The Q&A Archives: What Zone Am I?

Question: What Zone am I in? I would like to plant some fruit trees. What varieties? Also, when is the best time to plant vegetables and what type soil do they need?

Answer: Stone fruit species that do grow acceptably well in part or all of the state are selected European and hybrid plums, cherry plums, tart cherries, sand cherries, and Nanking cherries. Two hybrid apricot cultivars, Moonglow and Sunglow, make fine ornamental trees, but rarely produce fruit in Minnesota gardens.

European Plum varieties:
Dietz; Small, bluish-black skin, good quality plums, fruit is slow to drop Hardiest of the European
Mount Royal; Smallish size, bluish-black skin, very good quality, freestone Hardier than 'Stanley'
Stanley; Medium size, blue skin, good quality

Hybrid Plums:
Alderman; Large size, burgundy skin, golden flesh Tree is attractive in landscape due to horizontal branch habit
LaCrescent; Early, small to medium in size, yellow skin, flavor is suggestive of apricots, freestone Only moderately productive
Pembina; Large size, yellow flesh
Pipestone; Large size, red skin Good for jam and jelly
Redglow; Large size, late, red, astringent skin Good for jam and jelly
South Dakota; Medium size, red over yellow skin Pollinizer
Superior; Very large size, red, slightly astringent skin Good for jam and jelly
Toka; Small size, red skin, good flavor Pollinizer
Underwood; Medium-large size, very early
Compass; Small, red, acidic Pollinizer

Tart Cherries:
Mesabi; Similar to Meteor but sweeter than Meteor or North Star A cross between a sweet and a tart cherry
Meteor; Larger than North Star, bright red with yellow flesh Fruit matures 7-10 days later than North Star, may sustain less bird damage
North Star; ?" diameter, dark mahogany with dark red flesh Only 6-10' in height, very ornamental

Nanking Cherries:
Drilea; Small, bright scarlet red Both Drilea and Orient have a flavor between sweet and tart cherries
Orient; ?" diameter, bright red Excellent for jelly

Vegetables can be planted in ordinary garden soil about the first week of June. If you soil is poorly draining, amend with compost prior to planting by spreading 4-5" of compost or aged-manure over the entire vegetable bed and digging it in to a depth of 8-10".

Best wishes with your landscape!

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