November 11th, 2016

Hello Friends,

We have just come through a very hard election season. Some may be happy with the outcome, while others may be saddened.

No matter the feeling, let’s not forget those who, through their selfless dedication over these last 241 years, have preserved for us the freedoms we have today: our veterans!

Being a veteran myself, I can say that we aren’t looking for glory; however, on this one special day that has been set aside for recognition, let’s make sure we take every opportunity to personally thank those veterans with whom we may cross paths on this Veterans Day.

On this day, we also acknowledge those who have lost loved ones in the defense of our great country. We owe these Gold Star families a debt of gratitude that cannot be repaid. However, that should not stop us from doing all we can to keep their memories alive.A monument that honors Gold Star Families

With this goal in mind, we have teamed up with the HERSHEL “WOODY” WILLIAMS MEDAL OF HONOR FOUNDATION in their quest to erect monuments in all 50 states that will honor our Gold Star families and preserve the memories of our fallen. You can read more about their mission here.

One of the ways we are helping is by donating $5 to the HWWMOHF for every Gold Star perennial mum sold. Would you be willing to help us? If so, make your purchase here.

To my fellow veterans, Happy Veterans Day and THANKS for your service!

Semper Fidelis,

Joe Stutzman
Garden Harvest Supply

SunPatiens: Unstoppable Flower Power for Sun or Shade!

November 7th, 2016

mixed colors of sunpatines in a containerNot only are SunPatiens® the first impatiens that can grow in full sun or shade, they can’t be beat for easy care and non-stop color. Aside from regular watering, they are virtually maintenance free. Plant them, step back and enjoy the exceptional performance.

SunPatiens can be grown in baskets and containers, and as bedding plants in flower beds.

With their strong, durable root systems, SunPatiens will grow quickly and fill in fast. They also offer strong sturdy stems that can tolerate high heat and humidity, rain and adverse weather conditions. And these disease-resistant plants aren’t affected by downy mildew!

White sunpatiens growing in a hanging basketFor the best performance, plant your SunPatiens in a well-drained spot. If you have clay soil, amend it with peat or compost when transplanting. The location can receive full sun or as little as a few hours of sunlight. The variegated leaf varieties are great options for locations with heavier shade.

During the first few weeks following transplant, don’t allow the soil around the SunPatiens to dry out. If they happen to wilt, increase the amount of water you’re applying. It’s best to do the watering early in the day. If mulch is used, avoid mounding too much close to the base of the plants, as this could cause stem rot.

SunPatiens do not require much fertilizer. If a liquid fertilizer is used, only apply 1/3 of the recommended rate and don’t apply more than every 2-3 weeks. If a slow-release fertilizer is used in the soil, apply at half the rate. Too much fertilizer will result in less flower production and leaf-tip burn.

Sunpatiens growing a flower bed around a houseIn most cases, SunPatiens should not be cut back to control size, but if they get taller than desired by late summer, they can be cut back by taking off the top 1/3 of growth. New leaves and flowers will cover old blooms, so there is no need to remove old flowers or cut off older growth.

Now sit back and get ready to enjoy the unstoppable flower show these SunPatiens will put on for you!

A Streamlined and More Generous Garden Harvest Supply

October 20th, 2016

butterfly-on-echinacea-plantsFor many years we have not only been selling you plants, but everything that has to do with plants—from fertilizer to tools to fencing, right down to birdbaths and books.

Recently we did some thinking about our mission and vision, and reflected on what we like to do the most (and what we are best at.)

We came to the conclusion that the thing we like to do the most is grow and sell plants. Not surprisingly, that is also what we are best at. We have therefore decided to zero-in on both our strength and our passion, and focus our business on the growing and selling of plants.

We also realized that simply turning a profit is not enough for us: we want Garden Harvest Supply to make a difference in the world.

Although growing and selling plants is certainly a positive livelihood, we decided to take it a step further and form ties with organizations that are teaching people in need how to grow their own food. We will soon be revealing the details of this community service component of the newly streamlined and restructured GHS.

We’ve been featuring a lot of 50% off sales in order to clear out our non-plant inventory. These will continue until we are left with just plants. If you need organic seeds, growing supplies, high quality tools, books, or any other items in our inventory, stay tuned…because we will continue to offer exceptional discounts while supplies last.

And stay tuned for news about our upcoming charitable program. Not only will we be growing and shipping the very best potted plants, but together with our customers—you!—we will be making a difference in people’s lives through helping the needy to be self-sufficient by growing their own gardens.

We appreciate your business and look forward to continuing to serve you in the future.

