About Amanda Glick

Amanda joined Ken's Gardens in 2016. She graduated from Millersville University with a degree in Environmental Biology and loves plant care, insects, and terrariums.

Spring Garden Planning

Ken's Gardens employee Don Deiter working on a container at a metal soil bin in a greenhouse

Spring is around the corner! Are you ready?

Now is a great time to start planning for your garden if you haven’t started.

Ken’s is fully stocked with seeds, bulbs, and cold tolerant plants such as pansies, herbs, and vegetables.

Checklist for Spring:

  • Cleaning beds:
    • Rake and amend soil
      • Now is a good time to loosen up dirt and add compost or adjust the pH if needed
    • Remove leaf litter and any dead ruffage.
    • Pro Tip: If you missed trimming back any plants this fall, wait until the plant starts pushing new growth to see where to trim.
  • Check supplies
    • Fertilizer, pest control items, spades, shears, and hoses all should be checked for rust and expiration
    • Containers should be checked if they froze over winter and their drainage holes are open
      • A good cleaning never hurts
  • Draw out any new plans for the beds you have,
    • Include sunlight exposure (south facing, shaded by tress etc.)
    • Measure space
  • Write a plant wish list and check for compatibility
    • Bloom time- you want to stage the seasonality of the blooms
    • Requirements – sun, space and drainage are the main three
    • Maintenance – do you want something easy to prune or is a high maintenance plant with high pay off your goal for 2022?

Direct seeding? Starting seeds indoors? No matter your preference we have the supplies and knowledge you may need. Stop in and talk with us for tips on getting started. Need somewhere to start with veggie garden planning? Check out the Farmer’s Almanac, our friends at Rohrer’s seed have great planting tips! If all else fails, check out our list for what we have planned for herbs and veggies this year!

Happy Planting!

2022 Herb List

Complete Herb List

The following is a list of herbs we carry at our garden center.  Please note, inventory fluctuates throughout the season. Not everything listed is guaranteed to be in stock.

Aloe Vera

Anise Hyssop

Basil, Dolce Fresca

Basil, Dwarf

Basil, Pesto Party

Basil, Sweet

Basil, Thai

Basil, Try Mixed

Bay Laurel

Borage

Burnet

Cat Grass

Catnip

Chamomile, Roman

Chervil

Chives

Chives, Garlic

Chives, Staro

Cilantro

Comfrey

Curry, Dwarf

Dill

Eucalyptus

Fennel, Bronze

Fennel, Florence

Germander

Horehound

Hyssop

Lavender, Aromatic Blue

Lavender, Annet

Lavender, Big Time Blue

Lavender, Dilly Dilly

Lavender, Elegance Pink

Lavender, Elegance Purple

Lavender, Grosso

Lavender, Hidcote Blue

Lavender, Melissa Lilac

Lavender, Munstead

Lavender, La Diva Eternal Elegance

Lavender, La Diva Vintage Violet

Lavender, Phenomenal

Lavender, Platinum Blonde

Lavender, Provence

Lavender, Super Blue

Lemon Balm

Lemon Grass

Lemon Verbena

Lovage

Marjoram, Golden Tip

Mint, Apple

Mint, Black Peppermint

Mint, Chocolate

Mint, Citrus Kitchen

Mint, Curly

Mint, Grapefruit

Mint, Mini (Corsican)

