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Ideas & Inspiration

Vegetable Gardening to Summer Party Pots

Summer is the perfect time to perfect your gardening game. Grow your own vegetables and herbs to enjoy a taste of gardening success in a home-cooked meal, or prepare some fun custom containers that can add flair for your next party. Check out the following Minneapolis gardening tips, and prepare to enjoy this beautiful weather for weeks to come!


Top Gardening Tips in Minneapolis

Minnesota has a lot of things going for it, but a longer growing season is not one of those things. Long-lasting winters leave us with only a short window between the last frost of spring to the first frost of fall. On average, we can expect to go from May 15th to October 5th without frost. Here are five of the best ways to get the most out of that garden-friendly growing season:


Prepare for a BBQ With Functional Landscaping Features

Before you make the grocery list, think bigger! Get your home ready to entertain guests outdoors. Patios, fire pits, and even water features can define an outdoor living space your guests will love. Sunnyside Gardens builds all of these things via our landscape design department. Turn up the volume in summer for years to come.


Regroup After The Flurry of a Busy Spring

Your landscaping sets the scene for pool parties, yard games, and grill time, so whip it into shape in a hurry. If your yard is a tangle of weeds growing through dead shrubbery, either get professional help or roll your sleeves up and get to work on the garden maintenance yourself. We’ve got what you need in store to help with your big or little garden projects. Mulch, lawn bags, garden treatments, pest control, big flowers to add color, and citronella candles to burn.


Add Custom Garden Containers to Accentuate Your Yard

Our team at Sunnyside Gardens loves customizing unique garden containers to complement your style, and this is also something you can do yourself! Our tips for success begin with picking the best, most heat tolerant plants that will give you lasting color. Our goal is to make you feel like the most successful gardener on the block and to evoke awe from those passing by.


Grow Your Own Food

Since we Minnesotans power our summer growing season into a few months, we recommend planting starter plants just after Mother’s day. Start seeds indoors earlier, or sow fast crops like lettuce or spinach directly in the ground. Grow your own peppers, tomatoes, leafy greens, and more to experience the satisfaction of eating something you cared for yourself. Imagine how much better a garden salad or salsa will taste when you know exactly where every ingredient came from.


The Best Gardening Offense Is a Good Defense

Minnesota is home to a few pests that will try to chomp on your veggies before you get the chance. As Sun Tzu said in The Art of War, “know thy enemy.” If you have any questions about which critters are coming for your plants, contact us for effective Search and Destroy strategies.


Gardening Services in Minneapolis

At Sunnyside Gardens, we stay up to date with all the best gardening tips for Minnesota. We know what will grow well here, and have the experience to help it thrive. You can check our online gardening store to find everything you need for your summer gardening in Minneapolis. We have it all, from mulch and compost to a variety of plants that are already in peak health and ready for your yard.

If you’d rather not get your hands dirty by doing regular garden maintenance, we can take the work off your plate and leave you with an easy, beautiful garden. Our team is experienced with custom containers like summer party pots, regular maintenance, and just about every other type of landscaping. Learn more about Sunnyside Gardens to see if we’re the perfect partner for your Minneapolis summer gardening goals.

PARA’KITO = No Mosquito

There is nothing better than enjoying summertime at the cabin, the city lakes or in the garden. As much as I love to chill in the summer outdoors, there always seems to be an uninvited visitor -those pesky mosquitos. It’s easy to forget about these little buggers until I’m itching away at the welts on my ankles. In the last several years, I have steered clear of the deet based repellents in favor of Para Kito products as a more natural alternative.

Para Kito repellents are made from essential oils so not only are they healthier on my skin, but I also don’t smell like burning chemicals. I also feel safe using the area diffusion bands on my kids when they play outside, or lending the roll on gel to friends at the cabin. This natural repellent is made with Citronella, Rosemary, Geranium, Mint, Clove, and Peppermint oils which mask human scents that would otherwise attract mosquitos.

I even took the Para Kito with me on week-long trip to Costa Rica. The waterproof area diffusion bands protected me from the bugs for 15 days so I didn’t return from vacation covered in bites. So if you are looking for something to keep your summer insect free, I would recommend giving Para Kito a try to help you enjoy your summer activities.

Tree Top Pot Class November 8th @ 5:30pm

JOIN US! Tree Top Pot Class November 8th 5:30p-6:30p

Join us at Sunnyside Gardens to learn how to make your own tree top pot for your doorstep. Our expert designers will share our tips and tricks for a long lasting holiday design. It’s sure to be fun. Dress for a 60 degree greenhouse. Warm up with a beverage and light snack, provided by Sunnyside.
Call soon to register and save your spot at the potting bench. The cost is $100–this includes a container, fill material, spruce tops, accent greens, decorative twigs and a selection of real and faux accouterments.

