The Garden Post January 2017

 

 
A Slower Pace
 
Should we just agree that January is the unbusiest month of the year?  The past few months have kept us hopping, but January is a welcome respite from all the social obligations and hubbub associated with the end-of-year holidays.
 
Traditionally, January magazines emphasize organizing stories about cleaning out your junk drawer or (finally) tackling your bedroom closet.  This year why not give yourself a break. Go ahead and lay claim to your favorite part of the couch under a big, fluffy throw with a cup of tea and something to binge watch. Snuggle in. Hopefully, it’s snowing outside and you don’t feel obligated to go out.
 
Most of the year, we move too quickly through a swirling world of work, social media, texts and data and call it life.  Once in a while we need to put down the electronic devices and pick up something that moves more slowly.  Maybe you want to try your hand at a good recipe. Or plan a garden renovation. Or expand your gardening knowledge.  If at the end of the day (or in the middle of it),  all you want to do is burrow under that fuzzy blanket surrounded by your loved ones-be they human or animal- and let the day go by with a good gardening book, then do it.  Just make sure you don’t exert yourself.  Everything will be back up to speed soon enough.
 

A paraphrase of the January 2017 Editor’s Letter by Stephen Orr of Better Homes and Garden Magazine

 
Do your plants look like this?
Then they need reconstructive surgery!
 
Our Landscape Department is now scheduling winter pruning which will:
  • Increase your homes curb appeal
  • Reduce the size of plants blocking windows and doorways
  • Enjoy the view of your landscape from inside your house
  • Save time and money-no re-pruning this year
  • Have stronger, healthier plants
Call 757.898.7799 now to discuss the best course of action to rejuvenate your landscape and bring new life back to your yard.
Winter Solace
 
Taking care of houseplants during the winter months is the most relaxing part of my day.  I get lost in the nurturing process…pinching back foliage, removing tarnished leaves, repotting, shining leaves and talking about my day.  It is my time to be alone and get my fingers dirty.  
 
Brighten a room by adding a few colorful grouped containers or use off the wall vessels to slip plants containers in.  My favorite container for “tiny” window sill gardening is saltshakers and toothpick holders!
This January relax and enjoy the solace of indoor winter gardening.
 
Here are a few of my favorite easy to grow houseplants:
 
Heart Leaf Philodendron
Set the plant in a location with bright, indirect sunlight. Water – When growing philodendron plants, allow the top inch of soil to dry out between waterings. Droopy leaves can mean that the plant is getting too much or not enough water. But the leaves recover quickly when you correct the watering schedule. Fertilizer – Feed philodendron houseplants with Bonide 10-10-10 Houseplant Fertilizer in spring and summer and every six to eight weeks in fall and winter.
Neon Pothos
The most important care tip for a neon pothos is to keep the plant in indirect sunlight and to avoid overwatering. Allow the soil to dry out slightly before watering, but keep the moisture even. Feed with Bonide 10-10-10 Houseplant Fertilizer once each month spring and summer.
Succulents
Most varieties need at least half a day to a full day of indirect sunlight. Allow the soil to dry between waterings. Succulents don’t like to have wet feet. When you do water, water thoroughly. Watering with half strength Bonide 10-10-10 Houseplant Fertilizer once a month will be all they need.
Danielle Hendricks
Houseplant Lover
Isn’t All Birdseed the Same?
 
Buying birdseed seems simple enough – you can buy it practically anywhere – at the grocery store, drug store, hardware store, feed store, big box store and at discount stores. You might wonder, isn’t birdseed just basically the same, regardless of where you buy it? 

The basic building block for seed blends is usually milo, followed by millet, then cracked corn or black-oil sunflower seed. Better quality seed blends contain ingredients such as peanut pieces, safflower, and sunflower chips.  Really gourmet birdseed blends might be labeled something like “Fruit Berry and Nut Blend” and contain a mixture of seeds, tree nuts and fruit.

What is the advantage of buying higher-quality birdseed blends over inexpensive blends? Low quality birdseed blends are high in filler content which typically ends up down on the ground – birds knock the filler ingredients out of the feeder to get to the good stuff.

Purchasing seed blends with higher quality, more desirable ingredients, results in a wider variety of birds and a larger quantity of birds visiting your feeders. Not only are the birds benefited by quality food, but you get the satisfaction of seeing more bird activity in your yard, which, after all, is the main reason you are feeding birds in the first place. 

The truth is, higher quality bird food is more expensive, but it has the added advantage of better nutritional value for wild birds. The analogy I use when talking to customers about birdseed is a comparison to purchasing pet food. When you buy dog or cat food, do you buy the least expensive brand available, with the most grains (filler), or do you try to buy quality pet food that is nutritionally balanced? 

