Thank you for attending the 11th Annual Green Gifts Fair! We look forward to seeing you next year!

Achieving a Sustainable Lawn

Robert Mugaas University of Minnesota Extension Educator, Environmental Horticulture Most of us value our lawns for their various environmental, recreational and aesthetic benefits. However, when we mismanage or neglect our lawns we diminish or destroy these benefits. As it happens, with a few maintenance and schedule adjustments, most every homeowner …

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Backyard Composting

Robert Mugaas University of Minnesota Extension Educator, Environmental Horticulture Composting is the microbial process whereby organic yard wastes are converted into to a highly desirable, organic, soil-like material. Gardeners have used compost for centuries to increase soil organic matter, improve soil physical properties, and supply some of the essential nutrients …

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Entice Bees to your own Garden

Felicia Parsons Horticulturist Bees require two components in their habitat: somewhere to nest and flowers from which to gather nectar and pollen. Native plants are undoubtedly the best source of food for native bees-because plants and their pollinators have coevolved-and they serve honeybees well too. Use local native plants or …

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Gardening with Wildflowers and Other Native Plants

Robert Mugaas University of Minnesota Extension Educator, Environmental Horticulture Over the last 150 years many midwestern tallgrass prairies and natural woodlands have been converted to residential housing, agricultural fields, municipalities, shopping centers, parking lots, roads and highways. In the process, this development has consumed large areas of natural plant and …

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Houseplant Health Care

Robert Mugaas University of Minnesota Extension Educator, Environmental Horticulture Even though many of our favorite indoor plants originate in more tropical areas of the world, most are fairly adaptable to indoor environments. Houseplants provide living spaces with greenery and other colors, and they provide opportunities to learn to care for …

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Houseplant Health Care Basics

Robert Mugaas University of Minnesota Extension Educator, Horticulture Even though many of our favorite indoor plants originate in tropical areas of the world, most are fairly adaptable to indoor environments. Houseplants provide living spaces with greenery and other colors, and opportunities to learn about plant care and growth. A study …

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Integrated Pest Management (IPM): Garden Insect and Disease Control

Robert Mugaas University of Minnesota Extension Educator, Environmental Horticulture Over the past couple of decades there has been ever-increasing scrutiny of the products utilized for controlling pests in our home yards and gardens. That scrutiny is largely based on our growing safety concerns regarding those products, especially pesticides, to adversely …

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Introduction to Worm Composting (Vermiculture)

Ellen Sandbeck Laverme’s Worms Domestic vermicomposting is the art of using captive earthworms to transform kitchen waste into earthworm castings (aka poop). Those in the know often refer to earthworm castings as “black gold”. Vermicompost is extremely lively; it contains more than 100 times as many beneficial bacteria and fungi …

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Little Boxes to Start Your Garden Early

Malcolm Burleight Master Gardener There is a significant lag between the annual amount of sunlight we receive and the temperature we experience. Mid-March gets as much sun as mid-September but the temperature difference is at least 30°F. Growers can get a jump on the season by taking advantage of this …

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Native Plantings: A Beautiful Solution for Minnesota Shorelines

Angie Hong East Metro Water Resource Education Program Here in Minnesota, shoreline living is not limited to the rich and famous. According to the MN DNR, Minnesota has 11,842 lakes and 69,200 miles of natural rivers and streams. We have over 13 million acres of lakes, streams, and wetlands, which …

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Organic Meets Thrifty: TIPS FOR USING SCRAPS TO FERTILIZE YOUR GARDEN AND REPEL PESTS

Meleah Maynard Master Gardener If you’re reading this, I imagine you’re somebody whose mind is already open to trying things that others might find kind of, well, strange. But there’s a limit to such openness of mind. My limit is hair. Rest assured, I’m not going to suggest you sprinkle …

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The Importance of Heirloom Seeds

Katrina Edenfeld If you’ve ever explored a vegetable seed rack, you’ve probably noticed an array of choices. However, there are three basic types of seeds: Hybrid varieties have been bred for particular traits such as growth pattern or disease resistance. They have been hand-pollinated, and are patented, often sterile, genetically …

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Top Houseplants for Improving Indoor Air Quality

cleanairgardening.com In the late 1980s, a study by NASA and the Associated Landscape Contractors of America (ALCA) was conducted to find ways to purify the air for extended stays in orbiting space stations. The study resulted in excellent news for homeowners and office workers everywhere, because it concluded that common …

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Water Doesn’t Have to Kill Your Houseplants

Carl Hoffman Horticulturist It is often said that over-watering is the number one killer of houseplants. On the other hand, depriving them completely of water will have the same disastrous result. Understanding the appropriate amount of water to give to your plants can be confusing. Some people consider it a …

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