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Archive for November 2012

How to Grow Alternanthera Plants

November 29th, 2012

How to grow Alternanthera PlantsHere are some helpful hints on how to grow Alternanthera plants.

Common Names: Calico Plant, Joseph’s Coat, Alligator Weed, Parrot Leaf, Joyweed

Description: A tropical and tender perennial, the Calico Plant is treated as an annual and grown for its brightly colored leaves. They come in a wide range of showy shades: red, green, pink, copper, purple, and yellow. The broad, oval leaves may also be marked with blotches of orange, red, or yellow and look similar to coleus. In late fall, check for white flowers, set on short stalks; they are small and hard to see. A compact, fast-growing annual plant, the Alternanthera (all-ter-NAN-ther-ah) has been a landscaper’s favorite for centuries. The small mounds and showy colors were used in English knot gardens and even inspired Victorian needlework designs. This exotic plant is also used as a medicinal in Africa, India, and Taiwan. There are nearly 200 different types of Joyweed growing all across the U.S. and around the world. In some places, it’s called an invasive weed.

USDA Hardiness Zones: Winter hardy in Zones 10-11.

Growth and Shape: Plant 4 to 9 in. apart for ground cover; can also be used to edge the lawn. Since Joseph’s Coat grows quickly, you’ll need to pinch off stems or trim with shears to keep the compact, mounded shape.

Maintenance: Alternanthera plants need a rich, organic soil that drains well and is kept moist. Full sun develops the best colors, although it can stand partial shade.

Fertilizer Needs: Liquid fertilizer every 2-3 weeks or granular once a month; granular needs water to activate it. Follow directions on container.

Propagation: From seed: start Alternanthera seeds indoors in late winter and transplant outdoors after last frost. Check seed packet for directions. Stem tip cuttings may be done in late summer. Order live Alternanthera plants for the more popular varieties if you choose not to bother with the seed or the cuttings.

Display Tips: For a tropical garden, start with some elephant ears, cannas, or caladiums to contrast with your alternanthera annual plants. If a cottage garden is more to your liking, try Black-eyed Susans, shasta daisies, purple coneflower, or blue salvia alongside your Joseph’s Coat. “Purple Knight” Alternanthera looks nice with Tidal Wave Petunia, New Gold Lantana, or the French Dwarf Marigold Bonanza. This tropical perennial also makes a striking accent plant grown in a container.

Shop Cyber Monday

November 26th, 2012

Avoid the Rush

Avoid the Crush

Shop With Us Online

Save 15% on Everything in Our Store

Growing Plants in a GreenhouseThere is a whole lot to be said about shopping from the comfort of your computer, maybe with a beverage or snack, browsing at your leisure and saving fuel, all while staying within your budget.

Say “NO” to Big Box Store Mania

Shop from Home

And Save 15% Site-Wide

Here at Garden Harvest Supply, we urge you to stay home and stay safe, opting instead for the most enjoyable shopping experience ever. Unlike the big box stores, we do one thing, and we do it really well: Garden Supplies. And when it comes to Home and Garden Supplies, we have exceptionally competitive pricing, a dedication to you, our valued customer, and “hands on” knowledge and experience.

We Do This ONLY Once a Year!

This Is the Time to Shop for Gifts and Stock Up on Supplies for Spring

Shop in our All You Can Eat department for Homemade Jam, Spreads and Gourmet Popcorn. These make great gifts, but they’re so good you’ll want to keep some for yourself.

Garden Caddy for sitting on while gardeningNow, during this site-wide sale, is the ideal time to stock up on Garden Tools and Organic Vegetable Seeds. Or really surprise that someone special with a cold frame or green house kit, the ultimate gift for the avid gardener. At 15% off, you will save over $150.00 on our 8-foot square green house kit, pay no sales tax and get FREE Shipping. Just imagine having healthy, affordable veggies and gorgeous flowers, year-round!

Look through our Backyard Décor department for just about everything you can imagine to decorate your yard, feed the birds, house the butterflies and make wonderful garden music with fountains and windchimes. These fantastic gifts last season after season and will be a permanent reminder of your thoughtfulness.

