The first day of spring is March 20, but most of us in northern Minnesota know not to expect anything spring-like for at least another month. However, greenhouses and garden centers see greenery before the rest of us do as they begin their planting in early February. Flowers and plants of all shapes and sizes begin to sprout in about the middle of the month. At Nature’s Edge Garden Center in Bemidji, Tyler Olsen and Chad Museus have built what they call a “makeshift seeding chamber” for their seedlings to begin their first chapter of life. Then, in the beginning of March, the two will heat their main greenhouse and move the plants under actual sunlight, rather than heat lamps, to grow. The seedlings start in a chamber that’s inside where their retail selection of garden items is during the spring and summer months. Another chamber is also located in their greenhouse for another batch of seedlings to be planted in. “I think it’s funny just seeing them in here and then you put them in there for a couple days -- they come to life,” Tyler said. Tyler is in charge of the seeding at Nature’s Edge and
in the chamber he grows 400 to 500 plants, including wave petunias, pansies, dahlias, celosia flowers, coleus, different grasses and much more. “We work so hard for literally six weeks of season,” Chad said. “I mean it’s kind of like Christmas. We’ll start real heavily in March and be done by June.” The peak busy season for the garden center is usually from Mother’s Day, which is on May 10 this year, to Memorial Day, May 25, according to Chad and Tyler, who also said that the weather is a huge factor. “We had a Saturday before Mother’s Day a few years ago, and it was sunny and beautiful and we were so busy and then it started to snow at about 3 o’clock and I think we had about two customers from 3 to 8 p.m.,” Chad said. “It’s all weather.” Nature’s Edge Garden Center is located at 51676 U.S. Highway 71, just south of Bemidji and just six miles down the road is Country Greenhouse, at 49274 U.S. Highway 71. The two businesses are close in location and cordial in relationship. Nature’s Edge has been open and growing since 2007 and Country Greenhouse has been operating for nearly 25 years on 22 acres of land.
In the middle of April, Country Greenhouse plants several thousand trees, including about 1,000 that are fruit trees. “Mostly apples but it’s crab apples, plums, cherries, apricots, pears, but apples is the biggest,” said Dwayne Totzauer, owner. “Everybody loves apples.” Spring 2015
inMagazine | 17
Community, Life, Family Bemidji's Premier Magazine | Spring issue 2015