General Tips on Growing Fruit Trees
All Fruit trees require full sun and well-drained soil. Cherry, Peach, and Plum will not survive in wet soils. At planting time, use Espoma’s Bio-tone or MYKE’S to help promote strong root growth. Varieties that require cross-pollination should be located within 50 feet of each other (side-by-side is best) to insure that bees may easily […]
Dealing With Drought
Because plants require moisture to grow and thrive, your garden will probably suffer during periods of low rainfall and intense heat. Insufficient soil moisture will result in smaller flowers and fruit, stunted plant growth, decreased root development and increased plant disease and insect damage. Fortunately, there are many things that you can do to minimize the impact of drought on your garden.
Summer Watering Tips
As the days heat up, watering can become a dreaded garden chore and too many gardeners use wasteful techniques that use plenty of water but don't give their plants the moisture they really need. Make watering plants easier and more efficient with the proper practices and tools...
What to Do During a Drought
Dire warnings about drought conditions can worry even experienced gardeners, but there are easy ways to save water and save your trees, flowers, vegetable patches, herb gardens and decorative landscaping at the same time.
Less Pain, More Gain: Ergonomics in the Garden
Merriam-Webster defines ergonomics as: An applied science concerned with designing and arranging things people use so that the people and things interact most efficiently and safely. Experts in ergonomics strive to design and produce items that better match the capabilities, limitations and needs of the people who use them.
Winter Vegetables on the Table
Winter marks a seasonal change. Our bodies seem to crave deeper, more tantalizing, richer tastes rather than light, bright, fruity flavors of summer. Harvesting vegetables in the late fall, and sometimes into the winter, presents us with bounty for slow, simple and savory cooking.
Preserving the Harvest
Was it a bumper crop this year? Do you have tasty fruits, vegetables and herbs overflowing your storage? Now that the harvest is in, the decision needs to be made as to what to do with the abundance.
Starting seeds indoors is a rewarding gardening experience and can help extend your growing season to include more plant varieties than your outdoor season may permit. Furthermore, a larger selection of seed varieties doesn’t limit your opportunities to growing only those transplants that are available at planting time. The key to success in growing seedlings […]
Family Gardening: Attracting Wildlife to the Garden
Attracting wildlife to the home garden is an enjoyable and creative way to teach children about nature, evoke their respect for the environment and provide meaningful family together time.
Periods of drought, heat waves and rising water bills can make any gardener more interested in saving water. Fortunately, there are many ways you can be water-wise without skimping on the moisture your plants need to thrive.
The Enabled Gardener
As we age, many activities that have brought us joy are lost as physical limitations set in. Gardening does not have to be one of those lost hobbies. With a little planning, gardening can be made accessible for everyone. No matter what your needs or abilities, there are ways to modify your practices, situations and tools so that you can enjoy the therapeutic benefits of gardening.
Gardening With Children
By gardening with your children or grandchildren, you can give them an awareness and appreciation of nature and the world around them that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. Even very young children enjoy helping with simple garden chores such as weeding, spreading mulch and harvesting.
Landscape accents have become increasingly popular as many of us have discovered the joys of outdoor living. Used creatively, accents can turn your garden into a magical wonderland. This summer, we invite you to view our many new and exciting garden accent product lines, including popular items such as...
The Benefits of Plants in the Workplace
Were you aware that there has been extensive research done regarding the benefits of plants in the workplace?
Time-Saving Tips for the Holidays
With shopping, decorating, baking, cooking, travel, entertaining and more all part of the holidays, it's a wonder there is any time left over to just enjoy the season. These time-saving tips can help you make the most of every minute without sacrificing the joy and celebration that matters most at this time of year.
