Author Archives: Jessica Snell

Fall is for Planting!

Fall Planting is all about lessening stress. Less stress for gardeners, plants, and pollinators!
Many people only think about planting in the spring, yet there are so many reasons to plant in the fall, here are our top 5.
1. Get a Jump Start on Spring Growth
Planting perennials in the fall gives them a head start on growth the following spring. Root systems will start to grow once the ground thaws, long before the soil can be worked by human hands and any new plants can be put in. This early start means first-season perennials that can actually show their flowers!
2. The Cool Weather
If the hot, sweaty weather isn’t for you, try gardening in the fall! The crisp, cool air makes for an enjoyable, leisurely experience working in the garden.
3. Crucial Support for Pollinators
With earlier blooms comes earlier nectar sources for pollinators, who struggle to find food at the end of the gardening season. Anytime that you can provide early-spring (and autumn) food supplies for birds, bees, and butterflies, you’ll be doing your part to protect the human food supply as well, as we rely on pollinators to put food on our own dinner tables!
4. Less Water
The colder weather helps to eliminate evaporation and shorter days mean that photosynthesis actually slows down, resulting in your new plants requiring less water than if planted in the spring.
5. Camouflage Early Spring Blooming Bulb Foliage
By partnering fall planting, spring blooming bulbs with perennials, the dying bulb foliage will be engulfed by the perennial and allow them to naturally die back to provide strength for next year’s bloom. When most fall bulbs are blooming, perennials are in their dormant stage. As the bulb nears the end of its bloom time, the perennial will start to grow, and subsequently cover the bulb tops when the bloom is gone. It also saves time by digging a hole once and getting 2 seasons of color.

September Garden Guide

  • Perfect time for seeding the lawn.  Start with good compost, use E Z straw for a nice clean finish to grow a lush lawn.
  • Remove fallen, diseased leaves from all planting beds.
  • Plant bulbs now for beautiful spring color
  • Continue planting cool-season vegetables (Kale, cabbage, broccoli, etc.)
  • Refresh outdoor container gardens with cool weather annuals, Pansies, mums, cabbage, kale for a fabulous fall show.
  • Select “Fall Color” Trees, Shrubs, Perennials to place in your landscape for a continuous show through Autumn
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In Bloom: Shade-Loving Pieris

You have to love an evergreen shrub that has showy cascading white, pink or red flowers, colorful new growth which varies by variety, from bronze, brilliant pink to scarlet and thrives in sunny or shady situations. And, is not on the preferred menu of deer.

Newer varieties have a more compact growth habit that’s ideal for low borders and containers. Other, taller types boost foundation plantings (add them to rhododendrons or azaleas for a serious spring flower display) or add romance to a woodland setting.

One of the most underutilized plants in the landscape, which is just not right. If you yearn for easy, fuss-free early spring color, this one’s for you.

Keeping Pieris Happy

  • Follow a regular watering schedule during the first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system.
  • Provide well drained soil, rich in organic matter.
  • Pieris shrubs grow and flower best when planted in partial shade. They will grow in deep shade, but generally do not flower as well, and the new foliage growth is usually not as brilliant.
  • Feed with an acid fertilizer after bloom.
  • Keep roots cool with a thick layer of mulch.
  • Pruning time: spring after flowering.

3 Fun Varieties

Pieris-Pieris-japonica-'Cavatine'-White

 

Cavatine Lily of the Valley

Best Features: An exquisite dwarf variety reaching just 2 feet tall in ten years. Numerous green buds open to white bell-shaped flowers in early spring.

Size: 2′ tall and 3′ wide

 

 

valley valentine pieris

 

Valley Valentine Lily of the Valley

Best Features: Beautiful, deep red buds and pendant flowers

highlight the cool season. Attractive, bronze tint to new growth.

Size: 5′ tall and wide

 

 

 

katsura pieriss

 

Katsura Lily of the Valley

Best Features: Beautiful, wine-red new foliage flushing continuously throughout the season turning dark green with age.  Rose-pink bell-shaped flowers appear in early spring.

