Natural Shore Technologies |  612-703-7581 
April Article
Valuable Spring Maintenance Tips

Although occasional snow flurries are still being spotted, it seems like we have done it once again- survived a Minnesota winter! Birds are chirping, grass is turning green, trees are flowering and starting to bud out, and countless other indicators are pointing to another glorious spring season.  Our maintenance crew has started spring work again and here are a few of their keen observations:


1. Native perennials are turning green and starting to pop out of the ground. A few species already spotted are pasque flower, Jacob's ladder, bottle brush grass, bergamot, columbine, and golden alexander.   They might be small now but before we know it they will be growing quickly and providing blooms for our pollinators and seed for our songbirds.



2. Weeds are starting to poke up already too! A few that are taking advantage of the sunny days are Canada thistle, winter cress, reed canary grass, burdock, and curly dock. If you are eager to get out and garden, some of these weeds are ready to be controlled.


3. We are seeing wildlife making their way back to

Red- Breasted Merganser

Minnesota as well. We are noticing a variety of duck species, trumpeter swans, and Canada geese flying back to lakes.  We are also seeing and hearing more songbirds in prairie restorations and lakeshore edges. These are tell-tale signs that spring is here!


Perhaps you are eager to get out into your restoration area and do some work?  Below are a few valuable tips straight from our maintenance crew:


Void spaces

1. Conduct a survey.  Do you see any bare areas? This past winter was pretty mild but that doesn't mean that a few plants might not have made it through the few stretches of severe cold.  Now is a great time to make a list of plant species to try in your restoration.  You can also think about observations you made last year. For example, maybe you were missing some yellow in your restoration last year? Fill in the open spots this spring with black-eyed Susan, sneezeweed, or grey headed coneflower.

Pollinator habitat


2.Take on a spring clean-up.  Natural Shore has re- 

evaluated our practice of "spring cleaning" a few times in the last several years ; fine-tuning our approach to benefit our native pollinators. Consider leaving dried flower stalks from last year. Our native bees use the stalks to overwinter.  If we mow down vegetation, we will leave a good portion of it on site as a natural mulch and bee nesting habitat.



3. Keep some of the Dandelions- Do you

 flinch and run for your weeding gloves each year at the first sign of this classic yellow weed? Might it be possible for you to learn to tolerate annual weeds like Dandelions?  But why? Well, this classic weed turns out to be an early blooming flower that can actually help pollinators out this time of year. Maybe a few dandelions in hard to see places is worth considering?


Garlic Mustard

4. Go after the invasive weeds - On smaller restoration areas, hand digging Canada thistle, reed canary grass, burdock, and garlic mustard makes sense.  Spring is a great time of year to get aggressive and show these weeds who is boss.  Getting an early start will reduce the chances of these weeds growing quickly and setting seed.


In case you find some bare spots this spring and want to replant, please come out and visit our new retail nursery location opening March 19th! We have locally grown pesticide free Minnesota native prairie, shoreland, and wetland plants that will add diversity to any restoration area.

Looking at your restoration this spring and feeling a little overwhelmed? That's ok! We can help with maintenance, just give us a call at 612-220-4178 or email our Maintenance Coordinator Tracy at We offer site surveys, spring mowings, hand weeding, careful herbicide treatments, and many other services as part of our maintenance program. 

Company News!

Natural Shore Has Moved! And our retail nursery is reopening!
Thursday May 19th

We have moved a mile from our Maple Plain location to a new office in neighboring Independence, MN. Our new location will allow us to better serve our clients' needs. 

Our new retail nursery address is:
1480 County Rd 90.  Independence MN 55359

Stay tuned for a date and more details on our new location's Open House!
Native Plant of the Month
Canada Anemone  
Anemone canadensis

Moisture: Moist
Exposure: Sun or Partial Shade
Color: White
Bloom: May-July
Height: 1-2 Feet

Canada Anemone is an easy to grow perennial with attractive white flowers rising above deeply divided and sharply toothed leaves. The flowers have five petals and a yellow center and are found on top of the stem. The flowers turn into round clusters of seeds. This short native plant spreads rapidly by rhizomes.  It grows well in damp prairies, wet meadows, stream banks, lake shores, and ditches. Rhizomes were once harvested for medicinal use.Click here to see other native flowers available at Natural Shore!
Invasive Plant of the Month
Garlic Mustard
Alliaria petiolata
Exposure: Part Shade to Full Shade
Moisture: Dry
Color: White
Blooms: May-June
Height: 1-4 Feet

Garlic Mustard is a biennial from Europe. It forms a rosette of leaves its first year and in its second year it sends up a stem and small white and green flowers. These flowers have four white petals and are found in clusters on top of the stem. Leaves are bright green and heart shaped with teeth, with smaller leaves closer to the top of the plant. The leaves also have a distinct, strong garlic smell when crushed. This plant spreads by seeds found in long pods at the top of the plant. Each plant can produce hundreds of seeds that can stay dormant for years. Not only is this plant very prolific, it also sends out chemicals that inhibit the growth of other plants, making even more of a dramatic impact on native ecosystems. Management strategies include hand pulling and select herbicide treatments. Some native alternatives of Garlic Mustard are  Canada Anemone and Foxglove Beardtongue!
Insect of the Month
American Lady
Vanessa virginiensis
Range: Southern Canada south to Central America
Habitat: Open spaces like meadows or prairies, preferably with shorter vegetation.
Adult Identification: Top of the wings are orange with black and white dots and stripes. These butterflies look almost exactly the same as Painted Lady butterflies except they have a small white dot on their front forewings that the Painted Lady butterfly does not have. They also have different eyespot markings on the top and underside of their bottom wings. 

Pollination: Adults feed on nectar of aster species, goldenrod species, milkweed species, Pale Purple Coneflower, and other native plants.
Employee Profile of the Month
Colin Zumwalde
Installation Crew Manager
Colin is a new addition this year who will be heading our installation crew. He received his B.S. at the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities in Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology and his Masters at the University of North Dakota- Grand Forks in Geographic Information Sciences. He has extensive experience in ecological conservation from past work at various organizations. He also enjoys the outdoors with hiking, camping, ultimate Frisbee and golfing.
April 2016 Issue
Our Company
Retail Nursery News
Our retail nursery is currently closed for the season. It re-opens in May. Please check dates below for May sale dates.  For plant orders, contact Jill at

Thursday May 19th
Thursday-Saturday May 26-28th

Open 10am-4pm

Click and visit our website for current
Minnnesota Native Plant Brand ensures that plant species are native to Minnesota. 
Upcoming Events!

Visit us at Plymouth's Home Expo  6-9 p.m. Fri., April 8 and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Sat., April 9 at the Plymouth Creek Center Fieldhouse,  14800 34th Ave. N. Plymouth, MN 55447