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Looking Ahead to 2014

It’s the time of year when everyone starts making their resolutions and planning ahead for the next year.  In the gardening world, we’re doing the same thing.  Here are a few things to look out for in 2014:

Each year, the National Garden Bureau predicts an annual, vegetable and perennial to be showcased that are chosen for their popularity, versatility, and simplicity. NGB is predicting 2014 to be the Year of Cucumber, the Year of Petunias and theYear of Echinacea.  All of these have not only been popular for years, but are great plants to grow in our Midwest conditions.

While miniature gardening and edible gardening have grown in popularity over the past few years, this year gardeners will focus on combining the two.  Creating edible gardens that can be planted in containers and take up less room than the traditional garden is the latest trend. Container crops and rooftop gardens will be taking center stage. There are even new varieties of plants coming out to help keep things on the compact side.  We’ve always loved Patio tomatoes for being good for the container garden, but now there are new tomatoes, eggplants and cucumbers coming out that can be grown in pots. 

With your edible gardens, don’t just think of your typical tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers.  Many people are now growing everything from strawberries to quinoa and other foods from around the world. They are mixing their local cuisine with other cultures in both their kitchen and their gardens.

Along the lines of edible gardening, fermentation gardens are becoming more popular. With your typical garden, you grow lots of things that are perfect for juicing and making smoothies. Fermentation gardens are gardens where ingredients for wine or home-brewed beer are grown. Grapes for wine, barley or hops for beer.  These gardens are a main factor in the reason men aged 18-34 are beginning to garden more.

With everyone trying to live a sustainable lifestyle, edible gardening is just one place you’ll see gardeners doing.  Another area is composting.  This is becoming the “New Recycling”.  Instead of just separating your plastics and papers from your garbage, people are now saving food scraps and creating compost piles.

There are also lots of new gadgets and apps on the market to help gardeners.  With new grow lights, indoor vertical gardens and floor-safe containers, gardeners can easily grow crops all year long both indoors and out. Any quick questions can be easily answered with the many gardening smartphone apps that are out there. When you find yourself stumped, the answers are literally at your fingertips. 

In 2014, gardening will continue to grow in popularity.  Many people will be expanding their homes to create outdoor living spaces for entertaining and creating a balance in their lives. Dressing up the garden with accent pieces from furniture to fountains and statues, gardeners will begin to really dwell in their outdoor space.

While many gardeners like to attract hummingbirds and butterflies to their gardens, the new trend is to plant for the bees. These little guys can be quite beneficial to all of your plants and your garden.  With the environmental impact people, cell phone towers, and everything else is having on them, planting a few native, pollen rich plants will help keep them around.

With the wild winter we have already had here in the Midwest, it is also looking like we may beat the impatiens downy mildew that wreaked havoc on many of our gardens the past two years. In order for the disease to be killed off  we need 3 or more consecutive nights of below zero temperatures. So while we can hate the cold, at least we can plant our impatiens again!

All in all, 2014 is shaping up to be a great year for gardening!


Happy Holidays!



Holiday Hours

Holiday Hours
Christmas Eve: 8:00am – 2:00pm
Christmas Day: CLOSED
December 26- December 29: 9:00am – 4:00pm
New Years Eve: 9:00am – 2:00pm
New Years Day: CLOSED

Winter Hours begin 
January 2: 
8:00am – 5:00pm
Closed Sundays



Holiday Gift Guide

Christmas came quickly this year! Need a few last minute gifts and stocking stuffers?  Or maybe something to bring to the hostess of that holiday party? Here are a few ideas that will help you mix it up and keep your loved ones thinking of you as they enjoy their gift:

Amaryllis, Paperwhite or Hyacinth Bulb Kit: These kits come with everything you need, the bulb, the pot and the soil.  All they’ll have to do is plant it, water it and watch it grow. Measuring the growth each day makes a great project for kids during the winter months.

Cyclamen: These beautiful flowers have a great history to them with this holiday, being that they were the original Christmas flower.  In the 1950s, poinsettias became more popular during the holiday, but cyclamen have begun to make a comeback.

Christmas Cactus: One way to tell that Christmas is near is by seeing your Christmas cactus bud.  These unique cacti bloom once to twice a year at Christmas and sometimes Easter. They are not your typical cactus thought, being as they are not prickly or spiny.

Door County Coffee & Cocoa: Just the thing to warm up on the cold winter days. Door County Coffee and Hot Chocolate come in a variety of seasonal flavors and classic favorites. For the coffee drinker in your life, these make great stocking stuffers and are handy to have in the cabinet for any out of town guests you will be hosting this season.

