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Must-have Garden Tools, On Sale Now!

November 12th, 2013

Our First-Ever 10-Day Sale!

Must-Have, Can't-Do-Without Very Best Garden Tools

Having the right tool for the job at hand, especially for those unexpected jobs

garden_cultivator_earthway-1Will Save You Time

          Will Make Your Job Easier, and

                     Right Now – Will Save You Money!

 

EVERY Garden Tool and Watering Can

We Have in Stock is

15% OFF for the Next 10 Days!

 

You may never know you need these things until the unexpected occurs,

(or until this email pointed out how you couldn't live without it!)

such as:

 

Garden_Seeder_Earthway-1The strawberry bed that wasn't in your futureuntil now. Save 15% on our Original Pyramid Space Saver Garden with Built-In Sprinkler. It has everything you need to build a compact, raised bed, except the soil. We even have an article with all the info you need to take the guess-work out of putting it together.

The larger-than-you-planned vegetable garden or flower bed. Save 15% on our EarthWay Precision Garden Seeder and on any of the additional seed plates or accessories.

The poor and compacted soil right where you want to plant your garden. Save 15% on all of the items to help you turn that spot into veggie or flower heaven. Save on our Rapitest® Electronic 4-Way Analyzer, which will tell you what you need to do to improve the soil and can even instantly determine the pH, moisture and sunlight in any given spot. Save 15% on our Rogue Heavy Duty Garden Hoe, to easily start the process of breaking up that hard soil and then to help with the cultivating and weeding between rows as your garden grows. And Save 15% on our EarthWay High Wheel Cultivator with Wooden Handle. This lightweight, Kentucky-style cultivator has 3 included tool attachments and a 5-year Manufacturer's Warranty, and it's Made in the U.S.A.

pyramid_garden_earthway-1The unexpected colony of aphids chowing down on your rose or tomato plants. Save 15% on our Dustin-Mizer Garden Duster. It even has a deflector for getting those finely ground and hard-to-apply powders right where you need them, like under leaves or under the belly of your livestock. This is the ideal applicator for Diatomaceous Earth.

SAVE 15% ON ALL GARDEN TOOLS & WATERING CANS

SAVE 15% ON GIFT CERTIFICATES

SAVE 15% ON EVERY GARDEN TOOL

YOU NEED NOW

(and on those things you may need later.)

 

YOU HAVE 10 DAYS TO SAVE BIG!

 

Take your time, browse,

and think of what you could accomplish

with our very best garden tools.

Use Discount Code GAR13

thru November 23

 

Why Apply Garden Gypsum Now?

November 11th, 2013

Espoma_Garden_GypsumIf you have heavy clay soil, want to improve drainage or add calcium and sulfur to your soil and your soil is still workable, now might be the ideal time to apply Garden Gypsum. Garden gypsum will fertilize your plants, especially your acid-loving plants, without changing the pH, but it DOES require about 3 years for the soil composition to change as a result of its application. If applying over a large area, you might want to use a garden fertilizer spreader of some kind.

Garden Gypsum is a fantastic, all-around fertilizer and soil amendment with multiple uses:

  • Many farmers use gypsum to help improve the till-ability of their soil. Clay soil can easily become compacted, as does soil that does not retain water well or is overly dry, the clumps interfering with tilling and contributing to the soil not being able to retain water. Seeds do not form the healthy roots necessary for optimal growth when the soil is not loose (aerated) and the pockets of moisture in compacted soil can result in seed or root rot. The ideal soil is loose and easily tillable; application of garden gypsum over a period of about 3 years will change the entire composition of your garden soil.
  • Gypsum makes other soil amendments, such as lime or fertilizers, work more efficiently. Lime is used to elevate the pH of your soil and is recommended for application in the early spring or in the fall/winter, while gypsum can be applied at any time. Improving the composition of the soil prior to adding lime or fertilizers helps to ensure your plants are able to use these amendments more effectively, rather than their draining away and going to waste.
  • Better soil composition results in the earthworms coming back to stay! Earthworms not only aerate the soil, but their castings (worm poop) is an exceptional plant food and soil amendment. You can actually buy Earthworm Castings to mix with your soil or top-dress while you are using gypsum to improve your soil composition. Earthworm castings don't smell, so your indoor and/or potted plants can benefit from earthworm activity too.
  • Gypsum will increase crop yields (ask any farmer), which means it will do the same in your vegetable garden! The calcium is necessary for plant cell health, while the sulfur works with amino acids within the plant that help to manufacture plant proteins. It's all good!

