Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Summer Rose Care Tips

“My roses don’t look good” is a comment we’re hearing more of lately. July’s rain followed by the heat has left roses as well as other plants struggling with a variety of issues. Here are some things to do to keep your roses looking good.
First of all, keep up with the pruning by removing spent blossoms before they go to seed.
Removing faded blossoms stimulates the roses to grow and produce more blooms.
Feed your roses with Fertilome Rose Food or Mile High Rose Food. Feeding now will encourage stronger growth and better blooms through the rest of summer. Check for insects, particularly aphids.
Use a general insect spray such as Eight or buy and release some ladybugs near your roses.
Watch out for diseases, such as black spot or powdery mildew.
You can control these with Safer Garden Fungicide, Serenade or Green Cure concentrate. All of these products are organic.  
If the leaves on your roses are looking pale and adding iron didn’t help, use some Magnesium Sulfate (Epsom Salts) to restore the dark, rich green to your rose plants. Doing these things now will help your roses healthy and blooming, well into fall.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Plants that attract pollinators: Penstemon



Penstemon, known as beard-tongues are native North American wildflowers available in a good variety of pastel reds, pinks, and blues and white. Penstemon does best planted in a spot where they will get full sun.
They like well drained soils, so be sure to add a bag of Earth Essential’s Sheep, Peat and Compost to your soil as you’re planting. Once established, penstemon are very hardy plants, requiring little water and fertilizer. You can cut back the plants by about 1/3rd after they’re through blooming. Hummingbirds are attracted to the red and pink varieties. Bees seem to prefer the whites, blues and purples. As for the Penstemon‘s common name, beardtongue refers to the flowers open mouth shape and fuzzy tongue. Here are some of our favorite penstemon.


'Carolyn’s Hope Pink'

'Dark Towers'

'Lavender Riding Hood'

'Marble Riding Hood'

'Pike’s Peak Purple'






Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Planting for Pollinators – Echinacea


Echinacea is a group of flowering plants in the daisy family. Commonly called cone flowers, Echinacea are among the most durable and beautiful garden flowers and will make a great addition to your perennial beds. Echinacea comes from the Greek word echinos meaning hedgehog, in reference to the coneflower’s spiny center. Coneflowers like sunny locations, with well-drained soil, so add amendments such as Sheep, Peat and Compost to improve your soil. Work in some bone meal at the same time. You can expect your coneflowers to bloom well into fall, attracting bees and butterflies. Here are some of our top coneflower selections for your summer garden


Cheyenne Spirit

Harvest Moon

Hot Papaya

Kim’s Knee High

Prairie Splendor

Primadonna® Deep Rose



Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Get rid of mosquitoes naturally


Wherever there is standing water in your garden, there is a chance that mosquitoes can breed. You can stop  mosquitoes before they have a chance to bite, with Mosquito Dunks.
Mosquito Dunks contain Bacillus Thuringiensis israelensis (Bt-i) a very specific biological pest control which targets mosquito larvae. Mosquito Dunks can be used safely in garden fountains, fish ponds, water gardens, bird baths and flower pots.
Dunks are safe for birds, fish, pets and wildlife, because they directly target mosquito larvae. The larvae eat the Bt-i and it kills them before they have a chance to mature into flying adults.
Each dunk will last 30 days and it stays effective even if it dries out and then gets wet again. For smaller areas, Mosquito Dunks can be cut in half or quarters and they will work just as well. This is a great product to help you get rid of mosquitoes in your yard and garden.
For a quick knock down of mosquito larvae, sprinkle Mosquito Bits in standing water or in your potted plants. Add Mosquito Bits to your houseplants to get rid fungus gnats naturally.  

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Control garden slugs naturally

Slugs don’t need much to thrive in your garden; a little shade and moisture will encourage them to stay around a damage your leafy vegetables and ornamentals. Here are a few suggestions on how to control slugs. Slugs are attracted to beer.
Bury a wide-mouth jar up to its neck or set the jar lid in the garden with beer. The slugs will crawl in and drown.
Set a flower pot upside down with a rock under one edge to raise it slightly. Left overnight, the slugs will find their way in.
Another simple trap is to place a wide board on the ground. Slugs will hide under it during the day. Melon rinds and grapefruit rinds turned upside down work the same way. Pick up the rind and dispose of it.
Use copper strips or copper tubing in areas where you’re having slug problems.
Slugs won’t crawl over the copper because the copper delivers a small electric shock when they come in contact with it.
Apply organic baits such as Sluggo®. After eating Sluggo® slugs will stop feeding and die. Sluggo® is good for earwigs, also.
Diatomaceous Earth is the fossilized remains of hard-shelled algae and comes in a powder form. Applied around your plants, diatomaceous earth will slice up any slugs that try to cross it. Crushed egg shells work in the same way. Another effective way to discourage slugs is to water your garden in the morning. It’ll be dry by sunset and less likely to attract slugs.