Thursday, May 6, 2010

Recycle & Save Money

Just a little tip. When planting your container gardens this season take the plastic containers that your plant come in and place them in the bottom of your pots. Just fill your pots with plastic containers 1/2 full. Smash the down just a little bit. In a separate container or bin mix your potting soil with water and mix it up with a shovel. You will know when you have your soil wet enough when you can make a ball with it and it holds together loosely. You don't want it dripping water when you have made a ball with your hand. Fill your pots with your moistened potting soil. This is also a good time to add a slow release fertilizer. Adding these plastic containers to your pots will provide drainage for your container and also save your back if you have to move your pots. Potting soil can be expensive so save your money and help out the earth and recycle your plastic containers.

The Dirt on Dirt potting soil

What makes a good Potting mix?
Almost any article on plants ends with "and make sure you use a good potting mix" -great advice but what does it mean? Let's go over the basics and see if we can answer that question. To know what a good potting mix is you kind of need to know what the purpose of a potting mix is, so let's discuss that first. The main functions of a potting mix are:
  • To hold moisture and nutrients around your plants roots.
  • To provide enough air for growing roots to be able to breath and not rot once you plant your container.
  • To support your plant, providing anchorage for the roots.

Rules of thumb for choosing a potting soil:

  • Potting soil used in containers should be light and fluffy.
  • Look for a potting soil made up of peat moss, pine bark and perlite or vermiculite.
  • Fertilize may be added in the form of a slow release formulation. You may need to fertilize even if you used a slow release fertilizer.
What is in potting soil?
Most potting soils you buy in a garden center are made up of three basic ingredients: peat moss, pine bark, and either perlite or vermiculite ( to provide air space).
Peat moss comes from peat bogs. Peat moss provides a great moisture retaining quality with good air space. For you annuals peat moss is to acidic you need to add to the peat moss. Peat moss can retain a lot of water so always watch your watering. Note peat moss when it is in a potting mix can also repel water, so mix your potting soil in a bucket and add water and then add to your container.
Pine Bark comes from paper mills. provides moisture and more air space. All by it's self pine bark does not do a lot. Mix it with your peat moss or again by a pre mixed potting soil.
Perlite & Vermiculite both a type of rock when heated it takes a different form. They both provide air space and hold moisture, and really makes your soil light.
I see this problem all the time. People pay a lot for a nice container and spend 2.00 special potting soil. Spend the extra money and get a nice potting soil that will provide a nice place for your plants to grow.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Container Planting Garden Party

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This is a fun idea to give to your mother or wife for Mother's Day!
If giving class as a gift for Mother's Day or for something else let me know and I will get you a certificate for the Container Planting Garden Party

When and Where
Garden Party will be held Wednesday May 5th at 6:00-8:00
at 6331 Coral Dr. Taylorsville Ut 84123

Come learn and plant your container gardens. I will be holding a Container Planting Garden Party. I will teach and show you how to plant your containers. Bring your pots and you can purchase your plants from me or bring your own. I will provide soil for pots 18" or smaller. The cost is $10.00 for the class and whatever plants you choose. I will have 5 different container recipes to choose from. 2 full sun choices or 2 shade choices and an herb container garden. The cost for plants for each recipe ranges from 25.00-40.00. (The plant choices can be mixed up and combined with other choice to make your pots original). Come enjoy an educational evening with other gardeners and a sweet treat to nibble on.

Class includes for $10.00:
Soil for 18"pots or smaller.
Instruction and tips for planting.
Sweet treat and drinks

Things you need to bring:
Pots or pot to plant
If you want to bring your own plants you can.

Purchasing Plant
Plants range from .50- $15.00
Most 4" container plant are about $3.50

To register or questions about the Container Planting Garden Party
Please call or email and leave your name and number so I can give you some more information on the class.

Chandi Hurd
t. 801.674.8149

Mother's Day Going Green

This year for Mother' Day (May 9th ). Go green and hire a Garden Coach. Coaching is not just for sports. A garden coach can help you reach your yard and gardens full potential. I am not just your landscaper that says you should do this and that and it cost this much. I want to show you how to make improvements and maintain your landscape and show you how to put your yard into shape. In your coaching session we can cover; problem areas, plant ID, vegetable and fruit production, pest and disease, container gardening, choosing the right plant for the right place,pruning, ect. Let me help coach you in your gardening needs.

Mother's Day Garden Coaching Specials

Daffodil Crate 125.00
Bud vase with fresh cut flowers, sweet treat, and certificate for 2hr. coaching session.
Tulip Crate 150.00
Container herb or flower garden, sweet treat, and certificate for 2hr. coaching session.
Lily Crate 200.00
Hanging basket, sweet treat, and certificate for 2hr. coaching session.