You can add gypsum as you are preparing your garden bed for the following season, or you can add it into established beds, mixing it into the top few inches being careful of the roots beneath. Gypsum will not affect the pH of your soil, but over time, even in established beds, will improve the soil your plants are growing in. Use it in established flower beds, unless you're growing flowers that love the soil they are already in. For example, coneflowers and black-eyed Susans grow well in clay soils. However, using garden gypsum to improve the composition of your soil will enable you to broaden your horizons, increasing the types of flowers you can grow, the quality of your vegetables and your overall soil health.

Wild Birds Need & Crave Black Oil Sunflower Seed

November 8th, 2013

birds eating from a black oil sunflower seed feederFor many years scientists have struggled to be able to clearly define the nutritional needs of wild birds and have found it a daunting task. To this day there are no definitive studies on the wild bird population's nutritional requirements, mostly because it is nearly impossible to duplicate all of the factors that can contribute to a wild bird's diet, such as: variations in bird species, temperatures, seasonal changes and even the age and size of the birds. For example, small birds will almost always eat more per unit of body weight than a larger bird and juveniles have completely different nutritional requirements than an adult of the same species; and once you've captured the wild bird in order to collect data, the data has been corrupted since the wild bird is no longer in the wild.

However, studies accomplished on some wild birds, on pet birds and on chickens have resulted in some general information. For example, we've learned that, on average, wild birds will consume about half of their daily energy requirements just to maintain their weight and health, while the rest is needed for activities, such as foraging for food, which uses a large amount of their energy stores. Even sleeping and keeping warm require fairly large energy expenditures.

It has also been discovered that migrating birds and resident birds will have quite varied requirements when it comes to storing fat, the amount of protein needed, the necessity for carbohydrates and the demand for calcium, which is highest during breeding and nesting seasons.

So, how do you provide good nutrition for such a wide variety of avian diners?

You fill your bird feeders with Black Oil Sunflower Seeds.

no_no_black_oil_feederWhy?

  • Almost all birds like Black Oil Sunflower Seed and will eat it, even if they prefer other types of food.
  • The shells are soft enough for even smaller birds to crack open.
  • Black Oil Sunflower Seeds are meatier than other varieties.
  • They contain 28% fat, 25% fiber and 15% protein, as well as calcium, B vitamins, iron, vitamin E and potassium.
  • They are readily available, both as whole seed and hulled.

We all bear a certain amount of responsibility for the health and well-being of wild birds. We, as a species, have moved into their habitat, polluted their air and forced them to adapt to a human world. The very least we can do is provide them food and a corner of our back yards for refueling on their migration pathor in which to live in relative peace, with food, water and shelter readily available.

How to Grow Colocasia Plants

November 5th, 2013

Here are some easy tips on how to grow Colocasia plants: These tropical beauties grow best in temperatures of 68-86 degrees F. Any exposure to 50 degrees or below may damage them. Plant the bulbs 2-3 in. below the soil; lay each bulb on its side. Space bulbs 2 ft. apart. Make sure the soil is rich in organic matter. Soil must also be very loose and well draining. Colocasia plants like wet soil, so keep the soil moist and keep the plants mulched.

Common Name(s): Elephant Ear, Taro

Pronunciation: kol-oh-KAY-shah

Origin: Polynesia, S.E. Asia

Description: In North America this tropical beauty is grown for ornamental use: the heart or arrow-shaped leaves are showy and beautiful. Colocasia plants have large (8-60 in.) leaves in dark, glossy green or dark plum. The green, dark red or black stems grow from 3-7 ft. tall. Elephant Ear plants can also be variegated. In their native lands, these annual plants are grown as perennial plants and the roots are eaten.

Propagation: Root division in winter or early spring.

Sun/Light Needs: Full sun to part shade.

USDA Zones: 8-11 In Zone 5 and cooler, grown as annual plants.

Fertilizer Needs: Every 3-4 weeks with a general fertilizer.

Maintenance: Medium to high. Keep soil moist at all times. Keep mulched with organic matter: bark or pine needles are best.

Companion Plants: Caladium, Coleus, Licorice plant.

Display: Borders, containers, water gardens.

Diseases/problems: Aphids, whiteflies, mosaic virus, root rot. Colocasia plants are invasive in some areas; check with your nurseryman. The sap will irritate skin, so be careful handling the stems.

Interesting Note: In Hawaii, the dish called Poi is made from the roots of Elephant Ear plants. Colocasia plants are thought to be the oldest cultivated plants in the world.

When Should You Sow Tomato Seeds?

