Category Archives: spring

May!

greenhouseMay is a busy month around here!  The seeds we sowed and plugs we planted in our greenhouses in March and April have grown through spring and are ready to be moved outside. Although we’ve been eager to plant for weeks now, the forecast should finally be free from frosts and freezes. After a long wait, Mother’s Day weekend signals the safe start for spring planting in South Jersey.

We’ve stocked our perennials, shrubs and trees from nurseries in neighboring Cumberland County (and will continue to receive even more as they come into season.)

While our hanging baskets and combination planters are filling in, the bedding flats are budded and blooming, bursting with color.

Our vegetable plants and herbs are ready for transplanting too.

The tropical plants have arrived and we hope they’ve brought the warm weather with them!

Pond plants are in: potted water lilies and marginals along with floating hyacinths and lettuce. We have fish too: Comets and Koi.

For the lawn and garden, we also have new figures and fountains to showcase. From bird baths shaped like sandcastles and sunflowers to sea captain and sailfish statues. (This winter, we had an opportunity to tour the Massarelli warehouse and showroom in nearby Hammonton, NJ, where all of their concrete pieces are hand-made!)

Out back, our soil, stone, and mulch bins are filled so we’re ready to load, whether pick-up or delivery.

Whatever your spring needs may be, we’re here to help. Shop small business and visit your local garden centers.  This time of year, we’re in full bloom and buzzing like bees! It is spring after all!  Now, if only the sun would come out to shine!

A Look at Your Lawn

jonathan-green-logoWe’ve always used Jonathan Green’s products on our lawn with great success. In fact, the trusted grass seeds, fertilizers, and controls have their own places on our store shelves year after year. Yet recently, Jonathan Green has developed a revolutionary approach to lawn care. This unique program called The New American Lawn emphasizes the importance of feeding your lawn AND your soil!

Now as you’re reading, you may be wondering “Why change after all these years?” We realize it may be hard to take on a new way of thinking and make a change in habit but stick with us and read on to learn the benefits!

While traditional fertilizer programs feed for a short time and treat the symptoms of poor turf (weeds and disease) rather than the real problem (poor soil), The New American Lawn focuses on feeding the top of your lawn and nourishing the soil below! Jonathan Green parallels feeding the lawn every few months to being on a “sugar” diet, offering a short jolt of energy without yielding sustained health. Although such a shock may carry you and your lawn through for a period of time, it’s not a healthy approach. Lawns thrive over a balance between the soil’s biology and chemistry; therefore, The New American Lawn program meets the nutritional needs of turf by supplying the proper amount of lawn food AND soil food!

According to Jonathan Green, “Love Your Lawn-Love Your Soil and MAG-I-CAL are the two soil-reviving fertilizers that make The New American Lawn truly different from every lawn program on the market.” Love Your Lawn-Love Your Soil loosens hard, compacted soil for deeper root growth and spurs soil microbes to breakdown nutrients. This unique fertilizer restores soil life while increasing root mass and drought resistance. MAG-I-CAL has ten-times the soil de-acidifying power of Lime. This pelletized calcium fertilizer quickly adjusts soil pH to maximize nutrients from other lawn fertilizers and reduce the growth of weeds in the future.

           

The New American Lawn program also suggest using Black Beauty grass seed. Jonathan Green’s Black Beauty mixes germinate quickly within 10-14 days, develop roots that grow deeper than other seeds for increased drought tolerance, and produce dark green, lush lawns.

To learn more about the science behind the program, visit www.jonathangreen.com.  And next time you take a look at your yard, remember healthy soil is the base of every great lawn. So slide over traditional four-step program and make room for the new kids on the block!

Much to Be Said about Mulch!

After a long, cold winter, a fresh bed of mulch is a sure sign of spring!

Reasons to Mulch

– adds color and texture while completing the overall-appeal of your garden

– keeps soil from flushing away in heavy rain and watering

– helps retain moisture

-stifles weeds and holds them back a little longer

-keeps soil cooler in summer and warmer in winter

Types of Mulch

While one mulch is not necessarily better than another, there are several choices and each comes with its pros and cons. Most mulches are made of natural matter such as bark and wood chips. These mulches break down over time; therefore, should be replaced each year (or two, if stretched). Colored mulches, such as red and black, are made by adding dye to natural mulches.

Mulch is sold in bags or bulk. We stock red and black Hardwood as well as Root Mulch in bulk. It is purchased by the yard and available for pick-up or delivery. We offer a larger selection in bags: red, black, and natural Hardwood; red, black, and natural Cedar, Pine Bark mulch and nuggets, Root Mulch and Playground Mulch. We carry bags of Red and Brown Rubber Mulch too!

Tips for Mulching

March is for Mulch. The end of March is a great time to rake up remaining leaves and re-mulch your flower beds. It will spruce up the space and help warm the soil for early plantings.

Weed out Waste. Always weed before applying new mulch.

-Scruff up the Surface. Rake over the surface to loosen the top layer of soil.

