Robin Trott, U of M Extension Educator
By Robin Trott, University of Minnesota Extension I love fresh, garden-grown produce. In March, I start my seeds and dream of the day I will harvest my first fruits and vegetables. There are so many varieties and so many shapes, colors and textures. Which, in the long run, will be the best to grow or the healthiest to eat? Look for those varieties that are rich in phytonutrients.
I can’t imagine a garden without the lovely fragrance of acidanthera (peacock orchid). A type of gladiola, the acidanthera flower is a white bloom with a maroon blotchy center and, like the gladiola, is a summer bulb. Summer bulbs and tubers are planted after the last frost date, once the ground has warmed a bit. In our area, this means planting will take place roughly from mid-May to June.
By Robin Trott, University of Minnesota Extension If you're like me, you have been reveling in this glorious, early spring. I saw my first robin recently, the red-winged blackbirds have returned to create chaos in the tree tops, and one other early arriver is out there, the ubiquitous deer tick. University of Minnesota Entomologist Jeff Hahn warns, "This mild, short winter means most of Minnesota's tick population survived. Even though it's only early March, the disease-carrying blacklegged ticks, also known as deer ticks, are already out and active."
By Robin Trott, University of Minnesota Extension 2016 is the year to water wisely. From container plantings to lawns and gardens, in 2016, the Consumer Horticulture Team at University of Minnesota Extension will be working statewide to help landowners use their water resources wisely. Educational workshops, informational posters, webinars and news articles will be aimed at helping you identify "waterhogs" and change your practices to use water more efficiently and effectively in your garden.
By Robin Trott, University of Minnesota Extension educator With more than 1,700 different species, begonia (family Begoniaceae) is the fifth most diverse class of plants. The National Garden Association has selected the begonia as 2016's annual plant of the year. Begonias are an easy-to-grow tropical plant that can be grown in garden beds, flower pots and hanging baskets.
By Robin Trott, University of Minnesota Extension Many consider the New Year a time for resolutions and significant changes in lifestyle and habits. For gardeners, a new growing season is a gift of possibilities. Before you jump headlong into this great New Year, I submit these 10 resolutions for gardeners of all ages, novice to expert: 1. Get a soil test. Test results give information about soil pH, organic material and also make fertilizer recommendations based on what you plan to plant. If you haven't had a soil test in the past five years, you are overdue!
The locavore movement – in which people eat food produced near their home to reduce their carbon footprint – is getting more and more popular. From field to fork, the average dinner has traveled 1,500 miles. When you buy direct from local farmers, your dollars stay within your community and help strengthen the local economy.
This was the summer of the annual on our farm! The lisianthus was spectacular, the Matthiola bloomed tall and straight, and even the zinnias strutted their stuff! Each year, hundreds of cultivars are trialed at the University of Minnesota West Central Research and Outreach Center (WCROC) Horticulture Display Garden in Morris. The garden is open to the public for self-guided tours throughout the growing season and provides a unique opportunity to compare the performance of bedding plant cultivars under our region’s growing conditions.
Do you have an avid gardener on your Christmas list? Many local businesses carry items that would appeal to your gardening friends and relatives, including: hand tools, garden gadgets, house plants, bird feeders, books and natural soaps and lotions. So, in honor of your gardening loved ones, here’s a list of suggestions for those of you still pondering that age old question, “What in the world am I going to give for the holidays?” Good gardening gloves: High-quality gardening gloves provide comfort and convenience for the gardener.
Succulents have become the hot new houseplants, and I am often asked how to grow succulents and which succulents a beginner should choose.