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Knecht's - Northfield, MN Nurseries and Landscaping
Area's largest Garden Center. Home of Peak Performance Trees.
Updated: 33 min 53 sec ago
The end of the season – the start of the next.
The only thing good about another rainy week was that I could use this as an excuse to once again avoid weeding the flower beds!
We feel lucky in that we only received 4 inches of rain on Thursday. The ground is so saturated that it just runs through the yard and sits for hours before soaking in. The woods is wet!4 inches of rain
The cimicifuga flower scapes are a bright spot in the garden right now with their feathery flowers waving in the breeze. We have them in different places and they are a standout now this time of theCimicifuga blooms
season. These are larger perennials – some varieties reaching only 2-3 feet and others stretching up to 4 feet in height. They are a great perennial for the back of the garden – or in a spot where you want a separation between two areas.
Late September – Goldstsurm Rudbeckia
The end of the summer season – an update on a couple of plants that I’ve mentioned over the summer. Our Goldsturm Rudbeckia (black eyed susan) is still blossoming, but are starting to fade. They started back at the end of July and now for two months have been providing us with bright golden yellow flowers. This is a perennial that we do not cut down in the fall but wait until spring. The flower heads provide seeds for the birds in the winter.Late Season Limelight Hydrangea
Perhaps our favorite shrub/tree we have in the yard are our hydrangeas. Some of the varieties start in early July and others a little bit later in the summer but all of our hydrangeas are still sporting beautiful blossoms. Toward the end of the season, most hydrangea flowers begin to fade with different shades of pink creeping into the flowers. Here is our Limelight Hydrangea tree with the blossoms now showing some pink. Keep in mind that these hydrangea flowers are great for dried flower arrangements inside for the fall or to save and use for your winter / holiday displays outside.
Purple Dome Aster
With the shorter days and longer shadows of autumn, come masses of blooming asters. Their daisy style flowers emerge in dense mounds of vivid pink, purple, blue or white with bright yellow centers. They cheerfully brighten our late season landscapes from late summer through fall. Whatever their color, asters offer stunning contrast against ornamental grasses and the bright reds, oranges and yellows of fall foliage. These hardy perennials are native to North America. The varieties that we carry have been selected for their masses of blooms, dense habit and improved disease resistance.
Asters thrive in rich, well drained soils and full sun. Good air circulation will help to reduce or eliminate fungal issues that can affect the lower leaves of the plant. Bring the autumn indoors with a bouquet of long lasting aster blossoms.Aster novae-angliae ‘Purple Dome’ Aster divaricatus ‘Wood’s Pink’ Aster o. ‘October Skies’
Dakota Pinnacle Birch
Dakota Pinnacle Birch is a tough, shapely and beautiful tree of modest size that fits well into sunny areas of a landscape that are not large enough for a full sized shade tree. Sporting a graceful, upright growth habit, Dakota Pinnacle Birch matures to a width of about 15 feet and 30-35 feet tall, and is among the first trees to leaf out each spring. The leaves change from a fresh light spring green to a deep shining green that stays nice looking until late fall when Dakota Pinnacle Birch is among the last trees to turn a beautiful golden yellow.
Within just a few years, the young Dakota Pinnacle Birch trees develop a visually striking white bark that makes it an eye catching standout in any landscape. Unlike some columnar trees that have an almost stovepipe shape, Dakota Pinnacle Birch has an upright shape with a full bottom that tapers very nicely to a pointed top.
Dakota Pinnacle Birch trees are also able to tolerate and prosper in both alkaline and acidic soils, which gives this variety great versatility.
Choose a Dakota Pinnacle Birch from either the single stem or clump forms we carry in a variety of sizes and you will enjoy a vigorous and beautiful tree of modest size for years to come.
For best results, plant Dakota Pinnacle Birch trees in sunny areas with good drainage. I absolutely love the gorgeous Dakota Pinnacle Birch tree I have at home, and to protect it from birch borers, I take one minute, once a year, to apply a few ounces of a systemic insecticide around the base of the tree. This is a quick and easy way to protect a wonderful part of my landscape and is very targeted to one plant, and does not involve
the need for a sprayer.
