Knecht's - Northfield, MN Nurseries and Landscaping

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Area's largest Garden Center. Home of Peak Performance Trees.
Updated: 21 min 17 sec ago

Norbert Skluzacek

Wed, 10/22/2014 - 1:08pm

Today, we will say goodbye to a dear friend and former employee, Norbert Skluzacek.

Norbert worked for us for 4 years following his retirement.  Having worked most of his adult life as a dairy farmer, he brought his farming knowledge and incredible work ethic here to the nursery.   He was such a hard worker and his work ethic was second to none – a trait we sincerely valued.

Norbert was a gentle man, probably the kindest man you would ever meet and had a heart as big as the sky.  His eyes would sparkle when he smiled.  Norbert’s love for his wife, family, his faith and friends was evident during  any conversation you would have with him.

We will always treasure our memories of Norbert.  We love you Norbert – may you rest in peace.


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Categories: Businesses

Tor Birchleaf Spirea

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 9:32am

Tor Birchleaf Spirea – –  Spiraea betulifolia ‘Tor’

If you are looking for a versatile, hardy, compact, low maintenance, down right pretty shrub then you should consider Tor Birchleaf Spirea to be at or near the top of your list!

This lovely spirea has a compact, mounding habit and really nice grey-green rounded leaves that have a resemblance to birch leaves.  In late spring tiny white flowers bloom in clusters that cover the plant.  Prune lightly or for shape right after the first bloom to promote additional flowers and to freshen it up.  As if all these lovely attributes aren’t enough, Tor Birchleaf Spirea has one more surprise in store for you!  In autumn Tor Birchleaf transforms itself into a vibrant and showy mound of stunning fall color!  Vivid shades of orange, red and purple will delight your eyes and have your friends and neighbors asking, “What is that beautiful plant?”

Here’s some more dirt on Tor Birchleaf Spirea…

2-3’ Tall x 2-3’ wide

Full sun is preferred but they can handle light shade.

Hardy Zone 3-8

Deer Resistant

Excellent used as a specimen or in group plantings.

Rock gardens, low hedges, along paths or walkways and foundation plantings .

Thanks to Heidi Brosseau for this blog post!

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Categories: Businesses

Glory Time for Burning Bush

Thu, 10/16/2014 - 9:47pm

Right now both the standard and dwarf Burning Bush are star attractions in the landscape with their brilliant red fall foliage.  Also known as Winged  Euonymous, the Burning Bush have long been a favorite due to the intensity of the red fall color that develops each October as nights get cooler and days shorter.

Burning Bush are versatile shrubs that can grow in light conditions ranging from full sun to pretty heavy shade.  We’ve seen Burning Bush do well in shady areas where many other plants struggle with the low light levels.  When positioned in a shady area Burning Bush will be a nice green healthy shrub, but will not develop the intense red fall color that takes place when grown in full sun.  Burning Bush prefer neutral to acid soils and soggy ground should be avoided.  Prune one every year or two to maintain good density.

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Categories: Businesses

Fantastic Fall Color

Thu, 10/09/2014 - 4:28pm

Right now many of the trees and shrubs at Knecht’s Nurseries are putting on their autumn color show as various combinations of yellow, gold, orange, red and burgundy are revealed.

Fall has traditionally been a successful time to plant trees and shrubs, so stop in and see for yourself how these plant materials can light up your landscape with end of the growing season foliage colors.  As always, we have deep inventories that give you plenty of selection, and all plant materials are on sale at discounts of 20% off to 50% off.  The savings you can realize right now are amazing.

If you’d like to take advantage of our fall sale prices, but don’t want to do the planting yourself, we still have some room on our schedule to have our experienced cress do the planting for you.  Ask our sales staff for details on your next visit.

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Categories: Businesses

Ornamental Grass

Thu, 10/09/2014 - 4:26pm

That Flame Grass is ON FIRE!!!

Everyone wants to know, “What is the tall grass with the fluffy plumes on top?”

