Archive for the ‘Gardening Tips’ Category

Live Christmas Trees

Living Christmas Trees 



The retail stores already have their artificial Christmas trees on display.  So that means it is time for you to start thinking about getting your living Christmas tree

Trees give year-round enjoyment to you, your family, and your neighbors.  Trees benefit wildlife and help to decrease global warming.    In other words…

“To exist as a nation, to prosper as a state, and to live as a people, we must have trees.” 

                             – Theodore Roosevelt

“He that plants a tree loves other besides himself.”

                             – Thomas Fuller

The cultivation of trees is the cultivation of the good, the beautiful and the ennobling in man.”

                             – J. Sterling Morton


    Happy Holidays!


Norway Spruce 5’      $74.95       Canadian Hemlock 6’    $74.95

Norway Spruce 6’      $89.95       White Pine 5’                   $49.95

Norway Spruce 7’     $109.95

Call by November 20th to pre-order your living Christmas tree and save $5.00!

November Gardening Tips

It’s November and winter is coming. But don’t abandon your garden just yet. November is a great time to spend in your garden preparing for next year.

The most important thing to do in your garden in November is just clean out leaves, weeds, debris, or anything that has died.  A basic rule of thumb – if it’s brown, get it out; if it’s green, leave it alone.   Cut Chrysanthemum stems to 2-3 inches from the soil once they have begun to die back.

One of the most asked questions this time of year is “When can I plant or transplant shrubs and trees?”  This month and throughout the next couple of months (as long as the ground isn’t frozen) is a good time to plant trees and shrubs. At this time of the year, most ornamentals have entered into dormancy, and can be safely dug and replanted. The key to transplanting is to dig a large root ball (get as much of the root system as is possible). Equally important, is getting the plant back into the prepared soil as quickly as possible, to keep the roots from drying out. (Only a transplanting fertilizer should be used at this time of the year.)

Please feed the birds and other small creatures that may not be able to find food due to snow on the ground or other causes. Their natural food sources have pretty much dried up by this time of the year. For only a few dollars you can feed an enormous number of birds. You don’t have to be a bird watcher to enjoy the feeling that you get when you’ve helped out one of God’s creatures.

July Gardening Tips

The dog days of summer are upon us, which means plenty of hot weather. Between now and mid August everything slows down in the garden so we can start spending less time doing and more time enjoying. But for those who need to keep busy, there are always a few things you can do to keep your garden looking beautiful. Whenever it’s hot, try to schedule these tasks for early morning or late afternoon.

Smart Watering

  • Water early and late in the day to reduce water loss from evaporation.
  • Adjust sprinklers to avoid wasting water on driveways and sidewalks.
  • Water long enough to soak the top 8″- 12″ of topsoil and stop watering if water is running off due to soil saturation.
  • Measure sprinkler output with rain gauges or tuna cans and apply up to 1 1/2″ of water at a time.
  • Use mulch to retain water and keep roots cooler.  Bark, woodchips, gravel, compost or other materials are all beneficial.
  • Install a rain sensor to automatically turn your sprinkler system off when it rains.


 Trees and Shrubs

  • Newly planted trees and shrubs are at greatest risk and need 1-2 good soakings each week. A slowly running hose, “leaky pipe” or soaker hoses laid up-side down and snaked under the branches, or sprinklers adjusted to soak the area under the tree canopy are all good options.
  • Trees and shrubs planted in the last 3 years still need extra water during dry periods.
  • Established trees can also be under stress and benefit from mulch and watering.
  • Birch trees, sugar maples, and other trees native to cool forests suffer drought stress first but all trees benefit from water during hot dry periods.
  • Trees stressed from lack of water are more susceptible to insect pests, winter injury, yellowing foliage and other problems that may not show up until several months after the dry weather.
  • Evergreen trees and shrubs won’t wilt to indicate they are under water stress but need water as described above.
  • July is a good month to prune maples and birch and other trees that bleed when pruned in late winter.
  • Both evergreen and deciduous shrubs may be shaped or informally sheared to keep plants full to the center and stay within available space.
  • Woodchip or bark mulch will help control weeds and gradually improves the soil as it breaks down.



