purple flower with green tufts on cones from aster yellows

Aster Yellows

As with most disease and pest problems, accurate diagnosis is the important part of controlling a problem and doing so responsibly.

In this case, the image shows aster yellows disease on a purple coneflower. Aster yellows is a disease that is spread through insects that suck on the sap of plants. In most cases, it’s the aster leafhopper that is the carrier of the pathogen.

Aster yellows creates distorted flowers with green tufts, chlorosis of the leaves, stunted growth, and green flower petals. Different species may exhibit slightly different symptoms.

It can spread among plants in the Aster family as well as hundreds of other plant species outside of the Asteraceae family. Including lettuce, garlic, carrot, tomato, chrysanthrmum, petunia, zinnia, coreopsis, and perennial weeds like dandelions.

Unfortunately, if you see signs of aster yellows the entire plant needs to be disposed of to avoid spreading the disease. There is no treatment since it becomes a systemic issue and travels down into the roots. Burn your plant or bury it in your compost so it’s completely covered. The disease will not survive once the plant is dead.

You can plant something else as a replacement as it will not transfer through the root system.

Dry and hot summers slow the spread of the aster yellows disease, while cool and moist summers may accelerate transmission.

*Note for MN residents. It is illegal to dispose of plant material in your trash bin. Especially noxious weeds. Letting them die on site is the best way to mitigate further spread. Choose an area, above ground to pile weeds and pull weeds that germinate.

Read more on extension.umn.edu/plant-diseases/aster-yellows

distorted green coneflower afflicted with aster yellows
johanna and deb looking at display landscape

Landscape Design Using Perennials

In this Elements of Landscape Design Series post we are focusing on landscape design using perennials to accomplish your landscape vision.

Incorporating perennials into a garden is a wonderful way to add beauty, diversity, and longevity to your outdoor space. Perennials are plants that live for more than two years, returning year-after-year, and they come in a wide variety of colors, sizes, and textures. Here are some steps to help you successfully incorporate perennials into your garden:

Assess your garden

Before choosing perennials, take a close look at your garden to determine its conditions. Observe the amount of sunlight different areas receive, the soil type, the moisture levels, and area dimensions. This information will help you select perennials that are well-suited to your specific garden conditions and have the best outcome.

Determine your design goals

Consider the overall aesthetic you want to achieve in your garden. Are you aiming for a cottage garden with a romantic, informal feel? Pastel colors are the go-to for a cottage garden. Or perhaps a modern garden with clean lines and bold colors? Understanding your design preferences will guide your choice of perennials and their arrangement.

Think into the future

As perennials mature they will fill in the space and one of the hardest things to do when planting perennials is to consider the spacing between the plants when they are at their mature size. Being impatient and filling out the space right away is going to cause problems in the future, as well as increased chances of fungal and disease issues.

Maintenance and care

As with any garden, perennials require regular maintenance. Be sure to provide proper watering, mulching, and fertilization based on the specific needs of each plant. Regularly deadhead spent blooms and remove any diseased or damaged foliage to promote healthy growth.

Plan for seasonality

Perennials can provide blooms and interest throughout the year. When selecting plants, pay attention to their flowering times to ensure you have a mix of perennials that bloom in different seasons. This way, you’ll have a continuous display of color and texture from spring to fall.

Choose a variety of heights and textures

Incorporate perennials with varying heights and textures to create visual interest and depth in your garden. Combine tall, vertical plants like delphiniums or hollyhocks with mid-height flowers such as coneflowers or salvias, and add low-growing groundcovers like creeping thyme or sedum for a layered effect. Depending on the viewing angle, place tall behind mid-height and then low groundcovers.

Consider foliage

While flowers are often the main attraction, don’t forget about foliage. Perennials with interesting foliage, such as ferns, coral bells, or ornamental grasses, can add texture and color even when not in bloom. Incorporating a mix of foliage types can provide year-round appeal in your garden.

Group plants according to their needs

Group perennials with similar growing requirements together. Consider their preferred light levels, moisture needs, and soil conditions. This will make it easier to care for the plants and ensure they thrive. For example, place sun-loving plants in areas with full sun and moisture-loving plants in areas that retain more moisture.