Winter Composting the 3-Bucket Way
It’s cold outside and the compost pile is frozen. Do you really feel like hauling kitchen scraps out into the winter wasteland only to have them picked through by scavengers when there isn’t enough bacteria available to break them down? Fortunately, there is an alternative. Keep your kitchen scraps cooking this winter and producing buckets […]
Insect Control Begins Now
It’s hard to think of insects in winter, but don’t forget the havoc these tiny creatures can bring to your garden – defoliating leaves, contaminating produce, even destroying complete plants. Before these pests begin to be a problem is the perfect time to take steps to control them. Why Winter Control? Late winter is the […]
Rotating Your Vegetable Crops
Whether you just plant a few tomatoes, herbs and some lettuce or an elaborate garden complete with exotic selections of lesser known veggies, you’ll want to rotate your crops each year. All types of vegetable crops – brassicas, onions, legumes and root crops – require a slightly different blend of nutrients and trace elements, even […]
The Edible Garden
Who said fruits and vegetables can’t be show-offs in the ornamental beds? Mix fruits and veggies into your flower and shrub borders to add drama, texture, color and, most importantly, food! Blueberries Displaying white flowers tinged in pink in little tassels during late spring, blueberries will grow only in moist, peaty soil with a pH […]
Healthy Soil, Healthy Plants
The key to successful gardening is “healthy soil.” Quite simply, when you feed the soil the proper nutrients, you let the soil feed the plants. So how do you “feed” the soil? First, you need to understand some basic principles about soil and why it is so important, then you can take steps to improve it.
Getting Tools Ready for Spring
Did you clean your gardening tools last fall when you stopped gardening? Hopefully, you did and don’t need to read this article. However, if you didn’t, it’s now time. After all, spring is just around the corner! Let’s get this done and be ready to jump in when spring arrives.
Keeping a Garden Journal
Who should keep a garden journal? EVERYONE should keep a garden journal! Remember the old saying, "If your life is worth living, it's worth recording." So, why would your garden be any different? Whether you are recording your landscape, a vegetable garden, or both, the details make the difference.
Get Started Composting
Fall is an excellent time to start a compost pile with all of the leaves falling, and if you develop compost now, you will have a rich source of organic material for your garden and flowerbeds in spring.
Problems With Your Compost Pile? Fix Them!
A compost pile should be part of every gardener's yard, since it adds so many benefits for recycling and providing organic material in the garden.
Bringing Your Tropical Plants Indoors for the Winter
As the summer comes to an end and autumn approaches, the days get shorter and cooler temperatures signal the time to ready your plants for winter. How can you protect your treasured tropicals from winter damage? Overwintering Tropical Plants Don’t wait until frost warnings or freezes occur to bring tropical plants inside, especially since these […]
Fall is an excellent time to repot many houseplants. Potted plants that have been growing outdoors during the summer have probably grown quite vigorously due to the high light levels and greater humidity.
Fall Lawn Care
Fall is the best time of the year to overseed your existing lawn or establish a new lawn. If your lawn is a bit thin, has bare patches or needs good care, now is the time to take care of it so it can become thoroughly established before warm temperatures arrive in spring.
Bulbs: Increasing Your Yield
When you visit our garden center, you'll find an incredible variety of autumn "bulbs." Although they may look strange at this time of year, these "ugly ducklings" will become beautiful swans in your spring garden.
Stuff a Gardener’s Stocking
Stocking stuffers don't have to be useless, jokey items that are quickly forgotten after the holidays. Instead, choose the appropriate stocking stuffers with a gardening twist, and even the smallest stocking will be filled with gardening fun for that special gardener in your life. No matter what type of gardener you want to buy for, we've got the right stocking stuffers for their green thumb!
Holiday Tree for the Birds
Celebrate the season with your feathered friends by decorating a tree in your yard, or even one in a container, with special treats they'll love.
Bird Feeding Basics
Winter is the perfect time to think about attracting bird visitors to your yard. Bird watching is a great hobby that can be enjoyed by both younger and older members of the family and getting started is both easy and inexpensive.
Winter Warmth with a Chimenea
Is it just a bit chilly to sit outside and enjoy your fall or winter garden? Hundreds of years ago, Mexicans had the same problem. They solved it by making chimeneas and using them for heat and cooking. Will a modern chimenea help you enjoy your outdoor living space even as the weather turns cooler?