With all the rainfall we’ve had this year, areas with chronically poor drainage have caused trees and shrubs to become stressed, or even die. Here’s a short list of trees and shrubs that are able to tolerate soggy soils without much stress.
American Larch, Quaking Aspen, River Birch, Autumn Blaze Maple, Firefall Maple, Celebration Maple, Swamp White Oak, Willow, and for moderately moist – but not super soggy – Elm, Serviceberry and Arborvitae.
Red Twig Dogwood, Winterberry, Willow,, and for moderately moist, but not super soggy soils – Chokeberry, Clethra, Serviceberry, Snowberry, Witchhazel & Viburnum.
If you are in search of a fast growing, hardy vine, then look no further! Polygonum aubertii, commonly know as Silver Lace Vine, makes quick work of fences, trellises, and arbors. Their large, creamy white, fragrant flower clusters spill open in late summer and bloom through autumn, covering the dark green foliage with a soft, lacy bloom. Autumn brings bright yellow foliage, extending its’ season of interest further yet.
One of the best ways to make our properties and our cities more beautiful and more healthy is to add to the diversity of tree species that we plant over time. Healthy trees help make the air cleaner and cooler, provide pleasant shade. They slow down winds, offer nesting sites, food and places of refuge to birds and other wildlife, create privacy, and produce lovely flowers, beautiful form, color and texture in cities where life seems to be getting ever more hectic. BY planting a wider variety of tree species, we make our urban forests less vulnerable to the next widespread tree disease/epidemic.
Our urban forests used to have far too high a percentage of Elm trees. Dutch Elm Disease killed hundreds of millions of American Elms, and the unfortunate response was to plant far too many Ash trees. With the over planting of Ash trees over a period of 40 years, the arrival of Emerald Ash Borer insects is now killing millions of Ash trees, and devastating both urban and wild forests. It’s a predictable and sad result of once again planting too many of one kind of tree variety We need to plant a wider range of tree genuses and varied species within each genus to regain a better balance.
Going forward, we would be wise to plant fewer maples (but not none) and more Oaks, the new Elm varieties that are resistant to Dutch Elm Disease, and also more trees from the following list:
Hackberry, Catalpa, Horsechestnut, Honeylocust, Willow, Buckeye, Yellowwood, Showy Mtn. Ash, Ginkgo, Birch, Plum, Bald Cypress, Quaking Aspen, Cherry, Korean Maple, Big Tooth Asppen, Apple, Hydrangea trees, Oak hybrids, Crabapple, Lilac trees, ‘Sentry’ American Linden, and Redbuds.
Some of my current favorite tree varieties for adding diversity are Ancestry Oak, Heritage Oak, New Harmony Am. Elm, Prairie Expedition American Elm, Catalpa, Ginkgo, Yellowwood, Sh
owy Mtn. Ash, and ‘Select’ Quaking Aspen, and Rugged Ridge Miyabei Maple.
As you add diversity to your part of our urban forests, I suspect you will enjoy the new and unusual varieties enough to keep planting more diversity into the landscape.
In the past three weeks – we have received over 11 inches of rain at our house – 5 inches last week. To say things are a little wet is an understatement. The mature trees in the woods are starting to say so as well. We are noticing that some of the large trees out in the woods are under stress and shedding leaves already – before the color change even starts.
Fall is almost here! I emptied out a couple of planters who gave up because of being too wet and not drying out enough between all of the rain. So it begins with starting to put things away! The one thing that I would encourage you to do now is to make the notes or take pictures on what you want to do next season – the same plants in a certain planter because it worked out great or what not to do and to change things up a bit. I have one planter in front of our garage thatPlanter
needs to be done differently as we didn’t like the way it ended up. Not enough height. In front of the shed door – I really like how the planter looked and stayed so nice all summer. That’s a repeat for next summer!
My experiment that I began last May with putting a tomato cage around my sedum to keep it from doing the flop in the late season seems to have worked. I love sedum as it is such an easySedum (with tomato cage)
plant but with flopping late in the summer because it didn’t have as much sun as it wanted, I was tempted to dig it out. Now – just remembering to put the tomato cage around it early in the season takes care of that! Such a great way to get nice fall color!
