Jumping Worms

This highly destructive invasive species is already present in North Oaks. Half of the woodlands at the MN Landscape Arboretum are infested. There is currently no known way to eradicate this pest once it has infected a garden or woods.

If you choose to share home grown perennials this year, the bare-root method is advised. Completely submerge the plant in water to wash away the soil, any worms, and cocoons. Repot the plants with fresh sanitized, bagged potting soil.

Worm cocoons are very small, 2mm in diameter, and can travel very easily in soil. They can be carried by gardening boots, tools, garden gloves, and any thing else that could touch soil. We recommend sterilizing and cleaning tools with alcohol or if you are using them outside your garden. Otherwise, if you garden outside your own area, designate a separate set of tools and equipment.

Think you might have jumping worms?

First, stay calm.

  1. Carefully collect the worms in a deep sided container

  2. Put one worm on neutral surface, like driveway, and take a photo

  3. Take the worms and kill by spraying isopropyl alcohol inside a deep container (at least 6 inches)

  4. Check the photo with identification page at the U of M: Meet the Jumping Worm

  5. Report confirmed sightings via DNR: Minnesota DNR

More help on what to do as a gardener if I have jumping worms.

Become a worm ranger: UMN Jumping Worms Project


Northern Gardener January/February 2022

Bee Resources

Here is a great resource for those of you that want to plant a pollinator friendly garden that blooms all summer. Did you know the Rusty Patch Bumblebee is only found in western Wisconsin and the Twin Cities area? Consider adding some of these plants to your gardens, creating beauty and aiding the pollinators.

Enjoying Gardens with Deer and Rabbits

Gardeners in Minnesota deal with deer and rabbits on a daily basis. While there are frustrations, there are ways to peacefully cohabitate and still enjoy beautiful gardens. As aptly stated in an article from the City Of North Oaks: Life in North Oaks wouldn't be the same without the presence of our deer. If the deer are hungry enough, they will taste anything. As you begin to think ahead to spring, keep in mind deer resistant plants will help keep your yard from being an easy source of food/habitat.

Maybe a good way to define deer resistant is to think of what is the "least favorite". If you have a large population of deer ( or rabbits) they will start with their favorite but work down to the least favorite. Understanding the “pattern” nature of deer traffic and munching and working to break that “pattern” during the early spring is the best defense for your garden.

One successful technique is to apply Plant Skydd as the plants emerge around 2 inches or so in height. This product is absorbed by the plants. Other products such as Deer Scram (granular) and Ropel (liquid) are applied topically and need to be reapplied after rain or a week of irrigation. Another tactic is to throw garlic cloves around the garden. This has worked well to deter the bunnies that were nibbling early spring as well! Keeping a consistent “strong odor” in spring helps to redirect their pattern.

We have also had some success with the use of Nite Guard Solar lights and Holographic Scare Tape. These techniques have worked well to deter the deer from perennials, annuals, and apple trees that typically attract the deer.

Plants with a strong odor or sharp leaves or fuzzy textures tend to deter the deer. Planting rosemary in containers or mixing in plants like duranta that have spiky leaves can help to detract some of the munching.

And here's a link to a page with more great info:

Education & Stewardship

University of Minnesota Extension - Yard & Garden

Vadnais Lakes Area Water Management Organization - Also called VLAWMO, this organization is responsible for the protection of the Vadnais Lake watershed area in northern Ramsey County and a small portion of Anoka County, Minnesota.

Local Non-Profits

Minnesota Native Plant Society - Dedicated to the conservation and appreciation of Minnesota’s native plants and plant communities

Minnesota State Horticultural Society - To serve northern gardeners through education, encouragement and community. - A field guide to the flora of Minnesota