Knecht's - Northfield, MN Nurseries and Landscaping

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Updated: 41 min 54 sec ago


Tue, 03/31/2015 - 2:09pm

With each year that passes, Forsythia shrubs and trees have become more and more one of my favorites.  After a tough winter, I find myself longing for a burst of spring color and Forsythia are among the very first to produce blossoms.

Northern Gold Forsythia, and Meadowlark Forsythia are two varieties that consistently deliver masses of bright yellow/gold blossoms that delight the eye and lift the spirit.  Northern Sun Forsythia also shows good flower bud hardiness and we have this variety available as a small ornamental tree.

Whether you choose a shrub form or tree form, Northern Gold, Meadowlark, and Northern Sun Forsythia will provide the hardiness and bright spring color you’re looking for.

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Categories: Businesses

Got the Itch? Try This…

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 2:03pm

For gardeners who have spring fever and have the itch to plant something even though it’s only the very beginning of April, try planting trees and shrubs.  If the ground has thawed enough to dig, trees and shrubs can be safely planted even though the ground is cold.

I just wrote an article for the Northfield Entertainment Guide on successful tree planting and am publishing it here as well.

Successful Tree Planting Tips

Planting trees in our landscapes is a long term investment of effort, dollars, and time.  Taking steps to increase the chances of having a healthy, beautiful and long lived tree makes a lot of good sense, both economically and to beautify the landscape.  Here follows some suggestions for success:

  1. Pick trees that have demonstrated good winter hardiness for southern Minnesota. If the variety you are considering has a zone rating of 4, 3, or 2, it will probably do well here.  Zone 5 rated trees are borderline hardy.  They may do well for a period of years, but there is a risk that they could die during a hard winter.
  2. Choose trees that have excellent root structure. Trees that have poor root structure due to circling, matted roots that are root bound are likely to fail after a few years in the landscape.  Trees produced in special air root pruning pots form almost perfect root systems.
  3. Use proper planting techniques. Do not plant too deep. Dig the hole wider, not deeper, and very aggressively cut any roots that are observed to be matted or circling.  Trees that are planted too deep more easily develop stem girdling, circling roots that would later strangle the tree.
  4. Water just enough, but not too much. More frequent and modest amounts of water prevent super saturation of the soil which can encourage root rot.  Over watering is a common cause of failure of newly planted trees.
  5. Eliminate soil compaction in the planting area over as wide an area as possible by digging the soil, and breaking up clumps. Trees will root out faster if the surrounding soil is loose and free of compaction.
  6. Pick a planting site with good soil drainage. Not very many varieties of trees do well in chronically water logged soil.
  7. Pick a planting location with the amount of sunlight preferred by the variety you have chosen. Too much shade often causes a tree to grow poorly and often the tree gets lopsided as it seeks sunlight.
  8. If you already have picked the location for a tree, choose a tree that is a good match for the site conditions. Consider soil type and fertility, soil pH, exposure to winter winds and damaging winter sunlight, the amount of sunlight available during the growing season, soil drainage, and the soil compaction.  Not all trees will do well on every site.

If you are unsure about HOW to plant, stop by our Garden Center and we will  answer any questions, provide you with a copy of our Planting Guide which we have created to help you follow the best practices to ensure great results.  It’s easy to follow and has clear diagrams.

We now have most of our shrubs and trees available for sale and ready to plant.  For perennials, we suggest you wait a few weeks to get past most of the danger of spring frosts!


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Categories: Businesses

Bonus Bucks are Back

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 3:36pm

Melting snow, buds swelling on the trees, tulips and daffodils lighting up the landscape and Knecht’s Bonus Bucks!   All signs of Spring.

During April and May you will receive one bonus buck for every $25 you spend!  Then – in June – you can redeem the Bonus Bucks!  Start your shopping list now!

Also – coming next week we will have our first e-news coupon for the 2015 growing season.  These coupons are only available for customers on our e-news mailing list.  If you are not on our list – you can sign up on our home page.  Don’t miss the opportunity for additional savings!

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Categories: Businesses

Open for Business

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 3:24pm

The  week of March 30-April 5 we will finish uncovering trees and shrubs, and will be getting our sales areas organized.  Stop in – walk around – take in a little bit of spring.  We will be able to help you find just the right tree or shrub that you are looking for!

