Mum’s the Word-Care Tips

Good morning everyone! Yesterday I shared with you some of the beautiful autumn mums we’ve received this week at the Garden Center. Mums are, without a doubt, one of our most popular fall bloomers. They look equally great in containers on your front porch as in borders in your mixed beds, and come in a rainbow of autumn colors. The garden mum just cannot be beaten for beautiful fall color. And now that you’ve picked up a few mums for your yard, I have a few tips and tricks for keeping your new plants looking in tip-top shape.

Fall planted mums need a little attention to help them make it in the landscape through the winter. Get these fall-blooming perennials in the ground as soon as possible. If using mums as container plants, it’s unlikely they will make it through winter, so enjoy their seasonal color as you would annuals.

Plant mums in full sun, in well-drained soil that is moderately moist. If the soil is too wet or too dry, the mums will suffer. Keeping the soil moist will ensure good root development on the plants as they go into winter, even after the tops have gone dormant. They tolerate part shade, but if it is too shady, the mums will get leggy and have smaller flowers. If your area receives at least half a day of sun, your plants should do fine.

Plant the mums in your flower bed at the same depth that they were growing in their pots and mulch them to help stabilize soil moisture and temperature. Be sure to cut and loosen the outer root system of the plant to maximize root growth before planting. Do not plant chrysanthemum flowers near street lights or night lights: the artificial lighting may wreak havoc with the mums’ cycle.

Do not fertilize your plants until you see new growth next spring. Use a general purpose fertilizer such as 5-10-5 at the rate of 1 lb. per 100 square feet. Fertilize once per month through July.

Removing the spent flowers, called deadheading, will keep your plant looking neat and tidy and will help promote more blooms. Once your plant has gone dormant, do not cut back the dead growth. The dried flowers and stems serve as insulation to protect the plant during winter. When you see new growth in spring, cut the dead stems as close to the ground as possible.

Be sure to give your mums plenty of space in the garden. They can grow and multiply rather quickly. An added benefit, in my opinion. By every third spring, divide your mums to rejuvenate them.

With these care tips, you’ll be enjoying glorious fall color from your garden mums for years to come. Enjoy!

Mum’s the Word

Isn’t it refreshing to feel the slight crisp edge to the air these last few mornings? The nights are coming earlier in the evenings, too, and the temperatures are definitely beginning to drop.  Seems that fall is truly in the air. And if you stop by the Garden Center, you will find signs of autumn everywhere. The Greenhouse is filled to bursting with gorgeous seasonal decor and gift items, and new plants are arriving daily, just in time for your fall planting. Just this week, we’ve received a shipment of some of our most popular autumn bloomers, Mums, in all your favorite seasonal colors. From sunny, golden yellow, to orange, to deep red, to raspberry and violet, we have a shade for every taste.

We are proud to offer lush and full 8″ pots of the following varieties.

‘Barbara’- raspberry purple
‘Red Daisy’- deep red
‘Sunny Ursula’- golden yellow
‘Hannah’- burnt orange
‘Beth Violet’- purple

This year we are also bringing you several choices from the Igloo series of mums, ‘Cool Igloo’ and ‘Rosy Igloo’. The Igloo series is a new, mum like perennial that blooms for weeks in summer and fall without pinching back. This mum is in the Dendranthema plant group, which is looks a lot like members of the Chrysanthemum family. Dendranthema is truly hardy and makes it through winter as smoothly as other perennials in the garden.

Mums look fabulous in container gardens on your front porch and deck, mixed in with your fall decor, as the centerpiece for your table settings, or planted in your borders and beds. Stop on by Garden Supply to see these, and all our gorgeous new plant arrivals. And be sure to come on back here tomorrow when I’ll be sharing tips on caring for your newly purchased, fall-blooming mums.

See you all soon!

Getting Crafty

Hello everyone, and happy Wednesday to you! Today I have a few fun home decor and gift items to share with you that are perfect for all you Do-It-Yourself folks out there. If you are looking for that personalized touch to add to your homes or that special one-of-a-kind gift idea,we’ve got you covered. And if you haven’t been into the Greenhouse lately, do stop by. We’ve got new goodies arriving daily that you won’t want to miss.

