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Five Herbs to Plant This Fall

You may think that when the weather cools, the gardening stops. But it doesn’t have to be that way! Planting herbs in the fall can make for a great head start in the spring. Plus, who doesn’t love to garden year-round? Here are our top five picks to get you started.

 

Parsley

 

Did you know that parsley planted in the fall actually produces more harvest than parsley planted in the spring? Grow it in part shade to full sun and keep the soil moist by watering regularly. Give it the healthiest start by using organic potting mix.

 

Thyme

Thyme is a great addition to almost any dish and the perfect garnish for your fall cocktails! Grow this herb in full sun near your brightest window. As a bonus, you can plant thyme alongside rosemary, which has the same light and watering needs.

 

Sage

Sage is a fragrant herb that also makes a great addition to your kitchen for special meals. Make sure this herb gets plenty of sunlight and water once the top layer of soil is dry. Be wary of mildew growing on your sage, and be sure to give it proper air circulation. Give it a head start with Espoma Bio-tone Starter Plus.

Lavender

Who doesn’t love the smell of lavender? Whether dried or fresh, this fragrant herb can change the ambiance of your home with its calming scent and its beautiful purple appearance. Give your lavender full sun — at least six hour a day — and allow the soil to dry out between waterings. Be careful not to overwater this herb, especially in the cooler months.

Chives 

As another great culinary herb, chives can add the ideal amount of seasoning to so many dishes. Grow them in a sunny spot and be careful not to keep them too close to your heater. Let the soil dry between waterings.

Don’t let the cooler weather stop you from gardening! If you’re struggling to get enough light for any of these herbs, consider supplementing with grow lights.

 

 

Walk Down the Aisle with These Wildflowers in Your Bouquet

It’s wedding season! Whether you’re having a dreamy, late summer wedding or a rustic, autumn wedding, wildflower bouquets can match almost any color palette and theme. You can even grow your bouquet in your own backyard with the right timing and resources. Here are a few suggestions as well as tips and tricks to have beautiful blooms on your big day!

Zinnias

If you’re new to gardening, zinnias could be a great place to start! They are one of the easiest wildflowers to grow and bloom from late spring until the first frost, which is sometime in the fall, depending on where you live. They also grow in a variety of bright colors, so you have a large palette to choose from. Make sure to grow them in full sun!

Daisies

If you want flowers as white as your dress, daisies are perfect. For extra vibrant white petals, use Flower-tone. Daisies are a convenient option if you’re short on space in your garden, as they grow about 1–3 feet tall. They typically bloom in full sunlight from late spring to early fall.

Baby’s Breath

Baby’s breath is the perfect flower to fill the spaces between larger blooms in your bouquet. They’re low maintenance, deer resistant, and have an extended bloom time of four weeks. Grow in full sun.

Sunflowers

Who doesn’t love sunflowers? Single-stem varieties will grow quickly and produce one stem per plant. The classic golden sunflowers can add a beautiful pop of color to your bouquet, but if you’re looking for something a little more unique, try growing Lemon Queen sunflowers, which have more of a lemon shade of yellow than the typical golden variety. For the biggest, brightest blooms, feed your sunflowers Espoma’s Bio-tone Starter Plus and grow in full fun or half shade.

 

Cutting

Once your wildflowers are in bloom, cut the stems. It’s best to do this in the early morning or in the late evening so that the sun and heat do not wilt the flowers. Foliage placed in water may grow bacteria that will kill the flowers prematurely. You can prevent this by stripping the foliage from the bottom of the stem gently using your hands or scissors.

A bouquet of wildflowers makes a beautiful addition to your wedding, but if bulbs are a better fit for you, check out these tips from Laura from Garden Answer!

 

Blog: Bring the Outdoors In with a Fall Cutting Garden

Summer is quickly coming to an end. As we say goodbye to summer blooms, we get to welcome beautiful autumn flowers like mums, sunflowers, pansies, and more! If you’re looking to add some fall decor to your home, bringing your garden inside from a cutting garden is a great way to add a pop of color and change things up for fall.

 

Put together a cutting garden that is personalized to you and the colors that will make you happy. Don’t worry about whether or not the plants “go together.” Get creative! Here are some of the best autumn blooms for bouquets that are vibrant and trendy.

 

  1. Sunflowers

    While most people typically picture golden-toned, dark-centered sunflowers, there are actually a few varieties to choose from when planning your cutting garden! For example, Bashful sunflowers have a salmon pink ring on the petals, and Little Becka sunflowers have deep red in their petals. Whichever variety you choose, keep autumn colors in mind. If you’re hoping to create a bouquet, pollen-free varieties are best.
  2. Oakleaf Hydrangea

    Oakleaf hydrangeas bloom in either pink or white, and the leaves turn beautiful shades of orange and red in the fall. It’s very important to plant oakleaf hydrangeas in well-draining soil, as they could get root rot. If you’re including them in a bouquet, harvest the stems when half of the blooms have opened.
  3. Dahlias

    While dahlias flower throughout the summer, warm days and chilly nights allow them to produce more flowers in more vivid colors in the fall. Plant dahlias in full sun and in a rich soil. Fertilize with Holly-tone for deep, vibrant, blooms. Whether you prefer pink, red, orange, or yellow, dahlias can make a great addition to your cutting garden.

 

Getting started:

  1. Choosing a Spot for Your Garden

    The size of your garden space really depends on the types of plants you’re growing, so you can choose plants that will be able to thrive in the space you have available. Regardless of size, make sure the spot is sunny and well-drained! If you’re really short on space, utilize the space between rows in your vegetable garden.
  2. Planning

    Make sure your garden site meets the sun exposure and growing condition requirements listed on the plant tags. For easy cutting and collecting, leave some space in between plants.
  3. Preparing

    Set your garden up for success by working Bio-tone Starter Plus into the soil before planting. To make sure your plants aren’t competing with any weeds for resources, clear your soil in advance.
  4. Planting

    Plant seeds or seedlings about an inch into loose soil. For best results, water your flowers weekly and regularly fertilize with Espoma’s Flower-tone!

Once your plants start to bloom, start cutting! The more you cut, the more the plants will flower. Happy fall, and happy gardening!

Video: Planting a Flower Bed with Summer Rayne Oakes

Take a look at how Summer Rayne Oakes from Flock Finger Lakes uses Bio-tone Starter to enhance her soil with the right nutrients and make her garden flourish!

 

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VIDEO: CREATING A CREVICE CONTAINER WITH HOMESTEAD BROOKLYN!

Have you ever heard of crevice gardening? Follow along as Summer Rayne Oakes of Homestead Brooklyn shows us how to get it done in a container with the help of Espoma.

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Video: Repotting Fiddle Leaf Fig Cuttings with Garden Answer

Follow along as Laura from @Garden Answer takes care of her new fiddle leaf fig cuttings with the help of Espoma!

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Video: Planting Lilies with Garden Answer!

Watch as Laura from @GardenAnswer plants a variety of lilies with the help of Espoma!

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Video: Creating a Salsa Garden with Garden Answer!

Ready to make some fresh salsa this summer? Join Laura from @GardenAnswer as she plants all the ingredients in a miniature garden using her favorite Espoma products.

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Video: Planting Peppers with Garden Answer!

Laura from @Garden Answer is planting sweet and spicy peppers in her garden! Watch to find out which Espoma products help her get the job done.

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Use These Garden Staples to Avoid Being Bugged at Your Next Barbecue

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.

Lemon Grass

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.

Lavender

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

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

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

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.

Garlic

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

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