jerry vitalis

The Chisago County Master Gardeners have answered many questions about controlling buckthorn over the years. Land that is not cultivated and left unattended is where buckthorn takes over. Once the shrub is established it is near impossible to eliminate. This winter, more than one gardener has asked me if one can eliminate buckthorn during the [...]

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Minnesota’s harsh climate is often responsible for severe damage to plants in the landscape. Winter sun, wind and cold temperatures can bleach evergreens, damage bark, injure or kill branches, flower buds and roots. Browning or bleaching of evergreen foliage occurs in three ways. First, the winter sun and wind causes excessive transpiration (foliage water loss) [...]

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The poinsettia is still the most popular holiday plant, and I have written several articles about this holiday favorite. Now that our children have families of their own, they give Connie and I gift certificates, which we appreciate. There was a time when we were always given poinsettias, and we made the same mistake so [...]

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Since I am much older than most of our readers, my tradition of a Christmas tree has changed over the years. Growing up on a farm we went to the woods and cut our own tree. Sometimes it didn’t look much like a Christmas tree, but the spirit was there. We didn’t have electricity, so [...]

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At the Almelund Threshing Show last week we answered over hundreds of questions. It got so that every time there was a question about the Japanese beetles, we were able to predict that the gardener was from the Twin Cities or the suburbs. Every one of them told how the Japanese beetle was eating everything [...]

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Last fall I wrote an article about a pest that could be the next true game changer.  Since many gardeners grow a lot of fruit, I wrote about the Spotted Wing Drosophila.  We know it’s getting closer to our area.  Tom Webb, food and ag reporter for the Pioneer Press, wrote an article about this [...]

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