Joe Stutzman and Everyone at GHS!

Vegetable Planting Guides for all 50 States

September 1st, 2016

Vegetable planting guides for all 50 statesGrowing your own vegetables isn’t hard. The first step is to determine the location; most started in areas that receive at least 8 hours of sunlight per day. Next you’ll want to make sure you have a handy source for water. Then comes the fun part, determining what vegetables you want to grow. Part of this process is knowing how much space they will need, how long they will be growing, and the best time of the year to get them started.

Depending on where you live, vegetables can be grown at different times. Some areas of the country only have one season, while others have multiple seasons. Knowing the proper planting time will help maximize your growing space and ensure a rewarding experience.

We have vegetable planting guides for all 50 states. To get started, click on the state you will be gardening in.

Alabama | Alaska | Arizona | Arkansas | California (Northern) | California (Southern) | Colorado | Connecticut | Delaware | Florida | Georgia | Hawaii | Idaho | Illinois | Indiana | Iowa | Kansas | Kentucky | Louisiana | Maine | Maryland | Massachusetts | Michigan | Minnesota | Mississippi | Missouri | Montana | Nebraska | Nevada | New Hampshire | New Jersey | New Mexico | New York | North Carolina | North Dakota | Ohio | Oklahoma | Oregon | Pennsylvania | Rhode Island | South Carolina | South Dakota | Tennessee | Texas | Utah | Vermont | Virginia | Washington | West Virginia | Wisconsin | Wyoming | District of Columbia

We Need Plant Suggestions for English Style Gardens

February 4th, 2016

English Cottage Style GardenMy husband and I are set to close on our first home in the Pensecola Florida area. Our house sits on a third of an acre, and for the first time ever we will have a back yard! We plan to build three large planter boxes and begin growing our own vegetables. We would like to purchase many plants to adorn the remainder of our backyard in an “English country” style. I was wondering if you have any suggestions for perennials that you feel would be suitable to our area. I cannot tell you how excited we are to get started! Having our own yard and garden has been a dream of ours for years! Thank you so much for your help! Lauren D

Answer: Lauren, congratulations on your new home! Your area is either Hardiness Zone 8b or 9a. Your planting timing for vegetables is going to be much earlier than many parts of the country. Your season almost ends for most cool-season vegetables about the time it begins in climates farther north. Your local extension office should be able to provide you with a planting guide for what to plant, and when.

Since our plants are grown in the Midwest, we have to maintain a shipping schedule that’s consistent with their growth and readiness to be transported to their new homes.  Also,  we ship all over the U.S., so we shoot for averages when we determine best shipping dates.  We work hard to ensure the healthiest plants available anywhere, and we hope the extra wait won’t deter you from entrusting us to furnish your young plants as you begin your landscape and garden projects.

As for the English country-style landscaping, there are several things to think about. While cottage gardens may look random, they are far from it.  First is the hardscape to think about, such as rocks, walls, buildings, pergolas, etc. Then you need to look at large plants as anchors, like your trees and any large shrubs. From there you can add in the filler plants, the perennials, vines, smaller blooming shrubs and annuals. The blooming periods are carefully staged so there is always something in bloom. You can add in your local palms, azaleas, and ferns as filler.

We have a large selection of perennials and shrubs on our website; however, many of the plants that are typical in the cottage gardens are not fond of the heat and long growing season of your area without a lot of protection. Northern full-sun conditions would be more like your partial shade. Some plants will not be happy with the soil structure of the Pensacola area. There are many plants that are considered annuals in cooler regions that would make great perennials for your location and would help you emulate the look and feel of a cottage garden–so be sure to take a look at our Annuals offerings. Plants like Bougainvillea, Colocasia, Mandevilla, and Coleus all would do great in your area and potentially grow as perennials.

As you peruse the large selection of plants we have available, make sure to check their Zone ranges and soil requirements, all listed under the details of each plant. And if a plant has a different soil requirement than your native soil, try growing it in a pot. Big colorful pots filled with small shrubs are a perfect accent in this type of a garden. A cottage garden is about flows of color and texture that make you want to move from garden space to garden space.

Check out our Perennials, Shrubs, Annuals, and even herbs, like lavender and rosemary. In your area, they make marvelous borders. If you have questions about a specific plant suited to your area, please let us know. It's helpful to also know your light situation, full sun or shade, what direction the location is facing and the relationship to the house. Feel free to send photos. These are important in helping to determine if a plant is right for that location.

