Mulch It Good and Other Advice from One of St. Croix Valley’s Best Landscape Designers

by | Jun 2019

Rows of summer plant options at Abrahamson Nursery.

Photo: Tate Carlson

Go green with less maintenance and fewer chemicals.

Abrahamson Nursery is—ahem—a perennial finalist on our Best Landscape Designer list. And while a manicured yard and gardens are always a goal for homeowners, some strategic choices can lead to less maintenance, fewer chemicals—and longer-lasting plants. Abrahamson’s Dan Sandager and Andy Carlson share a few ways to “go green” in more ways than one:

Go native. “Plants with a native background—that naturally thrive in our area—are easier to care for and grow,” Sandager says. Explore cultivars—specific varieties of native plants—selectively bred for better blooming but still have the same qualities and needs as their ancestors.

Make your yard smaller. “The mower is loved and hated,” says Sandager. Reduce lawn space by adding native plants around the edge. Add height with taller perennials and native shrubs to add color and visual interest.

Know your soil. “Your soil makeup—from heavy clay to sand—can dramatically impact how certain plants do and how much care they’ll need,” says Carlson. The Abrahamson team can spot basic soil types and make suggestions accordingly—but the University of Minnesota offers more thorough soil analysis starting at $17.

Mulch it good. “It controls weeds … but wood also breaks down over time, becoming a good way to amend your soil,” Sandager explains.

Consider natural lawn care products. Do your pets, family members and the environment a favor by ditching the dangerous chemicals common in many fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides. Abrahamson uses and carries Dr. Earth brand products.

Keep learning. Take advantage of classes and seminars offered at Abrahamson’s three local sites. Ninety-plus years in the business—and the unique ability to grow the plants they sell—translate into a wealth of knowledge about all things plants, landscape and the like.


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