If you were to visit a “Big Box” store in Virginia, or Texas, or Washington, you would discover that they offer the exact same seed blends at all of their stores. When you think about it, do the same varieties of birds that occur in Virginia also occur in Texas or in Washington? The answer, of course, is no. When buying birdseed, it is best to stay away from filler ingredients – such as milo – and to buy a blend that is formulated for the area where you live. 

 
Mark Your Calendar!

Sunday, January 1
New Year’s Day

CLOSED

 
Winter Hours
Monday – Saturday 10-5
Sunday Closed
 
Don’t miss out!
Christmas Decor 60% OFF!
All SKUs beginning with 6

 
Tips for the Garden 
  • Test your garden soil for its pH levels. Stop in and pick-up your soil kit. Bring it back to us and we will send it in.  Once we get the results back, we will contact you. Fee: $20. Then, apply lime, sulfur, and fertilizer according to the soil-test results.
  • Prepare plant beds or seed boxes for growing plants such as tomato, pepper, and eggplant by turning the soil and amending with Bumper Crop Soil Builder.  Have beds ready for planting in early February.
  • Prune any damaged or dead branches from your trees and shrubs.
  • To control scale on fruit trees and other ornamentals, apply Bonide All Seasons Oil while plants are dormant.  Follow directions on the bottle.
  • Ensure that your garden is watered if it is getting less than 1 inch of rain per week.
  • Dust on the foliage of your houseplants can clog the leaf pores, so wipe the leaves clean with a damp cloth, or a quick shower under the tap.
  • Always use room temperature water when watering or misting your house plants.
  • To avoid the disappointment of unsightly flowers or losing them altogether, cover plants that have buds and open flowers with an old sheet or pick upFrost Cloth at the garden center. Don’t use plastic: It can quickly create an oven effect when the sun shines on it.
  • Water.  Watering in advance of a predicted freeze helps plants, especially potted plants and annuals, make it through a hard freeze because it allows plants to take up moisture before the ground is frozen which may prevent the plant from freezing. Do not water when the ground is frozen.
  • If you have containers that are not being used throughout the winter, be sure to bring them inside.  And don’t forget to protect your fountains and birdbaths.
  • Don’t fertilize. This is a time for garden plants to go dormant and rest. Forcing them to start new growth before the ground warms in the spring not only interrupts this period  when they are rejuvenating but ice storms and temperatures below freezing or even hard frosts will kill tender new growth.
SAVE
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 On Your Next Purchase
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Not valid in conjunction with any other offers, gift certificates, previous purchases,
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Tree Sale!

Tree Sale!
 
50% OFF 
All Ornamental Trees
(Inside sales yard)
 
50-83% OFF
All Landscape Sized Trees
SALE PRICE marked 
with red tag
(Landscape trees are located behind fence on right side of sales yard)
 
Delivery and installation available. Priced according to zip code and container size.
 
See Garden Associate
for help!
 
No Guarantee and
all sales final. 

Mulch Sale is HERE!

Mulch Pre-Order SALE!
Now Through March 19
 
$26 per yard!
Regularly $34 
per yard. 
 
 
 
To place your order, call us at 757-898-7799 or stop by the store. 
 
All pre-orders must be picked up or delivered no later thanApril 30!

February 2017

 
Mark Your Calendar!
Valentine’s Day
February 14
Something Different for your Valentine
Flowering plants are a great choice for the flower lover in your life. They’re ideal gifts for anyone from a colleague to a spouse. Our collection of Valentine’s Day flowering plants features some of the most beautiful and popular tropical plants. They have a much longer life span than traditional Valentine’s gifts of cut flowers and it is a gift that keeps on giving for years to come.
 
Miniature Roses, Anthuriums, Calla lilies and African violets are just some of the blooming plants that we carry, and there’s no doubt that your loved one will adore whichever one you choose. Bright and cheery, these flowering plants will endure with only minimal care, so brighten someone’s day with a beautiful blooming Valentine’s Day plant.

Mini Indoor Terrarium Workshop
Saturday, February 18 at 11AM
Learn how to create a terrarium, while getting hands on guidance and tips and tricks on how to care for your mini eco system at home. We provide all the ingredients including a tiny plant, live moss, rocks, soil and a glass container. Class fee is $15.
 
Call 757.898.7799 to register- space is limited!

