Tips for Hardy Gardeners

Gardening tips for Duluth's Northern climate, hosted by Master Gardener Tom Kasper.

cool.as.a.cucumber/Flickr

There are a couple of big plant sale events coming up in the Northland, but given the weather recently, it's a great relief to know you won't have to camp overnight in line to get plants.

Show up at 4:00 am, maybe, but not camp overnight! 

Alan Weir/Flickr

If winter storm warnings on May Day weren't bad enough ... the weather was still lousy for World Naked Gardening Day.

And yes, that's a thing.  You can look it up.

Despite a gardening career that spans decades, author John Whitman says he thought he knew more than he did when he sat down to produce Fresh From The Garden: An Organic Guide to Growing Vegetables, Berries and Herbs in Cold Climates.

Peter Prehn/Flickr

With a weekend forecast calling for sunshine and 60s, it's going to be hard for spring-starved Northlanders to stay out of their backyards.

Their wet, squishy backyards.

Tom Kasper says don't rake; prune instead.

Tom Kasper

Those weird lights glowing at all hours in Tom Kasper's basement?

Grow lights, trying to give his onion seedlings the 60-70 degrees and the 14 hours of daylight they need to grow into fine, big, grown-up onions.

That's our story and we're sticking to it.

Apium [via Flickr, modified]

In these turbulent March days where perennials may start to peek out of the ground, a few days of drastic cold may come around as damage their early growth.  Tom Kasper advises covering those garden beds with loose straw to provide an insulating layer to help keep out the cold air.

Tom Kasper

Tom Kasper is wondering where he can get some snow.

"February 20th and my bee balm is sprouting," he writes on his Facebook page.  "I'm all for an early spring. But this is a little too early!"

Perhaps the immortal words of Simon and Garfunkel are what our perennials need about now:

Slow down; you move too fast

You've got to make the winter last ...!

Tom Kasper

Tom Kasper is ignoring the -20 to -30 below windchills of the next few days, and the melting mid-30s after that in favor of  his plant and seed catalogs, where lawns are green,  gardens are lush and all the dahlias are above average.

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