-Fertilize First. Before laying down a fresh layer of mulch, take time to fertilize Rhododendrons, Azaleas, Dogwoods, Hollies and more. Espoma, a local company from Millville/Vineland, NJ, produces several easy-to-apply granular fertilizers, including Holly-Tone which is specifically formulated for evergreens and acid-loving plants.

-How much mulch? More is not always better when it comes to mulch. Laying it on too thick may smother young plants so strive for a depth of 2-3 inches. Do not mound around stems or trunks; instead, keep mulch 2-3 inches away from the base of plants and 6-12 inches away from structures to prevent pests from coming too close. And remember, when mulching around trees and large shrubs, the mulch ring should reach just beyond the drip-line so that it covers most of its root system.  Finally, to figure out how much mulch you’ll need, roughly measure the length and width of your beds to find the area of space and we can help you from there!

Fabulous Finds We LOVE

Popular Favorites of 2015 along with new plants for 2016

Of the Annuals We Grow

While Calibrachoa, more commonly known as Million Bells have been one of our go-to favorites for years, we are excited to grow a few new colors this year! But first, we have to look back and share one of our favorites from the last two years that’s sure to make your list too, just in case you haven’t seen it yet- We love it that much! Drum roll please…from Proven Winners…Lemon Slice™ Calibrachoa. The striking combination of bright yellow and white will draw all eyes to your planters, hanging baskets and flower beds. In addition to Lemon Slice and many other colors, we are also growing Holy Moly!™ (below) and Evening Star™ this year. Holy Moly’s color combination is as fun and funky as its name, with dark pink splattered over a yellow base. It will have you saying “Holy Moly, I love this flower!” over and over again.Holy Moly

Each year, do you look and hope for the ever-so-hard to find blue flower to accent window boxes and pots? And like most, do you lose your beautiful, bright blue Lobelia to the heat of our summers? Have no fear, there is a fabulous find for you! Although it’s not brand-new this year, we are excited to grow Proven Winners’ Blue My Mind™ Evolvulus. Commonly known as a Dwarf-Morning Glory, Blue My Mind with do just! This low-growing annual’s deep sky blue flower against its silvery green foliage will blow your mind, as will it’s summer performance. In fact, once its roots are established, the hotter the better for this drought, heat and humidity-loving variety.Evolvulus

Of Herbs and Vegetables- Good Eats!

While Rue is often used in Ethiopian cuisine, this herb’s aromatic leaves also help repel insects.

Have you seen the Rapunzel Cherry Tomato? This fruit grows in the most unique way! As its name suggests, Rapunzel grows as a long strand bearing numerous fruit along its hanging vines.Rapunzel Tomato

Of Locally-Grown Perennials and Shrubs

Rosie Posie Agastache is a long-blooming, low-maintenance, hummingbird-attracting perennial.

Asclepias Tuberosa, also known as Butterfly Weed, is a slow growing, native butterfly magnet with orange flower clusters in mid/late summer. Hello Yellow is a newer variety that bears golden yellow flowers.Hello Yellow Butterfly Weed

Although most folks asked for the crimson-red Dynamite Crape Myrtle in 2015 (more than pink and purple varieties), this summer look for Double Feature. Growing 10-12’ tall, this sterile Crape Myrtle bears cherry-red/magenta over maroon foliage in August.

We sure are looking forward to these exciting, new plants! We hope you are too!

Gardening Begins in January

Gardening begins in January

Although we’re closed for the winter season and it’s too cold to even think about working in the yard, January is a great time to dream of grand plans for your lawn and garden. Since taking on your entire outdoor living area may be intimidating, consider focusing on a specific space- whether it’s your lawn, flower beds, patio, or pond. Maybe you’ll pick a spot that’s been overlooked and overgrown.

If your lawn is looking less than lush, check out Jonathan Green’s New American Lawn guide. This simple plan focuses on feeding the lawn as well as the soil with the acronym USA: Use Black Beauty genetically superior grass seed mixtures. Stimulate soil biology and relieve soil compaction with Love Your Lawn- Love Your Soil. Adjust soil pH upwards rapidly with Mag-I-Cal. So this winter visit Jonathan Green’s website (It’s packed with great resources!), read up on the importance of healthy soil along with great turf grass and consider this new approach for a beautiful lawn.

If it’s your flower beds you’d like to focus on, what are your goals? As you pick and plant assorted annuals year after year, do you wish you had a plan to plant perennials instead? This winter set out to research various perennials. Consider color, size, texture, and bloom times. It may be overwhelming if you wait until spring, so take time this January to develop a plan for planting hardy perennials to enjoy for years to come.

Or if you’re like me and love the bright, long-lasting colors annuals offer but tend to plant the same flowers each year, start dreaming about ways to change your garden habits! Winter is a great time look for new varieties and color combinations. We’ll help! Check back in February to read about some of the Fabulous Finds We LOVE for 2016!

Whether you hope to improve your lawn or garden this year, start to dream big and make a plan. After all, gardening begins in January! Tis the season to begin planning the projects you’d like to dig your hands into this spring.

