Monday, March 24, 2014

Is it time to put some grass seed down?


Spring is a good time to rejuvenate your lawn by adding grass seed to repair bare spots or to help thicken up a thin lawn by over-seeding. Most of our lawns are Kentucky Blue grass or combinations of Kentucky Blue grass, Perennial Rye grass and fescue. These are cool season grass seeds, meaning they are best sown now in March and April. Warm weather grass such as Buffalo grass should be seeded in May.
Selecting the right seed depends on whether you’re lawn is sunny, shady or a combination of the two. Since we sell seed in bulk, we can help you select the right seed combinations for your particular lawn condition. Flower Bin Blue is a combination of blue grasses designed to be drought tolerant and hardy in sunny locations.
Colorado Complete is a combination of blue grass, perennial rye and fescue meant to be used in sunny and partial shade conditions. Colorado’s Own is our best seller. It will blend in with most lawns in our area. Emerald III is the grass seed to select for shady areas. Really, the most important question of all is the quality of the soil under your grass, because your turf grass will only be as good as the soil it’s growing in.

For repairing small areas in your lawn, you can work some organic material such as Sheep, Peat and Compost into the spots to be fixed, add grass seed and cover lightly with compost or peat. For large areas, or for over seeding your lawn, have the lawn aerated, then add organic material and seed.
Core aeration involves using a machine which extracts a plug from the lawn, which helps reduce thatch, improves soil structure and in general opens the soil so that water, air and fertilizer get to the roots.  After aeration, leave the cores in place. They will break down over time.
Next, add some organic material over the entire lawn. This is called top-dressing and as the organic material works its way into the soil, it helps break up the clay and improve root structure. Stronger roots mean a more resilient lawn, especially in the summer.  Over-seeding is when you apply extra seed to thicken your lawn. It’s a good practice to over-seed your lawn every three or four years.  Another improvement you can make is to add Soil Activator, a granular humic acid applied in the spring and fall to improve soil structure, strengthen roots and increase microbial activity. Soil Activator can be applied more frequently if your soil is heavily compacted. If you have questions, stop in. We’ll help you decide what the best choices for your lawn.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Guidelines for recovering flood damaged gardens


These are some recommendations on flood damaged gardens, but are also good guidelines for improving and reconditioning any soils. First of all, it is not necessary to remove your garden soil even if it was inundated in the September flood. The elapsed time between the flood and now is sufficient to have mitigated any issues in the soil as a result of the flood. The base soil itself should be healthy. What you want to do now is to restore structure and vitality to your soil.  One thing that happens when soil is under water is the oxygen supply is deleted. Rototilling your garden will help oxygenate the soil and encourage restoring soil microorganisms. Rototilling in soil amendments will also help incorporate any fine silt left behind by the river overflowing. Organic materials such as compost, peat moss, coir and earth worm castings are all good soil amendments to rototill into your garden.
You’ll find these ingredients in products like Sheep, Peat and Compost, Cow and Compost, EKO clay Buster, Hydro Farm Coco Planting Mix.
It’s also important to restore the microbial activity in your soil by incorporating products such as alfalfa meal,
mycorrhizae fungi
and liquid and granular humates. 
Soil microbes are important because they convert fertilizers and nutrients into forms that plants can use. Incorporating these steps in your garden is important in order to restore or in some cases, create healthy living soils. If you have questions, stop in and we’ll help you find the right solution for your garden.


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Growing potatoes in your home garden



It’s tradition to plant potatoes on St. Patrick’s Day, but the key to when to plant is to assure  the soil temperature is consistently above 45° and the soil is dry enough to be worked. 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 dig in organic material, such as Sheep, Peat and Compost.
Ideally, you’ll be able to plant by the end of March. Begin by buying certified seed potatoes. Potatoes purchased at the grocery store are often treated to keep them from sprouting. Extend your season by choosing an early variety such as Red Norland or Red Pontiac and a mid season such as Kennebec White.
For a late season potato, think about All Blue. It’s a potato with blue skin and flesh that’s great baked or mashed! Cut the potato so that each piece has at least 2 eyes.
Each piece should be about as big as a golf ball.
Dusting sulfur can be applied to reduce disease and insects problems. Set the cut pieces aside overnight, to allow it to cure. Traditionally, potatoes are grown in rows. Dig straight trenches about 2 feet apart, add Some Gardener’s Special or Tomato and Vegetable Food 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 3 inches 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 about 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.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

How to have a great lawn and save money too.


The Flower Bin Lawn Care program is built on Fertilome brand of lawn and garden products 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. Additional benefits of the program include the satisfaction of knowing you are applying the right product for your lawn at the right time of the season when it will benefit your lawn the most.

The program begins with Step 1, Fertilome’s All Seasons fertilizer and weed preventer. One of the most effective ways to control weeds in your lawn is to prevent them and this product works to keep weed seed from germinating, such as crabgrass.  
It also feeds your lawn at the same time.  Apply this product between March 15th and April 15th for best results.  

Weed-Out Plus is step 2. This product works to control weeds you can see. It’s called a post-emergent.
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 June 1st.

Step 3 Lawn Food Plus Iron is applied in early August, right when your lawn needs nitrogen and iron.

Step 4 is Winterizer is applied around Halloween, when your grass is storing up energy for the winter weather ahead.  This gives your lawn a head start in spring.

Stop in and learn how The Flower Bin Lawn Care program will help your grass become thicker and more weed and disease resistant.