Video: Lightbulb Terrarium with Garden Answer
Looking for some creative terrarium ideas?
Watch as Laura from @Garden Answer uses a unique lightbulb to plant some succulents!
Looking for some creative terrarium ideas?
Watch as Laura from @Garden Answer uses a unique lightbulb to plant some succulents!
Watch as Laura from @GardenAnswer plants some new trees with the help of Espoma!
The weather is getting warmer, which means it’s time to start thinking about sowing spring veggies and planning ahead! Cool season crops can be directly sown into the ground as soon as the soil temperature is at or above 40˚F, but ensure you’re not working with wet or muddy soil since those are not favorable conditions for plant growth. Don’t forget to include Espoma Organic Garden-Tone to give your new vegetables the nutrients they need to grow big and delicious!
Fresh baby spinach is not only delicious, but it’s also loaded with vitamins and minerals. This vegetable is versatile because you can eat it alone in a springtime salad or mix it into something like a smoothie! Now is a great time to sow spinach since it usually sprouts quickly and is somewhat frost-resistant in the face of unpredictable spring weather.
2. Swiss Chard
You may not be familiar with this beet relative, but it’s another amazing plant that is easy to grow from seed in the early springtime. You can eat chard raw or cooked and feel good knowing it contains 3 times the recommended daily intake of vitamin K and 44 percent of the recommended amount of vitamin A! Remember to harvest only the outer leaves during the spring and leave the inside for a later harvest.
Lettuce may seem simple, but did you know it actually comes in a variety of colors, species, shapes, and sizes? Gardeners love this plant lettuce because harvesting the baby greens is quick and easy — sometimes it can be ready after just 30 days! Lettuce is low in calories, fat, and sodium and is also a good source of fiber, iron, folate, and vitamin C. You can use your lettuce in a traditional salad, or spice things up by putting it in soup, making a wrap, or even grilling it.
Radishes are the quickest vegetable to grow on this list if you truly want an early spring harvest. They’re also rich in antioxidants and minerals like calcium and potassium. Did you know these nutrients can help lower high blood pressure and reduce your risks for heart disease? You can put radishes in salads or even add them to stir fry or tacos.
Kale is the perfect vegetable if you want to produce a lot of food with little effort. It’s known as a “super food” for a reason — because cooked kale actually produces more iron than beef! It grows easily from a seed, so all you have to do is harvest the outer leaves for baby kale and let the rest of the foliage grow to full size. Kale, like spinach, is a great ingredient to add to your next salad or smoothie. Try a kale salad, or add it to a smoothie to make it healthier!
If you want to get your kids interested in gardening, the simplicity of planting peas is a great start. Fresh grown peas are a sweet and delicious side for any dish, or you can use them to make pea soup. They’re a good source of vitamins C and E, zinc, and other antioxidants that strengthen your immune system. You’ll want to read the seed packets closely to see if there are any specific growing directions and to get an idea of how tall this plant will grow. If you don’t want to do all the shelling regular peas require, you should opt for sugar snaps or snow peas.
It’s much easier than you may think to grow delicious and nutritious veggies in your own backyard. Plus, it’s fun and simple enough for the whole family to help! Which ones are you going to include in your early spring garden?
When planting onions from seed, Espoma Organic Seed Starter is a key component in promoting root growth and improving moisture retention. Check out how Garden Answer uses it!
With Memorial Day in the rearview, summer is officially here once again — and while we wish that meant nothing but sunshine and barbecues, bugs seem to always make an appearance this time of year. But did you know there are ways to avoid getting bitten and bugged every time you want to relax outside?
The fragrance of certain plants can actually block the receptors insects use to find us. It’s just another great reason to get a garden going in your backyard, around your patio, or anywhere you like to enjoy fresh air. All you really need to sustain these helpful plants is some good starter fertilizer like Espoma’s organic Bio-tone Starter Plus and to make sure they’re fed every two to four weeks with Grow! to ensure they get the proper nutrients.
So, if you’re getting some unwanted guests during those summer cookouts, try planting some of these simple staples.
Did you know many mosquito repelling candles and sprays are made from citronella oil? Lemon grass naturally produces this ingredient and doubles as a beautiful grassy plant for walkways and around tables. Alternatively, you can plant it in its own pot and use it wherever your local mosquitos tend to congregate.
Other Lemon-Scented Plants
Similar to lemongrass, other plants that give off a strong citrus fragrance — like lemon-scent geraniums, lemon thyme, and lemon balm — work well to repel bugs. These plants use their fresh scent to keep their leaves from being eaten — and in turn can help you keep from being bitten.
Despite lavender’s sweet smell being quite popular among people, most insects hate it. Keeping this plant near seating areas will help ward away mosquitos and other pesky flies. A great thing about this plant is that you can use it fresh or dried to get the job done — or even just use the extracted oil. This way you have different options on how you want to decorate while still keeping the pests at bay.
