Mum’s the Word
We have had a plethora of questions and concerns about the care and keeping of Mums so here are some helpful hints on getting the most out of our favorite fall flower. The Mums we carry at Hook’s Greenhouse are called Hardy Fall Mums. Hardy Mums are among the more hardy varieties, but even hardy Mums do not always come back the next year. Even though it is uncertain your Mums will grow back, it is prudent to use tactics that will maximize your Mum’s chances of survival.
Mums tend to survive better if they are purchased in the cool weather of early September. If they are planted in hot weather they may burn up and dry out before the roots have a chance to become established. That being said, it is important to plant your Mums in well-drained, moist soil as soon as possible so that the roots have a longer time to become established for the winter months. It is also a good idea to purchase Mums that have not fully flowered yet so that when you plant them more energy is sent to the roots and not just to the blooms. Mums should be planted in zones five to nine and in a place where it will receive at least six hours of sunlight a day. You should remember to keep your Mums watered heavily when they are blooming and do not let them wilt because it will the effect the plants longevity. While Mums are blooming it is best to dead head, or cut off the dead buds, so that more flowers will grow in their place.
At the end of the fall season when the weather starts to get cold do not trim off the dead growth, save that trimming for the spring. Pile up high quality mulch in and around the Mums so that they are insulated for the cold months ahead. On warmer, sunnier winter days it will help the Mums if you soak the roots a few times so it does not dry out. In Early Spring pull the mulch away and cut back the old stems down to the new growth. If it survived the first Winter you should be able to enjoy them for years to come.
For some people they enjoy decorating their porch with Mums and pumpkins, so in the case of a late season planting it is acceptable to winter indoors. It is best to plant them but if you feel that the Mums will not have enough time to root in the ground before winter then please follow these steps. Pot up the Mum in a pot a few sizes larger and store in the basement or a dark closet of your home. Keep the roots damp and make sure the pot is large enough to facilitate healthy root growth. Check on your Mum every month to make sure it does not get too dry and then replant it in spring.
Mums are a relatively inexpensive plant that adds a great splash of fall color to your garden. Always plant your flowers with the hope of success and follow all the guidelines so that your beautiful garden has the greatest chance of survival through the harsh winter months.
Have Fun and Enjoy your Yard!
There is still at least 140 days left to the growing season based on the most common last frost of the season being October 3. We have typically seen nice warm Octobers in the past few years and really a November frost more likely. It has been such a wet Spring that I know most gardeners are ready to throw in the towel, but don’t be discouraged there is still time.
We have a large selection of veggie flats to choose from! AND they look amazing! We grow multiple planting of veggies so we can offer our customers fresh crops of quality plants. We have 28 varieties of sweet, mild and hot peppers available including hard to find Ghost & Scorpion Peppers, We also have a nice selection of 47 varieties of Tomatoes including heirloom, cherry and large red. Complete your garden with cabbage, sweet potatoes, squash, beets, corn, kale and more! Flats of 12 paks are $13.99, or $1.69 for the individual pak of 2 or 3 plants. Most Veggies come in 3 paks but we offer squashes and other vining veggies in 2 paks. Call we questions or if you are looking for a specific varieties. 440-647-5480
Kick Start the Season with Hanging Baskets
Hanging baskets are a staple for spring. Before the earth is warm enough to plant, hanging baskets can be enjoyed and often kick start the gardening season. Pre-planted hanging baskets are readily available for purchase, or you can build your own by choosing elements that will suit your needs.
Whether you’re creating a show for an upcoming holiday or event, or just expressing yourself horticulturally, we’ll take a look at the basics that you’ll need.
Choosing a container:
Choosing the right container for your hanging basket doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Probably the most important element to look for is something with drainage holes or something that you can make drainage holes in. Next, find something that is large enough to accommodate the plant choices you’ve made. You don’t want your plants overcrowded, nor do you want them too spread out. Keep in mind, you will need something deep enough to allow for plenty of soil, and wide enough to allow the roots to spread out.
Look for containers that speak to you and your decorating style. If you’re style reflects rusty finds, then an old rusty bucket could do the trick. If a more formal approach is intended, look for plastic pots that reflect the elegant style you’re after.
When choosing plants for your hanging basket, look for those that cascade nicely. Some plants offer long cascades while others are shorter by nature. Choose a variety that will suit your style.
If you’re looking for a casual or romantic display, choose soft colors and whites. Pinks, lavendars, pale yellows and whites are a great combination to take springtime all the way through the summer, while pink and white are a classic romantic style.
Making a bold statement? Try a combination of bright yellows, oranges and reds, throw in a bit of purple and you have a statement! Planted in a brightly colored vessel, this combination will make your hanging baskets pop all season.