November 4th, 2013

When to start tomato seeds indoorsMost tomato gardeners know that the best crops start from seeds germinated indoors. It's best to sow your tomato seeds 7-9 weeks prior to your estimated transplant date.

The Old Farmer's Almanac has a map to estimate the approximate transplant dates for your region and a chart with the average last spring frost dates for your particular area. This chart, along with the Average Monthly Springtime Temperature for your state will give you the best guesstimate of when you'll be able to transplant your tomato seedlings. Of course, Mother Nature is always full of surprises. Frosts sometimes do not occur at all or can happen much later and more severely than forecast. We can try our best when it comes to sowing, transplanting and harvesting our crops, but we will not have the last word.

We've found our customers are quite creative and cost-conscious, many starting their tomato seeds in tiny wax-paper cups covered with plastic to maintain proper moisture levels. We've also seen them planted in wooden flats, egg cartons, re-purposed yogurt or cottage cheese containersyou name it. Most, though, will find that having a mini-countertop greenhouse for germinating their tomato seeds yields the best results. These seed-starting kits tend to take up less space; they can be stacked in a pinch (until they sprout and the plastic lids need to be removed); they look much neater; they more easily maintain adequate moisture levels; and they are reusable. After the initial investment, you simply refill them with peat pellets, like the ones Jiffy makes. They store really well: they can be nested to make a neat little package.

Young_Tomato_Seedling

Whatever you use to get seeds started, keep the soil temperature between 70° and 90°F. Under those ideal conditions, it normally takes 7-14 days for seed germination. The tomato seedlings can be transplanted as soon as your garden soil temperatures reach 50°F and the nighttime temps don't drop below 45°F. An inexpensive soil thermometer is an invaluable tool to determine soil temperatures, as ambient temperature, moisture content and soil composition can greatly affect the temperature of the soil.

 

How to Prune Perennial Mums

November 1st, 2013

Pruning_Perennial_MumsHow to prune perennial mums depends on whether they are new or established plants and whether you purchased and planted them in the spring or in the fall.

Spring-planted new mums or already established chrysanthemum plants should be cut back after the first hard freeze in the fall or winter. Use sharp scissors or shears to trim them back to 2 to 4 inches above ground level and then add 4 to 8 inches of mulch, depending upon the severity of your winters, to prevent the plants from heaving out of the ground and the roots from freezing.

If, throughout the winter, your nighttime temperatures stay above 40°F, you probably won't need to mulch, but you may have to stay weather-aware and cover them during any extremely cold, unexpected weather events. If you've mulched, you can remove or pull back the mulch once the nighttime temperatures are consistently above 40°F in early spring.

Newly planted, fall-blooming chrysanthemum plants have not had the time to develop a strong, well-established root system, as they've been devoting most of their energy to blooming. You should NOT cut back any new fall-planted mum plants in the first season. Wait until the following spring when the temperatures start to warm to cut back the foliage. Until then, your plants should either be heavily mulched, or potted and moved to a protected spot, in all but the most southern areas of the U.S. If you opt to pot and move them, do so before the first hard freeze.

If you'd like to prevent your chrysanthemums from blooming in mid- to late summer, preferring to have fall blossoms instead, pinch the new growth back periodically throughout the summer once your plants reach 4 to 5 inches tall, repeating every few weeks until about the middle of July. This will encourage bushiness, as well as a mass of flower buds ready to bloom in September and October. Then, clip the copious amounts of blossoms to make bouquets and live arrangements, which will also encourage extended fall blooming.

Happy Gardening from Garden Harvest Supply

 

The Value of Outdoor Covers

October 30th, 2013

Patio_Furniture_CoverDo you replace some or all of your lawn furniture every year?

Does your birdbath or fountain look like an antiquebut it's not?

Have you replaced your bbq grill when it was less than 5 years old?

Are you regularly replacing your patio umbrella or plastic molded chairs?

If so, you are probably not protecting the investment you've made in order to enjoy your outdoor lifestyle, though it is actually not that expensive or difficult to do. A relatively small investment in a cover designed to protect your outdoor furniture and accessories will save you money, will keep your possessions looking newer for much longer, and will even contribute to a more ordered and neat looking exterior during the months when the weather ensures you're spending more time indoors than out.

A barbecue grill can be a big investment. Even the smallest propane or charcoal grill can cost you most of a week's salary.

And how do you dispose of those rusted, worn-out, broken-down grills? Do you take them to the landfill? Do you push them under the deck or store them in your garage or shed? Unless you plant flowers in them or otherwise re-purpose them, these old relics are taking up space, are looking unsightly, and will ultimately be a part of the trash problem we all face when it comes to taking care of our planet.

