New Year’s Solution: Easy Garden Resolutions

The New Year is on the horizon. What an exciting time! We get to dream of the great things the year will bring with new goals, resolutions and hopes for you and your garden.

Now’s the time, grab a warm cup of cocoa and your favorite notepad to draft New Year’s resolutions for your garden.

Put Your Best Flower Forward: New Year’s Resolutions for Gardeners

Spend a few minutes dreaming to enjoy the year in your best garden ever!

Stride Outside. Americans spend 97 percent of their life indoors. Hard to believe, isn’t it? As a gardener, you know the magic, relaxation and beauty of the outdoors. Strive to spend more time outside every day!

Enchant with Plants. This year, grow only what you love! Make a list of all the flowers and edibles you grew last year. Cross off the ones that weren’t worth it, and star the plants you used the most. Add a few plants you’ve always dreamed of growing, too.

Test the Soil. The health of your plants depends on healthy soil. Vow to do a soil test this year before planting anything else. You won’t believe how easy they are!

Pause for Safe Paws. Grow a lawn and garden that puts your pets’ health first. Use only organic, chemical-free products to green your lawn. Take it a step further and by petscaping your yard.

Reduce Your Use. Plant more native and drought-resistant plants to reduce water usage. Or start composting to save kitchen and garden scraps from the landfill.

With your New Year’s Resolutions, the garden of your dreams will soon be a reality. Tastier edibles and bigger flowers ahead!  Track your goals using an app to ensure you achieve them.  

Pets’ Winter Safety Guide

Even with their fur coat, pets still need help keeping warm this winter. Like us, pets can only handle so much time outside during cold, snowy weather.

Keep pets safe and warm this winter by petscaping and prepping! Just like you avoid chemical lawn products because of Safe Paws, take precautions during winter, too.

Wagging Our Way to Winter Pet Safety

Alarming Antifreeze. Dogs and cats love the smell and taste of antifreeze, but it’s extremely toxic. Keep it out of their reach and quickly clean up any spills. If your pet ingests antifreeze, call a vet immediately.

petscaping winter

Dust Off Deicers. When your pet walks on paths or sidewalks, deicers stick to their paws. Deicers can burn paws and are harmful if eaten. Use a pet-safe deicer on your property. Also, apply petroleum jelly to pets’ paw pads to prevent other deicers from sticking. If deicer remains, wipe off quickly.

petscaping winter

The Chilly Check. Other than daily walks and outdoor exercise, pets shouldn’t be outside much in winter! Dogs and cats can get hypothermia or frostbite, just like us. Put a coat on short-haired dogs. If pets are outdoors most of the day, provide a dry shelter, where they can rest and warm up.

petscaping winterStack on the Snacks. When outside, pets use lots of energy to stay warm. When they head back indoors, provide them with extra food and water to help them recuperate.

winter petscaping

The Snow Shake. After playing in the snow, pets try to shake off the snow and cold. Help warm them up with a post-snow towel dry. Wipe off paws with a damp towel to get rid of stuck snowballs.

A little knowledge goes a long way! Check out our Safe Paws program that keeps your pets safe in every season.

Paw-sitively Perfect DIY Dog Treats

As you’re planning the perfect gift for everyone on your list, add a special little treat for furry friends.

DIY, organic dog treats are super easy to make, and all the special pups in your life will go bonkers for them.

After all, you do everything to keep your pet safe and healthy all year long. And, they thank you for their Safe Paws!

Now, show them how tasty the holidays can be with these homemade, organic dog treat recipes.

homemade dog treatsBetter than a Bone: DIY Organic Dog Treats

We promise dogs will love these homemade, organic and healthy treats. You know every ingredient is the best of the best.

homemade dog treats

  1. Sweet Treats. Make these easy, organic dog treats with pumpkin, sweet potato or apple and carrots. Super healthy for pups, and they only take 5 minutes of prep time!
  2. Beggin’ for Bacon. Combine dog’s two favorite snacks — bacon and peanut butter — for an irresistible treat.
  3. Choose Chicken. A little bit sweet and a little bit savory, these homemade dog treats are packed with chicken and peanut butter for lots of protein power.
  4. Gourmet Goodies. A famous LA-based chef cooked up an absolutely fabulous dog treat recipe. Sure to get 5 out of 5 barks!
  5. Sensitive Snacks. Gluten-free: check. Wheat-free: check. Delight dogs with sensitive tummies by baking this tasty treat.