Mint, Mojito

Mint, Orange

Mint, Pennyroyal

Mint, Peppermint

Mint, Pineapple

Mint, Spearmint

Oregano, Common

Oregano, Golden

Oregano, Greek

Oregano, Italian

Oregano, Variegated

Parsley, Plain

Parsley, Curled

Patchouli

Rosemary, Arp

Rosemary, BBQ

Rosemary, Creeping

Rosemary, Foxtail

Rosemary, Gorizia

Rosemary, Madeleine Hill Hardy

Rosemary, Officinalis

Rosemary, Salem

Rosemary, Spice Island

Rosemary, Tuscan Blue

Rue

Sage, Berggarten

Sage, Common

Sage, Dwarf

Sage, Emerald

Sage, Golden

Sage, Mexican

Sage, Pineapple

Sage, Purple

Sage, Tangerine

Sage, Tricolor

Savory, Winter

Sorrel, Garden

Sorrel, Raspberry Dressing

Spilanthes –Toothache Plant

Stevia

Sweet Annie

Sweet Woodruff

Tarragon, French

Thyme, English

Thyme, English Tabor

Thyme, Faustinoi

Thyme, Foxley

Thyme, French

Thyme, Golden Lemon Variegated

Thyme, PA Dutch Tea

Thyme, Rose

Thyme, Silver

Thyme, Creeping Archer’s Gold

Thyme, Creeping Doone Valley

Thyme, Creeping Elfin

Thyme, Creeping Pink Chintz

Thyme, Creeping Red

Thyme, Creeping White

Scented Geraniums:

Apple

Attar of Roses

Charity

Chocolate Mint

Citronella

Lady Plymouth

Lemon

Lemon Rose

Lime

Nutmeg Variegated

Old Fashion Rose

Peppermint

Pine

Pretty Poly

Strawberry

2022 Vegetable List

Complete Vegetable List

The following is a list of vegetables we carry at our garden center.  Please note, inventory fluctuates throughout the season. Not everything listed is guaranteed to be in stock.

 

