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.
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.
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.
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
Monday – Saturday 10-5
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.
On Your Next Purchase
of $35 or More
Expires January 31, 2015.
Not valid in conjunction with any other offers, gift certificates, previous purchases,
bagged goods or bulk items. Limit one coupon per customer.