5 Tips to Drive More Traffic to your Website

Brand Yourself Consulting - Tami Enfield - Fri, 05/14/2021 - 1:19pm

We are in the business of digital marketing. Social media, websites, email newsletters, the Google, all the things. (You’re saying, “Duh, Tami. That’s why we are here.”) In all forms of marketing, you need to be able to measure the...

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American Plum

At the intersection of edible landscaping and pollinator gardening, Prunus Americana is poised to please. The free-spirited gardener interested in creating a food forest and planting for pollinators will adore the American Plum. Likewise, this spring specimen works marvelously in more manicured gardens as long as regular pruning is performed.

The American Plum is a vigorous native shrub or small tree that packs a big punch. An abundance of fragrant white flowers emerge in spring and provide early food for pollinators and an incredible show for gardeners. Native bees are especially fond of the blooms. Later on, the foliage hosts several species of butterflies. In late summer, edible fruits are good for jams and jellies. 

American Plum grows happily in a variety of habitats, but it will grow with best vigor in moist, well-drained soil and good sun exposure. Dense shade will decrease vigor, but it can handle some shade and grows along the edges of woods in the wild. It is an excellent choice for erosion control and natural screening.

If left to run amok, this plum naturally forms a dense thicket, but it can be maintained as a tree or more compact shrub with regular pruning. A good trimming also helps control any sharp side branches and makes it suitable for smaller home gardens or more formal landscapes. 

In addition to its own merits, American plum is a good choice for gardeners looking to increase yields on Japanese plum varieties. 

Interested in learning more about spring flowering trees? Check out our blog on stunning flowering crabapples.




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Categories: Businesses

Delightful Spring Shrubs

Many gardens are loaded with summer blooming beauties and that makes perfect sense. It’s easy to fall in love with flowers and lush foliage on a warm summer day of shopping at the nursery. A well-planned garden, though, has many seasons of interest, and now is the perfect time to assess the spring appeal of your landscape. Take a moment to look around your garden. Is it drab in late April and early May? Does it lack structure and texture? It sounds like you need some delightful spring shrubs!

Spring Shrubs We Love

Spirea – Oranges, reds, and yellows pop out in a lively spring display on many Spirea. Double Play Big Bang has vibrant early color and maintains bright foliage throughout the season. Double Play Doozie emerges with deep red foliage that turns to green and is topped with loads of magenta blooms throughout the summer. Excellent for sun and partial shade, these are low maintenance shrubs that do best in well-drained areas.

Rhododendron and Azalea – These spring bloomers are incredible. Rhododendrons boast evergreen foliage that hangs around throughout the winter and is topped by an amazing spring show. Azaleas put on the same amazing flower show but are deciduous. Rich, acidic soil in part sun makes these spring shrubs happy for years to come and blooms come in an array of pinks, oranges, and reds.

Lilacs – Lilacs are a spring shrub that don’t need an introduction, but why not mention them anyway! Gorgeous, fragrant, and reliable lilacs are a superb choice for spring blooms and early emergence. Smaller varieties like Prairie Petite can tuck into mixed plantings and larger varieties like Beauty of Moscow or Ludwig Spaeth make good hedges and screens. Medium sized Bloomerang Dark Purple is even a rebloomer!  

Double Play Doozie Spirea in spring

Still hungry for spring bloomers? Read our blog featuring perennial showstoppers!

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Categories: Businesses

Flowers that Bees Stuff Themselves Into

Pollinator gardens are all the rage, and we hope this isn’t a passing trend! In addition to providing much needed habitat and food for these essential creatures, there is another extremely important reason to plant for pollinators: to watch bees stuff themselves into flowers.

If you haven’t witnessed this phenomenon, you will not regret lingering in your garden to catch it. Here’s a list of perennials that will all but guarantee hours of enjoyment watching the bees.

Perennials that Bees Love to Squeeze Into

Digitalis – Also known as foxglove, Digitalis puts up spikes dripping with tubular blooms that bumblebees love to climb into. They’re great at the back of the garden where they will hang above shorter plants. Foxglove is a biennial, so plant a few each season to ensure blooms every year.

Penstemon – Super tough, long blooming, and long-lived, Penstemon, aka beardtongue, brings the bees in with its prolific blooms. Big juicy bumblebees spend quite some time happily squeezing into each individual bloom. To keep the show going, remove spent flowers to encourage rebloom.

Physostegia – Known as obedient plant because the flowers will stay in place if moved, Physostegia has tubular blooms up and down, and the bees never pass it up. It spreads happily and likes moist soil, so pick a spot where there is room to let it go and watch the bees enjoy the buffet. 

Great Blue Lobelia – A bee magnet! The bright blue blooms are impossible to miss, and they’re just the right size for a bumblebee to squeeze about halfway in. Great in combination with yellows, purples, and whites. Good for moist soils and tolerant of some shade.

