“I think it’s a wasted opportunity. It’s not that the garden gets tired, the gardener does,” Heidi Heiland says.
CORCORAN, Minn. — Those of us who have lived here in the Midwest for a while know that weather like this doesn’t happen very often.
That’s why garden experts say a lot of people don’t know what to do with it.
Heidi Heiland says weather this warm is confusing for most Minnesota gardeners.
She owns Heidi’s GrowHaus in Corcoran.
“I think it’s a wasted opportunity. It’s not that the garden gets tired, the gardener does,” Heiland says.
She suspects that a lot of gardeners and homeowners will overlook this rare opportunity to tidy things up in the yard and garden this year, and to get a jump start on next year.
“October is in fact the best time to put down grass seed,” Heiland says.
“You can put it down right now and it stays dormant, and it doesn’t really grow until next Spring.”
Heiland says it’s also a good time to plant shrubs and perennials.
“You can plant those late in the fall and they’re supposed to freeze in the landscape, so that’s okay.”
Heiland says some spring flower bulbs can also be planted right now.
“A lot of people don’t think about tulips and daffodils and the like until they see them blooming in the spring and then they wish they planted them in the Fall.”
She says many homeowners and gardeners are also leery of watering this time of year over concerns about freezing their pipes or hurting their plants.
She says watering your grass, trees, and perennials this time of year will actually help them make it through the winter.
“You’ll want to watch the weather and see where the temps are at, but good deep soakings of your existing plant materials if really advised,” Heiland explains.
“And when I saw good deep soakings, I mean just watering it with the hose until it puddles.”
Although Heiland herself is excited to get some last minute gardening in, she says most of her customers have already moved on to spruce tips and Christmas lights.
“They’re ready to put their holiday lights out in the nice weather.”
It’s why the inside of her store is filled with holiday decorations.
“We’re talking internally about it and half of our team is saying no, don’t do it, and other of our team members are saying we’re ready,” Heiland says.
As much as she’d like to keep selling plants and shrubs in this nice weather, she says most of the customers have already moved on to holiday decorations.
“People love the table toppers. We have a few out already.”
And then ten days from now…
“We’re getting ready for about 800 Christmas trees to be delivered,” Heiland says.
It seems that Minnesotans are one step ahead of Mother Nature this year.
Usually, it’s the other way around.
But this year Mother Nature is the one who is trying to hold onto the warm weather just a little bit longer.
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