Fall

5 Fun Uses for Pumpkins

Pumpkins
Pumpkins

Pumpkins

It’s pumpkin time and there are just so many fun things you can do with a pumpkin! They are nutrient-rich, with lots of antioxidants and vitamins. One cup of pumpkin is less than 50 calories and provides a healthy dose of beta-carotene and fiber, so they are great for cooking with. Here are 5 cool ways to make use of a pumpkin:

  1. Eat the seeds: Pumpkin seeds are incredibly healthy! They contain protein, magnesium, potassium and zinc. So, cut off the top of the pumpkin, scrape out the insides, and rinse off those seeds. You can roast them in the oven with a little olive oil and salt and they are a delicious and nutritious snack. Even if you don’t like to eat them, birds love dried pumpkin seeds, so put leftover seeds out as a treat for the birds.

  2. Make pumpkin stock: The inside of the pumpkin has its uses too. Separate out the seeds and put the stringy pumpkin innards into a water-filled pot and bring to a boil. Let the mixture boil for about 30 minutes or until the water has changed color. Strain out any leftover pieces and now you have pumpkin stock! It is great for adding flavor to casseroles or soups. You can easily freeze for later use. If you don’t want to make pumpkin stock, birds also love pumpkin guts, so you can put that out for them as well as the dried seeds.

  3. Cook pumpkin fries: A quick Google search brings up dozens of recipes for pumpkin fries. Making pumpkin fries is a fairly easy process: you simply need to peel the skin off and cut the pumpkin into strips. Spices can be added as you like, and then bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. Here is a really easy recipe from Savy Naturalist: http://www.savynaturalista.com/2013/09/30/roasted-pumpkin-fries/.

  4. Make pumpkin hummus: How about some yummy pumpkin hummus? Dreena Burton’s Plant-Powered Kitchen has an amazing recipe for pumpkin hummus: http://plantpoweredkitchen.com/pumpkin-hummus/. Pumpkin hummus is a fun appetizer for autumn parties!

  5. Cook homemade pumpkin puree: If you’re interested in making your own pumpkin puree, which can then be used for any number of recipes, check out this guide from City Girl Farming: http://www.citygirlfarming.com/Recipes/ByVegetable/CookingPumpkin.html. She gives information on a couple different methods of creating your own pumpkin puree and it’s surprisingly not very difficult. Pumpkin puree is used in a ton of recipes, including pumpkin biscuits, pumpkin bread, pumpkin soup, and even pumpkin cocktails.

And here’s a bonus tip in case you have flowers that you’d like to do something fun with:

  1. Create a flower vase: Use a pumpkin as a festive flower vase. Cut off the top and remove the innards as you would for carving, but then place a container inside. Fill that container with water and flowers and you have a fun, one-of-a-kind vase!

We have pumpkins, so stop in and see us! Our friendly staff can get you set up for all your fall pumpkin and plant needs.

The Incredible, Edible Pansy!

Colorful Pansies
Yellow Pansies

Yellow Pansies

Purple Pansy

Purple Pansy

Now is a great time to clean up your planted pots that may be looking a little bedraggled coming off the summer heat. Pansies are a great option to spruce things up, because they will grow and bloom all winter and into spring. Many pansies are bright and bi-colored, making them an eye-catching addition to any garden or pot. Once spring rolls back around, pansies that were planted in fall are usually more robust, having been able to establish strong roots. This plant doesn’t like extreme heat or humidity, which is why they enjoy our fall and spring weather. Pansies are compact and low growing, so they are ideal for edging, borders or container plantings. They grow into clumps as opposed to spreading along the ground, and most varieties will reach a height of 4 – 8 inches. This flower is a great match with spring bulbs. A popular method for mixing pansies with spring-blooming bulbs is to plant bulbs in a garden bed, and then plant pansies right over the bulbs. In the spring, the bulbs will bloom and, as their flowers wilt, the pansies will be beginning their spring bloom. This is an excellent technique to maximize your garden bed color in the spring. Tulips or daffodils are a couple options that look great with pansies. Some cool-season annuals that complement pansies well are snapdragon, calendula, and nemesia. 

Pansies are fairly easy to grow and will flourish under most conditions as long as they have good soil and at least partial sun. They like steady moisture so don’t let them dry out too much. One of the top reasons pansies fail is not getting enough water, so keep an eye on them and water if you notice they have dried out. Pansies respond well to deadheading, so keep plucking the wilting flowers off of ‘em. Ensure the plant has adequate nutrition by amending the soil with soil conditioner and Bio-Tone starter fertilizer.

A fun fact about the pansy flower: it’s edible! It has a mild, almost minty flavor and tends to be used a lot for decorations and as a garnish. (If you decide to sample some pansies, make sure no pesticides have been used on the plant.) Drop by and see us, we have a fantastic supply of pansies right now that will do a great job of giving your garden or containers a fun pop of color!

