February in My Minnesota Garden

february hydrangea

I usually think of February as a kinder, gentler version of January.  It’s usually still cold and snowy, but with fewer days, a little more daylight, and some warmer days in the mix, it generally goes by pretty quickly and by the time it’s over, spring is just about within reach.

This year February brought a little snow and cold, but I think I can count the number of times that I wore my winter coat and boots on one hand. I’m also pretty sure that outside of going to the gym, I haven’t worn socks more than once or twice since returning from vacation.  This was definitely not a typical Minnesota February and it flew by even faster than usual.

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Why Variety Selection Matters

Why Variety Selection Matters

This is the time of year when my inbox starts to fill up with a variety of interesting garden planning strategy questions.  From the ever popular, If I start my tomatoes super early, I can harvest them in June, right? to the curious Can I make pickles from any type of cucumber? And how do I ensure that the cucumbers will be ready at the same time as the dill?, gardeners are clearly focused on how to set themselves up for gardening success. Whatever the question and its answer, I almost always come back to the importance of variety selection, because while the answer to any of these questions could technically, in theory, be yes, the reality is that choosing the right variety for your intended outcome is a far better strategy for success than planting tomato seeds a solid 4 months before your last frost date or settling for less than perfect pickles.

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New Year, New Garden, New Blog

buds in snowstorm

2016 was a tough year for the blog.  Things started out strong, but our move quickly took center stage and left little time for tending the garden, let alone writing about it.  It was difficult to sit out the garden season, as month after month pass without having the time or content to publish a post, but it did give me some time to gain a little perspective and reflect on the future of this blog.

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Guest Post: Saving Flower Seed

Saving Flower Seed

Today’s post comes from my friend Melissa Keyser from Sweet Bee Garden.  I first got to know Melissa from her frequent comments here on the blog, and as a result have enjoyed following both her blog and Instagram feed for a couple of years now.  I really appreciate Melissa’s down to earth approach to gardening and self-sufficiency and I love her eye for garden design and focus on permaculture principles.  When  she suggested a guest post collaboration, it was a no-brainer to introduce you to her and have her write about one of our shared interests: seed saving!

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Almost on the Other Side

cucumber beetle

Hello! It’s been a while!

This post is a long overdue shout out to let you know that I am still here, still gardening, and still digging out from our move earlier this summer.  To say that the move was all consuming almost feels like an understatement, as we have now lived and breathed boxes, paint, and home improvement stores for the better part of the year.  It’s been a long haul, but thankfully we are finally feeling more settled in our new digs and for the first time in months, it feels like the end is actually in sight.

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Adventures in Container Gardening

Adventures in Container Gardening

The last few weeks our impending move has been all-consuming.  Between closing on the new house and getting everything in order for the inspection and appraisal of our current house (not to mention all the packing and cleaning and painting), there hasn’t been much time for anything else—but then again, even if I did have a little more time, there really isn’t a lot of gardening that I can do under my current circumstances.

So what is a gardener (temporarily) without a garden to do?  Try her hand at container gardening, of course!

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