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What to Know About Fall Planting

Posted by Chris Sabbarese on Wed, Aug, 28, 2019 @ 16:08 PM

Many gardeners think about planting in spring when the weather starts to warm up. However when it comes to weather and temperatures, fall and spring are very similar. There are some big advantages to planting shrubs and trees in fall so we've talked to expert, Stacey Hirvella with Proven Winners, to share some fall planting tips and other do's and don'ts this time of year. Planting in fall is ideal since cooler temperatures will help with root growth and plant development, soil retains more moisture and a thick lay of mulch will help protect new plants from freezing temperatures throughout winter. Read on to learn more about fall planting and garden activities and why you should put your pruners and fertilizer away this time of year.

Why Fall is Ideal for Planting

Many people think plant in the fall is out since winter is right around the corner. They think a newly planted shrub or tree will not survive. But when properly planted in fall, the shortened days will trigger dormancy. This allows a plant to put energy into root growth and development. Instead of trying to push out new leaves and flowers. Because the temperatures are also cooler, it's not only optimal for root growth, there is less water evaporation. Rainy weather also minimizes the need to water. You can also find some amazing deals on plants in local garden centers as it gets closer to freezing weather.

Fall planting with corona shovel

When Should You Be Planting

There is no magical date on the calendar to tell gardeners, it's time to start planting. Depending on your zone, Stacey indicated you can safely plant up until about 6 weeks before the ground freezes in cold climates. In hot climates that rarely see freezing temperatures, plant when night time temperatures are in the 50s. It's also a good time to plant bulb flowers in fall to help force their blooms in the spring. She also mentions that Halloween is a great time to buy bulbs since there are some steep discounts and closeouts on remaining inventory. So there is plenty to do in the garden this time of year!

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Fall Planting and Gardening Do's and Don'ts

DO:
Apply Mulch - a thick layer of shredded mulch to extend the window of optimal root growth and conserve water, especially important or plants with shallow roots.
Watch for water – keep an eye on moisture in the soil roots moist are moist and don’t let the ground freeze dry
Use Fall Leaves - they act as a great mulch and provide a habitat for garden wildlife

 corona fork mulch

DON'T:
Plants susceptible to winter damage – butterfly bush, bluebeard, evergreens
Push hardiness zone experiments - planting too close to freeze date or plants not suited for the zone 
Fertilize - many gardeners way too much in general but fertilizing this time of year, could encourage the plant to push out growth and leaves if there is an unseasonal temperature spike, which will freeze and cause damage to the plant. Save it for spring when plants are putting on growth.
Prune - except for any damaged limbs or branches

Hear the Interview on the Green Industry Leaders Network Podcast

As a regular podcast guest, Stacey Hirvella is an experienced and knowledgeable horticulturist with tons of great insights. Look for an upcoming #plantchat episode on What to Know About Fall Planting on 9/6/19. You can listen to the our complete interview and helpful information, 24/7 on the Green Industry Leaders Network podcast. You'll be prepared for the upcoming fall planting season and planting like a pro with these great tips.

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Topics: gardening, Landscaping, planting, trees, fall, shrubs

5 Essential Garden Tools for the New Homeowner

Posted by Chris Sabbarese on Fri, Jun, 28, 2019 @ 14:06 PM

Sold HomeWe recently had a young couple move in next door to us. They moved from a one bedroom apartment, into a home with an established front and back yard they need to maintain. Of course, me being the tool geek I am, I started talking to them about what tools they need to take care of their property. Having trees, shrubs, lawn and flowers, I came up with a list of essential tools that would help them maintain their new property. Top of my list for our new neighbors; a pair of loppers, hand pruners, folding saw, rake and shovel. Why these tools? Keep reading to find out and share you suggestions in the comments.

Maintaining the Established Yard

So you buy a home with a landscaped front and back yard. With some nice trees, a lawn, plenty of shrubs and flowers that eventually will need pruning and maintenance. With my new neighbor just getting started with a new home and a new baby on the way, buying power tools can be expensive.  Also noisy tools can startle a baby or wake them up from their nap. And let's face it, no one ever wants to make that mistake! I'd also highly recommend saving the power lawn mower for a time when mom takes the baby out for a walk or runs to the store.