Planting a Cool Season Vegetable Garden

Cool Season Veggies
Fall veggies to plant - beautiful red leaves

Fall veggies to plant - beautiful red leaves

We’re heading into the homestretch of summer, which can only mean one thing: it’s time to plant cool season vegetables! Here in North Carolina, spring temperatures can climb quickly, which makes vegetables such as lettuce or spinach develop a bitter flavor. Those veggies, along with others such as broccoli, cauliflower and carrots, generate the best flavor when they mature during cooler weather. Planting these crops now means you’ll have a harvest of produce that will carry you well into the fall and winter. There are a number of cold-hardy crops that prefer the cooler temps and higher moisture levels that come at this time of year. Late planted vegetables usually have less competition from weeds and there are fewer pests around to bother them. Some of these plants can grow very quickly from seeds and be ready to eat in a little over a month. Arugula, mustard, spinach, turnips and radishes all germinate from seeds and are ready to harvest in about 40 days.

To ensure success of late harvests, make sure seedlings have enough time to create well-established root systems before the first frost hits. It’s best to plant cool season vegetables in raised beds or mounded rows, and seeds should be planted deeper because the moisture level of the soil is lower and the surface temp is higher. The planting depth may be as much as twice as deep as for spring planting of the same crop. Give your plants a layer of manure or compost that is several inches thick to help the plants establish strong roots, provide adequate drainage, and supply the necessary nutrients for proper plant growth. Sprinkle fertilizer over top of your plantings for extra nutrients and continue to fertilize them regularly in the early growth stages.

Most vegetables need about an inch of water per week. For cool season veggies, it is best to do a single watering that seeps deep into the ground, rather than several applications that soak more shallowly. Young seedlings, germinating seeds, and transplants may require some light watering between the weekly soak.

Most cool weather vegetables can tolerate a light frost, but if a harsh frost hits, you will want to cover your beds with burlap, tarp or a blanket to protect plants.

Below are some suggestions of cool season vegetables to plant:

Salad greens to plant for fall harvest

Salad greens to plant for fall harvest

  • Asparagus

  • Beets

  • Broccoli

  • Brussels sprouts

  • Cabbage

  • Carrots

  • Cauliflower

  • Collards

  • Cucumbers

  • Kale

  • Lettuce

  • Onions

  • Radishes

  • Rutabaga

  • Spinach

  • Turnips

If you’re thinking about starting a cool season vegetable garden, stop in and see us! Our friendly staff is on-hand seven days a week and can help you with all of your gardening needs.

Primitives by Kathy Fall Designs

Primitives by Kathy- Autumn Designs- Garden Supply Co

Primitives by Kathy- Autumn Designs- Garden Supply Co

Primitives by Kathy box signs long adored for their whimsical, sentimental, witty, and romantic sentiments in traditional black and white , are now available in fun fall designs. Choose from a variety of autumn and Thanksgiving themes in a new cream and brown color palette. The perfect addition to your harvest home decor this season.

Primitives by Kathy- Autumn Designs2- Garden Supply Co

Primitives by Kathy- Autumn Designs2- Garden Supply Co

Fall Faire

pumpkins

pumpkins

Fall is here, and with it comes peak planting time. Join us on Saturday, September 21st, as we celebrate the arrival of one of our favorite times of year at the garden center with our annual Fall Faire festival at Garden Supply Co. We'll have lots of fun activities for the whole family, free food and drinks, and of course the finest plant selection for all your fall planting needs.

Fall Faire

Saturday, September 21, 2013

10 am - 5 pm

Vendor Fair

Got gardening questions? Come meet and greet some of our vendors from Greenleaf, Wyatt Quarles, Leapfrog Landcare, and Southern Gem, and get expert advice and tips for plant and land care this fall.

Case Chiropractic will be on hand teaching us "How to protect our backs while gardening", and giving mini massages.

The folks from BatterzUp will be here sampling their delicious home-baked cupcakes.

Food Drive

Please consider helping those in need this season by supporting our annual food drive. Donate 3 cans of food (or $5 or more) to receive a free plant as our thank you.

Register to Win

register to win several amazing prizes throughout the day. And with a purchase of $100 or more, you can Spin the Wheel for even more giveaways and prizes, including free plants and goodies, or discounts off your total purchase.

Kids Activities

We'll have lots of fun for the kids with our friendly magician and free face painting.

Free Food

And of course we'll have free food and drinks, too, for the entire family.

Mark your calendars! We look forward to seeing you at Garden Supply Co on the 21st for our fabulous Fall Faire!

View our full calendar of events.

Fall Guide to Herbs & Vegetables

Garden Supply Co.- Cary, NC

Now that the season has changed and cooler weather is arriving, it's time to think about harvesting the last of your summer vegetables, and start work on your fall and winter gardens. Here's a few of our top tips for getting the most out of your seasonal herb and vegetable gardens this month.

