Raising Root Cropsarticle
Root crops are among the easiest vegetables to grow, and often the first and last vegetables in the garden to mature. Your garden may produce enough vegetables to take you through the entire year and, if kept correctly, root crops will last a long time in storage. These vegetables are great to grow, even in a small space. Many root crops are frost tolerant and, with most, the tops or greens are edible.
CARROTS – Plant in sandy soil if you want the classic, long, narrow type.
BEETS – You may harvest 1/3 of the tops without affecting the root.
GARLIC – Best planted in the fall.
HORSERADISH – Use caution when planting this aggressive perennial.
KOHLRABI – Has a mild, sweet cabbage flavor.
LEEKS – Flavor is best if harvested after a light frost.
ONIONS & SHALLOTS – Plant from seed or sets.
POTATOES – Best planted from ‘seed potatoes’
RADISHES – Mature in as little as three weeks.
SWEET POTATOES – Warm weather root crop, will not withstand a frost.
TURNIPS – For a fall crop, sow seeds in midsummer.
Attracting & Keeping Hummingbirdsarticle
It is an awesome sight to capture a glimpse of a ruby-throated hummingbird hovering over the flower garden on a sunny summer morning. One or two a year may be seen seeking food in the landscape, sampling everything in their path. Unfortunately, they leave as rapidly as they arrive. This season, attract more of these miniature avian anomalies and keep them returning year after year.
You can charm hummingbirds to your yard with a selection of their favorite nectar producing flowers. Hummingbirds are not attracted by scent but by color. Red happens to be their favorite, however, pink, purple, blue, orange and yellow will also catch their eye. Tubular flowers accommodate this bird’s long, narrow beak. Select a wide variety of plants that bloom at different times to keep hummers well fed all season long. Refrain from using insecticides when attracting hummingbirds, they rely on insects for protein in their diets.
Hanging a feeder is another way to encourage these visitors. Choose one with red parts to resemble the flowers that they prefer. Fill the feeder with a mixture of one part sugar to four parts hot water to help the sugar dissolve. Fill the feeders after the mixture has cooled. Easier yet, fill with instant nectar purchased at our store. Clean feeders every 2 – 3 days and daily in hot weather.
Summer Flowering Shrubsarticle
There is still time to add color to the landscape this year with shrubs. Shrubs are an excellent addition to any landscape and a wise investment. These are hardy plants that will reward you year after year. Here’s what’s available now to color your world this summer and for many more to come:
- Annabelle Hydrangea
- Big Leaf Hydrangea
- Butterfly bush
- Carolina Allspice
- Chaste Tree
- Crape Myrtle
- Fringe Tree
- Knock-out Roses
- PeeGee Hydrangea
- Rose of Sharon
- Smoke Bush
How many of us have tried and failed to grow grass successfully under trees or been frustrated by areas that are too wet, dry, steep or rocky to grow a lawn? Many of us are tired of cutting the lawn and are looking for an appropriate and attractive replacement. Look no further, groundcovers are the solution. Groundcovers can be attractive, low maintenance alternatives to a lawn in all of these problem situations. A groundcover can be comprised of low shrubbery, perennials or annuals, any plant that will “cover” an area of “ground”. Stop in with the dimensions of the area that you wish to cover. Provide us with a brief description of the site, such as soil and light conditions. Inform us of any attributes that you would like in a groundcover and we’ll provide suggestions for a well-suited selection that is sure to please. We can even calculate the number of plants that you will need to fill in your desired area.
We love birds. We observe them with enjoyment. We provide food, shelter and water for them. Sometimes, however, birds can become a nuisance, like when they eat the fruit that we have carefully nurtured to maturity. Without causing harm to our fine-feathered friends, there are numerous methods available to control problem birds right now:
- Holographic Flash Tape reflects the sunlight, flashing and crackling in the breeze, scaring away hungry birds.
- Dalen Guard’n Eyes looks like a larger predator bird, keeping problem birds at a distance.
- Garden Netting may be draped directly on the plant to prevent birds from consuming the fruit or thrown over a frame built taller that the fruiting plant.
Rubber Snakes will frighten most birds. Be sure to reposition them daily to outwit the more intuitive birds
Right Plant, Right Placearticle
Healthy plants are less susceptible to pests and disease. Good health starts with planting in a suitable location. Plants forced to live in conditions that don’t suit their needs will never thrive. If you are not certain about the cultural requirements of your chosen plant, ask a member of our friendly and knowledgeable staff. We want you to be a successful gardener. Earth friendly techniques are recommended in most situations, however, some pest and disease problems require the use of chemical pesticides. It is of the utmost importance to read the product label carefully and follow the instructions exactly. This will guarantee both a safe and effective resolution.
Watering B&B Plantsarticle
Balled-and-burlapped plants lose a great deal of their root system when they are bound, which means that the remaining roots must take up more water. When planting a balled-and-burlapped tree or shrub, water the ball while you back-fill the hole. Water again, thoroughly, the next day. These two waterings will help to settle the soil. Water again the third day and every seven to ten days for the rest of the growing season to ensure a well hydrated plant that will come through a difficult summer with flying colors!
Drought Tolerant Annualsarticle
This summer has the potential to be a hot and dry one. Did you know that you could choose colorful annuals that are drought tolerant? A good rule of thumb to follow: plants with fuzzy or thick, succulent foliage are generally drought tolerant. Some of our favorites are:
Extend your Flower Harvesttip
Have cut flowers all summer long. Extend or stagger the bloom time of your gladiolus by planting a row each week, over a 6-week period, beginning after the last frost. Plant corms six inches deep in well-drained soil. Don’t forget to have staking in place when planting.
Stock up on Veggiestip
This is a fantastic time to stock up on seeds for cool-weather crops for the fall vegetable garden. Our selection is still great and you can check this off your “to do” list.
Water and Your Houseplantstip
Houseplants are more likely to die from over-watering than under-watering! We kill them with kindness. Keep an eye on your houseplants, especially those that have been placed outside for the summer. Make sure that they are getting adequate water but not too much. Move plants under an overhang in stormy weather and be certain to empty saucers after watering or a rain shower.
Summer Lawn Caretip
As the prolonged hot weather and humidity of summer kick-in in full force, your grass will require less frequent mowing and most lawn maintenance is at a standstill until the arrival of fall. It is still safe this month to patch bare spots in the lawn so that weeds do not take over. Be certain to not allow these areas to dry out until the new grass is well established.
Moles and Volestip
Moles and voles damage the lawn and garden by tunneling through the soil. Repellents are useful but should be rotated in order to be most effective. Predator urine and Bonide Mole & Gopher Repellent are two of the most effective repellents. Victor Mole Traps and Giant Destroyer Smoke Bombs are also useful control methods.
Pet Control Preventiontip
The key to earth friendly pest control is eliminating the problem before it becomes a problem. Check your plants regularly for signs of pest and disease damage. Use your evening stroll through the garden as a scouting adventure for potential problems. Look carefully at your plants, turning over leaves and noting the overall appearance. If caught in time, most pests and diseases will respond favorably to environmentally safe controls.
Importance of Pruningtip
One of the main reasons that pruning is important is that it allows more light and air to reach plant leaves thus assisting in fruit and flower production as well as helping to keep diseases at bay. Having landscape plants that are tidy and well groomed is another reason to prune. Knowing what plants to prune when is important. If pruned at the wrong time, you may be sacrificing future fruit and flowers.
If you are uncertain what to prune when, just stop by. We are always happy to help.
Hydrate Your Lawntip
Hot summer months are at hand. Check your watering supplies to make certain that you are prepared to keep every square inch of your landscape hydrated.