Rosemary is a great addition to your cookout. Throw a few sprigs on the grill as you’re cooking to release its fragrance into the air. It’ll smell wonderful to you and your family but make the bugs fly in the other direction.
Basil is another herb that will keep the mosquitos away. It’s also toxic to mosquito larvae, so placing this plant near water can help discourage mosquitoes from laying eggs.
Mint’s fragrance is great at repelling pests like ants, mosquitoes, and even mice. It’s also always a nice addition to any dish, so incorporating it into your barbecue can be beneficial in more ways than one.
If cabbage moths are just as pesky as mosquitoes in your backyard, garlic can be your saving grace. When crushed, the garlic bulbs release allicin — an enzyme that produces that classic garlic smell. Your local pests will definitely not enjoy your garlic breath, so go ahead and use it up all weekend long.
Any and all of these plants can be used purely to keep the bugs away, but they’re also beautiful decor for your outdoor area. Be sure to keep up with them all season long in order to reap the benefits whenever your cookouts come around.
Here are some of our other blogs we thought you might enjoy.
BUG OFF – Plants That Repel Mosquitoes
Perk Up Summer Containers with Stunning Annuals
Growing Scrumptious Tomatoes in Easy Containers
With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, there’s a lot of pressure to find the perfect gift, we made it simple.
Give something that will live long past the special day – Red Houseplants!
The best part yet? These are perfect gifts for your special guy or girl. Visit your local garden center to surprise your love with a beautiful new plant today.
5 Red Houseplants to Spark the Romance
Trust us, gifting any of these romantically red houseplants will show your love for years to come. Feeding plants with Espoma’s Indoor! liquid fertilizer helps keep their red vibrant.
What else can you give for Valentine’s Day? Try a cute and creative gnome garden!
Jack Frost is starting to nip at our noses and cold fronts are coming in. Summer and fall colors have come and gone and gardens are left with cut back perennials and the anticipation of spring blooms. But your garden doesn’t have look lack luster due to the cold! Some blooms thrive in the winter.
Plant these hardy, winter thriving plants and watch them dazzle even in the snow. They will add color even in the dreariest months of the year.
6 Dazzling Plants for Winter Months
This winter-loving plant will impress any holiday visitors. Also called Christmas Rose, Hellebore will show off beautiful blooms from mid-December through early spring. It grows tall enough for its blooms to poke out even after a good snowfall. The colors of the flower come in white, green, pink, purple, cream and even spotted. Hellebore grows well in zones 4-9 and in partial shade.
Keeping its fall color through the winter, witch hazel is bright and beautiful against the white snow. This shrub can be massive, growing more than 12 feet tall in some areas. Witch hazel puts out red and yellow clusters that look like little suns. It fits well in woodland gardens or can be used as a focal piece in a garden. Witch hazel grows well in zones 3-9 and in full to partial sun.
Mounding, soft needle ground covers that provide color in the winter is a must-have in the garden. Winter heath brings dainty purple flowers that bloom in December and last through April. It only grows about a foot tall, but it will spread twice the height. Depending on the variety, winter heath grows well zones 4-8 and in full sun.
With sturdy foliage and rose-like blooms, camellias are often found in the South. Some varieties will surprise you with their hardiness in the snow. These varieties come in colors from white to pink. They grow well in acidic soil, using Espoma’s Holly-Tone to fertilize will set them up for success. Camellia grows well in zones 6-9 and in partial sun.
Winterberry provides year-round interest with beautiful greenery in the summer and bright, lipstick-red berries in the winter. Mirroring the traditional holly, the bright berries make the shrub stand out in a winter holiday setting. Winterberry grows well in zones 3-9 and in full to partial sun.
China Blue Vine
This evergreen is hardy and dependable. In the spring, it produces lovely, fragrant bell shaped flowers in a variety of colors ranging from ivory to mauve. The foliage stands out year-round by being thick and shiny. It holds the foliage lower so it will not topple over in the snow. China Blue Vines grow well in zone 7-9 and in full to partial sun.
Give winter plants their best chance by planting with Espoma’s Bio-Tone Starter Plus.
Need tips on how to prepare your garden for winter? Check out this blog!
August is an exciting time. After all, your flower beds are radiant and your vegetable garden is thriving!
Although it may seem like watering and weeding are your only tasks this month, there’s still a lot to do. Help your garden beat the heat and prep for fall at the same time.
Keep your garden beautiful during August:
Maintenance and Preparation
Congratulations on all your hard work on the August garden!
How will you and your garden be celebrating the end of summer? Let us know in the comments!
You love your garden, and so do the notorious neighborhood deer. They’ll try anything at least once and will come back for more if they like it. Not to mention the rabbits and other critters that think of your yard as their own personal all you can eat buffet.
