Don't forget to water. This is a critical time for ripening veggies so don't let them dry out if the rain slows down. Water deeply and thoroughly.
Keep harvesting. Get out into the garden every day if you can to keep everything picked clean at the peak of ripeness. Beans, peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, and so on will keep producing if you keep picking. Share extra with neighbors and loved ones, or preserve for the long winter ahead.
Plant some quick crops. All kinds of greens will pop up and be ready to eat before first frost if you plant them now. No open space left in the g...
Butterflies can't fly if their body temperatures are below 82 degrees. That's probably why butterflies are found on all continents except Antarctica.
Butterflies do indeed taste with their feet. Since taste sensors are located in their toes (tarsi), when they land on a plant they can instantly tell whether it will provide a tasty meal or a good place to lay eggs. Their toes also have claws to help them cling, even upside down.
Though your mother may have warned you about this, butterflies will not instantly die if you touch them. However, too much touching rubs off the scales that create color...
Common Minnesota Butterflies and What They Like to Eat
Variegated Fritillary (Euptoieta claudia): Caterpillars like pansies. Nectar plants include black eyed Susan, verbena, butterfly bush, globe amaranth, marigold, New England aster, oregano, red clover, and zinnia.
Monarch (Danaus plexippus): Caterpillars only like milkweed. Nectar plants include verbena, butterfly bush, butterfly weed, milkweed, globe amaranth, heliotrope, Joe Pye weed, lantana, marigold, mustard greens, New England aster, oriental lilies, coneflower, and zinnia.
American Snout (Libytheana carinenta): Caterpillars like hackberry. Favorite nectar plant is late-flowering bo...
You thought your toddler was a picky eater? Try planning a butterfly garden! Caterpillars would rather starve than eat the wrong plant, and adult butterflies will move on to tastier pastures (literally) if you don't have what they're looking for. Monarchs are the most famous picky eaters: Caterpillars eat milkweed only, thank you very much.
No matter what species of butterfly you're aiming to attract, all butterfly gardens have five elements: plenty of sunshine, roosting spots sheltered from the wind and predators, nectar sources (blooming flowers for adults), host plants (food for caterpillars), and water.
Ahh, the tree peony, elegant queen of the garden. Tree peonies create giant blooms in an array of soft or shocking colors, making them the centerpiece of color-themed cottage gardens or the foundation element in more formal French-style gardens. Once you introduce these beauties to your perennial beds, you'll wonder why you waited so long to bring them home.
Keep in mind that shrub peonies are long-lived plants and with a little care produce blooms for a century or more. Depending on the zone where you live, a mature tree peony could set 100 flowers in a season! It only takes 5 to 10 years to...
Spring Pruning for Perennials - The Ins and Outs of Pruning.
Developing an eye for pruning perennials is rather like learning to appreciate fine art: Studying why an artist placed a brushstroke a certain way is helpful to understanding the work of art, but sometimes you just have to stand back and look at the whole.
In other words, it's helpful to the gardener to read everything possible about pruning and to ask lots of questions, but when you're standing there on a sunny morning with the shears in your hand you simply have to feel what the garden needs. Pruning is practical, certainly, but develop your eye by looking at gardens you admire to...
Today's article includes flowers that begin blooming in mid-summer and continue on and on. A low maintenance perennial garden that keeps blooming from July until frost? It's possible!
Monkshood, also known as Wolfbane (Aconitum)
Monkshood blooms in mid-summer, but following one quick tip will get you more flowers in the fall. It's very important to deadhead monkshood: after the first bloom is finished, cut the bloom stalks down to the ground and don't let the plant set seed. Later in the season you'll be rewarded with more flowers.
Plant monkshood in full sun if possible, but this perennial will also thrive in light sh...
Hardy Chrysanthemums, or Garden Mums, are popular plants that have been used in the gardens of China since before 550B.C. Their blooms brighten garden beds and borders from early August through November with blooms that often last for many weeks. Some varieties begin blooming earlier than others. Mums come in a wide assortment of colors including white, many shades of yellow, pink, lavender, red and bronze.
Today, Mums are a large part of the fall harvest season and are a great way to brighten and bring color to any spot in the garden. Mums are also great for use in containers, window boxes and around front entryways.
Here's a quick overview of fall-blooming perennials that are hardy in our Northern Minnesota zone. Plan now for fall color!
Aster (Michaelmas Daisy)
Asters are the respected standby for all fall-blooming gardens. They are most familiar in purple shades but also bloom white, pink, and blue. Their fine-petaled flowers are between half an inch and two inches across.
Asters begin to bloom in August and continue until frost. Pinch the tops in early summer to promote bushy growth and dozens of flowers. Asters like to creep through the perennial garden but they blend nicely with other flowers.
Heucheras like fertile, well-drained soils with partial sun or shade — morning sun and afternoon shade is perfect. Those are the ideal conditions, but they are fairly adaptable. However, they do not like wet or heavy soils. Another one of heuchera’s good characteristics for northern gardeners is that deer do not like them.
Heucheras are flexible design elements in the garden. They can be edger plants along a sidewalk or a standout plant in a rock garden. They look nice under trees or among other shorter perennials. They can be used to great effect in containers, providing the “filler” of the thriller, filler and spiller combos that many conta...