The dirt: An apple a day

  • Article by: LYNN UNDERWOOD , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 11, 2012 - 3:11 PM

Plus: recycling pots, orchids galore

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Minnesota-bred Zestar apples.

Photo: University Of Minnesota

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For some of the freshest apples in town, head to the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum's Apple House in Chanhassen. Purchase apples from a changing inventory of more than 50 varieties throughout the season, including recent University of Minnesota introductions. Other produce includes watermelon, cucumber, zucchini, corn, beans, onion, eggplant, peppers and potatoes.

The Apple House also is stocked with University of Minnesota ice cream and locally made fudge, maple syrup, baked goods and jams. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through early November. Proceeds benefit the U of M apple-research program. The Apple House is 11/2 miles west of the arboretum on Hwy. 5. Call ahead for varieties available, 952-443-1409, or go to www.arboretum.umn.edu.

Recycle your pots

Do you have stacks of garden pots in your garage? Bachmans will accept clean plastic pots, trays and hanging baskets Saturday and Sunday during store hours at its Twin Cities garden centers. Be sure to dump out all soil and remove metal hangers from hanging baskets. The event is sponsored buy the Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association.

Grass birthday

Talk to author and ornamental grass expert Mary Meyer at open houses Tuesday and Oct. 10 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum's collection of more than 200 different ornamental and native grasses, one of the nation's largest. Ornamental grasses are great plants for low-maintenance, sustainable landscapes. They lend interest and structure to home and business landscapes, while also helping reduce stormwater runoff.

The open houses are from 3 to 6 p.m. Tuesday and 1 to 6 p.m. Oct. 10. Visitors can vote for their favorite grass, get ideas for using grasses in their own gardens and receive a free poster on native grasses. Arboretum admission is $12 for adults; free for members and ages 12 and under. 3675 Arboretum Dr., Chaska. Visit www.arboretum.umn.edu or call 952-443-1400.

Orchids galore

Orchid lovers can choose from a wide range of plants grown locally by experts -- members of the Minnesota Orchid Society. The annual plant sale fundraiser is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and includes care tips and supplies at Linder's Garden Center, 270 W. Larpenteur Av., St. Paul. Call 651-488-1927.

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