Once dogs get a whiff of these tasty, all-natural treats, they’ll never want to go back to store-bought. Save big at the store, and keep your dog healthy by making these year-round.

Deck the Halls with Holiday Houseplants

Hang the stockings by the chimney with care. Decorate the tree with glee. Then spread joy with holiday houseplants.

After all, the halls aren’t decked until the houseplants arrive! Houseplants can stand alone or complement other holiday decor. Plus, their lively blooms, colors and smells are the definition of holiday cheer!

Houseplants make sweet gifts to give — and even sweeter gifts for you to get yourself!

Below is everything you need to know about holiday houseplants.

Holly, Jolly Holiday Houseplants

Start with the perfect holiday houseplant! The rest is easy.

1. Festive Poinsettia. No other houseplant captures the Christmas spirit more than poinsettias.

2. Cheerful Christmas Cactus. Red and green all over, this flowering houseplant is super easy to care for and bursts with sweet, red blooms all season.

houseplant

3. Amazing Amaryllis. Bold, stunning and elegant, amaryllis delight with vibrant red and snowy white blooms.

cat houseplant

4. Nifty Norfolk Island Pine. These petite Christmas trees are simply darling! Plus, they can grow up to 12’ tall if properly cared for!

 

5. Charming Cyclamen. Cyclamen’s heart-shaped red or pink flowers instantly fill spaces with love.

Keep Your Holiday Houseplants Happy

  1. Package It Up. Add your personal touch by potting your houseplant in a container matching your holiday decor. Have fun with it! Tie a bow around it, or paint the pot with chalkboard paint.
  2. Season’s Soil. Add a bit of organic fertilizer, then fill the pot with organic potting soil.
  3. Let It Shine. Read the plant tag to see how much sunlight and water your holiday houseplant needs.
  4. Feast on Food. Enjoy more of those beautiful blooms. Feed with Indoor! every 3-4 weeks during periods of active growth, usually from March through September.

The best way to spread Christmas cheer is by placing a holiday houseplant here and here! Enjoy those blooming beauties all season.

Thyme to Plant an Indoor Herb Garden

Add a dash of delight to your daily routine while keeping winter blues at bay. Start an indoor herb garden today.

Each time you grab sprigs of fresh herbs, you’ll forget all about winter! At that moment, all you’ll think of are the fresh, invigorating flavors of summer.

Plus, starting an indoor herb garden is simple with these tips.

Grow Superb Herbs Indoors

Give savory and sweet herbs these five ingredients, and they’ll flourish inside! Use fresh, flavorful herbs in cocktails, teas and recipes all winter long.

 Ray of Sunshine. Place indoor herbs in the sunniest spot possible. They love natural light and need at least 4 hours of sun every day. Keep herbs warm by avoiding chilly windows.

  1. Heaps of Herbs. Not every herb thrives indoors. Plant these herbs that grow best inside: mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme, lemongrass, chives and bay.
  2. Pile of Pots. Choose pots or upcycle containers with drainage holes on the bottom. Or place stones in the bottom of the pot before adding soil. For unique, DIY planter ideas, check out our Pinterest page.
  3. Settle in Soil. Plant herbs in organic potting soil. Pick an organic potting soil that contains earthworm castings and Myco-tone® to ensure herbs grow strong roots.
  4. Feed and Repeat. Indoor! is an organic plant food that helps you grow bigger and better herbs. Continue fertilizing herbs once each month.

With your just-plucked herbs, cook up dishes that harness herbs’ intensity. Try a few of our favorite recipes that include herbs here. Bon appétit!

Grateful for Great Gardeners this Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is days away, and we’re so excited to gather with loved ones and enjoy a locally-grown, organic feast! Does it get any better? It sure does! Because we have so much to be thankful for. Below we’re sharing what we’re thankful for at Espoma this year.

