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Video: Covering Fertilizer Basics with Garden Answer

Fertilizers may seem confusing at first glance, but Laura from Garden Answer is here to walk you through some of her favorites!

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Video: Demystifying Fertilizers with Epic Gardening

Have you ever wondered about the difference between each of Espoma’s organic fertilizers? Kevin from Epic Gardening is here to break it down for you!

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5 Orchids That Will Brighten Your Space

Orchids are a bright and stunning addition to any home, and plant parents love how easy it is to take care of them! They bloom for about four months out of the year. But if you’re a seasoned gardener, you know that love, patience, and our organic fertilizers can go a long way during this time. Add some indirect sunlight, a little bit of water, and you’re good to go! Plus, there are so many varieties that you’re sure to find one that matches your garden’s aesthetic. Read on to learn about 5 of our favorites.

1. Pansy Orchid 

This flat-faced flower is one of the most popular orchids because of its bright colors and designs. They bloom early in the spring and, in some varieties, will bloom again in the fall — so don’t give up if you see your Orchid resting! To keep your pansy orchid happy and healthy, be sure to keep it in a relatively humid area of your home. In a good season, this orchid can produce up to 10 flowers with each of them growing 4 inches across!

2. Moth Orchid 

This is another popular orchid that’s revered for its beauty. In fact, moth orchid blooms have been compared to fluttering butterflies! They come in many different colors and textures, but we especially love the brightness an all white moth orchid brings to indoor gardens. They like to live in bright, indirect sunlight, so a spot near a window with a sheer curtain would make a great home for them.

3. Sharry Baby Orchid 

Unlike typical orchids, a sharry baby’s flowering stalk can reach lengths up to four feet — so this flower takes dedication! Fertilizing regularly is a great way to encourage this growth. They tend to thrive when kept in a moderately humid area and given filtered light.

4. Cattleya Orchid 

Cattleya orchids thrive off of a barky base, so be sure to incorporate a soil like our Organic Orchid Mix, as it can wilt in regular potting soil. This orchid has a long history in America, and is seen by many as a vintage orchid. It sets itself apart from others in that it prefers a bit more light. Keep this flower happy on a sunny windowsill but in comfortable room temperature (65-75 degrees).

5. Lady’s Slipper Orchid 

Gardeners love lady’s slippers because they come in so many different varieties and colors, making beautiful arrangements! These plants are small enough to place anywhere in the home to make a decorative statement, like a bathroom sink. Plus, lady slipper’s orchids enjoy low light with lots of humidity.

Have you decided which type of orchid to add to your indoor garden yet? With so many different types and colors, you can mix and match as many as you’d like! Just be sure to familiarize yourself with their water, light, and temperature preferences as many of them vary.

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To Feed or Not to Feed: Organic Fertilizer Run Down

Just as you need energy to get through your day, your plants do too. And of course, when it comes to family-friendly gardening, organic fertilizer is the way to go!

What is Organic Fertilizer?

Organic fertilizers contain only ingredients from plant, animal or mineral sources.  Examples of these kinds of ingredients are bone meal, kelp meal and greensand.

Why use Organic Fertilizer?

While it is true that all fertilizers ultimately feed nutrients to plants in the same form, it is the process by which they are delivered that makes organic fertilizers superior to others.

Three ways to think about organic fertilizers:

 1. Gardening always starts with the soil. Organic fertilizer “feeds the soil that feeds the plants”. The process by which organic fertilizers deliver their nutrients enhances the fertility and structure of the soil.

Organics are digested by soil microorganisms, which then release the nutrients in a form available to plants. This process produces humus, a spongy material that improves soil structure. When you improve soil structure, the soil is better able to hold the proper balance of water, air and nutrients until they are required by plants.

Plants respond by developing larger root systems. Larger roots support more vigorous top growth and make plants less susceptible to drought. And by stimulating a healthy population of beneficial microorganisms in the soil, plants become more resistant to insects and diseases.

 2. Organic fertilizers will provide slow, steady feeding, as the plants require it. The release process is slow and largely dependent upon three factors: the microbial population in the soil, moisture, and soil temperature.

A healthy population of microbes in the soil is necessary for the digestion process. Moisture is required to sustain microbial life as well as to keep nutrients flowing into the plants root zone. And soil temperature is critical because as it rises, plants require nutrients more rapidly.

Fortunately, microbial activity mimics these requirements and increases as soil temperature rises, so that organics feed the needed nutrients as the plants require them.

Espoma fertilizers are safe for pets, people and the planet.