Size: 3′ tall and wide

 

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5 Teas to Support your Health

Winter is often a reflection time for most people. The idea of self-reinvention, growth and overall healthier habits are particularly top of mind. A big focus is sharing what teas and blends we have to support our steepers who are looking to incorporate tea into their wellness routine. In continuation of our Love of Lists Series, we’re sharing 5 blends that support a healthier YOU.

1. ZEN MASTER

What? The importance of taking time for oneself is so important for overall happiness. This is no easy feat with the busy lives we lead, but even taking 10 minutes to chill-out on your own can help you feel more grounded. Our favorite thing about ZEN MASTER is how the combination of both black & pu-erh tea types creates a soothing tea experience.

When? With a medium caffeine boost, it’s a great tea to start your day with.

2. BE CALM

What? Chamomile and citrus orange flavors come together to make this blend a real “hug in a cup” so to speak. It’s refreshing but packed with a lot of bold flavors.

When? At the first signs of stress or anxiety this blend will support a serene state of mind. Caffeine free – it can be enjoyed at moments when you need it most.

3. LET’S DETOX

What? Everyone treats winter as a re-set time. This tea is a great addition to your wellness routine as it supports overall health. Whether you’re working out or planning on eating cleaner, the anti-oxidants in this blend will nourish your body.

When? Anytime, always! This blend is ideal for when you need a re-set or when you’re working towards a healthier lifestyle.

4. SKINNY-SIP

What? Treating your body with respect is a wellness choice, and there are ultimately no teas that can do all that work for you. Think of this blend as part of your wellness support system.

When? Perfect to beat afternoon cravings, or before any physical activity you plan on doing.

5. JUMP START

What? We predict 2017 might be the year for Yerba Mate tea. This blend is making big waves in the tea community and for good reason. With twice the anti-oxidants of green tea, it helps keep exhaustion at bay and provides a balanced energy boost. This blend also incorporates a lemon zest for a unique flavor twist.

When? For the days when you’re really feeling it, and just need an extra boost. We’ve got you covered.

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It’s Pansy Season!

Growing Tips

Easy to grow, Pansies are one of the first flowers to welcome spring and if you follow these tips you can grow perfect Pansies. Choose plants with an overall deep green color with plenty of buds for the best results and fastest blooming. Plant in fertile soil where the plant will receive 6 hours of daily sunlight. Use a liquid fertilizer when planting and fertilize every  week to maintain vigor and color. Replace with  petunias in the summer when it becomes too warm for pansies.

5 quick tips for Perfect Pansies

  1. Pansies will have prolific blooms when planted in full Sun. (Yes they can grow in part shade)
  2. It is important to fertilize Pansies for maximum wow color. We like putting a granular down like osmocote at time of planting and then 1x a week water with a liquid fertilizer like Jacks classic.
  3. Plant in rich soil that retains moisture but also drains well. For containers we love Gardner’s Gold potting soil. When planting in the ground we mix in Bumper Crop compost.
  4. Keep Pansies pretty by pinching them back. Remove dead/spent flowers by pinching the stalk back to the next set of leaves.
  5. Water when they dry out. Pansies respond well to cool moist weather, so check them frequently for moisture.

Pansies grow well in rain or cold. In fact, it easily overwinters in many areas. This three-season performer may be planted for fall color, overwinter, and then perk up again in early spring providing an early punch of pizzazz. If it becomes too leggy, just cut back the foliage back to 3 inches tall and fertilize. In a couple of weeks, it will be smiling up at you.

When planting in containers, consider the flower and container colors to maximize the visual effect. Interplant with other textures and colors for an eclectic rainbow of vibrance. When planting in fall, add spring blooming bulbs, as they’ll easily grow through the pansies to create a riot of spring color. Spiky grasses provide a tall and contrasting effect to the pansy’s trailing tendrils, especially in larger containers.

