Bird Feeders & Decorative Houses
March 18, 2019: Bird feeding is most helpful when birds need the most energy, such as migration and in late winter or early spring, when natural seed sources are depleted. Two exceptions to this rule are hummingbirds and goldfinches. Offer your hummers nectar in feeders to help fuel their high metabolism, and provide seed to your goldfinches because they nest later than other birds.
It is also helpful to provide a source of water for drinking and bathing. Be sure to keep feeders and baths clean to help prevent the spread of illness or disease.
We carry bird feeders and decorative bird houses at both our Cottage Grove and Edgerton locations.
March 11, 2019: So many shamrocks! Create a St. Patty's Day tablescape or green up a windowsill. Come May, tuck them into a shade planter for texture. You don't need luck to keep shamrocks looking good. Just allow soil to dry slightly between waterings and feed monthly with an all-purpose fertilizer spring to fall. You can keep shamrocks (a.k.a. oxalis bulbs) year to year, but cut them a few months' slack. Reduce watering when they start dying back naturally, then begin again when they sprout anew.
Forced Spring Bulbs
March 4, 2019: Forced Spring bulbs let you enjoy the colors and fragrance of spring indoors when it's freezing cold and snowy outdoors. We have a large assortment of Crocus, Hyacinths, and Muscari popping up and ready to brighten your home. They are currently snug in our floral coolers. Stop in to either our Cottage Grove or Edgerton location and pick up a few.
Once you bring your bulbs home, allow two to four weeks until to bloom time. Wake the bulbs gradually, starting with about two weeks of indirect sunlight and 60 degree temperatures. When shoots are three to five inches high, move the pots to a 68 degree environment and a bright, sunny window. Once buds color, move the pot to indirect light again to prolong bloom.
Seed Starter Special
February 25, 2019: Just in time for the Planting Seeds Indoors and Companion Planting Class to be held at the Cottage Grove location, we are offering a discounted bundled kit to get you started with any seed purchase for only $14.99:
NK Lawn & Garden's 72 Cell Mini-Greenhouse with the hexagon shape to eliminate circular roots which stunts seedling development.
Seed Starter Soil:
8 Qt bag of Espoma Organic Seed Starter Premium Potting Mix.
Offer runs until March 15th.
Growing Seeds Indoors
February 18, 2019: It’s never too early to start planning for this season’s garden. If you are planning a vegetable, herb or flower garden, bring your seed list out to either our Cottage Grove or Edgerton location. We have a huge selection of Livingston seeds for you to choose from.
Seed Starter Trays:
To help with your seed planting project, we have several types of seed starting trays available in our Garden Center:
Traditional Seed Starter kits:
- 18 cell extra large pots designed to grow vegetables with strong roots.
- 36 cell or 72 cell greenhouse kits with the hexagon shape to eliminate circular roots which stunts seedling development.
Biodegradable Peat Pot Seed Starter kit:
- 50 cells of 1-3/4" square Jiffy Pots which are 100% biodegradable peat pellet made of Canadian sphagnum peat moss which allows abundant aeration, uniform drainage, and easy root penetration. Perfect for organic growing.
Seedling Heating Pads:
Have you tried using a germination heating mat yet? You simply place the mat under seeding trays for quicker germination and to encourage strong root growth.
When using a grow light, seedlings can be nurtured along from February through August to produce a steady supply of sturdy seedlings for the spring garden, as well as for succession planting in late Spring, Summer, and even Autumn. Stop in to see our selection of grow lights and get tips on timing and placement of the lights from our garden experts.
February 11, 2019: Cyclamen blooms from January till March when the air is cooler, then rests during the warmer summer months. Even with Valentine’s Day on the horizon - it's STILL gloomy outside. It will be hard to NOT cheer up when you bring this bright blooming plant into your home.
A Cyclamen’s leaves are dark green, shaped like a heart, and its surface usually bears a striking pattern marked in a lighter green or white shade. The flowers are up-swept and come in a variety of pastel hues.
The regular Cyclamen grow anywhere from 12 to 18 inches, while the mini cyclamen types reach a height of around 7 to 8 inches.
Light: Cyclamen is quite sensitive to heat, so make sure to place this lovely plant in a cool location. Otherwise, the high temperature may cause the flowers to prematurely wilt and wither. If possible, place the Cyclamen in a bright window with indirect light, facing north. Optimal temperature should never go above 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
Water: Watering your Cyclamen requires a careful approach. Don’t just pour water above the tuber as it can spoil the buds, leaving the plant to rot. It’s best to water from the bottom in the saucer, or around the edge of the pot.
