|My mom with her mother's day lilacs.|
My Garden Center Ramblings. Welcome all gardeners and plant geeks. I've been playing with plants and providing them to NJ & NY gardeners for over 40 years. (OK I started with them when I was five). Fourth generation owner of a Westfield NJ Garden Center. Recently discovered the passion of photography. I am currently President of Garden Centers of America (r)
|My mom with her mother's day lilacs.|
One of the most common questions that we get this time of year is "when is the last chance of frost?"
Since weathermen seem to have a hard enough time predicting yesterday's weather let alone tomorrow's this is a tricky question to answer.
We've had years where we haven't had a frost after the 10th of April. We've also had years where there has been a frost towards the end of May. This is generally the exception to the rule. Generally the chances of a frost after the first of May is fairly low. The trees have also leafed out by this time, and this actually offers protection to the plants that are under them.
Some plants have more tolerance to frost than others. The cool season annuals such as pansies, primrose and rannunculus can handle a frost with no problems, and can actually tolerate temperatures in the low 20's. Annuals such as impatiens are less tolerant of the cold weather, and can not take any frost.
The national weather service does have a probability chart that covers the Plainfield area.
|will fall below||90%||50%||10%|
Reeves Reed Arboretum, a set on Flickr.
With the dramatic cooling off of weather, the daffodils are still at their peak. If you haven't visited Reeves Reed Arboretum in Summit. Go! Over 40,000 daffodils in bloom. It's one of my must visit places in Spring.
|Fox Face Solanum mammosum|
There are certain instance were squishy isn’t fun, as in when its raining and you step in a puddle, but squishy is enormously fun when you are talking about GelGems.
Loved by the very young and older…my daughter has them decorating her common room area in college…these versatile, colorful, clinging shapes open up endless creative decorating opportunities. Halloween is no exception.
Here is the chance to move haunting ghosts, glow-in-the-dark skeletons or silly pumpkins all over the windows of your house. Visit the Williams Nursery gift shop or the hard cover greenhouse to see the current selection and unleash your inner artist.
Then get even more out of your GelGems experience by visiting these links:
- Send a GelGems eGreeting card.
- Create a virtual GelGems on the Internet window of your choosing, save it, edit it and/or send it to a friend
- Learn about a new, lighted GelGems that will be available at Williams in the spring.
GelGems are reusable and don’t require extensive cleanup after they are applied, like some other types of window decorations. If they get dirty you can wash them in warm water. New designs are available with each season.
Don’t apply them to wood or painted surfaces, plastic or fabric or they will leave a mark.
Did you just receive a Halloween party invite in the mail?
Want to standout from the crowd on Halloween?
Looking for the uncommon choice?
Visit the gift shop at Williams for a unique and easy solution to your Halloween costume dilemma.
Normally what happens in the lawn is "not my department." The seemingly endless diversity of flowers and shrubs with new introductions all the time are much more fascinating to me. But still always being curious when I notice something "horticulturally" unusual I decided to track down the why and the how. And so it was with the question, "Why is last year's beautifully re-sodded side lawn now a hotbed of crabgrass?"
The answer is that first of all the side lawn ended up being next to a construction site of sorts (actually more of a destruction site). Crabgrass seeds love open soil to take root in. The second part of the answer is this year's weather.
The summer presented the perfect conditions for extreme crabgrass growth. Crabgrass sprouts when the soil gets to between 50-60 degrees. But it was really the hot, dry July and August that set off later season spreads. Apparently my sod must of consisted entirely cool season grasses. The hot weather forced the grasses into dormancy and left more open areas for the crabgrass seeds to quickly sprout. So what to do now?
Some people talk of the home remedy using vinegar on lawn weeds but I would caution against this as store bought vinegar is not acidic enough and industrial vinegar is likely to damage the soil and kill beneficial insects and organisms in the soil.
Since children play in the lawn, I prefer a more organic approach. So I was pleased to discover that Williams' carries a line of both Dr. Earth and Jonathan Green organic lawn products, including Jonathan Green's Crabgrass Preventer Plus Green-Up Tm.
_______(Print & Clip Here)_______________
Right now the focus should be on preventing the crabgrass from going to seed. Mowing short with a grass collection device on the mower is recommended if the seeds are not too evident. Clippings should go in the trash and certainly not back on the lawn. If the seeds are already abundant the next step is to pull the crabgrass up. Not a particularly pleasant task but a drastic situation calls for drastic measures.
Then reseed to help give the crabgrass seeds less room to flourish in the spring. Look for grass seed mixtures that offer a combination of grasses, including rye grass, as these will stand up better to hot, harsh weather conditions. A soil test, either through a kit or by contacting the local Rutgers Cooperative Extension Office (in Union County) will help determine what our soil's true nutritional needs are. Mulch the grass seeds.
In the spring around the time the forsythia bloom, apply Jonathan Green's Crabgrass Preventer plus Green-Up to suppress the remaining crabgrass seed growth. It won't hurt to get a bag now so that you have it on hand. While Jonathan Green's can be applied later than other types, timing is really critical in catching the seeds before warm weather causes them to germinate. Which is probably another reason why our crabgrass is so bad, the critical window as missed this last spring because we did not have any on hand at the right time.
________Sincerely, Your Loving Wife_____________________
Hey I think this is a great program...One that we have also dedicated our time to support.
Trees for Troops is in the running for a $250k grant from the Pepsi Refresh Everything project. As a big supporter of Trees for Troops, would you encourage your visitors to vote for us? Details at: http://www.treesfortroops.org/ dirct link to vote and more at: www.refresheverything.com/
Just a quick note. I'm at the Downtown 5k race and Pizza extravaganza with a booth promoting the Westfield in Bloom garden and flower competition.