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The Essential Tools

With my young neighbors in mind I put together this list of helpful hand tools that can get the job done for them. They are admittedly new to the caring for the yard, and it's not something they necessarily find joy in doing. So the tools I selected, were designed to help make the tasks easier and getting the job done quickly.

DualLINK™ Bypass Lopper - these loppers provide assistance with making cuts. It has a compound lever that amplifies the amount of force, requiring less effort to get through a cut. Think of a lifting a heavy weight tied to a with a series of pulleys. One pulley puts 100% of the weight on you. Add more pulleys and the task becomes much easier. That's what DualLINK provides. They also have ComfortGEL® grips and a ShockGaurd™ bumper system so you won't feel sore the next day.

SL 4264-in use_

FlexDIAL® Bypass Pruner - I chose this hand pruner for a couple reasons. The adjustable dial allows them to both use the tool and get a custom fit for their hand size. He can use them on the widest setting to prune back branches and stems up to 3/4 in. And she can use them with a lower setting to go out, and cut some roses to bring in the house. When the baby gets older and wants to go help in the garden, setting FlexDIAL to 1 can be a great tool they can use too. Supervised of course!

BP 4214-In Use_2

RazorTOOTH Saw® - 8 in Folding Saw - This is one of the most helpful tools for any household. It makes quick work of larger limbs and branches, with a well-designed blade, that helps keep the cutting channel free of saw dust and pulp. Just a few pull strokes is all it takes to complete a cut. They also come in handy for going camping, out on the trails and for cutting off the bottom of the Christmas tree before you bring it inside.

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Spring Brace Rake - Since my neighbor will be cutting his own lawn, a rake is essential to help rake up the grass clippings that don't make it in the catcher. The magnolia leaves that fall in the summer here can also clutter the lawn quickly in between mowings so this will help keep things tidy.

Corona Spring Brace Rake


#2 Round Point Shovel - Inevitably, once you're in a new home for a while, you're going to want to make some personal changes to make your landscape reflect your personality and tastes. That's when you start looking at the shrub that was planted long before you moved in and think it's time to be replaced with something else. Having a shovel to dig up, plant or remove a plant, is work most every new homeowner will want to do.

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What More Could You Use?

So far my neighbor has appreciated my suggestion and I've seen them out using some of their new tools already. I told him that if he ever has a need for something else, I know a guy who might have the right tool for the job. For those who have recently moved into a new home, tell us in the comments what you found to be your essential tools for maintaining your landscape and garden!

 

 

Topics: gardening, Landscaping, plants, tools, shrubs

Overcoming the Plant Fear Factor

Posted by Chris Sabbarese on Fri, May, 31, 2019 @ 21:05 PM

We often talk about the therapeutic aspects of gardening, working in the soil and reducing stress in our day to day lives. It's such a great activity with numerous benefits. So why doesn't everyone  want to have a garden? We'll tell that to someone who's hortiphobic, a fear of growing plants, and they are likely to break out in a cold sweat and stress just thinking about it. It's almost like having a pet that you need to feed and care for. And if you forget to water it, it will die. Who needs that kind of stress? If that's you, you're not alone. Many Americans fear growing anything whether it's one plant, or an entire garden. This post is designed to take the fear factor out of plants, so you can move closer to a stress-free lifestyle that takes advantage of all that gardening can provide. Read on to learn how you can overcome your fear of growing plants.

What Makes Someone Hortiphobic?

Okay, you're convinced that caring and nurturing a plant of any kind, is not for you. It's possible that you suffered a traumatic plant-related event in your life, and Botanophobia set in. Maybe an episode of severe poison ivy, or you got stung in the nose by a bee while smelling a flower. Or suffer guilt over killing that poinsettia you received the holidays. All very real and potentially traumatic experiences. If you fall into any of these categories, there's still hope!

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Moving Past the Fear

If you identify yourself as a person with a black thumb, rest assured, there is a plant out there for you. Even if you have a killed a plant or two before. It could just mean it was the wrong plant for you. Or the environment wasn't ideal. Or you kept an outdoor plant, indoors. Whatever the case, failure is an option. All it means is it wasn't a good fit and it's an opportunity to try something new. If you like indoor plants, but that orchid you picked up at the garden center, perished after being in your home, that's okay. Try another plant that does well in those same conditions. It may be time to try a succulent or cactus. Point is, there is something out there for everyone at every level of gardening experience. Check out our recent podcast Trends in Indoor Plants, for some great ideas on where to start.