3. Most of the time, the gardener isn’t the only one in the garden. Organic fertilizers are the safest choice for your plants and the environment.Unlike synthetic plant foods, organics have an extremely low salt index, which means there is little to no risk of burning (dehydrating) plants in periods of extreme drought or when over-applying.

Organic fertilizers are generally very resistant to leaching out of the soil, so their nutrients stay in the root zone until the plants need them. And since most organic ingredients are byproducts from commercial farms and meat processing plants, the utilization of them for feeding plants is really a system of recycling much like composting.

So, when the debate of whether you should fertilize your plants pops in your head remember: organic fertilizer is the right choice for you and your family. Check out our fertilizers here.

DIY Vegetable Pallet Planter from Garden Answer

 

This DIY veggie pallet planter, made by Laura from Garden Answer, is a great upcycled vertical planter idea. Laura shows how you can grow lettuce and flower in a small space using Espoma organic potting soil and organic fertilizer.

A Little Lightning Lime Does a Lawn Fine

Refreshing, invigorating and energizing — your lawn loves limes as much as you do!

Lawns also benefit from limestone if their soil pH is too low. Organic Lightning Lime restores patchy areas and helps your lawn get its green glow back.

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Lightning Lime works by correcting soil acidity and adding calcium and magnesium to your soil to help preserve that luscious green color and protect grass from stress caused by heat, drought or traffic. Calcium helps regulate nutrients such as zinc, copper and phosphorus.

Find out if your lawn needs Lightning Lime.

Lawns Like Lightning Lime: How and Why to Apply Lightning Lime in the Lawn

A dash of Lightning Lime can do wonders. It’s one of those organic lawn care tips you’ll wish you always knew!

 The Lawn Stress Test. Perform a soil test to see if your lawn’s soil pH is too low. A low soil pH leads to patchy, yellow spots.

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Lime It or Leave It. Only add Lightning Lime if your soil pH is low. Lawns thrive in soil with a pH between 6 and 7. And if your soil pH is below 5.5, your lawn will suffer since it can’t absorb nutrients properly.

Cool Like a Lime. Only use a pelletized, organic Lightning Lime for a Safe Paws lawn. Espoma’s Lightning Lime contains no hydrated lime, so it’s safe to use around pets and children. And that’s a big deal! Other lawn limes contain hydrated lime, which can be harmful.

Time to Lime! Apply organic Lightning Lime in early spring or fall. See how much Lightning Lime to use here. Then water. Never apply Lightning Lime if the ground is frozen or the grass is wilted.

Wait It Out. This organic lawn care trick takes time to kick in! You’ll see a lusher, greener lawn in a season or two.

You went right to the root of the problem — and solved it! Your lawn thanks you for that revitalizing Lightning Lime. It’ll repay you with lush, green color soon!

Make a Happy Home for Plants

You may have noticed: your houseplants look crowed in their containers, they have droopy leaves or are thirstier than usual.

Moving on up! Now is the time to re-pot them.

Longer days and bright sun means that in just a few weeks, houseplants will wake up and experience a major growth spurt. When you start to see new growth, it’s time to start feeding and watering regularly.

Give houseplants everything they need to grow up in style – a hearty feeding and a stylish home included.

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Grooving and Moving: Repot and Feed Houseplants in Spring  

Houseplant care tip: Repot houseplants every six months.

 Let It Slide. Lightly water your plant an hour before the big move. When turned upside down, your plant will easily slide out.

Scoot the Roots. Snip off any dead or rotten roots. Then gently loosen living roots.

Room to Grow. Pick a pot one size up from your plant’s current home.

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Move In. Fill the pot 1/3 full with organic potting soil. Position the plant so it’s at the same depth as it previously was. When situated, backfill with soil, and gently pat it into place.

Clink a Drink. Celebrate a successful move with a refreshing drink. Water your plants, and top them off with potting soil if needed.

Food to Conclude. Feed with an organic plant food every 3-4 weeks. Make it quick and easy this month with one of our new liquid plant foods. With our easy dose lid, all you need to do is flip, fill and feed. No measuring or mess!

Look at those happy plants, making themselves right at home! Housewarming party, anyone? You’ve already got the flowers covered!

Smarty Plants: 5 Easy Planting Tips

Raise new plants that grow as big and mighty as Jack’s Beanstalk with these five tips for planting success. Your new plants will look so perfect your neighbors will think you plucked them right from a fairy tale!

Before you even think about picking up your garden trowel, check out these tips.

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Say Yes to Success: 5 Tricks for Planting New Flowers, Veggies and More  

1. Start with the Best. Make sure you have the right light, space and soil for each plant. Then select plants with shiny, blemish-free leaves that you can easily lift out of the container.