With so many stunning options and new colors to embrace, there’s sure to be a Pansy perfect for all your flower planting desires!

 

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Sizzle N’ Heat Bird Seed

Sizzle N’ Heat Wild Delight Bird Seed

A premium hot blend designed for BIRDS ONLY no Squirrels allowed.sizzling-heat-bird-seed

Squirrels dominate feeders, create a mess and eat much of the seed, nuts and fruits. After sizzling-heat-bird-seed-1 much development and product testing, Sizzle N’ Heat® was created, a squirrel deterrent product. Studies showed it to be a very effective squirrel deterrent. While squirrels may still visit and feed at feeders, once they get a taste of the hot seeds, most will look for other sources of food. As with any Wild Delight® product, ensuring the best bird feeding experience is the #1 goal. So Sizzle N’ Heat® is filled with the same highly desired ingredients birds love, with none of the filler ingredients.

Made with chili peppers, a strong irritant. Keep out of reach of children. Avoid contact with eyes, nose, and skin. Wash hands thoroughly after using.

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein (Min) 18%
Crude Fat (Min) 46%
Crude Fiber (Max) 8%
Moisture (Max) 12%

Ingredients

Sunflower Kernels, Sunflower Seed, Peanuts, Pistachios, Soybean Oil, Capsicum, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Niacin, Choline Chloride, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Biotin, Folic Acid, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), L-Lysine Monohydrochloride, DL-Methionine, Potassium Chloride, Sodium Bicarbonate, Manganous Oxide, Ferrous Sulfate, Copper Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Zinc Oxide, Magnesium Oxide, Dextrose.

Feeding Directions:

Feed the desired amount in a tube feeder with large holes, hopper feeder, platform feeder or on the ground. Keep feeders full. Clean feeders frequently. Keep clean, fresh water available. Feed all year long.

Primary Species:

Cardinals, Finches, Nuthatches, Jays, Chickadees, Titmice, Grosbeaks and other outdoor pets.

Features:

  • Natural Pepper Source – Acts as a squirrel deterrent.
  • Real Nuts – Packed with wholesome nuts that most desirable birds crave.
  • No Fillers – No Millet, no Milo and no Corn.
  • Nutritionally Fortified (with an added supplement) – Packed with added vitamins and electrolytes to help birds thrive.
  • Uniquely Cleaned – Great ingredients without dust and debris means more food per pound.
  • Locked Formula – The same premium ingredients every time. You get real value without surprises or compromises.

Preferred Feeder Type:

  • Tube Feeder (large holes)
  • Hopper Feeder
  • Platform Feeder
  • On the Ground

Tea of the Month – Recipe for a Chai Latte

Tea of the Month is Lets Chai, its aromatic spice blend is perfect for cooler weather.

The spices used for Chai date back to Ayurvedic medicine (5000 years) – the spice blend was then added to tea as the tea industry was established by the British.

Dark, sweet perfection describes this aromatic spice blend that, after one sip you can imagine exotic cafes where friends gather to share laughter and conversation over a cup of invigorating chai.

INGREDIENTS:
black tea, ginger, cinnamon, cardamon, black and white pepper, clove, nutmeg, star anise, coriander. CAFFEINE: Medium

Recipe for a Coffee Bar Chaitea-chia-coffe-bar-chai

Ingredients 2 cups of Water
1 1/2 tps Let’s Chai
1/4 cup Honey
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cinnamon stick
5 whole cloves
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 pinch ground nutmeg
2 cups milk

Instructions

  1. In saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add tea, honey, and vanilla. Stir gently for 2 minutes.
  2. Reduce heat to low. Season with cinnamon, cloves, ginger and nutmeg. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Pour in Milk, and bring to boil. Remove from heat, and strain through a fine sieve.

 

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6 Reasons to drink Loose Leaf Tea over Bagged Tea

For over a year we have been carrying a brand of Premium Loose Tea called For Teas Sake and we have fallen in love with it! It is a high quality tea that has amazing flavor! It’s decorative  packaging is perfect for gifting! So why should you choose to drink loose tea over bagged tea? Here are 6 reason why you should drink loose leaf tea over bagged tea.

