Royal Wedding Hosta

The Royal Wedding Hosta is blossoming beautifully right now with large 3″-4″ white flowers.  A sport of hosta ‘Diana Remembered’,  it forms an upright mound of thick, shiny green leaves with very wide, creamy white to pure white margins.   An added bonus – the flowers are sweetly fragrant.

A medium sized hosta it can be used as a specimen plant, in a border planting or massed planting.  

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Successful Tree Planting

Success when planting trees is something we all want to experience, and nothing is more important to assuring your successful tree planting than selecting trees that have healthy, properly structured and power packed root systems.

When they are properly raised, harvested, and maintained up to planting time, traditional balled and burlapped trees in a wire basket with a burlap liner can be successful, and offer the opportunity to plant a good sized tree.  Drawbacks of balled and burlapped trees are higher cost, weights of 300-1000 pounds, greater transplant shock, and a 2-3 year time period until the tree becomes established enough to regain a vibrant appearance.

Planting bare root trees is an excellent and economical way to get trees planted and be able to prune the roots prior to planting in order to assure good root structure.  Drawbacks to planting bare root trees directly into your landscape are generally smaller size, significant transplant shock, higher failure rates, fairly long time for establishment, and a very short period of about three weeks each spring when bare root trees are available and can be planted.

Container trees are trees that have become established in a plastic nursery pot, and this type of packaging has become very popular over the last several decades.  The reasons for this popularity are that container trees are generally a bit larger than bare root trees, are easy to handle and transport, fall into an affordable price range, suffer les transplant shock, establishe fairly quickly when proper planting technique is used, and have high success rates.  In Minnesota, container trees can be successfully panted from early April to late November, which presents a huge 8 month long window of opportunity.

Not all container trees are created equal.  In standard plastic nursery pots with solid side walls and 4-6 drain holes in the bottom, it is easy for roots to circle around inside the pot, and become root bound.  If the person planting the root bound tree fails to ultra-aggressively root prune the matted roots to eliminate all circling of roots on the outside of the root ball, there is a fairly high probability the tree will fail to develop a properly structured root system and will gradually decline and die.  When matted roots are aggressively shredded or removed prior to planting, long term results can be good, but transplant shock is significant.

Happily there are container trees being produced that have almost perfect root systems, transplant easily and establish quickly, and maintain a vibrant appearance right from the first day they are planted into your landscape.  These container trees are produced in a very special type of plastic nursery pot that has dozens of open slots in the sidewalls and bottom that air root prune the roots of the tree as it becomes established in the pot.  The result is an almost perfectly structured root system, with far more fine hair roots to reduce transplant shock, more stored energy to push new growth as soon as the tree is planted, high success rates, and very little chance of developing stem girdling roots that could cause the tree to have problems 10-20 years after planting. These air root pruned container trees are very affordable, and because of the wonderful performance they deliver, we are seeing a growing number of customers who come back and specifically request trees grown in the air root pruning pots.  At Knecht’s Nurseries and Landscaping, we call our trees in air root pruning containers Peak Performance Trees.  We offer Knecht’s Peak Performance Trees in pot sizes from one gallon to 30 gallons and heights of 6 inches to 16 feet tall.  Our huge inventory of Peak Performance Trees offers a wide choice of varieties and sizes to fit almost any budget and application.

We invite you to stop in and see for yourself the great selection of Peak Performance Trees we offer in state of the art air root pruning containers.  Prices range from $12.99 to $259 and everything in between.


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Plants for Fall

Heidi Brosseau from our retail staff submits the following blog:

Feeling Fall – by Heidi Brosseau




School is in session.  Our spring is back in the company of teachers, crowded hallways, cafeterias, and library books.  Football practice has begun.  Plaid woolen blankets and stadium seat cushions are finding their way back into the trunk next to the umbrella and jumper cables.  Soon the ice scraper will join them there,  Painted leaves will line the sidewalk aisle through the yard.  I can imagine them rustling under someone’s step.  Sound and smell rising up for recognition.  The imprint of sounds and smells that have never disappointed.  Reminders of leaf piles, sweaters, blue autumn skies & scratchy woolen blankets.

