So your beautiful veggies are all planted or are just about to be. You’re feeling proud of your initial accomplishment, as you should be — but don’t get too comfortable! Your work isn’t done yet! Before you can sit back and enjoy the fruits (and veggies) of your labor, I have a quick checklist of continued care for your newly planted vegetable garden.
VEGGIE GARDEN CONTINUED CARE:
- Water regularly. Do not allow Your garden to dry out completely. Keep the bed evenly damp daily.
- Water at the base of the plant, preferably in the morning to keep diseases down.
- If you have not already added Garden Lime to your newly planted tomatoes, it is time. A few tablespoons per plant will do.
- Side dress plants/rows with fertilizer regularly throughout the growing season. If using an organic fertilizer such as Garden-Tone, a few tablespoons per plant, every 2 weeks will keep your veggies happy. If using conventional fertilizer such as VanWilgens Slow Release, 1 time per month should do!
- To keep diseases at bay, spray vulnerable plants, such as squash, cucumbers, and tomatoes with an organic fungicide weekly. Start sprays now with Copper or Garden fungicide.
- Keep a bottle of all-natural insecticide on hand, such as End All. This way, you will be ready to stop bad bugs as soon as they appear.
- Put down a 2 to 3-inch layer of Mainely Mulch straw to keep weeds from taking over. Top it off with a sprinkle of Preen Vegetable Garden and weeds have no chance.
- Just as your beautiful tomatoes, strawberries, etc start to ripen, keep an eye out for furry friends who love them just as much as you do. Store a bottle of Go Away all-natural animal repellent in your shed. It can be sprayed right on the fruit to keep critters away.
A gardener’s work is never done but the end results of your continued care are well worth it. From your garden to your table, you will feel pride with every juicy tomato, crunchy cucumber, and sweet pea you pick.
Show your patriotic colors this year with a fun red, white and blue themed garden or planter. This color combination looks stunning in any sized yard, and with so many different plant options, you’re sure to have a unique space that pops! Below are just a few of our favorite plants in this popular color scheme.
Red Fox Veronica
James Kelway Tanacetum
Trees & Shrubs
Wilgen’s Ruby Rhododendron
Tuff Stuff Red Hydrangea
Ruby Slippers Hydrangea
Miss Ruby Butterfly Bush
Snow Hill Salvia
Peacock White Phlox
Trees & Shrubs
Hydrangea Little Quickfire
Rhododendron Cunningham White
White Flowering Dogwood
Veronica Venice Blue
Myosotis “Forget me not”
Blue Cross Gentiana
Trees & Shrubs
Buddleia Pugster Blue
Hydrangea Endless Summer
Fothergilla Blue Shadow
Viburnum Blue Muffin
Hydrangea Tiny Tuff Stuff
Blue Mist Shrub
A mild winter like the one we just had meant a great spring for Hydrangeas. Normally when we have a rough winter, the stems would typically die back. What we’re seeing now is that some of the stems from last year are alive all the way down to the tips, as well as some of last year’s buds, which means new growth has a head start. We’re already seeing plants fully leafed out in the landscape here.
If you’re considering one for your own space, it’s important to know how to care for them to keep your plant looking great throughout the growing season.
One of the most popular varieties we get questions about is the hydrangea macrophylla, especially regarding pruning. The most important pruning tip to remember is to resist the temptation to prune all the way to the ground because most varieties of hydrangea bloom on old wood, so if you remove the old-growth, it will affect the flowering for the season.
You should also make sure to water, especially if your plants get a lot of sun. A 2-3” layer of mulch around the base will help keep the moisture in as well but remember, no “volcano” mulching (where you pile the mulch higher up next stem). Mulching around your hydrangea will encourage deep roots to develop, adding to winter hardiness.
Right now, your hydrangeas should be leafed out. The size and height of the plant will vary depending on how old your plant is. More mature hydrangeas are taller right now than newly planted ones. It’s okay for some branches to still look dormant. Any twigs poking out beyond the outside edge of green leaves may be tipped back only so far that they can’t be seen. Many plants you see in the landscape are starting to form flower buds. This is a great sign. Color is on its way!
Now is also the time to feed your hydrangea. We recommend Holly-Tone, which is a slow-release fertilizer for acid-loving plants. Once your plants start blooming you can also apply soil acidifier or garden lime to ensure they’re the perfect color for your garden all season long.
For additional tips for success, be sure to reference our Hydrangeas Demystified Guide.
You can also view our Hydrangea Talk Video Playlist on Youtube for everything hydrangea-related.
As always, if you have additional questions about how to care for your hydrangeas, don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re here for you!
April showers bring May flowers … and April brought us lots of showers.
May is the month of flowers in the greenhouse, and our greenhouse is bursting at the seams with more color this year than ever before!
As Mother’s Day approaches (Sunday, May 10th) it’s time to think big — just how big depends on you. Mother’s Day is a great day to spend with Mom walking around the greenhouse here at Van Wilgen’s where we have amazing combinations around every corner. Our woven rattan baskets are stunning this year, featuring new plant combinations along with new baskets. You have to check them out!
If you’re thinking bigger, let’s talk about making your own personal combo for Mom’s doorstep. Visit us in the custom container corner (in the front of our greenhouse) to create a combo that’s truly unique for her.
Flower combinations are a great way to have all your favorites in one pot. The best part? You don’t have to choose … you can have them all!
We get this question a lot this time of year. Unfortunately, the answer isn’t as simple as giving you a date—it’s driven by nighttime temperatures, so staying on top of the daily weather forecast is crucial. Since Mother Nature is unpredictable, we stick to the following rules of thumb, knowing that it’s all about being flexible and keeping an eye on the forecast. Annuals fall into a couple of basic planting temperatures:
-Fuchsias, petunias, nemesia, dianthus, osteospermum daisies, sweet alyssum, snapdragons, and dusty miller are also cold-tolerant but should be kept above 40 degrees. For those of you who want summer color in early spring, these are great options.
-Everything else requires temperatures over 50 degrees (24/7) to be safely put outside. This includes tropicals, houseplants, citrus, and figs.
Mother Nature is always in control. Our smartphones make life a lot easier these days; just look at any weather app and check the hourly tracking. If temperatures are going to drop below those listed above, cover your plants with some type of cloth … but never use plastic! Better yet, bring your plants inside at night (if possible).
Hint: watch what we do at Van Wilgen’s on our front patio. When it’s safe to put tropicals out for good, you will see them everywhere out there!