And don’t forget to protect your bushes and shrubs this winter with our reusable and invaluable plant covers. The weird weather patterns across the U.S. have made it almost impossible to predict what will happen where, so the best course of action is to be prepared, ensuring you won’t be taken by surprise by bitterly freezing weather or hurricane-force winds.

Copper dragonfly fountain for the backyard water displayThis Is the Time to Browse!

You may just find that one perfect gift for the

 impossible-to-buy-for gardener in your life.

Take your time. Shop alone or shop with family members. Then, just sit back and wait for your items to arrive on your doorstep. You’ve got to agree, Christmas shopping has never been easier. Pop some popcorn, make some hot chocolate, gather the shoppers around your computer and have some fun!

This sale ends at Midnight, December 2. Remember, we will not have a site-wide sale with such deep discounts until next year at this time. If you want to save big, now is the time to do it.

Just enter discount code CBMY12 at checkout to activate your

15% savings on every purchase.

We sincerely hope you had a safe and happy Thanksgiving.

We look forward to serving you today,

The Staff at Garden Harvest Supply

Garden Gifts for Her

November 20th, 2012

Watering Can Makes A Great Gift for HerAre you agonizing over what to get her for Christmas this year? Have you already run the gamut of gifts, from perfume to jewelry? Are you looking for that “something different” gift that will make her day?

Have We Got an Idea for You!

This year, show your love by thinking ahead to the time of year that makes her happiest. If she’s anything like the women on our staff, her step gets lighter and her smile brighter as spring brings an end to the winter doldrums, heralding her absolute favorite time of year: Gardening Season.

Does she get excited just thinking about the cut flowers she’ll have to fill her vases? Does she have a flair for what flower or shrub will look just right and where? Does she take her coffee out to the vegetable garden early each morning, relishing that quiet and oh-so-satisfying start to the day? You know she lives for spring and summer; indulge her whimsy and give her even more to look forward to.

Bird baths make a great gift for herOur Backyard Décor Department is filled with things she won’t necessarily buy for herself, though they may be things she secretly would love to have. Some  of these may be considered luxury items, like the garden plaques or windchimes, while others, such as the critter houses and feeders, are not only a “feel good” solution to an ever-growing problem, but will become an important, gratifying part of your backyard décor and a learning/teaching catalyst for the entire family. To make it easier for you to make her “secret” wishes come true, we are putting not only our Backyard Décor, but our very special Watering Cans, our Homemade Soaps, and our Flower Gardening Books on sale.

She is never too old to receive a gift from Santa, so put his name on the tag and hide the gift in a closet until you can sneak it under the tree on Christmas Eve. When you see the smile on her face and in her sparkling eyes, you will definitely understand why it is so much better to give than to receive.

Make Her Holidays Extra Special!

Garden plaques make great gifts for herHappy Holiday Shopping

From All of Us at Garden Harvest Supply

We look forward to hearing from you!

How to Grow Abutilon Plants

November 19th, 2012

Abutilon plants growing in a container

Here are some easy tips for how to grow your abutilon plants: Given good light and proper care, abutilon rewards its keeper with a steady show of lovely hibiscus-like flowers, available in a wide range of dazzling colors. Does best with temperature between 65 and 75 degrees. Abutilon plants need bright light.  Water thoroughly and then let plants dry until the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch before watering again. Feed monthy with an all purpose (20-20-20) liquid fertilizer. As frost approaches, bring abutilon indoors.  It can be overwintered inside, but when the air is very dry, mist every few days or set plants on a bed of damp pebbles to prevent problems with spider mites. In spring or summer, take 4-inch-long stem tip cuttings and put to root in damp seed-starting mix. Use rooting hormone powder, and transplant to any peaty potting soil after 4 to 6 weeks; set three rooted cuttings in a 6 in. container. In about a month, repot individual plants to 8 in. pots. Never add lime, since abutilon does best in acid soil.

