Beets for Greens

Beet Greens When I was growing up on a farm in Indiana, my most important dinner table goal was avoiding beets and brussels sprouts. Who could have known that I would grow up to love them with such a passion?

Beets make one of the most fantastic ornamental edibles to mix in with flower containers and work well in a cool season garden or for successive planting. Generally grown for their root, the beet green is my favorite part – it’s ornamental above ground and can be harvested for a delicious salad several times throughout the season.

How to Grow Purple Broccoli

Purple Broccoli Photo © Shawna CoronadoBroccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables – it is full of nutritious vitamins and is excellent roughage for a healthy diet.

This season I experimented with Summer Purple Sprouting Broccoli, which produced amazing purple flower buds which were very tasty and produced a continuous stream of veg. I left the plant up and harvested the tops in snips and starts until I’d exhausted each plant’s summer growing season.

Garden Myths Busted: Gravel for Improved Pot Drainage

There are too many gardening tricks out there that just don’t work or even worse can hurt your plants! As lovers of the garden, we feel it is our duty to right these wrongs and help you to better understand your garden and plants.

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Myth Debunked: Adding Gravel or Styrofoam to the Bottom of Pots Improves Drainage.

A gardening myth that is very commonly encountered is the suggestion of putting gravel or Styrofoam chips at the bottom of a pot to improve drainage. This practice has the opposite effect and makes pots drain more slowly! Though this seems counter-intuitive, this effect is due to how water moves through soil.

2017 Catalog Sneak Peek Part 2

Cultivating Thanks

As we approach the new year, it is a time for reflection and recognition of the things in life that we are most thankful for. All of us here wish to express a very heartfelt thanks to all our growers and suppliers who help us to serve our customers. And most of all, we want to express our sincere appreciation and thanks to all our customers. As a family-owned company celebrating its 110th year in business in 2017, we recognize that it is individual gardeners who sustain our business and keep us growing. We also recognize that all gardeners’ efforts enrich the lives of their families, friends, and communities. We greatly appreciate your business and trust in us, and we pledge to continue to offer the best products and information to help you succeed with your garden.

Poinsettia Ball Container Design

Christmas Container Garden Poinsetta Balls

December can be filled with snow and mud – we garden addicts are needing a garden-fix in a bad way. Creating some amazing container gardens to display in a sunny window is a must. Try planting these amazing poinsettia ball containers which I originally spotted at the Chicago Botanic Garden greenhouse.

Make the balls small or large and give your holiday guests something creative to talk about for the holiday season.

How To Make Hanging Poinsettia Balls –Hanging Basket with Holes

  1. Find or make a garden container that has holes on the bottom and sides (see photo right of an example)

2017 Catalog Sneak Peek

We have welcomed a week of mild weather here in Wisconsin while we are hard at work finalizing our 2017 catalog and preparing for next season. We’re excited about the upcoming season and are pleased to be able to offer a range of interesting new items to our customers. Here is a sneak preview of a few selected additions for 2017.

Featured New Varieties for 2017

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Chiffon Hybrid summer squash is a unique new summer squash with attractive, creamy ivory skin. Its straight fruit develop seeds very slowly, allowing even extra-large fruit to be enjoyed without the need to scoop out seeds! The plants are very productive and are resistant to cucumber mosaic virus.

Winter Care for Roses

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Rose Hardiness

Roses vary quite a bit in their cold hardiness across different rose classes and even among different varieties in the same class. Gardeners in cold climates should take care to select varieties appropriate for their hardiness zone, to minimize the need for extensive winter protection.

All but the hardiest shrub roses may require protection when grown in cold climates where winter temperatures fall below 0°F (zone 7 and below). With good variety choice, gardeners in zone 6 and above usually do not need to make significant efforts to protect roses in winter.

Growing Amaryllis

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Introduction

Amaryllis (Hippeastrum species) is a tender perennial bulb native to Central and South America. It is commonly grown as a houseplant or indoor-outdoor potted plant. Only in very mild climates (zone 8 or warmer) can it be grown outside year round.

Few houseplants can equal or rival the beauty of amaryllis, with its large, lily-like flowers. Varieties are available in a range of heights, flower colors, and flower forms.

Although sometimes treated as a disposable gift plant, amaryllis is actually a long-lived bulb that will grow and flower for many years after planting when given the proper care throughout the season.

How to Combat Warty Skinned Potatoes

Wondering what’s wrong with your plant? We love talking plants and are always happy to help with any gardening related questions!

Question: “We love our red skin potatoes, but not the little warts on the skins. The potatoes we get at the store are nice and smooth. What I’m I doing wrong? We live in North Wisconsin with clay soil, which I try to amend with mulch to loosen it up.”

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Answer: The “warty” skin on your red potatoes is probably caused by a disease called potato scab. Though this disease doesn’t reduce yields, it does make potatoes unsightly.

Fall Garden Chores

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Both leaves and temperatures are falling here in Wisconsin, and it’s time for most of the country to think about finishing the of the last garden chores as winter draws ever closer.

Tool Cleanup & Storage
An important fall chore is cleaning and storing tools and garden equipment, to ensure that everything is accessible and ready for use when needed in spring. Proper care of tools will also significantly prolong their useful life.

Wash any soil residue from garden tools or remove it with a wire brush. Remove any rust spots that have developed on metal surfaces with a wire brush, fine grained sandpaper, or steel wool.