April showers bring May flowers but first, the seeds must be planted! Now is the best time to plant those colorful flowers in your garden so you can enjoy them all Spring long. Did you know that April is National Lawn Care Month? It is just a few short days away! That means it is the right time to prep your lawn and get ready for the beautiful buds that will flower in the next weeks.
The next few weeks are ideal for planting your spring garden because by the time the temperature rises and you’re ready to sit on the patio, you’ll have plenty of colorful flowers to look at. The rain that is associated with the month of April will help your seedlings, flower bulbs, and potted plants thrive. On the bright side, you won’t have to get out your watering can as often!
Some flowers do better than others at this time because of the slight chill that is still in the air in the Northeast, as those of you local to Newtown Square know well. Below are a few examples of some of the best flowers to get started with.
Pansies are a great flower to get in the ground this time of year. The flowers come in an array of colors and sizes so you can find the ones that best suit your gardening needs. Not only do they look great, but they enjoy the cooler nighttime temperatures and can not only survive, but thrive during cooler nights. These flowers are much tougher than their name implies.
Like pansies, snapdragons can withstand a light chill. Their intensely saturated colors stand out in your garden and, since the flowers start blooming at the bottom of the stalk and work their way up, they have a long period of bloom. Also like pansies, they come in a variety of colors, such as blue, purple, yellow, peach, bronze, and more. Snapdragons do best when planted early as the cool weather triggers blooming so the early start can actually cause these plants to last longer.
A few simple tools to use when planting would be gardening gloves, a good hose, and a rake. If you are new to gardening then check out this blog post for guidance. As the warm weather approaches, we would much better be in the garden than making trips back and forth to the gardening center, so make sure you have everything you need!
When it comes to planting your colorful flowers, the best time to start is now. Spruce up your lawn by watering it and raking it to get rid of leaves and debris. As previously mentioned, your garden should be prepped and mulched in advance. For help picking out the best mulch, check out most recent blog post. The next stop is your local garden center to pick out the flowers you want to see in your lawn all springtime long. If you have any questions or need help, feel free to contact us at YouBuyWePlant, we are always happy to help.
Mulch is vital for creating a garden that looks presentable. The benefits of applying mulch to your garden are that it reduces evaporation, stops weeds from germinating (which any gardener knows is a major perk!) and gives your garden that attractive, finished look. Not to mention, mulch is inexpensive and easy enough to apply. In addition to it being an inexpensive purchase, mulch can save you on your water bill by reducing the need to leave the sprinklers running to apply the required level of water to keep your plants alive, especially during the dry summer months. Plus, it protects the plant roots from extreme temperatures and sudden fluctuations which can affect a plant’s growth and longevity.
There are several different types of mulch, and they fall in separate price points and have different aesthetics. So, depending on what you’re using it for, you might opt for a different type of mulch. Below are a few types to get you started:
Autumn and Spring offer us for free, and a constantly available mulch source, which can last up to one year. It is recommended to chop the leaves prior to using them in order to prevent matting, which prevents water from reaching the roots of the plants. This is the “organic” chemical free approach to gardening. However, this informal look can cause some gardeners to opt for a more attractive mulch.
The benefit to using this type of mulch is that, since this mulch is finely shredded with less wood chunks, it breaks down slowly over time and actually nourishes your soil. It works well on slopes and areas that are prone to flooding. This mulch is triple shredded.
This type of mulch is widely available and can last from one to three years. It’s natural look tends to blend in and looks great in woodland settings. This mulch is doubled shredded, meaning there are some wood chunks that take longer to break down.
Brown, Red, & Black Dyed Mulch
This type of mulch is usually made from recycled wood waste and dyed with coloring that is not harmful to plants, animals, or the environment. The result is a sleek-looking mulch that can match your home's aesthetics. However, it is important to note that colored mulch does not breakdown into your soil as well as undyed mulch. In addition, colored mulch has the tenancy for the color to fade during the growing season. Typically, dyed mulch is moderately priced and, a benefit of it not breaking down is that it lasts longer.
Right Dress Licorice Root
This is a high-quality mulch product that is resistant to decomposition and is sterilized to be free of weed seeds and insect larvae. Not only that, but it can be applied year-round.
Before applying the mulch you have to prep the garden beds by removing any existing weeds. Some people choose to lay landscape fabric in the gardens beds before mulching, although we do not suggest doing this. As the mulch breaks down on top of the landscape fabric, it turns to soil, hence the perfect conditions for weed seedlings to grow on top of the landscape fabric. It is suggested prior to mulching to apply a pre-emergence weed control to hinder weed seed germination in your newly mulched beds. One of the best known pre-emergence weed control products is Preen. Should you prefer the organic gardening approach there are many organic pre-emergence weed control products made from Corn Gluten available at your local garden center. The best way to move your mulch to your desired location is, of course, a wheel barrow.
