Planting ahead: Tips for cool season vegetable gardening

Planting ahead: Tips for cool season vegetable gardening

With summer heat still in full effect, it’s hard to believe temperatures will be winding down soon for the fall! Cooler weather is on the horizon! So what can you do to get ready for the change? Plan + plant ahead, and get your cool season veggies in the ground! Fresh from the garden broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, radishes + other fall favorites will be on your table + in your belly before you know it!

Planting for the future: Cool season vegetable gardening

Planting for the future: Cool season vegetable gardening

What's cool to plant while you're hot? Cool season vegetables. That's what! Although the dog days of summer make it tough to think about milder days, they are coming and fall will be here before we know it. That means it's time to start planning and planting your cool season vegetable garden so that soon enough you'll be feasting on garden-to-table meals using your own fresh broccoli, cauliflower, beets, swiss chard, lettuce, kale, cabbage, radishes and your other favorite fall veggies.

Garden to Table Recipe: A Twist on the Tomato Sandwich

Garden to Table Recipe: A Twist on the Tomato Sandwich

No matter how you pronounce it––tuh-MAY-toh or tuh-MAH-toh––a tomato is a tomato. What matters is how they taste and everyone knows those tomatoes that we pick fresh from our veggie gardens are 500 times better than anything you could ever buy at the store. 

While all of us green thumbs tend to enjoy eating our tomatoes right there in the garden, fresh off of the vine, there are plenty of other ways to serve up the fruits of our labor. And when it comes to tomatoes, there's nothing like a good old tomato sandwich--Duke's mayonnaise, white bread and sliced tomato. It's that easy! But today, we'll share with you a twist on the tomato sandwich to add a little flare to your tradition. Give it a try...

Garden to Table Recipe: Cool as a Cucumber Sandwich

Garden to Table Recipe: Cool as a Cucumber Sandwich

Summer might as well be here. It’s hot! Want to know how we stay so cool at Garden Supply Company? Try this cucumber sandwich recipe (a twist on your average cuke sandwich) to stay cool as a cucumber using as many fresh ingredients from your own garden as you can!

Garden to Table Recipe: Pickled Snap Peas

Garden to Table Recipe: Pickled Snap Peas

If you've already started your vegetable garden, you probably have snap pea vines that are beginning to trail along the topsoil or up a lattice. Come early May, these babies will be producing more snap peas than you can eat in one sitting. If you're looking for a super simple way to prepare your fresh pickings, try this Pickled Snap Pea recipe! They make great snacks, apps and go perfectly atop a fresh salad! You'll have your family saying: "Pretty peas! Can we have some more!"

Garden to Table: Just beet it detox smoothie recipe

Garden to Table: Just beet it detox smoothie recipe

Our winter blues melted away when our truck full of late winter greens, herbs and other veggies stopped by to take a load off earlier this week. So grab your veggies and let's tell winter to just beet it with this garden to table detox recipe that uses ingredients straight from the ground!

Garden to Table Recipe: Anna's Bread & Butter Pickles

Garden to Table Recipe: Anna's Bread & Butter Pickles

Cucumbers are best straight off of the vine but no need to let the extra cukes go to waste if you can't eat them all while they're fresh out of the garden. When life gives you cucumbers, make pickles! Try this time-tested recipe from Anna–one of our gardeners! We think you'll love it. 

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.


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.


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.


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 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.


Herbs & Vegetables

Cary, NC Spring has sprung down at Garden Supply Company. Throughout the garden center you'll find beautiful, fresh flowering perennials, annuals, shrubs and trees. And for all you herb and vegetables gardeners out there, we've got a huge selection of new plants just for you.


Catnip Chives- garlic Cilantro Curry Dill Fennel Lemon Balm Lemongrass Oregano Parsley- curled, & Italian Rosemary- prostrate, Tuscan blue, Logan's big blue, & hill hardy Rue Sage- Berggarten, & cooking Salad Burnett Spearmint Stevia Thyme- silver, golden-edged lemon

Also in stock are eversweet, everbearer strawberries, in both baskets and smaller pots.


Arugula Beets Cabbage- solid blue, pak choi Chinese cabbage, early Jersey Wakefield, red, & early flat dutch Cauliflower Celery Endive French Sorrel Kale- red Russian Leeks Lettuce- new red fire, iceberg, red butterhead, buttercrunch Mustard Greens Scallions Spinach Swiss Chard

Now's a great time to start your herb and vegetable garden! Our experts are on hand seven days a week to help. Hope to see you soon.

Tomato Lovers

Tomato lovers, have we got plants for you!  With the huge variety of tomatoes we have down at Garden Supply, from teeny-tiny cherries to grandiose Beefsteaks and everything in between, there is sure to be something for every gardener and culinary taste out there.  We have all your popular favorites, as well as harder to find heirlooms, in a large range of sizes, shapes, and colors.

Amish Paste, Moonglow, Beefsteak, Hungarian Heart, Kelloggs Breakfast, Cherokee, Pineapple Hawaiian, Mexico Midget, Celebrity, Lemon Boy, 'Juliet Hybrid', Better Boy, Roma, Patio, German Johnson, Grape, and Sweet 100s..we've got them all down at the garden center.

