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Why Invasive Plants Pose a Threat to Minnesota’s Natural Environment

As a Minnesota landscaping company specializing in restoring native prairies and other native plant ecosystems, one of the challenges we face is eradication of invasive plant species. Before we can start on a native plant installation project, often the first thing we have to do is get rid of invasive plants such as buckthorn. Just what qualifies as an invasive species? According to the USDA, it is any plant that is not native to the area (or ecosystem) in question, and if introduced can cause harm to the environment, the local economy, or human health. Not counting aquatic plants...

The Importance of Restoring Minnesota Shorelines with Native Plants

With Minnesota being known as the land of 10,000 lakes (actually, depending on who you believe, it could be over 21,000), there is quite a bit of shoreline out there. And that doesn’t even count the rivers. Some of that shoreline is government-owned or public access, while other footage is part of property occupied by lake homes and seasonal cabins. But no matter who owns the property or what it’s designated for, shoreline needs to be maintained. Restoration with native landscaping is a good place to start. Without the right vegetation...

Why You May Want to Put in a Bee Sanctuary in Your Minnesota Backyard

As a Minnesota native landscaping company we’ve had the great joy of being part of a number of landscaping installation projects in partnership with solar power entities. In addition to the terrific benefits for the property owners as well as the restoration and protection of our natural environment, often the wildflowers that are part of these projects provide habitat for bees and other threatened pollinators. This topic is of utmost importance to us, and it’s satisfying to see more and more land that would otherwise sit idle being converted to a haven for those winged creatures. ...

Minnesota Solar & Pollinator Habitat: A Native Landscaping Trend We’re Proud to Support

Solar power – particularly the type generated by utility companies – is growing in Minnesota. Consumer demand and a concern for our environment are fueling the increase in solar site installations. A 2016 bill passed by the Minnesota House and Senate (by near unanimous vote) established both guidelines and standards for solar companies to also include solar sanctuaries under their panels. Since then, thousands of acres of land beneath those solar arrays have been transformed into wildlife habitat, especially with native plants that support pollinators. And...

One way to Get Rid of a Common Weed – Eat it!

Lamb’s Quarter Orzo Salad 5 cups of lamb’s quarter leaves 2 cups uncooked orzo ½ cup feta cheese ½ pine nuts – toasted 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar 3 tbsp oil of your choice 1 tbsp sugar ½ tsp sea salt ¼ tsp pepper Optional mix ins: rosemary, basil, thyme, mint Cook orzo according to package directions Toast pine nuts 350 degree oven for 10 mins Wash and chop lamb’s quarter leaves Mix: vinegar, oil, sugar, salt and pepper in jar with lid and shake up Mix greens, cooked orzo, feta in bowl, pour dressing over and...

Sweet Smelling Early Blooms

The big spring green up is just a couple of weeks away… Our forests and woodlands have rested and are ready to wake up from their deep sleep, explode back to life, and treat us to the sweet smells of the new season. Among these smells are some of the blooming flowers that burst forth in late April and early May.  There are two species that come to mind that put out a light, but distinctive sweet perfume: Sweet white violets (Viola blanda) and wild plum (Prunus Americana). Sweet white violet Viola blanda is...

Spring Flooding

Spring has finally arrived and with it so has flooding here in the Red River Valley. Although we have had and ideal melt that has mitigated much of the flooding impacts, we still have issues with surface water runoff. This is due to the meltwater not being able to be fully absorbed by frozen soil. When runoff flows along the ground, it picks up soil sediments and contaminants like petroleum, pesticides, and fertilizers that become discharged into rivers and lakes as nonpoint source pollution. The sedimentation and pollution can have major effects on water quality and wildlife. Using proper disposal of unused contaminants, good soil tillage plans, and following label instructions...

Spring Renewal

Spring is the time of renewal. Think about how exciting it is to hear the first red-winged blackbird sing. To look out into the wetland to see one clutching to an old, exploded cattail showing off their red and yellow shoulder badges. Think about the first evening you hear the hardy chorus frog calling creeee from a shallow melting pond. Beautiful reminders that sometimes we have to go through a harsh winter but in the end spring always comes. Heidi Sjoquist Director of Retail Operations Princeton, MN ...

Spring is coming…

It was -9 below zero this morning, the snow drifts are waist deep in some places, but believe it or not, the spring rush has already begun in the PRI products department. In our greenhouses tiny seedlings are beginning to sprout, soaking up the sun and enjoying 70 degree temperatures, protected from the freezing cold by a mere thin sheet of plastic. In just a few short weeks, crews will start hand transplanting each of these seedlings into its own container for resale, a process that will be performed over 250,000 times here...

Driftless

La Crosse, WI 1867 About 85% of the Driftless region lies within Wisconsin and is host to more than half of the world’s rare Algific slopes. It is characterized by its Karst topography, bluffs, effigy mounds, river ecosystems, world class trout fishing, rare and fragile species, abundant wildlife, cave art, and goat prairies. I’ve lived in the Driftless region for 23 years of my life, yet, it hasn’t been until the last couple of years that I have grown to truly appreciate how special this area is....