Seed Starting Workshop
Saturday, February 25 at 1PM
 
Learn the what’s, when’s and how’s of starting and caring of your early spring vegetable, herb, and flower gardens. 
 

Call 757.898.7799 to register.

Cooperative Extension Pruning Clinic
Featuring KEN MATTHEWS as the INSTRUCTOR
Saturday, February 25 10AM-12PM
Learn pruning secrets to make your shrubs 5 times healthier and 10 times easier to control as well as successful pruning methods you won’t learn in any book.  This clinic has a hands on portion so bring your pruning tools!
 
Register at ex199@vt.edu or by calling 757.890.4940.

The Garden Post: February 2017

 

 
My ‘Brief But Spectacular’ View on Your Landscape (in February)
 
You decide your landscape’s fate. Good or bad, your yard looks like it does because of you.  Think about it.  Your landscape is one thing you have total control of.
So take control.
Clean up.  
Yard debris – pine cones, leaves, branches – make a yard look trashy.
By simply raking debris off the lawn and blowing leaves out of the gardens, you lift the spirits of your yard. And yourself.  Plus, you’ll burn roughly 350 – 450 calories per hour.   That’s a slice of apple pie and ice cream that you can enjoy later.
Remove.
Junk piles that are now exposed.  No one wants to see them.
Dead plants.  Do it now while its cold.  Slinging a shovel heats the body up quickly.
Prune.
Not with hedge clippers or chain saw.  Hand pruners, lops, pruning saw.  
Refer to article in this edition about pruning and tools.  
Come to the prune clinic led by the master himself – Mr. Ken Matthews February 25 at 10AM.
Proper pruning can enhance your landscape tremendously, and give you a sense of doing something good for your investment.
Look.
If your landscape looks bad to you, it probably does to everyone else!  
Hire a professional to analyze your yard.  
Sometimes it may just take replacing a few plants, cutting back this and that and reshaping a bed line here and there.  Or your landscape may be at the point of needing a total renovation.  
In any case, now is the time to really look at your yard, realize the ugly truth, and take control.  
Heather Klose
Landscape Designer
Specializing in telling you the truth about your landscape.

 
Time to Prune
Learning to properly prune most any yard tree – maple, oak, dogwood, crepe myrtle – is not that difficult.  But you are required to ignore a lot of what you’ve seen or heard about what good pruning is. 
Here are some good pruning rules:
Rule 1:  Prune from the bottom up, not top down.  “Topping” any tree ruins its natural shape.
Rule 2:  Remove dead, dying, or severely wounded branches (more than ½ the bark missing)
Rule 3:  If you find two branches that are growing parallel to one another and almost touching, choose one and remove it.
Rule 4:  Look for branches that cross one another, especially if they rub together, and remove one.
Rule 5:  Clean your pruning tools before putting them away. Now you’ve done all you could or should do.
Here is a list of pruning tools that every gardener should have: 
 
Hand Pruners
Hand Lopers
Hand Shears
Hand Pruning Saw  

CRABGRASS GRASS INVASION
 
Prevent the spring invasion of crabgrass in your lawn by applying Jonathan Green Crabgrass Pre-Emergent now. Jonathan Green Crabgrass Pre-Emergent works by killing crabgrass seeds and seedlings for up to 3 months. Crabgrass seeds “wake-up” and start growing each year when the soil temperature reaches 50°F. So it is better to apply your crabgrass pre-emergent sooner rather than later!
INSECT CONTROL BEGINS IN THE WINTER

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 right time to control insects for two reasons. First, the insects and their eggs are just coming out of dormancy. The shells and protective coverings are softer and more porous in late winter, and so are more vulnerable to the effects of oils and sprays. Second, the oil-water mixture should not freeze on the tree or plants, which could damage the plant and make the spray far less effective. When you spray, the temperature should be above 40 degrees. Delay spraying if freezing night temperatures are predicted. Choose a calm day for spraying to be sure stray breezes and cross winds do not spread the spray to plants you don’t want covered.  We recommend Bonide All Seasons Oil.
 