That is Flame Grass and this is the time of year when it becomes completely irresistible.  As our days become shorter and shorter the Flame Grass (AKA: Miscanthus ‘Purpurascens’) foliage gets more and more vibrant and it’s plumes get brighter and fluffier.  Even a gentle breeze gets those seed heads dancing around.  We really love this ornamental grass for its’ hardiness and versatility.  Upright dark-green leaves form clumps that turn flame-orange-red and bronze in fall.  The tall spikes of rose colored flowers mature to silvery-white plumes that remain attractive all winter long.  Flame Grass will grow to about 4 feet tall spreading to around 3-5 feet wide.  It can handle moist but not soggy soils and anything from sand to clay and anything in between. This makes it a good choice for raingardens.  It prefers full sun or partial shade.

Karl Foerster Feather Reed Grass proves itself year after year!!!

Karl Foerster Feather Reed Grass

Karl Foerster (AKA: Calamagrostis acutiflora) is an easy, low maintenance, award winning grass.  It proves its’ landscape worth year after year with its strong vertical habit.  Hardy and versatile it maintains a dense vertical clump of dark green foliage that turns yellow in autumn.  The airy seed heads mature from late summer to early fall becoming dense and wheat colored as they age.  This grass is an excellent selection for landscapes or as a specimen plant because of its clean dense habit.  Karl Foerster grows to 4-5 feet tall with a mature clump width of 2-3 feet.  Grows best in full sun to partial shade and in just about any soil provided it is well drained and not soggy.

Tips: Ornamental grasses should be left standing through winter and then cut back in the early spring before new growth begins to emerge.  They are very easy to dig and divide


Thanks to Heidi Brosseau for this blog!

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Categories: Businesses

Big Tooth Aspen

Wed, 10/01/2014 - 9:34am

In recent years, Big Tooth Aspen have become one of my favorite trees.  Native to southern Minnesota and with a range that extends north into central Canada,  Big Tooth Aspen put on quite a fall color show, and are tough enough to withstand corn country heat and 50 below zero winters.

I try to spend a few days each fall in the Ely, MN area where Big Tooth Aspen are found in mixed forests with their better known cousin the Quaking Aspen, as well as Paper Birch, Red Maple, Spruce, Pine, Fir, Larch and even a few scattered Red Oak, Bur Oak and Northern Pin Oak.  While the Birch and Quaking Aspen take on a mixed mantle of yellow/gold in mid fall, the Bigtooth Aspen typically color up a week later and sometimes add intense orange and red highlights to complement their basic gold fall color.

When you witness a grove of Big Tooth Aspen literally glowing in the sunlight with a shimmering apricot color as the leaves rustle in the slightest breeze,  it is a sight to behold, especially when there is a clear blue sky for a backdrop.

In the canoe country a very common and super hardy low growing understory native shrub called Dwarf Bush Honeysuckle turns lovely shades of red and burgundy, providing a lovely contrast to the color show of the BigTooth Aspens.  Dwarf Bush Honeysuckles mae great groundcover shrubs.  The accompanying photo shows both plants as they occur just a miles south of Ely!

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Categories: Businesses

20% to 50% Off Sale

Wed, 10/01/2014 - 9:20am

From October 1st through November 10th – ALL trees, shrubs and perennials are on sale at discounts of 20% off to 50% off.  Mid to late fall is a good time to add plant materials to your landscape, and there are great deals available throughout the entire nursery.

At Knecht’s, we maintain excellent inventories even in mid to late fall, allowing you to choose from the thousands of trees, shrubs and perennials we have in stock and ready to plant – and to get discounts of 20% to 50% off on all plant materials.

Stop in today at our garden center – We are here 7 days a week for your shopping convenience.

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Categories: Businesses

New Generation Elm Trees

Tue, 09/30/2014 - 9:38am

The time has arrived.  Be not afraid.  You CAN plant the new generation elm trees and have superb disease resistance, fast growth, toughness, durability, longevity, and a great shade tree.

If you have difficult soils on your property where other trees have failed, you may want to consider trying one of the many excellent elm varieties that are resistant to Dutch Elm Disease.  We have admired the appearance of Triumph Elm, Accolade Elm and Discovery Elm, all complex hybrids of several strains of disease resistant elms.

