Out in the yard, roses are starting to arrive and are ready for planting! We’ve been getting lots of questions from you all, asking about rose care, and we’re here to help! Roses often get a bad reputation as being tricky, but they’re often much simpler than you’d think.
The most important thing with roses is to plant them in full sun. Roses want to bake, so make sure they’re in a good and sunny spot and not in a place where they’ll get wet. They only need to be watered every third day or so – let them dry out well in between – and make sure they aren’t near a downspout or boggy spot but rather one that is well-drained.
To get your roses started off right, put down some fresh Van Wilgen’s Mulch (available in both bulk and bags!). Apply a three-inch layer of mulch around roses to keep moisture in and keep weeds at bay. You’ll just want to keep mulch three inches from the canes of the rose. You’ll also want to fertilize your roses monthly using a slow-release fertilizer, such as Espoma’s Rose-Tone until about September.
As you start to see blooms, it’s important to deadhead them as the flowers die in order to encourage them to re-bloom.
If you have a known insect or critter problem in your yard, insect control products, as well as deer and/or vole repellents, can be used preemptively. Additionally, as the season progresses, if new disease or insect problems arise, we have a full lineup of products that can treat these issues. Stop by or give us a call and we’ll be happy to help you identify the issue your roses are facing and find you the right solution!
With a little patience and TLC, you’re sure to have beautiful roses that thrive!
We have all heard the phrase ‘April Showers bring May Flowers’ but it turns out there are few things we need to do to freshen up our gardens. April is the perfect time for spring clean-up! Start with simple raking and going for a clean slate in the garden. Prune any broken branches, and fix any uneven ground by adding Van Wilgen’s Topsoil or Compost.
Next, is the all-important new layer of mulch. Mulching is a great way to start off your garden for the season and give it a refresh. Apply a 2-3” layer of mulch to the base of your plants. Be sure to keep the mulch at least 3’’ away from the stem of any plant. Not only does it help settle in the roots, but it will provide warmth, hold in moisture, suppress weeds, encourage growth, and make your beds look beautiful all around.
We understand that everyone has their own style when it comes to mulch. Whether it’s the classic look of Black Mulch or a fragrant Cedar Mulch or something in between, Van Wilgen’s is sure to have something that’s just right for your landscape. Probably the biggest question we get is “how much mulch do I need?”, no problem, just check out our mulch page to access our mulch calculator. Just add in the dimensions of your bed and how thick you would like it and we do the work for you! Would you rather have your mulch delivered? You can order mulch online and schedule delivery right to your home.
Not quite sure what you’re are looking for or need a visual to get your creative juices flowing? Stop by the store to see a sample of our mulches.
Need a bag or two to finish up a big project? Our new Van Wilgen’s bagged mulch is a perfect match for our bulk mulches. Choose from our Cedar, New England Pine Bark, Hemlock, Black, and Dark Bark mulches.
You’d be amazed at what a fresh application can do for your landscape. Once applied, it’ll look like you have a whole new garden.
Still have questions? Feel free to give us a call. We’re here to help!
The season for seeding is upon us!
If you’re ready to get to overseeding or spot seeding your lawn, the first thing you need to do is your yard clean-up. Use your heavy-duty rake and really go to town raking up the sticks, old weeds, and dead grass.
Your next step will be to decide how much time and effort you want to put into your over-seeding or spot seeding project so you can prep your supplies.
A more in-depth process includes aerating your lawn – a process that pulls dirt plugs out of the soil to alleviate compaction and helps water and oxygen flow through. You can rent an aerator if you don’t own one, or even use a hoe or aerating spike shoes if you’re just doing a small section of lawn.
You may opt not to aerate, but with or without that step you can use a product called Gypsum to continue to alleviate compaction – which is the kiss of death for any lawn. Gypsum is an all-natural, under-used product that helps improve soil conditions.
Another optional step is to put down topsoil. Your existing soil may be good enough, but if you decide to put down a thin layer of topsoil, I recommend a topsoil-to-compost 2 to 1 ratio to add much-needed nutrients that topsoil alone does not have. We offer topsoil in bags for spot seeding or bulk for over-seeding.
Once your topsoil is down, it’s time to choose your seed. It’s important to pick the right seed, which is based on how many hours of sunlight your lawn gets. We have custom-made, small-batch, locally sourced Van Wilgen’s grass seed available that is suited to fit all Connecticut environments. Options range from SeashoreMix seed for those whose lawns get salt spray to seed for deep Under Tree Shade mix.
Lay your seed down in a dense, single layer and at the same time put down a starter fertilizer. Both synthetic and organic starter fertilizer options are available.
Next, put down a cover, such as the weed-free straw we carry called Mainely Mulch or the GreenView product Seeding Success. This will hold the seed in place, hold the moisture in, stop the birds from eating it and help warm up the soil temperatures for quicker germination.
The most important part of the process is regular watering. All of your work will have been for nothing if you do not keep the seed damp daily – no puddles. As a general rule, you’ll want to water for a half-hour a day for 30 days, preferably before lunch. It may be necessary to water twice a day if the weather is particularly hot.
Now is the time to get this project underway. The soil still has a bit of warming up to do, but it’s best to get your over-seeding done before the summer sun comes blazing in and you’ll be on your way to the lawn you’ve spent your winter dreaming of!
At Van Wilgen’s we have a saying: pansies are tiny but tough.
You might think that pansies need to be kept inside during this time of year with cold nights and warmer days, but that would actually be the worst thing for them.
To keep these cheerful springtime annuals happy, you’ll want to keep them between 45 and 65 degrees, but they can tolerate temperatures as low as 28 degrees, which is below freezing. As soon as the spring sun comes up in the morning, if the pansies were frozen, any ice will melt, and they’ll bounce right back to life. Right now through the end of June is the time pansies enjoy most so it’s the perfect time to take some home to brighten up your garden or containers for instant springtime color.
It’s a refreshing sign of spring when you can see and smell the pansies. For this area, pansies are an annual that typically lasts from March to the end of June. In cooler summers, they can even last as late as the end of August. To prolong the season and promote more flowers, be sure to deadhead your pansies as much as possible, and keep them in tip-top shape with Bloom Booster.
Just remember to keep your pansies outdoors. Unless you have a cold area in your house, they won’t last more than two days inside and will start to wilt. If you’re worried about a steep temperature drop outside you can cover them overnight with a sheet or a box. If they aren’t planted, you can bring them in overnight before you go to bed but make sure they’re out again by the time you make the coffee in the morning.
Not only are pansies beautiful in all colors of the rainbow, but they are also edible. With a taste like lettuce that has a sweetness to it, they’re great with mixed greens in a salad or some people crystalize them as a baking decoration.
No matter what color you prefer or how you like to enjoy them now is the time to plant and enjoy these tough little signs of spring!