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Master Gardeners in Blue Earth County

    Cover Crop Grades for the Garden
    Cover crops are a underused asset to any garden. See how common (and some uncommon) species did during the spring and most of the summer.
    Garlic Mustard: A Vinegary Disposition
    One aspect of garlic mustard, aside from its annoying growth habit, is its influence on the soil underneath.
    What Makes a Plant False?
    Whether it is Solomon's seal or false Solomon's seal, we must remember that plants, even the “false” ones, play an important role in their native habitat.
    Solarization in the Garden
    Solarization is where transparent plastic (2 to 6 mil) covers a garden bed and uses trapped heat to kill weed seedlings (and some diseases). Common in southern states, more temperate areas such as Maine, Indiana, and Minnesota have found some use in this process and are continuing to explore how to make it more effective.
    Oats: A Domesticated Weed
    In their day, oats were not a weed suppressor, but a weed. Before agriculture as we know it, wild grasses such as oats (Avena sp.), wheat (Triticum sp.), and barley (Hordeum sp.) often grew in the same area and were occasionally munched on by the earliest humans. Over time, people selected barley and wheat for domestication, leaving oats in the dust until fairly recently.
    Mother of Thousands: A Plant Factory
    Mother of thousands, a succulent native to Madagascar, has a unique method of reproduction in the plant world. Certain cells on the leaf margin spontaneously turn into entirely separate organisms, called plantlets.
    New Holiday Invader: Elongate Hemlock Scale
    Detected on holiday wreaths sold at Menards and Home Depot, these invasive insects pose a serious risk to Minnesota’s forest and residential landscapes, particularly to evergreens.
    Elderberry: A Magic Wand for Colds?
    There appears to be a measurable benefit (compared to placebo) to taking elderberry during the flu, but elderberries have a surprising history with humanity.
    Sparkling Water: Pesticide Panic?
    Linalool is indeed used in insecticides, but looks (and smells) can be deceiving with this plant derived chemical.
    Wasp Control for Lawns
    Ground nesting wasps can be quite the annoyance in late summer. Knowing when and how to control is key.

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