Description: A mass of handsome drooping flowers (1 to 3 in. long) blooming nearly year-round makes the abutilon plant a favorite accent plant for indoor blooming. The Chinese bellflower, or Indian mallow, does well in the greenhouse or window box. This exotic tropical transplant comes in many different forms: handsome, erect, tree-like specimens; shrubby, herbaceous mounds; and long, trailing vines. The five-lobed leaves are usually edged or attractively mottled with white. The papery blossoms come in a wide range of bright colors, including vivid reds and yellows, pure white, striped, and many more in between. The flowering maple with solid green leaves is thought to be the strongest grower. Abutilon are most often grown indoors as colorful and lush houseplants, being treated like geraniums or fuchsias (placed outdoors in summer and brought indoors as the weather turns cold.)

Origin of Plant Name: In the18th century a Scottish botanist named Philip Miller changed the original Arabic name to its present form.

Propagation: Easily grown from seed. If started outdoors as annuals, abutilon may be lifted, cut back, and potted in the fall to bring indoors. This way it flowers during the winter, and may grow up to several feet.  It also grows from stem-tip cuttings taken anytime during active plant growth. Young plants should be staked and pinched back frequently to encourage the growth of side branches, or they become spindly.

USDA Hardiness Zones: 8-10

Growth and Shape:  Regularly pruned, abutilon plants keep a bushy shape of 18 in. Tied to sturdy stakes, upright plants can easily reach 3 ft. They tend to be leggy, so careful pruning (by 1/3 their size in spring) just before the vigorous flush of new growth keeps the flowering maple in check.

Maintenance: Repot young abutilon plants every 6 months or so to allow room for growing roots. After plants fill an 8-inch pot (usually when they are 3 yrs. old), start new plants from stem tip cuttings.

Attributes: A nearly year-round show of delicate papery blossoms on gently drooping stems makes abutilon a charming ornamental plant. Extensive hybridization has produced dozens of cultivars with a wide range of colors, including contrasting veining.  A single parent plant will reward the gardener with a generous supply of new plants.  Display Tips: Bush rose, petunia, lobelia, Japanese aralia, and licorice plant are all good companions to the flowering maple plant. In addition to being grown in pots or hanging baskets, abutilon plants can be trained to a tree-like shape by tying the main stem to a sturdy stake. Pinch off all branches that grow from the lowest 15 in. of stem.

Special thanks to Cathy from Words and Herbs for the beautiful abutilon photo.

Will This Keep My Plants Alive During The Winter?

November 15th, 2012

I have a metal frame left standing on my south deck which is 10′ X 10′. If I wrapped and covered this with thick plastic sheeting, would it keep my plants alive through the winter? Thank you, Cecile.

Answer: Well, this will help protect some plants during your winter season, but you will need to know the plants’ Hardiness Zone. Your location is Zone 8a. Typically, adding one layer of protection, like a heavy plastic sheeting or row cover fabric, will add one Zone in protection, so theoretically inside would be Zone 9, and you can add an additional cover or protection inside for an additional Zone. You begin to get a significantly diminished light source with the second layer, so be selective on what plants you are protecting. Make sure that the plastic and structure are securely fastened down, as this will be highly susceptible to high winds and could easily blow apart, exposing the plants to weather they are unaccustomed to.  A UL-approved heater for wet locations could also be added. Just make sure it’s in a properly grounded outlet. I’ve also used a remote thermometer so I can keep track of night temps in my temporary greenhouse, and you want to make sure that there is a way to vent it on sunny days, as the temps can climb rapidly.

Do some reading on greenhouses and cold frames to see how they are best secured to a structure. Also make sure to research the Zone of the plants you are trying to overwinter to see what they like. Some tropicals can be put into dormancy and overwintered in a basement or garage that stays above 45 degrees, much easier than worrying about them outside!

Good luck with your cold frame.

