Horticulture Display Garden News: Spring 2020

Garden Update

The current state of the country has been unlike anything we've seen or experienced before. University leadership is providing us guidance and support as we navigate through the COVID-19 crisis. To protect the health and safety of our employees and the public, the WCROC is operating under reduced operations. What does this all mean for the Horticulture Display Garden? And for upcoming educational events? We'll provide as much information as we can given what's available to us today. Garden Update 

Integrating Living Mulches into Strawberry Production

Locally grown strawberries are a high value crop in Minnesota, and the potential for a longer production season is now possible with new day-neutral cultivars grown in an annual system. The system can be incorporated into an annual horticultural crop rotation, which boosts biodiversity and economic diversity on local farms. However, even in varied production systems, weed control remains a constant battle for fruit and vegetable farmers. We set out to make the system more sustainable by demonstrating a between-row living mulch in order to suppress early-season weeds without competing with the strawberry plants, as well as to contribute to soil health. Living Mulch

Innovative Air-Propelled Abrasive Grit Application to Manage Weeds in Perennial Horticulture Crops

Weed management, particularly within rows of perennial fruit plants, is challenging. There is a need to develop inexpensive but effective weed control strategies. A new technique and alternative weed strategy for controlling weed seedlings postemergence is known as grit-weeding. Unlike herbicidal management, grit weeding may have the potential to be used on new and established perennial fruit plants grown organically. Grit Weeding

How to Prune Panicle Hydrangeas

With their diverse habits, flowers and incredible color, the genus Hydrangea has become the country’s most popular shrub.  Most Minnesota gardens now have at least one species represented, and sometimes gardeners are confused as to how to prune their hydrangeas. Follow along with Debbie Lonnee's detailed instructions. Pruning Hydrangeas

Plant to Pick: KinderKrisp Apple

We are not far away from apple season and what a wonderful time of year it is!  Many northern gardeners enjoy growing their own fruit and vegetables and here is a new apple that may appeal to a lot of gardeners. ‘KinderKrisp’ apple was introduced just a few short years ago and has become wildly popular with homeowners that like to grow a few fruit trees in the backyard. One of its parents is the famous U of MN variety ‘Honeycrisp’, which we all know and love. KinderKrisp Apple

Plant to Pick: BlackIce Plum

Growing your own fruits and vegetables has been a hot trend for gardeners lately, and in the cold north, we have our challenges with cold hardy cultivar selection, especially when it comes to fruit trees. BlackIce™ plum was developed by Dr Brian Smith at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, and is now being produced commercially for homeowner use.  If you would like to grow your own ‘California’ type of eating plum, you should give this cultivar a try. BlackIce Plum

Free Gardening Webinars

Our U of MN partners in Extension have put together several online horticultural learning opportunies. They cover everything from bees, local foods, starting seeds, raised bed gardening, and much more. All classes can be accessed and viewed from the comfort of your own home. Online Horticulture Education

Essential Tips for a Healthy Lawn

June is that time of year when we're assessing the health of our lawns--giving it a thumbs up or down on whether we've achieved a lush green carpet. So just how do you go about getting a healthy lawn? It begins with the question, "What type of lawn do you desire?" Healthy Lawn