Planters and window boxes all around town and across the street have replaced their summer petunias and geraniums with mums and ornamental kale.  Their swollen buds foreshadow a vivid and colorful fall.  They ease our transition as summer slips away degree by degree.  Fuzzy purple grass tails beg to be petted.  Can you keep from reaching out and feeling fall?

Give your tired baskets and containers a late summer boost!  Large and showy Minnesota hardy and decorative mums fill bare spots quickly and affordably.  Perfect additions for late season color!  Tuck in one or two flowering kale for texture, a very touchable ornamental grass for movement and grace and voila!  You’re ready for autumn.  Stop in for a little inspiration or let us do the work for you… We have an assortment of Fall Beauty Planters all potted up and ready to go!

Don’t forget your flower beds and landscapes.  Here is a list of our favorite fall performing perennials, vines and shrubs for Minnesota!


Amsonia – Bright yellow fall foliage.

Asters – Purple, Pink or Blue flowers.

‘Purple Dome’ Aster

Bergenia – Red fall foliage.

Cranesbill – Red and orange fall foliage.

Feather Reed Grass, Karl Foerster – Strongly vertical with buff colored plumes.

Flame Grass – Showy silvery plumes above flame colored grasses.

Hardy Mums – Yellow, Red, Russet, maroon, pink, purple or orange flowers.

Heuchera, Tiarella, and Heucherella – Assorted foliage colors and textures including purple, maroon, rust, and gold.

Little Bluestem – Blue grass turns to purple-maroon in fall.

Sedums – Pink or ivory flowers in fall above succulent leaves.

Switch Grass, Northwind – Our 2014 Perennial of the year.  Graceful vase shaped clumps of clean green grass turn a brilliant gold in fall.

‘Karl Foerster’ Feather Reedgrass



Barberry – Green leaved varieties have red all color.

Blueberries – Surprised?! Yep these productive fruit bearing beauties have one more late season trick up their sleeve.  Showy fall color.

Burning bush – Tis the season for these guys to show how they got that name.

Chokeberry – Jet black fruit feeds migrating birds and a bright orange red mix of fall color attracts us.

Hazelnuts – Yes they do actually produce edible nuts and they also produce bright orange-red and yellow fall color.

Hydrangeas – Flowers mature in late summer to rosy pink for many varieties and blossoms last well into winter.

Serviceberry – Another favorite of migrating birds.

Red, orange and golden fall color on this shrub or ornamental tree.

Sumac – This is The bright red foliage you are seeing in the ditches.

Tor Birch leaf spirea – Maroon fall foliage. A newer favorite of ours.

Winterberry – Not so much the foliage color as it is the vivid red fruit.  The Cedar waxwings may steel them before you can enjoy them though.

Witch Hazel – Bright golden-yellow foliage disguises Witch Hazel’s fun little secret.  They bloom in the late fall.  Bright gold spider like flowers are a fun and unique surprise at the end of summer.


Autumn Revolution Bittersweet – Bright orange capsule pop open to reveal vivid red fruit inside.  A favorite choice for drying and fall decorating.

Red Wall & Yellow Wall Engleman Ivy – As their names imply, one has red and one has yellow fall color.


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Categories: Businesses

Carpet or Hardwood? What Flooring Works Best with Your Home?

Northfield Construction Company - Wed, 08/27/2014 - 4:00am

Carpet and hardwood are two of the most popular chooses for flooring material in today’s homes. But, which one will work best for you? Both have their advantages and disadvantages. In the more recent years, homes have been incorporating more alternative flooring options like linoleum and carpet in place of hardwood. Depending on your budget […]

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Categories: Businesses

How to Choose the Perfect Lighting for Your Living Room

Northfield Construction Company - Fri, 08/22/2014 - 7:00am

Lighting provides us with the essential, subtle element that ties together the ambiance of a room. It can be used to accent an art piece or emphasize a fundamental design component. Choosing the right lighting for your living room will help accentuate key aspects and tie together the overall atmosphere. We’ve put together a quick […]

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Work-Life Balance for the Social Media Manager

Brand Yourself Consulting - Tami Enfield - Thu, 08/21/2014 - 3:00am
Between your smartphone and your computer, you can hardly escape from the...
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Autumn Blaze Maple

In recent years, Autumn Blaze Maples have been among the most popular varieties of shade trees, and with good reason.  Autumn Blaze Maples grow quickly into sizeable trees that offer excellent shade, have a vigorous appearance, pleasing shape and intense red fall color.

