Garden Update: Spring 2020

By Esther Jordan, Communications Specialist

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 functioning under reduced operations. This means our office building and grounds are currently closed to the public, including the Horticulture Display Garden. Essential employees are tending to the needs of our livestock herds and our greenhouses.

The 2020 growing season will certainly be one for the history books. Because of our reduced operation status, we've had to make the difficult decision to scale back our garden plantings. While the Garden will be filled with thousands of trial annual flowers, many of our non-trial gardens will not be planted this year. Instead, we’ll be planting a cover crop to help with weed suppression as well as to naturally amend the soil. We are hopeful that the Garden will be able to re-open soon.

When the Garden does re-open to the public, please follow social distancing protocols as laid out by the Minnesota Department of Health in order to protect the health and safety of all visitors. An announcement will be made on the WCROC website when the Garden does re-open to the public.

A few updates about our upcoming events:

  • Events scheduled for May and June are either cancelled or moved to an online version. This includes our May and June Come Grow with Us classes. Please check the Events and Education page for all event related announcements.
  • Our children’s program, Come Grow with Me, is postponed to 2021.
  • Horticulture Night is currently on hold until we know more.

While there are a lot of unknowns and uncertainties, here’s what we do know:

  • Our greenhouses are home to beautiful, lush flowers that will soon be bursting with color.
  • Our flower planting schedule is right on track. Assuming we have fair spring conditions, planting will begin the last week of May and continue into the first part of June.
  • Once open to the public, the Horticulture Display Garden can be a bright spot during this time of darkness.