Introduction

Many excellent books have been written on gardening. Most of the authors of these books are from the eastern states, the South, or the West Coast. George Luxton's Flower Growing in the North, published in 1956, dealt only with flowers. When Gardening in the Upper Midwest appeared in 1978, it was the first comprehensive treatment of problems faced by gardeners in this region. The second edition places greater emphasis on fruits and vegetables. The climate of Minnesota and surrounding states and...

Addition Of Organic Matter

Adding organic matter is the key to soil improvement. This increases the granulation and aeration of clay soils and improves the moisture and nutrient retention of sandy soils. It is difficult to add too much organic matter, especially if it is partly decomposed. Almost any kind of organic matter can be used. Tree leaves, straw, hay, sawdust, wood chips, and ground corncobs are generally available and relatively inexpensive. Manures and peat are also effective. Composted materials are better...

How to Have a Good Lawn

The lawn can be likened to the canvas on which an artist paints a picture. An attractive lawn adds much to the enjoyment of home ownership and outdoor living. Having an attractive lawn requires careful preparation of the soil before planting plus regular maintenance. Kentucky bluegrass Poa pratensis is the most commonly planted and one of the best lawn grasses. A number of cultivars have been developed, most of which are improvements over the species. 'Park' and 'Newport', two cultivars used in...

Preparing The Soil

In starting a lawn one should consider the subsoil as well as the topsoil. The subsoil must be well drained. A sandy loam is best. If you have a heavy, clay subsoil, tile drainage may be required. The surface should be carefully graded to allow surface drainage away from the home. No pockets should be left where water will stand. Avoid unnecessary compaction of the subsoil. At least 6 inches of topsoil should be added. This should be done in steps. First spread a 2-inch layer over the surface...

Currants And Gooseberries

Although seldom grown and seldom seen on the market, both currants and gooseberries are easy to grow. The 'Red Lake' is the best variety of currant. Black currants, popular in Europe, are seldom planted. This is because they are very susceptible to the white pine blister rust, which poses a danger to white pine. 'Pixwell' and 'Welcome' are the two recommended gooseberries. 'Welcome' is very susceptible to powdery mildew and should not be planted unless you are willing to control the disease....

Essential Elements

A knowledge of plant nutrients is essential to successful gardening. Of all the elements present in the soil, only about 15 are needed for plant growth carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, manganese, iron, sulfur, boron, zinc, copper, and molybdenum. Carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen are involved in photosynthesis. Carbon dioxide is a gas present in the atmosphere. It is used in photosynthesis and restored in the atmosphere by the oxidation of...

Pruning and Training

Pruning is both an art and a science. No garden practice is less understood than pruning. Most gardeners recognize the need for pruning, but most are hesitant to start. There are no simple steps to follow for becoming an expert pruner, but knowing how a plant grows and the reasons for pruning should help. If a plant has any dead wood, such dead wood should obviously be removed. This improves the appearance of the plant and lessens the chances of decay. Narrow-angled crotches are weak crotches...

How Plants Ate Propagated

Plants Grafting Attachment

Propagation of plants occurs by sexual or asexual means. Sexual propagation involves growing plants from seeds asexual vegetative propagation, from a part of the plant. It is important to understand that a seed is produced as a result of sexual union. The seed contains genetic characteristics of both parents. Unless both parents are genetically similar, the seedlings that result can be variable. Most vegetable and annual flower seeds are produced by seed companies whose practices ensure that...

Soil and Soil Improvement

A fertile, productive soil is essential to successful gardening. A knowledge of soils and soil fertility should help improve one's gardening. The typical mineral soil is composed of rock particles, organic matter, water, and air. The solid particles make up about 50 percent by volume, and the water and air each occupy about 25 percent. The exact percentages vary, depending on the nature of the soil and on whether the soil is wet or dry. In addition there are soil microorganisms and plant...

Growing Vegetables

Growing vegetables can be a fascinating hobby as well as a way to supplement the family income. A vegetable garden need not be large to be practical. If properly planned and cared for, much produce can be grown in a limited space. Most gardeners have little choice in selecting a site for vegetables. For best results the site selected should be in full sun and free of competing tree roots. The soil can be modified, but little can be done to reduce shade and competition from trees. Unless a...

Plant Pests and Their Control

Pest Diagram For Small Plan

A good gardener must learn to recognize plant symptoms associated with insects and disease and take whatever measures are necessary to control the insects and diseases involved. Injury to garden plants is caused by a variety of agents. Animals of various kinds feed on plants. Some inject toxic substances that result in gall-like formations abnormal growths . Plant diseases can be caused by bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Some disease symptoms may result from physiological disorders. Symptoms of...

Perennial Vegetables

Asparagus and rhubarb are popular varieties. Asparagus is best grown in rows, where it can be cultivated and kept weed free. One-or two-year-old plants should be planted in early spring. Make a trench about 8 inches deep. Work organic matter and a fertilizer high in phosphorus into the bottom of the trench. Asparagus plants are heavy feeders and will stay in the same soil for many years, so the time to get phosphorus into the root zone is right before planting. Space the plants about 18 inches...

Solanaceous Fruits

Eggplant, peppers, and tomatoes belong to the potato family, Solanaceae. They have similar cultural requirements. For best results, the seed should be started indoors 6 to 8 weeks before it is time to set the plants outdoors. Since these are warm-season plants, little is gained by transplanting them much before Memorial Day. This means that the seed should be started during the early part of April. Short, stocky plants are best for transplanting to the garden. Tall, leggy plants are the result...

Plant Structure and Growth

Epidermal Wheat Pulp Cells

A knowledge of the structure and growth of plants is an aid to understanding some of the problems that develop when growing plants. All seed-producing plants have vegetative organs roots, stems, and leaves and reproductive organs flowers, fruits, and seeds . Ferns have vegetative organs and reproduce by spores. Roots anchor the plants. They also absorb water and plant nutrients from the soil and carry these upward to the stem. Some roots are modified for food storage. Carrots, peonies, and...

Classification of Plants

Gardeners should have some knowledge of how plants are classified. The plant kingdom includes many kinds of plants ranging in size from microscopic bacteria to giant redwoods. The science of taxonomy deals with the orderly classification of these plants. The taxonomist divides plants into three major groups the Thallophyta, the Bryophyta, and the Tracheophyta. The word Thallophyta means Thallus plants. These plants are primitive and undifferentiated into roots, stems, and leaves. The bacteria,...

Home Fruit Growing

Where space permits, growing quality fruits can be most rewarding. It is important that you understand the cultural requirements of each kind of fruit and that you plant only those varieties that are recommended for your area. Your county Agricultural Extension Agent should have a recommended list of varieties. Early settlers in the Upper Midwest quickly found out that the varieties of apples they had grown in the East were not hardy. Rather than giving up, they started to plant apple seeds and...