I'm also handing out coupons for 30% off any one item at Williams. Stop in and say hi! And tell me if you like all the flowers around town.
I'm at the Ofa show in Columbus Ohio looking at the new plant varieties for 2011.
I just love this Coreopsis Big Bang(r) "Cosmic Eye"
Great contrasting claret-colored tipped in gold flowers that will take our hot Nj summers.
Grows 12-15" tall in full sun.
We sometimes forget how important trees are to our everyday. I've written about the importance of trees before. Today I'm writing to thank the people that have planted them. This year for Arbor day I set aside 50 5-6' trees to give out to anyone who wanted one for no charge. I even thought that I may have a hard time giving out these fifty trees. I was happily surprised that we had 50 people come in on arbor morning, and in an hour's time all of the trees had happy homes.
I had created a little pledge sheet that the family taking the tree had to sign, that they would take care of their tree, and they also promised to share a picture of their tree in their new home.
Shown on the right are the O'Keefe's of Westfield. Mary O'Keefe send me a note that the tree stewards have planted and watered it faithfully. Thanks!
Thanks to all of the other tree stewards for sending in their pictures. (If you haven't sent your pic there is still time.) I am compiling them all together.
I just love this mandevilla stars and stripes. A new mandevilla that I had first seen last year, that I've been counting the days for us to get them. Dark red blooms with bright white lines. These are in limited supply for this year. They have tons of buds and ready to go.
For those that haven't seen it, this is my current article in the Gardener News:
When I got my iphone® three years ago, it transformed the way that I do business. I don’t have to travel with a heavy computer anymore. I have easy internet access at my fingertips. I can update my blog from my phone. I can see what my friends have posted on Facebook. It’s like having a little computer in the palm of your hands. One of the best features of the phone is that third party vendors can create applications or apps that run on the phone.
There are thousands of apps now available for the iphone®, but until recently there has been very few garden applications. In early December 10-20 media released a fantastic iphone® application called the Garden Pilot™. Garden Pilot™ is a handheld garden guide to plants, vegetables, trees and shrubs. Its like having an entire gardening encyclopedia in your phone. It has over 14,000 plants in its library. These pictures are not stored in the phone but are accessed from the database that 10-20 media has spent years compiling. (an internet connection is required) There are a several powerful search capabilities. Touch the seach icon on the bottom of the screen and you can search by a botanic name or common name. Results are instantly brought up in list form. Touch one of the choices and a full color picture fills the screen. Want more info? There is a little picture of a plant tag on the top right of the screen. Touch the tag, and the picture flips over revealing information such as growing height, bloom season, uses and zone hardiness.
You can also search by the browse button. Tap browse, and you can search 14 plant categories including annuals, perennials, roses and aquatics. Hidden in this feature is a feature where you can then filter the items. Tap the button on the top right (says 1 of x) to open the filter screen. Then you can filter by options such as color, light requirement, water requirement, etc. You can even filter plants that were just released in 2010, or 2009. A perfect way to start planning your garden.
If you were traveling and wanted to actually buy a searched plant, you could touch the find it button on the top corner, and the iphone’s® GPS finds stores that are local to you. Tap the phone number and you can ask if it is in stock. Tap the map button and get directions to the store.
Another cool feature available on GardenPilot™ version 1.0 is the Joe section. It’s great when you’re sitting at Starbucks sipping a coffee and want to read up on one of Joes gardening tips. Joe Lamp'l is currently the host of GardenSMART on PBS. Joe has provided GardenPilot™ with timely articles to make you a better gardener. Joe is a frequent guest expert on shows such as The Today Show, Good Morning America and The Victory Garden. There are currently articles in twelve different categories. Categories include eco-friendly ideas, to flower gardening, to insects and pests including deer, to roses, to vegetable gardening.
There are a few minor things that I don’t like about the program, but this is only version 1.0. I would have had the search enabled where you didn’t have to type in the complete name, just a few characters. This option is available but hidden under filters. This would help spelling impaired people like myself have more success. It would also be nice if you could filter by more than one color at a time. I would also like to see support added where you could zoom into a picture like you can with other iphone pictures. I also noticed that sometimes images render on the screen with the wrong aspect ratio making them look a bit stretched out. Again a minor problem.
Iphone® application prices are always subject to change, but when I wrote this article the cost of the application was only $2.99. That’s less money than a single garden magazine. You’ll notice that your thumb will get greener with every use. Go direct to the apple store by clicking the link below.
The overlook at Mindowaskin Park is one of my favorite views in Westfield. Back in May I had planted the urns with water wise plants such as agaves, sedum, and aloes. These plants held up so much better than expected that I didn't replace them with mums like I usually do. The amazing thing was these plants didn't have to be watered once the entire Summer and Fall.
After a few hard freezes the large agave finally started to show some signs of unhappiness, so I decided it was time to replace it with greens. In the center I used these really cool spruce tips. It took me quite a while to locate them, but it gives a really strong vertical element in the container. (We do have them for sale here at thee nursery. They are around $5 each. I added curly willow, red pine, fraser fir, magnolia, holly and a red bow to finish it off.
This is a repost of the e-news that I sent out last night:
After all these years in the nursery business, I should expect the weather to throw us a few curves. Saturday was just one of those unpleasant days. It definitely wasn't one of those nice days to bring the family out. Because of the poor Saturday weather, our response to Trees for Troops was reduced by about 50% compared to last year. I have gotten in touch with our contact at Federal Express, and I've gotten our Trees for Troops pick-up delayed until Tuesday Morning. So there is still time to help out our troops.
|Help Support Trees for Troops. Choose an option from below and click Buy Now.|
(If the button doesn't work click here to be taken to the form on my blog)
|Message to Include with Tree|