Thursday, March 15, 2018

3 Keys to Growing Your Own Potatoes

 The 3 keys to growing your own potatoes: Seed, Soil, Sun.
While it’s tradition to plant potatoes on St. Patrick’s Day, your potatoes will do best when the soil temperature is in the mid 40°'s and the soil is dry enough to be worked.
You can test the soil temperature with a digital or an analog thermometer. You want to measure the soil temperatures about 4" to 5" deep. 
A simple test to see if your soil is workable is to squeeze a handful. If it stays together like modeling clay it’s too wet. If it crumbles like a cupcake, it’s ready to dig in and plant.
This is a good time to
amend your soil with organic material, such as Sheep, Peat and Compost. Ideally, you’ll be able to plant by the end of March.
Begin by buying
certified keys to seed potatoes. Potatoes purchased at the grocery store are often treated to keep them from sprouting. You can choose from Early season Red Norland, Yukon Gold or Red Pontiac. Early season potatoes generally mature within 75 to 90 days. Mid-season varieties include Russet Burbank, Kennebec White and Viking Red. Mid-season takes 95 to 110 days to mature.
seed potatoes can be planted whole.  Larger seed potatoes can be cut in half. Cut the potato so that each piece has at least 2 eyes. Dusting sulfur can be applied to the cut side to reduce disease and insect problems. Set the cut pieces aside overnight, to allow it to cure. Potatoes need at least 6 hours of sunlight daily, in order to produce the best crop. Once you've selected the site and added amendments to improve your soil, it's time to plant.Traditionally, potatoes are grown in rows.
Dig straight trenches about 2 feet apart, add Steamed Bone Meal or Super
Phosphate to the bottom of the trench and cover slightly. This will allow the potato roots to grow into the fertilizer. Plant your potatoes about 12 inches apart in the trench and cover with 4" to 5" of soil.
As your potato plant grows use a hoe or shovel to scoop the dirt from between the rows and mound it against the plant, always keeping at
least half the stem buried. This is done to protect the potato from the sun. The best way to water your potatoes is to irrigate every 3 or 4 days, enough to keep the soil around your plants moist. If you’re not sure, probe around the plants and see how moist it is just below the surface. If it feels dry, water. You may feed your plants through the growing season by laying additional fertilizer along the side of the side of the row (called side dressing) and water in.
You can begin to harvest your
potatoes about two weeks after it finishes flowering. At this time, you’ll find “new” potatoes or baby potatoes, small but very good to eat. If you want late potatoes, wait 2 or 3 weeks after the foliage dies back, then dig carefully around each plant to harvest your potatoes. Store your potatoes in a dark, cool location. Potatoes should keep well for 3 to 6 months.  

Thursday, March 8, 2018

4 Steps to a great lawn in 2018

In order for your lawn to look its best spring, summer and fall, it needs nutrients. The Flower Bin Lawn Care program is built on the idea that regular fertilization, along with aeration and good mowing and watering practices, is key to maintaining a strong, healthy lawn. A healthy lawn is more resistant to weeds and disease problems. The Fertilome® brand of lawn and garden products is the mainstay of our program and includes four steps designed to keep your lawn healthy throughout the growing season.
When you purchase all four bags of The Flower Bin Lawn Care program at once, you will save 20% of the cost of the program and you will continue to save 20% on every Fertilome® product you purchase throughout the year,
including a wide selection of
garden fertilizers, insect and weed controls. Once you've signed up for the program, we'll send you a post card reminding you when it's time to apply each step. This way, you know you are applying the right product, at the right time of the season, when it will benefit your lawn the most.
The program begins with Step 1,
Fertilome’s® For All Seasons II fertilizer and weed preventer. One of the most effective ways to control weeds in your lawn is to prevent them from showing up in the first place and this product works to keep weed seed from germinating.
This includes crabgrass. Step 1 is applied between mid-March and mid-April
Weed-Out Plus
Lawn Fertilizer is step 2. Weed-Out Plus works to control weeds you can see. 
This is the product to apply for dandelions, mallow and other weeds you can see in your lawn. Weed-Out Plus also feeds your lawn and is applied around the first of June. 
Step 3 is Lawn Food Plus Iron and this is applied in early August, right when your lawn needs nitrogen and iron.
4 is Winterizer. Winterizer is applied around Halloween, when your grass is storing up energy for the winter weather ahead. 
Winterizer fertilizer goes right to the roots of your turf and remains there until your lawn calls for it in the spring. Applying Winterizer in the fall gives your lawn the nutrients it needs for greening up quickly next spring. Each of the products in The Flower Bin Lawn Care program is available in 20-pound and 40-pound bags. A 20-pound bag will cover up to 5,000 square feet of lawn. A 40-pound bag will cover up to 10,000 square feet of lawn.
Stop in and learn how The Flower Bin Lawn Care program will help your lawn become thicker, healthier and more weed and disease resistant.