Establishing a planting of evergreen trees to provide year around privacy screening that also serves as a good windbreak is quite often a high priority for homeowners. Some of the most successful and economical plantings of spruce, pine or arborvitae we have seen are smaller to medium sized evergreens of 2 to 6 feet in height that have been properly established in handy plastic nursery pots.
These containerized spruce, pine and arborvitae suffer little transplant shock at planting time and tend to grow vigorously from day one. It’s a real joy to watch your new grove of evergreens grow nicely even in their first season. Choosing containerized (potted) evergreen trees for your screening project enables you to purchase reasonably priced trees that are also quite light and easy to plant. Prices range from as little as $15 per tree to $40 or $50, up to $150 to about $200 for the largest potted evergreen.
Stop in and check out the dozens of sizes and varieties of container spruce, pine and arborvitae that are in stock and ready to plant. It’s a great time to plant trees and many are on our September Sale at discounts of 20% off to as much as 50% off! We are open 7 days a week for your convenience.
Honeysuckle vine, also known as Lonicera, are a classic favorite. Common supports for honeysuckle vine are a trellis, arbor, fence or other sturdy structure. But don’t let the word “vine” stop you from using these plants as a groundcover or for erosion control. Stunning is the best word I can think of to describe what a hillside of honeysuckle vine in bloom looks like!
Of all the hardy and showy honeysuckle vines, and there are many, I have chosen to feature ‘Dropmore Scarlet’. Its vivid scarlet-orange tubular flowers are borne in clusters through summer and into fall. They are followed by bright red fruit, enjoyed by our local songbirds. The graceful, arching branches and dense blueish green, lanceolate foliage add to its visual appeal. The tubular flowers mentioned earlier cater to hummingbirds — you will undoubtedly see them feeding from these blossoms all spring and summer.Honeysuckle Vine ‘Dropmore Scarlet’ Buds
Honeysuckle vines can reach heights of between 10-20’ and spread out as widely as 10’. Occasional pruning will keep them from getting overly woody and promote fresh new growth. The mature, woody vines can be used for wreathes, baskets and floral work. As long they have full sun, average, well-drained soil and plenty of room to fill, Honeysuckle isn’t too fussy. Give ‘em a boost in spring with an application of a time-release fertilizer such as Osmocote. Honeysuckles work hard during the growing season and will benefit from it!
During a lifetime of paddling the canoe country of Minnesota and Ontario, I have developed a deep appreciation for the lovely Tamarack trees that are an incredibly versatile and tough part of that very special ecosystem. I’m happy to report that Tamarack trees can do quite well here in southern Minnesota, so that we too can enjoy the velvety soft look and feel of our native American Larch (larix laricina), aka Tamarack.
Tamarack trees have some of the appearance of spruce trees with short needles of approximately one inch. There the similarity ends. While most spruce trees can tolerate wet soils, the native Tamaracks can thrive in damp soils, and even in swamps. Tamaracks also grow well on upland soils, which makes that quite versatile.
While spruce trees have stiff sharp needles, the needles of the Tamarack trees are very soft and not at all prickly. Spruce trees generally retain their needles for two to four years before shedding them, while the Tamarack trees turn a beautiful yellow each fall and shed all their needles every year, only to grow an entire new crop of soft needles each spring.
It’s an amazing sight to stand on a high overlook and see hundreds of Tamarack trees along the edges of a marsh all turning gold in late September to mid-October. It’s just as impressive the following spring to return to the overlook and see the lacy spring green cover the landscape as the branches of the Tamaracks that were bare throughout the long winter erupt with soft new needles from top to bottom.
You can enjoy this same wonderful rhythm of the seasons here in southern Minnesota simply by planting a few Tamaracks in or near that troublesome wet spot on your property where the other trees have struggled or died. If you have a country acreage, you might want to consider planting an undulating ribbon / thicket of Tamarack to frame a portion of a wetland or storm drainage.