Like these adorable scarecrow kits that will add a charming touch to your harvest decor.

Young and old alike are going to love these metal gourd kits. Simply insert the pieces as you like into a pumpkin or gourd, creating a smiling face in no time. This kit can be reused year after year, and works equally well in real or faux pumpkins. Doesn’t this scarecrow look adorable in the planting basket with a touch of recycled paper as a ruff?  And if you like this guy, you’ll love the turkey kit, too.

The turkey kit comes complete with metal head, feet, and tail-feathers to make one adorable, re-usable turkey decoration every year.

Another wonderful do-it-yourself project in the Greenhouse right now is the Remake It wine cork trivet.

Recycle your old wine corks into a trivet with this easy kit. Simply twist your corks onto the metal trivet, and you are done. It’s as simple as that. What a perfect way to showcase corks from your travels or special gatherings and occasions. Makes a fabulous gift for the wine enthusiast on your list. And, it’s a great way to recycle, as well.

If you’re looking for truly personalized artwork, take a look. You can spell any name, word, or phrase with these mix and match alphabets and create your very own one-of-a-kind personalized masterpiece.

Each letter of the alphabet is represented with a unique black and white photo using architectural elements for the font. We have 3, 4, 5, 6, or more celled frames to help you create the perfect art piece.

Thanks so much for stopping by today! Hope to see you all soon down at Garden Supply.

Fescue Lawn Care for August

Hello everyone and happy Thursday to you! I’m sure most of you have noticed the slight dip in temperatures we’ve been enjoying these past few days. Looks like we’ve rounded the corner from 90+ degree hot summer days and can look forward to beautiful cooler weather instead. What a welcome relief! Could it be that fall is in the air?

Fall is the perfect time to be in the garden. It’s sunny and warm, yet cool enough to work. And best of all, there’s no bugs! Even though we’re still a few weeks away from the true fall season, there’s plenty we can be doing in the yard right now to get our gardens in top shape for next year. Now is a great time to start tackling lawn care and re-seeding projects. As soon as the night-time lows drop into the 60′s, like they already have, it’s time to get started. But before we talk about seed, we may need to tackle some nasty weed issues.

I don’t know about you, but the weeds have really taken over my lawn this past month. Things were in pretty good shape, and suddenly the weeds have just exploded. That’s because they just thrive in our hot and humid summers. I’ve got crab grass and chickweed as well as Bermuda grass, infiltrating my fescue sod. So if your lawn is anything like mine, you’ll want to tackle those weeds before turning your thoughts towards reseeding.

If your grass is less than 50% weeds, we recommend treating the area with Weed Out with Q by Fertilome. This ready-to-spray treatment kills crabgrass, dandelion, clover, plus 200 other listed weeds. It kills even tough weeds-roots and all.

Fertilome Weed Out with Q spray contains three proven weed killers that target lawn weeds and crabgrass. This product enters the lawn weeds through their leaves and moves throughout the plant to provide control. Recommended for cool season turf-grass such as Kentucky bluegrass, rye-grass, tall fescue, and mixtures of cool season grasses containing fine fescues. Also for warm season turf-grasses such as bermuda, zoysia, and buffalo grass. Application to bermuda grass may cause temporary yellowing or discoloration, but full recovery can be expected.

Note that this product should be used only when daytime temperatures drop below 90 degrees (85 for bermuda grass). And since we’re in the 80′s now, go ahead and give your lawns an application or two of this. Once treated, let your lawn sit about 2 weeks before re-seeding. Be careful not to over-apply which may cause burning to the grass.

If your lawn area is more than 50% weeds, you’ll need to go ahead and apply Round-Up to the entire area. And if you’re like me and have bermuda grass coming up in your fescue lawn, you’ll need to use Round-up on that, as well.

Now that we’ve talked about weeds, it’s time to think re-seeding.  Fall is the best time for re-seeding, and actually should be the only time you re-seed. Planting fescue seed in the fall allows the seed to fully root in and get established before the heat and stress of the summer hit again. Once night time temps dip into the 60′s, like now, you can get started. And you can safely seed until mid November.