These true American Elms we carry have been extensively tested and shows very high levels of Dutch Em Disease Resistance. Princeton American Elm, New Harmony American Elm and Prairie Expedition Elm grow quickly into stately shade trees and have very tough wood that resists storm damage quite well.

An elm tree may be just the right choice to add diversity and disease resistance to the roster of trees on your property.  We have plenty to choose from, in a variety of sizes.

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Categories: Businesses

Capture the Wonder

Thu, 09/25/2014 - 12:34pm
The calendar tells us summer has come and gone, but warm weather has moved in, and since we had a patchy frost almost two weeks ago, it feels as if this is Indian summer.  It’s a reprieve before more persistent chilly weather sets in, and hopefully this fall we will enjoy several periods of these delightful and virtually perfect days. It’s such a great time to be outside enjoying the day and watching critters as they prepare for winter.  Some birds and butterflies have begun their migrations south, and certain Red Oaks in my yard are dropping the first good crop of red oak acorns in several years.  It’s bound to make the squirrels fat and happy, as well as the deer and wild turkeys. Those chubby acorns also make me happy.  A couple days ago, I collected Red Oak acorns to grow a crop of native trees.  These were the nicest acorns I can ever remember collecting for propagation.  This year 98% to 99% of the acorns I picked up were fat, heavy and free of weevils.  Almost every acorn will be capable of producing a tree and germination will begin over the winter. To germinate properly Red Oak acorns need to experience chilly temperatures for 60-90 days.  Once this chilling has taken place, internal changes begin that slowly result in the swelling and splitting of the acorn, and the emergence of a root shoot that senses gravity, and heads down into the soil of the forest floor, or into the potting mix filling the special air root pruning pots I use to propagate container trees with first rate root systems. Every time that I see an acorn sprouting it stimulates my sense of wonder.  It’s like being a child again, when the whole world is waiting to be discovered, and every discovery is wonderful and exciting. It’s a wonder to think that the sprouting acorn can become a towering tree that provides cooling shade, nesting sites, food for the wildlife and eventually timber to build furniture and houses  It’s a joy to nurture an acorn until it’s a tree large enough to catch the eye of a customer who in turn places it into a special place in their garden until a few years later their child or grandchild picks up a chubby acorn with a sense of wonder and a passion for discovery, and begins the cycle of life once again. Life is rich and wonder filled when we are discovering new things, new ideas and learning how to open our eyes to all the beauty that surrounds us. It’s the dynamic that makes gardening the most popular hobby in this country. Whether a garden lover lives in Maine or New Mexico, Minnesota or Florida, a few steps into the garden takes us to a place of continual discovery and wonder.  It reconnects us to the sense of wonder we experienced in childhood. Indian summer days are some of my most favorite times to be out in the well-tended landscapes or on wilderness lakes and trails blazing with red, orange and gold fall colors.  It’s a fine time to discover beautiful places, things, and people, to allow ourselves to give free rein to our sense of wonder, and to give thanks for all we have and are able to experience. Thanks for taking this little journey of the pen with me and enjoy your Indian summer day of wonder! My grandson Jordan, several years ago collecting acorns with me. A time I’ll forever treasure!

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Categories: Businesses

Giving Back – Strengthening Community

Wed, 09/24/2014 - 4:38pm
Luis Olave and Dan Moravec Jim Westlund and Todd Marnie

On Monday and Tuesday this week,  Knecht’s Nurseries and Landscaping partnered with the Minnesota Department of Transportation, the City of Northfield and the Northfield Garden Club to beautify one of the primary entrances to Northfield.

MnDOT designed the project and paid for the trees.  We donated all of the labor to mobilize for the project and get all of the trees planted.  The City of Northfield and the Northfield Garden Club helped facilitate the project, and mulched the trees.

We really appreciate the support that our customers give us each and every year, and believe in giving back to our community.  This year we were able to strengthen the Northfield community also by donating to the Highway 3 North beautification project and by donating 20 trees to the brand new Northfield YMCA.

Many thanks to all of you who help put us in a position to help our home town.

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Categories: Businesses

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