planting guide

Slow growing sago: How to care for your sago palm

Happy August to all of our GSCO plant-lovers! Even though summer is still in full swing, it’s never too early to start thinking about putting your plant-babies in containers to bring indoors as the weather cools off. The sago palm is a great option for container planting. This way, you can start it off on your porch and bring it inside when temperatures drop.

For the love of lantana: How to grow your lantana this season

For the love of lantana: How to grow your lantana this season

It is HOT this summer, but luckily lantana knows how to handle the heat! If there are areas of your garden that get unyielding sun, lantana could be just what you need. Springtime plants are in full bloom now, and you can expect bright, colorful flowers throughout the summer. With both annual and perennial varieties of lantana, there’s certainly something that will fit your garden’s needs. Keep reading to learn more about lantana and how to grow it this season!

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!

Arbor Day Sale

Hello everyone, and welcome to the start of a brand new weekend!  And what a beautiful weekend it is predicted to be, with warming temperatures and blue skies.  Sounds like the perfect time for a bit of gardening.  And in honor of Arbor Day today, we have a few specials and promotions going on down at Garden Supply. While the locally-owned family farms we get our plants from are doing well delivering to local garden centers like us, they are still not catching up because of the decline in "new home" building.  The landscapers fuel this inventory buy and they aren't installing much right now....see the trickle down of the economy?  I know you get this and see the importance of continuing to buy local when you can! We feel so strongly about it and want to continue to bring you the freshest plants at the best prices.  So, all day Friday and Saturday until noon, come in with this blog post to receive 20% off all your trees and shrub purchases. We want to give our growers a BIG re-order Monday! Take advantage of this great offer to purchase that commemorative tree for Arbor Day!

We also are bringing back our perennial sale from last weekend.  Purchase 10 perennials and receive 10% off, 20 perennials and receive 20% off, and 30 or more perennials and receive 30% off.  And just in time for your spring clean-up projects, we are reducing the price on some of our mulch.  Our triple shredded hardwood mulch is now $22.00/yd., and our N.C. long-leaf pine straw is $4.40/bale. These sale prices are good through May 15th.

When you get ready to plant your new trees and shrubs, here are a few handy planting tips to keep in mind.

Handle balled & burlapped (B&B) plants by the ball and container plants by the pots as much as possible.  If your new plants must be held for several days before planting, put them in an area where they will be protected from excessive sun or drying winds.  Water thoroughly every 2-3 days until planting.  Check daily, as more or less frequent watering may be necessary depending upon weather conditions and the size of the plant.

Consider the mature size of the plant and be familiar with sun and moisture requirements as well.  Pick an area that will accommodate these requirements.  Do not plant in excessively wet or dry soil.

Your hole should be dug at least 1 1/2 times the width, but NO deeper than the size of the root ball.  Mix existing soil in equal parts with soil conditioner and composted cow manure.  An adequate amount of Bio-tone, Plant-tone, or Holly-tone and Dynamite fertilizer should be added to insure nutrient content.

Remove plant from pot by placing hand on top of root ball and turning over.  Tap and pull the pot until the root ball slips out.  Loosen any roots if necessary on pot-bound plants.  On B&B plants, do not remove any wire, string, or burlap.

Place a portion of your amended soil mixture in the bottom of the hole so that 1/4 of the height of the root ball is above ground level, depending on the moisture content.  Backfill around root ball, using soil mixture.  Lightly tamp soil to hold plant in position and help insure good root-to-soil contact.

Mound remainder of amended soil mixture up to the edge of the root ball to produce a "ring" for water retention and root insulation.  See photo above.  Place mulch at a maximum depth of 1 to 2 inches on top of root ball and 3 inches elsewhere.  Soil conditioner or hardwood mulch is best for trees.

You can find these full instructions, along with other helpful tips on watering and lawn care, in our handy Planting Guide, available for free in the Greenhouse.  And as always, our helpful staff is on hand 7 days a week to assist you with all your gardening plans.

So get out there and get planting!  And happy Arbor Day everyone!