July 30, 2021

Topping Weeds

So you’re in a hurry and you see some weeds in the garden on your way out the door. Our tip of the week is meant to buy you a little time before those weeds go to seed. Simply deadhead the weed! That’s right, pinch off the top of the weed. This will keep it from spreading all over your garden, until you can get out and pull the whole weed when you have more time. Remember not to leave the weed head on the ground. Even if it is pulled, the seeds can still be active and start making new weeds, so get them up and off the ground as soon as you can.

June 26, 2021

Smart Phone Gardening

Our tip of the week showcases how you can use simple technology to make your lawn and garden thrive. We showed you how to use the calendar in your phone to put in reminders to do simple home and garden chores. For example, when you prune your roses in mid-February you should put in a reminder to fertilize those roses again in 6 weeks. In fact, every 6 weeks is a good time for deadheading and/or fertilizing all your roses. Also, if you have houseplants, it might be tough to remember when you last watered them. We tend to overwater them anyway. Put a reminder in the phone to check them every 2 weeks to see if they need water. If you have a lawn, the best way to make it stronger and less susceptible to diseases and moss is to keep it fertilized. About 3-4 times a year, your reminder in your phone will tell you that your lawn needs a feeding. Put that smartphone to use and get healthier plants and a stronger garden.

June 12, 2021

Nursery Pot Protection

Out tip of the week is about protecting your tender seedlings during those hot and sunny spring days. This tip comes from our friend, Ed Cunningham from Fishingham Garden. He used some old black plastic planting pots. These he cut in half and punched holes in the top rim of the pot. These were flipped over and, using landscape staples, fastened to the ground with the pot open facing east, and the pot walls facing west. This allows for the morning sun to enter from the east side to warm the plant. Then when the sun moves over the pot to the west, you have the barrier of the pot to protect the tender seedling from the intense sun and heat. When the plant has established its root, you can simply remove the pot and put it in storage until next year!

June 5, 2021

Deadheading Rhododendrons

So your early blooming rhododendrons are starting to lose their bloom. Here is a tip to help you get more bloom out of them next year. Take the spent bloom at the base and snap it off. Be careful not to damage the new growth coming out at the base of the bloom. By removing the old bloom you are telling the plant to not produce seed heads and to spend its energy on the bloom for next year.

If you are looking to limit the growth of your plant you may want to do a little trimming. Snap off some of the new growth to keep the plant at the same height. This may also damage some of the blooms for next season since the plant sets buds in late July and August. You can reduce the height of your plant by cutting down the branch to the next leaf bud. This will cause the plant to not bloom on that branch for next year, but you can generally expect a new bloom on that branch the year after that. Also remember to wear a glove when cutting your rhododendrons back; they have a coating that may irritate your skin.

May 29, 2021

Sprayer Tips

In the late spring and early summer people start to pull out their sprayers. Whether they are applying weed control, moss control or other chemicals we thought it would be great to give people a reminder about sprayer safety. These are good tips to follow even if you are applying an organic spray. First make sure that there is little or no wind. You don't want drift from your sprayer to get into different areas than where you want it to go. Also, make sure that the temperature is not too hot or too cold. Most chemicals, either organic or synthetic, are most effective in warm weather. Of course you will always want to read the label for application to make sure that you are applying it correctly. When you are applying the product you should walk backwards so you don't spread the spray on your shoes to other areas in your garden.

As far as attire, you should wear long pants, long sleeves and closed toed shoes. Eye protection, gloves and a mouth cover or respirator round out your clothing choices. Follow these simple rules and you can be sure that the spray will end up right where you want it!

May 22, 2021

Stone Garden Markers

Our tip of the week takes us out to our spring bulbs as they are dying back for the season. How many times have you been planting in the garden in late summer or fall and have dug up some of those same spring bulbs? To remember where those bulbs are buried, simply take a flat rock and write the name of the bulbs (example: tulips) on one side of the rock and place it next to your bulbs, then when your spring flowers are gone, you'll still know where those bulbs are buried!

May 8, 2021

Handle Measuring Stick

Our tip of the week is about making your tools do double duty. When you buy a plant or plant seeds a lot of the tags will tell you to keep the new plants separated by a distance to make sure they have room to grow. Most of us don’t carry around a measuring tape to make sure we keep those distances, so why not make your long handled tools be the measuring tape? Simply make marks on your handle at 6 inch intervals and then all you have to do is lay your tool down to measure the distance and you can plant without worries!

May 1, 2021

Tree Trunk Protection

Our tip of the week is about protecting your tree's trunks from damage from your mowers and string trimmers. If you have grass right up to your tree you could do damage to the bark if you hit the tree with your power equipment. Damage to the bark on the trunk could limit your tree's ability to take up nutrients. Eventually you could lose your tree. We found that if you take a large plastic bottle and cut off the top and bottom, and cut up one side of the bottle, you can create a 'collar' that you can place around your tree to protect it when you are out doing yard work. A simple trick for a healthy tree!

April 23, 2021

Deck Cleaning Tip

Our tip of the week is about cleaning a part of your deck to help preserve it. When you are cleaning off your deck for the summer, remember to clean in the cracks between the boards. Under your deck there are crossbeams that support your deck. They can get gunk and debris on them between your regular deck boards. Over time the debris can hold moisture and lead to rotted support beams. Take a plastic spatula or a fabric scrubber and clean those deck cracks to remove that debris. Avoid a metal tool, that can damage the wood. This little job will help

April 9, 2021

Transporting Trees

Our tip of the week is about getting your new trees and tall shrubs home safely from the garden center. The minimum wind speed which is considered the threshold for a tropical storm is a sustained 39 miles per hour. So just driving down the street with your tree standing upright in the back of your truck is beating it up pretty badly. We stopped by Blooming Junction (503-681-4646) and talked to Ron about how to transport your plant safely. He told us that you should always lay your plant down with the top of your plant facing backwards. Most trees have a large stake tied to the tree. You can rest that on the tailgate to prevent any damage to the tree bark. You can then use a couple bags of mulch or compost to hold the plant in place so it doesn’t roll around. So use these tips and your tree will thank you for it.

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