Our Espoma Community

Each time we package a product, meet with a customer or hear from you, we’re filled with overwhelming gratitude.

We are so incredibly thankful for you — specifically your continued support and enthusiasm for organic gardening over the years.

Everyone who supports Espoma becomes part of our organic gardening community. Just last week, we connected with a customer who has been using Espoma products since 1968.

He reminded us we’re all in this together.

organic lawn care, green lawn,

Three Barks for Safe Paws

This year, we launched Espoma’s Safe Paws. Through Safe Paws, we advocate the importance of using organic lawn and garden products to keep pets safe.

Once we learned that cancer affects 1 out of every 3 dogs, we had to take action.

Since then, we’ve been sharing easy, fun ways to keep your pets’ paws safe!

We’re so thankful we’re able to keep pets safe from harmful pesticides by focusing on using organic lawn products.

organic gardening, edible gardening

Green Movement Growing

When we started our organic garden company in 1929, we were organic before organic was trendy.

Now, we’re thrilled families across the nation are joining the green movement.

35 percent of all households in America — a mighty 42 million households — are growing fruits and veggies.

Best of all, the largest increase in food gardening is among young families, according to the National Gardening Association.

Thank YOU for growing your own food, using sustainable energy and reducing waste whenever you can.

Pause and appreciate what you’re most thankful for this year. Happy Thanksgiving to all!

A Plant Today Keeps the Doctor Away

For most of us, the outdoor gardening season is winding down. Yet, we want to keep that green thumb moving!

Channel your gardening energy indoors. A green-filled oasis awaits you! Add a few indoor plants today!

potted-cactus succulent

Top 3 Reasons Why You Can Never Have Enough Houseplants

Plants add a pop of color and a burst of life to spaces. But, they do even more.

  1. Pollution Solution. Indoor plants scrub the air clean by removing toxins, according to NASA research. Houseplants remove 87 percent of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are in everything from rugs and grocery bags to paint and vinyl.
  2. Find Your Focus. Houseplants increase well-being by 47 percent, increase creativity by 45 percent and increase productivity by 38 percent, according to new research.
  3. Combat Colds. Powerful indoor plants can reduce fatigue, coughs, sore throats and other cold-related illnesses by more than 30 percent, found the University of Agriculture in Norway.

orchid houseplant

Caring for Houseplants is Easy

Houseplants provide us with all those benefits and ask for very little in return. Here’s all they need!

  1. Strong Soil. Organic potting soil packed with nutrients, enriched with Myco-tone® and fortified with worm castings sets houseplants up for success. Whether you’re planting new or repotting old plants, use an organic soil.
  2. Light It Right. Check your plant tag to see how much sun your plant needs.
  3. Wow with Water. Water most houseplants when the top of the soil feels dry. Only water succulents and cacti when the soil is completely dry.
  4. Fuel with Organic Fertilizer. . Fertilize houseplants with an organic fertilizer such as Indoor! during active periods of growth. This is usually during the spring and summer.

Those happy houseplants will make you smile every day! Check out Espoma’s “Houseplant” Pinterest board for more inspiration and ideas!

Let Light Delight. Learn about Our Solar Power Initiatives

Five years ago, we at Espoma converted our plant and offices in Millville, NJ into a sunny, solar-power sanctuary. And we’ve never looked back!

Learn how much solar power brightens our world along with simple ways to harness solar power.

Radiant Energy Reductions at Espoma

Vowing to reduce our carbon footprint, we installed 43,000 square feet of solar panels. This reduces as much carbon dioxide as planting 1.7 million trees!

Espoma solar power

Data as of Nov 2015

Every year, Espoma generates enough solar energy to power over 60 homes and save more than 1.4 million pounds of greenhouse gas emissions.

Click here to see how many light bulbs we’ve saved over the last five years!

Easy, Enlightening Ways to Use Solar Power

Solar panels are a big, initial investment. Luckily, you can still give solar power a shot by trying the Espoma Aerial Solar Powerbelow!