Planting

Extend the gardening season well into the winter by planting fall and winter vegetables now. Good candidates for winter harvest include lettuce, radish, spinach, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, pak choi, swiss chard, collards, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts.

Plant garlic now for harvest in late summer. It likes a sunny, well-drained spot. Set bulb tips 2 inches beneath the soil surface.

For the most successful winter gardening, we suggest using cold frames when planting. Cold frames are simple bottomless boxes with a removable glass or plastic lids that protect plants inside from excessively low temperatures, wind, snow, and rain. In doing so, it creates a micro-climate that is a zone and a half warmer than your garden. The result is a harvest of fresh vegetables all winter long.

Harvesting

Listen for frost warnings and be prepared to cover tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, and other tender vegetables. The weather often warms up again after the first frost, so this protection can prolong the harvest for weeks.

When there is a threat of frost, harvest your cucumbers, eggplant, okra, pepper, and summer squash before the vegetables become frost-damaged.

Bring in tomatoes for ripening when the daytime temperatures are consistently below 65 degrees F. Pick only those fruits that have begun to change color.

Harvest sweet potatoes before frost as well as gourds, pumpkins and winter squash. If you'd like to store pumpkins, be sure to pick only solid, mature pumpkins that are deep orange in color. Try not to injure the rind as decay-causing fungi attack through wounds. Dip them in a chlorine solution of 4 teaspoons bleach per gallon of water. Allow to dry, but do not rinse until ready to use. Cure them at room temperature for a week to harden the rind, then store in a cool place. They will keep for about two months.

When you can no longer protect your plants, pull them and add them to the compost heap.

Herbs

By now, most herbs have lost their best flavor. Discontinue drying for winter use at this time. Exceptions, however, are chives and parsley, which thrive now and taste better than ever in cool weather.

Chives, coriander (cilantro), dill, and parsley can be direct-sown in the fall in the milder areas of the Piedmont for harvest in the fall and winter months.

For more gardening tips, stop by the garden center and speak with one of our friendly experts. We're open 7 days a week to help with all your gardening needs!

Fall Vegetables Garden to Table Workshops

This week, we are excited to offer two dates for the next in our series of Garden to Table Workshops. This time, we'll be focusing on fall vegetables. Come learn what to grow and enjoy now in your edible gardens. In this workshop, we'll tell you all you need to know in order to plant and harvest a bountiful garden this fall.

Fall Vegetables Table to Garden Workshop Dates

Wednesday September 5 from 6-8 pm

Saturday September 8 from 10am- 12pm

Registration

Registration of $20 includes 5 vegetable plants, light refreshments, and plenty of time to answer all your questions.

If you took our spring class and have an "Earth-Box", join us for FREE!

Call us at 919-460-7747 or stop by the store to get registered.

 

A Change of Season

At this point in time, all the kids have once again returned to school in Wake County, and if you're anything like me, your thoughts are starting to turn to the change in season. Seems like hints of fall are definitely making an appearance. I've noticed a few leaves starting to turn, a slight crisp feeling to the air, and darkness coming a little bit earlier each evening.

Fall is one of our favorite times of year at the garden center. This is a great time of year to plant new plants, or transplant crowded older plants in the landscape. We have lots of fresh plant materials in stock now for all your fall planting needs, with more arriving weekly. Now is a great time to put in new trees and shrubs, as well as perennials and ornamental grasses. We also have cool season veggies in stock, plus a fresh supply of herbs that will get you through until winter. Planting now will help your tender new plants get firmly established before the heat of next summer sets in.

Besides lots of new plant materials, we also have plenty of exciting new home decor and gift items in the Greenhouse for the upcoming change of season. Halloween, one of my all-time favorite holidays of the year, has hit the shop. Here's a peek at just a few of the new goodies we have for you down at Garden Supply Co.

This is truly just a peek of what's in store for you! Come on over to visit us, and see for yourself!

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.

Let's Take a Walk

Come take a walk with me through the Greenhouse.  There are LOTS of new goodies arriving daily that will brighten your homes, celebrate the upcoming change of season, and put you in the mood for a little holiday fun. I've brought my camera along.  Let's see what's new together.

This is just the beginning of the new treasures to see down at Garden Supply.  If you're in the area, stop in and say hello.  We'd love a visit from you. Remember, also, we would be happy to mail you a goody or two from the Greenhouse if you can't make it in soon.

Thanks so much for dropping by today!  I'll be back before long with more snippets from the garden.

Halloween Haunts

Hi everyone and happy Wednesday to you all!  I've just come from Garden Supply where I toured the Greenhouse to peek at all the new goodies that have been arriving for Fall and Halloween.  And of course I brought my camera. So how would you like to take a little tour with me? We can see what's new together.

This is just a small sampling of what you'll find in store for you down at the garden center.  Come see for yourself.......

If you DARE!!!!