Gardening Tips

The Benefits of Mulch

A water-efficient garden shouldn't be without mulch. Since mulch reduces water evaporation, a well-mulched garden will not have to be watered as frequently as one that is not. Mulch has the added benefit of deterring weeds that not only detract from the look of a garden but also compete for water and nutrients. Mulch is usually described as organic (e.g., wood chips, shredded leaves) or non-organic (e.g., landscape fabric, stone). As organic mulches break down, they improve the water percolation and retention through the soil, as well as add nutrients to the soil. Non-organic mulches last longer than organic mulches and require little maintenance, but don't alter the soil's composition.

Although generous applications of mulch will help any garden make the most of the water it receives, don't apply organic mulch too close to the stems of young seedlings, or you'll smother them.

Binleys carries quality hardwood mulch in brown, black and red and it is available in convenient 2 cubic foot bags or in bulk. We’ll load your truck or trailer or delivery is available.

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When to divide perennials

A fast and easy way to make more plants is to dig up an existing mature plant, divide the clump and then replant the divisions. Many perennials are good candidates, including asters, hostas, chrysanthemums, daylilies, liatris, black-eyed Susan, meadow rue and many ornamental grasses.

Spring and summer-blooming perennials are best divided in autumn; divide autumn-blooming perennials in spring. Divide perennials on a cool, cloudy day. If the ground is dry, water the plant a day before dividing.

Use a sharp shovel or garden spade to dig up the plant, keeping the roots intact as much as possible. Gently remove loose soil. Either pull the plant apart with your hands, or use a knife, pruning saw, garden spade or garden fork to cut the clump apart. Each division should have at least a few healthy shoots with a mass of roots attached.

Replant each division in its new location, setting each plant at the same depth as before in a hole slightly wider than the division. Fill in the hole, then firm the soil and water thoroughly. Keep the soil evenly moist until plants show new growth.

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Plantings to Attract Butterflies

Creating a butterfly garden is a great way to encourage and conserve butterfly populations in your area. It's easy to do, since it mainly involves growing plants that provide the color and food sources that attract butterflies.

Butterflies drink nectar (the sugary liquid flowers produce to attract pollinating insects), so include some nectar-rich flowering plants and some host plants where the butterflies can lay their eggs. Different butterfly species prefer different types of plants, so planting a variety of flowers attracts a more diverse population of butterflies. To attract a continuous succession of butterflies to your garden, plant a selection of flowers that provide blooms throughout the season. It is especially important to have blooms in mid- to late summer, when most butterflies are active.

Read more: Plantings to Attract Butterflies

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Restoring Vigor in the Perennial Garden

Perennials are a great investment in any garden, but once established, perennials can double and sometimes triple in size every year, creating a cluttered garden composition. Separating a parent plant into several pieces with their own roots and new crown to produce exact copies of that perennial is one way to deal with the clutter.

Overcrowding isn't the only reason to divide perennials. When there is a significant decrease in flower production in the parent plant or when the crown of the plant starts to separate in the middle and the newer surrounding shoots produce more flower buds and are healthier looking, division will rejuvenate the aging parent plant, strengthening it and boosting flower production.

Read more: Restoring Vigor in the Perennial Garden

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15 tips for creating and maintaining successful container gardens

To make a long story short, pick the right plant, soil and fertilizer for the pot. Here’s a little more information about vegetable container gardens.

Edibles and container gardening are hot, especially for people who live in areas with little green space and soil. But it’s important that gardeners select the proper plants that can thrive in a limited space.

Seed companies are developing vegetable seeds specifically bred for container gardens to meet the growing demand and interest, says Seminis Home Gardens.

“Today’s container gardeners now have access to even more plants that are compact in size, yield more, taste great and feature unique colors and shapes,” says John Marchese, Sales Manager for Seminis Home Garden seed. Seminis’ Home Garden seed includes innovative vegetable varieties such as the Early Girl tomato hybrid sold to seed retailers for more than 50 years.

Read more: 15 tips for creating and maintaining successful container gardens

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