Stained Glass Artwork: Vern Goers Greenhouse is proud to sell beautiful Stained Glass pieces from local artist Amy Potvin. She creates beautiful seasonal window decorations as well as year-round pieces that will add a little color to your home. Check out her great stars and snowflakes for unique and festive gifts.

Thymes Frasier Fir Gift Set: Bring the smell of fresh greens in to your home with the Frasier Fir line from Thymes.  They have candles, air freshener, soap, lotion and scented oil to bring the smell of the holidays indoors.  Tucked in the right places, guests will never know your faux greens aren’t real because they’ll smell so good.

Bird Feeder & Seed: The little guys need to eat, too! Keep your garden active during the winter by placing bird feeders and seed throughout your yard.  You’ll have lots of visitors throughout the winter coming to snack on your seed.

Bonsai Tree: For those of us who want to keep our thumbs green throughout the winter, try a Bonsai.  These small trees make unique gifts that everyone will be talking about.  Our on-staff expert Dan Kosta can help choose the right type of tree for the conditions it will be growing in.

Fresh Greens Centerpiece: A great hostess gift, giving a centerpiece for the dinner table will add a lot of cheer to the party.  These centerpieces just need to be watered, much like any plant, and they will last throughout all the holiday parties and into January. 

Holiday English Garden Basket: These indoor gardens not only make great centerpieces for parties, but they keep you gardening throughout the winter.  English Garden Baskets are a mix of green and flowering houseplants that are arranged into a larger basket.  They will add a little bit of color to your home throughout the year, being able to change out the various plants for others as the seasons change.

Classic Red Poinsettia…or maybe one of the new colors like Cinnamon Spice: Nothing says the holidays quite like a poinsettia.  There’s the classic red that you can never go wrong with, but in the past few years there are a lot of new colors as well.  Cinnamon spice is an orange colored leaf while Tapestry is a variegated leaf, red poinsettia that catches everyone’s eye.  Other new colors include ice punch and sparkling punch that are red and pink blooms that appear to have ice crackling on the petals. 

Gift Card to Vern Goers Greenhouse: This is the gift that keeps on giving! Whether they come in and use it during the winter, or save it until spring, when they use it they will be thinking of you. Maybe they need a new pair of gloves or a new perennial to add to their shady spot in the yard?  Let them do the hard work of deciding what to get!


Christmas Cactus

The holidays are a time for old traditions, and one of these in the gardening world is Christmas Cactus. The real name is actually zygocactus, but its holiday name comes from its consistent blooming during the holiday season.

Christmas Cactus are not your typical cactus. Native to Brazil, these cacti do not have needles or spines like the cactus that most people think of. The plant blooms from the ends of its branches, and its blooms vary in color from white, yellow and orange to red pink and magenta. 

The buds are set in the fall when the plant is exposed to cooler temperatures at night, between 50 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit. After it is done blooming at Christmas, it will rest some and then set more buds to bloom again during the Spring, often falling around the time of Easter.

To care for your Christmas Cactus, keep it in bright but indirect light. It is best to keep the cactus away from drafts, heat vents, fireplaces or other sources of hot air. You can also move the plant outdoors in summer to a shady location.

These cactus are low maintenance, but for the best results, provide a source of humidity for your cactus if your house is dry. You can do this by making a humidity tray by placing the pot on a waterproof saucer that is filled with gravel and halfway filled with water.

When it comes to watering, it is important to remember that Christmas Cactus are tropical cacti, not desert cacti. Unlike most desert cacti, this variety cannot tolerate completely dry soil. If the soil gets too dry, the flowers buds will drop, and the plant will wilt. Feel the soil with your fingers; if it feels dry, it's time to water.

Throughout the year, the amount of water the cactus will need will also change. If it outdoors during the summer, water it every two to three days. When it is indoors or in a very humid climate, water it once a week.  During the fall and winter months, the plants can be watered less frequently to help promote blooming.

If you want to fertilize your cactus, do so with a houseplant-type fertilizer with a 20-20-20 feed. It can be fertilized two to four times a year, just be sure to stop about a month before the buds appear (October).

Christmas Cactus are thermo-photoperiodic. This means that light and temperature play an important role in setting its buds. Christmas Cactus will set buds when day length is about equal to night length and when the temperature drops to 50 to 60 degrees F for several weeks. During September and October, the Christmas Cactus should be kept in a cool room where temperatures will remain around 50 degrees. This cool treatment will help the plant bloom in time for Christmas.