Gardening Minnesota and North Dakota

Plant Zone Map - USDA. Find out what planting zone you live in by entering your zip code or select the State you live in. As you look through seed catalogs, watch for your Zone. When I order seeds and plants I try to order from sources that are closer geographically to my planting zone or at least close to our latitude. In Fargo/Moorhead the latitude is 46 degrees North. Find your Latitude

Soils in the Red River Valley tend to be heavy clays and high PH/alkaline.
        For more details contact your local SWCD office try Web Soil Survey from NRCS with interactive map and lots of information.
            Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCD) in Minnesota. Frequently sell bulk trees for conservation.
            Soil Conservation Districts in North Dakota
        We are experimenting with Biochar from CharEnergy LLC and mulching using practices from Back to Eden gardening

Precipitation (snow and rain) average 10-20 inches in the Valley with 15-25 inches of evaporation per year. Different plant have different watering needs. For historical mapped data see Precipitation by location.

Frost-free dates in the Fargo/Moorhead average last frost: May 10-25 and first fall frost September 10-October 8. Average growing session is 137 days.
        NOAA Climate data sets provides the data for various resources like
            Frost date ranges look up by zip code from Dave's garden 
            Interactive map for freeze dates from

Sunlight - Full-sun, Partial-sun, Shade and the number of hours of daylight hours can also impact plant growth. You can search for a US city to find times Sunrise/Sunset and calculate hours of daylight by day of year.

Pollinators - bees, birds, bats and other insects. These will need habitat and season long food/water source for them to thrive. Be aware of products, like insecticides which can kill pollinators.

Plants and Trees - resources

Plants Database NRCS with plant fact sheets and searchable image gallery The Plant Facts from Ohio State links to the Plants Database content. You can hear the scientific names

Plant Materials Center for Minnesota, ND and SD. We have gotten native plants (Sweet Grass, Black Currants, White Sage) to see if they can be re-established in our area. They also have plant fact sheets like pale purple coneflower and book on ethno-botany Culturally significant plants

Plant Selector tools Examples: Blue Thumb plant for Clean water and MNDOT Plant Selector for road side planting.

Plants of Minnesota DNR Minnesota Department of Natural Resources includes link to Tree care

Minnesota Extenstion Service - MN Master Gardener programs by County and Facts for growing Vegetables, Flowers, Trees and more. Includes a list of cold hardy varieties for Minnesota.

North Dakota Extension Service - ND Master Gardener program and Fact sheets for Lawns and Gardens. Examples: square foot gardening and annual and perennial flowers selection for North Dakota.

N.D. Tree Handbook

Herbal Safety includes herbal fact sheets 

Gardens - you can create different kinds of gardens or visit area gardens. We created a garden space in the shape of a seven circuit Labyrinth with a medicine wheel and cross at the center. Have you created a special garden space?

Bergeson Gardens, Fertile Minnesota
DNR Gardens
- creating a butterfly garden or landscaping with native plants
Royal Botanical Gardens in Ontario Canada - I've never been but it looks interesting.

Read about gardening. Do you have favorite gardening sources?

Mother Earth News search for articles using Expanded Academic Index or Academic Search Premier
Organic Gardening search for articles using Academic Search Premier
Northern Gardener

Explora Library - type in gardening

Gardening Blog from the USDA
Renegade Gardener by Don Engebretson

Where I usually go for seeds and plants - Do you have a favorite?

Farmer Seed and Nursery - from southern Minnesota, connected with DirectSeed
Jung Seed - out of Wisconsin
Pinetree Garden Seeds - small packets of seed, many varieties

Totally Tomato and Vermont Bean Seed 

Bergeson Nursery, Fertile, Minnesota 
Fedco Trees they also have seeds
Grandpa's Nursery - has cold hardy varieties of fruit trees

Soil and Water Conservation Districts in Minnesota sometimes sell bulk trees for conservation. In North Dakota the offices are called Soil Conservation Service

And for more links to garden stuff see Dave's   and Seed Savers 

Maintained by Theresa Borchert.  Last update 2-23-16
Send comments or corrections to
Carl B. Ylvisaker Library, Concordia College, Moorhead,Minnesota