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Categories: Businesses

Home Theatre: The Before and After Difference

Northfield Construction Company - Fri, 04/16/2021 - 8:46am
At Northfield Construction Company, one of the most satisfying elements of our job is seeing the end result. Whether a remodel, custom home build or commercial construction, our process is trusted for a reason — we are dedicated to each and every step that gets a project from start to finish. Your dream spaces are....
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Cool Weather Greens

Growing cool weather greens is a great way to maximize the short Minnesota growing season and enjoy fresh produce sooner. Many leafy greens prefer cooler weather, so late April to mid May is a great time to plant them. 

Cool weather greens like lettuce and spinach can be interplanted with warm season crops. As the summer heats up, they thrive in the cool shade of taller plants like tomatoes. Crops like kale and cabbage should be planted where they will have room to mature and enjoy full sun.  

Leafy greens do best in rich soil, so work slow release fertilizer into the planting beds to keep them producing happily. 

Eat Your Greens

Lettuce, spinach, leafy greens – Direct sow in late April. Plant in an area with light shade to help prevent bolting when weather warms. Harvest as needed and cut from the outside for leafy types. Head types can be harvested entire.

Kale – Sow in late April in rich soil. Kale happily grows in cool weather and keeps producing all summer.  Harvest as needed, cutting from the outside.

Cabbage, kohlrabi, broccoli – These cool weather crops take a bit longer to mature, but they love getting a start in cool weather. Direct sow in late April to early May in rich soil. Mulch plants as warm weather approaches to keep the roots cool and retain moisture. Plant seedlings out in cool weather too!

Hungry for more? Check out our blog on root crops for cool weather! 



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Categories: Businesses

Cool Weather Root Crops

Root crops that like to grow in cool weather should be planted as soon as the soil is workable in spring. Planting in late April to early May is perfect. Growing cool weather crops helps gardeners maximize the short Minnesota growing season and enjoy fresh produce sooner. After quick turn crops like radishes are harvested, the same plot can be used for warm season vegetables like tomatoes and peppers.

Planting Cool Weather Crops

Cool weather crops grown for their edible roots perform best in loose, deeply cultivated soil and should be directly seeded. Thoroughly weeded, consistently moist, well-drained garden beds are ideal locations. Raised beds are excellent choices for root crops. Removing rocks and any large chunks of mulch or debris will help develop aesthetically pleasing, large, and unblemished roots.

Thinning cool weather root crops is essential. Things like carrots and radishes can’t develop properly if they are crowded. Follow spacing and planting depth instructions on each seed packet.

Carrots – Sow when soil can be worked. Germination can be irregular, so be patient. 

Radishes – Sow when soil is workable. Radishes are quick to germinate and can usually be harvested in a month or so.

Beets – Sow when soil can be worked. Beet greens are delicious too, you can clip a few while the roots are forming and enjoy them cooked or raw.

Onions –  While not exactly a root crop, onions can be direct seeded in late April. Plant them in full sun in a spot they can mature all summer. 

Want some roughage with your roots? Take a look at our post on greens for cool weather!

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The Norway Spruce

Oft overlooked, never disappointing, Norway spruce is an old standby. A reliable, large evergreen that thrives in our cold climate. What the humble Norway lacks in high ornamental value, it makes up for in easy care and a fast growth rate. 

One of the fastest growing spruce we carry, Norway spruce is an excellent choice for areas that could use a mighty evergreen presence. They’re a superb choice for windbreaks, screens, and hedges in large-scale landscapes.

Young trees have a pleasing Christmas tree form that is great for winter decorating. Later on, the branches develop a graceful, pendulous habit and the bark shows a unique grey-brown flake. A mature Norway can grow to 60 feet tall or more and 30 feet wide.

More to Love about Norway Spruce

Norway spruce display good disease resistance. This is, hands down, one of their best characteristics, especially if you’ve encountered evergreen diseases in your landscape.  

Norway spruce are deer resistant. The rigid needles make them less attractive to deer looking for a tasty meal, making them an excellent choice for areas with heavy deer populations.

Norways are relatively undemanding. Their shallow, lateral root systems transplant well, and they adapt to most soils as long as there is adequate drainage and they receive regular water while getting established. Plant them in full sun to maintain denser form and ensure they grow with good vigor.

This is a fast-growing spruce with a large footprint, so pick the planting site accordingly. A small front yard isn’t adequate to accommodate a mature Norway; but a large, open area on the property is an ideal place to let these trees grow to their full potential.

Has it been a while since you’ve planted a tree? Take a look at our tree planting video for a quick refresher.

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Categories: Businesses

Wed, 12/31/1969 - 7:00pm
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