Outdoor_Grill_CoverPurchasing a grill cover will ensure your propane bbq grill lasts much longer and continues to work well with only minor maintenance and regular cleaning.

Your outdoor furniture is also a large investment that can be protected quite easily and inexpensively. Have you priced cushions lately? And it is not just the cushions: the mechanisms that enable that lounge chair to lounge will deteriorate if left out in the elements. The finish on your patio table will eventually fade or rust and you may not be able to easily fold that foldable chair any longer. Each year the prices go up, even on those relatively inexpensive plastic molded chairs, which not only start looking old really quickly when left out in the weathersometimes cracking and breaking at the most inopportune momentsbut are virtually indestructible for eons in our landfills.

Purchasing and using patio set covers, chair covers and umbrella covers will save your hard-earned money and ensure a comfortable, attractive and enjoyable place to relax for years.

Virtually every outdoor accessory you own can be protected by a cover. Made of UV stabilized polyester and put together with rot-resistant threads, metal grommets and nylon cording and cord-locks, they will last for years if stored properly when not in use. Outdoor covers come in a wide variety of configurations, made specifically for covering everything from Adirondack chairs to chimineas to propane-powered patio heaters. Protect your bicycles, fire pits, lawn mowers and yard tractors. There are even covers designed for protecting the longevity of your firewood rack while keeping the wood it holds dry and ready to burn.

Just browse our covers for odds 'n' ends to see what else you can cover and protect.

 

 

Bulbs Looking Tired? We Can Fix That!

October 29th, 2013

Blooming_Tulip_GardenThis past season you may have noticed that your tulips, allium, callas or other bulb plants bloomed a little less than usual. In fact, this may have been happening slowly over the past few seasons, the bulbs underground continually multiplying and becoming over-crowded, with the result being tired-looking flower beds and fewer and fewer flowers to decorate your yard or home.

Plants growing from bulbs are a fantastic way to ensure your vases stay full and your yard stays beautiful with very little maintenance; however, most plants require some form of TLC and bulb beds need to be thinned every few years in order to continue to look their very best.

Most flower beds planted in bulbs will grow in width and breadth, continuing to bloom prolifically for many years, displaying lush foliage when they aren't actually in bloom. Some bulb flowers, such as daffodils, will grow forever without needing much care at all, though most will benefit from regular feeding, as well as periodic lifting and dividing. The improvement you'll see upon feeding your bulb-type plants after they've been starved for a while may be quite dramatic and surprising.

So, if your bulb flower beds aren't producing blossoms like they used to, this spring may be the ideal time to refresh them and start a new traditionfeeding them on a regular basis. Fall is the best time to dig and divide bulbs, as the foliage starts to decline but is still visible. The bulbs will be in a recharging period, the blooming season done, preparing for next season's growth while slumbering through the winter.

Planting_Tulip_BulbsYou can also dig and divide bulbs in the spring, though you may lose out on some of that season's blossoms and it should be done as the bulbs are just starting to send up new growth:

  • Keep in mind that bulbs' roots will pull them deeper over time, and they will spread out as a result of the offsets they produce.
  • Dig carefully, a few inches away from where the stem exits the ground, gently rocking your trowel or bulb spade to loosen the soil as you dig deeper.
  • Remove the bulb by lifting with your hands or garden tool from underneath; avoid pulling on the stem or foliage, and disturb the bulb as little as possible.
  • Pull the offset bulbs from the base of the plant. You can replant all of the offsets or only plant the largest and give the smaller bulbs as gifts to your friends and neighbors. The largest offset bulbs will have more energy to bloom sooner.
  • You can replant them right away, or store them for planting in the fall. Plant large bulbs 6 to 8 inches deep and smaller bulbs 4 to 5 inches deep.
  • Check the original bulb's viability. If it appears damaged or otherwise unhealthy, discard it. If it seems to be healthy, you can replant it.
  • You can replant all of the offsets or only plant the largest. Be sure to allow plenty of space between bulbs in order to increase the time necessary between refreshing your beds.
  • Feed as you plant!

Tulip_FertilizerSome fertilizers are capable of burning the roots when put into the planting hole. Espoma Bulb-tone will not, when applied according to directions. If replanting, mix about 1 1/2 teaspoons of bulb food into the hole and mix well with the soil before putting the bulb back into the ground. If you are planting a large area, you'll be mixing about 1 1/2 lbs. (4 1/2 cups) for every 25 linear feet. For established bulbs, make your first application when the plants are about 6 inches tall and then reapply when the blooming season has ended, being sure to wash any stray fertilizer from the leaves while watering well.