Happy planning and creating your new dream gardens, Karen

Save Your Bird Feeders By Feeding The Squirrels

January 4th, 2016

This May Sound Corny

Squirrel dining on an ear of cornSquirrels are active critters, and they're fascinating to watch. Just like birds, squirrels stay warm and protected in nests they have built in hollow tree trunks or in the limbs and branches of tall trees. Sometimes, the elements destroy their nests, so they have to rebuild and they leave their old homes behind.

Squirrels bury food but they don't find it again from memory. They have a great sense of smell and find food buried by other animals. Squirrels love to chew, and they will chew on nearly anything within their access, to keep their teeth sharp. They also have extremely sharp toenails that can shred skin, so don't ever try to pick up a squirrel, even if he's friendly. Squirrels are wildlife and make terrible pets, but if you keep a supply of food available, they'll make your yard their regular dining spot.

During inclement weather, squirrels have a nice fur coat to keep them warm, but if their food sources are buried under blankets of snow or layers of ice, they can get pretty frustrated. Even the nuts and seeds they've stored for the winter can become inaccessible in heavy snows. So, in cold months, your birdfeeders are more appealing to squirrels than ever.

Squirrels love corn and they will often leave bird feeders alone (even the black oil sunflower seeds) when offered corn feed in one form or another. Our squirrel feeders are made to hold cob corn or corn kernels and can be elaborate and tricky to perch on, or simple.

Our most economical corn feeder, the Chain Squirrel Feeder, holds an ear of corn off the ground, suspended from a branch or a roof eave.  The chain feeder provides food and quite a bit of fun as the squirrels leap to the corncob and hang on for dear life as they munch.

If you prefer to make squirrels really work for their dinner, install our Squirrel Spinner or Squirrel-Go-Round. And for the most challenging of all, put up a Squngee bungee feeder. These feeders will provide the most entertainment for your money, delivering hours of giggles as you watch the squirrels perform acrobatics to earn their meals. No one said you had to make it easy for them. Feed the squirrels: laughter is good for your health!

Squirrels are extremely active and stay on the go all day, which means they need a constant food source. Primarily vegetarians, their diet consists fruits, buds, seeds, nuts, roots, pinecones, leaves, twigs and bark. Many types of squirrel feeders and squirrel food are available commercially, to keep squirrels happy and coming back to your yard for their dinners.

Bon Appetit!

Which type of onion should I plant?

October 13th, 2015


Thinking about growing onions but not sure which variety to choose?

There are three types of onions grown for bulbs. They are short-day, intermediate-day, and long-day onions.

The type gives us an idea on the amount of daylight needed for the onion to start producing its bulb.

Short-day varieties start producing their bulbs when they receive between 10 and 12 hours of daylight. Intermediate-day varieties need between 12 and 14 hours of daylight. And long-day varieties need between 14 and 16 hours of daylight to start growing their bulbs.

So how does one figure out the amount of daylight they receive?

We’ll make it simple!

We know our days are either getting longer or shorter, depending on what part of the year we are in. In the northern hemisphere the days start getting longer around the 21st of December. Each day thereafter receives more daylight until around June 21, which is the longest day of the year. Because the northern hemisphere is tilting towards the sun during the winter months, the furthest northern states actually receive more daylight than southern states.

Best states for growing short day onions

Because the states to the south receive the fewest hours of daylight during the growing season, they should plant short-day varieties. If they try growing a long-day instead, it would never produce a bulb because it won’t receive the necessary hours of daylight to “switch on” its bulb production.

Best states for growing long day onions

Because they receive the most daylight during the growing season, northern states should plant long-day varieties. If they try growing a short-day variety, it would receive too much daylight before its leaf growth had finished, resulting in a very small bulb.

Best states for growing intermediate day onions

The states in between should grow the intermediate-day varieties. Depending on which mid-states, some short- or long-day varieties might grow well, too.

For complete onion growing instructions, read; How to Grow the Most Flavorful Onions

How To Grow Cucumbers

September 21st, 2015

Growing cucumbers from a trellis nettingCucumbers are a low-maintenance, high-yielding, low-calorie, nutrient-rich and scrumptious vegetable. Widely popular with home gardeners, cucumbers are one of the easiest vegetables to grow, with an assortment of selections adaptable to any gardeners space limitations.

Cucumbers When to Plant

Cucumbers are a warm-weather crop that, once established, should produce well into the fall. When putting out transplants, wait one to two weeks after your last frost date; seeds can be sown directly into the garden on your last spring frost date. You can find your average last frost date here.

