Reading a Plant Tag

Plant tags are your key to success when choosing and growing plants. If you don’t understand all the things you see on a label, you’re not alone. Unravel the mystery of plant label lingo – and take the guesswork out of selecting and placing plants in your yard. Plant labels may be different, but often they contain similar information. Here are some of the common words you’ll see on plant labels – and what they mean to you. When shopping …

Tips on Winter Bird Feeding

Winter is a crucial time for the birds that remain in our area. They spend their time facing the elements of bitter cold and snowstorms. There are no insects to eat and the natural seeds are covered with snow; the berries and crab apples are gone. Birds need enough food to maintain their body temperatures and must search for food from sun up to dusk. Fortunately, for the birds, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 41 million Americans …

Overwintering Plants

To overwinter or not to overwinter, THAT is the question. While plant enthusiasts are blessed with many things here in southwest Michigan, we can never take for granted that the plants we have so carefully chosen are sometimes just not suited to remain outdoors for our winter season. Three big factors to consider before you bring in those pots: Light: Can you accommodate the light requirements for each particular plant? Space: Do you have the room to bring your plants …

Creating Winter Interest in the Garden

As gardeners, we have a tendency to concentrate our efforts on spring and summer while often neglecting the fall and winter. When choosing plants, keep in mind things like branching habits, color, unusual bark, persisting seeds and berries, or swaying seed heads of ornamental grasses. These features will keep your landscapes alive and interesting throughout the winter months. There is still time to add some plants to the garden that can reward you with a beautiful garden every day of …

Winterizing your Roses

A message from Larry “The Rose Guy” about winterizing your roses. It’s getting colder and the days are getting shorter, so it’s time to think about preparing your roses for winter. Don’t stop watering. This is very important as the die back you see on your roses in the spring is caused by cold winter winds which take out the moisture from the canes. Do not prune now because the die back will start from the point you made your …

Winter To-do list

Once the the holiday season is behind us, you might have a little extra time on your hands while waiting for spring to arrive. Here are a few things you could be doing this month. Use this time to prepare the garden tools for spring. Sharpen your pruners, shovels, and hoes as well as clean them thoroughly to prevent any disease from previous use. Review last year’s garden journal and start a new one for this year Consider purchasing a large calendar …

Poinsettias

Poinsettias have long been associated with Christmas and add beauty and warmth to any home during the holiday season. Poinsettias are a tropical plant with long-lived bracts (vivid color leaves) and golden yellow flowers. To ensure that your poinsettia retains its beauty, keep these tips in mind. Place in a room with bright, indirect light. Avoid temperature extremes. This includes heat from registers as well as cold drafts below 50° F. Water plant thoroughly when soil surface is dry to …

Winter Storage of Tender Bulbs

Saving bulbs and tubers of tender plants is a winning idea. You will save money and time if you dig and store the bulbs of tender plants in the fall. Next spring bring them out of storage for replanting in the garden. If you are anxious and want to get started before spring’s last frost date, try starting a few bulbs in pots indoors. Replanting is the surest way to recreate your favorite garden designs. Following a few simple steps, …

Houseplant Appreciation Day

January 10th is Houseplant Appreciation Day! You probably didn’t know that houseplants have their very own holiday, did you? It was established by The Gardener’s Network as a way to remind people about the benefits of having houseplants inside the home. If you are a gardener, houseplants give you an opportunity to play in the dirt, until spring arrives. Houseplants have been shown to be incredibly therapeutic especially during the winter months. Houseplants are completely dependent on us for survival …