LINO LAKES — With temperatures getting more springlike, Waldoch Farm Garden Center is busy getting ready to open up for its 100th year of operation.
The family operated business officially opened its doors for the season on Monday, April 4. Owner Mary (Waldoch) Joyer's grandfather, William Waldoch, purchased the farm in 1916. Both of her sons, Andrew and Doug Joyer, mark the fourth generation to work on the farm.
Since February, the family has been busy getting things ready for spring. Even though the doors are now open for business, the Joyers warn that it is too early to start planting the majority of plants.
“Even though the spring and weather is different (this year), you can't forget that we are still in Minnesota and we can still have a cold May,” Mary explained. “For most of your annuals and vegetable plants the ground temperature should be 55 to 60 degrees in order for you to put them in the ground. This year people are going to push that limit because there is no snow cover and the frost is out, but that doesn't mean the ground temperature is warm enough to plant.”
Andrew recommended taking a look at the 10-day forecast. “A good rule of thumb is when you are looking at the 10-day forecast. If the low doesn't dip below 50-55, then it looks pretty promising. If you start seeing temps in the 40s, then you should probably wait a few more days,” he said.
Gardeners can begin to prep their beds and a few things can be planted already, such as pansies, flowering kale, seed potatoes and perennials. Cole vegetables, also known as crucifers, can also be planted now. These include onions, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and kohlrabi. Cole plants can withstand the frost.
Mary suggested even though it is too early to plant many things, it can be enjoyable to come in and browse through this year's plants. “Just come in to smell it, enjoy the greenhouse and see what is new,” she said. “Some things we get in because it is a new special variety. We get so many in and when they are gone, they are gone.”
A few popular trends this year are coleus, ornamental grasses and succulents (plants that don't require as much water.) “There are a lot of unique and interesting looking plants coming out in the succulent world right now,” Andrew said.
Doug added that container gardening is also becoming popular for people who don't have the outdoor space but still want to garden.
Now that spring is here, the Garden Center will kick off Porch Parties, which are container creation classes. There will be classes on Friday, April 8 at 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.; Friday, April 15 at 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.; and Saturday, April 16 at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Those interested in participating should call to register. There is a limit of 12 participants per class.
The Garden Center will host its open house from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 30 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, May 1. The open house will feature a balloon artist (from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days), a barnyard with baby animals, container demonstrations and plant potting for kids. There will also be refreshments and door prizes.
To celebrate the 100th anniversary, the first 100 people to attend both days will get a free T-shirt. Gift bags will also be given out.