Get serious about deer proofing your garden before the damage gets out of control. Early intervention is always best and you can prevent future invasions by taking action now. It’s much easier to deter one deer before the entire herd is grazing on your garden.
What do deer eat?
More like what won’t deer eat? Deer will eat any vegetation and the hungrier they are, the less picky they get. Growing plants that deer find less attractive is a good starting point, but a desperate deer might still take a bite.
Deer are big eaters. The average adult male consumes about five pounds of food a day.
If you want to keep the deer at bay, try out these tips in your own yard.
Deter Deer and Other Animal Pests:
1. Place strong scented plants near entry points such as garlic, rosemary and lavender. Or choose plants with textures like lamb’s ear, thorny roses, barberry or holly.
2. Fences are generally the best force to keep critters at bay, but they can be expensive. Choose an 8’ tall fence or plant tall, thick hedges around borders. If your main concern is rabbits, the fence should be 30” tall and buried 8-12”.
3. Use liquid or granular animal repellant. Spread or spray around the perimeter of your yard. Reapply after rain and as often as directed. Over time, deer can become used to repellents so you may need to switch products if you notice deer near your yard.
4. An element of surprise such as a garden ornament or scarecrow can deter deer. Move it around frequently.
5. Install motion sensors that light up as deer approach.
6. Enlist your pooch. Active and noisy pets can keep deer at bay.
What’s worked for you in the past? Let us know in the comments below!
Lazy days of summer? Think again! July can be a busy month in the garden.
While watering and deadheading may seem like tedious tasks, harvesting and enjoying the bounty are the reward for months of hard work.
Here are seven things to do in the garden this month.
1. Follow the Watering Rule
Follow the primary rule of summer watering to ensure garden plants get the right amount of water. Water thoroughly and deeply in the morning by making pools in the soil around the roots. Deep watering allows roots to grow deeper and stronger, making them less likely to dry up and die.
When you water will depend on your weather. Check dryness by touching the soil. It should be moist at least 1” below the surface.
Water containers and hanging baskets daily until water runs from the drainage holes.
2.Pick, Eat and Replant
You can finally enjoy the fruits of your labor!
Harvest tomatoes, peppers, peas, carrots, cauliflower, beans, broccoli, leeks, onions, eggplants, cucumbers, squash, Brussels sprouts, kale, lettuce, melons, parsnips, potatoes, radishes, pumpkins and rutabagas.
Harvest tree and vine fruits when they are able to be gently plucked or twisted from their stems. Berries, apples and stone fruits should all be ready for picking in July.
Pick, dry and freeze herbs for use later in the year.
Sow seeds of cool-season crops such as greens and root vegetables for harvesting throughout August and September. Plant garlic for harvest next season.
Prune tomato suckers weekly and cut off any leaves growing below the lowest ripening fruit trusses to improve air circulation and prevent diseases. Thin fruit trees for a more robust harvest.
3. Plants Need to Eat, too
Continue to feed hanging baskets, container gardens and faded annuals with liquid fertilizer Bloom! every 2 to 4 weeks.
Vegetables such as tomatoes and peppers are heavy feeders. Continue to feed every 2 weeks with organic fertilizers Tomato-tone or Garden-tone.
Feed roses monthly through the summer with Rose-tone.
Houseplants are actively growing now and will benefit from monthly feedings of Grow!.
4. Continue to Create a Safe Paws Lawn
Using an organic lawn food, as well as organic mulch will eliminate the hazards that chemical fertilizers, pesticides and synthetic mulches present to you, your family and pets. July is the time to feed your lawn with the summer revitalizer from our annual feeding program.
Water lawn regularly, slowly and deeply. Mow to 3″ to protect from summer heat.
5.Keep an Eye out for Pests
Watch for insect or disease damage as the weather gets hotter and plants become more stressed.
Beetles, aphids, slugs, snails and spider mites are just a few of the pests that visit your garden in summer. For best solutions ask your local garden center for suggestions and consider the Earth-tone Controls.
Keep an eye out for powdery mildew. Remove any affected leaves to prevent further spread.
6. Weed, weed, weed
Clear weeds regularly, as they fight your plants for nutrients and water. Plus, you’ll want to pull before they have a chance to flower and go to seed. Otherwise, you’ll fight even more weeds next season.
Cover freshly weeded beds with a layer of compost or mulch to conserve water and blanket weeds reducing their spreading.
7. Prune and Deadhead
Prune summer flowering shrubs as soon as the blossoms fade. Deadhead annuals to promote more growth. Pinch fall blooming flowers such as coneflower and asters in mid-July to promote a fall garden full of color.
Try to hold off on planting anything new until the fall as the hot temperatures and dry conditions can strain young roots. And you’ll benefit because most stores offer major end of season sales. If you do plant or transplant, make sure to fill the hole with Bio-tone starter plus and keep well-watered.
Bonus: Enjoy! Take time to slow down and enjoy your garden with friends and family. We sure will be!