planting

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Help! Why can’t I find Burning Bush?

Help! Why can’t I find Burning Bush?

One of the showiest fall plants is Burning Bush. Ask anyone on the street if they have ever heard of Burning Bush and they will probably know what you mean. They may know it as “Fire Bush.” But once you get past that, they will know what you mean. More than that, a lot of people would like to have one.

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4 Reasons to Consider Gardening in Containers

One of the newest trends is gardening in containers. This is not to be confused with container gardening but is growing vegetables and herbs in containers.

One of the main things that keep people from gardening is space. Compared to previous times people have far less yard area. Because of this, some have started to grow herbs and vegetables in containers and had good success. The only issue is when this first began, people would tend to do only one thing, like only one type of lettuce, etc. But as time has gone on, this practice has changed and people have started to get fancier with what they plant.

Not only are they using different types of greens, but they are also using different colors too. Now, not only do these containers not look plain, but they are worth growing even if you do not use the vegetables in them. Or if you do use them, you can grow them without missing the annuals that you would have planted there.

Here are 4 reasons why should consider growing vegetables in containers:

  1. It is nice to have fresh vegetables and herbs:

    Vegetables and herbs are a great addition to any meal, but you can’t beat fresh ones and you can’t beat homegrown. Not only are they tastier, they are also healthier.

  2. They are easy to grow:

    Growing herbs and vegetables in containers is really easy. All that needs to be done is watering, harvesting, and maybe a little trimming.

  3. It adds interest to your patio:

    Containers add interest to your patio or yard. They can be used to break up an area or fill an empty spot. Regardless of where you put them, they will brighten up your patio.

  4. They look good:

    Let’s face it, another good reason to grow herb and vegetables in containers is that they look good. A quick search will give you far more ideas than you need to create many different combinations.

Have you ever tried container gardening or can you think of another reason why you should garden in containers? Comment below.

“Help! How do I prune my hydrangea!”

The Issue at Hand:

Hydrangeas are one of those plants it is hard to remember how to grow. Do not misunderstand this, however. I do not mean that hydrangeas are hard to grow. They are among some of the easiest plants to grow, but we forget how to care for them. And unfortunately when we think we do, we generally get it wrong. But how do you prune hydrangeas?

But before we move on to the how to prune hydrangeas, we must note that there are different types of hydrangeas. This article covers primarily on the Big leaf (macrophylla) and Mountain hydrangeas (serrata). These are the 2 hydrangeas that people have the most problem with. They are the one which we prune because they look like they should be pruned.

These hydrangeas grow more like a perennial than a shrub. Beyond that, throughout the winter and into early spring, they look dead. But this is not the case. Not only are they alive, but they need this wood to bloom.

And this brings us to the question at hand: “how do I prune my hydrangea?”

How do I prune my hydrangea?:

Now that you have identified your hydrangea as one of the ones that bloom on old wood, how do you prune them?

The short answer is that you remove the old flowers, remove the old canes, and clip back the tips that do not grow back in the spring. Let us look at how to do each of these.

    1. The Old Flowers:

      When it comes to pruning off the old flowers, you have a few different options of when it can be done. Some people prune them when they are old and others prune them off later, some people even waiting till late winter to cut them off.

    2. The Old Canes:

      This is a thing that most people forget to do. Out of the 3 things that are on the list, this is the one that takes the longest, but it should not be forgotten. It helps make sure that hydrangea is revived. It rejuvenates the plant and makes it grow better.

    3. The Dead Tips:

      After the hydrangeas have started growing back, you may find that the winter has caused some branches to freeze back a few inches. If you see that this is the case, you can prune back those tips. In some cases, you might also do this to give your hydrangea a more uniform shape.

Have you ever made the mistake of pruning back your hydrangea or have any further thoughts? Comment below.

Succulent Presentation at Country Gardener’s Club

On February 15, 2018 @ 7:00 P.M., Ken’s Gardens will be at the Country Gardener’s Club in New Holland offering a presentation on growing succulents in containers.

Succulents are all the rage today. Look in the gardening magazines. Look in the stores. Chances are that you will find succulents. A simple search on Google will turn up 54 million results.

Perhaps you have noticed this, and perhaps you want to get in on the action, but you are not sure where to start. This presentation is for you!

In the presentation, we will:

  1. We will look at some examples of succulent containers.

    In this section, we will see that there are endless types of succulent containers and designs.

  2. We will go over how to creates a succulent container.

    In this section, we will look at the different types of succulents, soils, and containers.

  3. We will look at how to care for your succulent container.

    In this section, we will at everything that you need to know to keep your succulent container looking nice!

