It shouldn’t come as a surprise when visiting the “stinky” department at Van Wilgens that some of our team LOVE fertilizer! We “Fertilize, Mulch and Preen” which rhymes with a “1-2-3 routine”

We love fertilizer because it can be so helpful to our plants and the environment; veggie gardens will give you a much greater yield; annuals will push out more bloom; trees will establish deeper root systems, and shrubs will be less prone to disease.

Should I Fertilize?
In a nutshell…Yes!

What kind of Fertilizer do I need?
There is a fertilizer for every seed, every plant, and for every time of the year, so there are different categories of fertilizers:

Tone bags

Mulching is considered one of the most beneficial things you can do for your soil and your plants. It is a vital step in keeping your plants healthy and thriving. A layer of mulch will help prevent the germination of many weed seeds, reducing the need for cultivation or use of herbicides. Over time, mulches made from organic materials break down and increase your soil’s structure and fertility. Mulches help moderate the soil temperature and retain moisture during dry weather, reducing the need for watering. Mulch also protects the soil from the impact of raindrops that can cause crusting.

Nope, this isn’t how bird’s keep their feather neat, it’s a granular pre-emergent put down after mulching, in early Spring, to prevent weed seeds from germinating

Although we still should expect some cold starts before Easter, people are itching to get outside and are turning to their winter-ravaged lawn and asking:

When should I seed my lawn?
The soil temperature needs to be about 50 degrees in order for grass seed to germinate. We recommend seeding in spring when the soil temp reaches 50 degrees. The key to germination is water, water, water.

Don’t forget to check out our Watering and Planting Guides

Should I Fertilize?
Yes! There is a fertilizer for every seed, every plant, and for every time of the year. We don’t love fertilizer just because of our jobs, we love fertilizer because it helps your plants and the environment. Regular fertilization ensures your Veggie gardens will give a much greater yield; annuals will push out more bloom; trees will establish deeper root systems, and shrubs will be less prone to disease.

What about the deer in my neighborhood ?
When a deer is hungry there is almost nothing you can do to stop them. We offer a well-rounded selection of repellants as well as choosing plants that are known to be deer resistant. A quick rule of thumb includes anything fuzzy, fragrant or sharp. Look to our deer-resistant tree and shrub list as well as shop our deer-resistant perennial bench.

Is it Dead?
“Survey Says….:”…by far the most asked question at the garden center recently. Our advice to all…don’t panic! With the up and down weather temperatures typical of early spring it is often too soon to tell. Please resist the temptation to prune your plants to the ground since this may cause your plants to not flower this year and next.

Things are uncertain right now and your routine has likely been upended, but one thing that is consistent is the need to get outside and the importance of spring cleaning this time of year!

That need is never more important than in your yard. This is the time to get some fresh air while you clean up, remove leaf debris and rake out the clutter from your garden.

It’s important as you cut back your ornamental grasses and prune and cut back your roses and perennials, make sure to spread a nice layer of mulch. For plant health, the best practice is to lay a three-inch-thick layer of woody mulch. Anything that is bark-based will do.

This is also the time to fertilize as well, and I’ll have more advice on that next week.

Applying Preen is also beneficial right now. The pre-emergent will prevent weeds from coming up and reduce the amount of maintenance you need to do throughout the year. If you really want to enter the green thumb zone, add compost to your beds before you lay down mulch, which will add some nice organic matter into the soil. For those of you who are at home and would rather not come into the Garden Center right now, we deliver mulch in bulk, which you can pay for over the phone or online. We’ll drop it off in your driveway and you don’t even need to come outside. Please, though, do get outside and enjoy the changing season and freshen up your landscape!


WE LOVE FERTILIZER! Yes, there is a fertilizer for every seed, every plant, and for every time of the year. Fertilizer is amazing because it can be so helpful to our plants and the environment. Veggie gardens will give you a much greater yield, annuals will push out more bloom, trees will establish deeper root systems, shrubs will be less prone to disease, etc. We are not suggesting that you over-fertilize. This possibility does exist and will negatively affect your plants. Be sure to read the label! Twice the serving does not mean twice as good. Be judicious. Be wise. We can help.

Remember that there is a fertilizer for every time of the year? Well, there is. For this hot, August month, you have got to try Van Wilgen’s Root Boost and/or Van Wilgen’s Fish & Seaweed Fertilizers. They are perfect for any type of plant from veggies to houseplants. There is no risk of burning your plants with these fertilizers. They will enhance the plant’s vigor with kelp, beneficial bacteria, and nutrients. Use one or both together every week. You will truly notice a difference.

Fall is coming. In spite of this terribly hot, humid, dry weather, fall is on the way and this means it is time to restock the garage with fertilizers or to pull the ones you already have, out of the garden shed. This heat is brutal on plants. They will need your help to recover from the stress of summer. Pay attention to your struggling lawn. September is the time to apply Espoma’s Organic Summer Revitalizer or Greenview’s Lawn Food. Fertilize the heck out of your annuals and veggies. Give them a last hoorah with Van Wilgen’s Bloom Booster. Push them to their maximum. Trees and shrubs are screaming for Espoma’s Plant-Tone or Holly-Tone. Use half the rate, at this time of the year and quiet their screams. Do not let your lawns and gardens go hungry.

So, stop by the “smelly” department when you are visiting Van Wilgen’s. We will help you choose the right fertilizer for the right plant at the right time of the year.

Come see us at Van Wilgen’s. We would love to help!