  • Established lawns, especially those started with seed, have the ability to become dormant without permanent damage.  Dormant lawns should NOT be watered to make them green up unless homeowners plan to continue watering until cooler, wetter, weather returns.
  • Lawns need 1″ to 1 1/2″ of water per week to stay green.  It’s time to water when the lawn color turns to a green-bronze and grass blades don’t spring back in your footsteps as you walk across the lawn.  Applying enough water to soak the top foot of soil benefits trees as well as lawns.  This requires 3 to 4 days of watering followed by 3 days of rest.
  • Raise your mower height 3 to 4 inches to shade the grass crown and roots.  The tall grass will keep the roots cool and conserve moisture – a must during the hot, dry weather typical of July.
  • Even dormant turf benefits from light watering during extended dormant periods to keep the grass crowns from entirely drying out.  Sprinkle long enough to apply 1/4″-1/2″ once or twice a week.


Container Gardens and Hanging Baskets

  • Containers dry out faster than plants in the ground and sometimes need daily watering as plants grow larger and if the weather is hot and windy.
  • Hanging baskets dry out the fastest and frequently require daily watering.
  • Frequent watering to the point where water runs out of the drain holes in containers will leach out fertilizer and plants may start to have yellow or purplish foliage and fewer flowers.  It is a good idea to use a water soluble fertilizer at ½ the label rate every week to keep container gardens and hanging basket plants growing and healthy.


 Fertilizer and Herbicides

  • Fertilizer and herbicide applications can burn lawns during hot weather. Best to wait for cooler weather in late summer and fall.   If the weather turns dry, avoid fertilizing your plants. It will further stress your plants to put energy into new growth during periods of drought.






Flower and Vegetable Gardens


  • Annual and perennial flower plants are available at garden centers all summer and new plants can be added to fill in bare spots or add color at any time.  Add compost or peat moss to planting areas to help hold water and water new plants regularly until they are established.
  • Deadhead large flowered plants such as geraniums, daylilies and  lilies to prevent seed formation, encourage re-bloom and keep plants more attractive
  • Don’t allow weeds to go to seed.  Mulch will help control weeds, keeps soil cooler and add organic matter to the soil as it breaks down.
  • Garden beds can be edged with a sharp spade or power edger. Grass can be prevented from creeping into gardens with a carefully applied application of Roundup herbicide. Roundup will damage any green plants and needs to be applied very carefully on a calm day.
  • Stake tall, floppy plants such as delphiniums, balloon flower and dahlias.
  • Monitor plants for insect pests such as aphids and control large infestations with insecticidal soap.
  • Don’t be afraid to cut flowers for indoor bouquets and arrangements.  Cutting flowers actually encourages re-bloom in some species.
  • Pick vegetables when they are at optimal size and maturity for best eating quality. Green beans, cucumbers and summer squash are best before they get too large.  Tomatoes will ripen off the vines but are best picked when fully colored but not overripe.  Green peppers may be picked at any stage but some will turn red if left for several weeks.



September Gardening Tips

Fall is a great time to plant trees, shrubs, perennials, grass seed and sod. Plants that are planted in the fall enjoy cooler temperatures and ideal growing conditions that allow roots ample time to grow into the surrounding soil. Be sure to apply a starter plant food at the time of planting.

Plants and trees that provide color in the month of September include Beautyberry, Crape Myrtles, Cotoneaster, Viburnums, Hypericum, Hydrangeas, Potentilla, Pyracantha and Butterfly Bush.  There are lots of perennials with interest now including Coreopsis, Scabiosa and ornamental grasses.

DO NOT prune Azaleas, Rhododendrons and other spring flowering shrubs because they have already set their buds and pruning will sacrifice next spring’s blooms.

Pull out tired annuals and add a touch of fall to your landscape by planting hardy mums, pansies, and ornamental cabbage and kale.  Applying Plant Tone to your soil will give them the boost they need.

September is the best month of the entire year to seed your lawn. This includes both seeding a new lawn and over-seeding an established lawn to make it thicker and healthier.   If you need to, you can lime, fertilize and seed your lawn all in the same day. Otherwise, seed and fertilize the same day and then lime later in the fall.

If needed, fall is a great time to aerate and/or de-thatch the lawn. If you decide to do one or both of these, they should be done prior to seeding.

