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Archive for January 2013

How to Grow Ajuga Plants

January 30th, 2013

Here are some easy tips on how to grow Ajuga plants: These perennial plants are easy to grow and maintain in a wide range of soils: sand, loam, or clay. Just make sure the soil is acid. Plant them in holes wide and deep enough for the root ball; space 8-15 in. apart.

Common Name(s): Bugleweed; Carpet Bugleajuga bungleweed ground cover

How to pronounce Ajuga: (ah-JEW-gah)

Description: Ajuga is in the mint family, so it grows and spreads very fast. It looks nice in rock gardens, along paths, or in pots. Ajuga plants reach 6-9 in. tall and 6-18 in. wide. Ajuga looks like a mat of glossy oval leaves with spiky flowers that bloom from spring to early summer. Leaves can be solid green or variegated. The small flowers can be blue, pink, or white. Can be grown from seed.

Propagation: By dividing roots in fall or early spring or from young runners taken from the mother plant.

Origins: Europe, Asia, and Africa

USDA Hardiness Zones: 3-9

Companion Plants: Hosta, Coral Bells

Fertilizer Needs: When planting, use 1 Tablesp/1 Gal of 16-12-10

Maintenance: Remove runners from Bugleweed plants as needed to keep them from taking over the yard or garden. To control rapid growth, either mow or cut back to the ground. About every 3 years thin out large crowded groups to avoid crown rot. If solid-color leaves show up on a variegated-leaf plant, remove them to stop the leaves from changing to an all green color.

Sun/Light Needs: Ajuga plants grow in a wide range of light: from full sun to full shade. Keep in mind with full sun you get smaller leaves and bigger flowers.

Water Needs: Weekly. Need to water well in first growing season, so Bugleweed plants put down strong roots.

Wildlife Value: These perennial plants attract hummingbirds and butterflies. Bugleweed plants also are deer-resistant.

Love Using Jobes Fertilizer Spikes

January 25th, 2013

Hi, Attached are photos of my garden from several past years. The one thing they all have in common is Jobe’s Fertilizer Spikes. I am very happy with the results and will continue to use them. Ray R.

GHS: Ray, we’re really glad you shared your photos with us.  Your raised garden beds are extremely attractive, and they look very well maintained.  The Jobe’s Fertilizer Spikes are clearly doing their job to make your vegetable plants lush and productive.  Jobe’s fertilizers are formulated for each different kind of plant (garden, landscape, and houseplants), and as you’ve discovered, they couldn’t be easier to use.  Their slow-release delivery system lets you fertilize once with no measuring–then forget about it until the next application time.  We congratulate you on your beautiful gardens and look forward to seeing what you grow in 2013!

Jobe's Fertilizer Spikes

Ray R. has shared photos of his gorgeous raised-bed garden.  He’s apparently learned a little about companion planting, as his onions look very happy next to his tomatoes.  His plants have had the benefit of Jobe’s Fertilizer Spikes, which clearly have produced plants heavy with fruits!

 Jobe's Garden Fertilizer

This photo shows just how lovely a garden can be with a little planning, a lot of love, and Jobe’s Fertilizer Spikes to help make plants lush, healthy and productive. Ray R. shared this photo of his handiwork to show how happy his tomatoes are.  He’s a fan of Jobe’s and it’s no wonder why.

Jobe's Spikes Work for All Vegetables

What a beautiful way to garden.  Besides being ornamental, these raised beds are practical in that they’re protected from many pests, and they are easy to maintain, with less bending over.  It doesn’t take very much effort at all to plan your plantings and have a garden this neat and pretty.  Ray R. used Jobe’s Fertilizer Spikes in these beds, and the results are visible:  Those are some healthy and happy vegetable plants!

Jobes_Fertilizer_For_Tomatoes

Those raised beds sure do make access to your plants a breeze.  And they look like works of art, too! The Jobe’s Fertilizer Spikes clearly helped make these plants thick with foliage and there are abundant tomatoes hidden behind all those leaves—especially on the plants at the far end.  Thanks for sharing, Ray R.

 

 

How to Grow Actaea Plants

January 20th, 2013

Here are some easy tips on how to grow Actaea plants: This native perennial plant likes average, medium moist soil. It grows best in full shade or brief morning sun. Actaea (ACK-tea-uh or ack-TEA-uh) needs to be kept cool and moist; it likes woods and stream banks.