When applying the mulch, you want to use an even layer of about two to four inches in order to retain water and prevent weed growth. A mulching fork is a great tool for this. When applying the mulch in close proximity to a shrub, be sure to apply a thin layer of mulch near the base of the shrub. By mulching heavy over the shrubs root mass, there is the possibility of suffocating the roots plus water will not reach the roots during natural rainfall. Every couple of years, you will need to renew organic mulch, which is as simple as spreading the new mulch over the old and you’re good to go.
Both fruit trees and ornamental trees can require pruning and, as with anything in your garden or landscape, you want to do it correctly to ensure proper growth. Just because we are in the height of winter and the ground may be covered in snow, does not mean that all garden activities stop. Although the good news is it does mean less weeding!
During the winter months, the best time to prune is between total leaf fall and the breaking open of the first spring buds. This a the perfect time for maximum clean out and thinning. Luckily, there are less bugs around, although you will have to bundle up. Another thing to be aware of this time of year is excessive sap. However, this “bleeding” from trees like maple, walnut, and birch is not harmful to them and will stop when the tree leafs out. Some tools you will need will be a pole saw and pruner, pruning shears, lopper pruners, ladder and step ladders, and garden gloves.
The pruning of ornamental trees is done in order to enhance the natural branching patterns, to enable you to see the trunk, and reduce density of the tree. Some types of trees require very little, if any, pruning. While others, such as dogwood, cherry, and magnolia trees require more. The trickiest part of pruning, it seems, is knowing where to prune. A major rookie mistake is over-pruning.
The first major step is first clean out. This is done by removing broken, diseased, and crossing branches. Next, selectively thin your branches which will open the tree up to light and circulation. Do not strip the tree clean but try to keep the interior transparent. Finally you can shape the branches by opening up views to the trunks and branches and lightly thinning.
Pruning your fruit trees are different than your ornamental trees because where we use ornamental trees specifically for outdoor decor, fruit trees provide us with (of course) with fruit. It seems obvious but that is something we must keep in mind while making any cuts in the tree. The goal is to create places for new growth.
First you need to remove any diseased or broken branches, as well as any branches that are bending beyond a 90 degree angle. You want a balance of upright branches and horizontal branches in order for your tree to remain fruitful in future years. New growth will appear where you make the cut and within up to eight inches of the cut. The more buds that are cut off the more healthy the new shoots will be. As with most produce, having the proper amount of sunshine is key to healthy growth. Sun exposed areas of the branch will remain fruitful and produce the largest fruit.
When it comes to pruning trees, we can work with nature to ensure they reach their full potential. Work with unique formations on your trees and prune to showcase them when possible. Utilize sunlight to get full growth with fruit trees. A good tip for both types of trees is to work inside out, and bottom to top. Check out You Buy We Plant’s winter projects on our Instagram and please reach out with any questions.
There’s nothing more exciting than getting into the garden and smelling that fresh air! One thing that can stop you is unnecessary trips to the nursery or garden store. It is important to save yourself a trip so you can enjoy your day off. Before you grab your keys, it is important to check your accessories for any wear and tear from the prior season will help to avoid the stress of an unnecessary trip.
The items on this list should already be in your garden care kit, so if you don’t have them, you’ll definitely need them. If you do already own these items, look them over and see if anything needs repairing or replacing. Some items you should take a look at are below.
You usually need to replace your gloves every year depending on the amount of gardening you do. It is important to wear gloves while gardening in order to protect your hands. Not only do gloves protect your hands from weeds, but they also protect your from the cold, which if you do any gardening during the
winter months is a big plus. Gloves protect your hands from cuts, nail breakage, and even soil-borne and bacterial infections which can be caused from animal waste. Invest in a good pair of gloves. Our recommendation for the best brand to buy would be Bamboo Gloves. Check out our favorite gloves here.
Check your rakes to be sure the tines are not broken or flimsy. Tines are the “teeth” at the bottom of the rake which allows you to either smooth soil or collect leaves. When these break off, it can be frustrating trying to do of the tasks you need the rake with in the first place. If this is the case, you may need to replace your rake if you notice there are several missing tines or they are bent backwards. This is vital as raking the lawn allows it to thrive, by getting it sun and air. Our recommendation for the best to invest in would be the Ames True Temper rakes, with their wide selection for you to choose from. Check them out here.
