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Extension > Yard and Garden News > February 2015

Friday, February 20, 2015

Frost depths increase - MN Weather Talk - February 20, 2015

By Julie Weisenhorn

Excerpt from MN Weather Talk blog by Mark Seeley, U of M Climatologist

Frost Depths Increase: The spell of abnormally cold weather combined with the thin snow cover continues to allow frost depths to go deeper into the soil. In southern Minnesota counties frost depths now range from 25 to 35 inches, while in northern counties many frost depths are reported that are deeper than 40 and 50 inches. Shallow soil temperatures, 2-4 inches have fallen this week into the teens F and even the single digits F in some places. Such low temperatures present a threat of winter injury to alfalfa fields and other plants. Maximum frost depths usually occur near the end of February or early March, so the depth of frost in Minnesota has likely not reached its maximum extent for this winter. Read more.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Your 2015 Garden: Starting seeds

The catalogs have been coming in the mail, and some recent balmy days have people thinking about the upcoming gardening season. Seeds can be economical, offer a wide variety of plant options, and a fun project for gardeners of all ages.

P1060058.JPGStart by becoming familiar best practices. The Extension publication, Starting Seeds Indoors, covers all aspects of seed starting including buying seed, types of growing media, how to sow seeds, light and heat requirements, watering, transplanting, etc. Timing seed starting is critical. Start seeds too early and the plants can become spindly and weak. Start seeds too late, and you may not have a good harvest. Read the seed packets and start seeds at the appropriate time. In Minnesota, most seeds require 6-8 weeks of growing indoors before they can be transplanted outside after all danger of frost has passed. Find the spring frost-free date for your area.

Standing in front of a seed display can be exciting - and overwhelming. Before heading to your local garden center, make a list of vegetables you like to eat and read Extension Vegetable publications. Some publications have lists of varieties that have proven to grow well in Minnesota gardens and have better disease resistance. If you are a flower lover, the University of Minnesota annual flower trials is a helpful resource for finding those varieties that performed well in locations around the state.

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