Karen

Garden Gifts for Him

November 13th, 2012

Garden Seeder for SaleWe know how hard it can be to find the perfect gift for that special guy in your life. If he loves his garden, you can never go wrong with a gift that will make his gardening more enjoyable or that will inspire him to try new things while making his favorite hobby easier. You want to let him know that you support and appreciate his gardening prowess, but finding that “just right” gardening gift in the middle of winter can be a challenge, if not almost impossible.

Let Us Help You Make Him Happy

You know that turning him loose in the gardening section of your local home improvement or discount store is like letting the kids run amok in the toy department. There is hardly a gardening tool or book he doesn’t want and you are trying to figure out how to stem the tide of new “toys” while being able to accomplish your own landscaping and gardening agenda, all without breaking the bank.

Christmastime is the ideal time to thrill him with garden gifts from Santa!

Wolf Garten Garden ToolsYou can buy a bunch of smaller items for stuffing his stocking, or how about using one of our Gather Upsto wrap up a selection of our larger items and books?

Just picture the look on his face when Santa brings him the ultimate WOLF-Garten Interlocking Tool System. You can buy him a handle and a couple of attachments now, and then buy him more attachments for his birthday, Father’s Day, Grandparent’s Day….Buying the WOLF-Garten system now means you’ll never run out of ideas for quality, functional and fun gifts for him.

The Best Garden Hoe

Happy Holiday Shopping,
From All of Us Here at Garden Harvest Supply

We look forward to hearing from you!

Time To Be Thankful

November 7th, 2012

All You Can Eat Thanksgiving MealThis is the time of year when we all take moments to reflect on what we are thankful for.

Here at Garden Harvest Supply, YOU, our valued customer, are high on our list.

Yes, we all have families and we have myriad things to be thankful for, but you are the reason we all have a job.  When we say our prayers at night and around the family dinner table, you are always included. We appreciate your business and our relationship with you.

As the holiday season fast approaches, our staff has discovered a number of time-saving ways to make the holidays much easier; ways to save time in the kitchen, making more time to just enjoy family and company. They would like to share them with you:

  • Our Canned Meats are a real time saver, being the ideal addition to one-pot, slow-cooked meals with no pre-cooking or browning required before adding them to your favorite recipe. You can use our canned meats to make any number of soups, stews, salads, hors d’oeuvres, sandwich fixin’s or even to add extra protein to quick meals for the kids, like Ramen noodles or Mac & Cheese.
  • Our Homemade Jams and Fruit Spreads are also a big hit. Our staff tells us their guests are always impressed by the homemade label and “canning” jar on the breakfast table. The adults don’t even mind a quick peanut butter and jelly sandwich made from these homemade recipes to fill the space between lunch and dinner. Mrs. Miller’s Homemade Jams & Jellies and Jake & Amos butter spreads include some sugar-free options, as well—always good to have on hand, but not so easy to find, for those with special dietary needs.
  • And no family movie night or get-together is complete without popcorn! Popcorn is a treat everyone loves, made in the microwave or popped the old-fashioned way. In fact, some of our staff has kept alive their old-time family tradition of popping the corn over the fire or on the stove, something most people under the age of 30 have not seen in their lifetime. Our popcorn poppers, along with a selection of popcorn and popcorn seasonings,make fun and original gifts.

Gourmet Popcorn For SaleThere you have it, how our staff members better manage their time, working to create a more stress-free holiday season. After all, whoever is doing the lion’s share of the cooking and cleaning should have the opportunity to just sit and chat, play a board game, put together a puzzle or simply cuddle a grandchild.  We know the importance of families and heartily believe that in these busy times, it is important to do what you can to make more time for those things that matter most.

My staff and I look forward to serving you. We wish you and yours a happy, healthy, memory-making holiday season.

Sincerely,

Joe Stutzman

And the staff at Garden Harvest Supply

Preparing Your Fall Garden For Spring

November 5th, 2012

Don’t Put Off What You Can Do Today…

…Because Otherwise You’ll Have to Do It in the Spring!