This little bit of carefeeding twice a year with Espoma Bulb-tone and digging and dividing every 3 to 5 yearswill be worth every bit of effort when you see the resulting blooms and you cut those gorgeous, aromatic blossoms to fill your vases.

How To Care For Fuchsia Plants Over The Winter

October 28th, 2013

How to overwinter your fuchsia plantsHi. I bought several fuchsia starts this spring and they have been feeding our local hummingbirds all summer.

What is the best way to treat these fuchsias over the winter? When I bring them in, should I cut them back? How often should I water them? Please help, Diana

Answer: Holding over what are annuals in your area is always tricky but it is possible with many of them if you remember you have to simulate their growing habits. The typical home in winter is very dry and warm, so you will want to increase the humidity around the plant. The days are shorter, and usually lack sunshine, so you might need to add artificial lighting, as well.  Fuchsia would need to come in before the first frost in your area. Pruning back by at least a third would be best. Be sure to treat the plant for any pests that might be traveling indoors. The easiest way is to make a mild mixture of dish soap and water, spray the plant liberally, and rinse with the hose. Place the plant in a window with bright light but not direct sun, away from drafts or furnace vents. Slow down the watering by letting it almost completely dry before watering again. The plant may go into semi-dormancy and drop leaves. If it does, just let it rest for a while and don’t water as often. In March, start watering with a very mild fertilizer, and you should start seeing new growth on the plant. You can move it outside on warm days but if the nights are below the upper 40s, you need to bring it back inside or just wait until your last frost date to take it outside. It will take it a while to catch back up to those that are being offered for salebut it should.

I personally hold over a significant number of annuals through the winter and I have mixed success every year. Some things do quite well; others struggle or succumb, but I am always happy to have a few plants to begin the spring season with.

Remember, you may still have hummingbirds traveling after you bring in your Fuchsia, so leave some feeders out for a while until they’ve all made the migration south.

Happy winter gardening,

Karen

Why Own a Lawn Sweeper?

October 23rd, 2013

Pushable_Lawn_SweeperYour first reaction to looking at a lawn sweeper may be that it costs a lot.

Many happy owners of our lawn sweepers had that initial reaction, until they got one as a gift or splurged on this indispensable yard tool for themselves. It's up to you to decide what your time is worth, but when it comes to money.

Built of the most durable and long-lasting materials, they are height-adjustable, have semi-pneumatic wheels for navigability, are built on a powder-coated frame for weather resistance and have the largest capacity hopper possible for the size. Your lawn sweeper purchase will more than pay for itself in the first 3 months of use and will last for years! Admit it, there are not many lawn tools that can make that claim, but we guarantee our lawn sweepers will perform as promised.

How can it save you time and money? Let's count the ways:

  1. A lawn sweeper eliminates the need to walk around your yard picking up the toys, small branches, rocks and other objects that are a pre-mowing chore. Its adjustable brushes can pick up everything from grass clippings to good-sized branches, almost effortlessly.
  2. A lawn sweeper will save you the cost of constantly replacing mower blades, as well as the frustration of finding the right blade to replace the old one and the time-consuming, sometimes difficult, process of removing the old one and putting on a new one.
  3. Lawn_SweeperA lawn sweeper will cut the time you normally spend raking after mowing, freeing you up to do something more important, like spending quality time with your family, building that pond you've been thinking about, or just going fishing.
  4. A lawn sweeper can save you a fortune in store-bought compost or fertilizer by making it ridiculously easy to compost your yard debris. Just sweep the lawn's grass clippings or leaves and dump into your compost pile or shovel into your composter. (Yeah, THAT composterthe one you've always talked about building but never got around to because you were too busy raking the yard.)
  5. Just thinkno more climbing off and on your riding mower to pick up something you missed when you walked the yard the first time and no more stooping and bending. Make fewer passes than walking the yard and do a much more thorough job.
  6. A new toy, like a lawn sweeper, can get the whole family involved in yard work. It's much easier on aging muscles and degenerating backs, while making quick work of that raking chore you've had to fight your children to get done. They may be fighting, instead, for the opportunity to use that new toy (at least for a while).
  7. If you've previously hired a lawn service and the economy has you thinking about canceling itget a lawn sweeper! You will save 1/2 the weekly cost just by eliminating the need to pay for grass clipping or leaf clean-upand the entire cost if you choose to mow yourself.
  8. These work horses can even help with snow removal, which is a whole OTHER subject.


They are made right here in the U.S.A.

Can you think of one good reason NOT to buy a lawn sweeper?