Artichoke Green Globe

Arugula Astro

Bean Stringless Bush

Beets Detroit Red

Beets Bulls Red

Broccoli Pack Pro

Broccolini

Brussel Sprouts Jade Cross

Bush Bean Blue Lake

Cabbage Bravo

Cabbage Chinese Blues

Cabbage Early Jersey Wakefield

Cabbage Golden Acre

Cabbage Stonehead

Cabbage Storage #4

Cabbage Red Jewel

Cantaloupe Burpee Hybrid

Cauliflower Cheddar

Cauliflower Graffiti

Cauliflower Romanesco

Cauliflower Snowcrown

Celeriac Brillant

Celery Tango

Collards Georgia

Cucamelon

Cucumber Burpee Hybrid II

Cucumber Burpless 26

Cucumber Burpless Bush

Cucumber GherKing Gherkin

Cucumber Marketmore 76

Cucumber Patio Snacker

Eggplant Classic

Eggplant Ghostbuster

Eggplant Ichiban

Eggplant Rosa Bianco

Endive Salad King

Escarole Full Heart

Fennel, Florence

Gourd Small Formula Blend

Honeydew Early Dew Green

Kale Lacinato

Kale Scarletbor

Kale Vates

Kolhrabi Grand Duke

Leek Large American Flag

Lettuce Alkindus Red Butterhead

Lettuce Bergams Green

Lettuce Bibb

Lettuce Buttercrunch

Lettuce Cherokee

Lettuce Deer Tongue

Lettuce Freckles

Lettuce Galactic

Lettuce Ithaca

Lettuce Nevada Summer Crisp

Lettuce New Red Fire

Lettuce Muir

Lettuce Oakleaf

Lettuce Romaine, Breen

Lettuce Romaine, Green Forest

Lettuce Ruby Sky

Lettuce Vulcan

Mustard Mizuna Miz America

Mustard Red Giant

Okra Cajun Delight

Onion Candy

Onion Red Burgundy

Onion Walla Walla

Onion Warrior Bunching

Onion White Spanish

Onion Yellow Spanish

Pak Choi Joi Choi

Pak Choi Red Pac

Peanut Carolina Jumbo

Pepper Big Bertha

Pepper California Wonder

Pepper California Wonder Yellow

Pepper Candy Cane Red

Pepper Chocolate Beauty Bell

Pepper Cornito Giallo

Pepper Cubanelle

Pepper Giant Marconi

Pepper Gypsy

Pepper Jupiter

Pepper King of the North

Pepper Lady Bell

Pepper Mad Hatter

Pepper Orange Sun Bell

Pepper Purple Beauty Bell

Pepper Red Knight

Pepper Round of Hungary

Pepper Snackabella

Pepper Sweet Banana

Pepper Sweet Bite Size Red

Pepper Sweet Bite Size Yellow

Pepper Hot Cayenne Large Red Thick

Pepper Hot Habanero Orange

Pepper Hot Holy Mole

Pepper Hot Hungarian Wax

Pepper Hot Jalapeno

Pepper Hot Lemondrop

Pepper Hot Mucho Nacho

Pepper Hot Poblano

Pepper Hot Portugal

Pepper Hot Red Cherry Large

Pepper Hot Serrano Chili

Pumpkin Baby Boo White

Pumpkin Jack-Be-Little

Pumpkin Jack-O-Lantern

Pumpkin Mystic Plus

Pumpkin Neck

Spinach

Squash Summer Scallop White Bush

Squash Summer Sunburst

Squash Summer Yellow Straightneck

Squash Summer Zucchini Aristocrat

Squash Summer Zucchini Eight Ball

Squash Summer Zucchini Gold Rush

Squash Winter Acorn Table Princess

Squash Winter BonBon

Squash Winter Butternut Indian Brave

Squash Winter Vegetable Spaghetti

Swiss Chard Bright Lights

Tomatillo Ground Toma Verde

Tomatillo Husk Ground Cherry

Tomato Amish Paste

Tomato Better Boy

Tomato Big Beef

Tomato Black Russian

Tomato Brandywine Red Potato Leaf

Tomato Burpee Big Boy

Tomato Bush Beefsteak

Tomato Bush Early Girl

Tomato Candyland Red

Tomato Celebrity

Tomato Delicious

Tomato Early Girl

Tomato Evergreen

Tomato First Lady II

Tomato Giant Tree

Tomato Grape

Tomato Great White

Tomato Health Kick

Tomato Heirloom Yellow Cherry

Tomato Indigo Cherry Drops

Tomato Jetstar

Tomato Juliet

Tomato Lemon Boy

Tomato Little Napoli

Tomato Long Keeper

Tomato Mator Sandwich

Tomato Mortgage Lifter

Tomato Mountain Pride

Tomato Mr. Stripey

Tomato Old German

Tomato Orange

Tomato Oxheart

Tomato Pineapple

Tomato Pink Girl

Tomato Roma

Tomato Rutgers

Tomato Striped Stuffer (Pepper)

Tomato Sugar Lump

Tomato Sunsugar

Tomato Supersonic

Tomato Supersteak Hybrid

Tomato Supersweet 100

Tomato Sweet”N Neat Cherry Red

Tomato Tidy Treats

Tomato Tomatoberry

Tomato Very Cherry Cascade

Tomato Yellow Pear

Watermelon Crimson Sweet

Watermelon Sangria

Watermelon Sugar Baby

Watermelon Seedless

 

BURPEE VEGETABLES

Cucumber Fresh Pickles

Eggplant Early Midnight

Eggplant Meatball

Eggplant Patio Baby

Pea Masterpiece

Pepper Big Daddy

Pepper Bush Habanero

Pepper Confetti

Pepper Gold Standard

Pepper Jalapeno Gigante

Pepper Jungle Parrot

Pepper Lemon Dream

Pepper Sweet Heat

Pepper Tangerine Dream

Pepper Thunderbolt Sweet

Pepper Zavory Hot

Tomato Baby Boomer

Tomato Big Daddy

Tomato Big Mama

Tomato Brandy Boy

Tomato Bushsteak

Tomato Cherry Punch

Tomato Fourth of July

Tomato Fresh Salsa

Tomato Homeslice

Tomato Indigo Fire Ball

Tomato Mighty Sweet

Tomato Power Pops

Tomato San Marzano

Tomato Solar Power

Tomato SuperSauce

Tomato Sweet Seedless

Tomato Sweetheart of the Patio

Tomato Tasti-Lee

 

Visit our Planting Tips page to check out other lists and tips!

