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Video: Extension talks gardening with Twin Cities PBS

Landscape with many different grasses and shrubs

Spring is here and it’s time to start making plans for your yard and garden. Julie Weisenhorn, Extension horticulture educator, recently spoke with Twin Cities Public Television Originals about when and how to start cultivating your own garden paradise this year.

Check out the video interview

Twin Cities PBS Producer Luke Heikkila asked her for advice on a few common gardening questions as Minnesotans prepare for the warmer months ahead.

One of the first yard chores on people’s to-do list is raking the leaves on their lawn. Julie said to wait until you are confident the soil is dry to avoid pulling out any of your lawn’s grass. 

“If you feel the soil and poke your hand down inside there and it feels pretty dry, probably the first five inches or so, then you go ahead and start raking.”

When asked about the difference between deadheading versus pruning, Julie said, “Deadheading is cutting off the spent flowers. Pruning is where you are making decisions about the form and opening up the canopy of the shrub or tree so that you can get more light into the canopy and increase the bloom or the leaf set.”

On dividing perennials in the spring, Julie said it depends on the type of perennial. 

“This is the perfect time to divide your hostas. Plants like the iris should be divided in July because you want to divide those after they bloom. Peonies, on the other hand, are in the fall.”

Gardeners may also want to test the type of soil they are using to determine which plants will grow best. The University of Minnesota Soil Testing Laboratory provides soil testing services for interested gardeners. 

Under the current situation, Julie recommended, “With staying home and minimizing contact, the Soil Testing Lab is requesting and accepting mailed-in samples. Do it about every three to five years.”

For answers on any other springtime gardening questions you might have, Julie recommends checking out the Extension Yard and Garden page, where she said, “You’ll find tons of information on everything from soil to trees and shrubs, to fruits and vegetables, flowers and houseplants.”

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