February 4, 2019: The Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum) is considered one of the most adaptable of houseplants and the easiest to grow. With long, slender leaves that arch from a common central crown, these house plants work well in hanging baskets or atop shelves and tables to allow for their trailing habits to be on full display. They provide numerous benefits such as producing oxygen and purifying the air in your home and office, by absorbing carbon monoxide, formaldehyde and xylene. They are safe for pets and as such can be displayed just about anywhere in your home and office spaces, even on the floor in a beautiful cluster with your other indoor plants.
Light: Spider Plants prefer nice, bright light. However, they tend to burn in full sun or afternoon sun. Yet, Spider Plants are adaptable, and will do fine in lower light conditions. In our experience, they won’t produce as many babies without natural light.
Water:Water them when they’re almost dry & be sure to let the water drain all the way through the pot. Depending on how warm & bright your house is, this might be every 10-14 days. If your water is high in salts, consider using distilled water. Water them well but do not allow the plants to become too soggy, which can lead to root rot. In fact, spider plants prefer to dry out between waterings.
January 28, 2019: One of the most versatile succulents, Kalanchoe, is prized for its pretty foliage and boldly colored flowers. Because Kalanchoe is a succulent, you only need to water it when the soil feels super dry to the touch.
Kalanchoe branches are tender and break easily, so be careful when moving or transplanting. Many people discard the plants after the bloom is over, but this isn't really necessary. Simply cut off the flowering head, let the plant rest with reduced water, and resume its normal care.
Light: Kalanchoes like bright, natural light. A medium to high light is best. Keep them out of any hot windows because the leaves will burn. During the winter, consider a south-facing window.
Water: Kalanchoes need good drainage. Water yours well, let it drain, empty the saucer & then water again when super dry. Reduce watering in the winter (the plant can almost dry out ) as they thrive in the low humidity of winter households. The foliage is very dense & fleshy, which is why you don’t want to mist or spray this plant. Watch the fleshy leaves for signs of water distress.
January 21, 2019: Come out to our Cottage Grove location to get out of the snow and feel the warmth of the greenhouse! Do you know what also loves the warmth of our greenhouses? Succulents! Kayla has paired up several versions of the succulent family in these really cute 3 inch pots and saucers from Chive Pottery.
About the Plants:
Succulents are a diverse group of plants that include stiff, upright cacti as well as sprawling and trailing plants that are well-suited to hanging baskets and window boxes.
Most succulents like bright sunlight and are content to spend their days outdoors in the baking sun or indoors in a sunny, preferably south-facing window. Succulents will lean towards the sun, so rotating them will help them stand up straight. (Leaning may also be a sign that they need to be in a sunnier spot.)
About the Pottery:
Decorative pots with drainage holes seem to have vanished over the past decade. This makes watering more difficult as far as how much water to give your plants. Drainage holes in these pots allow you to see when you've watered enough. These colorful and fun little cups with matching saucers are perfect for succulents!
January 14th: Bromeliads, also known as guzmanias, make great houseplants and are not only easy to maintain but very colorful. This particular one is popular because of its large, star shaped bloom. What sets it aside from many of the other bromeliads is that it is available in a wide range of flower colors.
Overview: Guzmania lingulata is one of the most popular species of Guzmania. Its common name is the scarlet star. The scarlet star has long, flat, glossy-green leaves with smooth margins. The leaves come together to form a star shape in the center.
What is commonly mistaken as the flower is actually a grouping of modified leaves, called bracts. Guzmania lingulata is most famous for its brilliant pink or red flower bracts but can also be found in shades of yellow and orange depending on the variety.
Light: Like the other bromeliads, Guzmanias prefer, and are happiest, in bright, natural light. An east or west exposure would be best. Just be sure they avoid exposure to any direct, hot sun, because they’ll burn.
Water: Guzmanias have a central well that the flower stalk rises out of, which is how they collect the water they need. You want to keep that well about 1/4 full. Because moisture is collected through their leaves, they’d appreciate a spraying or misting once or twice a week.
If you have hard water, consider using distilled or purified water. Don’t over water your bromeliad – they don’t like to stay constantly wet.
January 7th: This week we are featuring a hardy, indoor plant that earned its common name from the fact that the leaves tend to fold together at night, like a pair of praying hands.
Overview: The Maranta leuconeura is a low, spreading plant that's often grown in hanging baskets, but will also grow horizontally along a tabletop or other surface. It's a slow grower, so no matter where you grow your prayer plant, you don't need to worry about it growing out of bounds.
Most types of prayer plant have variegated foliage, adding to the plant's overall interest. It does produce flowers, but they're not large or particularly showy.