  4. We will look at a fun idea that you can do with succulents.

    In this section, we will go over a way that you can have fun with gardening with people you know and those you don’t yet!

  5. And lastly, we will open up for questions.

Want more information? Visit the Country Gardener’s website for more information.

Will you be there? Comment below.

5 Reasons to Visit Your Garden Center Now

Chances are that you are not thinking of visiting your local garden center now. It is February after all. But here are 5 reasons that you should rethink that.

Most people would not think it, but February is a busy time at the garden center. Although, the end of December and the beginning of January is slow, by February we are in full swing. Plants for spring are being planted and being moved to get ready for when you come to shop in the coming months.

But why should you come in? Here are 5 reasons:

    1. Let’s face it, winter is long:.

      Regardless of who you are, winter is long. It is good to get out of the house and just to see the green of the plants. We fail to realize how much we miss the green and lively color.

    2. Silk Flowers:

      Another way to break up the winter and to liven your house is to get silk flowers. Right now, we have about the best selection that we will have in silk. We have both pre-made arrangements and loose silk for you to create your own arrangements.

    3. Seeds:

      Right now, we have a full supply of flower and vegetable seeds, so you can get them while we still have the best selection and before you get too busy to get an early start!

    4. Spring flowers:

      Nothing brightens your home more than spring flowers. Right now, we have a supply of primroses, cyclamens, with more flowers coming soon!

    5. Houseplants:

      Houseplants are often something that we forget about, but they are perfect way to bring a life into your home year round! We have air plants, succulents, ivy, and other house plants! Enjoy the benefits of the reduced stress by bringing a plant into your home!

Are there any other reasons that you can think of? Comment below!

Ken’s Library

Ken's library

Ken’s Library

Ken’s library is a small book collection at our Ronks location. Our library is available to you while you are here! Feel free to sit at our table and browse through the pages or roam the store to look for new plants. Please, return all books and magazines before checking out. Thank you!

 


This post features one of our favorite books written by Kerry Ann Mendez.

 

Back Cover Excerpt

“..provides proven strategies for growing gorgeous, low-maintenance perennial gardens in shade. It is written from a do-it-yourself, roll-up-your-sleeves and tell it straight, gardener’s point of view.”

Review

Working at Ken’s Gardens I often see confused looks on a customer’s face. It’s no secret. No matter how hard you try, gardeners often look lost and helpless while browsing for shade perennials. Shade spots are tricky and this book will help!

There are 52 lists for every gardener with even the smallest ounce of shade. Big or small, your approach to shade gardening will be confident and well informed. Your Way Out of the Dark is must have for ALL home gardeners living in Lancaster County and the surrounding areas. The book covers climate zones 3 – zone 7. (Click here to find out if this book is for your growing location.)

Each list has 10 plant suggestions. This book has suggestions for all seasons; spring, summer, fall, and winter. It even has a list for “challenging sites” like dry shade or moist shade.

Most of this book contains lists of plants, detailed descriptions, and multiple variety suggestions. There are parts where Kerry Ann Mendez breaks down tough shade lingo. All suggestions come from experience with Kerry’s own shade garden and she explains how to take care for them too. Beyond this, she writes her answers in a straightforward way that anyone can find humor in. This makes the book not only informational, but a joy to read.

Remember to check out this book in the Ken’s library!


More on the Author:

  • Sign up for Kerry’s free newsletter by going to her home page. You will find a ‘SUBSCRIBE TO NEWSLETTER’ link under ‘PRODUCTS AND SERVICES’.
  • Kerry Ann Mendez will be hosting a webinar titled ‘Radical Perennials: Non-Stop Color! No-Fuss! Environmentally Responsible!’. It will be October 27, 2017. Gardeners who are unable to see the live session are still able to sign up for the webinar at $7. Price includes downloadable documents.  Perennials featured will have hardiness Zones ranging from 3 – 8 or 9.  There will also be a form on the webinar that Master Gardeners and Landscape Architects can print to submit for continuing education credit hour consideration. Details and registration can be found here.
  • Kerry is also scheduled to speak at The 13th annual Great Gardens and Landscaping Symposium on April 22, 2017.  This event is popular for all gardeners in the Northeast. In previous years, this event has sold out so early registration is recommended. Special group and Master Gardeners rates are available. Find more information about the Symposium by clicking on the link above.

Planting Asparagus

planting asaragus

Nothing tastes better than grilled Asparagus. And cooking asparagus that you grew in your own garden is a great feeling. To help ensure you start off on the right foot, we have listed a few planting tips.

Click the image for details.