Spraying for insects in winter may not be the most glamorous job, but you’ll appreciate the improvement in your trees through the spring and summer when you’ve nipped your insect problems in the bud.
EASY-TO-GROW INDOOR HERBS FOR WINTER
Even though it may be miserable weather outside, you don’t have to be stuck buying overpriced fresh herbs at the store or using less flavorful dried herbs. Why not grow your own inside the house? Most common herbs will grow quite happily in a sunny window at any time year, even when the weather outside is less than garden-friendly.
Where to Grow Your Herbs
Any sunny window can be great for growing indoor herbs, but most people prefer to keep their herbs in the kitchen. After all, it’s probably warm and sunny there. Moreover, think how great it would be to just reach over to your indoor herb garden, take a few snips of this and that, and serve “garden fresh” tasting foods to your family and guests.
Best Indoor Herb Choices
Wondering what herbs will do best indoors? The most popular and easily grown herbs for your kitchen garden include…
 
Basil
Oregano
Chives
Parsley
Rosemary
Marjoram
Sage
Lemon Balm

Mint

Thyme

 
Mark Your Calendar!
Valentine’s Day
February 14
Something Different for your Valentine
Flowering plants are a great choice for the flower lover in your life. They’re ideal gifts for anyone from a colleague to a spouse. Our collection of Valentine’s Day flowering plants features some of the most beautiful and popular tropical plants. They have a much longer life span than traditional Valentine’s gifts of cut flowers and it is a gift that keeps on giving for years to come.
 
Miniature Roses, Anthuriums, Calla lilies and African violets are just some of the blooming plants that we carry, and there’s no doubt that your loved one will adore whichever one you choose. Bright and cheery, these flowering plants will endure with only minimal care, so brighten someone’s day with a beautiful blooming Valentine’s Day plant.

Mini Indoor Terrarium Workshop
Saturday, February 18 at 11AM
Learn how to create a terrarium, while getting hands on guidance and tips and tricks on how to care for your mini eco system at home. We provide all the ingredients including a tiny plant, live moss, rocks, soil and a glass container. Class fee is $15.
 
Call 757.898.7799 to register- space is limited!

Seed Starting Workshop
Saturday, February 25 at 1PM
 
Learn the what’s, when’s and how’s of starting and caring of your early spring vegetable, herb, and flower gardens. 
 

Call 757.898.7799 to register.

Cooperative Extension Pruning Clinic
Featuring KEN MATTHEWS as the INSTRUCTOR
Saturday, February 25 10AM-12PM
Learn pruning secrets to make your shrubs 5 times healthier and 10 times easier to control as well as successful pruning methods you won’t learn in any book.  This clinic has a hands on portion so bring your pruning tools!
 
Register at ex199@vt.edu or by calling 757.890.4940.

 
Tips for the Garden 
February is a busy time in the garden!  Besides pruning, here are some other highlights for the month.
Trees and Shrubs
  • Keep watering if there is no rain – Water shrubs in your landscape throughout the winter if the soil is dry. Evergreen plants transpire water from their leaves whenever the air temperature is above 40 degrees F.
  • February is an ideal time to prune fruit trees and if necessary, shade trees.
  • Late February/March is also the time to spray fruit trees, roses and other trees and shrubs with a dormant oil spray.  Dormant oil spray like Bonide All Seasons Oil, should only be applied if the temperature is above freezing.  Dormant oil sprays are recommended if your plants had a problem the previous year with scales, spider mites and other pests.
Vegetables
  • Work your garden for early-spring veggies as soon as possible.  Make sure to do a pH test.  Apply Mag-i-cal, if your soil tests indicate a need.
  • Rabbits Snacking on Evergreens?   Apply Bonide Hot Pepper Wax Spray which will “stick” around all winter!  Spray all plant parts susceptible to nibbling.
Miscellaneous
  • Continue feeding birds in your garden.  Natural food sources are very scarce at this time of yea r.  Water is also important for birds, so if you have a birdbath in your garden, be sure to use a de-icer to prevent the water from freezing.
  • Take Action Against Invasives.  Remove weedy vines now while many garden plants are still leafless. Control or eliminate English Ivy.  Do not allow it to climb trees so it can escape and take over.
  • Shake Up Your Compost.  Turn your compost pile once this month. You can also start new piles from fallen leaves any time.
  • Start Seeds Indoors.  Inexpensive fluorescent ‘shop lights’ work well if you don’t have a sunny window.  Keep lights very close to the tops of seedlings, and move the lights up as the plants grow. Seeds to start now:  Broccoli, Cabbage, Bok Choi, Lettuces and Cool season flowers like Calendulas, Forget-Me-Not and Phlox.  Wait to start warm season seeds indoors until early March.  Plan your vegetable crop rotation now for the coming season.
  • Happy Houseplants – Give houseplants lots of TLC, since the end of winter is their toughest time. Remove leggy growth (which you can root), pinch them back, and take out dead branches, leaves, and flowers.
20% OFF

 All Pruning Tools
  

Expires February 28, 2017.
Not valid in conjunction with any other offers, gift certificates, previous purchases, 

bagged goods or bulk items.  Limit one coupon per customer.