Knecht's - Northfield, MN Nurseries and Landscaping

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Area's largest Garden Center. Home of Peak Performance Trees.
Updated: 48 min 6 sec ago

4th of July

Thu, 07/02/2015 - 8:55pm

We will be closed on the 4th of July.  We will have our regular hours on the 3rd – 8 am to 6 pm and then again on Sunday – the 5th – 10 am to 4 pm.

We wish you all a safe and happy holiday.  Take a minute out of your day to say thanks for the freedom we enjoy in America.  It is precious.


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Categories: Businesses

Miniature Hosta

Thu, 07/02/2015 - 8:51pm
Miniature Hosta Garden

Miniature hosta are so versatile.  They can be used in a little garden all by themselves with some “accents” like I have added in one of my hosta gardens, or they can be placed among some boulder outcroppings to provide a pop of color or even in planters.

If you are short on room, but have alot of shade – this is definitely a plant type that you would want to consider.  We carry about 15 different variety of miniature hosta.  Some will grow to only 3″ high by 6″ wide.

If you plant them in a planter – you will need to bring the planter into an unheated garage – preferably next to the house wall – where it will benefit from the “freezing” part of the winter dormancy – but not freeze to hard.

Stop in, take a look at the many different miniature hosta we  have available and let your imagination run!

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Categories: Businesses

Princeton American Elm

Thu, 07/02/2015 - 7:49pm
Princeton American Elm – photo courtesy Bailey Nurseries

It is now safe to plant American Elms, since elm varieties are available that have excellent resistance to Dutch Elm Disease.  Princeton American Elm is one of the elm varieties that has performed very well in the landscape, growing quickly into a large, beautiful vase shaped shade tree that can prosper on almost any soil type and not fall victim to Dutch Elm Disease.

If you want to have shade develop quickly in some part of your landscape, a  Princeton American Elm may provide just what you are looking for since Princeton is a true American Elm. it will become a large shade tree, so choose a location where it’s gracefully arching branches have room to spread out comfortably.  Mature size rating is 60′-70′ tall by 60′ wide.

We carry Princeton American Elm in #7, #15, and #30 containers as well as some larger balled and burllapped specimens.  We also carry other disease resistant  elm varieties such as Accolade, Discovery, Triumph, Patriot and New Harmony.  By mid-August we will also have limited availability of Prairie Expedition Elm ad St. Croix Elm, two new American  elms that are from North Dakota and Minnesota.

Stop in today to take a look.  Elm are excellent!

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Categories: Businesses

What’s Doing the Blooming?

Tue, 06/30/2015 - 7:49pm
Nicky Phlox and David Phlox

This has to be the best part of summer with all of the summer perennials in bloom.  I took my camera out to see what would be a good pick for the blog this week – and quickly determined that I would have to combine things this week!

The Garden Phlox –  just one word – beautiful.  By combining different varieties – you can extend the bloom period.  Some start to bloom in late June / early July and others later on.  Most varieties of Garden Phlox will grow 2′-3′ and are a good choice for the back of the perennial garden but you need to be sure to allow for proper air circulation.

Monarda – one of the old standard b________ garden plants – cottage


garden plants – or just a stand alone plant.  Tough – easy to grow – probably a must have for the perennial garden.  Also known as Bee Balm it is s irresistible to b_________s, bees and hummingbirds. Uniquely shaped flowers on stems in scarlet red, pink and purple colors.   The foliage of the Bee Balm – Monarda – when crushed  – or brushed up against – or after a heavy rain – is exceptionally fragrant – even spicy.


Zagreb Coreopsis

Coreopsis.  How can you not just smile when you see the yellow flowers of the coreopsis?i  Also known as Tckseed, it  is wonderful n the border. Reliable, long blooming daisy-like flowers that bloom from early summer into fall. Coreopsis want  some sun and you can enjoy the show. Coreopsis naturalize and will attract lots of b_________s and birds to your garden. Bright and cheery, you can bring them inside as cut flowers.

Lilies.  Daylilies and Asiatic Lilies.  We visited a friend last night and her lilies were astounding.  A few varieties of daylilies – but her Asiatic lilies were just stunning.

Look around and you will see dayliles abound.  This is a testament as to how hardy they are.  They can hold up to really tough growing conditions and persevere tough winters.  Preferring full sun – they can handle some shade.    Check your varieties – you will find many being “re-bloomers” which means you can really extend the bloom period.