Spring Plans and Projects

Spring is the time of plans and projects

– Leo Tolstoy, author of Anna Karenina

 

Have you noticed the birds are chirping and daffodils are popping through the ground? These days, our senses are awakening to the sights, sounds, and scents of the great outdoors. Now that the spring season is coming to life around us, are you ready? Do you have a project (or two) planned for your lawn and garden this spring? As you set out, keep these ideas in mind…

 

Pick up packs, pots, or flats of Pansies. Since they thrive in cooler weather, Pansies are the first flowers we can plant in our beds and containers. Brighten your home with a splash of color from these familiar flower faces.

 

Hungry for fresh veggies? Now is the time to plant cold weather crops including broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, kale, lettuce, onions, and more.

 

Cut ornamental grasses back to 4-6”

 

Trim perennials’ browned-out foliage and last year’s stems. If needed, divide these plants as they emerge from the ground.

 

Remove dead leaves and debris from beds, gardens and ponds. If the yucky stuff hangs around too long, it can lead to diseases, algae and headaches later!

 

Pull any pesky weeds in the garden and put down a weed preventer such as Preen or Jonathan Green’s Weed Control.

 

Second to fall, spring is the next best time to apply grass seed. Whether seeding a new lawn or over-seeding, you may also apply Jonathan Green’s New Seeding Fertilizer to give new grass plantings the best start.

 

For existing lawns, apply Jonathan Green’s Crabgrass Preventer, Green-Up or Organic Weed Control made from corn gluten (The latter can be used on lawns as a pre-emergent weed and feed as well as in flower beds and vegetable gardens)

 

Feed existing plantings in the yard- Try these Espoma products made locally in nearby Millville.

For evergreens and other acid-loving plants, apply Holly-Tone.

For fruit, shade, and ornamental trees, use Tree-Tone

For flowering shrubs and perennials, apply Flower-Tone

Or if you’re looking for an all-natural, all purpose fertilizer, use Plant-Tone

 

There may be so mulch to do (we should add mulching to the list too!) but we are here to help!

 

We hope these ideas will encourage you to plan a few outdoor projects this spring!  Then, when you’re ready, visit us for all your garden needs.  While you plan, just be sure to soak in the budding season as it blooms around us!

Time to Let it Grow!

Well, it’s here! According to the calendar, it’s spring! Even though there is still a chill in the air, we are eager to begin working in the garden again.

 

While it is not warm enough for Impatiens, tomatoes and other summer favorites just yet, we can get started with Pansies and cold weather crops that don’t mind the cooler temperatures of early spring.

more pansies

While you brighten your home and garden with pastel-colored Pansies, also consider planting:

broccoli

brussel sprouts

cabbage

kale

lettuce (whether you like Romaine, Red Leaf, Buttercrunch, or many more)

and don’t forget onions (choose from red, white, and yellow)

 

If your soil breaks when you dig in, then the garden is ready for these little greens. But if the ground is still too hard to turn over, consider planting a container garden instead. This works especially well if you use a wide, shallow dish and a few varieties of leaf lettuces. Your salad bowl will fill in soon- just gather a little at a time and enjoy!

 

With the frozen winter behind us- Stop by to pick up your Pansies and cool weather starter plants today! Remember the cold never bothered these plants anyway- So let them grow!

Celebrating 30 years as we spring into a new season!

As I sit down to write, snow is falling outside- It sure is a beautiful winter sight but these days my mind begins to bloom with thoughts of spring, of warmer weather and brighter days. Every year, I look forward to heading back into the greenhouse. I love planting my hands in the dirt as we start filling flats with tiny flower plugs. But this year is different…This year is even more exciting because this spring, when we drop the chain and open our doors, we will go forward into our 30th year in the garden center business.

 

While much has changed around the farm, in Cape May County and throughout our world since we first opened in 1985 (What’s a website? And Facebook and blogs? Oh my!) Much has stayed the same…

 

Every spring, we’re blooming with annuals, vegetable plants, and herbs we’ve grown. We are stocked with perennials, shrubs, and trees from fellow farms and nurseries in South Jersey and Pennsylvania.

 

Then when spring shifts into summer, we fill our fields with thousands of mums. Year after year, many local neighbors and visitors to our community watch as the familiar fall flowers grow, a natural mark of our seashore town’s summer season.

 

Eventually summer fades into fall, we dig the mums and decorate with pumpkins, straw, and cornstalks.

 

We finish out each year with fresh Christmas trees, wreaths, roping, and grave blankets. In December, when the store is filled with beautiful poinsettias and warm winter wishes, my mind drifts to thoughts of soft snow falling on days like today.

 

Although we’ve been closed since Christmas, we’re working through this winter’s cold, snow, ice, and rain to prepare for our 30th season. At least we’re trying…For now, since snow has blanketed the greenhouse and the tractor shed door is frozen shut, we are working on our new website and planting the first seeds of our blog. Thanks for reading! I hope you’ll check back to see it grows!