  1. Loose leaf tea equals freshness – bagged tea is typically produced at larger scale and could be sitting on shelf for a long time before it ever makes it to your cup.
  2. Benefits abound! All the health & wellness benefits of tea are dramatically reduced in bagged tea. Consuming loose leaf ensures you get all the goodness.
  3. Re-use, re-infuse! Most loose leaf teas can serve multiple cups of tea without comprising quality, which helps you save in the long term.
  4. Flavour punch. Tea bags are generally comprised of “dust and fanning” from broken tea leaves. Loose leaf keeps the aroma and essential oils intact.
  5. More variety + choice. Loose tea blends are ever-changing so you’ll never get bored. You can even combine varieties and blend them on your own!
  6. It’s a great gift. With different blends for every occasion, you can personalize the perfect cup for someone special.

Have any questions about loose leaf? Feel free to stop in, most weekends we will be serving samples of our tea.

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List Provided by For Teas Sake

 

Garden Mums

Fall has arrived and that means it time to decorate with Fall Color. Garden mums are the perfect flower to decorate porches, pots, flowers beds, and more for the colorful Fall season. Have you ever wondered how these blooming beauties produce their flowers, or why some years they are late to bloom? Continue reading to learn.

In the world of horticulture, garden mums are known as “short-day” plants.  Short-day plants set their flowers when the day length is shorter than a critical time.  Most garden mum varieties need less than 12 hours of day length in order to set buds.  As the days naturally shorten after June 20 (the first day of summer), garden mums will form their buds.  July 15 is the approximate date when the day length is short enough for the mums to initiate flower buds.

Bloom time in garden mums is also influenced by temperatures.  Heat delay occurs in garden mums when temperatures exceed 85 degrees Fahrenheit.  The exceptionally warm temperatures of summer 2016 in the mid Atlantic region has caused a delay in garden mum bloom time of 7-10 days throughout this region.

Another factor influencing garden mum bloom time is the cultivar.  There are hundreds  garden mums cultivars.  Here at D.R. Snell we have, mid, early season extender, and late season extender cultivars so there are mums to fit the needs of our customers from August to early October.

If you want to help ensure that your Garden Mum will return next year we encourage you to plant with Compost and Pine mulch. By using pine mulch in the hole at the time of planting you will improve drainage. The additional drainage with prevent rotting which the main cause of Mum failure. We also recommend adding pine mulch to act as a winter blanket for the Mum.

As the calendar moves towards Fall, it is time to think garden mums for your Fall gardening needs!