More Than Just Mulch
Not only does mulch add a decorative finish to your flower beds, it also keeps the soil cool and moist and thus reduces the need for watering. By using a pre-emergent herbicide with mulch, weed seeds are discouraged from germinating and growing. But which mulch should you use? Types of Mulch There are several types […]
It’s the beginning of a new gardening season. Hopefully you took out last year’s journal in January or February and reviewed your notes on what you wanted to change, improve, experiment with or eliminate from your garden and landscape. Now is the time to begin implementing some of those great ideas, and it starts with […]
The benefits of turf grass as a ground cover are numerous and often undeclared or overlooked. In recent years, turf has gotten a bad reputation due to the belief that a beautiful lawn requires a lot of hard work and overuse of dangerous chemicals. This is a misconception and the benefits of turf can far […]
Winter Pond Prep Checklist
As winter approaches, certain steps should be taken to ensure plant and fish survival.
Healthy Soil: Winter Cover Crops
It’s fall and our annual and vegetable gardens are winding down for the season. Now is the time to invest a little extra time and effort to prepare your soil for next year. Whether your garden is large or small, all annual planting beds will benefit from the addition of a winter cover crop.
Planting Basics – Trees & Shrubs
Are you ready to add trees and shrubs to your landscape? You don’t need to hire professionals to do the planting when you learn the basics of doing it the right way yourself. Soil Preparation How quickly and how well trees become established once they are planted is affected by the amount of stress they […]
Jump Start Your Pond
Are you ready to get your pond started up for another beautiful spring and summer? It can be a big job to rejuvenate such a large water feature so it remains balanced and healthy after a long, harsh winter, but with a few careful steps, your pond can be back in shape in no time. […]
What is “pH?” Why Is It Important?
Devised in 1909, the pH scale measures the concentration of hydrogen ions in a solution. The scale ranges from 0-14. Pure water is “neutral” and has a pH of 7, midway between 0 and 14. If a solution has a low concentration of hydrogen ions, the rating will be a higher number and is considered […]
How well do you understand your soil? It’s more than just dirt, and the more you learn about soil, the better you’ll be able to care for it to ensure a stunning landscape, healthy lawn and productive garden. All About Soil The four elements of soil are minerals, water, air and organic matter. Different combinations […]
Soil pH is a critical factor for gardening success. Some plants thrive in neutral soil while other plants prefer soil on the acidic side. The difference lies in the plant’s ability to use nutrients present in the soil. For plants that prefer an acidic soil a critical nutrient is iron. Iron is most easily available […]
Mowing. Do It Right
If you have a lawn then you need to mow. If you need to mow then you may as well do it right, or else you risk weak, thin turf that is more susceptible to weeds, insect infestations and diseases. Fortunately, it’s easy to mow your lawn the right way! 8 Simple Steps for a […]
Spring Lawn Renovation
Spring is the ideal time to spruce up your lawn. After a long winter, you can easily see where any bald, bare or thin patches exist, as well as where weeds or fungus may be taking over the lawn. Fortunately, there are easy ways to set your lawn to rights! Seeding If you are planning […]
How To Succeed At Seed-Starting
It’s easy to buy seedlings, but there are many reasons why you may wish to start your own plants. By starting your own seeds, you have a much greater selection of flowers, vegetables and herbs to choose from. For example, old favorites like hollyhocks and less common varieties of herbs and perennials as well as […]
Edging and Trimming
Edging and trimming the lawn is like having a manicure after cutting your fingernails…everything is just more perfect!
General Soil Amendments
The number of soil amendments sold in garden centers often confuses gardeners. These products fall into two categories, inorganic and organic.