If you do plan to aerate, de-thatch or rototill (for total renovation), thoroughly soak the soil a day or two before you start your project or perform your project a day or two after a good rain.

You need to bring houseplants back indoors by the end of September.  It is best if you spray them first with one of the following products: Schultz Houseplant Spray, Safer Houseplant Spray or Orthene. You can dust the soil with insecticide granules to prevent bringing in ants, wireworms, sow bugs, etc.

For indoor color during the winter, pot up some spring flowering bulbs at the end of September.  Store the pots in a cool, dark place, until new growth emerges from the soil, and then move them to a bright window.



August Gardening Tips

Take a few minutes to remove the dead flowers on Marigolds, zinnias and other annuals. Spent flowers on perennials should also be removed. Just a little time spent on grooming the plants really makes a big difference in the appearance of the garden. Also, once a plant flowers and goes to seed, it will usually stop the development of additional flowers, so by removing the spent flowers the plants should continue to flower longer into the season.

If you have thick, thriving phlox, thin the plants to four or five stalks per clump to provide adequate ventilation and avoid powdery mildew.

Cut out raspberry and blackberry canes that have just finished fruiting.

Summer blooming shrubs should be pruned for shape after they have finished flowering. Remove any dead or diseased branches.  Try to finish all shearing prior to the end of August. This will allow newly stimulated growth to harden off before winter.

Azaleas, rhododendron, and other acid-loving plants need to be fertilized one more time before the end of August using an acid-based soluble fertilizer containing iron.

Now is a good time to shear your Knock-Out Roses.  Removing 6-8“ and feeding with a organic fertilizer like Rose-Tone will invigorate the plant and provide you with beautiful fall blooms until frost.


       DID YOU KNOW?


In addition to food, hummingbirds need water.  Most of what they drink may come from flower nectar.  Bathing at least daily is quite crucial to them in order to keep their rapidly moving wings cleaned.  You can help provide water by having a birdbath or any rough-surfaced and shallow container.

They also like waterfalls, as in a water feature, or even just water on leaves, which they fly through for a quick shower.  Providing a hose sprinkler on a timer that they can fly through is also beneficial.


Our fall mums are growing and our corn maze is coming along.  Don’t forget our fall festivities during September & October.


Have a great gardening day!




It is starting to get very HOT during the month of June.  You need to watch your watering especially with new plantings.  You can still successfully plant new plants.  Make sure enough water is applied to thoroughly saturate the original root zone.  Too often many folks apply “one gallon” of water, or leave their drip system on for only 15 minutes.  It is NOT how long but how much water is used.

During the hot summer months, mulch can be especially useful for conserving water.  For vegetable gardens, shredded leaves or grass clippings are good mulch material.  For ornamentals, pine needles or wood bark is best.

As the weather heats up, it’s not unusual for your plants to get “tired” and quit blooming.  A monthly application of a granular fertilizer such as Espoma’s Plant Tone can quickly perk up a garden that is stressed.



Artemisia – This perennial produces a strong antiseptic, although not unpleasant aroma that repels most insects. Planted in drifts it can also deter small animals. A favorite variety is ‘Powis Castle’. Use this plant in flower borders but NO T in your vegetable garden because it produces a botanical poison.

Basil -The oils in basil are said to repel thrips, flies and mosquitoes.  Plant it beside tomatoes for larger, tastier tomatoes.  However, basil and rue should NOT be planted together.

Chives – Their grassy foliage and round flower heads add so much interest to a garden. You can plant chives to repel Japanese beetles.  It has also been said that chives will help prevent scab when planted among apple trees.

Lavender – Every garden should not be without lavender because of  its fresh scent and delicate blue blooms.  Lavender is a favorite among many beneficial insects and also repels fleas and moths.

Hydrangea – You can change the color of your old-fashioned hydrangea blooms. If you have a blue hydrangea, and would like it to have lavender to pink flowers, raise the alkalinity in your soil by adding 4 ounces of lime around the base of the shrub. Do this incrementally until you get the color you want. Depending on your soil, it could take a few growing seasons. To turn a pink hydrangea blue, add aluminum sulfate to the soil around the base of your plant. Follow the label directions carefully and don’t overdo it.

Clay Pots – Before planting, pre-soak clay pots in a bucket of water for 5 or 10 minutes. If you plant in terra-cotta when it is dry, it wicks moisture from the soil and the new plantings.