Create focal points

Use perennials to create focal points or anchor areas in your garden. Select a few standout plants, like ornamental grasses, tall flowering perennials, or shrubby varieties like hardy hibiscus, and place them strategically to draw the eye and add drama to your landscape. Small Hydrangea trees are another great focal point option!

Incorporate native species

Consider including native perennials in your garden. Native plants are adapted to the local climate and require less maintenance, making them an eco-friendly choice. They also provide habitat and food for native wildlife, helping to support biodiversity. Incorporate native species: Consider including native perennials in your garden. Native plants are adapted to the local climate and require less maintenance, making them an eco-friendly choice. They also provide habitat and food for native wildlife, helping to support biodiversity.

Remember that gardening is a dynamic process, and as your perennials mature and spread, you may need to divide or relocate them to maintain the desired look and prevent overcrowding. With time and attention, your garden will flourish, and you’ll enjoy the beauty and resilience of your perennial plants for years to come.

Read Landscape Design using Evergreens to incorporate the elegant, structural, and continuous color element to your landscape

What You Should Know About Raspberry Plants

Summer-bearing raspberries and fall-bearing raspberries are two types of raspberries that differ in their fruiting habits and growth patterns. Here’s some information about each:

Summer-bearing raspberries:

Fruit production: Summer-bearing raspberries, as the name suggests, produce fruit during the summer season. They typically bear fruit on the second-year canes (also called floricanes) that grow during the previous year.

Harvest time: The harvest period for summer-bearing raspberries usually starts in early to mid-summer, depending on the variety and climate. The fruiting season typically lasts for several weeks.

Growth habit: After summer harvest, the second-year canes that produced fruit start to decline and should be pruned down to the ground. New primocanes (first-year canes) then grow during the summer and fall.

Pruning: To maintain healthy growth and encourage fruiting, it’s important to prune summer-bearing raspberries properly. Remove the old canes that have fruited, leaving the new primocanes for the next season’s fruiting.

*IMPORTANT FOR NEW PLANTS* Your new small raspberry plants may look like they died if you only had a cane up that was fruiting the last season. Wait for a bit into spring to see if new canes pop out of the soil before digging them up.

Fall-bearing raspberries (also known as everbearing or autumn-bearing raspberries):

Fruit production: Fall-bearing raspberries have a different fruiting habit. They produce fruit on both the primocanes of the current year and the floricanes of the previous year. This means they can produce two crops in a year.

Harvest time: The first crop of fall-bearing raspberries typically starts ripening in late summer or early fall, like the summer-bearing raspberries. However, the primocanes continue to produce fruit until the first frost, allowing for a second crop in the late fall.

Growth habit: Fall-bearing raspberries grow primocanes throughout the summer and fall, and these canes carry the first and second crops. After the second crop is harvested or frost occurs, the entire plant is pruned to the ground in late winter or early spring.

Pruning: Since fall-bearing raspberries bear fruit on both primocanes and floricanes, the pruning process is slightly different. In late winter or early spring, remove all canes that have fruited the previous year, leaving the new primocanes for the upcoming season’s fruiting. This promotes better airflow and prevents diseases.

Both summer-bearing and fall-bearing raspberries require well-drained soil, full sun exposure, regular watering, and adequate spacing for optimal growth. They are generally easy to grow and can provide a delicious harvest of sweet and tangy berries. The choice between the two types depends on your preference for a single abundant harvest (summer-bearing) or two smaller crops (fall-bearing) throughout the growing season.

Raspberry Management Information (pruning and training raspberry plants)

compost bin full of decompostables

Compost Starting-Rapid and Slow Method

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Compost starting can be tricky. Barb will make your compost journey clear so you know what to do and when to do it. She will cover rapid and slow compost starting methods.

staff holding a bin of garlic

How to Grow Garlic

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Event Phone: 507-388-4877

Garlic is one of the easiest plants to grow in your garden and you plant it in the fall!

wild blue phlox flowers

Pollinator Planting Guides

Support for pollinators is a joint effort a partnership.