2. Royal Soil. Before planting, test the soil and add necessary amendments. If your soil is lacking, your plants will be too. For an extra oomph, add Espoma Organic Vegetable & Flower Garden Soil or compost to the planting hole. And if direct sowing seeds, mix in an organic seed starting potting soil, so seeds can take root easily.

3. Feed Now… and Later. When planting, mix in an organic starter plant food. Adrianna, an Espoma customer, loves Bio-tone Starter Plus. She can even tell “when the roots begin to take up the plant food because they start to grow MUCH faster.” Bio-tone Starter Plus’ secret is mycorrhizae, which promotes bigger blooms and helps plants get established faster.

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4. Stay Strong Seedlings. Before moving indoor seedlings outside, toughen them up. Otherwise, they may not make it. To help seeds adjust, begin hardening them off two weeks before transplanting. How-to instructions here.

5. Don’t Forget to Water. While still in their nursery containers, water your plants. Then water deeply after planting. Water reduces plants’ stress levels and helps them adjust to their happy, new abode.

Get ready, your organic flowers, veggies and plants are about to be bigger and healthier than ever! You grow, gardener!  

Paw-lease Petscape the Yard this Spring

“Paw-lease, let us go outside!” your pets seem to be pleading as they flash you their saddest puppy dog eyes.

After spending most of their winter indoors, pets are springing to life – and pawing at the door.

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Before you let your pets frolic outside this spring, petscape and create a safe and pet-friendly outdoor landscape.

Who Let the Dogs Out?

Pass on Pesticides. The most important way to keep pets safe outside is to use organic lawn care products. It’s scary to hear, but dogs whose owners applied chemical herbicides were 4.4 times more likely to develop bladder cancer, according to research. Remind your friends and families to grow a Safe Paws lawn. Always.

No-No Cocoa. Skip the cocoa mulch when petscaping. While this mulch is a true beauty, dogs can’t resist its chocolatey smell. As you may have guessed, cocoa mulch is dangerous and toxic to dogs when eaten.

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Flower Power. Curious dogs and cats often want to see what those fragrant, colorful flowers taste like. While some plants are fine for pets to sample, others are poisonous. Before adding another plant or shrub to your garden, check if it’s safe for your pets.

Compost Ghost. While composting is great for the planet, it’s not as great for your pets. As food and garden waste breaks down, mold may grow. So if your pets nibble your compost, they can become sick. Symptoms range from excessive drooling or panting to vomiting and seizures. Keep compost bins closed or out of pets’ reach.

Your pups and kittens will want to play fur-ever in their Safe Paws lawn. So, go what’s the harm of one more game of fetch? You did use organic lawn care products after all!

Flip, Fill and Feed with Espoma’s NEW Liquid Plant Foods

Organically feeding your favorite plants just got way easier – and faster. Say farewell to messy measuring and that fishy smell of other organic, liquid fertilizers.

And say hello to Espoma’s new line of liquid plant foods. Learn more about our new collection below.

Hello, Healthy! Espoma’s New, Liquid Organic Plant Food

Here are a few reasons our new liquid plant line will become one of your favorite things.

  • Instant Nutrition. Espoma’s new liquid plant foods feed your plants instantly – and organically. With these, you can feed your plants faster than you send a text!
  • Scientifically Magnificent. Our new liquid fertilizers are scientifically proven to grow bigger, better plants with larger blooms. What gives them their mighty power? We’ve loaded them with kelp extracts, humic acids and beneficial microbes.
  • Less Mess. Ready, set, pop! The new Easy Dose cap on our liquid plant foods effortlessly measures each dose of fertilizer! No more messy bottles, measuring mistakes or spills.
  • Flip, Fill and Feed. All you do is pop the lid, hold the bottle upside down and voila! The perfect amount of liquid fertilizer drops into your watering can.
  • Cause for Safe Paws. Our new liquid fertilizers are 100 percent organic and safe to use around children and pets. Safe Paws approved!

espoma organic liquid plant food

Meet the New Liquid Plant Food Trio

Bigger, better plants are only a flip away!

  • Begin with Start! Flip open this starter plant food which helps plants get established fast while growing strong roots.
  • Go with Grow! Add this all-purpose, organic plant fertilizer to promote rapid root growth and encourage green foliage.
  • Boom with Bloom! Call in the super blossom booster which promotes and prolongs flowering while stimulating the growth of more blooms!

Try our new liquid organic plant foods with organic potting soil for super amazing results. Can’t wait to see what big beauties you grow!