Apr 20, 2011

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Carefree Perennials

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staudenPerennials are plants that come back every year, unlike ‘annual’ flowers that need to be planted every year.  Because of this, perennials have become very popular with homeowners.  Terra grows several hundred perennial varieties, specifically meant for our area which happens to be called ‘zone 4’ in garden speak.  A few of the best shade perennials include:  ferns, hosta, and astilbe.  We grow many colors, shapes and sizes of these great plants.  Excellent Spring Copy of 26200_PAblooming perennials include creeping phlox, dianthus, and iris.  For Summer, coreopsis, gallardia, coneflower, Russian sage, ornamental grasses, and tall phlox provide wonderful color.  Perennials that tend to look great towards the end of Summer and into Fall are rudbeckia, sedum, and asters.

By mixing Spring, Summer, and Fall varieties of perennials, you can be assured of having a very colorful and exciting garden for the entire season.  Perennials also play well with shrubs and annuals.Copy of Flyer 3 pg 2  133017

We grow many more varieties than the above ones and are adding new ones all the time, so stop out and let us help you plan your perennial garden.

The thrill of growing vegetables!

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Growing your own food is one of the most enjoyable and rewarding gardening experiences.  Children are also far more interested in vegetable growing than growing flowers.  Growing ‘veggies’ is a good way to get them interested in something that will last a lifetime.

‘Home grown’ tastes better, is fresher, is healthier, and in this economy, cheaper.  No matter how large or small your space may be, you can grow great vegetables. 

You’ll only need a few things.  First, you need a minimum of 6 hours of full sunlight and rich well prepared and amended soil – we can show you how to do this.  You can grow vegetables right in the ground, of course, but you can also create raised bed gardens or use a large pot.  What you grow in is a personal choice dependent upon your space, sun and commitment.  Be sure to research mature plant size before planting, as a crowded vegetable garden is the fastest way to lose interest and not experience very good yield from your efforts.

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There are many different types of vegetables that you can grow.  There are cool weather crops such as cabbage, broccoli, lettuce, and more, that can be planted in early to mid-April(maybe not this year).  There are tons of warm weather veggies of course and you’re only limited by space.  From seed, to bulbs, orBaby Carrots bare-root, to potted plants, if you want to plant it, we’ll have it.  Don’t forget edible flowers such as pansies, nasturiums, violas and more!  They’re great in salads and cakes.

Our ‘organic’ plant care department is also fully stocked with fertilizers, insecticides, soil amendments and more to make sure your harvest is a healthy one.

Wishing you all a bountiful harvest.

variety of potted garden herbs, closeupDon’t forget Herbs!

The doctor is in…

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Root n GroIn our Plant Pharmacy, you will find a full line of ‘organic’ and chemical solutions for your plant disease and pest problems.

Most of the pest and disease problems our customers bring to our attention are easily solved.  As an example, we recommend diatomaceous earth, an organic product, as a very effective control for slugs on hostas, broccoli, cabbage, and more.  We could hardly keep it on our shelves last year.  To protect your vegetable garden from insect pests, Captain Jack’s Deadbug Brew is a great organic solCopy of 3885649ution that’s actually derived from a compound found in soil.  For people who have problems with blossom end rot on tomatoes, we have a natural calcium supplement that solves that.  If powdery mildew is your problem, then Bonide’s Fungonil will solve that.   If unwanted animals are munching on your favorite plants, Liquid Fence is a great deterrent against rabbits and deer.

Copy of Liquid Fence Deer and RabbitIf you have a specific pest or disease problem that needs to be addressed, don’t wait.  Place a sample of the plant or insect in a sealed plastic bag and bring it in and we’ll identify your problem and provide you with a solution.

If you want additional information about pest and disease problems and their solutions, check out the Bonide link on this page.