Tree Top Pot Class

Best Use of Straw Bales

The best use of straw bales-

Straw is traditionally used to add a protective layer to perennial beds for winter. MN can have a mix of winter extremes from harsh cold to sunny thaws, and depending on the depth of snow, your perennial plants can experience extreme temp fluxes that will damage roots and could kill the plants. Ideally we have several feet of snow for an insulation layer that will keep perennials uniformly cold through freeze and thaw. History tells us that snowfall isn’t necessarily reliable, so we have turned to adding a layer of straw to our beds for some plant life insurance.

When should you apply straw to a garden bed? When night time temperatures are below 30 consistently add a layer of straw a couple inches thick.

When should re remove straw? When night time temps are no longer below the freezing point rake off straw and discard. This is a great time to mulch and add preen to discourage weeds in the coming season.

Other uses for straw are more obvious. Decorating for fall. Additional seating around the fire pit. Soaking up a muddy corner of the yard so Fido doesn’t track in. An archery target. Use intact, wet bales to grow potatoes when spring comes.


Fall Grass Seeding

Fall grass seeding may be on your mind and we have a few expert tips to help you along. The MN lawn that survives through the heat of summer can harbor crab grass patches, creeping Charlie and show bare spots from pets and yard fun activities.

(Before you get started even thinking you’re going to add grass seed and beef up the lawn, commit to finding a sprinkler and hose to get the water supply set. Most new lawns fail because of too little water.)

  1. Address uninvited weeds with a concerted effort to hand pull or spray a turf friendly weed killer. We recommend you begin seeding as soon as you see weed dieback from your spray application.
  2. Cut your existing grass short, bag the clippings and rake the lawn well to open up bare spots and expose the soil beneath. Rough rake exposed soil adding 1/4″ of nutrient rich soil mix. New seed can more easily send it’s roots into loose soil.*Lawn Soil by Scotts is a great choice for new lawn success.
  3. Choose a blend of grass seed best for your lawn. Fescues for Shade and bluegrass for Sun. (Blends of both can work well when your yard is a mix of Sun/Shade.)
  4. Spread seed, fertilize with a starter fertilizer which will activate the roots of the new grass. Water daily.
  5. Mow your new lawn when new grass is 3″ tall. Continue to water, but three times a week is fine at this point.


Three Best Succulents for Dorm Rooms

I picked three of my favorite succulents for dorm rooms. Having lived in several dorm rooms and apartments in my life I can attest to a few known factors:

  1. You can have great natural sunlight or live in virtual cave.
  2. You may be a fixed creature of your abode or only stop by to check messages.
  3. The thermostat could be locked at 82 degrees or the window perpetually open to allow much needed air flow.
  4. **Everything glows with artificial light.

So, what can I suggest that may survive a dorm room ecosystem? First of all, a succulent would be a good choice as it needs minimal water. Then of all the succulents available, I chose ones that can survive in high or lower light. Jade, Kalanchoe and Aloe.

Pick out a healthy plant, one that excites you! Plant in a container with good drainage (something with a saucer to catch excess water) using succulent soil, water once a week and if possible set near a window or within 10 feet of a window.

Flap Jack kalanchoe
Flap Jack Kalanchoe
Jade, Crassula Family
Aloe-Many Varieties


Fresh In @Sunnysidegardensmn

Happiness is a sunshiny Rudbeckia. Warm colors that match the glowing light of the season. Non-hardy Black Eyed Susans are hot out of the grower greenhouse. Just add water!

August in the Garden

August in the Garden

A friend just told me she walked 27k steps the last time she worked in the garden all day. That’s amazing! There is no shortage of things to do in the garden these days. Ultimately, what you do is up to you, plan a 27k step gardening day or simply cut a beautiful bouquet for your bathroom. I’ll write about a few things that I’ve been doing in the garden, or wish I was doing in the garden and you can pick and choose where to go from there.


1. Do a quick fertilizer application to your turf. Get a bag of organic lawn fertilizer, borrow a spreader from us at Sunnyside, apply lawn food, return spreader, turn on sprinkler for 45 min.

2. Cut the spent flowers off your Hosta, Salvia, Phlox or other perennials.

3. Water any new 2018 plantings extra well and finish with a bucket of water with fertilizer to encourage a healthy plant.

More Difficult

  1. Weed and apply fresh mulch to garden beds. Transform how your front beds look!
  2. Pull any annuals that aren’t performing well and replace with something fresh. Choose plants that work with your vacation schedule!
  3. Pull sidewalk weeds if you have them.
  4. Identify what’s eating your plants and make an action plan with Sunnyside help.
  5. Plant a tree! Small ornamental trees are great upgrades for your property. This is the season for Hydrangea trees and we have may to show off, but don’t forget how stunning the crabapple trees are in the spring. Plant now and enjoy for years to come.


Pick a Pot/Plant a Plant

Enjoy 20% or 30% off pottery. Plants and pots go together like peanut butter and jelly. With this sale it’s going to be easy to introduce a few new houseplants into your interior space or to jazz up your back patio. Big, little, tall or short, you’re going to find a great selection of items around the store. We can help to make your plant parenting dreams come true.