Growing Grass in the Shade
Cool season turf grasses prefer to grow in the sun. To establish a thick, healthy lawn of Kentucky bluegrass and perennial rye, you will need at least six hours of full sun daily. Fine and tall fescues are more shade-tolerant and require a minimum of four hours of full or eight hours of filtered sun […]
Conserving Water Through Proper Planting
Worried that you may have to give up color in your landscape to save on maintenance and water? Afraid that watering restrictions in your area will put a damper on your colorful flowerbeds, borders and shrubs? It doesn’t have to be that way! Many brightly-colored trees, shrubs and flowers don’t require as much water once […]
Planting a vegetable or flower garden seems like the perfect thing to do when you are looking for ways to adopt a greener, more environmentally-friendly lifestyle. Some traditional gardening practices, however, may not be quite as “green” as you might think. Planning your gardens with the environment in mind and choosing some practices that maintain healthy […]
Protecting Trees From Drought Stress
Summer can be the most stressful time of year for landscape plants with heat and drought being the main offenders. When not receiving sufficient moisture, plants are much more susceptible to insect and disease damage.
You’ve heard it said, "When it rains, it pours." This could refer to the amount of rain on the roof going through the gutters and downspouts, and then out to the storm drains and pouring away from your garden. With the unpredictability of rain and the cost of water, don't you wish you could keep some of that rain?
Growing and Containing Rampant Spreaders
What do you do when you fall in love with a plant but you know it spreads and could take over your entire garden? You don’t have to give up your hopes of nurturing this plant, you just have to learn how to contain it securely without destroying its beauty. Favorite Spreaders Many different plants […]
The N-P-K of Fertilizer
Once upon a time, Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary grew her garden with silver bells and cockleshells, but nowadays, most gardeners use some other forms of fertilizer that are better formulated than nursery rhymes.
Determinate Versus Indeterminate Tomatoes
Halleluiah, it’s tomato-planting time again! If you’ve grown tomatoes in the past, you most likely have your favorites. If not, just ask! You’ll find some pretty strong opinions regarding tomato choices.
Watering Tomato Plants
Proper watering plays a significant role in producing a healthy tomato plant with tasty, meaty, juicy fruit. So, what’s the secret?
It can be tempting to create a rainbow of riotous shades in container gardens, but are they as pretty as you imagine? Too many colors can be distracting and disjointed, giving your containers a haphazard, messy look.
Rock gardens can be amazing options for challenging spaces in your landscape, whether your yard has poor soil, narrow sections, steep terraces, deep shade or other concerns. You can even design a rock garden anywhere just to enjoy their elegant lines, varied texture and easy care. But how do you put in a rock garden? […]
Communal Supplies for a Community Garden
A community garden can be a great way to bring neighbors, family members and friends together to expand gardening efforts and increase harvests while simultaneously sharing the workload and expense necessary to keep a garden thriving and productive. Instead of simply grouping individual plots together that each participant must work in isolation, however, the most […]
Vertical Gardening for Small Spaces
It’s easy to maximize even the tiniest garden space when you look up – and up, and up, and up. Whether you have a balcony, deck, small terrace, raised beds or container garden, vertical gardening is a great way to increase your cultivated ground and enjoy a more abundant harvest no matter how small your […]
Basics of Balcony Gardens
Whether you live in an apartment, condominium or townhome, you don’t need to give up on gardening just because you don’t have a conventional yard. Balcony gardens are ideal for urban gardeners and can yield just as bountiful a harvest as any more spacious, ground-level plot. What Kind of Garden Can You Have? To ensure […]
The Best Birdseed for Winter Finches
Gardening and landscaping may be at a standstill during the coldest, deepest days of winter, but that doesn’t mean there is nothing to enjoy in your yard. In fact, there are many beautiful birds that visit our yards only in winter, including whole flocks of fantastic winter finches. With the right bird feeders and the […]
Light Up Your Landscape
When the sun goes down, your landscape doesn’t need to go dark with it. There are many energy-efficient, attractive options for landscape lighting that can showcase your favorite specimen plants, prized flowerbeds and unique landscaping features even long after dark. Why We Need Light Plants don’t need light 24 hours a day, so why is […]