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Winter Container Workshop



Easy Bloompads for Planting Bulbs

Fall is a time for planting; planting everything from perennials, to shrubs to your spring bulbs.  This year, Vern Goers Greenhouse is offering a new way to plant your bulbs, with the Easy Bloompad.


The biodegradable pad makes planting your spring bulbs easy, quick and clean. On each bloompad, bulbs have been pre-spaced, so all you need to do is dig a hole where you want them to pop up next spring.  Then place the bloompad into the hole, and cover with soil. 


Depending on the type of flower and the size of the bulb, there may be anywhere from seven to twenty bulbs in each bloompad.  The size of the pads also make them easy to plant in pots and containers for anyone with limited garden space.  Just be sure to protect your pots from the cold winter temperatures by keeping them in a cool, dark place indoors.

In case you are more traditional and enjoy making your own combinations of spring bulbs, however, Vern Goers Greenhouse is still carrying the traditional bags of bulbs that you can purchase and mix together as you please.



Cool Nights? Time to Bring in Your Houseplants!

Ferns are easy houseplants that thrive in the summer weather, but need to be brought indoors as the temperatures drop.Not only do gardeners enjoy the outdoors during the warm summer months, but their houseplants do, too.  Bringing your indoor plants outside on a shady porch for the season always helps them grow and keeps them happy.

As the weather begins to turn cooler, however, it comes time to bring them back into the house, along with a few other plants you may have in your garden.  The specific date to bring them in by varies with the weather, so it changes each year.  There are some general guidelines on when to bring your houseplants in, which additional plants you can overwinter in your home, and how to do so.

There are two ways to tell when you should start packing it in: the first is when the leaves start falling from the trees. The second is when overnight lows start dropping below 45 degrees.  Once these cooler nights start to occur, you will need to begin to make the adjustments for bringing in your plants.

Each houseplant has different requirements for light, water and soil, so before you make the space for them inside, be sure you know what will keep them happy.  Generally speaking, a room with southern exposure is the best place for plants during the winter, because there they will get the most light. 

Another thing to look at is the distance between the window and the plant.  Certain tropicals that you bring indoors may not do well if they are directly next to the window, as it may be too cold in January or February.  Other plants could get fried by getting too much direct sun being close to a window.

An additional care requirement may be cutting the plant back.  For example, hibiscus need to be cut back when you are overwintering them, while peace lilies can just keep growing.  So be sure you know what each plant needs that you are bringing in, as well as if you have the space for it. If you have a plant that you’re not sure about, feel free to contact us by phone (630-323-1085) or e-mail (verngoersgreenhouse@gmail.com) and we can help you with the care requirements.

There are other houseplants that you can overwinter indoors in addition to the typical houseplants. Some popular plants to overwinter in our area include hibiscus, croton, palms and gardenia.  Other annuals, like begonias, geraniums, coleus and shamrock, or oxalis, can make it indoors overwinter as well. There are also plants that come from a bulb that you can dig up and store in a cool dry place in a paper bag over the winter.  These include caladium and elephant ears. 

Unfortunately, there are a lot of plants that cannot make it indoors.  Flowers like petunias, zinnias, impatiens and marigolds to name a few, do not grow indoors. These are bred to only grow one season, so unfortunately we have to toss them once frost has hit them.

Once you have found which plants you want to save, and where you are going to keep them, there are a few techniques you need to get them adjusted to their new environment. Wash the plant down with a light spray on all sides of the leaves to get rid of any bugs that might be on the plant.  Some of your plants can also be repotted into a larger pot with fresh soil to give them room to grow over the winter.

When you move them indoors, there is a chance that they’ll go into a little bit of shock due to the change in climate.  To avoid this you can gradually move them into conditions more like what they are going to be in once inside your home.  If not, they may not look that happy for a few days, but they will come out of the shock.

Once the plants are inside, remember that they will not need to be watered as frequently during the winter months.  Rather than every other day, you may need to water them as little as once a week.  You can also mist plants like ivy once a week to help prevent spider mites, which can often occur on ivy when they are indoors.

While the weather outside gets to be cold and frightful, you can keep your gardening going indoors with the right plants and the right conditions.



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It's Time to Plant Bulbs!


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.