With the cooler temperatures and crisp, clear air, fall garden chores just don’t seem so much like chores. Just think of the satisfaction you’ll gain in knowing that come spring you’ll have a much easier time transitioning from winter as the weather starts to warm; you will be so happy you took the time to prepare now. Next spring’s yard work will be a breeze and next season’s gardens getting rid of garden debriswill look and perform better than last year’s. Doing a few fall tasks now will leave you more time later for enjoying other, more delightful pleasures, like planting new colorful annuals or building that gazebo you’ve been planning for years.

So, let’s make a list:

      1. Spruce up your flower and vegetable beds: Clean out all of the old, dead wood, leftover dead tomato plants, vines and weeds that are currently making your gardens, both veggie and flower, look anything but attractive. This is the time to cut back those asparagus ferns or other plants, shrubs and bushes that will benefit from a fall clipping. This also might be the ideal time to start that compost pile you’ve been meaning establish. We found this great article on composting in the winter, for anyone who already has a compost pile or wants to start one. One note: any diseased plants should be thrown away or burned; never add them to your compost pile.
      2. Pick up all the leaves and debris from your yard: Yeah, we know…this is everyone’s favorite job. NOT! But, all those leaves make great compost or mulch for those garden areas you have just cleaned out. And did you know that raking is a great form of exercise? It works just about every muscle in your body; and you are guaranteed to find a few muscles you haven’t worked in a while if raking is not part of your regular routine. If you are not into raking or are unable to, consider getting a lawn sweeper. Worth every single penny, these towable or pushable tools not only aid in the cleanup of yard debris in the spring, summer and fall, but they can even handle light snow removal.
      3. Test your garden soil and amend now:  In many situations, especially when it comes to adjusting the pH, it takes time for soil amendments to work; therefore, adding them now means your soil will be garden-ready come
        springtime and planting season. You don’t have to take your soil to the local extension office to have it tested.  Soil testers are relatively inexpensive, though priceless in terms of determining what your soil needs to grow the Garden Soil Test Kithealthiest and most beautiful plants and vegetables. Our selection of soil amendments is extensive. Be sure to read our three-part series (Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3) on soil and soil testing. We’ve tried to break it all down for you, in an easy-to-read and understand informational blog. If you still have questions, you are welcome to contact our Master Gardener.
      4. Add a thick layer of horse manure or other favorite amender: Horse manure, chicken manure and others will ensure rich, organic soil for next year’s gardens; however, using fresh manures can burn and damage tender seedlings. Instead, lay the manure in the fall, allowing it time to “age” and to soak into the soil throughout the winter. Laying a thick covering, about 1 inch, will act like mulch, slowing weed growth while allowing the nutrients to leach into the soil with the freeze and thaw of winter, or you can lightly work it into the soil at this time.  Also remember: when choosing manure, it is best to only use those manures from animals that have been fed on “green” stuff. Pigs, for example, eat dairy and meat products—not a good recipe for healthy soil.
      5. Straw Mulch for the GardenFinally…mulch! We cannot say this enough. We hear, year after year, how our customers finally decided to mulch and what a difference it made in terms of water use, weed control and overall garden health and productivity. Mulch is worth its weight in gold when it comes to the appearance of your garden beds, as well as the time and money it saves on weed control and water use. Straw works ideally, as do other commercially prepared mulches, though the colored mulches do not break down as well as natural mulches. Natural choices, such as wood chips, pine needles, straw and leaves will not only make your gardens look good, they will add rich organic material over time, enriching your soil, making it more amenable to water retention and natural aeration. Mulch well and mulch as often as needed for the most care-free garden beds. A note: This is the time to mulch your strawberry and garlic plants. If you live where snow cover will not adequately insulate your plants throughout the winter, 6 to 10 inches of straw will keep those plants from heaving out of the ground with the freezing temperatures.

And now that that’s all done…start planning for spring! Walk your yard, admire the work you’ve done, take your partner and kids along, take measurements and visualize what you’d like your garden beds to look like next year. Browse our site, thinking about colors, textures, height, moisture and sunlight requirements, and ultimately, what will make you and yours happiest when garden season is here again.

We wish you many happy fall days!

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