Actaea Plant in Bloom

Common Name(s): Black Cohosh, Bugbane, Fairy Candles

Propagation: Two ways: root division (early spring or late fall) or by seed (collected in fall and planted right away). This is a slow-growing plant

Description: These upright perennial plants can reach 4 to 8 ft. tall and spread 2 to 4 ft. wide.  Flowery spikes are creamy white and fragrant; they bloom late summer to early fall. The stems of Black Cohosh plants are an attractive, deep green. Actaea is called Bugbane because the plant gives off a smell that chases away bugs.

Origin of Name: Algonquin (N. American Indian) word for “rough”; it refers to the stem.

USDA Hardiness Zones: 3-8

Companion Plants: Joe Pye Weed, Columbine

Fertilizer Needs: Actaea plants need organic soil, rich in compost. No other fertilizer needed.

Maintenance: Low, but in Zones 6-8, it is very important to keep Actaea plants shaded, mulched and watered. No serious insect or disease problems. If soil is not kept moist, leaves may scorch around the edges, and the plant may stop growing. Plants may need staking if very tall.

Herbal/Medicinal Uses:  In Native American medicine, used for snakebites and to keep biting bugs away. Today, used for women’s health.

Wildlife Value: Attracts the Spring Azure butterfly and many insects good for the garden.

Pre-Order Your 2013 Perennial Plants Now!

January 15th, 2013

Dianthus and Sedum and Echinacea…OH MY!

Upgrade Your Yard This Season

Perennials are the foundation for your decorative landscape. Once planted, your perennial plants will bloom for 3 to 5 years in the Zones where they are hardy; and then, although the original plants may eventually fade, your perennial flower beds will continue to regenerate for years, through reseeding, multiplication, or new growth.

Our Selection is Endless…

We have almost 300 varieties to choose from, such as our: Tuberosa Asclepias plant

Tuberosa Asclepias plant. This Butterfly Weed with its brilliant colors and sweet fragrance will attract the hummingbirds and butterflies in droves.

Scent First Coconut Surprise Dianthus plant. This Sweet William is all the sweeter for its stronger-than-average fragrance and showy double blossoms.

Pow Wow Wild Berry Echinacea plantPow Wow Wild Berry Echinacea plant. You can choose from more than 40 echinacea varieties, but this is one of our favorites and well worth a look.

Arizona Sun Gaillardia plant. The Blanket Flower got its alternate name from the fact it grew “like a blanket” across our nation’s prairies. This variety is aptly named, its blossoms radiating the brilliant colors of the sizzling Arizona sun.

Cherry Brandy Rudbeckia plant. This is the first- ever red Black-Eyed Susan hybrid that will re-sow, true-to-form, from seed. And its appearance is so very striking!Cherry Brandy Rudbeckia plant

Dragon’s Blood Sedum plant. You might know it as Stonecrop. This cultivar bears brilliant red blossoms, but the dragon’s-blood-red foliage in the fall has everyone talking!

So, grab a mug of coffee or tea and browse our perennial plant department. Then, take a walk in your yard and imagine the beauty our perennial plants will provide. Picture them growing alongside your favorite annuals. Imagine them coming back year after year, the foundation on which to build your seasonal palette. Plan with the future in mind. Paint your yard with your favorite colors in blossoms and foliage. Be bold; be imaginative.

How to Grow Agastache Plants

January 14th, 2013

Agastache plants blooming in the gardenHere are some easy tips on how to grow Agastache plants: This perennial plant likes a well-drained alkaline soil. It grows best in full sun. Planting in early fall gives the roots time to set up. Mulch with a loose layer of straw or leaf compost before hard frost to stop roots from heaving. Divide plants in fall or late winter to early spring, before spring growth starts.

Pronunciation: ah-gah-STOCK-ee

Origin of Name: From the Greek words for “spiky” and “a lot of”

Common Names: Hyssop, Mosquito Plant, Mexican Bee Balm

Propagation: Division or stem cuttings

Description: The Hyssop plant is a member of the mint family and is very easy to grow. It has a long bloom season: mid-summer to early fall. It has strong, upright stems that carry fragrant blooms that smell like licorice or bubblegum. The spiky flowers look like a bottlebrush. Hyssop plants grow from 2 to 5 ft. tall and spread from 2 to 3 ft. wide. Most types are heat and drought tolerant.