All orders need to be placed by Wednesday May 5th. Deliveries will be delivered on Saturday May 8th.
To place your order or have questions please contact
Chandi Hurd
t. 801.674.814

Winder Team Garden Party

We are having a Garden Party!
The Winder Team and Sage Floral Co. wants to help you this season with your yard and garden. We will be having our local Master Gardeners answering your gardening questions and teaching some basic landscape design concepts. You will also be able to plant your own container garden.

Monday May 3, 2010
4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Wasatch Shadows Nursery
9295 South 255 West, Sandy

Make sure you bring the following:
  • One 18" pot or smaller per family. ( Soil and plants provided)
  • Your gardening questions for our Master Gardeners.
  • Your whole family for a fun outdoor educational evening.
  • Bring your postcard for your ticket to the party.

We will be holding a drawing and giving away gardening products to help you this season in your yard.

We would love to know if you will be attending our Garden Party. Please RSVP to or call or text Bryan at 801.574.5698
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Soil 101

If you have not yet turned your soil over for your garden or flowerbeds it is time. Reflecting on the successes and failures of the last year motivates one to look at basic growth factors. Soil improvement is one of the most important steps for a successful garden.

A common mistake is working the soil too soon. You can do a simple squeeze test to see if it is time to work your soil. Dig down to the area that you are going to turn over or till take a handful of soil, squeeze it together and toss it gently in the air. If it remains in a ball it is still to wet. If it crumbles freely it is ready.

Soil Science 101

Working the soil when it is too wet will compact it and drive the oxygen out of the soil. Your ideal soil should contain 25% air, 25% water, 45% mineral matter, and 5% organic matter. Know one has the ideal soil and most that are purchased need major improvement.
  • Air
The roots of all plants are composed of living cells and for that reason each cell must have oxygen to live. This are comes from pore spaces in the soil. That is why when we have compacted soil air cannot permeate and the roots will not grow and your plant dies.
  • Water
Plants need water. Water should be able to added and be able to move through the soil freely. When water moves freely into the soil this adds oxygen into the soil.

  • Mineral Content

Contains three kinds of soil particles. They are sand, silt and clay. These particles make up soil texture. Soils with a high percentage of any particle sizes makes your soil unsatisfactory for growing plants.
  • Organic Material
This is the last component. Utah soils have very little of this. Luckily it is very easy to add. It holds water well and can retain nutrients. It cures a lot of soil problems. It brakes up clay into aggregates and in sandy soils it holds the water and nutrients. It improves both types of soil for better plant growth. All kinds of organic matter is used to improve soil. Animal manure, homemade compost, sawdust, grass clippings, leaves, wood chips or shavings, many nurseries carry bagged products. Stay away from peat moss blends this holds water if you applying to break up your existing clay soils. When adding most soil amendments you should add a nitrogen fertilizer. Organic matter needs nitrogen to break down so add some so your plants won't be robbed of nitrogen.

Make sure your soil is in check. Because no gardener should learn to live with soil problems, but you should do everything possible to correct them.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Flowering Branches

It is time the buds on your flowering trees and shrubs have now opened and are in full bloom. A quick tip on flowering shrubs and trees. Shrubs and trees that flower in the spring time. You want to prune them after they bloom. So in the fall time don't prune your flowering spring shrub or you will be pruning all the spring blooms off of your bush. For example forsythia which has bright yellow flowers on the stems. This shrub blooms in the spring time so wait till it is done blooming and then prune. Shrubs and trees that bloom in the summer you want to prune in the late fall when the plant goes dormant. Here some flowering spring shrubs. Forsythia, Lilacs, Quince, Snowball bush or Viburnum, Rhododendron, Azalea, Redbuds, Crabapples, pear, cherry, apple, apricot, peach, nectarine, plums, Almond, can be ornamental and fruiting. Careful when pruning your fruit tree that you are not cutting fruit spurs or fruiting wood. Shrubs that flower in the summer are butterfly bush, Rose of Sharron, Spirea, Mockorange, Dogwood, Potentilla just to name a few. It is fun to take a few thinning cuts from these trees and placing them in a vase or container to enjoy. Before placing cut branches in water just smash the cut end with a hammer and then place in the water in your vase or container. Change out the water water when needed and re cut the stem and smash the cut end again for longer lasting branches. If you don't have flowering branches even take some branches that are about to leaf out are also fun to have indoors as well. Happy spring.