  1. Get a Solar Glow. Swap your outdoor garden lights or indoor desk lamps to solar energy.
  2. A Sun Deck for Your Tech. Charge phones, laptops and tablets using solar power! Switching to solar-powered tech chargers instantly reduces your energy use. If plugged in, tech chargers suck up energy – even without a device attached.
  3. Sizzle with Solar. Heat your home’s water with just a few solar panels. A fraction of the cost of a complete solar power system, you can test solar panels without the hefty price tag.
  4. Swim in the Sun. Whether you’re building a new pool or choose to convert a current one, you can heat pools and hot tubs with solar energy.
  5. Bask in Sunny Skylights. Opt for solar tubes instead of regular skylights. Solar tubes are cheaper, more energy efficient and better insulated than skylights.

Be a leading light, and use solar power! Don’t go solar solo, though. Share these easy tips with your friends.  

Unveiled – This Year’s Best-Dressed Pumpkin Winner

How much fun have y’all had admiring the pumpkins in Espoma’s Pumpkin Decorating Contest?

All month long, we’ve been checking our Facebook page to applaud the creative pumpkin designs. Inspired, we must confess we’ve copied a few of the designs for our office! Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery after all.

Now, it’s time to pick the contest winner, who will score a $250 VISA gift card. Plus, we’re shining the spotlight on a few of our favorite pump-kings!

Drumroll, please!

Congratulations to Catie! Everyone simply adored your cute, cuddly pumpkin critter. That beaming, orange smile brightened our day.

Below are a few more pumpkins that stole a piece of our hearts!

Espoma Pinterest

  1. Heather – With bold royal blues and creamy whites, you created an exquisitely elegant windmill scene!
  2. Cynthia – We loved that your “lawless chickens” got to cluck alongside a freshly-carved chick!
  3. Joy – Your pumpkin village, brimming with magic, looked like a scene out of a Halloween movie!
  4. Susie – A pumpkin pile and a skeleton?! What a creative way to combine two of our favorite Halloween horrors!
  5. Amanda – Halloween décor never looked so chic. Your pumpkin-scape flaunted an amazing array of succulent shapes and pumpkin hues.
  6. Ann – Talk about precise carving! Your wolf looks like a howling Halloween haunting.
  7. Quineka – So fun! Who would have guessed Cookie Monster preferred pumpkin cookies?
  8. Nikita – Your spooky, snarling pumpkins personified that it’s a pumpkin-eat-pumpkin world!
  9. Adrienne – Ahoy! All hands are on deck applauding this action-fighting, patch-wearing pumpkin!
  10. Marlana – We paused for your Safe Paws! Your pumpkin pups looked truly fetching!

Thanks to all for sharing your creative pumpkin masterpieces! We’d pick all your pumpkins from the patch! Be sure to check out our Pinterest page to see all of the pumpkins entered in our contest!

Step-by-Step: Prep the Garden for Winter

Did you feel that? Jack Frost has flown in for the season. We’ve already felt the first nip of cold weather, which means your garden has, too.

For many, the first frost date arrives in late October or early November.

Help your garden weather the cold this season. Prepare the lawn and garden beds now for an easy, fruitful spring.

Gardening for winter consists mostly of outdoor cleanup, followed by an indoor revival. Cleanup first, though!

winter lawn

Clip, Drip and Equip the Garden before Winter

  • Discard the Deceased. Compost spent annuals and vegetable plants.
  • Protect Perennials. Water perennials (rose bushes included!) once more. Then, after the ground freezes, cut perennials back to 3”, and remove any dead or diseased cane on roses. Finally, mulch.
  • Create a Clean Slate.Remove weeds from garden beds and then create superb soil. Take the soil test and add organic amendments as needed. After a hard freeze, mulch beds.

winter-lawn-care

So Long to the Lawn

winter garden tips

Ta-Ta for Now Trees

  • Leave the Leaves. Turn those golden leaves into garden gold by composting them!
  • Bolster the Bark. Feed trees with an organic tree fertilizer, such as Espoma’s Tree-tone for winter sustenance.
  • Stare at the Bare. After the leaves have fallen, examine your tree for weak spots and problems to prevent damage from fallen tree limbs during snow storms.

Your garden’s been put to bed for the winter and will surely sleep soundly. Now, let’s focus on those incredible indoor plants to keep you gardening all winter long.