We also have everything you'll need to grow bigger, more abundant tomato plants from potting soils, soil amender, compost and mulch to slow release tomato fertilizer to several problem-solving planting containers for those with little or no yard space.

The Bosmere Tomato Planter Bag is ideal for decks, patios, and balconies.  No need for a garden.  No digging required!  The planter can hold 1 or 2 plants, depending on type and variety of tomato chosen.

Another unique planting option is the Topsy Turvy Upside Down Tomato Planter, which allows you to grow delicious vegetables right outside your door.  The planter hangs on decks, balconies or patios and eliminates the need for weeding, caging and staking.  With the Topsy Turvy, you can grow fresh tomatoes in 3 easy steps:

1. Put the plants into the ports 2. Put soil in the bag 3. Add water in the top

I was so curious about the idea of this unusual growing method, that I've decided to try the Topsy Turvy Tomato Planter myself.   Topsy Turvy's statement that this planter will solve nearly every problem associated with tomato culture sounds too good to not give a try.  "No more soil to prepare, holes to dig, cages, stakes, typing up, wedding, no more on-your-knees work and no more ground animals, insects, fungus, bacteria or nematodes".  By golly, I'm excited to see how it works!

I've decided to try two planters with two different varieties of tomato.  For my experiment, I've chosen a smaller species, the Grape tomato, as well as a medium-sized grower, the Patio tomato.  The Topsy Turvy planter comes with a helpful gardening tips guide and step-by-step instructions.  I was able to quickly and easily set up the planters on my own.

Over the next few months, I'll share with you my results and observations  utilizing this unusual growing planter.  I do have to admit to being charmed so far.  A few tips I can pass along from the installation stage are to be sure to hang your planter from a very secure location, as the bag becomes quite heavy once the soil is added.  Also, find a small plant to get started, preferably one in a 6-pack cell, as the bottom insertion opening of the planter is not very wide.  I had to manipulate my 4" potted tomatoes to get them to fit through, which can cause damage to the fragile plant if you're not careful.

The Topsy Turvy also grows other vegetables, such as bell peppers, zucchini, cucumbers, eggplants, and more.  Look for our Topsy Turvy strawberry planter and hot pepper planter, as well as the tomato planter, in the Greenhouse.

Besides tomatoes, we have quite a few other summer growing vegetables in stock  including yellow squash, sweet bell peppers, 'long red slim'  cayenne peppers, red sweet peppers, 'sweet banana' peppers, and jalapenos.

And we also have received an absolutely gorgeous shipment of sweet basil.

I'm heading back to the garden center for a couple of these beauties today! ;)

Thanks so much for stopping by!  Hope to see you all down at Garden Supply soon, and I'll catch you back here tomorrow for more snippets from the garden.

Root Vegetables and Bare Roots

Hello everyone!  This is such an exciting time of year at Garden Supply.  Although Winter hasn't quite relinquished its hold on us yet, Spring is arriving on a daily basis at the garden center.  Every time I pop by, I am wowed by the new plants and decor items that have appeared since my last visit. I am SO in the mood to plant! Just in to the Greenhouse is a new shipment of bare root fruits and root vegetables.

In bare-root, we've got black raspberries, red raspberries, blueberries, and 3 types of grapes- Concord variety, Caco variety, and Niagara variety.  Also in are both Ever-Bearing and June Bearing strawberries plants. With 10 plants per bag, you are going to love the value of these strawberry packages.

We've also received a huge variety of root vegetables that is sure to please even the most discerning of gardeners.

There are  rhubarb roots, horseradish roots, shallots, red onions, yellow onions, white onions, sweet onions, garlic, and elephant garlic. Many are available in either convenient packages or bulk so you can mix and match.  Phew.............

And there's more!  How about some potatoes?  We have packaged seed potatoes in Red Norland, Kennebec, Russets, and Red Pontiac varieties.  Asparagus in Purple Passion and M. Washington varieties as well as our handy-dandy bundles with a whopping 12 plants per bundle.

And don't forget our other cold-loving vegetable plants already in, like carrots, Chinese cabbage, spinach, and mix-leaf lettuces.  They are moving out fast, but we still have some left.

Although all today's plants and vegetables thrive planted directly in the ground, many also do very well in the container garden for those with little or no yards.  Even potatoes!  We have the perfect above-ground potato planter for the home gardener, that was featured in this month's Cary Living Magazine.

With the Bosmere Potato Planter Bag, there's no need for a garden.  No digging required.  You can plant between 3 to 5 seed potatoes per bag.  There's a flap at the bottom that allows you to check your potatoes.  When the vegetables are ready, simply empty out the bag and enjoy the real taste of home-grown potatoes.  Garden Supply owner, Keith Ramsey, recommends planting potatoes, parsley, and chives all in one bag for an instant potato-bar garden.  That's just brilliant, in my book!

We have lots more new items arriving every day!  Stop by and pay us a visit.  Our gardening experts are on hand to answer all your questions.  And I'll see you back here tomorrow for more snippets from the garden.