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Gardening in the Upper Midwest

Leon C. Snyder
Copyright Date: 1985
Edition: NED - New edition, Second
Pages: 310
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  • Book Info
    Gardening in the Upper Midwest
    Book Description:

    An essential reference for northern gardeners, this edition contains new information on vegetables and fruit. Includes useful lists of appropriate species as well as information on landscaping, lawn care, and flowers.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-9302-3
    Subjects: Botany & Plant Sciences

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-v)
  2. Acknowledgments
    (pp. vi-vi)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-2)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. 3-6)

    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’sFlower Growing in the North, published in 1956, dealt only with flowers. WhenGardening in the Upper Midwestappeared 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 Canada is different from that in other parts of the United States. In the winter, the temperature can drop...

  5. Chapter 1 Classification of Plants
    (pp. 7-11)

    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, fungi, and algae belong to this group. Bacteria and fungi are important to the gardener because they cause many diseases of garden plants. Algae are sometimes a...

  6. Chapter 2 Plant Structure and Growth
    (pp. 12-27)

    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 rhubarb are familiar examples. Although most roots grow under the surface of the soil, aerial roots develop on some plants, most...

  7. Chapter 3 How Plants Are Propagated
    (pp. 28-39)

    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 such seeds will yield uniform seedlings.

    Seed companies are producing F1hybrid seeds of many kinds of vegetables and annual flowers. These hybrid...

  8. Chapter 4 Soil and Soil Improvement
    (pp. 40-47)

    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 nutrients in solution.

    The rock particles differ greatly in size and are classified as sand, silt, or...

  9. Chapter 5 Plant Pests and Their Control
    (pp. 48-53)

    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 mineral deficiency, various types of winter injury, and injuries caused by air and soil pollution are nonparasitic. Weeds take their toll by lowering crop...

  10. Chapter 6 Pruning and Training
    (pp. 54-58)

    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 primer, 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 that are likely to split as the tree or shrub matures. Wide-angled branches are...

  11. Chapter 7 Home Fruit Growing
    (pp. 59-76)

    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 selected the most promising seedlings for propagation. State universities in the area soon started fruit-breeding programs to...

  12. Chapter 8 Growing Vegetables
    (pp. 77-95)

    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 suitable site is available near the house, it might be better...

  13. Chapter 9 Home Landscaping
    (pp. 96-100)

    A well-landscaped yard adds greatly to the enjoyment of one’s home. It also adds to the value of the property. It is difficult to put a dollar value on the landscape, but most real estate agents agree that the value can be somewhere between 5 and 20 percent of the value of the property. An average value is about 13 percent. From this, you can see that landscaping is good business.

    Most homeowners take several years to plan and plant their yards. They may seek the help of a landscape nursery or prefer to draw their own plans and buy...

  14. Chapter 10 How to Have a Good Lawn
    (pp. 101-108)

    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 lawn grass mixtures, are good for the average lawn. ‘Park’ was developed by the Agronomy Department of the...

  15. Chapter 11 Selection and Care of Deciduous Trees
    (pp. 109-138)

    Planting a tree is a longtime investment. No other gardening investment returns more satisfaction and value. If you make the right choices, these returns can be optimized.

    When selecting a tree consider hardiness, rate of growth, mature size, form, and seasonal aspects like bloom, fruit, fall color, and winter appearance. Your choice can also be influenced by the type of soil you have. Select trees that will be in scale with the grounds and buildings when they reach maturity. Avoid overly large trees that may be expensive to remove or that require excessive pruning.

    It is best to plant nursery-grown...

  16. Chapter 12 Selection and Care of Shrubs
    (pp. 139-172)

    The selection and proper use of shrubs is very important: they are used in the foundation planting, in the border of the yard for screening and privacy, on a bank, at the edge of woods, and sometimes as a hedge along the driveway.

    Plant only shrubs that will be hardy and long-lived. To use shrubs intelligently you must know their mature size and under what conditions they grow best. The following specie and cultivar descriptions plus general and special lists should help you select the right plants for your yard. Some of these plants can also be used as trees...

  17. Color photograph section
    (pp. None)
  18. Chapter 13 Selection and Care of Evergreens
    (pp. 173-182)

    This chapter includes only the conifers and not the broad-leaved evergreens. (These broad-leaved evergreens are covered in Chapters 12 and 15.) Several deciduous conifers are also included since their summer effect in the landscape is the same as that of the other needle evergreens.