As of July 2022 Monarchs are now at critically low populations. As a flagship pollinator one that attracts attention because of it’s beautiful colors and easier tracking methods this news is a wake up call that we are losing pollinators at a fast rate. We need to add pollinator plants to our landscapes every year.

What We Need to Do Now

  1. Add plants into our landscapes so there is a succession of blooms spring through fall. You can use pollinator friendly annuals, perennials, shrubs, and trees to accomplish this.
  2. Reduce or eliminate the use of insecticides. Organic insecticides still kill beneficial insects. There are now studies that find that even if the plant isn’t blooming, pollinators will drink dew off of plant foliage. If it’s treated with insecticides it will kill them. If you do need to spray, avoid bloom time.
  3. Plant ecologically sound landscapes. Add a diverse mix of native plants into your landscape to bring in beneficial insects, birds, and pollinators. Predatory birds and insects are a great way to control damaging insects without the use of insecticides.

Plants to Add for Monarchs

Name – Bloom Time

Pale Purple Coneflower – Early-summer
Butterflyweed – Mid-summer
Milkweed – Mid-summer – Emphasis on Common Milkweed since they lay their eggs on it.
Black-eyed Susan – All summer
Joe Pye Weed – Late-summer
Blazing Star – Late-summer
Aster – Late-summer to fall
Monarda fistulosa – Late-summer to fall
Goldenrod – Late-summer to fall

Download image of Drummers “Plants that Attract Butterflies”

Pollinator Planting Guides

Click on a map to download the Ecoregional Planting Guide. Each guide will give you information on specific plant traits that pollinators prefer ( color, odor, pollen, nectar, flower shape ) as well as a list of plants to support pollinators in that region. There are many overlaps in plant varieties in these guides. We wanted to include specific regions because we have customers that are from nearby areas that may live in a different zone.

Mankato is zone 5a (was 4b) and in the Prairie Parkland Temperate Province.

Don’t have room for an in-ground pollinator garden? Check out the portable pollinator garden list from National Garden Bureau.

Prairie Parkland Temperate Province Ecoregional Pollinator Planting Guide Regional  Map
Eastern Broadleaf Forest Continental   Province Ecoregional Pollinator Planting Guide

Sources: Pollinator Partnership. Selecting Plants for Pollinators, Prairie Parkland, Temperate Province. Published by Pollinator Partnership, San Francisco

Pollinator Partnership. Selecting Plants for Pollinators, Eastern Broadleaf Forest, Continental Province. Published by Pollinator Partnership, San Francisco, USA. https://www.pollinator.org/guides#about

ABOUT POLLINATOR PARTNERSHIP MISSION

“Birds, bats, bees, butterflies, beetles, and other small mammals that pollinate plants are responsible for bringing us one out of every three bites of food.

They also sustain our ecosystems and produce our natural resources by helping plants reproduce.

Without the actions of pollinators agricultural economies, our food supply, and surrounding landscapes would collapse.”

Learn more

potato varieties

Growing Potatoes, Onions, & Other Root Crops

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Potato and onion sets will be in the store end of March so it’s a great time to learn more about growing these delicious and easily stored vegetables! Sweet potato starters arrive later in the spring since they need warm soil temps when planting. Veggie Deb will cover the basics of planting these vegetables as (more…)

vegetables in a bin

Vegetable Gardening 101 with Veggie Deb!

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Learn about starting your own vegetable garden or ask your questions if your garden hasn’t thrived in years past.

marigolds

Digging Deeper – Late Spring Gardening

“What is one to say about June, the time of perfect young summer, the fulfillment of the promise of the earlier months, and with as yet no sign to remind one that its fresh young beauty will ever fade.”
–  Gertrude Jekyll, On Gardening

This post is about late spring/early summer gardening tips and things to look for that may be showing up soon in your garden.

  1. Fertilizer

    Don’t forget water soluble fertilizers for container plants. Container plants are in a potting soil that do not contain enough nutrients for all season.  Depending on the plant, you will need to add fertilizer to the water or use a slow release fertilize like Osmocote. Follow directions of product and individual plant needs for fertilization. Top dressing containers with compost can also be done to add some nutrients.