Daylilunning. Tiny Dragon Asiatic Lily

Just a comment now that you have read the blog- no, I didn’t forget to fill in the blanks – it’s just that we can’t fill in the blanks.  The current “law” from the Minnesota Dept of Ag states that if we sell plants (which of course we do) – we cannot recommend the plants that butterflies like to frequent.  Therefore, we have a couple of handouts from the University of Minnesota Extension Service and one I found from the Farmer’s Almanac which list all kinds of butterfly garden plants.  These you will find in our “Butterflies & Hummingbird” information box.

Now is the time to visit our garden center – get a first hand view of the many perennials that will brighten up you perennial garden in mid-summer!

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Categories: Businesses

Prickly Pear – in Minnesota

Thu, 06/25/2015 - 9:06pm
Minnesota hardy Prickly Pear

We have had a prickly pear cactus planted here in our display garden for over ten years – and it is still going strong, has grown quite large and is more beautiful with each passing year.

We get asked each year for a Minnesota hardy cactus – or get comments on “a cactus cannot possibly grow in Minnesota”.  Stop in soon as our Prickly Pear is in bloom!  A must see!

We have taken cuttings from our parent plant and have a limited amount of plants available.  You should have an area with full sun that is well drained.   You will find that our Minnesota prickly pear will be a tough plant and a focal point in your garden!

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Categories: Businesses

Hosta Gypsy Rose and Irish Luck

Thu, 06/25/2015 - 8:59pm

Last year I blogged on Hosta Irish Luck  and this year, my feelings on this great plant haven’t changed.  After one more year of

Hosta Irish Luck

establishment, the Irish Luck along our sidewalk is fabulous.

It will make a great specimen plant, or will serve as a background for a smaller or medium size hosta – such as Hosta Gypsy Rose.

Hosta Gypsy Rose

This wonderful medium size hosta, a mutation of Hosta Striptease, is a dazzling plant.  It’s center is much more yellow than Hosta Striptease and stays a little smaller.  A definite must have for the hosta collector,

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Categories: Businesses

Fast Growing Oak Trees

Thu, 06/25/2015 - 8:49pm
Northern Pin Oak – Photo courtesy Bailey Nurseries

It may seem a bit odd to many people to write about fast growing oaks since the common understanding is that oaks are slow growing.  In actual practice, oaks can quickly grow into stately tough, beautiful and long lived trees when property owners follow a few simple steps to assist the growth of the oak trees, none of which are difficult or expensive.

If you value quality, consider having an oak tree or two.  If you want something a bit different, plant an oak tree.  Most people don’t plant oaks.  If you love beautiful things, plant an oak tree.  Oaks soon become favorites as they become more beautiful with each passing year.  If you think toughness and longevity are important, plant an oak.  Few trees are as sturdy and long lived as oak trees

There are varieties of oaks that grow more quickly than others, such as Heritage Oak, Swamp White Oak and Northern Red Oak, but no matter which oak variety you choose, it is possible to double or triple their growth rate by following a few simple steps.

Step 1: Reduce or eliminate competition from the roots of other plants.  Select a location away from other trees where the oak tree will not have to compete with large established trees for root space, moisture and nutrients.

Step 2: Select a sunny location.  Oak trees are sun lovers.

Step 3: Select a location with good drainage.  Chronic wet spots will slow down the growth of most oaks.

Step 4: If possible, select a location with fertile soil.  Oaks can survive on sandy, gravely soil, but without a doubt, they grow far faster in deep, rich topsoil.

Step 5: Choose an oak variety that will be a good match for the pH of your selected planting site.  Some oaks prefer acidic soil; others are able to tolerate alkaline soils.  We can help you with your selection.

Step 6: Keep weeds and grass away from your new tree.  The use of mulch, weed barrier fabric, hand weeding or careful herbicide applications to keep a circle 4’-6’ across completely free of turf grass and weeds will usually almost double the growth of your oak tree (or any tree).

Step 7: Never, ever let a string trimmer or mower deck touch the trunk of your tree.  A white plastic tree guard for the first 5 or 6 years is excellent protection for the thin tender bark of trees from mice, rabbits, antler rubbing, winter sun, and weed whips and mower decks.  When you damage the bark of a tree, it is almost like cutting an artery in your wrist or leg.  Any damage to bark is a serious challenge for a tree to overcome.

Step 8: Water new trees consistently with measured small to moderate amounts of water.  Be sure to avoid super saturating the soil which will stress the tree.  We provide a handy guide.

