Gardening In The North

Air Date:
Heard On The Larry Meiller Show

We talk about tips, tricks and the lore of gardening in the north with our guest, the editor of Northern Gardener. Her new book covers 150 years of gardening.

Featured in this Show

  • Don’t Let The Cold Stop You From Gardening

    Gardening in colder climates, like here in Wisconsin, presents unique challenges. The growing season isn’t as long, and your tulips and daffodils are always at risk of being killed by a surprise spring frost.

    Mary Lahr Schier’s new book, “The Northern Gardener: From Apples to Zinnias,” is a guide for gardeners in colder places. The book draws its inspiration from Northern Gardener Magazine, a publication of the Minnesota State Horticultural Society that’s been around for about 145 years, Schier said.

    “For many years it was called Minnesota Horticulturist, and then in about the year 2000 they changed the name to Northern Gardener to reflect that it covers more than just Minnesota. (It’s for) anyone who’s gardening in zone 2 or 3 down to about 5,” she said.

    The same is true of Schier’s book: it’s for anyone dealing with the particular problems that come up when you’re gardening in a cold climate. At the same time, it’s’ meant to be a basic gardening book with practical tips for all kinds of gardeners.

    “There’s so much to cover, so we decided to use the A-to-Z format. We cover things like evergreens, the invaders you have in your yard — like bugs, weeds of course had to have a chapter. So we covered the kinds of things that most gardeners want to know about,” she said.

    If you’re a Wisconsin gardener yearning for spring, Schier wants you to know: you can start gardening outside, right now. Really.

    It’s called winter sowing, and it’s best with hardy perennials. Take a milk jug or salad container, put a hole in the bottom, fill it with a seed starting mix soil, plant the seeds, cover them up and put it outside. Then wait.

    “Then in late April, early May, the seeds sprout. What you’ve done is create a mini greenhouse that the seeds can grow in,” she said.

    So if you just can’t wait for spring to get your hands covered in dirt — now isn’t too early (or even too cold) to start.

Episode Credits

  • Larry Meiller Host
  • Jill Nadeau Producer
  • Mary Lahr Schier Guest

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