For fescue lawns, we recommend Shady Nook lawn seed mixture from Wyatt-Quarles. Shady Nook is locally blended so it is perfect for our Piedmont growing conditions. And it is tested here at NC State to provide a better blend with fewer weed seeds. It is also perfectly suited for full sun into part shade, giving you a better mixture of drought tolerance and wet growing conditions.

We offer Shady Nook in 25 lb. bags, as well as  5 lb. bags for smaller areas.

If you have areas of full shade, we recommend mixing Creeping Red Fescue in with your Shady Nook blend. Creeping Red Fescue is shade tolerant, and it’s dark green color and finely textured blades will mix in perfectly with the rest of your lawn.

I hope these helpful hints will get you on your way to beautiful looking grass in no time. Remember, our helpful experts are on hand 7 days a week to answer all your lawn care and gardening questions. Stop by and pay us a visit! We’re always happy to see you down at Garden Supply!

Fun for the Kids

Hello everyone! Happy Monday! I hope your weeks are off to a productive and wonderful start. This is a big week for many, as Wake County schools open their doors to a new year for those on the traditional calendar. Back to school time means fall is just around the corner, bringing with it seasonal fun and cooler temperatures.  Won’t it be nice to be able to get back in the garden again after this rather hot summer?

For all the kiddos out there who are getting ready to go back to school, or who have already been going on the year-round schedule, we have a few special treats for you down at Garden Supply. We have just received a seriously silly, seriously fun selection of fun bands in the Greenhouse. Your kiddos are going to love the new scented, mini, tye-dye, glittered, seasonal, and glow-in-the-dark varieties.

We also have a very special visitor to the garden center that I know your kids will adore. Please say hello to Alvin, the prairie dog!

Prairie dogs are burrowing rodents native to the grasslands of North America. On average, these little guys will grow to be between 12–16 inches long, including the short tail, and weigh between 1–3 lbs. They are found in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

Alvin is just visiting, and may not be around for long, so do stop by the Greenhouse if you get a chance, soon. It’s not often you’ll get the chance to come face-to-face with a prairie dog!

Thanks for stopping by everyone!  I’ll see you back here soon for more snippets from the garden.

Caladiums

Hello everyone and happy Thursday to you! Today I am excited to share a really beautiful and easy to grow plant with you all, the caladium.

The caladium originated in the Amazon jungles of South America. It is a summer bulb (tuber) that will thrive in hot temperatures like ours, and it’s gorgeous heart-shaped leaves of red, white, pink, and green will paint your garden in color until the first cold nights. Caladiums offer a fabulous way to insert color and beauty without the use of flowers,  providing continuous interest in the landscape well beyond a limited blooming period.

Caladiums are easy to plant and are wonderful as a ground cover or border, or in pots, hanging baskets and planters on your deck and inside your home. Mix several varieties in your landscaping for a colorful contrast. Look at some of the gorgeous arrangements of caladiums you’ll find down at Garden Supply.

Caladiums can be grown as annuals, or may be over-wintered as tender bulbs. Remember that they are a hot-weather, summer bulb. The bulb will be damaged, causing dwarfed leaves, if the temperatures reach below 60 degrees for a prolonged period of time. Lightly fertilize every six weeks with the fertilizer you normally use (or 6-6-6 slow release fertilizer). In the fall, let the leaves die back, then before the first freeze, dig up the bulbs, leaving the leaves on. Store in mesh or paper bags between 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit. Or better yet, bring your potted caladiums indoors during the cooler months and enjoy their colorful foliage as houseplants. You’ll not be sorry!

Caladiums make a wonderful addition for floral arrangements, too. Cut leaves will keep indoors for 2-3 weeks and are odorless and non-allergenic. Leaves should be soaked for 24 hours before using in arrangements.

Thanks so much for stopping by!  I hope I’ve piqued your interest for adding color and interest in your homes and landscape through the use of bright and unusual foliage.  And join me back here soon for more snippets from the garden.