Climbing Roses For Northern Gardens

The Upper Midwest is a grand gardening region. If you set a goal of growing every well-adapted tree, shrub and perennial, you’d have to start very young and live to be very, very old. We have no shortage of adapted plants; we just have to choose wisely. Even climbing roses grow beautifully here. We just have…
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Is It Safe To Use Rhubarb After A Spring Frost?

  After our region’s recent spring cold snap, there have been many questions about rhubarb plants that were exposed to freezing temperatures. Many homeowners’ rhubarb was up and growing, and there’s a rumor that circulates every spring about the dangers of eating rhubarb after frost. Is this true? Rhubarb leaves contain oxalic acid, which can be a toxic substance if…
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How Will Late April Cold And Snow Affect Plants?

Looking on the positive side, our recent end-of-April cold and snow remind us that April is a transition month, and May is the main planting month. Old-timers had it right when they cautioned not to be fooled by a few April warm spells. In late April most gardeners haven’t planted tender annual flowers, tomato plants or…
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Coping With Deer In Yard And Garden

I’m all for urban wildlife and I can understand how people might think in-town deer are fun to watch. But not in my backyard. After 35 years of waging war against these eating machines, Bambi has lost his appeal. Rabbits at least just nibble. Deer consume with reckless abandon. Each year they cause millions of dollars…
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Prune Roses In April

Rose bushes benefit greatly from spring pruning. That’s nice information, but when you’re facing a rose bush with pruning shears in hand, where exactly do you cut? The best season for pruning rose bushes is spring, rather than fall, because fall pruning leaves unhealed cuts exposed to frigid temperatures all winter, which can cause greater…
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