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  • What's the Buzz?

    It’s time for the Great Minnesota Get Together, and that means lots of great food on a stick and hordes of yellowjackets! Yes, that ubiquitous wasp will be appearing in great numbers at the state fair, especially around waste receptacles and tasty snacks. Here’s some basic information about these pesky bugs, and some tips about what to do if you are inundated with them this year.
  • When Are my Melons Ready to Pick?

    There is nothing better than biting into a ripe, juicy melon on a warm summer day. Summertime wouldn’t be complete without enjoying this tasty fruit while spending some relaxation time by the lake.
  • Aphids In Your Garden

    Here are some tips to control aphids in your home garden:
  • Protect Your Raspberries from Spotted Wing Drosophila

    As I watch the berries form on my primo cane, Joan J raspberries, I am inspecting for any signs of that new invader, Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD). This tiny vinegar fly was first found in Minnesota in August of 2012. Since then it has been found in 40 Minnesota counties.
  • Tomato

    It's easy to see why the tomato is a top choice among gardeners. These plants adapt well to most soil conditions, they are perfect for small garden spaces and the tomato itself has many uses. One plant is likely to yield a high number of tomatoes, so just a couple are necessary to satisfy the needs of most families for the entire season. Tomato plants are relatively easy to grow, but may be susceptible to a few different unwanted diseases. Many things may be to blame for our unhealthy tomato plants; however, the most common invader is fungus. The two most common fungal diseases seen around the area are Early Blight and Septoria Leaf Spot.
  • Bandits of the Night

    Chickens have been slowly disappearing from our barn, and Saturday evening I found the culprit, a young mother raccoon and her eight little ones. Although some may find raccoons cute and funny, I find them aggressive and menacing. Armed with a broom and a Good Dog, I dodged mom’s attack, and, hopefully, banished the raccoons for the time being.
  • Snapdragons for Your Garden

    The hot humid days of summer have arrived, and with them, that childhood favorite, Antirrhinum majus, the ubiquitous snapdragon. Hand a child one of these flowers, and the first thing they do is pinch the sides to move the petal “jaw”. Not many flowers evoke such whimsical childhood memories like the snapdragon. These prolific annuals come in every color but blue, and start easily from seed.
  • Mosquitos - Oh My!

    If you’ve spent any time at all outside this summer, you are aware of the sudden mass influx of mosquitos. These pesky bugs are not only irritating, but they can also spread disease causing organisms to humans and animals. West Nile Virus is a mosquito born virus that can cause encephalitis in humans and horses. Mosquitos are also responsible for transmitting heartworm to dogs.
  • Leaves of Three, Let it Be!

    Summer is here, the kids are out of school, and everyone is spending more time outside. Some of my best summer memories involve camping in the woods with my family, some of the most annoying are memories of biting insects, ticks and poison ivy. I have recently received several calls regarding the identification and eradication of poison ivy. Here are some tips for finding and getting rid of this pesky plant!
  • Horticulture Services Available to Local Residents

    If you have a garden question, from plant/insect identification, lawn care and pesticide application to best practices in growing or maintaining your garden, the University of Minnesota Extension Office in Douglas County is the right place to come. Here are a few services we offer, and some guidelines to follow when you have a question:
  • Meet Your Local Educator

    Robin Trott is the consumer horticulture Extension educator.
  • 2013 U of MN Top Ten Performing Annuals

    Each year, hundreds of cultivars are trialed at the University of Minnesota.
  • Seed Starting for Beginners

    If you’ve also selected the seeds to grow in your garden, you might be considering starting some of those plants indoors.
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