Cucumbers Where and What Variety to Grow

To successfully grow cucumbers, you should choose a spot that gets at least 8 hours of sunlight daily and is easily accessible for watering. Once you’ve found the ideal location, space and personal preference will be the next factors to take into consideration. There are lots of cucumber varieties on the market:

  • Dwarf Cucumber Plants such as our Bush Crop Cucumber Plant, are the perfect cucumbers for container gardens or for very small garden areas. This is also a popular choice for schoolyard gardens. Their growth is more upright than vining, and they do not require a lot of space.
  • Semi-Dwarf Cucumber Plants such as our Fanfare Cucumber Plant, are also adaptable to container growing and will only take up a bit more space in your garden than a dwarf variety. They grow a little taller than vigorous varieties, but with vines about half the length.
  • Vigorous Cucumber Plants sometimes referred to as vining cucumber plants, will require the most room in the garden. Some vigorous varieties grow on vines reaching up to 6 feet (or sometimes longer) in length. The fruits are most often 8 to 12 inches long and will grow best upon trellises. Our most popular vigorous variety is the Garden Sweet Burpless Cucumber Plant.

Cucumbers How to Fertilize and Water

Cucumbers will grow best with adequate nutrition. Cucumber plants should be fertilized, preferably with an organic fertilizer, when first transplanted, again about a week after blooming, and then every 3 to 4 weeks afterwards. Use a low nitrogen fertilizer in order to avoid leggy, leafy, beautiful, but potentially fruitless vines.

Cucumbers also require consistent watering; inconsistent or negligent watering can result in bitter fruit. Water thoroughly two to three times a week, depending upon the climatic conditions in your area. Container plantings should be monitored closely and never allowed to completely dry out. Bear in mind that watering around the roots, as opposed to on the leaves, will provide the most efficient hydration to your vegetable plants and will help to prevent foliar diseases, mildew and leaf scorch.

Harvesting cucumbers from the gardenCucumbers When to Harvest

When choosing a variety, be sure to know the estimated number of days to maturity. Remember, this is just a guideline; Mother Nature may have her own agenda. Climatic conditions, soil health, moisture and disease can greatly affect your cucumber harvest in terms of time and yield. And, since cucumbers produce throughout the entire season, it is virtually impossible to gauge the number of days any specific cucumber has been on the vine.

Cucumbers at their peak will more easily separate from the vine when you harvest. If you really have to aggressively tug or cut the vine, you may want to wait a day or two. Its a good idea to wear gloves when picking cukes, as their skins and stems are covered with prickly spines that can usually be removed easily by simply wiping with a glove or cloth. Make sure the skins are smooth before serving!

Delaying harvest until a cucumber starts to turn yellow can result in bitter fruit. Though your cucumber variety may generally produce 8- to 10-inch fruits, there are always exceptions, so don’t go by size, but rather by appearance. Pick cukes just as soon as they ripen to encourage the plants to keep producing fruit. Store them in the fridge for one to two weeks, or prepare vinegar-based cucumber salads that will keep for up to a week when refrigerated. Canned pickles keep for weeks or months. The skin contains valuable dietary fiber and nutrients, plus it adds a lot of crunch, so leave the skin intact when eating raw or using in recipes for the most dietary benefits.

Cucumbers Companion Plants

All plants do not grow well together. For instance, cucumbers should be planted well away from tomatoes, sage and other aromatic herbs, such as lavender, mint or lemon grass.

On the other hand, vegetables such as radishes, beets and dill are good choices for planting in close proximity to your cucumber plants. Not only do they benefit your cucumbers when it comes to utilizing and providing needed nutrients, many of them will also help deter the most common cucumber pests, such as aphids, cucumber beetles, spider mites and pickle worms. Dill, for instance, will attract lacewings, which in turn will decimate an aphid population in short order. Lacewings will also eat the eggs of the cucumber beetle.

Growing cucumbers with marigold flowersMany flowers, such as nasturtiums and marigolds, are an effective form of pest control, naturally reducing the need to utilize chemical pesticides in your vegetable garden while adding an attractive border or colorful accent. Experts recommend planting the most pungent marigold varieties, such as French or Mexican marigolds.

The healthiest and most pest-free gardens will grow in a naturally beneficial environment. To learn more, you can read our article on Natural Pest Control.

Got photos? We’d love to see them!

Why Are My Pepper Plant Leaves Turning Yellow?

September 15th, 2015

Pepper plant leaves that are diseasedI bought habanero plants at a local greenhouse and planted them around Memorial Day. They are not looking good. Their leaves are yellow with small holes throughout. There are brown spots around the edges of the leaves and many leaves are falling off. Recently I have been watering them more often because they appear to be burnt up. I’m not sure what to do or what is wrong. Any suggestions?  Jessica

Answer: Jessica, I am sorry you are experiencing problems with your peppers.

