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 …

Put Your Fall Leaves To Work

The leaves of fall are one of nature’s most gorgeous gifts but I find that I appreciate them even more after they have fallen off the trees. Yes, I said after. While I don’t look forward to the work of cleaning up the leaves any more than you do, I have a very deep appreciation for what they will mean to my lawn and garden a few months from now.  Where most people see fallen leaves as hours of raking, …

Caring for your Easter Lily

Easter lilies fill our homes with bright blooms and fragrant aromas. Here are some guidelines that may extend the life of your lily, as well as a few easy steps to follow if you choose to plant it outdoors. Caring for your Easter Lily Once you get your Easter Lily home, it is best to place it where it will get bright, indirect light. Lilies grow from bulbs and are planted in well-draining soil so they don’t rot. It’s critical …

Location, Location, Location

Where is the best place to hang your hummingbird feeder? An ideal location for your hummingbird feeder, would be close to a window in your house so that you can watch the hummingbirds when you are indoors. It should be hung in a shady spot if possible, to keep the nectar from spoiling as soon. Hummingbirds are more likely to spot feeders that are hung  near plants that attract the hummingbirds. Keep in mind that hummingbirds are very territorial and …

Don’t touch this plant! Giant Hogweed

Do Not Touch This Plant: If you come in contact with this plant, you could experience severe burns to your skin, and risk temporary or permanent blindness. Giant Hogweed is an invasive, non-native plant that poses a serious threat to human health and natural ecosystems. If you haven’t already heard, Giant Hogweed has now been detected in many counties across Michigan. The Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development states on its website, “Giant Hogweed is a public health hazard …

Steps for Cleaning a Bird House

Cleaning your bird houses is essential for good bird health and safety. Dirty bird houses can harbor rodents, insects, feather mites, fungus and bacteria that can spread disease to the birds. Ideally, a bird house should be cleaned after all babies have grown and left the home. Remove all old nesting material and scrape out any feces or clumped matter. This material should be disposed of in a plastic bag to prevent spreading any parasites it might harbor. Scrub the …

Worm Composting

How would you like to turn your kitchen scraps into amazing nutrient rich soil that surpasses anything you can buy from a store? It’s pretty simple and easy if you use worm power. That’s right – I said worms! Worm composting (Vermicomposting) is a clean and odorless way to transform food waste into a rich fertilizer. Not only can these red wigglers create the most nutrient rich soil, they will also help you reduce the trash you produce and keep things out …

Recycling is Good for Everyone!

Have you ever wondered what happens to the plastic containers that you return to Wenke Greenhouses in our recycle box in the corner of the parking lot?  I’m happy to tell you about the recycling program that has really had a positive impact.   East Jordan is a supplier for us and they have a facility in South Haven that takes all that plastic and makes it new again. East Jordan plans to recycle 12 million pounds this year.  That’s a …

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 …

Winterizing Your Garden, Part Two

Caring for Your Grasses and Shrubs as the winter season approaches. How to protect your grasses and shrubs from the damaging wind and cold temperatures of winter: Grasses: Many gardeners do nothing in the fall to their grasses. Leaving grasses standing for the winter provides visual interest and some color to the winter landscape. Whether good or bad, grasses left standing also provide some shelter and protection for birds and other animals from the winter weather. Grasses are more tender …