For a more dramatic display, choose 3 or more plants of the same variety and color. Look for a bright color that will show itself off such as red, yellow or purple. Choosing long cascading plants will add to the dramatic effect as well.
Choose plants that will withstand the wind and heat and take into consideration what kind of sun exposure is in the area that the basket will be displayed (see below).
Soil is one of the most important aspects of a hanging basket. Your plants will need good drainage and lots of nutrients to thrive throughout the summer. Bagged potting soil comes in a variety of types and offers fresh nutrients for your plants. We recommend high quality Pro-Mix potting soil.
Watering and Care:
Be sure to water your hanging basket often as they will dry out quicker than potted plants due to drainage, air circulation and wind. You can check to see when your basket needs watering by sticking your index finger into the soil about a half of an inch deep. If it feels moist to dry, it’s time to water. If it feels moist to soggy, let it go and check tomorrow. It’s not unusual for hanging baskets to need a drink daily, and as summer heats up, they will most likely need a good watering every day.
Here’s a handy guide to sun exposures.
Full Sun-means at least 6 full hours of direct, unfiltered sun per day. Plants that require full sun may enjoy the rays, but be sure to water often during the hot months to keep them cool.
Part Sun/Part Shade-Plants requiring partial sun or partial shade prefer 4-6 hours of morning or early afternoon sun but will not tolerate the intense hot afternoon sun. Planting on the east side of a building or tree will provide relief to these plants.
Dappled/Filtered Sun– is the sun that is filtered through the brances of deciduous trees or structure. Woodland plants prefer this type of sunlight.
Full Shade-is for plants that can only tolerate up to 3 hours of direct sunlight per day. They prefer filtered/or dappled sunlight such as described above. These plants will do well under the protection of a large tree or on a porch. Full Shade may also be referred to as Indirect Sun, where the plant will benefit from full light, but not direct sun.
Don’t let this overwhelm you, it is all trial and error, and learning from what you like and don’t like. The Greenhouse staff is here to help, just stop in and we can help build your own hanging baskets! or just pick out a pre-planted one for $19.99 and say you planted it yourself, we won’t tell : )
Astilbe are mainstays of shade and woodland gardens. They combine well with other moisture loving plants like Brunnera, Ligularia, Lobelia and Hosta. We have several great varieties this year, as they are always a staple on the greenhouse sales floor.
Astilbe ‘Maggie Daley’ is best known for its glossy dark green lacy foliage, the profusion of narrow pink-lavender plumes are dense and fuzzy. This tough variety blooms later, mid to late summer, and will tolerate drier conditions than most.
Astilbe ‘Fanal’ is a classic, glossy deep green foliage with bright red plumes of fluffy flowers. A good ground cover in moist situations and a superb cut flower, fresh or dried. It makes a dazzling combination with yellow-green leaves.
Astilbe ‘Visions’ is a more compact plant as it shows off it’s beautiful chinensis foliage and thick, upright blooms. This is an easy care and long lived perennial for both the beginner and expert alike.
Low growing shade ground cover Astilbe ‘Pumila” spreads more quickly, has more sun tolerance and not so moisture fussy as other types of Astilbes. A great accent to the front of the border. Lovely cut leaf foliage looks great all season long. This easy to grow drought proof groundcover brings color to the late summer color with upright, fuzzy fragrant pink flower plumes lasting until early fall. Attractive looking groundcover for planting in large groupings or tucking in small shady spaces. Foliage stays attractive even when not in bloom. Only 12 inches high.
All though there are many astilbes available at garden centers this year, these are a few we love at Hook’s Greenhouse!
We offer 5 varieties of strawberries this Year. Our favorite has always been Ozark Beauty. I love that it has a great taste and produces berries throughout the season of good size, which is sometime hard to find with an everbearing strawberry.
This plant require no special pampering, you can grow them in average, medium-wet, fertile loam in full sun or in a container with high-quality potting soil. When these plants reach maturity they will be between 8 and 12 inches tall. They will have a spread of about 12 inches. ‘Ozark Beauty’ is self-pollinating and shoot off runners easily; it’s also resistant to leaf spot and leaf scorch. The best berry ever for jams, preserves, pies and freezing, and simply unbeatable fresh.
We sell them for $1.69 each plant or $13.99 a flat of 12.
This plant is easy to take care of and is heat tolerant. It will make a great addition to any part of your garden.
Light: Part Sun to Sun
These plants are perfect for baskets and containers. It has consistent trailing, vigorous growth and is a heavy bloomer.
Height:5-7 inches (Trails up to 36-48 inches)