  2. Boost for New & Established Plants

    Most in-ground soils will benefit from adding organic material like compost and a starting fertilizer like Biotone Starter before planting or Plant Tone after planting. Top dressing the established perennials/shrubs with compost in the spring will give them an extra boost of nutrients. Plants like butterfly bush, delphinium, and clematis like if you put a mound of compost around their root ball.

  3. Watering

    Newly planted plants in the ground need deep watering so their roots reach down and establish themselves before winter and reduces stress on the plants. Water deeply a couple times a week. If it rains a little (pay attention to how many inches you get with a rain gauge), you can water around your new plants a little more to get water deep into the soil. It helps you conserve water and save time watering. 1″ of water per week is the recommended amount of water. Pay attention to the soil and if it is wet looking, hold off for another day. Best method is to stick your finger in the soil and if it’s dry a couple inches down, it’s time to water.

  4. Weeding

    Remove weeds now while they are small, as they grow quickly. Weeding is easy when soil is damp since it’s easier to pull the whole plant including the roots. Be careful not to walk on soil around your plants to avoid compaction of the soil.

  5. Prevent Fungal Diseases

    With rain and warming weather you need to be proactive about fungal diseases. It’s best to prevent it, instead of treating it because once it starts, you can’t get rid of it completely. Treat your plants that have a higher chance of fungal issues with a fungicide before you see signs of it.  For example, tomatoes usually get blight so best to treat with Bonide Revitalize or Copper Fungicide before it starts. Make sure to water your plants at the base and water in the morning when possible so the water can dry before it cools off at night. Mulch around your plants as well to help prevent fungus from the soil splashing on your plants.

  6. Insect damage is going to start. Keep an eye on your plants for damage to their foliage. It’s important to remember, a little bit of insect damage is not bad and if you see an insect, it doesn’t mean they are bad. We need to move passed the thought that bugs are icky and nuisance. There are very important insects that are good for the garden and actually improve plant health.

    Look for these invasive species instead:
    Japanese Beetles: Metallic looking green/bronze beetles flying or munching on landscape plants. They love roses, hollyhock, cherry trees, plums, grapes, blackberries, and linden trees. They can be found snacking on other plants as well. Read more about them hereIncorporate plants that repel Japanese beetles such as catnip, chives, garlic, nasturtium, and white geranium around your susceptible plants. Jumping Worms: Although we haven’t had any recordings of jumping worms in our area, these can be very detrimental to lawns and gardens. There are sightings of these worms in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area so if you are doing any transplanting of plants from that area, purchases of mulches and soils, or any plant swap around our area. Read more about them here so you can know what to do to avoid them or if you see them, how to alert the U of MN Garden Extension. There are no proven ways to eradicate these worms yet.

Getting rid of insects isn’t always easy and great care should be taken if you choose to spray with insecticides, even ones labeled organic. It’s still an insecticide made to kill insects.

*Quick side note about fungus since we have been having cool springs the last couple years. With cool/wet weather you may encounter anthracnose on your plants. If you are seeing brown spots on trees and shrubs early in the spring it may be this.

carrots held by gardening with soil on them.

Starting a Vegetable Garden & Resources

Congrats on starting your vegetable garden journey!

There has been a huge increase of people wanting to grow their own food as well as flowers, pollinator plants and converting lawns to native species so you’ll find a large community, including us, that can help you with all your trials and celebrate your successes.

This post is for bringing the basic info together to start you off. We are always here to answer your questions if you have any if you can’t find what you are looking for email us! Feel free to call or stop in!

Info sheets we like to handout in store for all vegetable gardeners:

Vegetable Gardening Estimated Sowing Dates/Planner (PDF)

Seed Starting Indoors (PDF)

You can also read our post about seed starting supplies and steps.

Additional Resources:

We’d also like to direct you to our Resources page for additonal gardening information.

We like getting our plant and gardening information from multiple sources, just like you do, so we found this webpage that helps you decide on where to plant, soil health, and more information. These steps are not only for vegetable gardens but perennial gardens and landscaping!

Don’t forget to follow us on the Facebook, Instagram and subscribe on YouTube for plant and gardening tips!