You Can Make Beautiful Container Gardens

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If you have limited space and prefer ease of maintenance, then ‘container gardening’ is your solution.  There are plant selections that can thrive in sun or shade in containers – you’ll just need a few simple items:  First you’ll need a pot to put your plants in.  We have so many styles, colors, price points, and varieties of pots that finding one to compliment your environment will be easy.  Be sure that the pot you select has drainage holes in the bottom as this is esential for the health of the plant roots.  Second, use what we call a ‘soil-less’ potting mix.  It’s comprised of peat moss and other lightweight organic material and supplements.  Soil like this allows for easy root development.  Our motto is, “Healthy plants grow from healthy roots, planted in quality soil”.  Don’t forget to fertilize every 10-14 days or use Osmocote time release fertilizer granules when you plant your container garden.  If you don’t fertilize, every time that you clear water, you will be washing the nutrients out of the pot.  Now you’re ready for the plants.  Be sure to have fun picking them out. Take into consideration the amount of sunlight you have, and your favorite colors.  Don’t be afraid to experiment with color and unusual plants.  For example, you might even try mixing in a perennial such as a Hosta in a mixed Impatiens planter.  Generally, you should have an upright plant that is higher than the surrounding plants and any trailing plants you have selected.

Remember, your container garden is easy to move if you find it needs more light or if you’d like to view it in a different area of your yard.  You can also extend the season in the Spring and Fall because the containers can also be moved into your garage for a day or two if there is inclement weather.  If you’d like assistance in creating your container garden, stop out and we’d be happy to help you in the process.

Lastly, be sure to enjoy your container garden all season long!

The birds will thank you…

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA properly cared for birdbath will give you years of enjoyment.  First, be certain that the top is securely attached to the pedestal by either the locking system or if yours does not have one, use sticky floral tape or caulking tape to secure it.  Second, clean the bowl weekly and add fresh water every few days.  Clean with warm water, a mild detergent, and a stiff brush.  Rinse thoroughly before re-filling for the birds.  Clean water is essential to attracting birds and keeping them healthy.  Algae tends to form in shady areas more easily then in areas that get a 1/2 day of sun or more.  Winter storage – all birdbaths, including concrete, and glazed, should be cleaned, dried and stored either in the garage or home over the winter months.  Even if you use a birdbath heater there is the risk that you may crack the bath or pedestal due to electrical plugs coming unplugged, or a particularly severe winter like we just experienced causing snow and ice to pile up around the birdbath.  If you want to provide water for the birds during the winter, and believe me, they will appreciate it, then purchase a plastic birdbath, designed for this purpose, with an internal heater.  Enjoy the birds!

Planting Trees and Shrubs made simple and succesful

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TreeFirst, call your ‘Digger’s Hotline’ so you don’t accidently hit a buried power line.

The best time to plant a tree or shrub was 20 years ago, but the next best time is right now.  Lets get started.  Dig a hole twice the diameter of the container or root ball that your new tree or shrub came in and about 6 inches deeper.  Mix approximately 1/3 peat moss with the soil you dug out of the hole.  Place some of this mix in the bottom of the hole so that the top of the root ball of the plant will be level with the ground when you’re finished.  Now place the tree or shrub in the hole, making sure that it is standing straight up.  Now is a good time to drench the root ball with a root stimulator like Fertilome’s B-1 Root Stimulator before you back fill with soil.  Next, back-fill with the soil mix that you created earlier.  Be careful to fill all the voids around the root ball, packing the soil gently as you go.  Once you’ve filled the hole completely, water the new soil surrounding the tree.  Use a sprinkler style water head so you don’t make holes where you just back-filled.  Next place a good mulch around the base of the tree or shrub to a depth of 2-4 inches and out just beyond the root ball diameter.  Do not place the mulch directly against the trunk of the tree or shrub.  Stay back several inches.  The mulch will greatly improve moisture retention so that the root system has a chance to develop and not dry out.  During periods of no rain, your new tree or shrub should be just fine with a good watering twice a week.  This is a general rule and may be adjusted to fit your circumstances.  Some trees may need to be staked in open areas.  Stop out for additional tips for successful tree and shrub planting.

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