Field Pansies- The End of a Beloved Tradition

Field Dug Pansies- A Missed Tradition

This year, we had to say goodbye to a beloved tradition at our Smoketown store: Field Grown Pansies. For the last 50 years (and longer as Glick’s Plant Farms), we have been able to keep the tradition alive but in 2022 we will have to say goodbye, at least for now. The very important process of steaming the beds to be able to directly seed and grow over winter is no longer an option for us. Our boiler and steamer have held on for a very long time (see the above photo from the 1960s!) but sadly the parts needed to maintain them are no longer available. Modern equipment does not provide for small scale bed farming like we do for the field pansies. We would like to thank anyone who participated in times past with this tradition, and we are sad to see it go.

Celebrating our 50th Anniversary!

 

Ken’s Gardens Celebrating 50th Anniversary!

By Jack Vale | Happy Writers, Co.

It has already been 50 years since brothers-in-law Ken Lapp and Norman Glick started growing plants to sell at farmer’s markets in Intercourse, PA!

Since we started selling plants, Ken’s Gardens has opened locations in Intercourse and Smoketown, PA. These garden centers have remained popular ever since, serving green-fingered customers in our year-round greenhouses.

Since 2004, Ken and Norman’s children have taken over Ken’s Gardens, with 2022 marking a time for huge anniversary celebrations.

What do we have in store for our 50th anniversary celebrations?

We are going to be running celebratory events through the week of June 13th (Monday) – June 18th (Saturday)!

From Monday to Thursday, gardeners will be able to enjoy a variety of discounts on different kinds of shrubs, houseplants and other goods. We will also be hosting presentations at the garden center from the likes of Tyler Deiter and Belmont Landscaping. Join us for interactive demonstrations on how to take cuttings and host a plant swap!

Grand Finale: Friday 17th & Saturday 18th June!

Following a week of discounts, demonstrations and other educational activities, Ken’s Gardens will be hosting a Grand Finale at the end of the week!

Here are some of the activities you might find at Ken’s Gardens on Friday 17th and Saturday 18th June:

  • Food trucks. Enjoy some of the best freshly-made local snacks!
  • Guided tours. Have you been visiting Ken’s Gardens for years? Don’t miss the chance to attend a walking tour of our greenhouse and garden center, learning more about our history.
  • Live music. Don’t miss our planned concert in the shrub yard!
  • Games and kids’ activities. Keep an eye out for more details on the interactive games and activities we will provide for kids.
  • Larry the Beekeeper. Learn all about bee-friendly gardening tips.

We will be releasing more details about plans for our 50th anniversary celebrations in due course. Keep your eyes peeled for confirmation!

Jack Vale is a writer from Happy Writers, Co. in partnership with silverware wholesaler Silver Superstore.

The Buzz on Pollinators

      Pollinators are your garden’s best friend! Pollinator insects are key to the environment. They ensure the production of seeds for flowering plants as well as producing 1/3 of the food that we eat.  The decline of pollinators is an ongoing problem for the environment, so at Ken’s Gardens we decided to “bee” proactive! Both of our main locations, Intercourse and Smoketown, have a honey bee hive on site.  Smoketown had a beehive last year, and it was so successful for both the plants and the bees that we added one to the Intercourse location for this year! What is the best part of our bees? They will leave you alone! The only time to use caution is on a breezy day where they might get caught in your hair. We comfortably work right next to the hive, but wearing a hat is the best way to prevent stings.

Bees are always welcome in our vegetable garden!

Bees are always welcome in our vegetable garden!

      Smoketown’s beehive is located directly next to the trial vegetable garden beds. Our vegetable garden yields are indeed higher because of the beehive! The Smoketown hive has currently 50,000 to 60,000 bees and has produced 120 pounds of honey this season so far. The Intercourse beehive is located in the perennial growing area, which is off limits to customers since the hive is still growing.  If you have visited either store, you wouldn’t be surprised to see our honey bees filling their bellies with pollen and nectar in our perennial yards and in with the annuals. We have made it our mission to minimize any spraying of chemical insecticides on our plants to ensure our bees safety. 