The trees and shrubs that we have covered and protected through a long winter are ready to plant as soon as the ground thaws at your planting site.  We invested the time and care to produce a well developed root system on each plant during last years growing season.  This will allow each of these trees and shrubs to grow vigorously and establish quickly during the 2015 growing season.

Pictured here is the Forsythia shrub – one of the first of the spring bloomers.  In a few short weeks, you will see this splash of yellow all over town, and it is the Forsythia.  Come on in to check out our trees and shrubs.  We have hundreds of varieties in stock and ready to plant.

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Categories: Businesses

The Spring Roller Coaster

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 3:14pm

It’s happening again.  The roller coaster called Spring.  February was bitterly cold even as the days grew longer, as was early March.  then a couple of weeks of above average temperatures in mid-March stripped away the snow and got us to the first day of Spring at least according to the calendar.  That was last Friday, March 20th.

We got to enjoy one more day of spring like weather on Saturday the 21st which then allowed Deb and I to do a little cleanup around the yard at home.  On Sunday, the 22nd, winter came roaring back with about 9 inches of snow, and it felt like winter all this week.  In other words, its a pretty normal spring.

Lots of flipflopping of warm and cold air masses, and lots of hope on the part of Minnesota gardeners that warmer days will soon return to stay, and the fields, forests and our landscape plants will soon push fresh and vigorous new growth.

Today we have temps in the 30’s, tomorrow the 40’s and the next day on Sunday -it should hit the 50’s.  Early next week – the 60’s come back.

I’m always amazed that for the most part the plants and animals an withstand the big variations of the roller coaster of a Minnesota spring.

Every spring I experience a profound sense of wonder as I am treated to the grand spectacle of the entire web of life going from dormant and seemingly dead to an explosion of new life.  What a blessing it is to be on the roller coaster with Mother Nature.

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Categories: Businesses

Welcome Spring

Fri, 03/20/2015 - 6:18am

Spring officially arrives today even though it has felt much like spring for the last ten days!  Enjoy – it was a long winter.

Look around and see what’s doing the blooming!  Pussy willows are beginning to push their catkins.  An enduring rite of spring – sometimes starting when there is still some snow on the ground.

Pussy willows – a member of the Salix family – prefer moist soils making them the perfect choice for wetland areas and poorer soils.  A large shrub – you should plant in a spot that it will get plenty of room.  Preferring full sun – it will do fine with some shade.  An added bonus – clip a few branches for a tabletop arrangement.

We have pussy willows available in shrub form and also as small ornamental tree  – the weeping pussy willow.


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Categories: Businesses

First Up

Wed, 03/18/2015 - 9:39am
Lenton Rose

First up…


It’s hard to believe that our perennial “heralds of spring” will be emerging in just a few weeks.  Some of them will even pop up whether we have snow on the ground or not!  The sturdy crocus bulbs, that I planted about seven years ago, are always my first to emerge.  I planted them by the side door so that they can be truly appreciated for their early arrival each year on our way in and out of the house. The Lenton Rose (Helleborus) won’t be far behind, sometimes pushing right up through the melting snow.  Our native Pulsatilla, also known as pasque flower or Easter Flower, tend to bloom right around Easter, giving it its name.  And the Virginia Bluebells will be in their full glory split seconds before the Bleeding Hearts (Dicentra)!  All this talk of my favorite early spring bloomers is making me homesick for the garden and the smell of the fresh spring air.  If these plants are our first taste of floral color here in Minnesota after a long brown and white winter, then I think I should be planting many more of them!

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Categories: Businesses

Got Spring Fever?

Tue, 03/17/2015 - 9:41am

If you have a case of spring fever and are having your thoughts turn to spending some quality time working on your landscape, consider starting with pruning of trees and shrubs.  The next three to four weeks are one of the best times of the year to prune.

During late March and early April the disease organisms that cause cankers, mildew, mold and vascular diseases are not yet active.  Pruning cuts can be made with little fear of contamination by disease organisms.

