jerry vitalis

Every summer the Chisago County Master Gardeners get questions from anxious gardeners about tomatoes.  Many times the answer is that it’s too late for anything to be done to solve the problem, especially in late summer or fall. So, it might be helpful to file this article away for next year’s tomato crop. Almost 20 [...]

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Late August through early September is the time for planting new rhizomes and dividing those irises that have been in place for three to four years. If your irises did not bloom as well as they used to, the problem could be improper soil, not enough sunlight, or poor soil drainage.  This may be the [...]

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I have written several articles on the squash vine borer, and they can be a real problem, but they tend to stay confined to vines. A couple of years ago someone called the office and complained that bugs were eating her squash and cucumbers, leaves and all. I was puzzled, as I had never heard [...]

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Last week while working outside a dark cloud came overhead, and before I realized what was happening, it was sleeting. The next morning while walking to my car, it was snowing. Thankfully the rest of the weekend was nice. The reason for this introduction is because given the spring we are having, it’s hard to [...]

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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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