Wheelbarrows should have a full tire and be cleaned with WD-40 to remove of excess soil and rust. There are ways to properly care for your wheelbarrow such as cleaning the handles, storing out of the way of rain, and greasing the axle so that it doesn’t rust. If you are going to be investing into a new one there are many types to choose from. Single or double wheeled, steel or plastic, and different holding capacities for what you may carry.
Singled wheeled are the classic, it's easy to dump and not difficult to navigate. Single wheels do require more upper body strength than a two wheeled one, however. Another difference is that the two wheels are not as easy to maneuver and inconvenient if on a sloped surface. Steel wheelbarrows are long lasting, even if rusted they can still perform their proper function and they do well in the cold. One thing to consider is that steel is heavy. On the other hand, plastic wheelbarrows are much lighter as though they won’t last as long. When it comes to the holding capacities, that will vary on the project you need it for. A selection of wheelbarrows that we’d recommend can be found here.
Be sure your hoses do not have any cracking or holes from the weather throughout the winter and from grass cutters not paying much attention to them. Treating your hoses properly can certainly lengthen its life which can be done by putting it away and keeping it away from the lawn mower. We recommend buying a reliable hose that is suitable for all seasons and built to be more durable, such as, Flexzilla Garden Hose.
These items are must-have for any avid gardener. In addition to these, we have to recommend this cool new product. This is the “Bulb Bopper” which is very convenient. Essentially it is a stainless steel bulb auger cylinder attachment which can be attached to to any standard power drill. The Bulb Bopper creates a 2" diameter planting holes up to 9" deep and does the work of planting your bulbs for you.
With the items listed above , you are sure to be ready for gardening. The next step is getting the plants that you need. Deciding which plants will look best and flourish during the right season can be tough. Contact You Buy We Plant, we have over 40 years experience doing exactly that. Feel free to call with any questions.
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The winter months can feel bleak as we long for the sunny days of summer and beautiful days of spring. However, just because you won’t be outside sweating in the garden and listening to the birds chirp doesn’t mean you can’t work on your garden while it snows!
There are many advantages of having plants indoors during the winter. Plants keep the air clean, consume carbon dioxide and creating more oxygen. Having a plant in your bedroom will refresh the air while you sleep. Not to mention, having plants indoors have been known to reduce stress, improve health, and sharpen focus. There have even been studies which proved that hospital patients with plants in their bedrooms have speedier recoveries. That sounds like a sure fire way to beat the winter blues.
While planning for which plants to select for inside, you need to keep a few things in mind. Each plant is different and calls for a different amount of sunlight, temperature, and some have different watering requirements. Make sure you’re keeping this in mind as you pick the plants and place them around your home. Place your plants away from windows and doors to avoid the drafts coming in that could be detrimental to your plant’s health. You also should keep them away from any intense heat sources as well. The days are shorter in the winter and the suns comes in at a lower angle so be weary of plant placement to ensure that they are away from the stove and fireplace but also are getting light.
Temperatures inside of your home should stay at about 60-70 degrees F. When purchasing your plants be sure that the container provides adequate drainage holes. Smaller pots with adequate drainage holes could be inserted into ceramic containers or pots that do not have drainage holes. Plants, by nature, are meant to spread out and grow into the ground. During winter months they will be inside in pots so therefore you will need to be careful so that they do not become root bound. A root bound plant is literally a plant whose roots are “bound” by some kind of barrier. Eventually, the leaves will wilt, and then fall off. It will stop producing new leaves and eventually the plant will dry up.
In order to prevent this, you will need to buy new containers that are about 1.5 larger than the temporary pots that the plants came in originally to allow the plant to grow so as not to become root bound in the container. Soil is a major ingredient while planning for your plantings, you need to be sure to do your research to see if your plants need to be in regular potting soil or if they need to be in special blended potting soil.
When the plant looks crowded or you see that the roots are extending up to the soil level or through drainage holes you need to re-pot it. When transplanting to another container you need to be sure the container is the same depth as the last pot so the soil can dry out between each watering. If there is too much new soil under the existing roots, there is the possibility that the soil can become waterlogged thereby causing your plant to drown in it’s new pot.
Be sure to check your plant container soil every day to be sure it is not dry or powdery, if so be sure to water enough. When watering the container, apply enough water until you see water in the saucer under the container. That way you know you have watered completely.
Check out what You Buy We Plant is up to this winter by checking out our instagram and be sure to contact us with any questions.
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