Ask the Grasp Gardener: A number of sorts of climbing roses can thrive in northern climates – Brainerd Dispatch


Dear master gardener, I bought a beautiful trellis on sale last fall and I want to plant a climbing rose. Is it too cold up here for climbing roses and are they difficult to grow?

Answer: It’s not too cold in the Brainerd Lake District to grow beautiful, hardy climbing roses. Agriculture Canada has developed many hardy roses for northern climates. Of all the climbing roses they have developed, William Baffin from the Canadian Explorer series is probably the best known, growing to 7 to 9 feet tall. It is very vigorous and has double, deep pink flowers with repeating blooms. Louis Jolliet is another pink variety that grows 4 to 6 feet tall and is disease resistant. It has a hanging habit, a spicy scent, very double flowers and is also a repeat bloomer. John Davis has double, light pink flowers and grows 5 to 6 feet tall. It is easily susceptible to powdery mildew. From the Canadian Explorer series, John Cabot grows to 8 feet tall and has double, deep pink flowers that bloom predominantly in June and July. Captain Samuel Holland is a disease resistant variety with medium red flowers produced in clusters of one to ten that grow to about 6 feet tall and bloom throughout summer. There is a new large flowered rose called Above & Beyond that is hardy in zone 3. It was developed by Professor David Zlesak at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. In 2000, he crossed a non-hardy yellow miniature rose and a Canadian hybrid rose that produced apricot-colored, semi-double flowers with a mild spice scent. It has vigorous growth and is very resistant to fungal diseases.

Dear Master Gardener, I like to help the birds with nest building materials, but my neighbor says I shouldn’t leave any twine, twine or dryer lint for them. Right or wrong?

Answer: Many of us enjoy helping our feathered friends, so it’s important to provide them with proper nesting material rather than unintentionally endangering them. Most ornithologists agree that anything synthetic should be avoided and only natural materials should be provided. Natural materials that are useful and safe for birds to use as nesting materials include twigs and small sticks, dead leaves, dry grass (unless treated with fertilizers or pesticides), chicken feathers, plant fluff or down (spurge and cattail fluff, cottonwood down). ), moss, pieces of bark, straw, hay and pine needles.

Some materials that seem useful can have adverse effects. Birds often use animal fur to build their nests, but animal fur can be dangerous if treated for fleas and ticks. Human hair can also be harmful due to the products we use such as dyes, scented shampoo and conditioner, hair gel and hair spray. Human hair, which is strong and thin, can tangle or even sever a bird’s legs or wings. String, yarn, or thread can contain toxic dyes and pose a hazard by tangling a bird’s feet, legs, or wings, injuring or killing it. Dryer lint can be harmful to nesting birds because it falls apart easily and doesn’t provide enough structure for a safe, well-built nest. When dryer lint gets wet, it becomes sticky and can coat a bird’s feet, legs, and feathers. Dryer lint dust, which can contain chemicals from detergents and fabric softeners, can damage baby birds’ lungs. Stick to the materials of nature!

Dear master gardener, I want to create a privacy screen by creating a living wall of vines. This is for my home in the Twin Cities and unfortunately the area gets little to no direct sunlight. Is there a vine I can plant that will take that much shade?

Answer: Growing grapevines on a trellis or fence is one way to add some privacy outdoors. Many screen plants are very decorative with attractive flowers, leaves or fruit. There are two vines that do well in full shade and make excellent privacy screens. Boston ivy is a zone 4 plant that produces a screen and has a red fall color. The other vine, Englemann’s ivy, is a popular hardy vine that is hardy in zone 2b. Englemann’s ivy has large, dark green, five-lobed leaves that turn a superb red and purple color in fall. If you’re growing one of these vines on a trellis, it needs to be very sturdy to support the weight. One thing to note is that ivy should not be grown directly on exterior walls or brick chimneys to avoid damage to the trim or mortar.

Dear master gardener: is it better to grow onions from seeds or cuttings?

Answer: Onions can be sown directly or grown from transplants. If you want to sow directly, do so as soon as the soil can be tilled. Sow seeds in a 2-inch wide band, one-quarter to one-half inch deep in rows 12 to 18 inches apart. After the seedlings emerge, thin them out about 3 to 4 inches apart. If you buy transplants, they can be planted when temperatures reach 50 degrees. Plant them pointed-ended, about 2 inches deep and 3 to 4 inches apart. They tolerate light frost. Onions can also be planted from sets. Most sets available at local Minnesota stores are of the short-day type, typically growing as large as long-day onions. If using sets, plant them as soon as possible in spring.

Dear Master Gardener: A friend gave me an air plant. how to care for it

Answer: Air plants (tillandsia) are unique and trendy houseplants. In nature, they are epiphytes (they attach themselves to other plants as a support). Their roots are there for attachment rather than taking up water or nutrients – they don’t grow in the ground. They depend on moisture in the air to grow and thrive; Accordingly, you need to water your plant by spraying, rinsing, or soaking. If using the misting method, gently mist your air plant until it runs off several times a week. Flushing is the easiest watering technique — just hold it under a faucet twice a week, soak it thoroughly in lukewarm water, then place face down on a paper towel for a few seconds to absorb excess water. Another method is to soak the plant in a bowl of lukewarm water for 20 to 60 minutes weekly and then drain well. Clemson University Extension recommends diluting liquid fertilizer to ¼ the recommended rate and adding it to your regular watering schedule monthly. Place your air plant in bright, indirect light (a west- or east-facing window).

Your gardening questions can be answered by calling the new Master Gardener Help Line at 218-824-1068 and leaving a message. A master gardener will call you back. Or email me at [email protected] and I will reply you in the column if space allows.

University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardeners are trained and certified volunteers for the University of Minnesota Extension. The information in this column is based on university research.