Some diseases are spread from infected plants to cu

This is a correct pruning cut.

ts on healthy plants by insects.  Since insects are not yet active, there is also very little change of infection by tree and shrubs disease where insects are the vector of transmission.

Pick a nice day with low winds, and get outside to prune trees and shrubs.  Could be a cure for spring fever!

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Categories: Businesses

First Step to a Beautiful Landscape

Thu, 03/05/2015 - 2:59pm

Whether a landscape of beauty and distinction is created in an intensive effort over a period of several days to several weeks, or the landscape is a result of doing a little bit each year over a period of many years,  a major key to success is having a clear vision of how the various parts will complement each other, and a plan to follow.  Having a goal and a plan will make the whole process easier, less costly, less stressful and more enjoyable.  Life is good when you have a good understanding of your goals and apply consistent and persistent effort until the goal is reached.  So too with landscaping.

If you enjoy being creative and taking on projects yourself, start by creating your own landscape plan.  If you  would just as soon have some professional advice and assistance with landscape design, our Landscape Designer, Chris Lambert, can lend a hand.  Chris is great to work with, a good listener and very creative.  Just give us a call, send an e-mail or stop in and we can help you get the process started that will result in a beautiful and functional landscape.   Click here and you will find complete details on our Design Services.

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Categories: Businesses

Spring Forward

Thu, 03/05/2015 - 2:51pm

This weekend, as we turn our clocks forward, I am looking forward to the thaw that is on its way!  If you are anything like I am, you will be out poking around in your garden or landscape, being careful not to compact the thawing earth or to step on any sensitive plant crowns.  You’ll do a quick survey of any critter damage (or hopefully, lack thereof).  Taking stock of the areas that you know might need a little extra attention this spring.  I’m already dreaming up a daylily combo for along my garage, and deciding how many rows of beans, peas, lettuce, and carrots will be going in the vegetable garden this year.  Perhaps this will be the spring my husband and I install a patio for the basement walkout.  Or, I could have Chris our designer, come out and help me figure out that retaining wall for the east side of the house.  Jim and Todd would make quick work of that for us and I could have it planted before summer.  How could I forget those overgrown and dated shrubs by the backdoor?  They should be torn out and replaced with something fresh and new.  Ideally, with something that blooms.

I know, there is still snow on the lawn and frost in the ground.  I’m going to use that to my advantage.  Before the plants leaf out or spring up, I am looking at a blank slate.  There is really very little there to distract my imagination.  My planning will be all done so I can dig right in as soon as the yard and garden are ready!  Spring forward indeed!


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Categories: Businesses

Red Twig Dogwoods

Thu, 03/05/2015 - 8:58am

There are very few landscape plants that can brighten up the winter landscape as much as Red Twig Dogwoods.  Native throughout the entire state of Minnesota,  Red Twig Dogwoods will grow nicely on upland soils, and are one of the few native shrubs that can also grow happily in moist and even swampy soils.

This great versatility means that you can use Red Twig Dogwoods to add a beautiful mass of red color to the winter landscape on almost any property.  It is the newer twigs and stems that have the brightest red color during the winter.  During the growing season the color of the bark is less intense, but when the leaves turn color in autumn, so do the younger stems, taking on more intense shades of red.

Red Twig Dogwoods will grow almost anywhere except in deep shade.  The more sunlight they receive  April through September, the more brilliant the winter bark color becomes.  When stems get older they do not show good winter bark color.  To renew the color, remove the older stems in early April, and new stems will fill the void and once again show nice red winter color.

The common native Red Twig Dogwood is quite nice, but personally, I prefer two other selections because they have more intense red winter bark color.  Both Cardinal Red Twig Dogwood and the Baton Rouge Red Twig Dogwood have a more intense and lovely red twig color all winter long.

Try to avoid planting just one Red Twig Dogwood.  Pick a sunny area and do a mass planting to get an eye popping mass of red that almost glows when there is snow covering the ground and the sun is shining.

Whatever you choose —

Cardinal Red Twig Dogwood


Cardinal Red Twig Dogwood, Baton Rouge Red Twig Dogwood or the common Red Twig Dogwood, you will have a large, colorful, disease resistant massed planting shrub that is sure to please the eye for many winters to come.

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Categories: Businesses

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