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VIDEO: Make your garden 'pollinator friendly' for the winter ahead

You’ve planted pollinator-friendly plants in your yard like coneflowers, milkweed, bee balm and more. Now take the next step this fall and create a habitat for Minnesota's native bees that will make your yard pollinator friendly all year long!
As you're cleaning up your fall landscapes this year, think about our pollinators and what you can do now to help them through the winter and in the spring. 
Watch our new video: 'Fall Cleanup for Pollinators' Extension Educator Julie Weisenhorn shows you how to do this in a few simple steps.
FAQ's about 'bee hotels' One of  tips Julie suggests is creating a bee "hotel" for native bees.  Roughly 60-70 percent of bees nest in the ground. The other 30 percent are cavity-nesting, using hollow plant stems or holes in wood.
Here are some common questions about houses for wild bees with answers from UMN Extension Bee Researcher Elaine Evans: 
Q:Is fall the right time to buy or build and install a bee house?
A: Any…
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VIDEO: Mice damage among ornamental grasses

Are mice having a party among your ornamental grasses?  As UMN Professor and Extension Horticulturist Mary Hockenberry Meyer explains, you can answer this question if you know what to look for.

See what Mary found at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum Grass Collection in this video.  She'll also talk about what they're doing to manage this problem.

For more "how-to" information, read this article.

Author & Video Producer: Gail Hudson, Extension Horticulture Communications Specialist

Fruit gardening: Frequently Asked Questions of 2018

Growing fruit is rewarding and exciting, but there is also a lot that goes into producing good fruit. Extension Educators Annie Klodd and Jeff Hahn share some of the most common questions they received about growing fruit in 2018.
Why are my apple tree’s leaves wilting and dying in May? Winter injury on apple trees is common in Minnesota. When a tree has been injured by winter temperatures, it is normal for the branches to leaf out in the spring and then wilt, or not leaf out at all. While the affected branches die, the tree will usually still produce fruit since often only a portion of the tree is affected.

Click here for more information on the causes of wilting leaves in apples.
How do I plant a fruit tree orchard? Gardeners, farmers, or organizations aiming to install large plantings of fruit trees should establish a management plan and business plan (if applicable) prior to planting. Fruit is enjoyable to grow and share with others, but these trees are also a significant investme…

How to properly clean your garden tools & pots

Lower the risk for plant disease in next year's garden! Before you store your garden tools for the winter be sure to clean them. Many plant pathogens can survive from one season to the next in infected plant debris, soil, or on tools, trellises, stakes, or pots that were used to grow the plants.
How to clean tools, pots, and other garden suppliesRemove all soil and plant debris attached to tools, trellises, or old pots. Most plant pathogens survive best when sheltered by soil or in plant material. Potting soil, annual plants, leaves and stems killed by frost can all be placed into a compost pile. Use a brush or a hard stream of water from the garden hose to completely remove soil and other organic material.  Disinfectants available to home gardeners1) Bleach (5.25% Sodium hypochlorite)
Make a 10% solution by mixing one part bleach with 9 parts of water. Dip or spray tools with the 10% bleach solution. This will kill fungi, bacteria, and viruses within seconds.

Note: Bleach can be…

Do you sell your fruits and vegetables? If so, here's something you need to know!

Food safety is important for everybody who grows produce. However, if you sell more than $25,000/year (in 2015 dollars), on average, over three years, then you should be aware of a new rule that may apply to you. (Backyard market gardeners and school gardeners—we've got info for you, too!)

It’s called the Produce Safety Rule, and it is one part of the new Food Safety Modernization Act, or FSMA.

Explore World of Squash at the Arboretum!

Want to get into the Fall spirit? This year, visitors to the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chaska can see more than 300 varieties of pumpkins, squash and ornamental gourds. It's a veritable vegetable gardener's paradise!

Should I mulch? Or bag my leaves this fall?

Many homeowners wonder if they should be collecting and removing tree leaves from their lawns prior to mowing, or if the tree leaves can be mulched (mown) into the lawn. Like many recommendations for lawn management decisions, this one can also be answered with the phrase, "it depends."