Smoketown's Beehive

Smoketown’s Beehive

Ronk's Beehive

Ronk’s Beehive

     Larry Beiler, of Beiler Beehives, cares for both of our beehives; he checks on them weekly and will harvest honey when necessary.

Larry checks on the Smoketown hive.

Larry checks on the Smoketown hive.

     Bees require a lot of honey to be stored throughout winter, and Larry is sure to keep them well stocked! Honey combs can only have honey harvested once the comb is capped like so:

Larry holding a capped honeycomb.

Larry holding a capped honeycomb.

 Larry will also check the hives for mites; he sets up a drone comb to examine the amount mites and to watch for any diseases.

Larry holding a drone honeycomb.

Larry holding a drone honeycomb.

     Honey bees have a lot of different roles within the colony; here is a stinger-less drone bee! Yes, you can hold drones with the help of a beekeeper.

A drone bee from the Smoketown hive.

A drone bee from the Smoketown hive.

If you see a swarm of honey bees, don’t panic, call a local beekeeper. Swarming bees mean their queen bee has left the hive for some reason and the bees need to be rehomed. To learn more about honey bees, National Geographic has some good information.

Larry holding an active honeycomb.

Larry holding an active honeycomb.

 

Our thriving flowers and hardworking beehive gives us a lot to “bee” happy about here at Ken’s!

Organic Gardening with Ken’s Gardens

seeds“Do you have any organic flowers, vegetable, or herb plants available?”

We are often asked this question here at Ken’s Gardens, and we wanted to tell you about our practices. While we are not a certified organic grower here at Ken’s Gardens, we do our best to offer organic compliant solutions for our customers.

Vegetable and Herb Gardening:

Although we are not OMRI certified, we use many organic methods to ensure that our vegetables and herbs are healthy, vibrant, and free of chemical pesticides.

  1. We start with all GMO free seeds. Some, but not all, are from organic seed sources.
  2. We blend our own potting mix which includes either compost or organic fertilizers to provide biological activity in the soil that is critical to the long term success of your plants.
  3. We use a combination of conventional and organic fertilizers depending upon the nutrient requirements of each type of plant.
  4. By keeping our growing areas clean and plants healthy, we are able to minimize the use of any pesticides. However, when necessary, we use only organic solutions for our vegetable and herb plants.

We grow herbs and vegetables the way we would want them for our own gardens, which by the way, is where some of them end up every year. If you are looking for organic seeds, non-GMO seeds, or untreated seeds – don’t worry! We have those too! We offer Lake Valley Seeds, some of which are certified organic, and all of their seeds are untreated and non-GMO. All of Rohrer’s vegetable and flower seeds are non-GMO, as well as all of Crosman’s Seeds are non-GMO.

Soil, Fertilizer, and Treatments:

This is where Ken’s Gardens really comes through with giving you the most natural and organic products. We love the BlackGold line of soils! They offer many OMRI listed soils from seedling mix, to garden compost blends, and natural and organic potting soil. For fertilizer and garden treatments we carry Espoma’s organic line, Safer Brand, Monterey Organics, Captain Jack’s, Bonide’s natural line of products, as well as many other organic gardening products.

Pesticide Use at Ken’s Gardens:

Pesticide use with growers has been a hot topic with the decline of pollinators. So is Ken’s Gardens pollinator friendly? Yes, we keep bee hives to ensure we are doing our part to help the pollinators. We will not do anything in our power to destroy our beloved honey bee hives. Last year, only the Smoketown Ken’s Gardens had the honey bee hive, but our Intercourse location will be home to a honey bee colony this season. Our beekeeper has said that our beehive did better than all of the other hives in our care, and it was easy to see how much our flowers really benefited too! We are in the process of transitioning to biological control of pests here at Ken’s Gardens for more stubborn problems.

Ken’s Gardens is always looking for more ways to be sustainable and environmentally friendly, we want to ensure a healthy planet for our future family members. Keep a look out for our upcoming Arbor Day event!

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Easter Resurrection Garden Tutorial

Hi there! Easter Sunday is coming up, and we have made some Easter Resurrection Gardens to honor the holiday.