Step 9: Once your oak tree is established for several years, water deeply and heavily every couple of weeks if a long dry / droughty spell of weather has set in.

Step 10:           Fertilize moderately, but not excessively.  Time release fertilizers are safest and most effective.

Step 11:           Choose an oak variety that is zone hardy for your area. Here in the Northfield, MN area, the following oak varieties have shown good cold hardiness:  Northern Red Oak, Swamp White Oak, Heritage Oak, White Oak, Bur Oak, Crimson Spire Oak, Regal Prince Oak, Ancestry Oak, Northern Pin Oak and Prairie Stature Oak.

Step 12:           Use good planting techniques.  We have an excellent planting guide that is very easy to understand.

Consider an oak tree for your property.  It will reward you for a lifetime if you follow these simple steps, and will grow more quickly than you might guess.

Northern Pin Oak – Photo courtesy Bailey Nurseries

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Categories: Businesses


Thu, 06/18/2015 - 3:50pm
Strawberry Seduction Yarrow

Yarrow – or Achillea – will brighten up the garden from early summer to almost September!   In open, sunny areas with well drained soil you will find that it is quite drought tolerant once established.  The fern-like leaves will support the flower stem on which hundreds of tiny flowers appear on tightly packed flower clusters.

Pretty Belinda Yarrow

I have seen butterflies flock to my Yarrow  and have also used it in dried arrangements.  It can also be used for fresh cuttings.   Some varieties may tend to spread more than others.  The common yarrow can be found even up in the Boundary Waters growing in amongst the rocky shoreline.

Sunny Seduction Terra Cotta Yarrow A mass of Yarrow

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Categories: Businesses

More Annual Planters

Thu, 06/18/2015 - 3:11pm

We still have a very nice selection of annual planters ready to decorate the entrance to your home or business – accents on your deck or patio or wherever you need an additional splash of color.

Arborvitae and annuals

Leif found some petunias that he absolutely loved the color of and asked Heidi to create a planter for him.  She asked if she could put anything in it that she wanted and he told her to go for it!  Well – you don’t tell Heidi to just go for it… She created this stunning planter with an arborvitae in the middle surrounded with annuals.   It is now gracing the entrance to our perennial sales area.    Yes, we will take it apart this fall and will plant the arborvitae either in a display bed her or at home since we can’t leave it in the container all winter.  Or we may over-winter it with our other plants this winter and replace the annuals next spring!

Bernie, our retail manager, took two of our largest stone pottery

Blue wave petunias and lobularia

pots and did an arrangement of blue petunias and white lobularia.  This has to be one of the most stunning combinations.  These two planters are available for sale would look fantastic on each side of an entrance.  Next spring – a different color combination can be planted in them!



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Categories: Businesses

Dwarf Bush Honeysuckle

Thu, 06/18/2015 - 2:52pm
Dwarf Bush Honeysuckle

Ground cover shrubs can be an excellent choice for establishing a vegetative cover on steep banks / hillsides where you don’t want to mow any longer, and want something with good root mass to hold the soil in place and still look good!   One of the best choices for a shrubby ground cover is Dwarf Bush Honeysuckle (Diervilla lonicera)

One of the reasons Dwarf Bush Honeysuckle is good at holding slopes in place is its ability to expand by sending out root “runners” that both hold the soil, and pop up to produce a new shrub, filling in the slope well enough that you can usually just leave it alone.  Dwarf Bush Honeysuckle is a tough plant.  You can prune it, walk through it, weed whack it, drive over it, and it will bounce back looking good within a few weeks.

Dwarf Bush Honeysuckle is also versatile.  You can plant Dwarf Bush Honeysuckle in full sun to part shade and it will grow well, and it is not too fussy about soil types.  Mature size is 2′-3′ tall and 2′-4′ wide.

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Categories: Businesses

Japanese Tree Lilac

Thu, 06/11/2015 - 8:23pm

Japanese Tree Lilacs are now showing large, lacy white blossoms that seem to float on the edges of the trees, even as they infuse the air with a sweet and rich fragrance.  While the blossoms of most other lilacs are at their best in May, the Japanese Tree Lilac usually blooms in mid to late June in the northern tier states.

