Double your Roses by Feeding and Deadheading

Is there anything better than walking into your garden, smelling the heavenly scent of a rose and seeing a luscious rose bloom?

Believe it or not, we think there is!

More roses!

Once your roses start blooming, all you want is for more roses to grow, too! Stack the odds in your favor by feeding and deadheading your roses now.

Give Your Roses an Energy Boost!

roses

 

To create those gorgeous, lovely rose blooms, roses need lots of energy! You don’t think those beautiful blooms just happen, do you?

  1. Ohm. Find the Right Balance. Roses need a balanced, organic fertilizer made specifically for roses. A balanced food with the same amounts of NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium) keeps the roots, flowers and foliage growing strong and healthy.
  2. Do as the Experts Do. Don’t the experts always know best? That’s what it seems like from those toothpaste commercials at least! The same is true in the garden. Rose-tone by Espoma, an organic plant food, is preferred by professional rose-growers. Follow their lead to grow bigger, better roses! Dare we say, prizewinning?
  3. The 30 Day Phase. Feed your roses once a month during the growing season. When you use a slow-release, organic fertilizer, your roses have enough to eat for 30 days. After that, they’ve consumed all the soil’s nutrients and need their energy source replenished. If the soil is dry, make sure you water roses heavily before feeding them. Find out more here.
  4. Look Dead? Off with their Head. Anyone who grows roses knows the value of deadheading. Roses will bloom all season if you remove spent flowers. Otherwise, the roses focus on seeding – not flowering. Plus, deadheading is easy! With pruners, simply cut dead roses just below the flower to the first set of leaves. Leave the leaves though, since these help plants grow strong. During drought, deadheading also reduces the plants need for water, increasing its chance of surviving this dry spell.
  5. Don’t stop there. Continue to deadhead roses until late August. This will allow the rose to form the important seed bearing hips it needs to produce even more flowers next spring!

Soon, roses will be coming up every which way! Go forth and create big, beautiful blooms with your newfound knowledge.

Nothing tastes better than Produce you Grow at Home!

Forget farm-to-table. Back-yard-to-table is the next big thing.

While it’s easy to buy strawberries at the grocery store anytime of the year, if you’ve tasted a freshly picked berry, you 61aa2f93fb6601e0a9691958de00e1d3know fresh is best. In a single bite, you can instantly taste the difference.

Through the rise of farmers markets, we’ve been able to get back in touch with our food and our farmers. These markets not only help us to know where our food comes from, but to also to learn more about nutrition, cooking and agriculture.

Growing your own, organic vegetable garden is easier than you think. And, you’ll save hundreds of dollars on groceries. Plus, it’s so rewarding to taste the food you nurtured and know exactly how it was grown.

If you’re just starting out, try growing organic herbs. They grow like crazy and don’t require much work.

If you’ve got kids, plant tomatoes. Eating them fresh off the vine teaches your children where their food comes from and encourages healthy eating habits. Besides, even the pickiest eaters will be much more likely to eat what they grow.

And, if you just want to get into organics, follow these tips for getting started. It’s the healthiest thing you can do for yourself and your family.

Soon, your family will be eating more organic food. Follow our Pinterest board for easy, fresh and organic recipes, too!

At Espoma Organic, we’ve spent decades sharing the benefits of natural, organic gardening. Believe us, taking care of yourself and the planet is well worth it. After all, food should come from the ground, not from a bag.

Share below why you think organic produce and gardening is important.

Mother’s Day Container Garden Ideas

Freshly baked chocolate-chip cookies, homemade sandwiches with the crusts cut off and secret passwords— mom did it all for you. She showered you with love in so many ways, big and small.

Now it’s your turn to remind Mom how much you truly appreciate her.

Since Mom has made so many wonderful treasures for you over the years, take the time to make her a gift she’ll enjoy for months!

From a traditional hanging basket to a funky container garden, select a container that’s just her style, fill it with her favorite flowers and present a homemade gift that will bloom and delight for months!

Watch our video on container gardening for each step of the process, or follow the steps below.

First, find the perfect container. There are tons of fun, colorful and patterned containers out there. Or get creative and use an unexpected object. Either way, select the one that screams “Mom!” to you.

Be sure your container has drainage holes at the bottom and be sure it isn’t too big. Once the container is filled with soil, it can get pretty heavy.

Next, look for 3-5 flowers, grasses or greenery. If you already know Mom’s favorite flowers, definitely use those.

Then, choose plants that spill, thrill and fill! You want a plant that cascades, one that mounds and one that stands out among the rest.

You can mix colors, or stick with a monochromatic color scheme. Have fun with it!

Regardless, it’s best to make sure your plants like the same growing conditions. As a final check before checkout, compare plant tags to see if they all need the same amount of sun and water.

While you’re still shopping, grab a bag of the best organic potting mix.

Espoma Organic Potting Mix is not only 100 percent organic, but contains Myco-tone Mycorrhizae, too.

Plants growing in Espoma Organic Potting Mix require up to 30 percent less water than other potting soils. With water restrictions a concern, Mom will use less water for her container.

Plus, Espoma Organic Potting Mix helps your plants adjust to their new home better and grow bigger roots for bigger plants.

