Blue Ribbon Nursery

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Garden Tips

Early Spring Vegetables
Early spring is a great time for gardening, especially for cool weather vegetables. Try planting lettuce.

It prefers when the days and nights are cooler than 70 degrees, which makes it ideal for early spring planting. You can buy lettuce plants already started, but you can just as easy start from seed.

We carry seeds from Hart Seed Company, one of the oldest seed companies in the nation. Hart started selling seeds in 1892 and is based in Wethersfield CT. We have a great selection of Heirloom seeds, old seed choices that are hard to find today on the market. Plant Hart seeds and you will not sorry. Made in the U.S.A Company.

There are many varieties of lettuce to choose from and any will make a great addition to your salad. Peas are also a good cool crop vegetable. Some of the most popular varieties include snap peas and pod peas. They can be planted in early spring for a late spring harvest. Peas like a nitrogen-rich soil so adding fertilizer to your garden is a good idea.

Fruits and Apple Trees

There's nothing better than picking fresh fruit from a tree in your own yard. Planting fruit trees is a great way to grow your own organic fruit but it is also good for the environment.

Apple trees are a good choice for our area. Choosing which kind depends mostly on how much space you have for them to grow. They are available in dwarf and semi-dwarf varieties. You will need to plant two different varieties in order for the trees to bear fruit. That means, if you want a Red Delicious apple tree then you will have to plant a Golden Delicious tree also so they will cross pollinate.

Just like other trees, you will need to water and fertilize these trees as needed. Also be aware that fruit trees can be hurt by bugs and diseases. We recommend doing some research before you plant your home orchard.

Grapes and Berries

Grapes can be a good addition to a home garden. They are excellent for fresh eating, making jams, and jellies and wine. Grape vines can be beautiful in a landscape and offer a shady spot for a bench or hammock. Well grown grape plants can produce up to 20 pounds of grapes per year and can produce fruit for 40 years or more.

Raspberries are also a good choice. They mostly come in red berries but a few have white or yellow fruit. Raspberries need to be planted in full sun, or at least six hours of direct sunlight per day in the growing season. Raspberries need to be grown in acidic soil, so fertilizing with either Holly Tone or a mushroom compost should do the trick.

Don't forget to water your new plants too. Their roots will need to stay damp to help establish a healthy root system and to provide you with great fruit for years to come.

Grass Care

Winter is rough on everybody's grass and come spring you may be left with gray or white patches of lawn. This is known as snow mold. It occurs then large piles of snow are mounded in an area for weeks at a time.

The remedy for this problem is pretty simple. Take a leaf rake and go over these areas and clean up the dead grass. This will allow air back into the soil and for new growth to begin.

For areas that were hit the hardest, over seeding these spots with the proper grass seed will be needed. For instance, if the lawn gets sun all day, then you will need to use a seed formulated for hot, sunny conditions. If it is a shaded area, you will need to use a mixture made for shady lawns. I always recommend applying a seed starting fertilizer once the seed has been put down, this will help speed up the growing process.

Pruning and Dead Heading in Summer

Summertime is full of color but it takes some work to keep your flowers looking great. Trimming off flowers that have already bloomed and fertilizing will promote more blooms and keep them looking good longer.

Now is also the best time to prune your early blooming shrubs such as forsythias, lilacs and azaleas. You will need to cut them back now to make sure they bloom for you next year.

Planting Trees in Summer

Don't be afraid to plant trees now. All it takes is a little bit of extra work. The heat of the summer can be hard on young trees so you will need to water them deeply one to two times a week.

Also, if you have rocky soil of red clay, try mixing some clean topsoil or peat moss back in with the native soil. This will allow the roots to establish faster. Mulching around the tree will help retain water and keep the roots cooler.

Tree Maintenance

Planting trees are a great way to add curb appeal to your home. They can bring shade to your house, but digging the hole is not the end of the work. Trees will need to be pruned occasionally to maintain their shape and to remove dead or unwanted branches.

Mulch needs to be maintained around the base of the tree. This protects the trunk from being damaged by the lawn mower and also helps retain water and keeps the roots cool. Fertilizing the tree is also necessary for the first few years.

Lastly, bugs and diseases can cause severe damage to your tree. Certain trees are more prone to bug damage that others. Japanese beetles can cause a lot of damage on flowering trees if not treated properly. Leaf spot and mold are diseases that can affect maple and elm trees. So it is always a good idea to find out what can hurt your tree and how to prevent or fix the problem before you bring a new tree home.

Winter Trees and Shrubs

Winter is a great time to prune summer blooming trees and shrubs. Also fruit trees and crabapple trees can be trimmed in the winter.

Applying Preen Weed Preventer

Preen garden weed preventers stop weeds when they're seeds. Here's the short course on getting the jump on weeds. Why pull or kill weeds when you can prevent...

Spring Perennial Bed Care

Spring is the perfect time to start a new perennial bed. Dividing plants you already have or plants your friends want to thin out can be a great starting point.

Perennials usually bloom for a short amount of time, so it is best to choose a wide variety of plants so you can have beautiful color all year long. Companion planting is becoming a popular practice in perennial gardens. This simply means the planting of two or more species of plants to help with pest control, pollination and nutrient intake. For example, companion plants for columbine are phlox, coreopsis and hosta. Roses can benefit from having companion plants such as Russian sage, lavender and verbena. These combinations will help reduce the amount of insects and give interest in between blooming cycles.

Adding a layer of compost is usually a good idea in the spring, along with some fertilizer to help your plants reach their full potential.

Hardiness Zones

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