Autumn Blaze Maples can tolerate a wide variety of soil types, but prefer neutral to slightly acidic soil over alkaline soils.  Able to grow in quite damp soils, Autumn Blaze Maples do best in soils with moderate to good drainage, and are hardy enough for lighter soils.  That’s pretty good versatility!

Consistent pruning is a key to having good, long-term success with all shade tree varieties and this is especially true with Autumn Blaze Maples.  During the first ten years after planting a shade tree, you should prune it aggressively every other year to remove branches that are at too steep of an angle and likely to be weakly attached in later years.

This aggressive removal of poorly structured branches will benefit all shade tree varieties, and especially Autumn Blaze Maples, due in part to their rapid growth rate.  Remove poorly structured branches before they get larger than your fingers.  By pruning early, the wounds will be small and will heal quickly.

If you have pruned aggressively and consistently on your shade trees the first 8-10 years, a good pruning every 4 to 5 years thereafter should keep your trees in good shape.  If you love red fall color, consider an Autumn Blaze Maple.  It will delight the eye and quickly grow into a handsome shade tree.

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It’s Time to Protect Young Trees

Now is the time to protect the bark of young shade trees and ornamental trees by installing white plastic trunk protectors.  Within 5-15 days, male white tail deer will begin rubbing their antlers on the trunks of young trees.  The damage to the bark of valuable young, shade and ornamental trees from antler rubbing can be severe, and in many cases is bad enough to cause people to remove and replace the tree which can be expensive and very disappointing.

The goods news is that white plastic trunk protectors are inexpensive, easy to install and reusable for several years, and will also protect tree bark from damage by mice, rabbits and winter sun.  FOr just $3 to $5 you can purchase white plastic trunk protectors that are available in several styles.

Be sure to avoid the use of black plastic drain tile for protecting tree trunks.  Black material fluctuates too  such in temperature during February and March and may actually increase the probability of bark damage from late winter freeze/thaw cycles.

Years of experience have taught us that the four-foot tall white trunk protectors offer better protection than 2 or 3 foot versions.  Stop in and see our display for the various styles of trunk protectors.

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Categories: Businesses

How to Finish and Unfinished Basement

Northfield Construction Company - Wed, 08/20/2014 - 3:00am

You’re considering remodeling your basement, maybe to add more value to your home or maybe to give your family extra space to grow. Either way, you’re not quite sure the type of remodel you want for your basement. To help you decide, we’ve put together a quick list of popular basement remodels.   Family Room […]

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Categories: Businesses

The Best Time to Seed Grass

The period from mid-August to early September is probably the best time of the year to seed grass in southern Minnesota.  Here are a few tips to improve your results.

1)  Eliminate all perennial weeds in the planting area before working the soil to create a good seed bed.  We have found that spraying a mix of Roundup and Weed-B-Gone at least two weeks ahead of planting to be the most efficient and effective method.

2)  Create a nice seed bed by hoeing, cultivating, tilling and raking so crumbly soil can mix with the seed.

3)  Apply grass seed generously, AND lightly rake the seed into the top 1/2 inch of soil.  Do not leave grass seed lying on the soil surface.  The seed germinates much better and more quickly when mixed with the soil.  Avoid mixing the seed in too deeply.  Mixed into the top 1/2 inch of soil is perfect.  Use a spring tine leaf rake and be sure to rake it both directions.

The picture shows the worked area with grass seed on top of the soil surface and what it looks like when the rake goes over it.

4)  Keep the area moist with morning and afternoon watering for 7-10 days and you will have great grass!

5)  Use / install erosion control fabric on slopes.

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REGISTRATION OPEN for Fall Skating and Hockey Classes Until September 24th!

Northfield Skating School - Mon, 08/18/2014 - 2:12pm

Inspired by the Olympics? Do you want to learn to skate fast, to perform, to jump and spin, or to be a great hockey player? Parents, do you want your children to meet new friends and receive quality, professional instruction in a supportive and challenging environment, with the official curriculum designed by U.S. Figure Skating and USA Hockey?