Now, get crafty!

  1. Fill the container 3/4 full with Espoma’s Organic Potting Mix.
  2. Mix in 2 tablespoons of Espoma’s Bio-tone® Starter Plus with the soil to give it that extra oomph. This organic plant food encourages bigger and more plentiful blooms!
  3. Remove the plants from their original containers and arrange them in the new planter.
  4. Play around a bit. Move the plants around to see where each plant looks best.
  5. Once the plants look perfect to you, fill in any gaps in the container with organic potting soil.
  6. Water well.
  7. Stick your Mother’s Day card in the soil on a floral pick and tie a bow around the container.

Wait till you see Mom’s face when you arrive on Mother’s Day with a beautiful, homemade container garden!

Share a photo of your Mom with her homemade Mother’s Day container on our Facebook page! And tell her Happy Mother’s Day from Espoma!

Get More Blooms on Roses with a Monthly Organic Feeding

Imagine growing a rose bush bursting with big, beautiful flowers. It’s easy.

All your roses need is a well-balanced meal. Roses are one of the hungriest plants, so they need to be fed often to perform their best.

You’ll instantly see the difference once you start regularly feeding your roses. Bigger, better and even more roses are on their way! Plus, your plants will look healthier since they’ll fight off disease more efficiently.

It’s amazing how much a healthy, organic meal can improve your roses.

Your roses are waking up now since spring is just beginning. They’ve made it through a long winter and they are starving! Feed them the most nutritious meal you can.

Espoma’s organic Rose-tone includes more nutrients than any other rose food. Most rose fertilizers contain three nutrients — nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (N-P-K). Rose-tone goes far beyond that. This organic rose food contains 12 more micronutrients roses need, including iron, calcium and magnesium.

Feeding roses with Rose-tone is like providing a perfectly balanced meal. Your roses get all the nutrients they need to work as hard as they can.

Another benefit of organic rose foods, such as Rose-tone, is the gradual release of nutrients. Due to its slow-release formula, Rose-tone will never burn or leach plants. Plus, this is the only organic rose food that improves soil structure.

In beds, spread 6 pounds of per 100 square feet. For individual roses, use 1¼ cups of Rose-tone per plant.

Now, let’s boost your roses and soil with an organic feeding.

For established roses in beds, spread 6 pounds of Rose-tone per 100 square feet. For individual roses, use 1¼ cups of Rose-tone per plant.

Sprinkle the granular organic rose food around each plant out to the widest branch. This encourages your roses to stretch their feet and grow a little!

Then, scratch the food into the top 1” of soil.

If you’re planting new roses, add a mixture of peat moss and 3 cups Rose-tone to the planting hole.

Either way, feed your roses monthly from early spring to mid-September to keep them producing beautiful blooms.

Feeding roses with organic plant food is one of the best ways to get bigger, healthier roses. Share another trick to keep roses booming below.

Feed Your Flower Bulbs Now with an Organic Fertilizer

Breathe it in! Spring has arrived and brought the first flowers of the year with it! After the white of winter, sunny daffodils and a rainbow of tulips are a welcome sight.

Flower bulbs are inexpensive, easy to plant, provide stunning cut flowers and can last for years when taken care of properly.

The secret to keep spring flowering bulbs producing year after year is a spring time feeding of Bulb-tone.

Think about it. When planted, bulbs are packed full of nutrients to last all winter. Come spring, they’ve used all the food they have stored.

It’s like they’ve just run a winter-long marathon — and now they need you to greet them at the finish line with snacks and water.

Right now, your spring bulbs — tulips and daffodils included — are exhausted and starving even if they don’t look like it!

So, they need a hefty feeding to keep them robust.

Bulb-tone gives them everything they need to come back strong next year. Fertilizing spring bulbs also helps them fight off diseases and pests.

So, when should you feed spring flowering bulbs?

Fertilize spring bulbs after the plants have bloomed and are about 6” tall. That’s just about as tall as a dollar bill!

Now, what should you look for in bulb food?

Use an organic plant or bulb food that is low in nitrogen and has a higher amount of phosphorous. Nitrogen is the first of three numbers on fertilizer bags, — phosphorus is the second number on the bag. For example, Bulb tone by Espoma has a 3-5-3 Nitrogen- Phosphorous-Potassium ratio, which is exactly what bulbs need.

The advantage of using a plant food made specifically for bulbs is that it provides a complete feeding.

Your bulbs will love Espoma Organic Bulb-tone. This specially formulated bulb food is fortified with microbes to create a healthy soil and environment for bulbs. Plus, of course, it’s pet and kid friendly.

Now to boost spring bulbs, apply Bulb-tone at a rate of 4 lbs. per 60 square feet. Simply sprinkle the organic bulb food around the bulbs to ensure they come back stronger than ever next year.

One thing to remember – leaves on flowering bulbs produce food, and keep bulbs well fed throughout winter. So embrace your bulbs’ leaves! They add a lovely pop of glossy greenery to your landscape.

Only cut bulbs’ leaves when they begin yellowing or showing signs of decay. For tulips and daffodils, this can happen as late as June or July.

