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Master gardeners urge soil testing

According to the Becker County Master Gardeners, April is the time to begin to move protective cover from bulb beds, non-hardy roses and perennials in stages as mulch and soil thaw.

Don’t rush to uncover tender plants though. Mulch helps prevent the plants from coming out of dormancy too early, when damaging cold is still a possibility.

Rose canes will be OK as long as temperatures hover around 20 degrees, but most flowering perennials will die back when it’s that cold.

Have your soil tested if you plan to start a new flower or vegetable garden, or if your existing garden is not productive and performing well, even though it gets plenty of sunlight an water.

The University of Minnesota Soil Testing Lab will analyze the soil and recommend fertilizer and other soil amendments, based on reliable data.