With the seasons changing and cooler weather on its way, it can only mean one thing: Bulb Time. We carry a wide variety of bulbs from the Netherlands and with so many to choose from, the possibilities are endless.
So, you ask, why bulbs?
Bulbs give you the first sign of Spring! At the end of the cold winter months, nothing gives you more hope than seeing the little green sprouts popping up around your yard.
Bulbs are reliable and always there. Once planted, they will keep coming back!
Bulbs don’t need a great deal of maintenance. Just a bit of bone meal or bulb-tone sprinkled into the soil, to fertilize them once a year.
Bulbs give you great color and texture to add to any spring or summer garden—some look quite exotic!
Bulbs are really a high end product for little cost and little time needed to get great results.
It's hard to believe that school is back in session. What happened to the summer? Better yet, what happened to your pots this summer?
With such extreme heat and drought this year, it was tough to keep anything alive; even the greenest thumbs were struggling. So now that the weather is beginning its transition into fall, your pots should be too. However, that doesn't mean tearing everything you kept alive all summer out of your containers. Many of your summer annuals can make the transition into the fall, leaving you to fill in a few gaps here and there with fall flowers.
One of our favorite annuals to keep into the fall is the petunia. With the deep purple and black colors available, these are great trailers to any spooky Halloween container. Geraniums will also keep going for you into the cooler weather, and will even start to look better than they did in the heat this summer. Other summer annuals that you can keep in your pots through the fall are osteospermum (similar to a daisy), creeping Jenny, vinca vine, English ivy, waxed begonias, gomphrena, salvia, marigolds, fuschia, dusty miller, snapdragons and alyssum.
Unfortunately, all summer annuals are not equipped for the cooler temperatures. Sweet potato vine is a favorite among many gardeners, but when the cool nights return, it is one of the first to get hit with the cold. If you want to try to keep these more sensitive plants going, we recommend covering your containers with a lightweight dishcloth or bed sheet any time it falls below 45 or 50 degrees over night. This may work temporarily, but eventually it will become too cold for them. Other cold sensitive plants include basil, angelonia, impatiens, zinnias, caladiums, and any tropicals like hibiscus.
Though they don't live year round here in the Midwest, one of the best parts of transitioning some of your summer annuals is seeing them get their second wind. As the weather has started to cool down and we have gotten some rain, you may have noticed thses annuals have begun to bloom more and grow larger. We recommend helping them along with the transition by feeding them with a fertilizer that is high in phosphorus, which is the middle number on the box (10-54-10). One specific brand we recommend is Miracle Gro Bloom Booster, which easily mixes in your watering can to feed your pots.
So as temperatures cool down, and your summer pots look out of place, switch out some of the plants with mums, kale, pansies, and ornamental peppers. But don't be afraid to keep some of your red, yellow and oranged summer annuals around, too.
Scientific Name: Hypoestes phyllostachya
Common Name: PolkaDot Plants
Plant Type: Annual, Houseplant
Sun: Shade to Part Sun
Foliage Color: White, Red, Pink marbled with Green
Height: 6 to 10 inches
Polka dot plants are great annuals to use in containers and garden beds alike, but what many people don't know is that they make great houseplants, too. Their colorful foliage can help break up the usual green leaves that most flowers have, especially in shade gardens that may not get quite as many colorful blooms as sun gardens.
For planting Polka Dot Plants outside, find a shadier area with moist, well-drained soil. When growing indoors, polka dot plants want indirect light and even do well in low light situations. In both situations, Polka Dot Plants only need to be fertilized about once a month. If the plant begins to get a little bit leggy as it grows, be sure to cut back the canes to allow for the plant to bush out.
Scientific Name: Bidens ferulifolia
Common Name: Bidens
Plant Type: Annual
Sun: Full Sun
Bloom Time: Summer
Bloom Color: Gold
Height: 1 to 3 feet
Bidens are a bright gold flower that make a great addition to any container garden. The fern-like foliage and star-shaped flowers trail over the sides of containers and window boxes, making it a great choice for your “spiller.”
Plant your bidens in a sunny area with well-drained soil. While it does beautifully in containers, bidens can also be used as an annual groundcover. To keep them blooming continuously throughout the summer, be sure to fertilize and pinch off any flowers that are done blooming. They are somewhat of a tender flower, so be sure to plant them after the chance of frost has gone or protect them from any cool nights.