Another nice feature of Tamarack trees is their very good growth rates. During their first ten years in the landscape, it is common to see Tamarack trees grow three to five feet in a single growing season. It doesn’t take long to get a really nice looking stand of Tamaracks to develop. Mature size is approximately 50-60 feet tall by 25 feet wide. Tamarack trees prefer soil pH from neutral to acidic.
Discover for yourself the soft side of the North Country. We have Tamarack trees available in pot size of 3 gal, 7 gal, 15 gal and 30 gal, with heights of 2 feet to 10 feet tall in handy plastic pots. These are light and easy to plant and will grow fast for you!
Chelone ‘Hot Lips’ Turtlehead
Chelone lyonii ‘Hot Lips’, also known as Turtlehead, is a native cultivar favored for its long bloom in late summer and fall. The compact spikes of rosy-pink turtlehead flowers resemble just that. A turtle’s head with an open mouth. This accurate and descriptive name makes it a fun plant to introduce to children. Dark green leaves are clean and disease free all summer, providing a lovely backdrop for other shorter perennials.Turtlehead
Turtlehead grows to be about 36” tall and 24-30” Wide. They thrive in part shade and moist woodland settings. Locations in full sun are also acceptable but regular watering will be necessary to keep the plants full and vigorous. Turtlehead pairs well with perennials that enjoy similar growing conditions such as, Ligulara, Rodgersia, Astilbe and Hosta. They are excellent planted along streams and ponds and in raingardens.
Over 500 sizes and varieties of trees, shrubs and perennials are now available at discounts of 20% off to 50% off at Knecht’s Nurseries & Landscaping! Fall is an excellent time for planting projects and the September Sale at Knecht’s will enable you to enjoy substantial savings on your purchases of new plant materials to freshen up your landscape.
Knecht’s also is offering almost 100 new varieties of trees, shrubs and perennials which gives you a chance to checkout the latest and greatest varieties from the world’s top plant breeders. As usual, we have excellent inventories to choose from throughout the fall planting season.
Stop in today to take advantage of big savings on our September Sale at 20% to 50% off on so many varieties and get a look at varieties of trees, shrubs and perennials that are brand new and now available.
In addition to these new varieties of trees, shrubs and perennials, we also carry about 900 more varieties, many of which are at discounts of 20% to 50% off.
Secrets for Fast Growth & Toughness!Oak leaf
Oak trees are among the toughest, most beautiful, and longest lived trees in both our urban forests and native woodlands. Most people do not realize that oaks can also grow quite rapidly into nice sized shade trees. The misconception is that oaks are slow growing. We are consistently ab le to get oak trees to grow 2 to 5 feet per year, and can help you to get the same results by following a few simple steps:
- Purchase oak trees that have been produced to have a dense, properly structured root system that has lots of fine roots, and will transplant easily, and establish rapidly. Knecht’s Peak Performance trees have this type of root system.
- Use proper planting techniques. We provide you with a clear and sample planting guide.
- Choose fertile, properly drained soils that are not severely compacted. Break up any compacted soils in the planting area.
- Fertilize moderately with slow release fertilize at planting time and over the next 5-10 years. We recommend the Osmocote brand.
- Choose an oak variety that is a good match for the type of soil you have. We can help you with this choice.
- Water just enough and never too much. WE have a detailed chart we give you to help prevent over-watering. Water consistently in measured amounts.
- Keep a circular area around the tree trunk mulched and free of all weeds and grass for the life of the tree. Diameter of the mulched area should be 4 to 5 feet or more. The larger the areas where no grass and weeds are present around the trunk, the faster the tree grows. This also makes mowing easier and eliminates the very sad damaged we often see to the tree back from weed whips and collisions from mower decks.
- Aggressively prune out week branches and gradually remove low level branches so that the tree has good sound structure and a high canopy that will allow grass in the yard to grow dense and beautiful.
Excellent choices for having a fast growing oak tree are: Ancestry Oak, Heritage Oak, Swamp White Oak, Northern Red Oak, Regal Splendor Oak and Crimson Spire Oak.