North Dakota State University Garden Tour and Event has something for everyone | Information

Speaking of luck, we are fortunate to see and hear the latest work of botanists and researchers at North Dakota State University gardening and visiting.

The NDSU Department of Plant Science will host a public event called Plants, Environmental Foods and Outdoor Vaccines on Thursday, September 2, in the Garden and Fruit Research and Exhibition Gardens, on NDSU Campus 12, North and 18th Avenue. Street in Fargo.

The event features annual and annual flower garden tours. The gardens are also the official All-American Bedding Showcase.

Each year in a beautiful display garden, the NDSU Department of Plant Science reviews the performance of more than 200 annual beds. Plants are rated for strength, flowering and similarity. “This year we will have a public vote on your new, favorite bedding plants,” said NDSU Extension horticulturist Esther McGinis. This is an example of how people help us in our research work.

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Red Speak Amaranthus as seen in the NDSU display gardens.  Michael Wosberg / Forum Photo Editor

Red Speak Amaranthus as seen in the NDSU display gardens. Michael Wosberg / Forum Photo Editor

In addition to garden tours, there will be talks under the grand tabernacle. Starting at 3pm, NDSU Art Professor Megan Duda will present “Arts and Views”. At 3:30 p.m. At 4:00 pm, I will discuss “Preparing for the Fall and Garden,” and NDSU potato farmer Suzy Thompson will present “Turfgrass Choice and Care” on the lawn at 4:30 p.m. Sera, and Esther McGinnis discuss indoor plants at 5:30.

Annual Visual Gardens tours will be led by NDSU Esther McGinis and Research Technician Barb Lashchvich at 3:30 and 4:30 p.m. In addition to the annual flowers, the tours include pollen experiments and a collection of historic sunflowers.

There are also afternoon activities for children, including butterfly life cycles, cyanotype displays and pollen and insect feeding practices. Extension Master Gardeners are on hand to answer farm and garden questions, so samples can be brought for inspection or discussion.



At 6:00 pm, the NDSU Faculty will conduct a special chariot tour of fruit, vegetable and irrigation research projects. Such research makes it easier to grow fruits and vegetables at home. Includes information on small fruits, hardy grapes, vegetables, melons, irrigation and organic produce.

Extension Master Gardeners are part of the garden’s initiative to donate new backyard vegetables and canned goods to use the Fargo Emergency Food Room. “If you have an overcooked pumpkin, tomato, and other fresh produce, consider bringing it to the event to fight food insecurity,” says McGinis.

I always enjoy visiting forum readers, so I hope you are there. It will be fun to vote for our favorite annual flower, and I don’t mean to sway your voice, but it caught my eye among the beautiful flowers.

  • Asian Garden Celsius; The winner of the All American Elections (ASAS), the unique pink, candle-shaped flowers are held in place by more than sturdy plants.
  • American Gold Rush Rudbecia – Another AAS winner, the mound-shaped plants are covered with bright golden flowers from top to bottom.
  • Holly Scarlet Zina Large bright red flowers show perfect short stems for flower bed edges or containers.
  • Professional Yellow Bicycle Zinia New AAS winner, rich flowers are a special blend of yellow, gold, red and pink.
  • Red Speak Amaranthus; The dramatic red spikes are captured on a 4-foot-tall plant, making it an attractive backdrop.
  • Fireworks gomphrena: Widespread purple, this rarely used annual works well in hot, dry and sunny areas.
  • Large duck yellow marigold; Winner of AAS, this large-flowered marigold has 18 to 24 inches of pure experience and is one of the best marigolds in the category I grew up with.

For a detailed program, visit Agricultural / Academic / Events / Plants-Local-Food-and-Outdoor. For more information, contact Esther McGinnis at 701-231-7971 or

Lifelong gardener Don Kinzler is a horticulturalist with North Dakota State University Extension in Cass County. Readers can be reached at

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