I love Japanese Tree Lilacs partly because they are usually able to do well in the clay soils that are a frustration for many of the people who visit our garden center.  While Japanese Tree Lilacs will grow very nicely in rich black dirt, they have a wonderful ability to grow nicely in most clay soils as long as there is good drainage in the planting area.  If Japanese Tree Lilacs are planted in soggy, poorly drained soils they will not grow well, and gradually die.  Lilacs of all kinds need soil that drains properly, and Japanese Tree Lilacs are no exception.

Common Japanese Tree Lilacs have a very nice oval shape and can grow to a mature size of 25-30 feet tall by 20-25 feet wide.  For homeowners who want a bit smaller tree, there are some nice varieties of Japanese Tree Lilac that are shorter and narrower.  Ivory Silk Japanese Tree Lilac is rated at 20′ x 25′ tall by 15′ wide, while ‘Snow Cap’ Japanese Tree Lilac matures to 15′-20′ tall by 10′-15′ wide.  ‘Snowdance’ Japanese Tree Lilac is a shorter and wider variety selected by Rod Bailey and rates 18′ tall x 20′ wide and has nice large blossoms that  are sterile, so no seeds are produced.

All the Japanese Tree Lilac varieties I’ve mentioned are very cold hardy, carrying a zone 3 rating, and should be healthy and disease free when planted in 1/2 day to full day sun and soil that drains properly  Fertilize moderately and during the first year, water frequently with modest amounts of water, being sure to avoid super saturating the soil.

Observe the trees around  town, on the way to work,  while running errands, or whatever takes you out and about right now and you are sure to see a Japanese Tree Lilac in all it’s glory right now.  Stop in and see our Japanese Tree Lilac and we are sure you will find the perfect spot in your landscape for this beautiful tree!

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Categories: Businesses

Trees and Shrubs for Wet Spots

Thu, 06/11/2015 - 7:48pm
Photo courtesy “Moveable Gardens”

Have you had problems with trees and shrubs dying in damp or poorly drained areas of your landscape?  Tired of paying good, hard earned cash on plant materials and watching them struggle in a periodically or chronically wet spot?  Try some of these varieties and you will probably see better results:

Trees:  River Birch, Heritage River  Birch, Fox Valley Dwarf River Birch, American Larch, Niobe Weeping Willow, Prairie Cascade Willow, Autumn Blaze Maple, autumn Fantasy Maple, Princeton American Elm, New Harmony American Elm, Triumph Elm, Accolade Elm, Discovery Elm, Patriot elm, Quaking Aspen and Arborvitae if the ground isn’t completed waterlogged, but just damp.


Shrubs:  Dwarf Blue  Arctic Willow, Flame Willow, Hakuro Nishiki Willow, Pussy Willow, Red Twig Dogwood, Cardinal Red Twig Dogwood, Baton Rouge Dogwood, Arctic Fire Dogwood, Chokeberry,  Buttonbush, and Winterberry.  Winterberry is extremely hardy here in Minnesota.  We have seen them along a portage in northern Minnesota in the Boundary Waters.

There are times that you have to step back and go with plants that work well with your site – sun or shade – dry or wet – good soil or poor soil instead of your favorite plant.  Your landscape will be more beautiful and happier with healthy plants than one with struggling ones.

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Categories: Businesses

Hosta – Prairie Moon and Prairie Sky

Thu, 06/11/2015 - 5:50pm
Hosta Prairie Sky – Photo courtesy Walters Gardens Hosta Prairie Moon – Photo courtesy Walters Gardens

Two beautiful hostas that work well together are Prairie Moon and Prairie Sky.

The distinctly  yellow leaves of Prairie Moon holds for most of the season.  The wedged shaped leaves are slightly wavy and are held on by  red-flecked petioles.  Best planted in part shade, light lavender flowers appear mid-summer.

One of the best blue hostas is Prairie Sky.  Showy blue color all season – thick substance and lightly cupped leaves – makes this one a real winner.   Prairie Sky will offer light lavender flowers also.

Both these plants are medium sized hosta – 16″ to 24″. Try pairing these with some heucheras  – both the purple and yellow varieties.

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Categories: Businesses

Annuals – Annuals – Annuals

Thu, 06/11/2015 - 5:23pm
Cart of annuals

We have put all of our remaining annuals & vegetables on sale at 40% off (except for hanging baskets and planters).  If you have any spots to fill,  need to do a few replacements due to the cold in late May – now is the time to stop in and complete your planting beds, baskets or containers.

Petunias, impatiens, begonias, Proven Winners, filler plants, trailing plants, etc.  We have a nice selection of most annuals left at 40% off!


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Categories: Businesses

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