Yellowing leaves on peppers usually denotes a lack of nutrients, such as iron, calcium, sulphur, etc. It can also mean you have an excess of nitrogen, something that can happen with too much watering. It’s hard to tell since under-watering and over-watering generally present similar symptoms. Over-watering will be displayed by lower leaves being the first to turn yellow while the veins are either green or dark brown. Chlorinated water can also cause yellowing of the leaves.

The holes could be caused by small sucking insects, usually flea beetles or white fly on peppers. You can use an insecticidal soap or Neem Oil on your vegetables at the first sign of infestation. The beetles will only attack the leaves but a large infestation that defoliates the leaves will weaken the plant. If it’s white fly, you will be able to see the little white flies on the underneath side of the leaves. Many insects overwinter in brush surrounding your garden, so it’s best to keep your garden area clear of debris.

Other diseases, like bacterial leaf spot, can cause both the yellowing and brown spots on the leaves. There is no cure for this but it can be treated with a fungicide that is labeled for Leaf Spot, it’s best to apply the treatment at the first sign of the disease. The copper will not kill the fungus but it controls the spores from spreading.

Southern blight could also be a culprit. You will see a sudden wilting of the foliage, yellowing of the leaves, then browning of the stems. There can also be a white fungus mat that will appear around the base of the plant. With any fungal disease, be sure to completely destroy any affected plant matter, and throughly clean any tools that have been in contact with the affected plants with a bleach solution. If you have a fungal infestation, do not plant any other members of the food nightshade family (tomatoes, potatoes, peppers or eggplants) in the same area the following year, as the fungus can remain in the soil and affect these plants the following year.

You can find lots of images on the Internet to help you determine which problem is affecting your plants and the best treatment to proceed with.

The unusual weather has presented many new growing challenges for gardeners. Peppers and most garden plants do best in loose, well-draining soil with thorough watering. Controlling fungus problems means not overwatering, allowing the soil around the plants to dry before watering again, and watering at the soil level without splashing water on the leaves. Allowing water to stand on leaves or in the surrounding area can introduce fungus to your plants. Remove and discard the yellow leaves and do not let them stay on the soil below the plant. Mulch around the plant with straw or other loose material to help keep the soil evenly moist, but do not use something like hardwood mulch, that can dry and become hard, causing the water to run off and not down to the plant.

Apply a good balanced vegetable fertilizer at recommended times to ensure new growth and bloom development.

Good luck with your plants and have a wonderful harvest.


How to Grow American Pillar Arborvitae Plants

August 13th, 2015

Growing arborvitae treesHere are some easy tips on how to grow American Pillar Arborvitae plants: These evergreen shrubs do best in deeply worked, fertile, well-draining soil. Till 10 in. deep; add 1 part peat moss or compost to 4 parts soil (increases drainage). The planting hole should be twice as wide as the root ball. It is best to plant shrubs in the fall after they become dormant (around early November) or in the spring before new growth (about late March).

Pronunciation: are-burr-VEE-tie or are-burr-VY-tee

Description: These fast-growing (3-4 ft. a year) evergreen shrubs with their tall, narrow shape make a great natural privacy screen. They can grow 25-30 ft. tall and 3-4 ft. wide. They are long-lived, have strong root systems, and can stand up to wind and ice. The dark green branches are very dense. American Pillar Arborvitae shrubs can be transplanted, even at a height of 12 ft.

Propagation: By semi-hardwood cuttings or by seed

Origin: Native to North America

USDA Hardiness Zones: 3a-8b

Companion Plants: Place American Pillar Arborvitae shrubs 2 ft. apart to create a natural screen for privacy or to block out noise or visual pollution.

Fertilizer: Like most broadleaf evergreen shrubs, Arborvitae prefers a slightly acid soil, with a pH from 5.5 to 6.0. It is best to have soil tested before planting. If there is less than 5% organic matter in the soil, amend soil by adding peat moss or compost. Newly planted shrubs need a water-soluble starter fertilizer to boost root growth. Check with your nurseryman for product specifics.

Sun/Light Needs: Full sun is best, but will grow in part sun to some shade.

Maintenance: Very low. 2-4 in. of mulch will hold moisture in soil.

Display/Uses: Adds privacy to yard or garden; screens out unwanted views; blocks noise. American Pillar Arborvitae can be grown as a hedge that needs only minimal pruning.

Wildlife Value: Deer resistant

Diseases/Problems: These shrubs are hardy, and mostly disease and insect-proof.