An Easter resurrection garden is a symbol of Jesus rising from his tomb. They portray the scene that Mary Magdalene saw, a tomb with a stone to be rolled away on Easter Sunday.

Resurrection gardens are typically made with rye grass, or can be made more decorative with preserved moss and violas. Here we will be showing you how we make both types resurrection gardens.

Start with your container, I love how terra cotta bowls and saucers look for these. A deeper bowl is great for a viola type garden, while a saucer works well for the grass type gardens. You can always combine grass and violas with moss, but go with the deeper dish.

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Materials:

  • twigsDSCN0102
  • florist wire or jute twine (to create the crosses)
  • small terra cotta pot
  • large river rock
  • pebbles
  • the ground cover and plants of your choice

 

 

 

If your container has a drainage hole at the bottom, you will want to cover it up so that no dirt or water leaks through. Newspaper, cardboard, and duct tape all work well to prevent anything from falling out.

DSCN0106

(Optional: lay an inch of gravel at the bottom to help with drainage before adding soil.)

 

Next, fill your container with soil nearly to the top. Set the terra cotta pot into the soil on an angle to have it look like a tomb like so:

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Add some more soil to cover the end of the small terra cotta pot.

Next add your moss or seed. If you are adding seed, rye grass takes 7 days to grow (the fastest out of the grasses). You will want to mist the soil with water before adding seed to help the seeds stick. Sprinkle the seed to cover, but not completely so that there is no soil visible. Mist again once you’ve finished adding seed.

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Create a well for the violas in the soil. Squeeze the bottom of the viola pack to pop them out, and massage the roots before placing the flowers into the well. Add or move soil to finish adding the violas. Preserved moss can just be laid on top of the soil, gently spread out the moss to get a more spread and even coverage.

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The crosses are next, tie the twigs together with ample twine or wire and cut any excess. Purple string is also a great optional touch. Add the crosses to the garden, some small pebbles surrounding the base of the crosses aides to stabilize the crosses. Spread pebbles in front of the tomb as well, enough to cover the soil.

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For the finishing touch, add your large river rock in front of the terra cotta “tomb”. You can write any Easter sayings that you wish, bible verses or a simple “he arose” with a permanent marker.  Roll the river rock from the tomb on Easter Sunday to symbolize that Christ has risen.

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Grass takes 1 week to germinate, 2 weeks to get nice. Grass should stay nice for couple weeks if watered and get sunlight.

Ken’s Gardens joins you in gratitude for Christ’s sacrifice and the joyful renewal it brings God’s children this Easter!

 

All About Field Pansies!

The History and Tradition Behind Field Pansies

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What are field pansies? They are the same pansy seed that we use for our pansies in packs, just grown out in the field compared to being grown in a greenhouse. The growing cycle for a field pansy begins quite a long time before they are ready to be sold!

Timeline

We seed field pansies in the summer, where they get their start in the greenhouses. Following the first frost and right before transplant, the field pansy beds are steamed. This is a tried and true method that has been done for well over a hundred years. Steaming the field pansy beds allows a chemical free method to kill weed seeds and fungus in the beds. The steam is at a certain temperature that kills undesirable soil pests but does not kill the beneficial microbes.

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Around mid-October the pansies’ bare root plugs are ready to be transplanted into the field hotbeds. Once in the field, they will grow all winter under glass sashes. The sashes protect the pansies as well as trapping heat and moisture, ideal growing conditions for pansies! This field method of growing gives the pansies a better formed root system, as well as making them hardier against the cold. The field pansies have bloomed by mid-winter and are ready to be dug out once the ground has thawed enough.

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Tradition

So why does Ken’s Gardens invest so much time and labor into field pansies? Tradition! Pansies were always traditionally grown in fields. Our Smoketown location has been growing field pansies for over 100 years, as both Glick’s Plant Farms and as Ken’s Gardens (all in the same family). We really love that our customers can remember coming to dig up field pansies at our garden center as children, and can now bring their own grandchildren to dig them up too!

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