You’ve come to the right place!

Online registration for fall classes is NOW OPEN through Sept 24 for fall classes beginning Oct 5th

Beginner, advanced, adult, and hockey group lessons available, as well as spin and power specialty classes, private lessons, and special events. View class descriptions and calendar to learn more about Fall Session 1. Registration deadline Sept 24th.


Interested in more information about programs? Contact us or attend our Parent Meeting on Wed, Oct 1 from 7:15-8:15pm at the Northfield Community Resource Center, 1651 Jefferson Parkway, Northfield MN.

Categories: Businesses

Remodel vs. Renovation

Northfield Construction Company - Mon, 08/18/2014 - 10:38am

What’s the difference between remodeling and renovation? Aren’t they essentially the same thing? Both remodeling and renovating mean to make improvements on an existing building or home. However, they refer to two slightly different types of construction. Renovation means “restore to a good state of repair.” In other words, dilapidated buildings or poorly maintained houses […]

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Categories: Businesses

Pinterest for the Small Business Owner

Brand Yourself Consulting - Tami Enfield - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 7:00am
Pinterest is a great social network for promoting products visually and increasing...
Categories: Businesses

Decorating with Shoes

Vivus Architecture + Design - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 10:47am

I saw a very interesting blog post today that suggested displaying your beautiful shoes instead of just hiding them in the closet. I don’t think I’m disciplined enough to hang my shoes up, but it may be a good solution for others.

People are focusing more on customized storage space, especially for clothing and accessories. There are some real benefits to having your clothing organized:
1. It’s easier to get dressed if you know where everything is. Looking for that special shirt in the guest room closet (or did it go to out-of-season storage??) can be frustrating, especially if you are in a hurry to get to work, school, or a special event.

2. Clothes last longer. If your clothes and accessories have proper storage, they will last longer. Sweaters hung on hangers to save space can sag out. Shoes that are kicked into a pile get scuffed and squashed out of shape.

3. Seeing what you have keeps you from buying the same thing over and over. Seeing all those black shoes together may keep you from buying another pair in essentially the same style. Being able to see potential outfits (“this shirt can go with these pants, this tie would work with this shirt,” etc.) helps you create new combinations from what you already own. An investment in storage may pay for itself in reduced clothing costs.

4. Being organized feels good. Knowing that your closet contents aren’t going to topple whenever you open the door is a good feeling. It is also easier to put away clean laundry if it has a place to go and doesn’t need to be jammed into a too-tight space. We change our clothes every day (sometimes several times) so it makes sense for the routine to be pleasant.

This dressing room was built for the “her” half of a couple. The husband had his own dressing space as well, and they shared a master bathroom. They opted for a smaller bedroom to allow for the dressing and storage spaces.

Custom cabinetry and accessories made the most of clothes and bedding storage.

Custom shoe roll-out drawers, a jewelry drawer with a soft lining, a small vanity area for make-up, and hanging rods at different heights made the dressing room organized and a joy to get dressed in.

A number of companies have stock components that can be used for dressing rooms and clothing storage. Check out Ballard Designs for some ideas.
This amazing closet is a group of components that have different uses and can be combined in endless ways.

This closet is made up of different storage components combined.

Whether your clothes space is huge or tiny, organized storage of your clothing can make your life smoother and more pleasant.

Categories: Businesses

Barbara Greger Estate Auction-Northfield-Saturday, August 23, 10:00AM

Kuhlman Auctions - Mon, 08/11/2014 - 6:27am

In order to settle the estate of Barbara Greger, the following items will be sold at public auction at 1014 Division Street in Northfield, MN, starting at 10:00AM on Saturday, August 23.

Primitive pine table, 1852 six board chest, red painted dough box, oval wooden salad bowl w/thumb carved handles, wooden trencher, 3 Windsor stickback chairs, American pine pipe box w/3 clay pipes, wooden grain shovel, primitive pine toolboxes, rectangular splint workbasket, ladderback side chair in original green paint, Steigel type flip glass, demijohn, Mt Washington garlic form castor, Wedgewood vases, green & white patchwork quilt, framed Daniel McElwain harbor scene, bow back Windsor side chair, pewter porringers, Leeds platter, Imari porcelain bowl, firehouse Windsor armchair, Staffordshire plates, bed, dresser, crystal, flow blue, flow mulberry, barber bottles, pink lusterware, couch, chairs, rugs, bedding, pictures, wicker settee and chair, glassware, household and much more.

