Category Archives: Growing

How To Create Classy Container Gardens With Roses

According to the National Gardening Association, 91 million households participated in some form of do-it-yourself lawn and gardening activity, spending an average of $387. Over the past decade, an increasing percentage of this total has gone towards container gardening.

Containers offer a versatile form of gardening that fits into any lifestyle and yard size. City dwellers can use them to brighten up lifeless balconies, roof decks or front stoops, while those with more space can decorate high-traffic spaces and incorporate them into lawn and garden areas for added drama and flair. Because of the multitude of options on the market, container gardens are an easy way to add a splash of color to any outdoor space, big or small.

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Bushel and Berry Recommends Growing Berries for Mind, Body and Yard

Growing Berries for Mind, Body and Yard
Growing Berries for Mind, Body and Yard

Those looking to improve their mind, body and soul need not look any further than their own patio or yard. Homegrown berrie’s from the Bushel and Berry collection are nutritional powerhouses. They are low in fat and have high concentrations of antioxidants, which help protect our bodies from the damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals.

“While you can purchase blueberries at the grocery store, it’s relatively simple to plant your own and enjoy their many benefits season after season,” says Layci Gragnani, product manager for the Bushel and Berry collection.

All berries are loaded with fiber, a nutrient important for a healthy digestive system and one that may also help control blood sugar. Berries may even help manage diabetes. Blueberries, for instance, have a low glycemic index, meaning that they’re less likely to cause blood sugar spikes compared to other carbohydrate foods. Just one serving of blueberries contains almost 25 percent of the daily recommended requirement of Vitamin C.

The antioxidants found in blueberries and blackberries, called anthocyanins, may even help keep one’s memory sharp. And raspberries contain ellagic acid, a compound with anti-cancer properties.

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The Lily: Introducing the Summer Bulb of the Year

The Lily_ Introducing the Summer Bulb of the Year
The Lily_ Introducing the Summer Bulb of the Year

Dazzling lilies set off colorful fireworks in the garden. Garden? Yes, the garden!

Many people are familiar with lilies as cut flowers but don’t know that they can also add sparkle to the garden or when planted in a container.

With all their beauty, symbolism and history, it’s no wonder that lilies were named the Summer Bulb of the Year.

Symbolism
Native to the Northern Hemisphere, lilies have been seen as a flower of significance for thousands of years because of the extensive symbolism that surrounds them.

The lily represents femininity, love, purity and a sense of transience. But lilies also have a wonderful history. In 1150, King Louis of France used an image of a lily on his shield as a symbol of his name, Louis or Loys, and power. The lily is also portrayed as a focal point in many historical paintings.

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How To Take Care Of Your Roses

The rose is a very beautiful flower, often considered to be the queen of all flowers. The inherent beauty of the rose is peerless; no other flower can ever compare to it. Gardeners who have successfully cultivated their own rose gardens prize the fruit of their own labours highly and take a lot of effort to care for and maintain their gardens. For indeed, if you want to be able to enjoy the beauty of a rose plant, you must be prepared to exert the effort needed to cultivate, care for and protect these plants.

rose
rose

The task of caring for roses is no easy feat. To take care of roses can be arduous and can consume a good amount of time every day. But no matter how laborious cultivating roses can be, the effort exerted is very much worth it. To see a healthy and thriving rose plant in your garden is certainly very rewarding.

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Planting and Caring for Flower Bulbs

There is nothing quite as welcome as those beautiful spring flowers that seem to emerge from nowhere to welcome the arrival of spring. Bulb type flowers are really unique plants, because they spend most of their days resting quietly beneath the surface of the soil. Then right on schedule, up they come, full of bloom and vigor, and then almost as fast as they came, they go. Except for the green leafy part of the plant that tends to linger longer than we would like them to.

Despite their short bloom time and unattractive foliage after the blooms are gone, they are still a wonderful addition to any landscape. But how should you care for them? First let’s talk about how to use them in your landscape. Flowers of all kinds are best when planted in groupings. Many people buy 25 or 50 bulbs and just go around the yard planting helter skelter. That’s fine if that’s what you want, but when planted that way they tend to blend in with the landscape and really don’t show up well at all. When you plant them in large groups they are a breathtaking showpiece.

