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Collage of home gardens and produce

April Showers Bring May Flowers — and Other Garden Goods!

Win­ter is gone, the days are longer, the sun is warmer. Now would usu­al­ly be the time we’re plant­i­ng var­i­ous flow­ers, pro­duce and herbs on the Bell­mont Part­ners ter­race – a sure sign of spring at the office. Even though we can’t gar­den togeth­er again just yet, our team mem­bers brought this pas­sion home, and we’re shar­ing some of our favorite tips, tricks and must-haves for the best gar­den on the block.

Gar­den­ing Goals

Many of our team mem­bers enjoy grow­ing their own pro­duce to use in their kitchens – toma­toes, pep­pers, car­rots, cucum­bers and herbs like basil, cilantro and pars­ley are most pop­u­lar. Addi­tion­al­ly, hav­ing beau­ti­ful flower beds and pots are sure to spark joy for our­selves and for any­one walk­ing or dri­ving by. In lieu of pro­duce on our BP ter­race this year, we’re opt­ing for a pol­li­na­tor friend­ly mix to help our neigh­bor­hood. Above all, con­tribut­ing to sus­tain­able efforts in our own yards is incred­i­bly important.

While we’re not experts, the fol­low­ing are things we’ve learned along the way and have shared with each oth­er to keep our thumbs green: 

  • Get the weeds out ear­ly. If applic­a­ble, you can put down a lay­er of news­pa­per below mulch to pre­vent weeds.
  • If your soil isn’t great or you don’t have a lot of space to work with, con­tain­er gar­den­ing is a won­der­ful alter­na­tive. Plus, you can move the con­tain­ers wher­ev­er the best sun/shade ratio in your yard is for what you’re growing.
  • Some thor­ough water­ings a few times a week can be bet­ter than fre­quent light waterings.
  • Make sure you are famil­iar with what plants grow best next to each oth­er and which to avoid putting togeth­er. Not all plants play nice!
  • Know when to plant, as not every seed should be plant­ed at the same time. Keep a seed-start cal­en­dar and rota­tion guide so you don’t miss the opti­mum grow­ing sea­son for your favorites.
  • Have a defense against crit­ters, like fenc­ing or a raised bed.
  • Take time to find some new recipes to try before your boun­ty arrives…that way you won’t be scram­bling to fig­ure out what to do if you end up with an abun­dance of goods. And, you can always con­sid­er shar­ing with neigh­bors or even sim­ply freez­ing or pre­serv­ing extras to enjoy later!
  • Recruit your fam­i­ly or friends to help water and weed!

People tending to garden boxes

Favorite Gar­den­ing Resources

  • Ask a Mas­ter Gar­den­er is a free resource through the Uni­ver­si­ty of Min­neso­ta. You can send ques­tions and pho­tos and they’ll give you the answers you need.
  • Pic­tureThis App is a free app that will tell you what you’re look­ing at just from tak­ing a pho­to! It’s a great way to deter­mine if some­thing is a weed to pull or a sur­prise peren­ni­al pop­ping up.
  • Min­neso­ta State Hor­ti­cul­ture Soci­ety (@mnhort) Insta­gram offers tips, tricks and encour­age­ment for suc­cess­ful and sus­tain­able gar­den­ing in Minnesota.
  • Tan­gle­town Garden’s (@tangletowngardens) Insta­gram is great for cre­ativ­i­ty and tips.
  • Bach­mans’ has won­der­ful vir­tu­al webi­na­rs and Face­book Live videos.
  • Houzz.com is per­fect for land­scap­ing inspiration.
  • Check out your local gar­den stores and talk to the pros!

We hope these help pro­vide a lit­tle inspi­ra­tion or advice to help you nur­ture your gar­dens, and we wish you a fruit­ful grow­ing sea­son! If you have any favorite tips or recipe ideas, we’d love to hear them!

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