    Because our winter season is long, evergreens are especially welcome in the landscape. It is best to use them in border plantings where they will be visible from inside the house during the winter months. Certain creeping evergreens make attractive ground covers.

    Some evergreens like arborvitaes, yews, and certain junipers are subject to winter burn. Shading...

  19. Chapter 14 Selection and Care of Vines
    (pp. 183-187)

    Vines may be used in the landscape for covering fences or walls. They may also be grown on specially constructed trellises and pergolas. Vines differ in their method of climbing. Some vines, like the grape, climb by tendrils which attach the vines to the support. These tendrils may be modified stems or leaves. Other vines climb by twining or by wrapping themselves around the support. Some climb clockwise and others climb counterclockwise. Bittersweet, wisteria, and moonseed are examples of twining vines. A few vines, such as Boston ivy, attach themselves to their support by suckerlike disks, or haustoria. Some plants...

  20. Chapter 15 Selection and Care of Ground Covers
    (pp. 188-201)

    Interest in and knowledge of ground covers has increased greatly in recent years. A ground cover is any plant that is fairly dense and that protects the soil from erosion. Most ground covers used in the home landscape are low, but when selecting a cover for a steep slope, where erosion is a problem, the soil-binding ability rather than the height should be the main consideration.

    Ground covers are usually planted where one does not wish to have a lawn. Some ground covers can be grown where it is too shady for a lawn, others in small spaces or on...

  21. Chapter 16 Perennial Plants for the Sunny Flower Border
    (pp. 202-229)

    Very little is published on perennials for upper midwestern gardens. In this chapter only perennials, exclusive of spring-flowering bulbs, that prefer full sun are considered. Many perennials bloom earlier in the spring than annuals and should be used in the flower border. If annuals alone are used, it is necessary to replant the entire border each spring. A well-planned flower border can bloom continuously from early spring until late fall, but to achieve this result both perennials and annuals must be used.

    When planning the flower border, it is necessary to learn as much as you can about the plants...

  22. Chapter 17 Perennial Plants for Shady Gardens
    (pp. 230-247)

    Many homes are built in the woods or in yards with many trees. Plants that like full sunlight do poorly under such conditions. Few flowering plants thrive in deep shade, but some native woodland wild flowers and ferns should be considered for shady gardens. (Ferns are listed separately at the end of this chapter.) Certain annuals and tender perennials likeBegoniaxsemperflorensandImpatiens walleranacan also be used. (See Chapter 20.) Besides shade, root competition from trees can be a problem. Additional watering and fertilizing may be required for best results.

    Actaea pachypoda(White Baneberry). A 2-foot-tall plant...

  23. Chapter 18 Garden Roses
    (pp. 248-256)

    Garden roses are treated separately in this book because they are so popular and are virtually the only tender shrubs that are recommended for this region. Successful rose gardening depends on purchasing quality plants and on providing special care.

    Most nurseries that grow garden roses are located in Oregon, California, and Texas, where the winters are mild. The various cultivars are budded on special rootstocks, which are usually produced from seeds or rooted cuttings. In the nursery the rootstocks are generally cultivated for a full growing season. In the fall a bud of the desired cultivar is inserted near the...

  24. Chapter 19 Bulbs
    (pp. 257-265)

    In addition to true bulbs, this chapter covers other kinds of storage organs used to propagate plants. These include corms, rhizomes, tubers, and fleshy roots. See Chapter 2 for definitions.

    There are three general groups: the hardy spring-flowering types that are planted in the fall, the tender summer-and fall-flowering types that are planted in the spring, and the hardy spring-, summer-and fall-flowering types—such as irises, lilies, and peonies—that were described in Chapter 16.

    These are offered for sale in the fall of the year and may be ordered through a mail-order catalog or purchased directly from a nursery...

  25. Chapter 20 Annual Flowers
    (pp. 266-282)

    There is no surer way of having an attractive flower border in the summer and fall than to grow annuals. These can be planted in specially prepared beds each spring, or they can be mixed with perennials in the flower border. All annuals are grown from seeds started indoors or planted directly in the garden where the plants are to bloom. (A list of annuals that should be started indoors is presented on pp. 268-270.) Some gardeners prefer to plant their flower seeds with vegetables in rows in the kitchen garden; this works fine if the annuals are grown primarily...

  26. Index
    (pp. 283-301)
  27. Back Matter
    (pp. 302-302)