Video link

Seeds you need to start in March and April and what you need!
all purpose grass seed

Early Spring Yard and Garden Tasks

The desire to start gardening and enjoy outside is hard to suppress. Each spring will bring us new weather patterns and it’s best to take Nature’s cues when it comes to accomplishing these yard and garden tasks

YARD AND GARDEN TASKS:

1. Wait to clean up dead perennial matter until temps are consistently around 55F-60F. Beneficial insects will be in their dormant state in leaf litter and dead perennial matter. You should wait to clean up dead plant material as late as possible into the spring.

You can top dress with compost as well as mulch around the root zone of your plants when you see perennials emerging.

2. Clean and sanitize your outdoor containers, bird baths, bird feeders, and garden tools. Check out the new garden decor and tools in store!

3. Prune off dead/damaged branches on shrubs and trees. Late winter/early spring is the best time to prune trees, before their buds are formed. Refer to our pruning guide in regards to shrubs and trees.

4. Clean debris from your vegetable garden and top dress the soil with compost at least two weeks before you plant. Avoid compaction of the soil by using designated walkways. Compaction of the soil will reduce the level of oxygen available for plant roots. Lightly till in compost if you notice your soil is compacted.

5. Early to Mid-April, depending on weather and ground temperature, is the best time to put down new grass seed or ground covers like clover. Wait to scatter seed until day temps are 60F+ consistently before spreading seed. Most seeds, including grass won’t germinate until the soil is 55F+. We carry bulk or bagged grass seed from Ramy Seed in Mankato. If you want to forego a conventional grass lawn, get a  wildflower seed mix and scatter the seed in mid to late April.

Please note, if you want to do a weed killer in the same area you want new grass, you will have to wait to over-seed grass until summer or fall. If seeding is more important – forgo the crabgrass or weed killer and just use a lawn food

6. Apply crabgrass killer and weed pre-emergents just before we have consistent 60F days. Most products last 6-8 weeks and timing the application with the weather is important or you may need to reapply. Weeds  germinate when soil is 55F. There are many turf products, likes Maxlawn Weed and Feed, that contain fertilizer as well as weed killers so you can accomplish both tasks if you have weeds throughout your lawn. Our staff can help you decide what is best depending on what you want to accomplish!

If you don’t mind weeds, use a lawn fertilizer around the time you have to mow for the first time.

PLANT THESE in your GARDEN EARLY TO MID-SPRING:

Summer blooming bulbs, potatoes, asparagus, strawberries, cold vegetable crops, and onion plants.

Plant summer bulbs when the soil has warmed to above 40F and the soil isn’t soggy. Usually early April through mid May depending on the spring weather. The soil should be rich and well-draining to avoid bulb rot if cooler temps come back.

Find growing instructions in the store!

Cool Season Hardy and Semi-Hardy Vegetables:

list of cold season hardy and semi-hardy veggie crops

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.

packet seeds on store shelf

Seed Starting Simplified Zoom Webinar

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We want to empower anyone interested to grow their own food, flowers, and other plants and go step by step on seed starting!

perennial display garden

Perennial Parade in the Display Garden

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Event Phone: 507-388-4877

View the beautiful mature perennials in our display gardens and learn more about each one with our resident Horticulturist.

Facebook Live Q&A

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Join us on Facebook live to ask your plant and garden questions!

packet seeds on store shelf

Seed Starting Simplified

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Event Phone: 507-388-4877

Education is key to being successful with starting your own seeds and being successful in growing your own beautiful vegetables, flowers, and other plants!

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Intro to Aquaponics

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Event Phone: 507-388-4877

Let’s use water wisely! Dive into what aquaponics is and see how an aquaponics system works and how to start your own!

moon in the sky with tree silouettes

Gardening by the Moon – A Fascinating Lore

We have all heard of the moon effecting the water tides but have your heard of it effecting soil moisture?

From The Farmers Almanac, gardening by the moon “is an age-old practice of completing chores around the farm according the the moon phases and that the moon governs moisture.”

