Natural Shore Technologies |  612-703-7581 
March Article
Teensy Plants - Big Joy - Huge Anticipation

You can just tell that spring is right around the corner - the days are longer, the sun's rays are more intense, and we will be flirting with 50 degrees very soon. This time of year, our staff is in spring training - getting ready for the field season and bringing life back into the greenhouses. The heaters were fired back up and a multitude of Minnesota native species are now germinating, which creates an exciting carpet of green on the tables.

It all starts with the seeds being exposed to a cold winter
 stratification period.  Then, each species is carefully spread onto soil held in small plug flats. Sometimes vermiculite is spread over the seed in order to hold in moisture. In a matter of days, green little seedlings begin to appear and reach for the warm March sunshine. The seedlings are now enjoying the comfort of the hot greenhouse, regular watering, and high humidity. In a matter of months, these teensy seedlings will be beautiful and robust plants starring in a multitude of natural restorations around the metro area.

The greenhouse is like a tropical oasis, not only for tiny seedlings, but also the staff at Natural Shore. It may sound a bit sappy, but the lush, green carpets of seedlings seem to bring a lot of joy and anticipation. It's an excellent way for us to get through the last stretch of winter and get geared up for the busy spring period. Species like wild lupine, horsemint and anise hyssop are some of the quickest to germinate, while others like fox and bebb's sedge take more time and patience.

In addition to seeding, staff is also busy dividing root masses from a variety of species. Separating roots, rhizomes and bulbs is another very important plant propagation technique. Certain wetland and aquatic species such as lake sedge, river bulrush, and three-square rush all respond well to being divided. A healthy divided rhizome or root does not take long to sprout once it is placed in a warm and cozy greenhouse. 

So as you start to plan your next restoration, take a look at our website and you will find lists containing the wonderful 'Minnesota Native' plants that we produce. It's a great idea to place your plant order in advance, especially with bigger orders. Feel free to give Jill a call, our nursery manager. She will happily guide you through the ordering process.

Another option is to come out to our retail greenhouse this season to pick up some of our beautiful plants. Staff is eager for the May 16th opening. We will have experts ready to answer your questions about native plants. We will help you decide on the species that are most appropriate for your restoration area. Our staff loves to share knowledge and meet people who have a passion for ecological restoration.

We are anticipating an amazing year filled with robust plant diversity, impressive color, beautiful butterflies, precious song birds, and children with wide eyes, gazing at their natural environment. How about you?
Native Plant of the Month
Sprengel's Sedge
(Carex sprengelii)

Moisture: Moist or Dry
Exposure: Full Shade or Partial Sun
Color: Greenish yellow
Blooms: June- July
Height: 1-3 Feet

Sprengel's sedge is a shade-loving woodland sedge that has wonderfully deep root systems that help reduce erosion on many of our shady hillside restorations. It has very attractive green leaves that stay in tight clumps. The flowers mature into small round seeds that animals love to eat for food. This is a cool season sedge meaning it greens up very quickly and blooms early in the season. 
Invasive Plant of the Month
Garden Yellow Rocket
( Barbarea vulgaris)

Moisture: Moist or Dry
Exposure: Full Sun or Partial Shade
Color: Yellow
Blooms: April- June
Height: 1-3 Feet

Garden yellow rocket is a weedy mustard from Europe that infests areas with disturbed soils, like roadsides and fallow fields. Their small yellow flowers are found in clusters on the tops of their branching stems. The flowers mature into long seed pods that break open to spread the small brown seeds. Their leaves are dark brown and deeply lobed at the base. The leaves higher on the stem are smaller than those at the base. Management strategies include hand pulling small infestations and weed whipping to prevent seed maturation and spread.

Native plant alternatives include  Sneezeweed or Golden Alexander!
Pollinator of the Month
Small Carpenter bee
Ceratina spp.

Range : worldwide 
Habitat : fields, gardens, open areas
Identification : Very small bees (3-15 mm) that nest in the pithy stems of plants or decaying wood. They are shiny bees that sometimes have white markings on their face. They are a bee that doesn't have very  much hair and are some of the first bees to emerge in the spring!
Pollination : Wild geranium, milkweed spp., harebell, wild lupine, penstemon spp., black-eyed Susan, spiderwort, golden Alexander, Canada anemone, New England aster, blue lobelia, marsh marigold, and many more!

March 2018 Issue
Our Company
Retail Nursery News
Our retail nursery will reopen Wednesday May 16th 2018!

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

Have any questions? Contact our greenhouse manager Jill at

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

Eden Prairie's Arbor Day Walk and     Green Fair 
Sat. April 28th
Staring Lake Park
5 Plants For...
Adding Yellow!
Need some more color in your restoration this year? Looking for bright, sunny flowers to attract pollinators? Plant these for more yellow!

1. Black-eyed Susan
( Rudbeckia hirta)

2. Gray-headed Coneflower
( Ratibida pinnata)

3. Golden Alexander
(Zizia aurea)

4. Sneezeweed 
( Helenium autumnale)

5. Prairie Tickseed
(Coreopsis palmata)

 Want to learn more about these native plants? Click Here to visit our website!

Mystery Plant of the Month!
Test your plant ID skills!

This month's mystery plant is a beautiful purple and blue prairie plant, can you guess what it is?

Need another clue?
Take a closer look at this picture of its tiny seedlings growing in our greenhouse! They look small now but are growing quickly to be ready in time for our retail nursery re-opening on May 16th!

Visit our Facebook page to see if you're right!