Note:  Before moving to Northfield, Barbara Greger wass an antique dealer in Rhode Island.  These items from her personal collection are not often seen in the Midwest.  View more items in our photo gallery. Make plans now to attend.

Categories: Businesses

Michael Perry Reading Sept 9, 6:30 pm

Monkey See, Monkey Read - Sun, 08/10/2014 - 8:14am

Michael Perry will read from his new book, The Scavengers, Tuesday, September 9, 2014, 6:30 pm. The reading will take place at the Northfield Public Library.




Categories: Businesses

Hydrangea Trees Put on a Show

From mid-summer all the way into fall, it’s hard to find a class of ornamental trees that can put on a show as breathtaking and long lasting as the hardy hydrangea trees.  Hardy is an understatement.  The entire paniculata family of hydrangeas are so cold hardy that there are several really nice ones growing in front yards in Ely, MN where it hits 40 to 50 degrees F below zero almost every winter.  Those tough hydrangea trees in Ely appear to be 30 to 50 years old and are still blooming beautifully.

Some of the nicer varieties of tree hydrangea we have grown are Pink Diamond, Limelight, Pinky Winky, Tardiva, Quickfire, Vanilla Strawberry and Phantom.  The Phantom Hydrangea tree and Vanilla Strawberry Hydrangea Tree are brand new this year and both are producing large and dense white blossoms that last for two months and gradually turn from pure white to pink.

When I first planted a Tardiva hydrangea tree in a large planting bed on the valley side of my home, I wasn’t really sure how much I would like it.  Twelve years later, I am a raving fan.  Throughout these 12 years, we have enjoyed the large white blossoms of our Tardiva tree hydrangea every August, September and even October.  On Tardiva, the blossoms stay fairly upright, which really presents them well for a great visual impact.

Come on in to the garden center this August and see for yourself the many lovely tree hydrangeas we have in stock and ready for adoption.  I’m sure that when you take one home it will become one of your favorite trees.  It’s also really pretty easy to control the size of hydrangea trees so that you don’t overwhelm a landscape.

Mature sizes range from 5′ to 10′ tall and wide so hydrangea trees can fit in fairly small ares of a landscape.  Plant in a location with part sun up to full sun.  The more sun, the more lush the blossoms!

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Little Library in the Woods

Northfield Construction Company - Thu, 08/07/2014 - 3:05pm

This past weekend Ellen and I were at our lake cottage. Earlier in the week I made a “Little Library” to mount at the end of our driveway. Since it was being mounted in a cabin area I made it to look a bit like a cabin. I used all salvaged materials, except for the […]

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Vines for the Shade

I have two favorite vines that I go to for shady areas.  While both are rated for full sun (six or more hours) to partial shade (four to six hours), I have had good results with both in areas that I would consider full shade.  In a location where they receive less than four hours of sun they are not as vigorous as their part shade neighbors and they did not bloom prolifically, but they did grow and climb the trellises I had provided.

The graceful, Silver Lace Vine

Polygonum aubertii

Silver Lace Vine won‘t waste a moment and will quickly cover a fence or trellis.  From late summer to early autumn it will be covered with an abundance of nearly white, fragrant flowers.  The green summer foliage turns a nice yellow in the fall.  These deer resistant vines will grow up to twenty or thirty feet and are adaptable to a wide range of soils, preferring a semi-dry location once established.

The elegant, Variegated Porcelain Vine

Ampelopsis brevipedunculata ‘Elegans’

This vine will grow ten to twenty-five feet. Uniquely variegated, grape-like, leaves are splashed and speckled with white.  The newest growth tends to blush pink just enough to add an additional layer of intrigue to this already lovely vine.  An abundance of small white flower clusters bloom from mid to late summer, and become multicolored clusters of speckled berries ranging from creamy yellow to lilac, deep purple to brilliant turquoise. A truly elegant looking plant that will make quick work of a fence or trellis. Ampelopsis prefers a well-drained location.


Thanks to Heidi Brosseau for submitting this blog!

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