Fertilizer Needs: Use liquid fish emulsion twice a year, or in early spring apply slow-release pellets. This will help your Agastache plants last through the year. Do not apply fertilizer in the winter when plant is dormant.

USDA Hardiness Zones: 4-10

Maintenance: Pull off any broken-down stems, but leave the seed heads for the birds. Pruning back Agastache in fall weakens the plant. Cut the dead stems back in early spring to help with new growth.

Companion Plants: Butterfly Bush, Globe Thistle, Black-Eyed Susan

Herbal/Medicinal Uses: The dried flowers of the Agastache plant can be made into a tea.  Mixed with white horehound or licorice, the flowers of this perennial plant can be used to treat coughs. Crush the plant to release the natural anise smell that bugs hate.

Wildlife/Garden Value: The nectar of the Agastache plant attracts both hummingbirds and butterflies. Pick the flowers after the birds and butterflies are done with them to make nice dried arrangements.

Fresh Strawberries…Worth The Wait!

January 7th, 2013

Fresh picked strawberries in a green bowl Worth the wait…

 

Patience is a virtue…

 

Good things come to those who wait…

 

These mottos fit many circumstances, but they’re especially appropriate for the harvest from our Bare-Root Strawberry Plants.

Shipped in the spring, at the end of April, planting our bare-root strawberry plants is the easy part. Just choose a spot that receives at least six hours of sunlight each day and is within hose-reach of your water source; then watch our short video to see how easy it is to plant your own strawberry patch. You can also read our article with growing tips and fun facts.For the healthiest start, we suggest you use a water soluble or controlled-release fertilizer as recommended, usually once a month. It is also important to provide regular and consistent moisture for your strawberry plants if rain is not plentiful.

And then remember those oh-so-true clichés and wait for it…

It is the waiting for those first juicy berries that will be the hard part, though there is plenty to be said for watching your plants grow and mature. Throughout the first spring and White blossoms on a strawberry plantsummer your plants will be growing strong, healthy root systems underground, while putting on full, leafy tops and cheery white blossoms above ground. Exciting as these new leaves and flowers will be, the blossoms should be pinched off this first season, before the berries start to form. This step is vital for growing the strongest strawberry plants, ensuring a healthier root system and larger plants next spring.  Just consider it a teaching moment for your children or grandchildren (and maybe even a lesson in patience for an adult in your household). Don’t give in to temptation and let those berries form.

Wait for It…

As winter approaches and the leaves on your berry patch start to turn brown, add a few inches of straw, the go-to mulch material for strawberries, covering the plants completely. This will provide protection during the winter months, especially if you don’t live where the ground has at least a few inches of snow throughout most of the winter. Straw will insulate your plants, just as snow can, retaining moisture and keeping them from “heaving” out of the ground, possibly killing them. Then, next spring, as new growth appears, simply brush or rake the straw into the area between the plants, and you’ll have to water and weed less. Feed your plants at this time, as well. Most of our customers use Neptune’s Harvest or High-Yield.

Wait for It…

Late spring or early summer will bring those pretty white blossoms again. This is the time to use a fertilizer high in phosphorous, the result being more prolific blossoms with a more plentiful harvest of fruit.

Now…Go for it!

Now you can harvest! You’ll want to check your strawberry bed daily once fruit starts to ripen. Make sure to gently lift those leaves out of the way to get the berries underneath. You don’t want any of your very first strawberries to go to waste and the more diligent you are about picking them, the more your plants are likely to produce.

From here on out, you can maintain this strawberry bed for years. You’ll know when the harvest begins to decline that it is time to thin your berry patch in order to rejuvenate and perpetuate the growth. This usually happens every 3 to 5 years. You will be removing the oldest plants, making room for the younger plants to send out more runners and allowing more aeration to the root systems of the remaining plants. We’ve seen little child picking strawberries in a strawberry patchstrawberry beds that are decades old, as long as they are maintained; and a little maintenance goes a long, long way.

So, a year goes by pretty quickly. This year you may have to rely on the produce aisle or the local farmers’ market, but next year, and for many years to come, you’ll be harvesting strawberries from plants you bought.

How many should you plant? We’ve done the research and you can find the answer here.

And then,

Pre-order your bare root strawberry plants

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