NDSU Extension - Ramsey County


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March 24, 2014 Horticulture Column

Gardening in your yard!!!  It is hard to believe that we are already so close to planting new plants in our yard.  It seems only yesterday it was the first of January.  Thank goodness those cold days are behind us.  I know many of you are looking into what to plant this gardening season and should be.  There is always a new plant to try or some old established plants, that you may not have grown, either way it is a great way to get fired up for the spring planting season.  As I mentioned in my ag column, Deb and I have been gone for a week and returning home is always a great thing, but as I looked out my bedroom window could not help but notice that the snow is almost gone in our garden and the grill is snow free ready to cook another great supper. 

As you start thinking of your gardening strategies be thinking of location (how much sun) and what soil types you are dealing with.  This will help you develop a strategy of growing the proper plants in the proper location.  Some plants require more sun than others and if you look at the tag or the back side of a seed packet you will little circles (maybe something else) that describes how much sun is needed for a plant species.   I have done some experimenting with Hosta’s and have found that some Hosta’s will grow in sun, however not well or at a very discolored appearance.  Due to the plant nature, they are more of a moist environment plant, so it is important to plant a particular species in a location that it is labeled for.  It is also very important, as you look for annuals, to stay in a zone hardy 2-4 with 4 being marginal but will work if planted in a warmer part of your yard.  I have done this very often and found plants, even zone 5 will work if planted in a very protective area but does not have the longevity of a zone 2-4. I planted a peach tree in my yard late last summer and grew very nicely and even though this particular tree has been developed to withstand a more harsh winter climate they should still be planted in a protected area to lessen the impact of the harsh winter cold.  It will be interesting to see how my peach tree survived over the winter.  

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