Growing in Popularity

It is growing in popularity for various reasons but prominently because people are trying to find ways to stay in touch with nature. If people pay attention to the seasons, weather conditions, and natural patterns they can start to feel more in touch with their environment and surroundings.

There are certain garden centers that plant solely on moon phases and swear by it. We have yet to find current research projects that proves it to be more effective. However, we can find anecdotal evidence of its effectiveness online. To be in touch with your environment and weather conditions is an important part of your gardening success. Even if it is gardening by the moon’s phases or not. On this website , they list some sources of research, anecdotal accounts, and their findings for gardening by the moons phases.

General Rules

The over arching rule is that people plant specific crops based on the phase of the moon. It is also believed there are better times to prune, build fences, wean animals, fish, etc. What do they mean by better? Everything from better yields, increased growth, stronger fences, juicier meat, and even to more flavorful produce.

The general rules, from The Farmers Almanac website, is “the new and first-quarter phases, known as the light of the Moon, are considered good for planting above-ground crops, putting down sod, grafting trees, and transplanting.

From full Moon through the last quarter, or the dark of the Moon, is the best time for killing weeds, thinning, pruning, mowing, cutting timber, and planting below-ground crops.”

Working on your garden and land by the moon does seem like a good way to keep track of when to do certain tasks. If it produces better yields and healthier plants that would be an amazing bonus!

Conditions Are Important

If you choose to plant by the moon please remember that other planting conditions still need to be paid attention to.

  •  Soil temperature
  •  Present and forecasted weather conditions
  •  Moisture levels
  •  Soil type
  •  Specific planting needs of the crops you want to grow

 

If you have any questions about when to plant something please contact us or stop in and chat about your gardening goals!

DO YOU PLANT BY THE MOON? Email us or message us on our Drummers Facebook page and let us know!

Websites where you can find more information about gardening by the moon:
The Farmers Alamanac
Read about some moon phase gardening research here.

shamrock plant

New for the Garden in 2018

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Event Phone: 507-388-4877

Discover new plants, techniques, thoughts and products for the garden.

Supporting Pollinators at Home

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Event Phone: 507-388-4877

Come learn about pollinators of all types and how to provide for them.

Growing & Maintaining a Home Lawn in Minnesota

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Event Phone: 507-388-4877

Discover the finer points of growing a great home lawn.

Growing & Using Herbs for Teas

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Event Phone: 507-388-4877

Understand the ins and outs of growing herbs.

Choosing & Caring for Annuals

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Event Phone: 507-388-4877

Discover the basics of growing and caring for annuals.

Growing & Using Culinary Herbs

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Event Phone: 507-388-4877

Understand the ins and outs of growing herbs.

Fall Colors Planter Make & Take Morning

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Event Phone: 507-388-4877

Join Geri and plant annuals in a 10″ whiskey barrel-look container with your favorite fall colors. She will share tips on how to keep your annuals looking good through the fall season. Annuals being used will tolerate a light frost. Also, she will demonstrate a container planting and talk about the plants’ cultural needs. You (more…)

What happened to Grandma’s flowers?

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Event Phone: 507-388-4877

Master It! From Master Gardeners!! Join area University of Minnesota Master Gardeners throughout the day and discover answers to four different topics. They’ll answer questions at the end of each session too. Joyce Wilcox will present, “What happened to Grandma’s flowers?” A discussion of problems with growing old fashioned, Impatiens walleriana in your yard and garden. (more…)

Succulents: Their care, propagation and uses

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Event Phone: 507-388-4877

Master It! From Master Gardeners!! Join area University of Minnesota Master Gardeners throughout the day and discover answers to four different topics. They’ll answer questions at the end of each session too.   Carolyn Becker will discuss the care and feeding of one of the most popular categories of plants today: Succulents:  Their care, propagation, (more…)

wild blue phlox flowers

Early Spring Perennials

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Event Phone: 507-388-4877

Master It! From Master Gardeners!! Join area University of Minnesota Master Gardeners throughout the day and discover answers to four different topics. They’ll answer questions at the end of each session too. Learn to appreciate the early wonders that can be incorporated into woodland and hosta gardens. Barb Maher gardens on a wooded lot in (more…)