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Fear of Plant Commitment

What if you are the person who is always on the go? You like to travel or work and home life is especially active? You don't have time to care for plants. Yes, there are plants for you too. There are plants that can survive on very little water or light, so you can be gone for weeks and not worry about them dying. And If you have issues with a long term commitment, try some annuals in a container on the porch or deck. When they die back in the fall or winter, that's the nature of annuals, so no long term commitments are required and you will still have been successful!

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WIIFM?

If you're still on the fence about trying to grow even one plant, it's worth considering what's in it for you. Yes, you need to provide a some water and general care for plants to do well. However there are studies that have shown a direct correlation to gardening and reducing stress levels. Plants have a therapeutic quality that is calming. Working in soil has been shown to boost our mood, due to a harmless bacteria, mycobacterium vaccae, helping to better cope with anxiety and depression. They can ratchet up the curb appeal of your home. As well as spruce up your indoor living spaces for sharing the perfect #plantsofinstagram and #shelfie post.  And guys, let's face it, women appreciate a guy who can nurture and care for something.

BandB on Corona Tools

Conquer Your Fear

So if you are among those who fear plants or swear you have a black thumb and kill everything, you're not alone. Even the most studied horticulturists out there, have killed a plant or two in their day. Toss out those sad, dusty fake plants in the corner, and start with an easy live plant that won't hold outright neglect against you. You'll begin to experience the joy of seeing that first flower or when a new leaf emerges. This is a sure sign that you are doing something right. It will boost your plant confidence, make your house feel a more like a home, as you start channeling all the stress going on in your life into your plants. 

 

 

Topics: gardening, Landscaping, shrubs

Demystifying Hydrangeas with Proven Winners

Posted by Chris Sabbarese on Fri, Nov, 02, 2018 @ 18:11 PM
an introduction to the many types of hydrangeas

GILN Social Media Icon-1Did you know that hydrangeas are the most Googled shrub and flower on the planet? They are a favorite for many gardeners, yet often times they confuse one for another. Different types of hydrangea produce different types of flowers, can thrive in different zones, and have different requirements when it comes to pruning. We caught up with Stacey Hirvela, of the #1 plant brand, Proven Winners and she helps shed some light on this amazing shrub.

The 6 Types of Hydrangeas

If you’ve ever had a hydrangea shrub that hasn’t bloomed or wasn’t the mop-head burst of color you had expected, chances are, it’s related to the type you have. Whether you pruned it back when you shouldn’t have, or put the wrong one in the wrong spot, it can lead to disappointment for any gardener. The folks at Proven Winners joined us for a podcast to help make sense of all the types. 

Hydrangea PodcastKey discussion points include;

  • What makes these hydrangeas similar?
  • What makes them different?
  • Define what it means to bloom on old wood and bloom on new wood.
  • Explain how this affects pruning your hydrangea.
  • Describe how to prune the types of hydrangeas.
  • Why reblooming hydrangeas bloom on old and new wood – what does this mean for gardeners and for pruning?

Since there is so much information about hydrangeas to cover in one podcast, this episode is part 1 of 2. Download this and listen on a walk or out in the garden. Proven Winners also has this free handy guide, Demystifying Hydrangeas so you don't have to take notes. And if you have questions, join us live via Twitter.


Listen  Now, Chat Later

Since 2014,  Corona along with its industry partners, American Horticultural Society and Proven Winners, has been hosting plant-related topics via Twitter.  The new podcast gives chat participants an opportunity to hear the chat take place,  then  connect live with the host and guests. It's an opportunity to ask questions about the podcast, the general topic discussed or get more information on something that was shared. 

Chat Live and Win!

The live discussion takes place on 11/6/18 at 2PM ET. To join the discussion, log on to Twitter and search for #plantchat. If you are using Twitter, be sure to select "Latest" at the top to see the latest tweets. We'll also have plantchat prizes for those who listen to the podcast and can answer questions from it during the tweetup, including Corona tools! So listen to the podcast while you garden or commuting to the office then join us for the live chat!  And please share the good news on your favorite social networks too!

Resources

Be sure to connect with Proven Winners on Twitter and Facebook

Topics: #Plantchat, gardening, hydrangea, shrubs

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