Fall Bulbs 101

Fall Bulbs 101
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What You Need to Know to Be Ready for This Fall Season
Fall-planting bulbs are some of the easiest flowers to grow with some planning and a little patience.
What are fall planting bulbs?
Simply put, fall planting bulbs are flower bulbs that are planted during the autumn to provide color and flowers the following spring. Crocus, hyacinths, narcissus, and tulips are all representative of fall planting bulbs. These bulbs need the cooling period of winter in order to bloom, but also need time to establish a healthy root system to survive the winter frost. Fall bulbs need to be planted after the temperature reaches 65 degrees, or lower, but at least 6 to 8
weeks prior to a hard frost. Bulbs do best planted in the ground, especially ones that naturalize, but can easily be grown in containers as well with extra maintenance. Planning a bulb garden is not essential; however, with a little research and thought, a showy spring garden can easily be attained.
Know Your Hardiness Zone
Proper knowledge of the zone where the garden is located will eliminate failure and frustration for gardeners when spring arrives. It is important that your customers familiarize themselves on what zone their garden occupies, especially first time gardeners, in order to get the best results. Our local zone ranges from 7 to 6, depending on how far north you are.  Bulbs planted when it is still too warm often sprout prior to the hard frost, and freeze during winter. Within colder regions, such as zones 1 through 4, or a mountainous region, additional mulch to protect against severe freezing temperatures (20 degrees below zero) is recommended; alternatively, heavy mulching will need to be removed in spring to ensure the flower can bloom and grow to full potential. A first time gardener with a successful spring bouquet will most likely return to purchase bulbs in the future, and part of the success is knowing when and how to plant.
Bulb Storage
Bulbs need to be kept in a cool and dry location prior to planting. The warmer temperatures in spring along with healthy rain activate bulbs, so storage in areas that have higher moisture and heat will trigger the bulbs to grow. Bulbs with sprouts can still be planted, but the sprout should not be damaged or removed, or else, the plant will not grow. Bulbs are alive when they reach a garden center, and will carry a shelf life of 6 months before they can no longer survive. Customers can purchase bulbs early in the season and store them at home in the same conditions: a cool, dark, dry location. Storage can be done in an open paper bag, in a dark
place like a closet. Earlier in the fall season, the variety of bulbs will be much greater, so you may want to encourage your customers to shop early and store them at home until they are ready to plant to get the bestvariety for their garden.
Bulb Selection
Bulbs should be firm when selected, not mushy or soft as that signals a dead or bad bulb. Occasionally mold may form on the outer skin, but can easily be brushed off and causes no harm to the bulb. Many bulbs will naturalize, and if cared for properly, will return and bloom the following spring: daffodils, crocus, hyacinth, muscari, and alliums, are varieties that will naturalize in the garden. Tulips, unlike other fall planting bulbs, are not native to American gardens, and will not return the following year; they are best pulled and new bulbs
replanted the following fall. Gardeners who deal with deer and rabbits can use deer resistant varieties to help curb destruction in their garden: scilla, snowdrops, daffodils, hyacinth, allium, are not favored as meals by wildlife; however, a hungry animal will eat anything if hungry enough. Bulbs bloom at different times throughout the spring, so with some research, an amateur gardener can make a show-stopping display that continues after each flower is spent.
How to Plant Bulbs
Good soil preparation is the key to planting bulbs; some gardeners dig up a larger space to facilitate planting arge numbers of bulbs, while others use garden tools to create holes into which the bulbs will spend the winter. Bulbs are generally planted about 8” deep for larger bulbs, and 5” deep for the smaller varieties; the general rule of thumb is that the depth of the bulb should be 3X the diameter. Bulbs prefer good draining soil, and donot like wet feet, so areas that collect heavy water are not ideal. If using containers, bulbs may be planted in
layers based on size. Always place the bulb with the pointed side up, and the flatter side (often with tiny roots) down, cover with soil, water, and let the winter rains and snow take care of watering until spring. Plant bulbs in clumps, or staggered, to create larger washes of color. Paying attention to bloom times when planting can help fill in spent blooms in the garden and create a show of color that lasts all spring.
After-Care
Fall planted bulbs will flower at different times in regard to the varieties planted. For example crocus will appear first, followed by daffodils, and finally tulips. After the flower has bloomed and faded, do not cut down the leaves and stalk. Let the plant die back naturally and brown out over the course of late spring and early summer. During this period, the flower bulb will gain back all of the energy spent in flowering, and continue its life cycle. A popular belief is that bulbs should be tied back, however, it is better to let them be so that they can prepare for
the next season. Once brown, remove the spent leaves. Many bulbs, like crocus, narcissus, and hyacinths, will naturalize and need this period to prepare for the next spring. Some, like tulips, are not native and will not return the following year and should be pulled to prevent problems in the garden, and new bulbs should be planted the following fall. While tulips will not naturalize crocus, muscari, hyacinths, and daffodils, will bloom each spring if left to fade. Some bulbs, after time, will need to be dug up and divided, to ensure flowers. Fertilizer does not
need to be applied in the first year, but down the road, bulbs benefit from a feeding using a specific mild fertilizer designed for bulbs. Most general fertilizers are too harsh for bulbs.

 

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