In the early spring start thinking about where you would like to create a bed for flower bulbs. Prepare the bed by raising it with good rich topsoil, and if at all possible add some well composted cow manure. Do this in the spring while you are in the gardening mood; you may not be in the fall. Over the summer fill the bed with annual flowers to keep the weeds down, and to pretty up your yard for the summer. Come fall all you have to do is pull out the annuals and plant your bulbs to the depth recommended on the package.

If you think you could have a problem with squirrels digging up the bulbs and eating them, you can also wrap the bulbs in steel wool, leaving just the tip of the bulb exposed so it can grow out of the little wire cage you’ve created. Or you can just plant the bulbs and then cover the bed with chicken wire or plastic fencing until the bulbs start to grow in the spring.

When the bulbs come up in the spring and start blooming, you should clip off the blooms as they start to wither. This keeps the bulb from producing seeds, which requires a lot of energy, and you want the bulb to use all of its available energy to store food in preparation for the bulb’s resting period. Once the bulbs are completely done blooming you don’t want to cut off the tops until they are withered and die back. The million dollar question is how to treat the tops until that happens.

Many people bend them over and slip a rubber band over them, or in the case of bulbs like Daffodils tie them with one of the long leaves. This seems to work because it is a very common practice among many experienced gardeners. However, Mike is about to rain on the parade.

I strongly disagree with this theory because back about 6th grade we learned about photosynthesis in science class. To recap what we learned, and without going into the boring details, photosynthesis is the process of the plant using the sunís rays to make food for itself. The rays from the sun are absorbed by the foliage and the food making process begins. In the case of a flower bulb this food is transported to the bulb beneath the ground and stored for later use.

So basically the leaves of the plant are like little solar panels. Their job is to absorb the rays from the sun to begin the process known as photosynthesis. If we fold them over and handcuff them with their hands behind their back, they are not going to be able to do their job. Itís like throwing a tarpaulin over 80% of a solar panel.

In order for the leaves to absorb the rays from the sun, the surface of the foliage has to be exposed to the sun. On top of that, when you bend the foliage over, you are restricting the flow of nutrients to the bulb. The veins in the leaves and the stem are a lot like our blood vessels. If you restrict them the flow stops.

You decide. I’ve presented my case. Bending them over seems to work, but I’ve spent a lot of money on my bulbs. I want them running at full speed. What I do is clip the blooms off once they are spent, and just leave the tops alone until they are yellow and wilted. If they are still not wilted when it’s time to plant my annual flowers, I just plant the annuals in between the bulbs. As the bulbs die back the annuals tend to grow and conceal them. If one shows through I clip it off. It seems to work well for me.

How To Ensure Early Bulbs Bloom, Year After Year

Do you notice when visiting gardens the great quantities of Daffodils and other early bulbs that we plant to herald in the spring. But how do we ensure we have a great display each year?

The early flowering bulbs

Quite a few seasoned gardeners have had their first horticultural experience by the planting of a few Daffodil or Tulip bulbs, thus spurring them onto more adventurous plantings. At the end of April the very early flowering bulbs will come to the end of their blooming season. This group of early bloomers includes Daffodils, Hyacinths, Bluebells, Crocus, Snowdrops and early Tulips. All these bulbs will flower well for any gardener the first growing season but for them to bloom well the following seasons we must give them some care.

Die-back not tieback

All bulbs leaves must be allowed a minimum of six weeks after flowering to die down, so if these bulbs are planted in a lawn that area of lawn must remain uncut for six weeks. Refrain from tying your Daffodil leaves in knots to neaten their appearance, also avoid folding them over and securing with rubber bands. If the bulbs leaves are naturally allowed to die back then they will take in the energy for next years flowering. I would also recommend nipping off the spent flower heads on bulbs once flowering is finished, this will prevent the bulb using vital energy for seed production instead using all that energy to bulk up its food store for next season.

Don’t forget to feed

The final tip for blooming bulbs next spring is to feed your bulbs, this is especially important if you have a hungry soil. Apply a foliage feed to the fully emerged leaves before the blooms start to form. Choose a general purpose purpose liquid feed.I would also advise you to feed your bulbs just as the blooms have faded with a granular bulb fertilizer applied around the bulbs base. This is the most important feed they will receive. Ensure this feed has a higher potassium or potash content than nitrogen content. Apply according to the manufacturers instructions and heed safety warnings.