Now that your spring blooming bulbs are stocked with food and nutrients, they should come back next year!

What’s your favorite spring blooming bulb? We love white and yellow daffodils with green leaves – since they showcase Espoma colors! Share your favorite on our Facebook Page.

By Invitation Only – Yappy Hour at the Philadelphia Flower Show Friday 3/6

This week, we welcome one of our favorite months. March marks the start of spring, so cherry blossoms, forsythia and green grass will emerge soon.

Lucky for those of us around Philadelphia, we get to immerse ourselves in the smells, colors and blooms of spring now!

The 2015 Philadelphia Flower Show debuted this past Friday and runs through Sunday, March 8.

At the world’s largest indoor flower show, you’re instantly transported to a red-carpet movie premiere bejeweled with countless flowers. See recreated scenes from your favorite Disney and Pixar movies, such as Frozen, Cars and Cinderella, made from the brightest, biggest blooms.

Still planning when to experience the Technicolor world of floral cinema?

Mark your calendars for this Friday, March 6 – the Flower Show’s first ever Fido Friday and Espoma’s Yappy Hour from 6-9 p.m.!

Join us for the launch of our Safe Paws campaign and learn how to keep pets protected outside by creating a safe, healthy environment.

Naturally, you and your pets have been dreaming about spring and summer’s green grasses. But, did you know many lawn chemicals and pesticides can harm dogs and children?

Learn easy, natural solutions to make your yard and garden as healthy and safe as can be. After all, we know the best kept secrets since we’ve been developing organic lawn care products for over 85 years.

Grab a leash and enjoy the Flower Show with your pup. You can learn about outdoor pet safety, experience a canine fashion show, and meet local gardeners, too.

Join us for Espoma’s first ever Yappy Hour at the Philadelphia Flower Show this Friday, March 6 from 6-9 p.m.

And for great ideas on beautiful container gardening, stop by the Espoma exhibit anytime this week in Show Floor Hall B Front.

Comment below and tell us about your canine companion– and if you’ll be joining us this Friday!

Espoma Makes a Big Entrance at the 2015 Philadelphia Flower Show

We are proud to continue our efforts to support gardening education and culture by continuing to sponsor the PHS Philadelphia Flower Show for the third consecutive year.

Bringing a quarter-million visitors to Philadelphia each year, the show is the oldest and largest indoor flower show in the country. It features incredible large-scale floral displays, elaborate gardens and over-the-top floral creations.

Now, in its 187th year, the 2015 Flower Show will roll out the red carpet and “Celebrate the Movies.” Attendees will experience the magic of Disney Pixar as they walk through floral displays highlighting their favorite films, special events and more in celebration of the silver screen.

Also lighting up the silver screen, our container garden exhibit will inspire stunning designs using organic products. Marvel at how you can grow colorful flowers and nutritious, fresh vegetables in small spaces and containers.

We are excited to once again work with PHS as a Contributing Sponsor of the Philadelphia Flower Show. This truly magical event celebrates the joy and wonder that gardening can bring to everyone regardless of their skill level — novice to Master Gardener.

Attending this show this year? It is open from Saturday February 28th through March 8th at the Philadelphia Convention Center. Visit our exhibit in Show Floor Hall B Front.

Plant African Violets for a Pop of Color

Plant an African Violet in 9 Easy Steps:

Growing African violets is an easy way to add a burst of color inside – even in the dead of winter. These small flowers pack a punch with their bold color and dark, thick leaves.

To keep your African violet blooming all year long, follow these tips.

How to Pick, Plant and Care for African Violets:

  1. Pick the perfect plant. Select a healthy African violet in your choice of color that has dark green, spot-free leaves. Look for a plant with one growing center, known as a single crown, to get the most blooms.
  2. Start strong. Choose an organic potting soil made specifically for African violets, such as Espoma Organic African Violet Mix. A specially-formulated organic soil gives violets the right amount of air and drainage and is safe for people and pets, too.
  3. Choose a container. Use a pot made for azaleas or African violets, which has the right amount of drainage holes and a deep saucer. Avoid deep pots, which can cause roots to rot.
  4. Plant magic. Gently remove the African violet from its current pot without damaging roots. Next, give roots enough room to spread out. Pack any remaining holes with soil.
  5. Home sweet home. Place your African violet in a room-temperature spot with lots of indirect, natural light. Avoid direct sunlight, which can burn leaves. Be sure to rotate once a week for even growth.
  6. Water right. Only water your violet when the soil is dry to the touch. Then, fill the pot’s saucer, and allow the roots absorb the amount of water they need. After an hour, dump any remaining water to avoid over watering.
  7. Feed weekly. To keep your violet blooming and healthy, feed once a week with an organic plant food such as Espoma Gro-tone. This applies to all houseplants, too!
  8. Stop suckers. If you spot new growth, called suckers, on the main stem of your flower, remove them. Suckers can lead to misshapen plants.
  9. Repot. Repot large African violets once to twice a year and smaller ones twice per year. Choose a new pot that is 1/3 the diameter of the plant.

Enjoy the beautiful colors of your new African violets! Then, share your experience or why you love this purple flower today.