Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the difference between a perennial and an annual?
A: A perennial is a plant that comes back every year.  An annual is a plant that blooms for one season and then dies.  There is also a biennial, which is a plant that survives for 2 years and then dies.

Q: When is it safe to plant most bedding and vegetable plants?
A: Years ago, most people did not plant until Memorial Day due to the chance of possible late frosts in May.  Now it is usually considered safe to plant around Mother’s Day, which is normally the 2nd weekend in May.  If you have already planted and then hear of a frost warning, be sure to cover the plants with tarps/garbage bags to protect them from the frost.

Q: What type of soil do I need for container gardening?
A: If you opt for the cheap route when planting in pots and buy topsoil or a poor grade of potting soil, you will be sorry.  A good grade of potting mix which is a mixture of peat moss, composted bark, perlite and other ingredients, is a balanced fluffy combo to allow drainage, aeration and sufficient water retention by the plant.

Q: What is “deadheading” and how do I do it?
A: Deadheading is the term used for removing dead flower blooms.  This is necessary to keep a plant healthy and to promote the next set of blooms to come on.  The proper way to deadhead is to follow the bloom down to the base of its stem and snap or cut the entire stem off.  New blooms will come on from new stems more quickly if you do this.

Tips and Tricks...

Container gardening care tips....
As the weather warms up many people start to experience problems with their hanging baskets and container plants. Here are a few tips that are critical in maintaining a nice planter.

Fertilizing is key to any flowers that are contained in pots. A slow release granular fertilizer such as osmocote is good or a liquid fertilizer such as miracle grow works well. Liquid fertilization should be done about every 2 weeks but be sure to be getting the soil not the flowers or leaves, as that may burn the plant. This is not as necessary for flowers planted in the ground because they receive nutrients from the soil around them.
Watering... "Do I water everyday?" well, when its sunny and 85 degrees the answer is yes, sometimes twice a day. When it's cool and cloudy or rainy, not necessarily. The plant will tell you by its soil and appearance.
Deadheading... is getting rid of old, finished blooms on a plant. The majority of annuals must be deadheaded to help new blooms come on. Petunias are beautiful! But if you do not deadhead them they can get ugly real fast! You simply follow down the base of the stem where the flower was growing and pinch the whole thing off. (Don't just pull out the old flower)

Fruit storage tip....
Tomatoes should never be stored in the refrigerator (with the exception of a cut piece that you didn't finish). The refrigerator temperature is too cold and dulls the flavor and inhibits the ripening process.
Stone fruit (peaches, plums, nectarines) should also be left out on the counter to ripen. If you have a lot and need to keep a few in the fridge to hold them it's okay, but try not to for more than a couple of days. Summer fruit tastes better left to ripen at room temperature. Remember ... softer is sweeter!