25.17

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Event Phone: 507-388-4877

Join us in our greenhouse for a fun experience planting annuals! Bring the kids and we’ll plant annual combinations perfect for kids in patio pots chosen just for them. Choose from colorful flowers for sun or shade. After you plant, we’ll grow your containers until May when they’re ready for your place. You’ll be amazed (more…)

SPRING PLANTING PARTY 3.18.17 AFTERNOON

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Event Phone: 507-388-4877

Join us in our greenhouse for a memorable garden experience with annuals! Admission to this workshop is free. Payment for containers planted is required. Payment will be due at the end of class after you’ve planted your container(s). Please review pricing below for each container. Yes! You may attend the learning session and not plant. (more…)

SPRING PLANTING PARTY 3.18.17 MORNING

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Event Phone: 507-388-4877

This class session is full. Please register for another section, we’d be glad to see you! Join us in our greenhouse for a memorable garden experience with annuals! Admission to this workshop is free. Payment for containers planted is required. Payment will be due at the end of class after you’ve planted your container(s). Please (more…)

SPRING PLANTING PARTY 3.16.17 EVENING

We're sorry, but all tickets sales have ended because the event is expired.

Event Phone: 507-388-4877

Join us in our greenhouse for a memorable garden experience with annuals! Admission to this workshop is free. Payment for containers planted is required. Payment will be due at the end of class after you’ve planted your container(s). Please review pricing below for each container. Yes! You may attend the learning session and not plant. (more…)

SPRING PLANTING PARTY 3.16.17 AFTERNOON

We're sorry, but all tickets sales have ended because the event is expired.

Event Phone: 507-388-4877

Join us in our greenhouse for a memorable garden experience with annuals! Admission to this workshop is free. Payment for containers planted is required. Payment will be due at the end of class after you’ve planted your container(s). Please review pricing below for each container. Yes! You may attend the learning session and not plant. (more…)

SPRING PLANTING PARTY 3.15.17

We're sorry, but all tickets sales have ended because the event is expired.

Event Phone: 507-388-4877

Join us in our greenhouse for a memorable garden experience with annuals! Admission to this workshop is free. Payment for containers planted is required. Payment will be due at the end of class after you’ve planted your container(s). Please review pricing below for each container. Yes! You may attend the learning session and not plant. (more…)

SPRING PLANTING PARTY 3.14.17 EVENING

We're sorry, but all tickets sales have ended because the event is expired.

Event Phone: 507-388-4877

Join us in our greenhouse for a memorable garden experience with annuals! Admission to this workshop is free. Payment for containers planted is required. Payment will be due at the end of class after you’ve planted your container(s). Please review pricing below for each container. Yes! You may attend the learning session and not plant. (more…)

SPRING PLANTING PARTY 3.14.17 MORNING

We're sorry, but all tickets sales have ended because the event is expired.

Event Phone: 507-388-4877

Join us in our greenhouse for a memorable garden experience with annuals! Admission to this workshop is free. Payment for containers planted is required. Payment will be due at the end of class after you’ve planted your container(s). Please review pricing below for each container. Yes! You may attend the learning session and not plant. (more…)

SPRING PLANTING PARTY 3.13.17

We're sorry, but all tickets sales have ended because the event is expired.

Event Phone: 507-388-4877

Join us in our greenhouse for a memorable garden experience with annuals! Admission to this workshop is free. Payment for containers planted is required. Payment will be due at the end of class after you’ve planted your container(s). Please review pricing below for each container. Yes! You may attend the learning session and not plant. (more…)

Beautiful annual flower combination

SPRING PLANTING PARTY 3.11.17 AFTERNOON

We're sorry, but all tickets sales have ended because the event is expired.

Event Phone: 507-388-4877

Join us in our greenhouse for a memorable garden experience with annuals! Admission to this workshop is free. Payment for containers planted is required. Payment will be due at the end of class after you’ve planted your container(s). Please review pricing below for each container. Yes! You may attend the learning session and not plant. (more…)

SPRING PLANTING PARTY 3.11.17 MORNING

We're sorry, but all tickets sales have ended because the event is expired.

Event Phone: 507-388-4877

Join us in our greenhouse for a memorable garden experience with annuals! Admission to this workshop is free. Payment for containers planted is required. Payment will be due at the end of class after you’ve planted your container(s). Please review pricing below for each container. Yes! You may attend the learning session and not plant. (more…)