May Gardening Tips


The Sun’s getting high, soil’s getting warm. It’s time for tender plants to go in the ground (impatiens, begonias, and petunias). Also consider planting some tropicals for all-summer color that laughs at the heat – plants like hibiscus and plumbago. Be sure to work in some Plant-Tone when you plant, and, yes, keep everything watered.

Vegetables that originated in the tropics need warm nights and warm soil to thrive, so it’s a waste of time to put them in too early. Plants started later will outdistance ones started in cool conditions, too. Give everything you plant some Plant-Tone (or Tomato-Tone) and keep well watered.


Our indigenous Ruby-throated Hummingbirds typically arrive back from the tropics in mid-April, but it’s still not too late to tempt them into your garden with a feeder. Be sure to hang it where you can enjoy their presence. Hummers are incredibly fearless (perhaps because they can outmaneuver just about any threat), so putting a feeder quite near human activity won’t bother them. You can make your own hummingbird nectar: Bring 4 cups of water and 1 cup of sugar to a boil and store mixture in refrigerator.


Welcome toads to your garden by offering them a source of water and a place to stay. One toad can eat from ten to twenty thousand insects a year. You can make a toad house by partially burying a terra cotta pot on its side.






April Gardening Tips

Dividing Perennials:

Divide overcrowded clumps of daylilies, hosta, rudbeckia and the like. Some, like daylilies, are pretty easy: Just dig up the clump, wash off the soil and tease the tuberous roots apart at logical ‘seams’ – you’ll often find the clump seems more inclined to separate at certain points, unless it is way overgrown. Some others, like big hosta, can be a bear to get apart. Do the best you can, taking care not to smash the crowns and growing points of the plant. Replant divisions right away as they do not benefit from being out of the ground.

Feeding your Perennials, Tress & Shrubs:

Give your perennials what they need to have a great growing season. We have fantastic results with Espoma Plant-Tone. Plant-Tone is mostly organic so it can’t burn tender roots and it is actively improving your soil as it feeds you plants. It is also time to feed any and all evergreens, deciduous trees and shrubs. Give your evergreens and other acid loving plants a dose of Holly-Tone.

In addition, now is the time to do the following:

1. Prune shrubbery and evergreens for size and shape control. It is important this be done before new growth begins.

2. Cut out dead wood on flowering shrubs.

3. Remove mulch, prune and fertilize roses.

4. Clean out beds of leaves and debris.

5. Mulch beds to hold moisture and keep roots cool.

6. Weed and feed lawn.

Our berry plants are ready to be planted. We have blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, grapes, figs, and fruit trees. Amending soil with an organic such as peat moss will help your plants thrive. Top dress fruits with an acidic fertilizer such as Holly-Tone.

It is also time to start asparagus and potato beds. Excellent planting information on both can be found on the internet or come in to see us and we can get you started.

It has been a cold and weary winter and everyone is anxious to get back outside and enjoy the warmer weather. We are here to serve you and look forward to seeing you soon!

March Gardening Tips

More tips coming soon.

November Gardening Tips

This is the time of the year we say “so long” to the perennial plants that have brightened our gardens with their unique shapes and colors all through the growing season. They are not gone for good, however, but just taking a seasonal break, to return next spring with a new show with the same cast of characters.
But if you did not know it, something very important needs to be done now to insure they can return to us next spring. Don’t cut them back too soon! First, let all the green leaves and stems of these perennial plants die back to brown.

It’s nature’s plan to recycle the food energy present in the plants in the fall, for use in the spring. The sucrose sugar that feeds all the living cells of the plant flows through that green tissue that made it in the first place. As the plant’s green parts begin to yellow and then die back, the process of converting the sucrose sugar into a complex carbohydrate begins. The plant cannot store the liquid sugar, but it can easily store the highly concentrated dry carbohydrate we call starch, in the roots and underground stem parts for the winter. When the roots of these perennials are stimulate by warm soil in the spring, the stored energy they had accumulated in the fall is used to give them the energy they need to send out new roots and send up new plants.

NOTE: Spring- and Summer-blooming bulb flowers are perennial plants. So let the green top growth of tulips, daffodils, dahlias and cannas die back first, then cut them back.